For women, getting lean includes pumping up

Jim Hoskinson has been a world-class power lifter as well as a trainer for more than 20 years. One of the things he’s found is that many women avoid weight training.

“Some women are scared to do the movements. But the core movements like squats or dead lifts with free weights are so important for women who want to get in shape,” he said.

Some women think weight training is just for men and they will “bulk-up” from from lifting. Instead, they say they want to “tone-up.”

“Toning-up,” however, is still adding muscle (plus shedding the fat that covers it), Hoskinson said. “Toning up the term ‘tone’ or ‘cut’ just means that you can see your muscles. But you’ve got to work out with weights or there won’t be any muscle to see,” he said. (more…)

Exercise's Impact on the Gut

Much of what is known about exercise and digestive function comes from studies on athletes. Physical activity influences gut function depending on exercise type and exercise intensity. Mechanisms to consider range from pressure alterations in the gut resulting from exertion to blood-flow changes, hormonal impacts, and mechanical damage. Exercise shunts blood away from the gastrointestinal tract toward the working muscles. This is mediated by the degree of sympathetic activity elicited. Higher-intensity activity generates much larger effects over lower-intensity activity in this regard. This reduction in blood flow can be substantial. Research has shown splanchnic blood flow is reduced by as much as 80% with exercise greater than 70% of VO2 max (82% of maximum heart rate), which is at the upper end of aerobic exercise.1 This represents a significant challenge to the digestive tract and has been shown to lead to increased gut permeability (i.e., leaky gut), disrupt GI microflora, and generate intraluminal endotoxins.2 Obviously, these are consequences that any practitioner would want to avoid and is usually working to correct. These responses are aggravated further with dehydration, exercising in hot conditions, and concomitant use of NSAIDs.3 This is an important consideration since many “health-conscious” patients seeking help for digestive distress often engage in strenuous exercise patterns that may be detrimental or contraindicated while undergoing treatment. (more…)

Slash Alzheimer’s Risk and Stave Off Brain Shrinkage

There are lots of things I‘ve come to accept about getting older. For instance, I no longer panic when a gray hair sprouts up on my head. And as far as I’m concerned, wrinkles are nothing more than wisdom lines. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

But just mention the word Alzheimer’s and all bets are off. Frankly, the thought of dementia’s slowly stealing away what it is that makes me me is nothing short of terrifying. (more…)

Continuous Physical Activity Associated with Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer.

Together, colon and rectal cancers (colorectal cancers) are among the most prevalent cancers in the United States. Although the exact cause is unknown, there are risk factors that known to increase the chance of developing colorectal cancer. People over the age of 50 have a higher risk of colorectal cancers, but it has also been diagnosed in individuals of all ages. These cancers are more common in people whose diets are high in fat and low in fiber. Family history can also play an important role. Symptoms of rectal and colon cancer include vomiting, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel movements, though these symptoms may indicate the presence of illness other than colorectal cancer. Treatments for colorectal cancer are chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and immuno-therapy. These treatments have many side effects, so the best therapy for colorectal cancer is prevention.

A recent study examined the effect of consistent exercise on the risk of dying from colon cancer. The study included over 150,000 men and women who were enrolled in the American Cancer Society Prevention Study II to determine whether changes in physical activity influenced either the incidence of colon cancer diagnosis or the risk of death from the disease. Over a ten year follow-up period, it was found that those who exercised consistently for at least ten years had the lowest risk of colon cancer death. It was also found that being physically active even after the diagnosis can reduce the risk of recurrence and death. These findings highlight the importance of lifelong physical activity to reduce the risk of colon cancer.1

1Wolin KY, Patel AV, Campbell PT, et al. Change in physical activity and colon cancer incidence and mortality. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Dec2010;19(12):3000-4.


Source: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention

Exercising on an Empty Stomach Can Both Prevent and Treat Diabetes

One of three North Americans will become diabetic because
they eat a high-calorie, high-fat diet that *blocks insulin
receptors *to prevent cells from responding to insulin (insulin
resistance) *to cause high insulin levels *that constrict coronary
arteries *to cause heart attacks.  Failure to respond to insulin
causes *high blood sugar levels *that cause sugar to stick to cell
membranes *to permanently damage the affected cell *to cause
blindness, deafness, heart attacks, strokes, amputations and all
the terrible side effects of diabetes.   (more…)

Yoga's Influence on Cortisol and the Cancer Patient

Exercise as it relates to stress is complex. On the one hand, exercise itself is a stressor; on the other, it has been shown to both strengthen the body’s response to stress in some cases and weaken it in others. With cancer, this complexity may lead to the avoidance of exercise altogether, the fear being that any extra stress could worsen a weakened condition. Yoga may have special applicability here. It seems to have several mechanisms that set it apart from more intense types of exercise. Yoga can lower stress acutely and may adjust stress mechanisms in the long run, possibly conferring survival benefit to cancer patients. (more…)

Physical Activity Effective in Treating Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders that physicians treat. Patients with this non life-threatening condition may present with a broad range of symptoms which typically include abdominal pain associated with altered bowel habits, including constipation, diarrhea, or alternating constipation and diarrhea, and a less common presentation of painless diarrhea. Although the symptoms are typically intermittent, they may be continuous and should be present for at least three months before the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is considered. (more…)

Making Sense Of Weight Loss

Obesity is on the march. The numbers are undeniable.

  • 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight.
  • 60 million obese.
  • 9 million severely obese.

And it’s not just the United States. The rest of the world is keeping pace pound for pound. As a species, we are getting steadily fatter, day by day, year by year. This is not just a question of vanity. Along with weight gain comes the increased risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease—not to mention all of those things you don’t even think about, such as an increased risk of injury on the job.

What are we to do? (more…)

Natural Weight Loss Program

Maintaining a healthy weight is a struggle for everyone living in a fast-paced, unpredictable and often stressful environment. However, there are a few key points that anyone can adhere to for healthy weight loss: