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141117 Are the bear claws you are eating making you as grouchy as a bear?

141117 Are the bear claws you are eating making you as grouchy as a bear?

Researchers at the University of California in San Diego have found a potential link between trans fat consumption and its effects on our behavior.

They found that the fats commonly used in commercial baking and frying operations can make people both aggressive and irritable. Not only are trans fats linked to increased heart disease, they also hinder the ability of omega-3 fats in reducing aggression and irritability our bodies.

Because of this link between the omega 3 fats, aggression and irritability, the researchers felt that eating more trans fats would tend to boost these types of negative behaviors.

Not being content with just feeling this was going to happen, they tested a small group of 945 adults by examining their diets and comparing the diets with a behavioral assessment tool. This group of adults self-reported any feelings of impatience, irritability along with a history of aggression.

The conclusion of the scientists was that the greater the intake of trans fats in these 945 adults, the greater was their aggression and irritability when closely examined against the measures of the behavioral assessment tool.

This was also a significant association when compared with other known aggressive predictive tools frequently used as testing devices.

Another study, conducted at the University of North Carolina, compared the amount of trans fatty acids in the diet and the occurrences of a stroke amongst 87,025 post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 to 79.

They found that those who were eating an average of 6.1 grams a day had a whopping 39% greater risk of having a stroke than those who ate 2.2 grams per day.

It makes sense to look at the labels on the food and eliminate trans fats from your diet. This may be difficult if you like commercially made baked goods from the grocery store or donut shops such as the bear claws and other delights. Moreover, the French fries may contain an unhealthy amount of trans fats. Sometimes life just isn’t fair is it?

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171017 Are you contemplating losing weight or does your spouse just call you Chunky? (1 of 3)

171017 Are you contemplating losing weight or does your spouse just call you Chunky?

The problem

Nearly every newspaper or magazine on the stands has an article about the obesity problem in today’s modern society. In case you are not aware of the dangers of being overweight here are just a few of the conditions that can have a major impact on your quality of life and on your lifespan. Obesity increases your chance of developing heart disease, hypertension, type two diabetes, cancer, arthritis, asthma, and sleep disorders.

Losing weight can oftentimes help prevent these diseases from occurring. As you begin your self-examination, two potential areas of concern rise to the top of the list: ‘Fat location’ and ‘Fat surplus’. Fat storage locations in the body are a leading predictor of things to come.

The where

An ‘apple shaped’ (android obesity) body style carries the weight around the waist and will present more health risks than will be a ‘Pear shaped’ (gynoid obesity) or one who carries the weight around their hips. Most overweight males carry their weight around their stomachs. This is not good, but there are ways to tell where you are carrying a predominant amount of your fat in case you haven’t noticed yourself in the mirror. “There is a positive correlation between the abdominal fat content and the waist circumference measurement”. All of the fat clings like glue to your organs; it just hangs around in there doing nothing but harm.

101017 Americans are severely obese, to the tune of 15.5 million citizens.

101017 Americans are severely obese, to the tune of 15.5 million citizens.

A survey of 3 million Americans, conducted by the RAND Corporation in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and subsequently published online in the International Journal Of Obesity found that more than 6.6% of adult Americans are now 100 or more pounds overweight! This is an increase of almost 4% (3.9%) from the year 2000.

The cost of healthcare is more than doubling with the epidemic of severe obesity in our nation. Obesity increases the frequency cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes and other chronic and mostly preventable diseases.

When will this stop?

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.

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.

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.

150816 The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

150816 The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

The metabolic syndrome is the name given by the medical profession to a group of health risks having a strong potential to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. These unhealthy conditions are for the most part avoidable simply by eating less and getting more exercise.

The five components of the syndrome are:

  • A waist that is larger than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men. Some men may be at risk even if their waist is greater than 37-39 inches.
  • Low cholesterol readings of the good HDL. Women should have numbers under 50 and men should have their numbers under 40.

Higher than normal, but not necessarily high numbers in the following categories:

  • Systolic blood pressure of 130 or higher and a diastolic reading of 85 or higher.
  • Fasting blood sugar count of 110 or higher
  • Tested triglycerides of 150 or above after fasting.

According to the doctors, a person with three or more of these five categories raises their risk of becoming diabetic and developing heart disease.

The research specialists believe the root cause of this syndrome is an inefficient insulin response.

The metabolic syndrome is the consequence of our body being ineffective in processing fats and sugars. The research shows that belly fat creates increased inflammation and a greater risk of heart disease in those with big bellies. These fat cells also release a product that can drive up blood pressure by reducing the blood vessels ability to relax between strokes. Additional problems with belly fat cells occur because they generate proteins that increase the process of insulin resistance.

In case you are wondering what the term insulin resistance means here is a brief explanation.

The hormone insulin makes it possible to remove glucose, also known as blood sugar, from the blood stream and put into the muscle tissues. The muscle uses this as energy for movement. If too much glucose is in the blood stream it is stored as fat. Therefore, the term insulin resistance means the body is having a hard time delivering the glucose to the muscle tissues (insulin resistance) so the amount of blood sugar rises in the blood stream.

The cause is the waist is too big! Our bellies are too fat, too large, too much over the belt, hanging out too far, you can call it whatever you want to, but the fact remains we are a nation of too much fat. And it is all in the wrong place.

300716 Aerobic Fitness

300716 Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic conditioning is your body’s adaptations to working continuously with oxygen or in other words with air. It is also known as cardiorespiratory endurance or aerobic power. The word power indicates a strong response to imposed conditions.

Cardio work is a continuous activity that puts an increased demand on the heart, lungs, and circulatory systems of the body. Generally, large muscle groups of the body are involved for extended periods without a break, thus the term, ‘with air’. The original term “aerobics” came from the father of cardiovascular training, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, of the famed Cooper Institute.

It is a recognized fact that aerobic conditioning accomplishes all of the following:

  • It has the potential to increase life expectancy
  • Improvements occur in the overall quality of life
  • Overall improvements in health and well being
  • Reduces fatigue and increases the adaptability to meet the challenges of each day as they arise
  • It can improve appearance, posture, self confidence and self concept
  • Positive body composition changes occur with regular aerobic exercise
  • Muscular endurance and muscle tone changes are positive in nature
  • Stress maybe reduced
  • Improvements in relaxation ability and decreased sleep pattern disruptions
  • Positive cardiovascular changes and improved sport performance result from aerobic exercise
  • Reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol may result-studies indicate this to be true
  • Increased bone density due to the impact of the jogging or running
  • Seniors may become more independent
  • Finally, the ability to physically meet and hopefully overcome emergency situations

In preparing to aerobically exercise, remember that aerobics are only a part of a full conditioning program. Other necessary components include flexibility, strength and power, muscle endurance and a safe healthy body composition. In other words, be able to do the task at hand without carrying excess body fat around.

The keys then would be to follow this sequence before exercising for the first time.

  1. Complete a Physical Activities Readiness Questionnaire aka a PAR-Q
  2. Speak to a doctor before beginning any exercise program
  3. Begin slowly in your program-consult with a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) or a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
  4. Always warm-up prior to exercising, get the pulse up and the breathing rate increased to meet the demands of the upcoming exercise session. After exercising then cool down and stretch.
  5. Follow the fitness triad prescription of flexibility, strength and cardiovascular through out the week
  6. Don’t overexert but stay within the guidelines for your age and experience-see number three above for a CSCS or CPT recommendation
  7. If you are sick or injured, don’t exercise. You can however exercise common sense and prevent any further delays in getting better by taking it easy for a short time until you are well again.
  8. Select a NSCA certified trainer

Cardiovascular training

How hard should you exercise aerobically will be determined by your age and current physical condition. The Tanaka formula is the most precise for figuring out the target heart rate range.

Figure your target heart rate using the Tanaka formula.

  • 207 – 70% of your age = Maximum heart rate
  • MHR – Resting heart rate taken as soon as you awake = Heart rate reserve
  • Heart rate reserve X 70% + resting heart rate = Heart rate target range

So why are so many aerobically out of shape? Is it due to a lack of desire, lack of time, or a lack of motivation? The reasons are many but the truth of the matter is this; “in order to make changes change is necessary”.(1)

Research has clearly shown the benefits of increased cardiovascular health in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and other unhealthy heart and lung conditions. (2) Now is the time to make these positive life style changes.

Follow this sequence for a successful new beginning

  • Begin by seeing a doctor for an overall physical.
  • Set up your personal fitness goals
  • Dress for success. Wear good fitting walking, running or bicycling shoes. Dress in proper fitting clothing, layered in the winter and reflective in the summer.
  • Exercise EVERY SINGLE DAY by putting a check mark on the calendar to show yourself you CAN make the necessary changes to succeed.
  • Chart your progress everyday, write down how you did, how you felt. Make it your personal workout diary.
  • Drink enough to stay hydrated; your urine should be a pale yellow. If not and it is bright yellow and strong smelling then you are dehydrated unless you are taking in excessive vitamin B supplements
  • Progress slowly. Start out by walking, riding a bicycle and then finally by jogging and running. Vary the cardiovascular workout mode for added benefits.
  • Chart your target heart range and stay in it for the recommended amount of time for your age
  • Overload your body the correct way, i.e. don’t change any one variable by more than 10% each time. For example, if you are running for ten minutes add only 10% to the increase for the next level. In other words, add one minute. Gradually get used to the new time, or longer distance or faster pace, but only by 10% of the previous times, distance or pace.
  • Acclimatize your body to its new routine. Vary the load, intensity and frequency so your body does not become accustomed to these variables.
  • Make exercise a habit.

Safety cautions

  • Let someone know where you are going and for how long you will be gone
  • Exercise with a partner if you have a difficult time in remaining self motivated
  • Walk, run and ride in a safe legal manner, follow your state statues for engaging in these activities

Summary

Within the first SIX MONTHS, most people QUIT. Are you going to be one of them? Try these tricks of the trade to avoid dropping out of the exercise mode.

  • Make exercising FUN
  • Go at a comfortable yet challenging pace
  • Do more than just walk, run and bicycle. In other words, cross train.
  • Take music along with you. Just don’t have it blaring in your ears through an earplug. You cannot avoid danger if you can’t hear it coming.
  • Exercise the same time each day. Get it out of the way early or make it the last thing you treat yourself to at the end of the day. Make it natural and convenient. You will be better able to stick with it.
  • Keep records of your achievements each day

Follow the SMART goal setting method of:
S stands for specific
M stands for measurable
A is for achievable
R asks if it is a realistic goal
T indicates time ended.

In other words unless a goal is specific, measure able, achievable, realistic and time ended it is simply a dream with no starting or ending to it. Live your dream; don’t just dream of living it.

(1) Danny M. O’Dell, MA. CSCS,*D
(2) Research and resultant international conference presentation titled “The effects of exercise on blood pressure” by the author. Presentation made July 03 in Ottawa, Canada.

 

260616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part four

260616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part four

According to the National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which is a part of the National Institute of Health, there are over 1 million Americans having a hip or knee replaced every year. Research, over the years, has found that even if you are older a joint replacement will increase your ability to move around with less pain.

Once you are home, you need to notify your doctor immediately if:

  • The area around the surgical site looks red or begins to drain fluids. Examples include, bruising or nosebleeds.

You recognize one or more of these common signs of an infection.

  • a fever,
  • increased redness or swelling,
  • your skin feels hot,
  • more drainage from the site,
  • color changes in the drainage, or
  • more pain than before

Notify your surgeon of any new symptom, such as a pain that gets worse or refuses to go away with medication

Moreover, call them immediately if you experience any pain or notice swelling in your calf or have shortness of breath because this can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is a clot forming in your lower leg.

If you notice any of these symptoms of a DVT, don’t massage your calf. Immediately call your doctor. Don’t wait, even if it is after hours, call so you can be examined and if necessary treated. You may have to go to the Emergency Room.

This is a serious condition, don’t treat it lately.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the calf that gets worse when you pull your foot forward
  • Increased skin temperature in the area over your calf

Any pain or difficulty in walking after the joint replacement that has suddenly occurred should be a red flag. Your doctor needs to know about this especially if the recovery up to this time has been going smoothly.

It cannot be emphasized too much that you must listen to and follow your surgeon’s recommendations and guidelines.

190616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part three

190616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part three

According to the National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which is a part of the National Institute of Health, there are over 1 million Americans having a hip or knee replaced every year. Research, over the years, has found that even if you are older a joint replacement will increase your ability to move around with less pain.

After your surgery

After the surgery, you may have to stay in the hospital for a few days. The length of stay depends on the type of surgery, your age, physical abilities, and your surgeon’s judgment. In some cases, this is dependent on your abilities; you may have to go to a rehab center, which can take several weeks of rehabilitation before you go home.

During the time you are in the hospital, you receive painkillers, antibiotics, and blood thinners to help the healing process. Blood thinners are there to reduce the risks of clots. Make use of the painkillers effects on your body by moving around and doing what you can to exercise that joint (within your doctors orders). Get as much range of motion as possible back as soon as possible without destroying the surgically repaired area.

Frequently, after surgery you are going to be encouraged to get out of bed and start moving. The first time you do this is going to be scary especially if you’re standing on a new hip or knee joint. However, this helps keep the blood moving and again reduces the risk of a blood clot forming.

Physical therapy normally begins the next day after the surgery. The exercises the physical therapist will be giving you help to strengthen the muscles around the new joint, assists in regaining your flexibility and motion.

If your surgeon is competent then joint replacement is a relatively safe surgery with overall low rates of complications and mortality. By following your doctor’s instructions and adhering to the physical therapists schedule of exercises you should come through this in much better health than when you went into it. However, there are possible problems that can happen.

In some instances, problems such as blood clotting, and/or infection, and/or a loosening of, and/or a dislocation of the new joint may occur. The latter occurs more frequently in a hip replacement rather than in the other joint replacements.

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