Getting more from your workouts

Last night on the Biggest Loser I found that the over arching theme to the show seems to be that people were working out harder than they ever had before. Actually some of the people did not even know how hard that they could push themselves.

Our mind is very slow to adapt when it comes to diet and exercise. If you live a sedentary lifestyle of years and then begin to work out your body will think that it can run let’s say 100 feet. So you run 100 feet and your chest is sore and you are out of wind. Now let’s say you do this every day and after two weeks you finish this ‘workout’ of running 100 feet and you are still winded and your chest is sore. Your mind thinks that you are just as strong but really you could push yourself a lot harder.

Discomfort is a trigger to the brain telling you that you have pushed yourself to hard and no one like to be in discomfort. Most trainers know that you have a sticking point in your own mind where you think that you cannot go any farther or harder. This is just a psychological sticking point that is not real but just a level that you are not comfortable going past. The trouble is that this is the level where all of your gains come from.

I am a victim of this lack of pushing myself as easily as anyone else. The thing that helps is to remember before your workout that you are setting low levels of limits on yourself and to set goals every single time that you workout.

Another way that you can make yourself work out harder on a regular basis is to read and see success stories. I am sure that this is the reason that I watch the Biggest Loser and also the reason that success stories are always so popular in the sports sections in newspapers be it home run kings or the greatest quarterback this week kind of stories.

Stop looking at how hard you are working as being the hardest that you can work out. There is always a step farther, a pound more, a minute quicker. Try today to make sure you have great goals and you will make greater improvements in your health and fitness endeavors.

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Lose with acupuncture

An Australian study on acupuncture has shown stunning results in the effect of acupuncture in suppressing apptetite and as we know many people have a problem with appetite and that causes them to fail on diets. Why not try to lose by suppressing your diet with acupuncture. Most people are scared to try acupuncture for anything because of course no one wants to be poked with needles. From everything that I have heard the needles used in acupuncture do not hurt at all and there is so much history and success with this method of health treatment that we should really be taking this more seriously.

Objective of acupuncture and appetite suppression study

Many over people are aware that diets can help with loss but have difficulty in suppressing their appetite. Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels, both of which have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation of specific auricular acupuncture points on appetite suppression.

Testing method for acupuncture and appetite suppression study

Sixty over subjects, randomly divided into an active and a control group, used the AcuSlim device twice daily for four weeks. The active group attached the AcuSlim to the acupuncture ear points shenmen and stomach, whereas the control group attached the device to their thumb where there are no acupuncture points. The goal of a 2 kg loss was set and changes in appetite and were reported after four weeks.

Results of acupuncture and appetite suppression study

Of those who responded, 95% of the active group noticed suppression of appetite, whereas none of the control group noticed such a change. None of the control group lost the required 2 kg, with only 4 subjects losing any at all. Both the number of subjects who lost and the mean loss were significantly higher in the active group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion of acupuncture and appetite suppression study

Frequent stimulation of specific auricular acupuncture points is an effective method of appetite suppression which leads to weight loss.

So there we have it. This seems to be a great study in showing that acupuncture is indeed a great way to help you perhaps lose weight. Why not book an appointment with the needles and find out if it will work for you.

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FDA warns against cold medicines for children

Ususally I am not to impressed with CNN articles as they seem to be a bit fluffy or alarmist but there is a great article about the FDAs warning against giving kids 6 or under certain cold medicines

FDA: Stop giving cold, cough meds to toddlers –

I know that most parents are very nervous about kids having colds and I have always been one of them as well. The first real sign that my kids have a cough and I reach for the kids cold medicine, I guess maybe not anymore.

Here are some highlights of what the FDA has to say about cold medicines for kids:

“The basic question is, why should a product be so relentlessly marketed when it’s not safe or effective?” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore health commissioner. “It does not make sense, in the absence of information, to say ‘consult a physician,’ because they do not have superhuman powers. They cannot make a product safe or effective.”

And even more alarming is that there are deaths caused by the use of pseudoephedrine in kids cold medicine. Yes if you look on the bottle you will see that the adult versions cold medicine has pseudoephedrine as an active ingredient.

An FDA review of side-effect records filed with the agency between 1969 and September 2006, found 54 reports of deaths in children associated with decongestant medicines made with pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine or ephedrine. It also found 69 reports of deaths associated with antihistamine medicines containing diphenhydramine, brompheniramine or chlorpheniramine.

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Dancing to Lose Weight

Dancing to Lose WeightDancing with the Stars starts it’s new season tonight and if you have ever watched the show before you already know how hard these contestents work to get the moves right and the dances very fluid and professional looking. This season there are two stars whos names you know that have had trouble losing some lately.

Jenny Garth who you might remember from Beverly Hills 90210 and Marie Osmond from the Donnie and Marie show as well as other stuff are on this seson of Dancing with the stars and both said that the dancing has helped them lose weight.

Said Marie Osmond:

I would love to go the whole way just because I said to them, ˜Look, I’ve got to lose some so I figure it’s better for you guys to pay for it than me

and Jennie Garth said:

The baby from baby number three did not go away as quickly as the other two, so for me this is a great opportunity to get in good shape.

The show for entertainments sake all comes down to whether ytou like to watch dancing, my wife watches and I just catch a little bit if I am not on the computer or playing with the kids. The show does not give you tips like the Biggest Loser does but it will show that any exercise that is active and fun will help you lose weight. Any exercise that is not fun will not work as well becuase if it feels like a burden then you probably will not do it enough for it to do some good ir even do it at all.

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Soccer instead of jogging?

Soccer has always been known as a great alternative to jogging as a great form of exercise but a new study seems to show that Soccer is actually much better as a form of exercise than jogging.

University of Copenhagen sports scientist Peter Krustrup and his colleagues conducted their research on 37 men. The researchers strapped heart monitors to their chests and compared blood samples and muscle tissue before and after matches and jogging sessions. The men were split into groups of soccer players, joggers, and couch potatoes.

After 12 weeks, researchers found that the body fat percentage in the soccer players dropped by 3.7 percent, compared to about 2 percent for the joggers. The soccer players also increased their muscle mass by almost 4.5 pounds, whereas the joggers didn’t have any significant change

So why these results? Well I think that the excitement that people feel when playing a team sport helps but more importnantly to play soccer means to jog around some and sprint some and the faster-slower type exercise confuses you muscles and helps you get in a much better workout.

Do you agree? Now that winter is coming it would be a great time to look into one of those fun indoor soccer leagues.

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Is Britney Spears Fat?

Is Britney Spears Fat?Is Britney Spears Fat? That is a question that came up yesterday across the mass media and it is something that we really need to look at in our society. Let’s say for a minute that we see Britney on video and think

‘Oh my, she has sure gotten fat’

Well that was my reaction anyway, not fair to be sure as at least 95% of all people are fatter than Britney Spears were Sunday and still I thought she was fat.

The fact versus the perception is the important thing to look at. If I look at Britney Spears 5 years ago I see a young girl with almost 0% bodyfat and perfect lighting to accentuate any curves that she had anyway as she danced quickly around a stage with a bunch of dancers following her around. Sunday night was different. Five years and two kids have passed, we have ll heard all the stories about the Hard Partying, failed marriage, bad parenting and more and we almost want to see her fail so that Britney Spears can learn that she can’t get away with doing these awful things.

Sunday night’s performance was bad. Still scantily clad, moving slowly and with very poor choreography we got to see a 25 year old Britney Spears as a more normal person (although most normal people do not dance on a stage in underwear). Looking at her you know that she could make a huge comeback and be ripped again in only a matter of months if she wanted to but the perception that we have is the difference between a ridiculous stereotype of 5 years ago and a reflection to what Britney is today.

And no, Britney Spears is not fat

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How did Tori Spelling lose weight?

How did Tori Spelling lose weight?

Tori Spelling

Many of us remember Tori Spelling as the duaghter of Aaron Spelling and as one of the stars of Beverly Hills 90210. More recently Tori Spelling has had a couple of TV shows and got married and had a baby.

As with many people when they have babies Tori Spelling gained a little more than she expected during her pregnancy and the tabloids ran with it. This week there was a little bit of a coming out for Tori as she had photoshoots with her husband and new baby and interviews where she showed that she has lost all of her baby . The system she used? Nutrisystem.

We have seen lots of B rated celebrities over the last few years doing ads for different weight loss programs most notbly of course has been Kirstie Alley for Jenny Craig who is probably more famous now than she was when she was on Cheers, as well as many others.

Tori Spelling and Nutrisystem

Most interesting to me in the Tori Spelling story is what is Nutrisystem and what does the diet program stand for?

Nutrisystem is a diet that looks at the Glycemic Index of foods and tries to have you lose with the GI Diet type of eating. There is some research that shows that the GI Diet is not very effective although the jury is still out. I have more importantly seen that most diets will work anyway as long as you strictly adhere to them as most people will see a little bit of success and then will quit and go back their bad habits and lack of exercise.

So now that we have seen Nutrisystem pass Tori’s lips we have to wonder if there will soon be a Nutrisystem TV ad campaign starring the “Inn Love” “Nortorious” star.

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Menopause Treatment Options

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): HRT replaces the hormones that a woman’s body no longer makes. The most important hormone used in reducing menopausal symptoms is estrogen, but taking estrogen alone can increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus). This isn’t a problem in women who have had a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus), but in women who still have a uterus estrogen is usually combined with another hormone, progestin, to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. But even combination HRT can have serious side effects, and the decision about whether to go on this treatment is one each woman must make for herself after discussing it with her doctor.

Bisphosphonates: These drugs are used to help prevent and treat osteoporosis that may result from reduced hormone levels. While they are not quite as effective as estrogen, they are not hormonal and, therefore, don’t carry the same risks as HRT. However, it is important to remember that every drug carries some risk.

Menopause Treatment Options

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs):

These drugs have some of the benefits of estrogen, including improving bone strength, without some of the risk that estrogen has. However, SERMs tend to cause more hot flashes and may increase the risk of gallstones or blood clots.

Complementary and alternative therapies (CAM):

Menopause Treatment Options

Menopause Treatment Options

Some women going through peri menopause may find relief from their symptoms from CAM therapies, including dietary and herbal supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, biofeedback, homeopathy, and naturopathy. It is important to remember that not all complementary and alternative therapies have been studied scientifically, and some may have negative effects on other conditions you may have. Before you decide to try one of these therapies, discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that what you are planning is safe for you.

Helping Yourself

In addition to taking medication, there are ways you can help reduce your symptoms.

To ease hot flashes:

Dress in layers so you can remove some clothing when you begin to feel warm.

Avoid foods and beverages known to trigger hot flashes, such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, and sugar.
Practice stress management techniques.
Exercise to improve your circulation.

To reduce vaginal dryness

Ask your pharmacist to recommend a vaginal lubricant.

If over-the-counter products don’t work, talk to your doctor about the prescription products that are available.

To reduce the risk of osteoporosis

Menopause Treatment Options has to also be aimed at osteoporosis because of the reasons named above. They really are linked and here are a few things that you can look at to help.

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D. If you aren’t sure you are getting enough of these nutrients from the foods you eat, ask your pharmacist about supplements.
  • Exercise regularly; -bearing exercises (such as walking) are best for strengthening bones.
  • Ask your doctor if you should have a bone density test.
  • To reduce the risk of heart disease:
  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly.
  • Eat a nutritious, heart -healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and high in fibre.
  • Be active. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program to make sure the activity you have chosen is appropriate for your overall physical condition.

If you have any questions about Menopause Treatment Options or ways to lessen the symptoms and reduce your risk of developing heart disease or osteoporosis, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

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How is Erectile Dysfunction treated?

The usual first step in treating Erectile Dysfunction is to check whether the problem is the result of a medication side effect. If so, there may be a different drug that can be prescribed that won’t result in Erectile Dysfunction.

Psychotherapy and behaviour modification may be considered next in some people. If these measures are not enough to resolve the problem, there are some medications that can be prescribed.

Medications for Erectile Dysfunction

How is Erectile Dysfunction treated?Medications are not the only treatment choices for men seeking help for Erectile Dysfunction. One option is a mechanical vacuum device that causes an erection by creating a partial vacuum that draws blood into the penis.

These devices have three components: a plastic cylinder the man places his penis in, a pump that draws air out of the cylinder to create the vacuum that pulls blood into the penis, and an elastic band that is placed around the base of the erect penis before it is withdrawn from the cylinder.

The band keeps the blood from leaving the penis, allowing the man to maintain the erection.

In some cases, surgery is an option. One type of surgery reconstructs arteries in men whose blood flow to the area has been affected; another blocks off veins that allow blood to leak out of the penis.

Penis Implant to Treat Erectile Dysfunction


There is also an operation in which a device is implanted into the penis that enables it to become erect.

Each treatment method has its own risks and benefits, and a man needs to discuss his options with his doctor in order to select the method that is right for him. It is also important to let the doctor know how well the treatment is working, because if one treatment doesn’t work, another might.

A man should never try combining medicines or changing dosages on his own. Only a doctor can determine what is a safe level of treatment.

Some men find that some simple lifestyle changes ease the problem. It may help to get more sleep, quit smoking, exercise regularly, find ways to reduce stress, and speak with a doctor if anxiety or depression are a problem.

Some men and their partners recognize that sex doesn’t have to mean just intercourse. A pleasurable sexual encounter can involve a variety of different activities.

However a man chooses to face the situation, it is important for him to discuss the issue openly and honestly with his partner, because the partner may mistakenly interpret an inability to have an erection as a loss of desire or attraction. Simply reassuring his partner that the love and desire are still there can be very helpful in addressing some of the emotional issues that surround Erectile Dysfunction.

If you have any questions about erectile dysfunction, you can ask your pharmacist, who will keep your conversation strictly confidential.

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Eating better on a business trip

I think I may have covered this before but I am struggling with my eating this week as I am on a short business trip.

Yesterday I started my eating easily enough and left town before lunch to do some computer work in Winnipeg. I didn’t eat again until almost 9:30 at night and even then it was chicken strips at the hotel lounge (high protein, low carbs, still does not make up for the grease).

Today I tried to get back on track but with an empty backpack I had a breakfast bagel at the Winnipeg airport , a sandwich at lunch and Tim Hortons chili and a bun for dinner in London Ontario, but, missing were all of the snacks that keep my metabolism up, at least I got some exercise today.

Getting out of your schedule is always difficult as you may be able to eat, you may be able to exercise but getting that rhythm thrown off will usually force you to sacrifice doing what you should be.

Don’t be like me, plan your days even when out of town. I may not be able to bring liquids on the plane because of airport security but I could have easily brought food and made a plan for what I would buy when. Also it is pretty easy to buy lots of water at your destination (like I did in Disneyland a couple weeks back) and protein bars do not take much room and are a great way to get between meal snacks in.

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