Friday, November 30, 2007

Understand Low Blood Sugar

Ask Glen!

Q.Glen, I need too Understand what is Low Blood Sugar?

A. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a potential problem for anyone who takes insulin or several other medications that lower blood sugar, either alone or in combination with other antidiabetic drugs. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is less common among people with type 2 diabetes than among those with type 1, but it can be serious when it occurs. Blood sugar may become abnormally low from too much insulin, too much exercise, too little food or carbohydrates, a missed or delayed meal, or a combination of these factors. As you pursue near-normal blood sugar control more aggressively, your risk for hypoglycemia increases.

It’s important that people with diabetes, and those who live and work with them, learn to recognize and understand hypoglycemia so it can be prevented and treated before it becomes a life-threatening crisis.

Spotting the signs

Many experts associate hypoglycemic reactions with blood sugar levels below 60 mg/dL, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the level at which symptoms occur because each person responds differently. Low blood sugar usually sets off alarms in many organ systems. The brain, which relies on glucose to function, is especially sensitive to sugar deprivation. The first signs of hypoglycemia resemble those of an anxiety attack because a decline in blood sugar affects the autonomic nervous system. Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) is secreted, causing sweating, nervousness, trembling, palpitations, lightheadedness, and often hunger. The release of epinephrine signals you to eat, and also stimulates your liver to make more sugar.

More profound levels of hypoglycemia affect brain function and result in blurred vision, slurred speech, confusion, and other behavior that resembles inebriation, such as belligerence or silliness. A further drop in blood sugar levels or failure to treat the condition promptly may result in loss of consciousness, seizures, and even death. Rarely, an episode of hypoglycemia while driving may cause a serious car accident.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia

  • Nervousness
  • Weakness
  • Hunger
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling cold and clammy
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Double vision
  • In severe cases, loss of consciousness, seizures, and even coma

Preventing hypoglycemia

The art of diabetes care is to balance the long-term need for near-normal blood-sugar control against the short-term risks and discomfort of hypoglycemia.

Whenever you change your meal schedules, activity levels, and medications, you need to step up your monitoring of blood sugar levels and be ready to adjust your insulin or other blood-sugar–lowering medications. Remember to discuss these changes with your health care team. If you’re a person with type 1 diabetes following intensive treatment, check your 3 a.m. glucose level periodically to detect hypoglycemia during sleep, and make adjustments to prevent its recurrence. Experts also strongly recommend that people with type 1 diabetes check their blood sugar before driving a car or engaging in other potentially dangerous activities.

If you’re taking insulin, it’s likely that despite your best efforts, you’ll experience hypoglycemia at some time, although the risk is higher for people with type 1 diabetes than for those with type 2 diabetes being treated with insulin and sulfonylureas. For the latter, low blood sugar usually occurs only with a change in eating patterns, such as missing a meal. But if you engage in binge drinking, have irregular eating patterns, or have liver or kidney disease, you are at particular risk.

Treating low blood sugar

While it’s a good idea to test your blood glucose level if you suspect you’re having a hypoglycemic reaction, often there just isn’t time. Once you start to feel strange, don’t put off treatment. You need to eat or drink some sugar that will reach your bloodstream quickly. If you can’t check your blood sugar at the time symptoms begin, don’t wait to treat. Treat first and check later.

About 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate should suffice. That can be 4 to 6 ounces of fruit juice, half a can of regular soda, 2 tablespoons of raisins, or some candy (usually five to seven LifeSavers or six jellybeans will be enough). A glass of milk also works well, as do fast-acting glucose tablets, which are sold at pharmacies. You can expect relief 10 to 15 minutes after eating the sugar. But test your blood glucose level at that time, and if it’s still low, you may need to repeat the treatment.

Doctors strongly suggest that people taking insulin carry some hard candy, sugar lumps, or even a tube of cake icing so they’re ready to treat themselves at the first signs of hypoglycemia. However, hypoglycemic reaction shouldn’t be seen as a justification for pigging out on sweets. It’s crucial to get enough glucose to correct the problem, but it’s not wise to overload, which will only cause your blood sugar levels to surge later.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, How Much Exercise Is Enough?

A. Everyone should exercise for 20 minutes three times per week. No, make that five times per week for 30 minutes. No, make it more like an hour every day. No, scratch that — short bursts of intense activity for 10 minutes at a time, a few times a day.

You hear so much contradictory information about exercise, it's hard to know what to believe. No wonder so many people tune out completely, and go back to surfing the Net or watching TV. A logical conclusion might be that researchers do not know what they are talking about. Actually, the situation is much worse — all of those seemingly contradictory recommendations are probably true.

In actuality, you only need to do gentle activities like walking and gardening to lower your risk of heart disease. Below is a quick guide to what constitutes a reasonable prescription for exercise:

  1. If you aren't doing much physically, then mild exercise a few times a week will cut your heart disease risk in half. Americans have become incredibly sedentary — remote controls, drive-up banks, elevators, and other conveniences have made it possible to get through the day burning a trivial amount of calories. As a result, even mild activity — like walking at a reasonable clip — a few times per week can make a big difference in the health of your blood vessels. Just raising your heart rate and dilating those arteries modestly can help to lower your blood pressure and fight off atherosclerosis. So, if you are a true couch potato, begin by doing 20- to 30-minute walks three days a week. If you feel chest pressure, light-headed, or markedly short of breath, see your doctor right away. But if not, get back out there in two days.
  2. If you do mild exercise a few times a week, increase the frequency to every day. At this point, we know it is safe for you to take those one- to two-mile walks. So what's the point of waiting two days before your next one? Going to daily exercise will help you to burn more calories, and that will have a whole range of beneficial health effects.
  3. If you can do mild or moderate physical activities daily, start doing short bursts of more intense activity. You can jog five or 10 miles per day at the same slow clip, and you will burn plenty of calories, but you won't really make your cardiovascular system much healthier. One of the painful messages from recent research is that intense activity — 30 to 60 seconds of really pushing yourself — takes the health of your blood vessels to a new level. This kind of interval training is what athletes do, and for good reason. It conditions your arteries to pump out nitric oxide and other chemicals that help them dilate when your muscles really need a lot of blood. And there is pretty good evidence that this kind of stress on the arteries helps to keep them younger.

Naturally, you should not increase your activity level if you feel any of the warning symptoms described above. Those are good reasons to stop, rest, and give your physician a call. But the bottom line on exercise is that whatever you are doing, try doing more. If you are burning a lot of calories with long bouts of exercise, you should try exercising more intensely for shorter periods.

It takes discipline to constantly move to a higher level of exercise. Sometimes working with a trainer ( like me ) or going to an exercise class can help.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blood Pressure

Ask Glen!

Q.Glen, How Low Should Your Blood Pressure Be?

A. Blood pressure is increasingly looking like the new cholesterol. Like cholesterol, blood pressure tends to go up as we get older — especially if we are getting fatter at the same time. Also, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart attacks. And now, just as with cholesterol, evidence is emerging that people with levels of blood pressure that were considered “normal” just a few years ago may be better off if those levels are brought down.

For decades, 120/80 was considered a “normal” blood pressure, sending a message that this was an ideal blood pressure. And readings of 135/88 were “fine.” The reality may be that you would be better off if your blood pressure stays below 120/80 and that 135/88 is actually too high.

The first major warning that the old “normal” is not ideal came when the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute published its new hypertension guidelines in 2004. The guidelines pointed out that the risk of heart attack and stroke increases when systolic blood pressure (the top number) is greater than 115 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is greater than 75 mm Hg. For every 20-mm-Hg increase in systolic pressure or 10-mm-Hg increase in diastolic blood pressure, your risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases doubles. Based on this information, the new guidelines defined a large number of people with readings between 120-139 over 80-89 as “prehypertensive,” a label that indicates some action is needed, not necessarily drugs, to bring those numbers down.

Aggressive guidelines

A lot of physicians thought that the hypertension experts got kind of carried away. However, as happened with cholesterol, research is coming along that strongly suggests the “aggressive” guidelines to be correct.

For example, a study published in 2004 tested two different drugs for hypertension in 1,991 patients with coronary artery disease, all of whom had “normal” blood pressures. The average blood pressure at the beginning of the two-year study was 129/78 mm Hg.

The patients were randomly assigned to get a calcium blocker drug (amlodipine, also known as Norvasc), or an ACE inhibitor (enalapril, also know as Vasotec), or a placebo. Both drugs lowered systolic blood pressures by about 5 mm Hg, and diastolic pressures by about 2.5 mm Hg.

During the two years of follow-up, cardiovascular complications occurred to 23% of the patients who received placebo, compared with just 17% of those who received amlodipine and 20% of those who received enalapril.

Especially interesting were findings on atherosclerosis in the subjects’ coronary arteries. The atherosclerosis had progressed in the patients who received placebo, but not in those who had received either blood-pressure-lowering drug.

The study still gets a lot of attention, because it supports the belief that we are not setting our blood-pressure goals low enough. This more aggressive goal may make sense, but we haven’t come close to getting the people with diagnosed hypertension, that is, people with readings over 140/90, into range. Some estimates say that two-thirds of people currently diagnosed with hypertension do not have good blood-pressure control.

Today, most people can lower cholesterol to some really low levels using medications without causing significant side effects. This is not so easy when reducing blood pressure. You can only push blood pressure so low before people get light-headed, and perhaps even pass out. Most people start to get symptoms like these when systolic pressure (the top number) goes below 80 to 90. That said, very few patients with hypertension have blood pressures anywhere near this range.

Like cholesterol, the main message is that doctors and patients need to work harder to bring blood pressure under control. Weight loss, regular exercise, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables with less salt make blood-pressure drugs more effective. There are plenty of medication choices. The right drugs are the ones that work for you and that you take every day.

To lower your pressure for life, live for a lower pressure

Lifestyle modification can lower your blood pressure. It’s an essential part of the treatment for everyone with hypertension — and since lower pressures are better for health, it’s an excellent plan for anyone with a pressure above 115/75. Here are five steps that can help:

  1. Diet. Reduce your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg a day; 1,500 mg is the new, though stringent, goal for people with hypertension and for totally healthy folks who are middle-aged and older. Reduce your intake of animal fat and processed foods, but chow down on lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and non- or low-fat dairy products. A good diet can lower systolic blood pressure by 10–22 mm Hg.
  2. Exercise. Moderate exercise is excellent, even outperforming intense exercise in some studies. Walking for 30 minutes a day is one way to lower your systolic pressure by 4–9 mm Hg or more.
  3. Weight control. Diet and exercise will get you there. An obese person who sheds 20 pounds can expect a 5–20 mm Hg drop in blood pressure over and above the benefits of diet and exercise.
  4. Moderate alcohol use. Light to moderate drinking to the tune of 1–2 drinks a day won’t raise your blood pressure, but heavy drinking will.
  5. Stress control. It’s easier said than done in today’s hectic world, but winding down can help you keep your pressure down.
Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fruits And Veggies

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Fruits and Veggies Are Five Daily Servings Enough?

A. Eating more fruits and veggies can boost your energy, super-size your stamina, reduce your risk of disease, and slim your body.

While it may sound like a pitch from your local supermarket, diets consistently rich in fruits and vegetables are known for reducing the risk of cancer, cutting the chance of heart disease, as well as improving a host of other maladies.

What's the evidence?

The research may be complex, but the bottom line is simple. Plants contain a unique combination of nutrients and compounds that, try as we might, cannot be found in any one supplement or pill.

A large collaborative trial called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), conducted by institutions including Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Duke University, found high fruit and vegetable intake had significantly greater effects on reducing blood pressure in individuals with borderline high blood pressure than when compared with those taking high doses of dietary supplements.

Researchers from the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition have found that consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each day is strongly correlated with a decrease in many forms of cancer. Preliminary data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition reports similar findings, stating that there is a strong inverse relationship between high fruit and vegetable consumption and cancer risk.

Still not convinced? The American Institute for Cancer Research has stated that, if the only change a person made was to eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, cancer rates would drop by as much as 20%!

Easy steps

Step 1: Know what's meant by a serving

Striving to eat eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables is easy — and no, it doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian or give up meat and potatoes. Depending on the source, serving sizes vary, but as a general rule the following would apply:

For fruits

  • 1 small to medium piece of fresh fruit — apples, oranges, nectarines
  • ½ cup canned or fresh cut fruit — the size of a computer mouse
  • 4 ounces of fruit juice — a small Dixie cup
  • ¼ cup dried fruit — a handful the size of four dice

For vegetables

  • ½ cup cooked vegetables — the size of a computer mouse
  • 1 cup raw vegetables — the size of a standard light bulb
  • 4 ounces whole vegetable juice — a small Dixie cup
  • ½ cup tomato soup or marinara sauce

Think of your plate in terms of fractions, with half covered by vegetables or fruits; one-fourth covered by complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice or lentils and beans; and the last quarter covered with a lean meat such as turkey, chicken, or fish.

Step 2: Add more servings to your day

The key to achieving the benefits of these health-promoting, disease-busting foods is to eat many of them and eat them often.

  • Start out each morning adding berries to a bowl of cereal or yogurt.
  • Order a lunch sandwich with extra greens.
  • Re-train yourself to create a meal around fruits and vegetables rather than around a large beefy entree.
  • Rediscover soups, chili, and salads that are packed with phytochemicals, which may have disease-fighting qualities.
  • Challenge yourself to taste something new each week. Try exotics like jicama or Asian pears, or visit local ethnic markets for even more variety.
  • Savor the skins! Edible skins, seeds, and peels often contain a completely different offering of nutrients than the flesh.

Step 3: Use these easy ideas to cook up more fruits and veggies

For some tantalizing ways to spruce up your fruit and veggie intake, try one of the following preparation ideas when cooking dinner:

  • Sauté fresh vegetables in a pan with garlic and olive oil.
  • Blend fresh, frozen, or canned fruit with low-fat milk or yogurt and ice in a blender for smoothies.
  • Toss berries into salads.
  • Add extra vegetables to marinara sauce, soup, or stews.
  • Try substituting sliced eggplant or portabella mushrooms for meat in lasagna.
  • Top ice cream, sorbets, or frozen yogurts with fresh fruit.
  • Make homemade veggie meat burgers by adding fresh vegetables into hamburger patties.

So are five servings a day enough?

It all comes back to the beginning: Enough for what? If you think solely in terms of eating enough to meet your needs and to get by, then five fruits and vegetables may be enough. If disease prevention, longevity, healthy appearance, feelings of well-being, and the like are your goals, then it is time to up the ante with eight to 10 servings a day.

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, it shouldn’t take much science to understand that more is better — you can feel it on your own by simply eating what nature provides. Bottom line: Five a day is good, but eight-plus is best — so err on the high side and reap the benefits for today, tomorrow, and years to come.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stretching to Stay Flexible

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Do I have to stretch?

A. Yes! Whether you exercise daily or only once in a while, make stretching part of your regular routine. Stretching increases the range of motion of your muscles and joints, including the joints in the neck and back. Increased range of motion translates to better flexibility.

As much as we believe that stretching is good for you, the evidence that stretching either before or after exercise actually prevents injury is mixed. An extensive review published in the March 2004 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Medicine, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, examined the results of 361 research studies on the value of stretching. The lead author and director of epidemiology programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Stephen B. Thacker, concluded that stretching did not definitively prevent injury or muscle soreness related to exercise.

Even if stretching has not been proven to reduce injury or the aches and pains from exercise, stretching does improve your flexibility by increasing your range of motion. As we get older, we tend to lose range of motion in our joints and spine because the elasticity of body tissues decreases. Stretching can't stop the physical changes, but it can slow the rate at which range of motion declines. With stretching, you will recapture some flexibility and take better advantage of what your joints are designed to do.

When to stretch

Stretching should be done when your muscles are warm. You should not stretch before exercise, especially if you are competing in an event. Stretching just before you start can decrease athletic performance, most likely related to mild muscle injury. Warm up to get limber by starting your exercise routine at a lower level of intensity, which will not stress your muscles, tendons, and ligaments like stretching will. You can go through a separate stretch program if you don’t plan to exercise immediately afterward.

Some people prefer stretching after they finish their daily exercise, rather than doing it a separate time. Other people prefer to warm up and get limber for about 10 minutes, stretch, and then proceed to the rest of the aerobic or resistance workout. When using free weights or resistance machines, you can save time by stretching the muscle group you have just worked as you prepare for the next set of repetitions. For instance, if you just finished working your triceps, stretch them while you are resting before the next set.

How to stretch

With a few simple rules, you can safely increase flexibility in your neck, back, shoulders, hips, arms, and legs:

  • Slowly move into any stretch;don’t jerk.
  • Never bounce (unless you are trained in this technique, called ballistic stretching).
  • Focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

The term stretching is most often used synonymously with what is just one type of stretching, called passive or relaxation stretching. It is passive because you are supporting the part of your body being stretched by holding onto a stable object, leaning against a wall, or lying on the floor. Sometimes you will get the support from contracting muscles that are not involved in the stretch.

Passive stretching is relaxing and feels especially good after completing a vigorous exercise session. Start the stretch using little effort, letting your body weight help you lean into the stretch. Hold it for about 10 seconds, and then back off the stretch. Take a breath. Then slowly stretch a little deeper. Hold the stretch for 20 more seconds.

Active stretching is more challenging. With an active stretch, you are engaging and working the muscles that oppose the stretch. For example, if you are sitting and fully extend one knee, you contract your quadriceps (muscles in the front of the thigh) to hold the knee out straight, while your hamstrings (muscles in the back of the thigh) stretch. You only need to hold an active stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Active stretching is best performed independently of other exercise.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Retrain Your Brain to Love Exercise!

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, I do not want to exercise that much. How can I start to want to exercise more?

A. Yes ! You just have to Re- Train the way you think!

The best diet for weight loss may still be under debate, but there's no doubt that the dynamic duo of diet and exercise continues to be the gold standard for weight loss and, more importantly, maintaining a weight loss. In spite of the much-publicized benefits of exercise, too many people fail to stick with an exercise program. Here are three ways to think about exercise and its benefits that will help you love it — especially if your goal is to lose weight.

Tip #1 — Without the appropriate fuel, exercise can feel more like punishment than pleasure.

For those seeking a quick fix, a very low-carbohydrate diet can seem like the magic bullet. But a balanced diet with adequate carbohydrates is necessary to optimize energy for exercise.

Any diet, especially a weight-loss diet, that is too low in carbohydrates — 125 grams or fewer a day — is a recipe for disaster when it comes to exercise. The primary fuel for muscles is glucose (from carbohydrates) and its storage form, glycogen. Without them, you're likely to feel tired or have sore muscles early in your workout.

Planning an exercise routine includes timing meals and snacks to prevent exercising on empty. If you feel sluggish while walking at 5 p.m. because you haven't eaten since lunchtime, try having a pre-workout snack. The same walk just an hour or so after dinner will probably be adequately fueled from that meal.

To boost your stamina, eat a 150- to 200-calorie snack that contains one to two servings of carbohydrates about 30 minutes to 1 hour before exercise. Here are some examples:

  • An apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or mixed nuts
  • One ounce of string cheese and 6 crackers
  • A granola or protein bar with about 150 calories and five to seven grams of protein

Tip #2 — Think of exercise as a savings account.

With a savings account, you make deposits, watch your money grow with interest, and then reap the rewards. You don't deposit money so you can immediately withdraw it. Exercise is similar. It also gathers interest: As you get more fit, your body rewards your hard work by using more calories during and after your workouts.

Here are some other ways that exercise contributes to long-term weight loss and weight maintenance.

  • Muscle burns calories while fat does not, even though it weighs more than fat.
  • Exercise builds muscle, which increases your body's resting metabolic rate, so you expend more calories even when you're not exercising. Exercise also helps maintain muscle. Because muscle burns calories, exercise can also help you maintain the weight you lose, which is often harder than losing weight.
  • Some studies show that vigorous exercise can help reduce appetite; therefore exercisers take in fewer calories during the day without even thinking about it.
  • Researchers estimate that your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate for between 2 and 24 hours after you finish exercising.

If you have not exercised in a while or plan to do more than walking, check with your physician prior to starting to exercise.

Tip #3 — The benefits of exercise aren't measured just by a scale, but by a better working body.

Instead of focusing on the minutes that tick by, the calories racked up on the treadmill, or the number on the scale, focus on how exercise changes your body from the inside out.

  • It reduces depression and can be especially effective for women who have postpartum depression.
  • It can increase insulin sensitivity if you have diabetes; if you're at risk for diabetes, exercise can help prevent it.
  • It can help reverse sarcopenia, a condition associated with inactivity and aging in which fat replaces muscle. According to one study, postmenopausal women were able to reverse muscle-mass loss after two months of small increases in physical activity and strength training. This was linked to better overall health, better balance, and fewer falls.
Many people are discouraged by the slow weight loss associated with moderate calorie restriction (250-500 fewer calories per day) plus exercise (mobilizing another 250 calories a day) especially in light of the old adage that muscle weighs more than fat. It can be disheartening not to see your hard work reflected in a lower number on the scale. Some changes can't be measured on the scale. Rather they create a better functioning body. Success isn't about any one workout, but if you challenge yourself for the long-haul and continue to exercise even if your weight isn't changing, you can affect more lasting improvements in your body.

I feel like a Super Hero! You can too!

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Do Not to Scrimp on Sleep

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Sometimes I do not have time to get 6 hours of sleep! Do you have any reasons why I should get more?

A.Here Are Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep!For good health, you need adequate sleep as much as you need regular exercise and a sensible diet. Here’s why.

The National Sleep Foundation and other health organizations have reminded us that we don’t get as much sleep as we used to — or as much as we should — and we’re paying the price in drowsiness and fatigue that affect our physical and mental health and threaten public safety. Despite such warnings, our habits aren’t changing much.

A 2005 National Sleep Foundation survey found that, compared with 1998, more people are sleeping less than six hours a night. Average sleep on work nights is 6.8 hours — still short of a good night’s rest. And sleep difficulties, the poll indicates, visit 75% of us at least a few nights per week. Women are especially affected: They report more trouble than men do, and they are more likely to feel sleepy during the day.

How serious is the problem? Evidence from the relatively new field of sleep medicine suggests that truncated sleep may contribute to various ills, including memory lapses, trouble learning and paying attention, heart disease, obesity, mood problems, and impaired immunity. Some research suggests a cancer connection.

A sleepless night or two or a short-lived bout of insomnia is generally nothing to worry about. The bigger concern is chronic partial sleep loss — that is, failing to get enough sleep night after night. That can happen because you have a medical condition that interferes with sleep, or perhaps you’ve given up sleep time to accommodate life’s demands. Whatever the case, routine sleep loss can take a toll. Researchers have found that after two weeks, people sleeping four to six hours a night are as cognitively impaired as those who have been awake for two or three days.

How much sleep do we need? Some of us seem to do well with six hours a night, while others need nine or more to feel their best. Judging by clinical impressions, experiments, and research in which subjects are allowed to find their “natural” amount of sleep, experts believe that seven to nine hours is about right. The goal is to wake up feeling refreshed and to stay awake and alert throughout the day without relying on stimulants or other pick-me-ups.

Though more research is needed to explore the links between chronic sleep loss and specific health consequences, it’s safe to say that sleep is too important to shortchange. So in case you haven’t already resolved to get better sleep, here are six reasons to consider doing so.

1. Learning and memory

Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory by way of a process called memory consolidation. This process came to light largely through experiments in which subjects were trained to complete a cognitive task and later tested. Those who “slept on it” before the test usually did better. In some studies, subjects discovered more insightful or creative ways to problem-solve after a night’s sleep.

2. Metabolism and weight

It’s well known that excess weight can cause sleep disorders such as apnea. But sleep lab studies also suggest the reverse possibility: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain. How? By altering metabolic functions, such as processing and storage of carbohydrates, and by stimulating the release of excess cortisol, a stress hormone. Excess cortisol has been linked to increased abdominal fat. Loss of sleep also reduces levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and increases levels of ghrelin (GRELL-in), an appetite-stimulating hormone — a combination that can encourage eating.

Ways to get better sleep

  • Get regular exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime.
  • Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid.
  • Avoid caffeine from noon or midafternoon onward.
  • Be careful about taking medications that contain ingredients that could keep you awake at night or make you sleepy during the day.
  • Establish regular times for going to bed and getting up, and avoid napping.
  • Keep your bedroom temperature comfortable (cool is better than warm).
  • If you have a chronic sleep problem, talk to your clinician or other professional.

3. Safety

There’s no evidence that we ever really adapt to chronic sleep deficits. Sleep debt only contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep, including “microsleeps” — seconds-long daytime dips into sleep that occur when sleep-type brain-wave activity impinges on the waking kind. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

4. Mood/quality of life

Sleep loss, whether long- or short-term, may result in symptoms — irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness — that suggest psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Too little sleep can leave you so tired that you don’t want to spend time with your children, enjoy the company of your friends, or have sex with a partner. Poor sleep also affects the ability to work. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are associated with depression, although the relationship is complex, and cause and effect are not always clear.

How sleepy are you?

Clinicians and researchers often use the questionnaire below, called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, to measure sleep deprivation. It asks, How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? Score yourself with the following values:

0 = no chance

1 = slight chance

2 = moderate chance

3 = high chance

Situation Score
Sitting and reading
Watching television
Sitting inactive in a public place
Passenger in a car for an hour without a break
Lying down to rest in the afternoon
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol
Stopped in a car for a few minutes in traffic
A score of 9 or more suggests that you have a sleep problem. Consult your clinician or a sleep specialist.

5. Cardiovascular health

We don’t know much yet about the effect of chronic partial sleep loss on cardiovascular health. But serious sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, cardiac arrhythmias, and increased inflammation. Sleep apnea is also associated with difficulty metabolizing glucose, which may lead to type 2 diabetes, another significant risk factor for heart disease. In the Nurses’ Health Study, women who slept less than five (or more than nine) hours per night were more likely to develop heart disease than those who slept seven to eight hours.

6. Immunity/cancer prevention

Though all the mechanisms aren’t clear, scientists have found that sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. For example, sleep loss around the time of vaccination for influenza has been shown to reduce the production of flu-fighting antibodies. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer. Harvard researchers have shown that women who work at night are at increased risk for breast and colon cancer. The connection may be through melatonin, a hormone that’s made by the brain’s pineal gland when darkness falls and helps put us to sleep; light at night cuts melatonin production. The Harvard scientists also found that women with low morning levels of melatonin had a higher risk of breast cancer. Other research has shown that melatonin slows ovarian production of estrogen, a hormone that spurs cancer cell growth.


The National Sleep Foundation

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Low-Carb, High-Protein Diets

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Q. Glen, What is a Low Carbohydrate / High Protein Diet?

A.First, clear definitions are important when asking and answering this question. There is a wide spectrum of low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets ranging from the literal Atkins diet as prescribed, to the eating pattern recommended for diabetics, who need to be especially careful about foods that affect their blood sugar (primarily carbohydrates). Other choices include Protein Power, Sugarbusters, The Zone, and the many variations of these specific plans that people adapt for themselves in the process of making a diet work for them.

The major advantage of a low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet is that it eliminates, or at least severely restricts, refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, white rice, white pasta, most crackers, tonic, sweets, jams, and jellies) give you a sugar jolt. By reducing these types of carbohydrates, the blood sugar and insulin levels can be better controlled. In addition, there are other potential health benefits, such as weight loss and reduced blood-triglyceride levels. The down side to the carb-free or very-low-carb diets is that in eliminating all or most carbohydrates, you do so at the expense of some healthier carbs that are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (such as brown rice, stoned ground whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and the like).

One helpful way to evaluate carbohydrates is the glycemic index (GI), a measure of how quickly blood sugar rises when you eat particular foods. Low GI foods have a small impact on blood sugar and include most whole grains and vegetables, along with many fruits. High GI raise blood sugar more quickly; these foods include mostly white, processed grains/starches, juices, desserts, candy, soda, and some fruits.

The fast, high jolt in blood sugar from high GI foods causes higher insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that causes hunger by taking the sugar out of your blood and giving it to your cells to either use as energy or store as fat. Since the blood sugar from high GI foods disappears faster (it's turning into fat), these foods cause less satisfaction and fullness, which can lead to overeating, higher caloric intake and, ultimately, weight gain. Also, high GI foods have fewer nutrients than low GI foods — those "empty" calories.

Unfortunately, high GI foods make up the bulk of carbohydrates in the average American diet. If your high-protein diet is helping you limit your high GI food intake then you may achieve some health benefits.

What about the conventional low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet?

The answer depends on which carbohydrates you pick. While there is no one diet that works for everyone, a diet full of refined carbohydrates is less healthy. Unless you run marathons and have room in your diet for thousands of extra, empty calories a day, those sugar- and refined-flour-based foods are a double whammy. That's why the previously revered advice to eat low-fat foods for weight loss has come under heavy fire in the last couple of years.

Harvard-based research has suggested that satiety (satisfaction) is a key factor in successful weight loss. Most people experience less satisfaction when eating a low-fat meal, so we tend to overeat on low-fat/high-carbohydrate diets. That makes it really hard to keep the calories (and weight) down. Although it may not seem like it, calories are limited even in the permissive Atkins diet. And because of the high fat content, Atkins meals often are more satisfying with less food.

What does research show?

A recent study found that an Atkins diet improved cholesterol and triglycerides and was better at achieving weight loss at six months than a conventional low-fat diet. The study went on to show, however, that at one year, the benefits of the Atkins diet had dissipated, and the diet was no more effective than a conventional low-fat diet for weight loss. Also, this study did not address some important health risks associated with the diet.

Keep in mind that the healthiest weight-loss goals are for the long term (generally defined as one year or longer). While just about any calorie-restrictive diet can work to quickly get you into a smaller size, long-term weight loss is rarely achieved this way. And there still hasn't been a study demonstrating that low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets are more effective than a low-calorie diet for long-term weight loss.

Are there concerns about a low-carb diet?

There are several concerns about low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets. They are high in protein (making kidney stress more likely, especially for those prone to kidney problems); very low in carbohydrates (causing ketosis and bad breath); high in saturated fat (leading to increased cholesterol and risk of coronary heart disease); and contain less plant proteins, fiber, and fresh fruit (leading to constipation and diminished cancer prevention).

The bottom line

Beware of closely following an Atkins-type diet for an extended period of time. At the same time, beware of the amount of refined carbohydrates in a typical low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet. They cause people to become unhealthy and overweight.

We come back to the same old trusty recommendations, continually borne out in the research, with some new twists:

  1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Whole-grain carbohydrates with a low glycemic index are part of a healthy diet.
  3. Eliminating refined carbohydrates, which have a high glycemic index, helps you to lose weight and improve health.
  4. Choose moderate servings (3 to 4 ounces) of lean protein, balancing animal and plant sources. Poultry and fish are the leanest animal proteins. Beans, nuts, tofu, and meat imitators such as veggie burgers are good sources of plant protein.
  5. Include healthy sources of fat for nutrients and satisfaction, such as nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive- and vegetable-oil-based dressings, canola oil, and trans-fat-free margarines for baking.
  6. Limit manufactured, synthetic food products. These are labeled as low-carbohydrate, and are made with sugar alcohols that are not digested and can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea if eaten in quantity.

The Harvard Medical School

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Unleash Your Abs

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Q. Glen, How can I change my work out , eating habits and get better more noticeable abdominal muscles?

A.Here are 7 Steps to a 6-pack that will get you noticed........

Forget for a moment that the shape of your midsection largely determines how good you'll look in and out of your clothes this summer . I will get back to that in a minute.

The pursuit of abs goes deeper. You strive for a six-pack as if your life depended on it, and now science proves that it does. At a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, research was presented declaring that waist circumference is more conclusive than either weight or body-mass index (BMI) as a measure of disease risk.

Miami cardiologist Arthur Agatston, M.D., author of The South Beach Diet, puts it this way: "Abdominal fat is different and more dangerous than fat elsewhere. Unlike fat directly under the skin, belly fat, which adheres to organs, is associated with increases in C-reactive protein (CRP) and other markers of inflammation that can lead to heart disease."

Motivated yet? Good. We trust you'll lay off the fries and onion rings. Remember, if your body fat is too high, it doesn't matter how wisely you work your abs--they won't show. (For most men, anything over 10 percent body fat keeps your abs in hiding.)

For the next month, work your abs according to the following steps and try this eating tip from Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook: "I make two peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches every day; I eat one for lunch at 11 and one for my second lunch at 3," Clark says. Notice that the 3 o'clock feeding is a "second lunch," not an "afternoon snack." Too many men equate snack time with, well, snacks--junk food. You'll eat smarter (whole grains and muscle-building protein) and not need as big a dinner if you allow for a second lunch. Plus, you'll have more energy for a better workout in the afternoon or evening.

This, in turn, will keep your insulin levels steady. When insulin is in excess (from too much sugar and not enough exercise), it can turn on you, depositing fat into your gut. Or worse. "When the pancreas burns out after years of producing excess insulin, that's when buildup begins in arteries; that can cause heart attacks and strokes," Dr. Agatston says.

But enough scary stuff. Time to hit the gym--and then the beach.

1. Train your abs with two types of exercise

Some abdominal exercises are based on movement. Others focus more on balance, so your abs contract harder to keep your body stable. "Most men have difficulty with either stabilization or mobilization," says Carter Hays, C.S.C.S., a Houston-based personal trainer and a performance-enhancement specialist for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Include both types of moves in a workout to challenge your abs.

For instance, try performing a Swiss-ball rollout (mobilization), followed by a Swiss-ball crunch (stabilization). To do the rollout, kneel in front of the ball with your forearms pressed against it. Keeping your knees and feet in place, roll the ball in front of you so your hips, torso, and arms slide forward. Advance as far as you can without arching your back, then pull back to the starting position.

2. Get more from your cardio

Strip away abdominal fat by switching around your cardio routine so you run hard early. In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, eight men ran for 30 minutes on 2 separate days.

In the first session, the men ran at a relatively high intensity--80 percent of their maximum heart rate--for 15 minutes, then slowed to 60 percent for the final 15 minutes. In the other session, they ran the slower part first.

The men burned 5 to 10 percent more fat when they ran faster at the start of the workout. "And this is only a 30-minute workout," says Jie Kang, Ph.D., the study's lead author. "If you extrapolate that to a longer workout three to five times a week, things can add up."

Here's why it works: To burn fat, your body first breaks down fat tissue into fat molecules. "Our study found that this works better when you exercise at a relatively high intensity," says Kang. Next, molecules go to your cells to be burned, which Kang says can occur at relatively lower intensities.

The best part: You'll feel as if you're burning fat easier than ever. Kang measured the participants' perceived exertion--how hard they felt they were working. Turns out the body feels fatigued late in a workout, regardless of what you do.

3. Stay hydrated

This one's almost too easy, but drinking plenty of water not only helps you burn fat, but also builds more muscle. "All creatine does is force fluid into the muscle," says Hays. "Your body will do that itself if there's enough water available."

4. Skip the bonus abs routine

Edging closer to sharp abs can tempt you to work them every day. Don't. Training more can actually make your abs show less. "You don't need to overwork your abs--they're no different from any other muscle," says Hays. "If you're always in a state of overtraining, you're going to get more laxity in your muscles."

In other words, they'll appear soft. Instead, add resistance to make moves you already do more challenging. For instance, hold a light weight plate during a Russian twist or Swiss-ball crunch. Then give your muscles time to rest.

5. Do more total-body exercise

Isolation moves like crunches are great for developing your muscles, but they don't burn much fat. You're better off training multiple muscle groups at once, says Hays. Total-body exercise burns more calories and also causes a greater release of muscle-building hormones.

Try combination moves, like the reverse lunge to cable chest fly. Stand between a cable station's weight stacks and grab a pulley handle with each hand. Hold your arms straight in front of you. Then step back with one leg, bend your knees, and let your arms move out to the sides. Pause when your back knee is just off the floor and your upper body looks like a T, then push yourself back up while you pull your arms together. Repeat the move with your other leg in the back position.

6. Get off the floor

Define the lower portion of the rectus abdominis (your six-pack muscle) with a Swiss-ball reverse crunch, but instead of doing the move on the floor, hop on a bench. "It allows for a greater range of motion," says Gregory Joujon-Roche, C.P.T., president of Holistic Fitness, in Los Angeles.

Lie faceup on the edge of a bench with a Swiss ball pinched between your heels and hamstrings. Keeping your abs drawn in, roll your pelvis off the bench and, maintaining the same knee angle, bring your knees toward your chest. Slowly lower the ball. As soon as your back begins to arch on the way down, that's the end of your range of motion. Pause at this point for a few seconds before finishing your set. Try five sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.

7. Go deep

Abdominal muscles are multilayered, but most men focus only on the outermost layer with exercises like the crunch. So look for moves that work the abdominal muscles closest to the spine, such as the plank. Strengthening these tiny stabilizers will provide a solid foundation to allow your six-pack muscles to grow stronger and bigger.

Arthur Agatston M.D
Gregory Joujon-Roche
Jie Kang Ph.D
Nancy Clark R.D
Carter Hays C.S.C.S

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Food For Fitness

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Q.Glen, How can I add more punch to my Protein Shakes?

A. Shake Up Your Smoothies with 5 easy upgrades for protein shakes

Evaporated milk

A half cup of condensed milk adds nearly 400 milligrams (mg) of calcium. Stronger bones mean a stronger frame to hang muscle tissue on.

Vanilla extract

It's the secret ingredient that made nearly everything your mom baked taste better. A couple of drops will do the same for your smoothie.


Canned pumpkin is already cooked to a smooth consistency, so it slips easily into a protein shake. And a cup of it delivers 7 grams (g) of fiber, the crucial nutrient that most muscle-building, high-protein diets lack.

Dropping 1 tablespoon of flaxseed (available at any health-food store) into the blender adds nearly 1.5 g omega-3 fatty acids, which lock protein into your muscle fibers. The seeds' nutty flavor goes particularly well with chocolate and peanut-butter smoothies.


A cup of frozen peaches ups your shake's vitamin C count by 235 mg. That'll boost blood levels of cytokines-- compounds that keep colds and flu at bay. You can't work out when you're sick.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Muscle Mixology

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Q. Glen, I want to grow can you recommend any Vitamins & Supplements?

A.Yes, here are 7 supplements to accelerate your growth


Why: Antioxidants protect against muscle damage and help you recover faster from workouts.

How much: One pill a day

When: Mealtime


Why: Creatine helps muscles grow up to twice as fast, according to a study from Pennsylvania State University.

How much: Take small, consistent doses. Shoot for 0.03 grams (g) of powdered creatine monohydrate per pound of body weight.

When: After your workout, in a protein shake.


Why: Consuming it before exercise reduces the perception of pain. Less pain, more gain.

How much: Begin with a low-dose pill (50 to 100 milligrams) to assess your tolerance. Then increase the dose gradually until you reach 200 to 300 mg. And yes, the pill form is better than the varieties you drink.

When: About an hour before exercise. Skip it if you work out in the evening. You need sleep to grow muscle.

Whey Protein

Why: Whey is rich in glutamine, which can help your muscles repair themselves, and in other amino acids that trigger growth.

How much: Mix 30 to 40 g whey with 17 ounces of water. Don't take more than 8 g powder for every 3.4 ounces of water.

When: 10 minutes before your workout. There's no need to guzzle it before you lift--just keep sipping until it's gone.

Fish Oil

Why: Fish oil slows the loss of protein from muscle.

How much: About 1 to 2 g per day

When: Anytime, with meals or in between


Why: It can reduce muscle damage by up to 45 percent.

How much: 2 g a day

When: 1 g with breakfast and 1 g with lunch. Your body absorbs L-carnitine better in smaller doses.


Why: It's thought to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during exercise.

How much: 3 g a day

When: If you eat six small meals a day, take two 250 mg capsules with every meal. Like L-carnitine, HMB is better absorbed when you take it in small, frequent doses.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Keep Calm, Eat Less

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Q. Glen, Does Stress have anything to do with weight gain?

A. Yes, Stress and Fat are friends.......

Researchers recently unmasked two of anxiety's hidden harmful effects: It keeps heart-damaging fats circulating longer in your bloodstream, and it may be a key force driving those who overeat at night.

Blood tests of 70 volunteers (ages 40 to 61) showed that triglycerides (blood fats associated with heart attacks and stroke) stayed in the bloodstream about 15% longer when participants were stressed, says researcher Catherine M. Stoney, PhD, professor of psychology at Ohio State University. "This happened to everyone we tested."

Night Eating Syndrome

In a small Norwegian study, researchers found that women with "night eating syndrome" had abnormal hormonal responses to stress (Amer. Jour. of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, Feb 2002).

Here's how to outwit these damaging stress effects.

If you snack on high-fat foods, or you overeat when tension is high, ease stressful feelings first. "Deep breathing, physical exercise, stroking your dog or cat, taking a long bath-whatever works for you is a good strategy," Dr. Stoney says. "Most of the mild stressors in our lives are here to stay. Our own negative thoughts often increase our sense of stress."

How to Beat It

If you chow down all night, an eating disorders program may help. You may have night eating syndrome if you consume at least half of your daily food after dinner, you can't fall or stay asleep, you eat when you wake up at night, you choose starches or sweets, and you don't want breakfast in the morning. Grethe S. Birketvedt, MD, PhD, a researcher at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, also suggests stress reduction and pleasant social activities in the evening. Some of her patients improve when they eat foods such as turkey and peanut butter that are high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps you feel sleepy.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hard Abs Made Easy

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Q. Glen, How can I make my ab exercises more effective?

A.You can make your exercises more effective by using the "drawing-in" maneuver while doing them. "Focus on pulling in the portion of your abs below your navel," Don't confuse this with the way you normally suck in your stomach. It's lower-and tougher-than that.

Contracting the lower abs activates muscles that are attached to the spine. This makes your core (your abdominal and spinal structures) more stable. "When the brain senses that the core is stable, it allows for optimal recruitment of the muscles that are most associated with producing the movement," So pushups and crunches can be done more effectively to work the targeted muscles while reducing your risk of injury.

Lie on your back and place your hands just below your navel. Push your stomach out as much as you can, then contract lightly and hold for 5 to 10 seconds, or as long as you can. Repeat a few times to get the hang of it. Then do it before and during all exercises.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Abs In No Time!

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Q. Glen, How can I get great abs before next summer?

A. Grab a medicine ball for an intensified crunch workout that will flatten your belly before beach season.

Get Ripped Fast

In these days of bogus infomercials, fat-burning concoctions, and fitness contraptions that promise incredible abs, there's something reassuring about a workout with a medicine ball. The heft of a vintage medicine ball makes us want to put on gray sweats and start heaving it around with the fellas, grunting contentedly. On the other hand, you can take the vintage thing too far. Leather is out; vinyl is in. Medicine balls now have easier-to-grab surfaces, and they come in many sizes and weights. (They still need a new name, though. Medicine?)

What Are You Waiting For?

Here's a leave-me-alone, in-a-hurry, 21st-century set of exercises that uses the weight of a medicine ball to blast your belly from top to bottom, and your obliques on the sides--those all-important muscles you use when doing twisting, turning moves in sports. The workout was designed by Jacqueline Wagner, C.S.C.S., a strength coach in New York City. The added weight of the medicine ball will give you a more intense workout than you'll get with conventional crunches.

Use a ball that's light enough so you can do one set of each exercise without straining or arching your back. A good weight for ab workouts is a 4 kilogram medicine ball (just shy of 9 pounds). Start with one circuit and build up to three sets of the circuit. Use a slow, controlled movement for the double crunch and reverse crunch.

Double Crunch

Starting position:
Lie on your back, with your hips and knees bent as shown and your feet off the floor. Rest your hands lightly on your chest. Position the ball between your knees.

The move:
Exhale as you lift your shoulders off the floor and bring your knees toward your chest. Grab the ball with your hands and bring it to your chest as you inhale and

The finish:
Return your shoulders and legs to the starting position. Transfer the ball back to your legs on the next repetition, and keep alternating ball positions for the entire set.

Seated Twist

Starting position:
Sit on the floor, your back straight but leaning slightly toward the floor, as if in the "up" position of a situp. Your knees should be bent 90 degrees, your heels about 15 inches apart and resting on the floor.

The move:
Hold the ball close to your chest, 2 rotate your torso to the left, and place the ball on the floor behind you. Rotate around to the right, pick up the ball, rotate left, and place it behind you.

The finish:
Repeat eight to 12 times, then do eight to 12 more starting with a rotation to your right; that's one set.

Keep your head in line with your torso throughout the movement. Perform this move as quickly as possible.

Reverse Crunch with Knee Drops

Starting position:
Lie on your back, hands resting on the floor at your sides, hips and knees bent 90 degrees, and feet off the floor. Position the ball between your knees. Keep your lower back on the floor throughout the exercise.

The move:
Contract your abdominals and pull your knees to your chest, then return them to the starting position.

The finish:
Lower your knees to the left and return to the starting position. Drop your knees to your right on the next repetition, and alternate sides for each rep.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Busy Person's Exercise Plan

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Q. Glen, I work all the time!I need to exercise. Do you have any suggestions?

A. A busy lifestyle can make finding the time to exercise a challenge. This puts time on short supply, and unfortunately one of the first things to bite the dust is your fitness program.

What time of day do you exercise?

I surveyed 500 fitness buffs and this is what I discovered: About 28 percent of you exercise any time you can -- a dead heat with those who prefer an evening workout. Morning got more than 200 votes out of 500 exercisers polled (44 percent). The least favorite time to train the body was during the afternoon hours (at only 10 percent).

Your Body's Natural Rhythm

Throughout the day there is also a natural ebb and flow of energy that we all experience. We adapt to our daily schedules of sleep, work and rest, and actually become stronger during periods of the day when our bodies instinctively anticipate greater amounts of work (based on previous behavior).

In other words, if you work out every day at 6 p.m., your body will get the most from a workout takes place at 6 p.m. Because you've grown accustomed to exercise in the evening, you won't be as energetic and strong during a workout that takes place in the early morning hours. For you, a morning workout will not be quite as effective. Fortunately, any differences will be minor, and a workout that takes place during the evening hours is still far better than no workout at all.

Practicality Rules
So should you rearrange your life around exercise just to ensure an evening workout, or a workout that happens at the same time every day? Researchers are apt to answer with a very adamant, "No!" Ultimately, finding enough time (and energy) to exercise -- no matter what the time of day -- is what's important.

Ideally, it's best to stick to your scheduled program here are five ways to help you get around a hectic day.

1. Shrink to Fit: Cut workouts in half and squeeze in a 15- or 20-minute session instead of your normal workout. These "short, but sweet" workouts can produce dramatic results.

2. Start Your Day Early: Set the alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier and work out before your day starts. Eventually your body will adjust to the earlier wake up call.

3. Split Lunch: Split your lunch hour in two and devote half an hour to exercise before you eat. This will also curb your appetite and make it easier to cut lunchtime calories.

4. Rock-A-Bye, Baby: When the little one goes down for a nap, squeeze in 10 or 15 minutes. Whether you're a work-at-home mom or dad, take every opportunity you get to squeeze in some exercise. Repeat throughout the day to add up to 20 or 30 minutes.

5. Double Up: Create combination workouts you can perform 3 or 4 times weekly. For example, combine 10 minutes of strength with 20 minutes of cardio training for three or four, 30-minute weekly workouts.

Don’t allow strict rules on what time of day is best for exercise to dictate your workout schedule. You may wind up exercising less. Be flexible in your scheduling, and do what you can when you can to get the most from any exercise program!

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Know Your Numbers

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Q. Glen , How do I Lower my Cholesterol ?

A. Might seem obvious, but it can't be emphasized enough. One of the best ways to lower your cholesterol is to track it. Have your doctor perform blood tests regularly to track your results and progress as you continue to make changes to your lifestyle.

A complete cholesterol picture is made up of three different things:
  • HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is the good, Healthy cholesterol. HDL picks up and carries excess cholesterol away from artery walls and brings it back to the liver for processing and removal. You want this number to be high (at least 60 mg/dL) to protect your heart. Levels too low (less than 40 mg/dL) are bad for your health, increasing your risk for heart disease.

  • LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is the bad, Lazy cholesterol. LDL is made by the liver to carry cholesterol to the body's cells and tissues. It may form deposits on the walls of arteries and other blood vessels. You want this number to be low. Less than 100 mg/dL is optimal (and up to 129 mg/dL is near optimal). Unhealthy levels are 130-159 mg/dL (borderline high), 160-189 mg/dL (high), and over 190 mg/dL (very high).

  • Triglycerides are the most common form of fat found in food and in the body. The visible fat on meat, for example, is triglycerides. If you are overweight, your body stores the extra calories you eat as triglycerides. People with high triglyceride levels often have low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, increasing their risk for heart disease. Less than 150 mg/dL of triglycerides is considered normal. Levels above 150 are considered "high" to different degrees: 150-199 mg/dL (borderline high), 200-499 mg/dL (high) and over 500 mg/dL (very high).
Take Action Track Your Cholesterol!

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bust Out of a Nut Rut

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen I need to add more protein to my diet! I going to try Almonds, How can I add more of them to my diet?

A. Here are 9 ways to add more almonds to your diet.

• Make plain peanut butter chunky by adding almond bits to your PB&J.

• Toss a handful of slivered almonds onto hot or cold cereal, yogurt, or ice cream.

• Sauté almonds in a nonstick pan over low heat. Add the toasted nuts to salads and pasta dishes.

• Sprinkle chopped almonds over a casserole or cooked vegetables.

• Add almond slices to an Asian stir-fry.

• Mix chopped almonds with chopped apple, onion, garlic, and herbs for a quick stuffing to serve with a roasted chicken.

• Toss some slivers into an omelette.

• Baking? Put some almond chunks into your dough.

• For a quick popcorn alternative: Spray a handful of almonds with nonstick cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven, then sprinkle the nuts with a mixture of either brown sugar and cinnamon or salt, cayenne pepper, and thyme.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

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About Me

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!