Many times your knee problems can be caused by improper techniques used while exercising. Some of those include bad form while exercising and others could be as simple as not wrapping your knees properly while leg pressing or squatting. These mistakes, when repeated over and over, can lead to larger problems like chondromalacia, a degenerative knee disorder that many times can be prevented with some minor changes. See the video below. Remember that if your experiencing pain never self diagnose and always see your physician for a treatment. This video is for informational purposes.
So you’re 40 years old and you’re in the gym hitting the weights hard and eating right. A few months goes by and you’re not seeing results. You feel tired, weak, you have no energy and the last time you saw your “soldier solute” was when you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I think you get the “point”. You may be suffering from “Low T”.
This subject is nothing new and is the latest topic for guys trying to put more lead in their pencil. Sorry I just can’t resist all the adjectives.
At any rate, it’s probably a good idea to have your “T” levels checked by your doctor, which is done through a simple blood test. You may find that one simple pellet or cream is all it takes to get your MoJo back. At any rate, it’s time to see what it is in your life that may be effecting the your “lead levels”…..so to speak.
I put together a list of what I found are the biggest culprits to lowering testosterone. Ladies don’t be fooled. You need testosterone as well, but the only difference is you require much lower levels than men but it is still an important part of your well being.
Remember to always check with your doctor and don’t just take my word for it. Low T might be related to an underlying medical condition such as a tumor or disease. You can also research much of this information as well. Keep in mind not just people over 40 suffer from low T. Your lifestyle and stress levels or disease can determine it as well.
I recommend that one stay away from high-protein, low-fat diets, especially if you’re doing a lot of endurance related activities like running. Not enough carbs can create a condition called ketosis which is good for VERY short term weight loss, however, over longer periods of time it is extremely bad for testosterone levels as well as your overall health. The kidneys reabsorb some testosterone from the blood but in the presence of ketones they lose out and it’s excreted.
Eat a diet rich in monounsaturated fats. This has been known to help the body make hormones like testosterone. Foods high in Mono unsats are walnuts, avocados and almonds as well as flax seeds and fish oils.
“Incidently “T” is made up of cholesterol. So, the rumors about eating a whole egg once in a while are true, only IF you do not suffer from elevated cholesterol levels.
Again ask your Doc.”
Starvation is a testosterone killer! To stay lean, while still maintaining optimal testosterone levels, I recommend eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. In order to create testosterone, your body needs an adequate supply of calories. (about 11 per pound of body weight) This is why so many good meal plans only implement 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week. When calories are too low (or if you starve yourself) the metabolism slows down. This, in turn, slows down testosterone production, to conserve energy. Before you know it, your hard earned muscle is wasted and used as energy to supply amino acids and glycogen.
It is important to be sure that you are getting enough sleep. This is imperative for testosterone production. The body’s circadian rhythms are extremely important and they have a direct effect on your testosterone levels. Most males are very familiar with certain effects of those elevated testosterone levels that usually occur in the morning, which is when “T” levels are highest. I won’t go there I promise.
Try having sex more often (once a day is good). Many of our lifestyles effect us especially with work, kids, and stress. This makes having sex fall low on the priority list. Having frequent erections will increase the amount of testosterone in your bloodstream naturally. Sexual arousal sends messages to the brain and the pituitary gland in turn releases a chemical called LH- this stimulates “Big Jim and the twins” to make testosterone. (Need I say more?)
Alcohol is bad because it upsets the balance of the liver. The liver has to work extra hard to produce enzymes to breakdown the alcohol. The same enzymes that help breakdown alcohol are also required for testosterone production. In the presence of alcohol, these enzymes, (located in the testes for testosterone production) are diverted from the testes to help break down alcohol. Makes it easier to pass on that whiskey and coke.
Over training is a sure fire way to lower your testosterone levels. When the body is under stress, it secretes cortisol, which competes with testosterone. This process occurs when we over train. Signs of over training are: sore joints, sleep problems, loss of appetite and an overall feeling of being tired and run down. The catch 22 is: What is better? Under training? No, because you get zero progress. Over training? Now you get negative progress. So what is a guy to do? Call a good personal trainer like me ☺
Lift weights! It is crucial to choose exercises that use more than one joint at a time. For example, the best three moves you can do are squats, bench presses and dead lifts. The reason for this is, these movements require large amounts of energy, which in turn create large levels of blood lactate in a short period of time. These high lactate levels (that are not constant but sporadic) stimulate testosterone production! However, it is important to keep in mind that lifting too hard and too long can shift the body into cortisol production—- and we already know that is something we want to avoid.
So what I recommend is: lifting weights for no more than 1 hour a day. Perform at least three sets of 6-15 repetitions on each exercise and 10-15 total sets of heavy or moderate weights every day and train one body part per week per day. Ladies, the heavy weights are especially important for you, to prevent bone loss as you age and to keep the loss of female hormones to a minimum. We cannot beat natural decline, but we can stave it off.
As far as natural supplements, I don’t believe in any of the millions of gimmicks out there that claim to increase testosterone and give you a sex drive as well as a manhood rivaling a porn star. However, if you’re a gambling man, there is one that many people claim to feel works for them. It’s called Tribulus Terrestris. Another highly recommended supplement is Zinc. A natural food source is Oysters. They are loaded with Zinc, which helps with natural testosterone production. So how does one determine if they are zinc deficient?Try this test:
Testosterone Testing is another important step in the process. Be sure you are not only tested for your total free testosterone but also your bound testosterone. There is a substance called Sex hormone binding globulin that takes a “free ride” on your precious boner builder and renders it inactive. So even if you have high levels of testosterone, you may be “all bound up.” Check out this web site for more info on testosterone:
Good luck and play hard! Whoops… I did it again
Pelvic pain, for most of us we have no idea what it means and if so be glad. It’s excruciating pain deep in the pelvis area that can be unbearable with almost no hope in sight. There are some new procedures and techniques out there that have been great at helping people with this problem and several web sites are helpful as well. A friend of mine has become very familiar with this subject and has dedicated herself to helping others with this pain. Her name is Elisabeth Oas.
So what are the pelvic floor muscles? Together with the muscles of the low back and abdomen they make up the core muscles and act like the strings in a hammock to support the surrounding structures of the pelvis. These muscles are also responsible for cutting off the flow of urine from the bladder and support the bladder and intestines. In women they are especially important because they support the uterus. One of the muscles, the Pubococcygeus or PC muscle is responsible for stabilizes the openings of the urethra, vagina and anus. These openings can be compromised if the PC muscle is weak or in spasms which can be very painful. Now can you image what childbirth can do to them. Other things that can cause problems are excessive coughing, aging and inactivity. Not to mention holding your pee or poop which many woman are known for. Sorry ladies, I said it and I went there. So some of the problems that can occur from a weak pelvic floor are incontinence, pain during sex, and a prolapsed uterus or bladder, which is the dropping of these organs into the pelvic muscles. Ouch!!! Another thing I noticed woman tend to do (I have two sisters and have been married for 7 years) is if they are wearing an outfit that reveals their tummy in any way, one tends to flex or flatten their stomach out the entire night. Not only is this bad for the pelvic floor it’s bad on many other levels. That lack of oxygen causes muscles not only in the pelvic floor to have problems but the diaphragm and heart as well. An entirely new blog on that one.
Now that I have either thoroughly scared you or grossed you out, I will explain how to keep these muscles healthy and happy.
1) Do not force going to the bathroom.
2) If you are experiencing any pain I just described, avoid abdominal exercise like crunches or crunches combined with leg lifts. This forces pressure down onto already overworked pelvic floor muscles and can add to trigger points or spasms.
3) Avoid exercise that force excessive downward pressure into the pelvic floor and cause the stomach to bulge at the same time. A good example of this are wide feet squats and deadlifts. Basically any movements that require one to wear a supportive abdominal belt.
4) Avoid excessive coughing.
5) Inactivity or sitting for lengthy periods of time on a hard cold surface. Can you say your kids soccer game or football game. Those bleachers are brutal.
6) Constipation or diarrhea. Overworks the muscles and places excessive strain on them.
1) RELAX!!! Stress is the number one reason for many of our health problems. Breathe deep and exhale slowly whenever you’re stressed out. This alone helps more than anything because it creates an overall calming effect. Muscles run on oxygen and feeding them helps them function properly and relax properly.
2) Eat good fibrous foods and drink plenty of water. This will help with constipation and I don’t need to say more.
3) Exercise properly.
Below are some ideas regarding exercise. There are some things you can do to help these muscles stay strong without over working them.
a. Kegels exercises. Created by Dr. Kegel they were originally used to help woman recover muscle tone after pregnancy in that certain area. I won’t go there on this one. It involves a series of flexing the muscles that stop the flow of urine. Although it seems like a good idea to do this while going to the bathroom it is not. See this link for more on Kegel exercises: NOTE: If your pelvic pain is caused by Myofacial Trigger Points, you may aggravate your pain. So be careful and check with your doctor before self-diagnosing.
b. Stomach draw or vacuum. Start by lying on your back. Exhale all your air and then try to pull your stomach in like your trying to touch your belly button to your spine. Hold for 5 seconds and rest. Do this 7 times. That’s 1 set. Do one set in the morning and one in the evening before bed. This exercise is also great for flattening the stomach as it works the Transverse Abdominis, which acts like a natural weight belt to hold the stomach in.
c. Planks. Some people may argue with me on this one but I believe they work great as long as you do not over due it by making them too hard. The safest way to make it work is to just hold a push up position on your hands or elbows for 30 seconds. Be sure to tuck your butt down and flatten your back to support your spine. Breathe in and out slowly and controlled.
If you would like to see some of these exercises demonstrated click here.
It’s important to have a well-rounded core-training program that strengthens all the muscles. If you are not familiar with this, hire a personal trainer or a physical therapist.
It’s also important to remember that if you are experiencing pain in the pelvic area not to brush it off as weak muscles or spasms. There are many other diseases that can be under lying such as IC (Interstiital Cystitis of the Bladder), PFD or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Endometriosis, Prostaitis, a bladder infection, Cancer and many more. So always consult with your doctor first before self diagnosing yourself.
I’ve been a personal trainer for well over thirty years and it never ceases to amaze me how some of the mainstream media and public still believe certain myths about diet and exercise as fact. So what I will try to do here is “debunk the funk” about some of the most common myths that many people believe to be true. We all have our excuses not to workout or to stay out of the gym but in order to see great results, we need to STOP making excuses, and as my company slogan says- “Get over it”.
So I decided to list the most common exercise myths in the order of what I believe to be the most rediculous.
1) “Lifting heavy weights or lifting any weights makes you bulky.”
This aggravates me more as a personal trainer than any of the other myths on the list. I can point out many men under 150 pounds that can lift far more weight than I can. They are actually skinny. So what makes someone bulky you ask? It’s simple: Your Fork! Weight lifting and the type of results you want to achieve all depends on how you workout with those weights. So many woman are tricked into this “bulky belief” which robs them of so many benefits, such as greater bone density to prevent osteoporosis, strength that helps them in everyday life and vital hormone and immune system stabilization that only hard work can attain as we age. Lastly, an increase in metabolism at rest, due to an increase in lean tissue (not bulky fat). Muscle cells have something called a mitochondria which is the powerhouse of the cell and uses energy. With an efficient mitochondria a person can burn more calories at rest. Here’s more info on weight training’s benefits.
2) “Too much muscle turns into fat”
This one is so crazy that it doesn’t even warrant much of an explanation. Muscle is muscle it can not turn into fat. What makes this seem true is many of the bodybuilders and football players continue to eat like they did when they were competing and put on weight when they quit because their eating habits do not change.
3) “If I don’t eat I will lose more weight”
This is true at first, however after 24hrs your body begins to slow the metabolism to accommodate for the lower caloric intake and before you know it you’ll find yourself putting weight on by eating just a Tic Tac. So try to aim for a daily caloric deficit of 300 calories below your maintenance. This will prevent the body from slowing the metabolism. As a general rule of thumb, a good way to find a starting point to determine your daily caloric intake is to take your body weight and multiply it by 15. Realize some people may require more or less. This is only a starting point and a safe amount of weight loss per week is 1-2lbs. If you lose more than 3 pounds in a week you run the risk of slowing your metabolism. Here’s some good information about nutrition and personal fitness.
4) “I just want to work my stomach so I can spot reduce”.
Are you sure??
The initial feeling of spot reducing that many new exercisers experience is the toning of a muscle that was not used for a very long time. After that, all one can do is build that muscle and not spot reduce the fat around it. Unfortunately when God created us, he made us all unique and we all deposit fat differently. Some around the stomach, some around the hips and butt and others between the ears. The ones that develop fat between the ears will never lose weight because they continually believe these crazy myths and try to replace hard work and dedication to a healthy lifestyle with fad diets, pills and potions and other drugs that make your stomach look…down right nasty.
4) “Stretch before you workout”
Although I am a big believer in stretching it is also possible to over stretch and impede performance. In sport a muscle requires a certain amount stretch reflex to attain maximum speed and performance. By over stretching an athlete can impede this reflex and slow his or herself down or worse cause injury. Light stretching on a daily basis before and after exercise or sport is best. Stretching should be relaxing and not painful.
5) “Don’t eat before you workout”
This school of thought is correct when it refers to a large meal, however studies have found that small feedings a half hour before exercise actually helps to limit fatigue and muscle tissue breakdown. Realize it is not advisable to eat prior to a competitive event and it’s a good idea to speak to your coach or nutritionist if you are competing in any activity.
6) “Don’t eat fatty foods”
This pertains mostly to trans fat or saturated fats. The fats contained in walnuts, seeds, avocados, fish and oils such as olive oil are excellent for maintaining health and should not be avoided unless there is a medical reason why.
Well I hope this information helps and as always if you are under the care of a doctor or nutritionist always ask them what to do before adding or changing your diet and before beginning an exercise program.
The alarm clock goes off: You hit the snooze knowing you have to go to the gym and throw around weights and move your body in ways that makes you want to hit the snooze again. Now it’s raining out, cold and you’re nice and warm in your bed… so… you hit the snooze again. Before you know it your Personal Trainer is calling wondering where you are. Or you make it to the gym hoping that he/she doesn’t show up; however if you workout with me you know that’s a fat chance.
Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Being in the fitness industry for over 30 years, I’ve seen every excuse to not workout. Some excuses are good but most are bad. I especially love the honest one’s like: “I got hammered last night on Margarita’s and pizza and I feel like crap.” (I won’t mention your name you’re secret is safe with me)
At any rate, lets face it we’re all human beings, we have emotions, desire’s, likes, dislikes and more importantly a lifestyle. If I sat here and told you working out is a blast and I love eating good all the time I’d be a liar with a nose the size of New Jersey. The truth is that I also constantly struggle, and everyday I have challenges. Every time I walk into Starbucks I can swear that the French Toast Muffin calls out to me, but I ignore it like a telemarketer and move on.
So how does one stay motivated and still enjoy the finer things in life? It’s called balance and I’m not talking about the stability ball. Here are some helpful hints that help get me through.
For working out:
- I love working out so it’s not a problem for me. I can tell that many of you would rather have your toenails ripped out. To get over this tell yourself “You Like It”. If anyone remembers Freud from psychology class, we all know what a self fulfilling prophecy is. So make it a positive one and not negative by being excited to go to the gym and watch your body improve in regards to strength, coordination and endurance. Remember the old saying “Pain is weakness leaving the body”!
- Set clear attainable goals. Unrealistic goals like losing 4-5 pounds a week is not only crazy but unhealthy. Strive for 1-2 pounds a week at most, if you are under 30% body fat.
- Use visualization. Picture your body munching on all the fat cells while your working out. You can do this with your diet as well, whenever you eat good healthy food.
- Take a challenge from a co-worker who is harassing you about working out or eating better. No one wants to lose to the office loud mouth.
- Wear clothes that are not flattering to a body part you do not particularly care for. For example, if you hate your stomach wear tighter fitting shirts around your mid section while working out to remind yourself why you’re there. Who cares what other people think, they’re not you and honestly, are we all really that important to each other. Once that stomach shrinks down those same people will compliment you on your hard work and new appearance and that my friends is positive reinforcement!
For eating right:
- I always eat before I go out to dinner with friends, so I don’t go overboard on the pre meal snacks, like bread, garlic and olive oil.
- Out of site out of mind. I don’t even let them put the bread on the table. Once a week I reward myself with it though.
- Fill up on vegetables as much as you want you can, even put a little olive oil on them.
- There are 4 ways your body turns down the hunger signal.
1. Blood sugar rising is number one. So eat “slow burning” carbs chewed well. I.e. Any whole grain.
2. Warm foods- Heat things up.
3. Distention or expansion of the stomach wall. i.e. Fiber
4. Hormones- Ghrelin is a hormone the body secretes in response to mealtime or starvation. By eating smaller more frequent meals you can keep this hormone from going haywire. Another thing to keep it at bay is to eat protein with every meal and surprisingly, getting 8 hours of sleep.
- Don’t drink water or any fluids with meals. This dilutes digestive enzymes and can lead to malabsorption of nutrients; which in turn can cause nutrient imbalances leading to cravings, bloating and gas.
- Balance your intestinal flora. Certain bad bacteria can overcome our gut from antibiotics, alcohol and poor diet. These “Bad Bacteria” set up shop in our intestines and stomach and some of them can cause cravings such as sugar. So try to limit your alcohol consumption and bad eating habits. A good coarse of probiotics won’t hurt either, so talk to someone who is knowledgeable in supplements.
- Lastly, I always think health first whenever I am deciding what to eat. Too many times many of us do the opposite. We eat first, think about it after and get depressed. It’s a vicious cycle because after a while you feel defeated and the road ahead looks long, so we give up. What you need to realize is that if you are not seeing benefits in your body fast enough, there are significant changes going on inside that will help you live a longer healthier pain free life. One thing you must remember, weight gain not only can shorten your life it can also make the quality of it bad as well. Excess weight causes strain on the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. That can lead to arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and a whole list of itis’. So when I am looking at food, many times I say to myself, “Self- is that piece of cake worth the regret I’m going to feel not to mention what it’s going to do to my insides.”
So there you have it in a nutshell. Eat, live and be healthy all.
Over the years as a personal trainer, I have noticed a large majority of my female clients tend to complain of lower back and knee problems. Besides the obvious anatomical reasons such as wider hips, I always felt other factors contributed to the aches and pains. Having wider hips forces the femur to angle inward, placing stress on the medial aspect of the knee, which can cause knee problems. A recent study has revealed that wearing high heels may exacerbate this structural imbalance.
Danielle Barkema, a Kinesiology Graduate at Iowa State University, studied the effects of women wearing high heeled shoes. The study looked at the how wearing shoes with varying heel heights, may contribute to knee osteoarthritis and joint degeneration over time.
Since women begin wearing high heels at a very young age, test subjects were studied who wear high heels for at least two days a week. 15 women were studied using flat shoes, 2″ heels and 3.5″ heels. Barkema measured the forces on the knee joint and the shock that travels up the leg during the heel strike phase of walking. What she found was: as heel height increases, so does the compression on the medial or inside aspect of the knee. She measured the effects using camera’s, sensors, accelerometers and a force platform. Her findings show that over time, wearing high heels even two days a week and greater than 2″ can greatly contribute to a degeneration of the knee joint and lead to osteoarthritis.
In addition, wearing heels over 2″ in height also effects the individuals walking pattern, subsequently changing the position of the ankle, knee, hip and trunk. This altered walking pattern may lead to lower back problems as well.
If you’re having knee problems you may want to see your doctor or physical therapist.
Having been a personal trainer for over 20 years I’ve been asked this question many times. There are a lot of personal trainers out there and many are down right dangerous and can sometimes hurt an unsuspecting client. Do a Google search of “ Personal Trainer San Diego” and you will turn up hundreds. So how does someone know who is good, bad or “ugly”… so to speak? The best way is by a reliable referral but many times that can be wrong, especially if the source has different goals from you. You should start off by doing you’re own investigation if someone refers you to a Personal Trainer in Chicago or any other state for that matter.
I’ll start off by recommending you look at the type of certification your personal trainer has. I don’t like to talk negative about any individual or company; so I’ll just name the one’s I feel are top of the line when it comes to making sure your trainer is right for you. If a company isn’t listed it doesn’t mean they are not good, it’s just all a matter of opinion. My opinion was based on several factors:
- 1) What certifications my peers have, who do I respect as a good Personal Trainers.
- 2) What pre-requisites are required to obtain the certification? i.e. college degree or no background.
- 3) How long the company has been in business?
- 4) Is the company an industry leader in research and development when it comes to sports and fitness?
- 5) What credentials do most of the Athletic Trainers hold, who work for many of the professional sports teams?
- 6) Do they specialize in Personal Training certifications or do they dabble in many different areas related to fitness?
- 7) Are their continuing education credits accepted by the top organizations in the field?
Here are some of the companies I feel are at the top of the fitness field in what they offer:
The NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association)
This certification is widely accepted and known as the gold standard in sports and fitness. It has all the credentials I’ve listed above and most respected professionals in the field who work for sports teams or write for fitness journals or magazines have one of these certifications.
The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)
This organization has many different types of certifications specializing in Clinical, Specialty and Health and Fitness. They are also known as an industry as a leader in Sports and Fitness. The ACSM is also a the top in the world of sports and fitness research and development.
The NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
This certification is one that can be obtained without having a college related degree and is in my opinion the best one for trainers that do not have an advanced education in health and fitness such a Bachelors, Masters or Phd. The NASM also offers a variety of certifications for the fitness professional.
Another credential worth mentioning is if your Personal Trainer has an advanced degree like a Bachelors, Masters or Phd. in a fitness related field or has clinical work in a hospital or organized athletic program, like a college or sports team. These individuals usually possess knowledge of periodizing a program through different phases of the clients fitness level or season.
There are many other signs of a good personal trainer but as many people don’t realize there are certain signs differentiating a professional from someone in the business as a hobby or side job:
Are they on their cell phone while you’re working out?
Do they care for you as a person?
Do they show up late or leave you standing?
Do they spot you on all overhead movements?
Do they have a game plan or show up with nothing in hand and and act like they have a game plan and “wing it”?
(Lets face it, if they are a busy trainer how do they remember all the exercises every client does as well as the weight lifted)
Do they explain why they are doing things and change it up if you’re not seeing progress?
Does their body inspire you or do they look like they need a Personal Trainer themselves?
They should be insured and CPR certified.
Finding the right Personal Trainer is hard to do, because they not only have to be good at what they do, he/she should be professional, courteous, friendly and have a good personality. Personal Training is a service related industry and does not have a governing body to regulate who can call themselves a Personal Trainer and who cannot. Until the state or federal government decides to monitor the industry, people will have to use due diligence in who they select to help them reach their fitness goals.
Thanks for stopping by.
We workout with a personal trainer, we eat right and see our doctor routinely to make sure everything is working properly. However not all people are so diligent when it comes to their health. A much larger percent of the population takes better care of their car, boat or motorcycle as if that is what’s going to matter when they reach their golden years. The truth is we have only one body that the good lord has given us, and it has to last a lifetime. Many people neglect it until the day something goes wrong and hopefully by then it’s not too late.
So what can we do to keep the ultimate mode of transportation running smoothly? If you are one of those people who neglects your Ferrari, you can start off with a trip to your doctor for a complete blood work up. Always ask for your results and keep a file of the tests in a medical journal or folder. Whats normal for you now may not be normal in 10-15 years, even though your results falls into the “normal” range, which is rather wide. Below is a list of what your doctor will more than likely check.
- Desirable – Less than 200mg/dl
- Borderline high – 200-239 mg/dl
- High – great than 240 mg/dl
HDL: (Good cholesterol)
- 40 mg/dl or less indicates at risk
Ratio of good to bad: (Total cholesterol/HDL= Ratio)
- Greater than 4.5 indicates risk
LDL: (Bad Cholesterol)
- Desirable – Less than 130mg/dl
- Borderline high – 130-159 mg/dl
- High – great than 160 mg/dl
- Greater than 200 mg/dl may be at risk
Here are some other important nutritional facts to follow to help extend your bodies “Mileage”:
- keep intake between 1500-2400mg per day
- Drink at least half your body weight (lbs.) in ounces.
- Eat at least 25-40gms per day.
- Eat at least (4) servings of fruit and (5) servings of vegetables.
- Eat every 3-4 hrs whenever possible, that 5-6 meals a day.
- Eat protein with each meal and a variety of it.
- Eat 2/3 of your calories before 2/3 of your day is done.
- Do not eat more than 10% of your total calories in sugar.
- Eat more nuts and seeds instead of saturated fats.
Good luck and as always check with your doctor or dietitian if you are under their care. The above recommendations are for healthy adults.
So you decided to lose weight and you think you’re doing pretty good job eating right and exercising. You lose a few pounds but can’t seem to “shake” losing that belly fat. Beware, there may be an underlying problem and all that time and effort could be futile if you don’t get checked out by your doctor.
What I’m talking about is a condition called Metabolic Syndrome. If you have Metabolic Syndrome your risk for coronary heart disease and other plaque build up related problems in the artery walls and type II diabetes. It’s estimated that over 50 million Americans have it and it’s on the rise. Two of the most common characteristics are abdominal obesity and insulin resistance (can’t use insulin efficiently) which is what causes the belly fat.
So how does one acquire this condition? Researchers are not quite sure and believe genetics plays an important role, however certain factors like lifestyle and eating habits definately increase your risk for developing it. Some of the conditions associated with it are, physical inactivity, excess body fat, aging, smoking and hormonal imbalances, all of which a daily exercise program can help.
If you think you have metabolic syndrome see your doctor and ask he/she to do a blood evaluation on you. One of the blood tests for Metabolic Syndrome is an elevated level of C-reactive protein.
Below I have outlined what the American Heart Association and the National Heart Lung, and Blood Institutehave suggested should be checked. If you have three or more of these characterisitics you more than likely have Metabolic Syndrome.
Elevated Waist Circumference:
Men- Equal or greater than 40″ or 102cm.
Women- Equal or greater than 35″ or 88cm.
Equal to or greater than 150mg/dl.
Reduced HDL (Good) cholesterol:
Men- Less than 40mg/dl.
Women- Lessthan 50mg/dl.
High blood pressure:
Equal to or greater than 130/85.
Elevated fasting glucose levels:
Equal to or greater than 100mg/dl.
It has been said that a supplement called Chromium Picolinate can help individuals who have insufficient insulin. It’s relatively inexpensive and may be worth trying. Use due diligence and research more about it on the internet. As always I recommend above all getting checked by your doctor first and ask he/she what they would recommend.
Information obtained from Nutrition for Professionals, 8th edition. Greg Salgueiro and Sara Hauber.
With summer time right around the corner, there’s an endless number of outdoor activities to keep even the slowest metabolism busy. Roller bladding, kayaking, tennis, softball, volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, hiking, jogging, walking, ( sorry I refuse to include golf ) and last but not least, biking.
Biking has become very popular especially after Lance Armstrong became so dominant but looking at the mechanics of biking, what is it that works the legs more vs. the buttocks or glutes? It’s simple, two things determine what muscle group is going to be doing most of the work.
1) When you pedal in the coasting or upright position you work primarily the quadriceps muscles; however, the minute you lean over to pedal uphill or generate more speed, the glutes are engaged far more, which brings me to the second thing.
2) A small adjustment to make biking work your Booty beyond any other sport or cardio activity is to move your foot forward more on the pedals (so you’re pushing with your heels). This adds another dimension to working the glutes and hamstrings by changing the angle of the motion. The foot is more forward instead of backward and forces the glutes and hamstrings to get more involved.
Another way to ride your bike is to do interval sprints. Ride fast for 20 seconds and easy for 40 seconds. Do that on and off for 20-30 minutes in the position I stated above and your butt will be screaming
Remember to always wear a helmet and use caution when riding in crowded areas like the city or bike path. Wearing a heart rate monitor is also a good idea to make sure you are working within your target heart rate. Check with your doctor before exercising if you have not exercised in a long time or have any shortness of breathe, pain in chest or dizziness.
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