Archive for July, 2009

spirulina

By Catherine Lewis, AHJ Editor — Published: July 23, 2009

I’ve recently become fascinated with a blue-green alga, one-celled organism called Spirulina. An organism you may have never heard about! It is among the largest single celled organisms in existence. In fact it grows so large, that by itself, it can be seen with the naked eye. (To give you some perspective, most single celled organisms have to be magnified in order for you to see it, so the fact that Spirulina can be seen with the naked eye means it’s big.) When dried out in the sun, it turns into a sort of white crust, therefore causing many to believe that Spirulina is actually the “manna” the Israelites consumed as they wandered the deserts during their sojourn from Egypt. It’s no wonder that they were able to consume it so easily, because Spirulina contains nearly every vitamin and mineral that you would need to survive! Naturally, there are health benefits, which go along with using Spirulina, and fortunately, it can be purchased in pill form, making it easier. Keep reading to learn about the many health benefits you get when eating or taking Spirulina!


As you know, the Earth has many undiscovered herbs and natural remedies. When you hear on the news that some amazing food or cure has been discovered in the wild, you tend to be surprised. This is even more so for those of you who believe all remedies are man-made. As a matter of fact, remedies for diabetes, tumors, and a plethora of other conditions have been discovered growing in the wild, which include blueberries and cinnamon, but the most interesting natural wonder by far is Spirulina. You would be amazed at how much undiscovered known remedies the Earth still has for you to find. 

Some of the health benefits that you get with eating or taking Spirulina are:

Iron: Spirulina is saturated with iron, which is great because your body needs iron to survive. Iron is the most neglected mineral in your body, even though it’s essential to a healthy immune system.

Lutein: Highly recommended by doctors for preventing macular degeneration, or in easier to understand terms: vision. Spirulina comes with heavy doses of this drug, more than enough to meet your recommended 20 mg. 

Beta Carotene: About ten times more concentrated than carrots, and much better for you, providing all the nutrients that you would normally obtain from eating carrots. 

Food Cravings: Studies have shown that Spirulina helps diabetics control their food cravings, which is a plus when you need to keep your blood sugar down! 

Essential Minerals: Spirulina contains the essential minerals: manganese, iron, chromium, phosphorus, molybdenum, iodine, calcium, potassium, selenium, boron, germanium, copper. That’s like an entire meal for you in one bite.

Protein: With Spirulina you can get your protein fix, as it contains about sixty percent protein, which is higher than both red meat and soy. Indeed, Spirulina is 65 to 71 percent complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison, beef is only 22 percent protein.

As you can see, there isn’t really a downside to eating this little blue-green alga, and it is in fact, grown all over the world! Some individuals will even eat it during the primary course of their meal. It has even been baked in cakes. Naturally, it’s not a complete replacement for a full meal, but it’s a great supplement, and extremely healthy for you. 

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

Advertisements

stressed-out

By Bob Condor, AHJ Editor — Published: July 21, 2009

Sometimes stress seems more like pop culture than a science. But a new study indicates stress in parents might be a root cause for asthma in their children. That’s not pop culture. That is a changed life.

Research published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests asthma is highest among children who live in urban area. Pollution is a legitimate factor classified by scientists, yet this new study conducted at the University of Southern California’s Keck Institute of Medicine makes a clear scientific association between parental stress and increased risk for a child’s asthma. 

The USC researchers followed about 2,500 children ages 5 to 9 with no history of asthma or wheezing. The kids who lived with stressed-out parents (there are scientific methods to determine this state) around high levels of traffic-related pollution were most affected. If you are curious, a parent’s life is classified as stressful if it is unpredictable, uncontrollable and/or overwhelming.

The USC researchers explained that air pollutant cause an inflammatory response in the airways of the lungs. Stress can increase susceptibility to the inflammatory response—apparently even if you are the child and not the stressed parent. You might say stress is emotionally contagious.

 Bob Condor blogs for Alternative Health Journal every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Get Strong! Stay Strong! ( and chill out people!)

Chris

somglv

By Sylvia Anderson, AHJ Editor — Published: July 23, 2009

You may not think that being deficient in a simple vitamin or nutrient could lead to your death. Poor health, perhaps, or possibly even more tame conditions such as an upset stomach or headache. But death? In fact, a recent study indicates that being deficient in Omega-3s may be responsible for up to 96,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States.


A new study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that Omega-3 deficiencies account for about 96,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States. Even more shocking, the Omega 3 deficiency is responsible for more deaths than trans fats which runs close behind. According to the study, there are 12 causes of preventable deaths linked to lifestyle and metabolic factors that can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle change.  

Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth highest killer of Americans, according to US health surveys, when it comes to preventable deaths. The leading cause of preventable death due to diet and lifestyle choices is tobacco smoking, which accounts for up to 500,000 deaths per year. Second is high blood pressure, accounting for some 400,000 deaths per year, followed by obesity, physical inactivity and high sodium intake. Omega-3 deficiency ranks a close second to deaths from high sodium intake.  

As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, many in the medical community as well as in the public health community are looking for ways to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths due to lifestyle choices. Omega-3 fatty acids are available in supplement form and are an easy way for people to get this necessary nutrient that not only promotes heart health, but can also promote digestive health and even mental health.  

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease when taken in supplement form. These acids come from fish oil and have proven to be beneficial when it comes to lowering LDL cholesterol and balancing it with HDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for the digestive system as they can reduce the amount of fat in the liver. In addition, new studies indicate that not only are Omega-3 fatty acids beneficial when it comes to improving cognitive abilities, but are also helpful for those who are suffering from depression, a serious and sometimes fatal condition.  

More studies on lifestyle choices and diet changes are needed to expose the risks that people take when it comes to their diet and health. While many people are well aware that smoking and obesity can significantly shorten the lifespan and cause premature death, many are not aware of the fact that a deficiency in Omega-3 fatty fish oil can also be a cause of death.  

Those who take Omega-3 fatty fish oil reduce the risk of heart disease, according to studies. In addition to helping reduce the risk of heart disease, supplementing your diet with Omega-3s can also protect against prostate cancer. There are clearly many benefits to getting more Omega-3s in your diet.  

Omega 3s can be found in fish oil supplements or krill oil. There is some evidence that krill oil is even more beneficial when it comes to heart and liver health than fish oil, although the effects on other parts of the body are not yet known. 

It’s simply a fact: Omega-3s are an essential part of a good diet. Making some lifestyle changes, diet changes and adding Omega-3 supplements can end up saving thousands of lives each year . . . perhaps you included.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and Live Long!)

Chris

DSCN4436

My good friend Adam wrote this on his site:  fivetoolbaseball.blogspot.com.
Even though the article is written for baseball the principles are applicable to any activity and to life in general!
As many baseball purists are aware, baseball players are evaluated utilizing the measuring stick known as the five tools: hitting for average, hitting for power, running speed, arm strength, defensive skills. Complimentary to these five tools, are a series of 5 training protocols collectively known as ‘Training to the 5th Power’ (T5). Based upon the explosive and power nature of baseball, I believe that by following the five training protocols will transfer off-field training to on-field performance.

THE PROTOCOLS ARE:
(1) Train standing;Training from standing positions trains the movements unique to baseball along with the respective muscle groups. Baseball players rarely rely on strength from sitting or lying down positions;yet exercises performed from such positions continue to dominate training programs. Utilizing modalities such as bands/cables from standing positions can target the same muscle groups typically trained from sitting or lying positions all the while training movements beneficial to baseball.

(2) Train with free weights; Free weights allow for multiple ranges of motion and multiple planes of motion(movement). Training with free weights, such as dumbells, allows for a bit more freedom of movment, unilateral training which can identify muscular imbalances between limbs,and builds neuromuscular efficiency (coordination of muscle groups). In addition, training with other free weight objects, such as medicine balls, provides power development. The ability to toss a free weight, such as a medicine ball, in a manner similar to hitting increases power potential of the muscles involved; making free weight objects superior to machines in replicating and increasing power.

(3) Train multi-joints – a.k.a compound movements; Movements involving more than one joint are referred to as compound movements. Multiple joint training allows for greater loads to be trained, therefore greater muscle recruitment, leading to greater strength development. I cant think of any movement in baseball that doenst involve the total body. Thus compound movements can deliver fluidity for on field performance…more so than single joint movements. In addition if your athlete needs to drop a few pounds then multi-joint, baseball specific movements can assist with increasing caloric expenditure.

(4)Train explosively; Slow and controlled movements are great for developing a certain level of strength. However, most baseball movements, even though strength based, are just as dependent on speed and power.Power can be defined as: POWER = WORK / TIME or POWER = FORCE x SPEED

Notice how power is dependent on speed. And the speed component explains the importance of explosive training for developing on-field, optimal baseball power.

(5) Functional Training (FT);Functional training is based upon training movements and not body parts. FT trains multiple planes of motions, in unstable environments, at baseball specific speeds. Basically, FT is “train like you play”. Functional Training supports the other T5 principles: Training in a standing position is functional for on-field activities; Training with free weights allows functional training along any plane and at any speed; Multiple joint, compound movement training is the way baseball is played, therefore functional. Much of how baseball is performed is power dominated, so training explosively becomes functional.

All in all implementing the T5 training guidelines are ideal for building overall baseball performance. However, like other training concepts,thereare exceptions in exchange for other effective results. For example, slow, isolated work in stable positions (i.e. lying down,) just might be necessary for the athlete needing a bit more muscle (hypertrophy). Take special note that although bodybuilders look great, I dont recommend an all exclusive use of bodybuilding methodologies for improving on field, baseball performance. The question which would you rather train for “all go” or “all show”?

Regardless of the type of training incorporated into your program, the majority should fall within T5.

As Adam always says:  Go hard in the yard!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

hand_carpal_tunnel_intro01

By Sylvia Anderson, AHJ Editor — Published: May 27, 2008

Do you spend a lot of time typing on a computer? Maybe your job requires you to spend hours glued to your computer keyboard. If this sounds familiar, you could be at risk for the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Let’s take a deeper look into this condition, including causes and possible treatments . . .

Do you spend a lot of time typing on a computer? Maybe your job requires you to type, type, type all day long; day after day, after day, after day. Perhaps you write articles for a living and spend hours glued to your computer keyboard.

Sound familiar to you? It does to me! (Just kidding, boss)

I’m just having a little fun here (for real, I love my job). But in all honesty, if you do spend a lot of time typing, or even sending text messages on your wireless phone, you could be at risk for the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that accounts for 60 percent of all occupational illnesses.

If you already suffer from carpal tunnel, there are ways to reduce or eliminate your pain and suffering. Let’s take a deeper look into this condition, including causes and possible treatments . . .

Carpal Tunnel Basics
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a swelling or irritation of the membranes around the tendons in the carpal tunnel, the ‘tube’ that runs from the forearm to the wrist that contains the medial nerve. The swelling often leads to feelings of numbness, tingling and pain, making it difficult, if not impossible, to type comfortably and efficiently. Symptoms can vary in intensity from a mild, annoying discomfort to a constant, crippling pain.

What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The repetitive task of typing is often to blame, but carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, bone breaks or other trauma to the bones in the wrists, diabetes, and hormonal changes, such as those experienced by women who have gone through pregnancy or menopause.

Treatment Options
Typical treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome include resting the wrists for days, even weeks at a time, avoiding the tasks and behaviors that caused or aggravate the condition; the use of splints to support the wrists; and exercises designed to strengthen wrist muscles, bones and joints. Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to help sufferers manage pain. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.

However, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, those aren’t your only options. Acupuncture and yoga have produced positive among hundreds of diagnosed patients. Also, consider treating yourself with these natural remedies:

Bromelain
This enzyme has shown promising results in reducing the swelling and inflammation often caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

Vitamin B2
While it may be beneficial on its own in easing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, B2 (also known as riboflavin) may be even more effective when taken in combination with vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6
Research has found a link between carpal tunnel syndrome and B6 deficiency, and studies of B6 supplementation have shown an improvement in symptoms in as little as six weeks. People who take hormones, such as women using birth control pills or undergoing hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms, are at risk for having lower amounts of B6.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

Complete 5 rounds of the combo below.  Rest as needed between combos.

high_pull  

                          High Pulls  5x          

  crossfit-girl-front-squat                   1108-mma-push-press-11108-mma-push-press-2

           Front Squat  5x                                                 Push Press  5x

 

Complete 3-4 rounds of the biplex circuit below.  Rest as needed between exercises.

 

2008GamesPullup_th-thumb-552x540                                                         AndyJump.ashx

1.)Do Pull up & at bottom move hands across bar.                     2.)Lateral Jumps 10x 

Work your way across bar and back til failure.

(Pull up, move laterally, pull up, move laterally etc.)

If you cant do a pull up then do incline pullups (see below)

pull_end

Variations include using dumbbells, kettlebells or single arm work.  

Have fun and work hard!  Nobody gets anywhere by just going through the motions!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

Obese--4930

By Sylvia Anderson, AHJ Editor — Published: July 09, 2009

Spare tire. Muffin top. Potbelly. Middle age spread. Shall I go on? We’ve all heard these terms to describe that area of the mid-section where extra belly fat resides. But many people don’t know just how dangerous stomach fat can be. Stomach fat, also known as visceral fat, has been linked to a number of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer. Visceral fat is much more dangerous than the fat that lands on the hips, thighs and buttocks (known as subcutaneous fat). So much so that even someone considered slender but who carries a bit more fat around the belly may have a greater health risk than someone is actually obese, according to Dr. Kerry Stewart, professor of clinical exercise physiology at John Hopkins School of Medicine. Keep reading to discover 4 easy steps to blast belly fat once and for all!

A ten-year study of Chinese adults revealed older people with extra belly fat had worse memory and less verbal fluency than adults who were considered “fit.” So how can you blast belly fat and avoid such life-threatening health conditions? Below are a few ways to deflate that spare tire.

1. Eliminate Trans Fat
Recently admonished by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, trans fat (also known as “partially hydrogenated oil”) is found in vegetable shortening, margarine, cookies and other snack foods. And guess what? It goes right to your tummy.

Wake Forest University conducted a six-year study of male monkeys, which supports the attacks on trans fat. The monkeys were split into two groups – one group was fed a diet containing trans fats; the second group was fed only mono-saturated fat. While both groups received the same amount of calories and fat content, the group eating trans fat gained 7.2 percent body weight with a significant increase in visceral fat.

Quick Tip: Check nutritional ingredients closely to make sure you are avoiding dangerous trans fat.

2. Get Moving
Regular physical exercise has been proven again and again to reduce belly fat, and rather quickly at that. A recent study at Duke University Medical Center found that subjects who remained sedentary for a mere six months experienced a nine percent increase in visceral fat, while those who walked an average of 20 miles per week lost both visceral and subcutaneous fat. Subjects who walked 12 miles per week neither gained nor lost weight.

Quick Tip: Try to get 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day to prevent adding inches to your waistline.

3. Sleep Tight
How many hours of sleep do you get each night? Studies have shown that people who sleep less than four hours a night are a whopping 70 percent more likely to be overweight than those who get seven to nine hours of sleep. You may be wondering – what does sleep have to do with weight? Lack of sleep lowers the protein leptin, which helps to suppress appetite, and inhibits the production of insulin which regulates blood sugar.

Quick Tip: Adjust your schedule to ensure you get a minimum of seven solid hours of sleep each night.

4. Chill Out
These days most of us carry way too much on our plates to maintain a healthy stress level. But having too much stress in your life can also cause you to carry too much on your middle as well. When you’re anxious, your body releases adrenaline, cortisol and insulin – a combination which has been associated with increased appetite and added fat to your waistline.

Quick Tip: Take time to relax throughout the day even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time and you’ll be one step closer to getting a handle on your tummy troubles.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris