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270617 The Myth of Spot Reduction Exercises

 

270617 The Myth of Spot Reduction Exercises

Spot reducing exercises do not work and if your trainer is pushing you to do hundreds of sit ups in the effort to tighten up your abdominal muscles and in turn reduce the circumference then find another one. In a study performed by people doing over 5000 sit ups in a twenty seven day period it was found that size changes in the adipose cells of the abdomen were similar to the size changes in the glutes and the subscapular regions.

The training did accomplish one thing; it reduced the size of the adipose cells in all three locations not just the stomach.

If weight reduction is your goal then add in strength training and cut back on the endless cardio sessions. Muscle burns more calories per hour which at the end of the day means more expenditure of energy and better utilization of the caloric intake. This adds up to consistent weight loss if followed correctly.

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080417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach. (2/2)

080417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach. (2/2)

Continued from 030417

The study by doctors in Seattle also noted that insulin resistant people with excess abdominal fat also appeared to show higher concentrations of a substance known as apolipoprotein B (apoB) and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, a “good” form of cholesterol. Previous studies have suggested that high levels of apoB may encourage the development of arteriosclerosis.

Study author Dr. Steven E. Kahn of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, Washington, states that he and his colleagues suspect that a potbelly likely precedes insulin resistance. Once both conditions have set in, he noted, people’s bodies are more likely to be primed to develop arteriosclerosis.”We think that the deposition of fat in the inside of the abdomen is the critical determinant of insulin resistance in the general population,” Kahn said. “We think that the fat begets the insulin resistance, which helps produce” risk factors for arteriosclerosis, he added.

Kahn’s is not the first study to identify health hazards of potbellies. Although body fat tends to relocate to the abdomen with age, past research has shown that excess belly fat, compared to fat elsewhere on the body, can increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as up the chances of stroke in middle age.

In the current study, Kahn and his colleagues measured body fat distribution and screened for insulin resistance in 196 people. The authors also determined how much choesterol, fat, and apoB was present in each participant’s blood.

The average age of study participants was 53. They were all seemingly healthy, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Reporting in the January issue of Diabetes, Kahn and his colleagues discovered that people with bigger potbellies who were more resistant to insulin also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol and higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol–the “bad” form of cholesterol.

Risk factors for arteriosclerosis appeared to be linked more strongly to tummy size than to whether a person had insulin resistance, Kahn and his team note.

The current study findings suggest that even people who are not obese can be at risk of arteriosclerosis, the authors note. Seemingly slim people can carry excess tummy fat and be resistant to insulin, they write, and can therefore be at risk for the blood vessel disease.

In an interview, Kahn noted that abdominal fat could play an essential role in people’s risk of future disease. Specifically, he said having a pot belly “is a critical component of metabolic syndrome,” a condition marked by insulin resistance and high blood pressure, and which often precedes diabetes and cardiovascular disease. SOURCE: Diabetes 2003;52:172-179.

030417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach.(1/2)

030417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach.(1/2)

By Danny M. O’Dell, MA. CSCS*D

According to recent research, those who have a large potbelly appear to have a higher risk of arteriosclerosis. This is the medical term for the fatty buildup on the lining of arteries that researchers now believe increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. SOURCE: Diabetes 2003;52:172-179

People who carried this “spare tire” of fat around their waists are more likely to have increased fat and cholesterol in their blood.

The study by doctors in Seattle also noted that insulin resistant people with excess abdominal fat also appeared to show higher concentrations of a substance known as apolipoprotein B (apoB) and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, a “good” form of cholesterol. Previous studies have suggested that high levels of apoB may encourage the development of arteriosclerosis.

Study author Dr. Steven E. Kahn of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, Washington, states that he and his colleagues suspect that a potbelly likely precedes insulin resistance. Once both conditions have set in, he noted, people’s bodies are more likely to be primed to develop arteriosclerosis.”We think that the deposition of fat in the inside of the abdomen is the critical determinant of insulin resistance in the general population,” Kahn said. “We think that the fat begets the insulin resistance, which helps produce” risk factors for arteriosclerosis, he added.

Kahn’s is not the first study to identify health hazards of potbellies. Although body fat tends to relocate to the abdomen with age, past research has shown that excess belly fat, compared to fat elsewhere on the body, can increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as up the chances of stroke in middle age.

In the current study, Kahn and his colleagues measured body fat distribution and screened for insulin resistance in 196 people. The authors also determined how much choesterol, fat, and apoB was present in each participant’s blood.

The average age of study participants was 53. They were all seemingly healthy, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Reporting in the January issue of Diabetes, Kahn and his colleagues discovered that people with bigger potbellies who were more resistant to insulin also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol and higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol–the “bad” form of cholesterol.

230913 Healthy ideas that may be worth considering for a healthier life-part three – Using a tape measure to assess your risk for sudden cardiac death

Healthy ideas that may be worth considering for a healthier life-part three – Using a tape measure to assess your risk for sudden cardiac death

Scientific research never ceases and constant investigations into what makes us healthy are no exception. Some of the recent research and subsequent reports result from observational studies. These observational studies were not designed to prove a cause and effect. Nonetheless, they still may point the way towards improving your health by decreasing your disease risk.

Some of these findings may already be common knowledge to you, whereas others may be a surprise. In any case, all of them may be worthwhile paying attention to in the future.

In the majority of the world’s advanced nations, many avoidable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity could be prevented or at least decreased in number if their citizens would simply follow a healthier lifestyle. Getting 30 minutes of exercise per day and eating nutritious foods would go a long way towards easing the healthcare costs and improving the lives of uncounted millions of people.

Using a tape measure to assess your risk for sudden cardiac death

A person with excess belly fat, as determined by the waist to hip ratio formula has a 40% greater risk of dying due to a sudden heart problem. A sudden death means dying within an hour of the onset of symptoms.

In a presentation to the Heart Rhythm Society, 301 cases of sudden cardiac death within 15,156 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study who were between the ages of 45 and 64 died over 12.6 years. At the beginning of the twelve-year period each individual was tested using the three common measures of obesity, which are Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference and waist to hip ratios.

Originally, all three measures were linked with a higher risk of suffering a sudden cardiac event. After making adjustments for other conditions also linked with obesity such as high blood pressure and diabetes it was found that the waist to hip ratio was a “significant predictor of risk.” Those in the top 1/5 of the ratio had waist to hip measures of 0.97 or higher for women and 1.01 or higher for men, indicating a waist roughly as big as the hips.”

Those in “the lowest 1/5 had ratios of less than 0.82 for women in less than 0.92 for men.”

The danger of too much belly fat, according to the researchers, is due to the “effects of inflammation, which in turn can lead to fibrosis in the heart muscle.” Additionally too much belly fat puts unneeded pressure on the kidneys which by the very nature of their makeup is one of our body’s fragile organs.

The take-home message here is to calculate your waist to hip ratio by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement. Healthy numbers are:

  • “Women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 0.8 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution.
  • Men with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 1.0 are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution. “ (1)

If it is too high then do something to alter it by changing your diet and getting more exercise.

(1) The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)).

090913 Tired of doing the same old same routine?

Tired of doing the same old same routine?

One of the nice things about being fit and healthy is the ability to do what you want to do when it comes to choosing a physical activity. Those who have included physical activity in their daily life have found that it has increased their breathing and heart rate during the exercise period thereby improving the health of their lungs, heart, and circulatory system. The combination of these three working together has increased their stamina for doing daily activities.

Not only does physical activity increase your ability to do daily activities easier it also helps improve your balance and coordination. And being able to move about without the fear of falling is one of the many results of being physically active.

However, if you have found yourself frequently missing a workout now more than in the past, perhaps it is time to take a break.

Taking a break does not mean ceasing all physical activity. It may mean changing up your exercise program in a dramatically different fashion. For example, if you are a hard-core runner and are experiencing ankle, knee, or hip problems you need a break from the constant pounding on your joints. One of the ways to maintain your cardio fitness and at the same time give a joint to break is by riding a bicycle or some other cardio piece of equipment. On the other hand, if you do not want to go to the gym then start walking.

Walking, as has been mentioned numerous times in the media, is an excellent way to increase your physical health. It is also much kinder to your joints than running. Walking, as can be expected, strengthens your leg muscles as well as improving your balance especially if you consistently walk over uneven terrain.

According to the Mayo Clinic “the more you walk, the better your balance will be, and the more practice you get at catching yourself when you trip or quickly change directions.” These are two good reasons to walk, particularly if you are older.

040913 Increase your diabetes protection by lifting weights-part one

Increase your diabetes protection by lifting weights

In a joint study conducted by Harvard and the University of Southern Denmark was found that men who lifted weights were able to significantly cut their risk of developing diabetes. Simply put, if you are unable to do aerobic exercise, then start hitting the gym and begin building up your lean muscle mass.

Our body relies on glucose, a basic fuel that originates from the starches and sugars we eat, to function. Once in our system, insulin transports glucose from your blood into the cells of your body. However, if the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or if your cells, for some reason, are ignoring the insulin you may develop type II diabetes.

The biggest a known risk factor of type II diabetes is being overweight. And being overweight, in the majority of cases, boils down to the deadly trio of too much food, too much drink and too little physical activity. For a long time we have known that aerobic activity uses up a lot of energy which in turn can be used to help weight loss and lower diabetes risk.

One study found that men doing 150 minutes a week of aerobics were able to reduce or diabetes risk by 52%. It would be no stretch to apply similar findings to women. Yet there are some who are unable to do aerobics and for them lifting weights may be the answer.

A new study found that men who strength trained 150 minutes a week realized a 34% risk reduction for diabetes even if they did no aerobics.

Dr. Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard school of Public health, explains how lifting weights and building muscle mass works to reduce your risk of diabetes. “Your muscles use glucose. By creating more muscle that needs more glucose when you exercise, you reduce glucose levels remaining in the blood.” He goes on to say that by combining aerobic exercise with lifting, you are providing an even greater risk reduction of up to 59%.

150713 Gaining muscle with electrical impulses, fact, or fiction

Gaining muscle with electrical impulses, fact, or fiction

Periodically one sees an advertisement for an electrical device that supposedly builds muscles or helps someone to lose weight. Without a doubt, some types of electrical stimulation are beneficial, however the gains in the muscles are minuscule. Useful versions of these are seen most often in a physical therapy setting where they are used in the rehab of an injury and after a surgery to help control pain. The tens unit comes immediately to mind.

The repeated shocks produced by these electrical devices can force rapid contractions of the muscles. This repeated stimulation does cause a certain amount of growth in the muscle fibers but even the best of these devices, as used in the medical field, can do only so much. They help to partially stave off muscle atrophy during the rehabilitation.

In order to gain muscle size, strength, and to burn enough calories to lose weight, exercise is a critical part of the equation. Without exercise, these devices are practically useless, especially the ones seen on TV.

One popular, regularly advertised, model found that the stimulation of the major muscles of the abdomen, arms, and legs for up to 45 minutes, three times a week for a full two months produced no significant changes in the participants strength levels, body fat ratio to lean muscle mass, weight , or their overall appearance.

The recommendation from most astute observers is to regularly exercise and follow a sound nutritious diet because getting stronger, bigger, and losing weight does not come with an electrical machine. You actually have to be active and watch what you eat and drink.

010713 Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking

Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends at least two and a half hours of strength training per week working muscle groups such as the shoulders, chest, upper back, lower back, legs, and abdominal muscles. And two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity spread throughout the week. Exercise time is decreased if the intensity is higher. In this case, DHHS recommends one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, again spread throughout the week.

You will note there are no weekend warrior (meaning someone who tries to get all of their exercise time in on one day) recommendations here. Those who try to cram it all in on one-day or over two days frequently end up injured.

If you are not able to set aside 30 minutes each day, then do your exercises in 10-minute bursts over the course of the day.

Participating in a daily regimen of physical activity not only enhances your heart, lungs, and circulatory systems it also eases the pain of arthritis.

This may sound counterintuitive to the arthritis sufferer but the physical act of moving the joints keeps the synovial fluid, the transparent, viscid fluid secreted by the synovial membrane and found in joint cavities, bursae, and tendon sheaths, of the joints equally spread throughout them.

Walking can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight, which is important because numerous studies have found a link between obesity and cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidneys, the breast in postmenopausal women, and the uterus.

Physical activity can also reduce your risk of coronary artery disease, improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system and boost the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol and can even help manage or prevent high blood pressure. As a side note, losing excess fat weight also has the tendency to lower your blood pressure numbers and make you feel better about yourself.

Fighting depression can be a lifelong task but scientists find that physical activity can be a useful addition to pharmacology and therapy for treating depression. If you are depressed, see someone and get help. Physical activity helps ease the stress of the day, helps cut back on anxiety, helps you sleep better, and boosts your spirits for facing the day.

Walking, as well as other physical activity can help prevent the risk of type II diabetes. Additionally physical activity may also make it possible to decrease the amount of insulin or other types of medications you may be taking to control your diabetes. It goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway, see your Doctor before altering your medication.

Osteoporosis is a scary term for those with the diagnosis. Walking puts a load on the bones, which in turn causes them to become stronger, which in the long-term may well prevent fractures. Physical activity combined with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D may help prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis.

Summary:

There are many good reasons to exercise and probably 100 times that many excuses for not exercising. The decision is up to you as to whether not you take advantage of the opportunities to exercise and thereby improve your health or simply sit around and complain about it.

060513 May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

This is your month to change the way you live by doing something good for your mind and body every single day.

If you don’t have a gym to go to, then start walking, jogging, running, do a series of squats onto one of your kitchen chairs-the tall bar stools in the kitchen don’t count, skip rope, ride a bike with your kids, walk in the woods, pick up your yard, do push ups, lunges, get in a few curl ups, lift some rocks, cut up tree trunks if you have cut down any trees or tree branches, be physical during some part of each day.

Raise your heartbeat and keep it within your target heart range for twenty to forty minutes most days of the week with your physical exercises. This helps you do more with your time because it allows your heart and circulatory systems to keep the nutrients and oxygen flowing throughout your body.

Mind your mental health by reducing the stress in your life. Make things simple and not more over complicated than they need to be.

Rest more often and practice getting good sleep at night. Nap if you have the time and most of us do have the time, we just aren’t using it wisely.

Eat nutritious food to fuel your body in the most effective manner. Cut back on your salt and sugar consumption; get your weight under control and lose those unnecessary pounds that are dragging you down by watching what you put into your mouth each day.

Keep track of your progress with a daily diary. You will be surprised how much more you’ll accomplish if you keep track of it. For some reason, doing so spurs you onward to doing more.

290413 A fat savvy guide-part 2

A fat savvy guide

You may be surprised that some of the foods you thought were good for you are loaded with fat. For instance, granola bars generally contain a great deal of fat, as does packaged popcorn and those crunchy healthy sounding veggie chips too.

However, it is not just enough to know what types of fat to look for, you also want to make an intelligent decision based upon the description of the fat on the label.

If the description says, fat-free it means there is less 0.5 g of fat in one serving.

Low-fat means there is a maximum of 3 g of fat in a serving.

Reduced fat indicates there is at least 25% less fat in this food than in a similar food.

Trans fat free means there is less than 0.5 g of trans fat in one serving.

Fat, has 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram of a carbohydrate or protein. Therefore, when you eat foods that have a lot of fat in them you are getting five extra calories per serving than you would be if you were eating a protein or carbohydrate.

Restrict the amount of fat in your diet to less than one third of your total daily calorie intake. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure the food you eat does not get more than 30% of its calories from fat.

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