Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Top 10 Exercise Answers







Ask Glen!


Q. Glen, Can you give me the answer to some Exercise Questions?


A. Yes, Here are my answer to the top ten Exercise Questions!

1. How can I lose weight?
At a recent medical conference, a prominent physician coined the expression "Foot and Fork Disease" to describe the modern day epidemic of adult and childhood obesity. Too much food, combined with physical inactivity, has resulted in many overweight and unhealthy Americans.

Just telling someone that's overweight to exercise more and eat right might be an over simplification of the process, but one that needs to be shouted from the rooftops of every big city and small town across this country. However, what people need to learn is that small adjustments can result in big changes.

2. How can I reduce my gut (or butt, or thighs)?
Spot training, or exercising to trim a specific area of your body, is an obsolete concept. Fat is the gas tank of the human body, and it is miraculously stored from head to toe -- with the heaviest concentration of fat in the abdominal and hip area. We don't get to choose where the fat will be released first. Thankfully, belly fat is usually the first to go.

3. What's more important, diet or exercise?
It's a 50/50 proposition, with these two facets of fitness synergistically supporting one another. Without the right amount of fuel and nutrients, an exercise program will produce no results. Too much fuel will clog up the system and obliterate any fitness gains.

You must eat sensibly without starving yourself. You must also combine this with three or four systematic, well-thought-out, 20- or 30-minute workouts, repeated over a period of a few short months. This the only approach that will really work.

4. Do I have to work out every day?
No. Overdoing it is a common beginner's mistake. I rarely recommend anyone train more than five days per week, and I personally train only three. The rest and recuperation phase of any program is just as important as the active phase. When getting started on a new program, spread out your enthusiasm to avoid burn out.

5. If I workout and get in shape, then stop, will my muscle turn to fat?
No. Muscles contract and generate movement. Fat acts as the muscle's fuel, supporting the process. One never becomes the other. Because fat is consumed by muscle, it's logical to assume that having more muscle results in an overall reduction in stored body fat.

6. What's the best time of day to exercise?
Whenever you can. There are pros and cons for every time of day, but your body will actually adapt to a schedule and be slightly stronger at your usual workout time -- whenever that happens to be. For athletes, or those seeking to push the performance envelope, this might have a slight impact. However, for the rest of us, just exercise whenever it's most convenient.

7. Is walking as good as jogging?
Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling or any other form of aerobic exercise serves one main purpose, to elevate heart and breathing rate. The mode of exercise is secondary to its effect on heart and breathing rate.

Intensity is measured by the heart rate achieved during the session, coupled with the duration of the workout. For some individuals, it may be necessary to break into a slow jog to achieve aerobic levels, while others find brisk walking does the trick.


8. Am I too old, or am I too young, to exercise?
No. While intense weight lifting or running might not be for everyone, most people will benefit from some form of physical activity. As a society, we've become less and less active. To overcome this lack of activity, the American Counsel on Exercise recommends exercise for senior citizens as well as children. They have even organized Operation Fit Kids as a way to help overcome the trend towards childhood obesity in the United States.

9. If I lift weights, will I get too bulky?
Stay away from the steroids, and you'll have nothing to worry about. Most women and men won't put on more than a few pounds of muscle without taking extreme measures. Most likely you'll just tone up and reshape your body without the characteristic bulk of a power lifter or body builder.

Depending upon many factors (many inherited from your ancestors), advances in tone, body fat levels, strength and endurance will come without a tremendous increase in size. Regardless, you're in control of the overall effect of any weight-lifting regimen. By manipulating sets, repetitions and rest, you can easily regulate results.

10. What's the deal with sets and reps?
A set is a series of repetitions. A repetition (rep) is performing a movement from beginning to end, through a full range of motions -- to some level of muscle fatigue. Most people do too many sets and poor quality reps. If you're training properly, a typical workout should be no more than 10 to 15 total sets of 10 to 20 repetitions, utilizing perfect form. If training at higher intensity levels, even fewer sets can be just as effective.


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



My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weight-Loss Success







Ask Glen!


Q. Glen, What is the Secret to Weight Loss Success?


A.For Weight-Loss Success, Slow Is The Way To Go, Having a realistic goal will help keep the pounds off !

Yo-yo dieting. Creeping weight gain. It goes by many names, some of which are unprintable here, but we all have it -- that tendency to put back on weight we have worked hard to get off.

In many ways, it makes no difference how you accomplish the weight loss -- whether it's by working with your doctor or nutritionist to develop a plan of diet changes; with diet medications and increased exercise; or whether you simply cut out Krispy Kremes, Ding Dongs, and Cheetos in favor of low-fat foods. What does matter, say many weight-management experts, is having realistic goals about where your weight is now and where you want it to be a long way down the road. Realistic expectations, experts say, can be a big help in keeping the pounds from coming back.

"When a person who has dieted extensively to lose weight keeps the reality of the situation in mind, that person knows that weight management is long-term," says Ali H. Mokdad, PhD, a senior epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who is an expert in obesity and one of its many related conditions: namely, diabetes.

"It's nothing special to drop a few pounds, but for an obese or chronically overweight patient to lose 10% of their weight and keep it off for a long time, that is the kind of weight control that will add greatly to a patient's quality of life later in life as they avoid or minimize [related] conditions of obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, even some types of cancers."

The message behind weight management is simple, says Mokdad.

"Weight loss is best achieved through long-term, consistent lifestyle changes, as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables, getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and avoiding high-calorie foods that have no nutritional value, such as all the sugar sodas and super-sized portions of French fries and snack items that the American [diet] is so full of."

But somehow, this message is not getting through, he says. He and his colleagues at the CDC, along with other obesity researchers, are working to try to find out why even people who are in weight-management programs under their doctors' supervision have trouble with the idea that you have to eat fewer calories and get more exercise to avoid the kinds of diseases that can affect your quality of life in later years.

"It's really a mystery," he says. "We have proven, effective treatments that are simple. We need to find out why patients -- even self-motivated patients -- resist this."

For Weight-Loss Success, Slow Is The Way To Go

Leslie J. Bonci, MPH, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and director of the Sports Medicine Nutrition program at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, says part of the problem is that we focus too much on weight loss and not on long-term management.

A lot of weight-loss programs out there direct people at the action phase of weight-loss only," she says. "These programs take an all-or-nothing approach that is not conducive to long-term weight management -- setting realistic goals and developing the kind of working knowledge of good nutrition to enable them to make smart food choices over a lifetime."

So just what is a realistic weight-loss goal?

"A good rule of thumb in weight loss is no more than a pound per week," says Leslie Womble, PhD, an assistant professor in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. "That may seem very slow when you get on the scale and want to see some progress there, but anything faster puts the weight-loss plan at risk of later weight regain."

Womble and her colleagues did a study to find out whether patients' attitudes change when they have a clear understanding of how much weight they can expect to lose in one year of lifestyle modification, in combination with a weight-loss medication.

The researchers gave 53 female subjects a questionnaire to find out how much weight the women expected to lose over 52 weeks of treatment. The researchers met with each woman and explained that each could expect to lose between 5% and 15% of their starting weight. In the consent form that the subjects signed, the 5% to 15% "expectation" estimate was repeated twice more. Once all the women had signed the consent form, they were given a second questionnaire to gauge how their expectations might have changed after this in-person counseling and the printed reminders.

Before getting the in-person counseling, most of the women had predicted they would lose 25% of their starting weight after one year of treatment. After the counseling, the researchers found, the women's expectations had come into line with the more realistic weight-loss estimates.

"What we found was important because it tells us two things," says Womble. "First, it says that many patients under treatment for obesity have unrealistic ideas about weight loss, even those patients under medical supervision. Second, it says that we in the medical community, the healthcare providers, need to address our patients' lack of understanding about what they can expect from treatment."









Reference:

Web MD, The CDC Ali H. Mokdad, PhD, Leslie J. Bonci, MPH, RD, Leslie Womble, PhD,

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



My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Benefits of Vitamin C







Ask Glen!



Q. Glen, What can vitamin C do for your health?


A.Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it's thought to help prevent more serious complications). But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C.

"Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health," says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. "The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer."

"But," Moyad notes, "the ideal dosage may be higher than the recommended dietary allowance."

How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?

Most of the studies Moyad and his colleagues examined used 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C to achieve health results. That's much higher than the RDA of 75-90 milligrams a day for adults. So unless you can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you may need to take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits, Moyad says. He suggests taking 500 milligrams a day, in addition to eating five servings of fruits and vegetables.

"It is just not practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruits and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective, and easy to do," Moyad says. He also notes that only 10% to 20% of adults get the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Moyad says there is no real downside to taking a 500-milligram supplement, except that some types may irritate the stomach. That's why he recommends taking a non-acidic, buffered form of the vitamin. "The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 milligrams daily is safe," he says.

Still, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist, RD, suggests doing your best to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet before taking supplements.

"Strive to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, because you will get a healthy dose of vitamin C along with an abundance of other vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are good for disease prevention and overall health," she says.

While a cup of orange juice or a half-cup of red pepper would be enough to meet your RDA for Vitamin C, here are all the foods and beverages you'd need to consume to reach 500 milligrams (mg):

  • Cantaloupe, 1 cup: 59 mg Vitamin C
  • Orange juice, 1 cup: 97 mg
  • Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup: 74 mg
  • Red cabbage, 1/2 cup: 40 mg
  • Green pepper, 1/2 cup, 60 mg
  • Red pepper, 1/2 cup, 95 mg
  • Kiwi, 1 medium: 70 mg
  • Tomato juice, 1 cup: 45 mg

The Health Benefits of Vitamin C

According to recent research, vitamin C may offer health benefits in these areas:

1.Stress. "A recent meta-analysis showed vitamin C was beneficial to individuals whose immune system was weakened due to stress -- a condition which is very common in our society," says Moyad. And, he adds, "because vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, and [is] the first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers, and obese individuals, it makes it an ideal marker for overall health."

2. Colds. When it comes to the common cold, vitamin C may not be a cure. But studies show that it can help prevent more serious complications. "There is good evidence taking vitamin C for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections," says Moyad.

3. Stroke. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations. The reasons for this are not completely clear. But what is clear is that people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables have higher blood levels of vitamin C.

"People who consume more fruit and vegetables will not only have higher [blood] levels of vitamin C, but higher intake of other nutrients potentially beneficial to health, such as fiber and other vitamins and minerals," study researcher Phyo K. Myint said in an email interview.

4. Skin Aging. Vitamin C affects cells on the inside and outside of the body. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined links between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025 women aged 40-74. It found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance.

Other studies have suggested that vitamin C may also:

  • Improve macular degeneration.
  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin C's Role in the Body

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that can protect against damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as well as toxic chemicals and pollutants like cigarette smoke. Free radicals can build up and contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.

Vitamin C is not stored in the body (excess amounts are excreted), so overdose is not a concern. But it's still important not to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams a day to avoid stomach upset and diarrhea.

Water-soluble vitamins must be continuously supplied in the diet to maintain healthy levels. Eat vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables raw, or cook them with minimal water so you don't lose some of the water-soluble vitamin in the cooking water.

Vitamin C is easily absorbed both in food and in pill form, and it can enhance the absorption of iron when the two are eaten together.

Deficiency of vitamin C is relatively rare, and primarily seen in malnourished adults. In extreme cases, it can lead to scurvy -- characterized by weakness, anemia, bruising, bleeding, and loose teeth.

How to Get More Vitamin C in Your Diet

This antioxidant super-nutrient is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Yet, according to dietary intake data and the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, most adults don't get enough vitamin C in their diets. This is especially true of smokers and non-Hispanic black males, according to research done by Jeff Hampl, PhD, RD, and colleagues at the University of Arizona.

The foods richest in vitamin C are citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Other good sources include dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, winter squash, and pineapples.

Here are eight easy ways to work more fruits and veggies into your diet each day:

  1. Add pureed or grated fruits and veggies to recipes for muffins, meatloaf, and soups.
  2. Keep cut-up fruits and veggies on hand so they are ready for a quick snack.
  3. Frozen fruit slices make a cool summer treat.
  4. Include dark lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded broccoli slaw on all your sandwiches and wraps.
  5. Eat raw veggies with hummus, low-fat dips, and salsas.
  6. Add fresh or frozen berries to muffins, pancakes, cereal, and salads.
  7. Throw a handful of dried fruit on top of your cereal or in a baggie with nuts for an easy snack.
  8. Enjoy a glass of vegetable juice as a filling and low-calorie mid-afternoon snack,

The bottom line? "There is no one silver bullet vitamin, mineral, or nutrient," says Sandquist. "It is all about the big picture. And eating a varied diet rich in all the nutrients is the best strategy for good health."

Her advice: Take a daily multivitamin, because most people don't get enough of several nutrients. And if you want to combat colds and flu, wash your hands more often.



Reference:

Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan

Dee Sandquist, RD




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



My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Steps to Get You Moving







Ask Glen!



Q. Glen, How can I avoid getting in to an Exercise Rut?


A. The best way to ensure that you're getting enough exercise is to avoid falling into a workout rut. Try my suggestions to jazz up your workout:
  1. Choose an activity that's fun.
  2. Vary your activities so you don't get bored.
  3. Use different jogging, walking, or biking paths to vary your routine.
  4. If you can't set aside one long block of time, do several shorter sessions of activity throughout the day, such as three 10-minute walks.
  5. Create opportunities for activity, such as parking your car some distance from your destination and walking.
  6. Don't let cold weather keep you on the couch! You can find activities to do in the winter, such as exercising to a workout video.
  7. Exercise with a friend or family member.
  8. If you have children, make time to play with them outside. Set a good example!
  9. Turn activities into social occasions—for example, go to a movie after you and a friend work out.
  10. . Found a community group to go on hikes, build walking trails, start exercise classes, and organize special events to promote physical activity.
  11. . Set specific, short-term goals, and reward yourself (with something other than food!) when you achieve them.
  12. . Don't expect to notice body changes right away.
  13. . Make your activity a regular part of your day so it becomes a habit.


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



My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ideal Body Weight







Ask Glen!



Q. Glen, Is There Such a Thing as Ideal Weight?



A. In a recent poll, I asked readers to vote on how close they are to their goal weight. This idea got me thinking about ideal weight...that mythical number we all aspire too and that, often, coincides with our goal weight. But is there really such a thing as ideal weight? I suppose that depends on your definition of 'ideal'.

When it comes to health, weight is just one measure we use to assess how healthy we are, but most of us don't use the scale as a measure of health - we use it as a measure of how thin we really are. So, is coming up with an ideal weight the best way to set a weight loss goal? While there are certainly ideal body weight calculators out there, most experts agree that there really is no such thing as an ideal weight for most of us.

There's no magic weight at which you will be perfect in every way and I think that's what we're after when we talk about ideal weight. If you abandon the idea of setting an ideal weight as a goal, that may open the door to other goals you can set for yourself, perhaps even throwing out weight loss completely and focusing on other things like health, energy and self-confidence.

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

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Top 10 Reasons to Lift Weights








Ask Glen!



Q Glen, Tell me, Why should I lift weights?

A. There are a lot of reasons to lift weights! Here are ten of them....


Most of us know that strength training is important, but that doesn't make it any easier to do it. It may help to know why strength training is so important and all the ways it can help you look better and feel better. Check out my favorite reasons to lift weights and get motivated to start strength training today.

1. It will help you lose fat.

When you lift weights, you build lean muscle tissue which is more metabolically active than fat. When you increase your muscle, you also increase metabolism which means you're burning more calories throughout the day. Regular strength training is just as important as cardio exercise for losing fat and getting fit.

2. It makes you strong.

It may seem obvious that lifting weights can make you stronger...but what some people forget is that it doesn't just make you strong for your workouts, it makes you stronger in other areas of your life as well. When you lift weights on a regular basis, everything else becomes a little easier too - carrying groceries, housework, gardening, carrying the kids, etc. And, don't forget, it doesn't just make your muscles stronger, it makes your bones stronger too which can help reduce or even manage osteoporosis.

3. It will strengthen everything.

The nice thing about strength training is that it strengthens everything, not just your muscles and bones. When you lift weights, you also strengthen connective tissue - the ligaments and tendons that keep your body moving well on a regular basis. Strengthening your connective tissue will help you continue to operate in peak condition and protect your body from injuries.

4.It can reduce arthritis pain.

Recent studies have shown that arthritis sufferers who lifted weights actually reduced their joint pain. By strengthening the muscles, they were able to cushion and protect the joints during impact activities like walking. And don't forget...most physical therapy programs incorporate strength training to help rehab a multitude of injuries, which just proves that lifting weights can make a difference in getting better and having a better quality of life.

5.It increases balance, stability and flexibility.

When we don't preserve muscle mass with strength training, what happens when we grow older? We lose muscle mass and that's often what leads to weight gain and loss of balance and flexibility. Lifting weights can help you work your joints through a full range of motion, keeping them strong and flexible and keeping you steady on your feet.

6. It can make you better at sports.

Most athletes these days follow some type of strength training program to keep them strong and avoid injuries. Training specific to your sport can also help you improve your power, strength and speed to make you a better athlete. Even kids and teens often benefit from some type of strength training when it comes to playing sports

7. It makes you feel better about your self .

According to some studies, both men and women feel better about themselves when they lift weights. By getting stronger and noticing changes over time like being able to lift more weight and do more exercises, both men and women build confidence and, especially for women, improve body image. Lifting weights, along with other types of exercise, also helps build confidence and can even help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety...a great way to deal with stress in a healthy way.

8. It can help lower blood pressure.

Some studies have shown that regular strength training can help reduce high blood pressure over time, so this may become another way (aside from cardio exercise) to help treat high blood pressure in some people. If you do have high blood pressure, I don't have to remind you that you should always talk to the doc before doing any new activities (but I am anyway). But, if you get the okay, consider starting a basic program along with other recommendations from your doc for helping reduce your blood pressure.

9. It adds challenge and interest to your exercise routine.

If you've been doing the same cardio workouts for a long time, that can get a little boring. Strength training is a great way to spice things up and add a completely different challenge to your body. The nice thing about strength training is that it offers so many ways to set up your workouts...there's always something new to try and you never run out of new exercises, different types of resistance, new routines and a variety of ways to work your body.

10. It makes your life better.

One thing that often surprises people after they start lifting weights is how it trickles into other areas of their lives. I often get phone calls and emails from clients telling me how they were able to work in the garden without back pain or walk up the stairs without aching knees. It's those little improvements that offer the greatest rewards and it doesn't take much time with weights to see and feel those kinds of improvements.
Any Personal questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program, Please consult your physician!

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.


Yours in good health


Any questions?


Ask Glen!

Friday, April 18, 2008

No real evidence for 8 glasses of water







Ask Glen!


Q. Glen, Is drinking more then 8 glasses of water really healthy?



A. Adults have long been told drinking eight glasses of water daily is healthy, but University of Pennsylvania researchers say the evidence is thin.


So the advice goes, drinking all that water is helpful for a range of health benefits from keeping organs healthy to warding off weight gain and improving skin tone.

Dr. Dan Negoianu and Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia reviewed the published clinical studies on drinking water and found solid evidence that individuals in hot, dry climates, as well as athletes and those with certain diseases have an increased need for water. However, no data exists for average, healthy individuals.

Studies show increased water intake improves kidney function, however, the studies do not indicate any sort of clinical benefit.

Some propose that drinking more water helps fight obesity, but the researchers say studies on water and weight maintenance were inconclusive.

Headaches are often attributed to water deprivation, but there is little data to back this theory. Water has also been touted as a skin elixir, but no studies have shown any clinical benefit to skin tone from increased water intake.


Reference:
The findings are published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.

Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Weight and Health







Ask Glen!


Q. Glen, Can you explain the relationship between Health and Weight?


A. If you are overweight or obese, you face a greater risk for illness and even death.


Bad for Your Health

It's not news that being overweight is bad for your health, but only in the last few years has research shown precisely how unhealthy it is. Compared to people of normal weight, those who are overweight have a 60% greater risk of dying within 10 years from all causes. For people with obesity (a BMI of 30 or higher), the risk of dying is more than twice as great as it is for people whose weight is normal. The biggest increase in risk is for death from heart disease, which is more than three times greater for overweight people and up to six times greater for people with obesity.

While being overweight or obese increases anyone's risk for health problems, the danger is greater for some people than for others. For example, white people face a significantly higher risk for illness and death from excess weight than do blacks. And among blacks, the risk for illness and death from obesity is greater among men than women. Indeed, among black women, being overweight (as opposed to obese) doesn't seem to add substantially to risk for disease or death. The reasons for these differences are unclear. Perhaps some groups of people -- such as black women -- have a genetic predisposition toward good health at a higher weight. But even people who are predisposed to health at higher weights will face a greater risk for illness and death if they are obese.

Excess Weight

Excess weight causes or exacerbates more than 30 illnesses, which fall into five broad categories: metabolic, degenerative, anatomic, cancerous (neoplastic complications), and psychological. Some obesity-related conditions fall under more than one of these categories.


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


My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.


Yours in good health



Any questions?



Ask Glen!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tart cherries may help prevent belly fat







Ask Glen!


Q. Glen, I heard that cherries can reduce belly fat ! Is that true?


A. Tart cherries may help in the fight against belly fat, University of Michigan researchers said.

The University of Michigan Cardioprotection Research Laboratory study found rats receiving whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet were less likely to build up fat in their bellies. The study also found these rats did not gain as much weight and their blood had lower levels of inflammation factors linked to heart disease and diabetes.

"These new findings are very encouraging, especially in light of what is becoming known about the interplay between inflammation, blood lipids, obesity and body composition in cardiovascular disease and diabetes," cardiac surgeon Dr. Steven Bolling said in statement. "The fact that these factors decreased despite the rats' predisposition to obesity, and despite their high-fat 'American-style' diet, is especially interesting."

The researchers said it is too early to know if tart cherries affect humans and note that to eat as many tart cherries as the rats did in the study -- humans would have to consume 1.5 cups of cherries every day.



The findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting in San Diego.


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



My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.


Yours in good health


Any questions?


Ask Glen!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Diet tips for lower blood pressure






Ask Glen!



Q. Glen, Do you have any Tips for high blood pressure?

A. Hypertension, stroke, and heart disease are common in the United States and most other Western industrialized nations. Epidemiologists attribute much of their prevalence to diet. After decades of research, scientists have concluded that the typical American diet is a recipe for hypertension and cardiovascular disease: too much salt, too much saturated fat, too many calories, and not enough fruits and vegetables. But the good news is that you can take an active role in preventing and controlling high blood pressure by watching what you eat.

Consume less salt

Doctors first noticed a link between hypertension and sodium chloride — the most common form of dietary salt — in the early 1900s, when they found restricting salt in patients with kidney failure and severe hypertension brought their blood pressures down and improved kidney function.

Federal guidelines advise people to limit sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day — about the amount in 1 teaspoon of table salt. Yet Americans typically consume 1 to 3 teaspoons, or as much as 7,200 mg a day. This fact, coupled with the high prevalence of hypertension in the United States, led researchers to assume that salt overload was the culprit.

As it turns out, this may or may not be true. Nearly 50% of people who have hypertension are salt-sensitive, meaning eating too much sodium clearly elevates their blood pressure and puts them at risk for complications. In addition, people with diabetes, the obese, and older people seem more sensitive to the effects of salt than the general population. However, the question of whether high salt consumption also puts generally healthy people at risk for hypertension is the source of considerable debate. Regardless of whether high salt intake increases blood pressure, it does interfere with the blood pressure–lowering effects of antihypertensive medications.

Keep an eye on fat

A diet low in saturated fat can reduce cholesterol levels, but its effect on blood pressure is not well established. It’s important to remember, though, that not all fats are bad. Particularly heart-healthy are omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, some oils such as canola oil, and some nuts and grains such as flaxseed. Large amounts of these fatty acids may help reduce high blood pressure, but their role in preventing hypertension is unclear. What is apparent is their effect on heart disease. A number of studies have linked modest levels of fish consumption with a reduced risk of heart attack and sudden death.

Boost your potassium intake

Consuming too little potassium can raise your blood pressure and your risk of stroke. Increasing dietary potassium may allow some people to reduce the dose of their blood pressure medication. In a study in Italy, 27 people with hypertension increased their potassium intake while another 27 followed their usual diets. After one year, 81% of people on the high-potassium diet were able to cut their medications by more than half, while only 29% of the people who followed their usual diets could cut back that far.

Before increasing your intake of potassium, check with your doctor. Some people — for example, those with kidney disease — may need to avoid both potassium and salt.

Get enough calcium

Some research suggests a low calcium intake may contribute to high blood pressure, but calcium’s exact role in hypertension is unknown. One theory holds that a lack of calcium in the diet predisposes your body to retain sodium, which raises blood pressure. For this reason, it may be especially important that salt-sensitive people with hypertension get enough calcium.

While there’s evidence that consuming plenty of calcium-rich foods and beverages may help prevent hypertension, efforts to control blood pressure with calcium supplements have had mixed results. At this point, experts are reluctant to recommend calcium supplements solely to lower blood pressure. But since many Americans simply don’t get enough calcium in their diets, and calcium is vital for preventing osteoporosis, few would argue against the use of supplements to boost your calcium intake.



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



My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.


Yours in good health


Any questions?


Ask Glen!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How to Eliminate Muscle Cramps







Ask Glen!




Q. Glen, I get Cramps every time I Exercise! How can I Eliminate them?




A. Muscle cramps can be a very painful side effect of exercise. You work out to benefit your body and overall health, and are punished with a sharp pain in your muscles. It’s easy to get frustrated and even apprehensive when a "charley horse" occurs, but they are usually harmless and there are several tricks to help alleviate the pain.

Cramps occur when a muscle contracts and doesn’t relax. They are involuntary and you can often see or feel your muscle twitching. Even after the muscle does relax, it will remain fatigued and possibly sore. Cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to 25 minutes or more. While some people experience cramps during exercise, they can also happen while sitting or even sleeping. They most commonly occur in the leg, especially in the calf, hamstring and quadricep.

Why me?There are many reasons why cramps may occur. Inadequate stretching and overexertion might lead to a build up of lactic acid in your muscles. Muscle fatigue and dehydration may also contribute. Cramps are also more likely to happen in hot weather since you tend to lose more fluids.

Make it stop

When cramps do strike, instead of grimacing in pain, try a few tricks to help the muscle relax. Start by gently stretching the area. Don’t reach too far; just lightly push the muscle until you feel a stretch. Learn specific stretches to use. Another way to reduce the pain is to delicately massage the cramped muscle, without rubbing too hard. You might also try to ice the affected area for 15 minutes at a time. This will increase the circulation to the muscle.


An ounce of prevention

For prevention, include stretching in every workout. You’ll not only gain a wider range of flexibility, but you’ll also help keep muscles healthy. Take control over your breathing, especially while you are stretching. Deep breaths will deliver much needed oxygen to your muscles. Also make sure to warm up before heavy exercise so that your muscles are not shocked. Gradually ease into the exercise. Increase your training intensity slowly over time. Too much too soon will only result in injury.Avoid eating a big meal too close to your work out. You’ll be taking blood flow away from your muscles and towards your digestion system. And as always, drink water. It will keep your joints moving fluidly and help remove toxins that might build up in your muscles.Although not usually worrisome, if you get cramps on a regular basis, be sure to consult your doctor.


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


My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.


Yours in good health


Any questions?


Ask Glen!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

An Ounce of Prevention







Ask Glen!



Q. Glen, What about Health Screening's? Are they Necessary?


A. An ounce of prevention is far better than a dose of drugs or treatments aimed at managing health problems once they occur. Unfortunately, major trials of preventive care strategies have often excluded older people. That means that the recommendations for screening and other health strategies may owe more to expert opinion than hard data. It’s worth noting that experts often disagree on when to start and how long to continue certain preventive care strategies.


The potential benefits of screening tests and procedures decline as you get older. Eventually, the risk of dying from other causes outweighs the odds that lowering the risk of a single disease could appreciably lengthen your life expectancy. Possible harm done by screening, follow-up tests, and treatment for certain illnesses often grows, too.


For example, prostate cancer screening is controversial. This cancer, which is often slow-growing, is very common among older men. Many men live with it for years with no discernible effect on their health. Screening for prostate cancer currently results in a high rate of false positives and complications after treatment. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises men of any age not to undergo routine screening with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer.

Your own health care provider can best help you tailor the recommendations in Prevention Guidelines based on an assessment of your goals of care, personal health history, and age. He or she should take into account your wishes for treatment should you turn out to have a particular disease, how onerous specific preventive care strategies are, and the likelihood that early detection would help extend or enhance your life.


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




My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.


Yours in good health

Any questions?


Ask Glen!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward






Ask Glen!





Q. Glen, How can I over come setbacks?



A. "Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." - Chinese Proverb"Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never." - Winston Churchill"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Samuel JohnsonThese quotes all say the same thing. No matter how many obstacles you run into, what matters is that you’re able to overcome each of them, one at a time."Two steps forward, one step back" is usually a negative term to describe someone who is having trouble making progress. But switched around, "1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward" means that instead of grousing or feeling guilty about a misstep, you can still come out ahead if you put your head down and push forward.Steps back can take many forms: a family vacation, breaks in your routine, personal tragedies, injuries, or that lost weekend in front of the tube. A big mistake people make when trying to get healthier is that when they fall off a bit or something happens, they think they "have to start over". Wrong! When missteps do happen, a better strategy is to simply take two steps forward. You’re still ahead of where you were before, far beyond the starting line.


In tennis, losing one point isn’t the end of the world. It happens to the best of them. In fact, if you can consistently win a few more points that you lose, you may end up in the hall of fame. With healthy eating and exercising, as long as you’re consistently out-stepping your steps back, you’re ahead of the game. If you expect perfection (and many of us do), you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and guilt.Guilt can be debilitating to your healthy habits. When you mess up (or even when things are messed up for you), it’s natural to feel guilty. At that point, you have a choice: to let that guilt plummet you into a cycle that could spit you out worse off than before, or to accept the step back and say "where do I go from here?"Of course, consistent success is still something to strive for. You don’t want to roller-coaster up and down. That’s an "old" habit, remember? And the 1Step/2Step strategy doesn’t lessen the need to do your best. You should still work hard to keep those steps back from happening. But it helps to be prepared with a plan and a positive attitude for when they do happen.


Many times, this means a rededication, a refocusing, and a recommitment. You might want to look at your program and see why it’s allowing those landmines to stick around. Use it as a learning process. Ask how you can keep that misstep from happening again.


Take a walk in the woods to clear your head and regroup.


Have a personal "bounce back" motto that will re-energize you. Put it everywhere.
Take a break if you think you’re trying too hard.


Return to the basics. Are you making it too complicated and tough on yourself?


Plan ahead for irregularities in your schedule, call ahead to healthy restaurants, pack healthy snacks.


Stay aware of what you’re doing. One meal mess up can turn into a one day mess up, a one week mess up if you’re not careful.


Remind yourself of your success so far when you need a boost. Unlike people who run 10 miles today because they should have run two yesterday, "2 Steps Forward" doesn’t necessarily mean doing a lot more to make up for a blunder. Just make a commitment to do things as right as possible as much as you can.


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


My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.


Yours in good health


Any questions?


Ask Glen!

Monday, April 7, 2008

7 Secrets to Revving Up Your Metabolism









Ask Glen!


Q. Glen, Is there anything you can do to jump-start a sluggish metabolism?



A. Absolutely! Your body may not be burning calories quickly due to poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Fortunately, you can provide the tools it needs to boost your metabolism back to normal. Use these tips to rev up your inner engine and unlock your true weight-loss potential. Plus: What’s your calorie IQ?

Simply put, if there are things you are doing to slow your metabolism down, then there must be things you can do to speed it back up again.

That said, if your body’s engine is already running at full-speed, there’s little you can do to boost your fat-burning potential – you’re already at your peak. But if your tank is continually running on half-empty, you definitely have room for improvement. Use these seven tips to rev up your metabolism.


Secret #1: Early to bed makes you slim.



Believe it or not, the number of zzz’s you catch can have a big effect on your waistline. Research shows that sleep-deprivation can put your hunger and appetite hormones out of whack. Leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone, decreases in adults who are sleep-deprived while ghrelin, a hunger-increasing hormone, spikes.

This means double trouble for your fat cells: You end up eating more than you really need, leaving you with extra pounds to show for it.

How much sleep do you need to avoid this frustrating problem? While some people swear they can get by on just a few hours, experts recommend that you get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Just in case you’re one of those people who swear they thrive on less sleep, take heed: A four-year joint study by the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University found that adults who regularly slept for only five hours a night increased their levels of hunger-inducing ghrelin by 14.9% and lowered their levels of appetite-suppressing leptin by 15.5%.

Getting into a good sleep routine may take a little work, but it’s worth the effort


Secret #2: Early to rise starts your metabolism off right.


Does your morning ritual consist solely of showering, brushing your teeth and getting dressed? If so, you’re skipping two very important things that could boost your metabolism.

The first is to eat breakfast… and coffee doesn’t count. Skipping that bowl of oatmeal might sound harmless, but you’re missing the first opportunity of the day to jump-start your metabolism. Think of it in literal terms: Breakfast is “breaking” the overnight “fast” your body was in to conserve calories. Eating – especially a balanced breakfast – stimulates your metabolism. Translation: Eat breakfast each and every day.

The second key to starting your morning off right is exercise. Sure, you might struggle to pull off those cozy sheets (who doesn’t?), but it’s a battle worth winning. Why? Exercising in the morning boosts your metabolism. As a result, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day simply doing the same old stuff you always do – who wouldn’t want that? Even a 20-minute walk or jog will make a difference. So skip that second cup ‘o joe and strap on your walking shoes instead.


Secret #3: The more you move, the more you’ll lose.


Speaking of exercise, you should do it every day. Cardiovascular exercise (running, swimming, aerobics, walking) stimulates your metabolism, helps you burn tons of calories and can even temporarily suppress your appetite post-workout.
But don’t let cardio get all the metabolic-boosting glory. Weight-training is very important, too, since it tones your muscles and boosts lean tissue mass, which burns more calories per pound than fat. The more lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn each day.

Also, don’t be afraid to exercise more than once a day. Breaking up a 60-minute workout into two 30-minute (or three 20-minute) sessions is not only convenient, but according to recent research, it may help you burn more fat.

Secret #4: Eat all day to keep weight gain at bay.


Not to be taken literally, “eat all day” means that you should be eating more snacks or smaller meals instead of gorging on large meals. Eating five or six small meals throughout the day keeps a steady stream of energy available to your body. This boosts both your metabolism and your brain power. Keep healthy snacks (fruits, veggies, nuts, yogurt) with you and graze throughout the day as needed. Just be sure your main meals are smaller to accommodate all this snacking, or you’ll load up on extra calories you don’t need.


A big weight-loss no-no is skipping meals. Dieters often try to get that extra weight loss edge by cutting entire meals instead of just cutting calories throughout the day. However, this is actually counterproductive. Skipping meals forces your metabolism to slow down and conserve calories to compensate for the lack of food. When you finally do eat, your body remembers that it went for a long time without food and will store more calories in preparation for the next time you’re going to starve it. Stay off this roller-coaster by eating at regular intervals throughout the entire day.

Secret #5: Raise a glass to drinking yourself skinny.


Dehydration is a funny thing. While the number on the scale may be favorable when you haven’t had enough water, you’re actually risking major weight gain by not drinking enough. The problem is that being dehydrated can actually trick your brain into thinking you’re hungry, so instead of reaching for a cold one (water, that is) you reach for whatever snack is nearby.

A simple exercise in math may help illustrate the importance of hydration:

8 ounces of water = 0 calories
1 candy bar from the office vending machine = 270 calories
Swapping that candy bar for a glass of water, then waiting 20 minutes to see if you were really hungry in the first place = priceless


Give your body a break from processing all those fatty calories and grab a glass of ice-cold water instead. Some experts even claim that your body burns extra calories as it works to raise the temperature of that icy water up to your internal body temperature. It’s a controversial claim and one that we may be bickering over for only a few extra calories, but I say why not? It’s refreshing, it’s hydrating and you’ll burn calories on your walk over to the water cooler.

Secret #6: Set your metabolism on fire with spicy foods.


Spicing up your meals may do more than just add great flavor. “Hot” foods, such as jalapeƱos, chile peppers and spices (like curry and cayenne), may actually increase body temperature. Body temperature and metabolism are directly related: As you burn energy, heat is released. As the theory goes, by increasing your internal body temperature, spicy foods may temporarily raise your metabolism and stimulate the use of stored fat as energy. Experts go back and forth on this theory, stating that it’s not enough of a boost to make a difference.

However, researchers do agree that eating spicy foods can increase feelings of satiety. And the sooner you’re satisfied at a meal, the quicker you’ll stop eating. You can easily save yourself 100 calories at a meal by taking a few less bites, so pile on the hot sauce


Secret #7: You can count on calcium for an extra boost.


A large body of research shows that calcium, an essential mineral, can actually boost your basal metabolic rate, which in turn can help tremendously with your weight-loss efforts. In a National Dairy Council-funded study, researchers found that a high-calcium, low-calorie diet can boost fat loss by 42%, compared to only 8% for a solely low-calorie diet.

In addition to safeguarding your waistline, studies also show that dairy lovers are less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome. The hallmarks of this condition include high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as poor blood sugar control and increased abdominal obesity – all factors that increase risk of diabetes and heart disease.

If you don’t eat enough calcium-rich dairy foods, such as yogurt, skim milk and low-fat cheeses, you should either start adding them to your diet or consider taking a daily calcium supplement.

How Calorie-Conscious are You?


One of the great secrets of weight loss isn't such a secret after all - limit the amount of calories you consume each day and eat the right amount of calories for your body and you'll lose weight. While calorie-counting seems like a tedious task, having a basic knowledge of which foods will send you into a diet trap isn't.


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



My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life.



Yours in good health



Any questions?



Ask Glen!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Chest Muscle and Exercises








Ask Glen!



Q. Glen, Can you Explain The Chest Muscles and Some Basic Exercises?


A.One of the largest muscle groups in the upper body, the chest muscles are made up of the pectoralis major and, underneath that, the pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major which is the larger muscle actually has two parts - an upper portion (called the clavicular head) and the lower portion (called the sternal head).

Now, just because there are two different areas of the chest, that doesn't mean you can separate them. Any chest exercise you do will work the entire area but, some exercises will stimulate the chest in different ways. For example, a chest press involves the entire pectoralis major with a focus on the lower portion of the chest. By moving to an incline position, you still work the entire pectoralis major, but now the focus shifts to the upper portion of the chest. That's one reason there are so many variations for each exercise - by changing the movement, the angle and/or the type of resistance, you'll recruit different muscle fibers and challenge your body in new ways.

The chest muscles are responsible for moving the arms across the body and up and down, as well as other movements like rotation and flexion. Most chest exercises will involve pushing the arms away from the body or the body away from the arms. Below are three of the most common chest exercises along with detailed step-by-step instructions and variations on each move.

Pushups are probably one of the most common exercises targeting the chest. The traditional pushup is a compound movement. The prime mover is the pectoralis major (the lower portion) and the other muscles that help in this exercise include the lower chest, the shoulders and the triceps. Pushups require upper body strength but, even more important, enough ab strength to keep from straining the lower back.

Step by Step: Pushups on the Knees

  1. Get down onto all fours and place the hands a little wider than the shoulders.
  2. Walk the knees back far enough that your body is in a straight line from the head all the way down to the back of the knees.
  3. Keeping this position, bend the elbows and lower the torso down towards the floor.
  4. Lower as far as you can or until the elbows are at about 90-degree angles.
  5. Push back up to the starting position without locking the elbow joints.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do: Contract the abs to keep the back straight
  • Do: Lower the hips to keep the body straight
  • Do: Keep the neck straight
  • Do: Keep the upper body directly over the arms
  • Don't: Push the chin forward as you lower down
  • Don't: Arch the back
  • Don't: Sag through the shoulders or chest

Variations:

  • Wall pushups
  • Incline pushups on the knees
  • Pushups on the knees
  • Pushups on the toes
  • Decline pushups on the ball

More Chest Exercises

Chest Press The chest press is very similar to a pushup except that you're pushing the arms away from the chest instead of pushing the body away from the arms. Like the pushup, the chest press is a compound exercise involving the joints of the arms and shoulders. The prime mover is the lower chest and the helper muscles are the upper chest, the shoulders and the triceps. The chest includes larger muscles, which means you can usually use heavier weights. But, you are limited by the strength of the arms as well so, if you're a beginner, you may need to start with lighter weights to get your form down and to allow your arms to get stronger.

Step by Step: Chest Press

  1. Lie down on the floor with the knees bent.
  2. Hold light-medium weights in both hands and begin the movement with the arms straight up towards the ceiling, elbows soft (not locked) and directly over the chest.
  3. Your knuckles should point to the ceiling and your palms should face away from you.
  4. Bend the elbows and lower the arms down until the backs of your arms just graze the floor.
  5. At this point, your elbows should be bent at about 90-degrees and your arms should look like a goal post with the hands in a direct line from the elbows.
  6. Feel your chest contract as you push the arms straight again. As your hands come back up, you'll bring the weights close together, but they won't touch.

Doing this move on a step or bench will allow you to get a fuller range of motion, but you never want to drop the arms lower than the shoulders because you want to keep the work in the chest area.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do: Keep the abs contracted so that you don't arch the lower back.
  • Do: Keep the arms straight up over the chest.
  • Do: Keep the forearms perpendicular to the floor at the bottom of the movement.
  • Don't: Lock the elbow joints.
  • Don't: Grip the weights too hard as that can add stress to the hands and forearms.

Variations

  • Chest press on the ball
  • Barbell chest press
  • Incline chest press
  • Alternating chest press

More Chest Exercises

Chest Flies the chest fly is different from the previous exercises because it's an isolation movement, involving the shoulder joint. The prime mover is the lower chest and the helper muscles include the lower chest, the shoulders and the biceps. You will typically use a lighter weight here than you would with the chest press. The reason is that your arms are straighter, which adds a longer lever to the move and will require more control as you lower the weights.

Step by Step: Chest Flies

  1. Lie down on the floor with the knees bent.
  2. Hold light-medium weights in both hands and begin the movement with the arms straight up towards the ceiling, elbows soft (not locked) and directly over the chest.
  3. Your hands should be facing each other, the elbows slightly bent and pointing out to either side, almost as though you're hugging a tree.
  4. Keeping that same angle in your elbows, lower the arms down to about shoulder level or until you feel the backs of your arms just graze the floor.
  5. At the bottom of the movement, your arms should be open with a slight bend in the elbow, palms facing the ceiling.
  6. Squeeze the chest to bring the arms back up, stopping just before the weights touch. Make sure you keep the elbows stable throughout the movement.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do: Keep the abs contracted so that you don't arch the lower back.
  • Do: Keep the movement slow to avoid using momentum.
  • Don't: Bend the elbows. You should keep a slight bend throughout the movement, but the elbows don't bend in this exercise.
  • Don't: Lower the arms too far below the shoulders. You want to keep the focus on the chest. When you drop the arms too low, you involve the shoulders and risk injury because your shoulders are smaller muscles and may not be able to handle the same weight that your chest can.

Variations

  • Chest fly on the ball
  • Incline chest fly
  • Chest fly with a band
  • One-armed fly

More Chest Exercises

Choosing Chest Exercises When you're setting up your program and you start choosing exercises, you may wonder how many to choose and which ones will work best. These basic guidelines will help you figure out how to choose the best chest exercises for your goals:

  • If you're a beginner, choose one chest exercise you think you can handle. Pushups are more difficult so you start with an easier exercise such as a chest press machine (if you're at the gym) or a chest press with dumbbells.
  • If you're more advanced, you might choose one compound exercise (e.g., a pushup) and an isolation exercise (e.g., chest fly).
  • If you're very advanced or you're working the chest separately from other muscles, choose three or more different moves (e.g., pushups, chest press and chest flies)
  • As you get stronger, you can add more challenging variations such as one-armed moves, alternating the arms or trying a different type of resistance.


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


My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


Yours in good health


Any questions?


Ask Glen!





Thursday, April 3, 2008

Your Muscles








Ask Glen!


Q. Glen, I am new at lifting weights, Can you explain to me how muscles work in exercising?


A. When you start lifting weights, it's important to have at least a general idea of how your muscles operate. For each exercise you do, your muscles will play a specific role depending on the movement. There are muscles that initiate the movement and there are also muscles that will help stabilize the body, even if they aren't directly involved. There are even muscles that will completely relax to allow the opposing muscle to work. Below are the different roles your muscles can play:

1. Prime movers. A prime mover is the muscle that initiates the movement you're doing. For example, when you're doing a biceps curl, the biceps would be the primer mover. The prime mover is also the target muscle of the exercise.

2. Antagonists. The antagonist is the muscle opposing the prime mover. This muscle will relax when the prime mover is working. So, using the biceps curl example, the triceps are the opposing muscle group and will relax.

3. Synergists. Some muscles will be synergists, or muscles that help the prime mover work better by stabilizing the body. During a bicep curl, the shoulders may help stabilize the upper body so that nothing else moves except the elbow joint.

Knowing these simple actions can help you focus on the exercises you're doing and better understand which muscles are working and how to get the most out of each exercise.

Aside from these roles muscles can play, it's also important to know the different types of movements. Some are more complex, involving multiple joints and muscles. These are known as compound exercises and include exercises like squats, lunges or pushups - all of which involve a variety of muscles. Compound exercises usually burn more calories because they involve more muscles - the more muscles you can recruit during an exercise, the more calories you'll burn.

Other exercises are simpler, known as isolation exercises and involve only one joint, such as a biceps curl. Isolation moves can strengthen a specific area, which is great if you have muscular imbalances or you're trying to heal an injury caused by an imbalance. Using both movements will give you a well-rounded routine.

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


My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


Yours in good health


Any questions?


Ask Glen!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

9 Healthy Habits for Weight Loss







Ask Glen!



Q. Glen, Do you have any Tips for losing any body weight?


A. Losing 5 to 15 percent of your body weight can improve your overall health. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, 5 percent of your body weight equals 10 pounds, and 15 percent equals 30 pounds. A safe rate of weight loss is up to 2 pounds per week. Try some of these ideas to support your weight-loss efforts:

  • Keep a food diary.
  • Shop from a list, and don't shop when you are hungry.
  • Store foods out of sight.
  • Dish up smaller servings. At restaurants, eat only half your meal and take the rest home.
  • Eat only at the table, and turn off the TV.
  • Be realistic about weight-loss goals. Aim for slow, modest weight loss.
  • Seek support from family and friends.
  • Expect setbacks and forgive yourself.
  • Add physical activity to your weight-loss plan. Engaging in regular physical activity can help you control your weight.

  • And my number one tip is hire a personal trainer... ( me )


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


    My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


    Yours in good health

    Any questions?


    Ask Glen!

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    10 Ways to Rev Your Metabolism







    Ask Glen!


    Q. Glen, How can I Burn More Calories?


    A. Your body is a lean, mean, fat-burning machine just waiting to happen! All you need is the knowledge and determination,and your extra weight will be gone in no time. In fact, you don't necessarily have to make drastic changes. Try these 10 simple tweaks to your lifestyle, and you will see results.

    1. Lift weights. Muscle is the key to a high metabolism. Gals, that doesn't mean you have to look like a female wrestler. Building lean, sleek muscles ups your calorie-burning. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) accounts for 60 to 70 percent of your daily calorie expenditure, and it's closely linked to the amount of muscle you have. Muscle burns more calories than fat? even while you sleep!

    2. Get moving with your cardiovascular exercise. When you perform cardio, enzymes are produced that break down fat and enable the body to use it as an energy resource. The average person has 100,000 calories worth of fat stored on their body -- roughly enough to run for 200 hours. For fat to be burned as energy, oxygen needs to be produced. People with a high cardio capacity are able to burn fat very easily because their bodies are efficient at delivering oxygen to muscle cells.

    "There's a fitness term called the 'after burn'," says Fitness Pro, Glen Edward Mitchell. "This refers to the calories that you burn 24 to 48 hours after your exercise session. What that means to you is a faster metabolism that burns fat at an accelerated rate."

    3. Try interval training. Your body has an amazing ability to adjust to routine. If you don't change things up, you can get stuck in a rut. Try interval training -- bursts of high-intensity moves -- to boost metabolism. Studies show that people who do interval training twice a week, in addition to cardio, lose twice as much weight as those who do just a regular cardio workout. Just insert a 30-second sprint into your jog every five minutes or add a one-minute incline walk to your treadmill routine

    4. Don't overdo calorie-cutting. If you ingest too many calories, you gain weight, but if you restrict your calorie intake too much, it's a surefire way to keep the pounds on. That may sound strange, but what your body is doing is entering survival mode. Your body is programmed to defend itself. If you suddenly drop a bunch of calories from your diet, your resting metabolic rate will slow down, because your body makes the assumption that you are starving.

    Depending on your level of activity, you can safely lose anywhere from half a pound to two pounds a week. The easiest way to figure out your needs is to multiply your current weight by 11. So, if you're 150 pounds, aim for around 1,650 calories a day. Unless you're less than five feet tall, don't let your daily calories dip below 1,200. Research shows that women who consume less than this amount see their resting metabolic rate plummet by as much as 45 percent!

    5. Eat breakfast. Some of you out there just don't have an appetite in the morning. Some just don't have time. But breakfast may just be the most important meal of the day. Your metabolism slows when you're asleep, and it doesn't rev back up until you eat again. If you skip breakfast, you're talking upwards of 18-20 hours since your last meal! That's a recipe for disaster. Start the day with a solid 300- to 400-calorie meal, preferably high in fiber.

    6. Space your meals wisely. If you find that you get frequent snack attacks, kick-start your metabolism and curb your appetite by dividing your meals into five to six small, nutritious meals a day instead of three squares. Eat a 200 to 400 calorie mini-meal every three to four hours. Your body will expend more energy to digest the food and your metabolic rate will increase. If this is too much to handle, revert back to the three meals, but make them slightly smaller and add a couple snacks strategically placed mid-morning and afternoon.

    7. Catch some zzz's. According to studies, sleep loss may increase hunger and affect the body's metabolism, which may make it more difficult to lose weight. People who lose sleep may continue to feel hungry despite adequate food intake because sleep loss has been shown to affect the secretion of cortisol, a hormone that regulates appetite. Make sure you get in your eight hours or more of shut-eye every night.

    8. Drink water. Researchers in Germany have found that drinking water may increase the rate at which you burn calories. Study participants' metabolic rates increased by 30 percent after consuming approximately 17 ounces of water. The energy-burning process of metabolism needs water to work effectively. Water also fills you up, curbs your appetite, flushes out your system and rids the body of bloat. Drink at least eight to 10 glasses per day, even more if you're active.

    9. Skip alcohol. Thinking about throwing back a couple before dinner? Not so fast. Several studies show that having a drink before a meal causes people to eat around 200 more calories. Drinking with dinner isn't such a good idea either: Other research has found that the body burns off alcohol first, meaning that the calories in the rest of the meal are more likely to be stored as fat. If you do have a cocktail craving, stick to wine, which packs only 80 calories a glass -- or minimize the calories by drinking a white-wine spritzer (two ounces of wine mixed with two ounces of seltzer).

    10. Drink milk. If you're not lactose intolerant, don't shy away from low-fat dairy. Women who consumed milk, yogurt and cheese, three to four times a day, lost 70 percent more body fat than women who didn't eat dairy in a study published in the American Society for Nutritional Sciences Journal of Nutrition. The reason: Calcium, along with other substances in dairy, actually revs up your metabolism, according to the study. Research shows that women reap the largest fat- burning benefit when they consume three servings of dairy and 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day.



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


    My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."


    Yours in good health

    Any questions?


    Ask Glen!

    Insanity Are you committed?

    P90X Men Now it Begins!

    P90X Women Now it Begins!

    Polar Heart Rate Monitor FT40 FT60

    Polar Heart Rate Monitor FT80

    TRX Suspension Training Now offered at Fitness Builders 4 Life

    Proform Better

    About Me

    My photo
    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!

    AskGlen@aim.com