Monday
Jul192010

My Motivation for Fitness

Friday
Jul162010

Can Diet Help Arthritis? 

UCLA School of Medicine

There’s certainly a lot of hype on this topic.  Some of it is downright nonsense.  But there are good facts among the fiction.

Arthritis sufferers are sometimes willing to do just about anything to take a bite out of their pain, even if it means chasing the latest diet fad.  “People who suffer with a chronic condition that causes pain and discomfort may be more vulnerable to nutrition myths and quackery,”  says Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.

Arthritis Nutrition Hype

Sorting out fact from fiction in the food-arthritis relationship is a challenge.  Many cure-all “arthritis diets” and supplements are clear-cut frauds, and may result in harmful side effects.  Suspicious regimens include those with large doses of alfalfa, copper salts, or zinc, and diets like the immune power diet or the low-calorie/low-fat/low-protein diet.  The Arthritis Foundation cautions people to watch out for diets that throw out an entire food group, stress only a few foods, produce harmful side effects, or are justified by personal testimonies rather than scientific evidence.

      What about supplements?  Should you pop shark cartilage or wild yam for arthritis relief?  “Many supplements may be marketed to arthritis sufferers because they’re an easy target,” says Bowerman.  “If you’re unsure about a supplement, discuss it with your physician, your pharmacist, or a registered dietitian.”

Best Odds Eating for Arthritis

The good news is that amidst all the hype, there is valid scientific research showing that certain forms of nutrition can play a beneficial role in alleviating the pain of arthritis.  For example, scientists say that diet can alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), combat the side-effects of therapy, and reduce the risk of complications.  Several studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet may have protective effects on the development of severity of RA.

      Some foods may help by reducing inflammation in the body.  Altering the balance of polyunsaturated fatty acids away from those found in corn oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil, and toward those found in fish and fish oil, provides the best documented examples of effective dietary intervention against inflammation.  In a recent study of 43 patients, it was discovered that those who took fish-oil omega-3 fatty acids showed improvement in several areas of RA, including joint pain intensity, handgrip strength, and duration of morning stiffness.  By limiting the intake of meat and poultry, increasing the intake of cold-water fish (sardines, mackerel, trout, and salmon), and substituting olive, canola, and flaxseed oils for corn, safflower, and sunflower oils, you can put these principals into practice.

      There is also evidence of the protective effects of higher consumptions of fruits, vegetables, and betacryptoxanthin (found in yellow-orange fruits and vegetables) in RA.  Lower concentrations of antioxidants in the bloodstream were associated with an increased risk of RA in three studies.  “We know that the health benefits of phytonutrients in foods go beyond antioxidation, and that many do help fight inflammation,” says Bowerman.  “A wide-ranging intake of colorful fruits and vegetables will provide many of these protective substances.”

      For osteoarthritis, the most important dietary consideration probably has more to do with calories than ingredients:  Being over-weight or obese is a major risk factor in developing osteoarthritis.  In fact, recent studies by Stephen Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University, showed that weight loss, combined with exercise, had a great effect on the level of pain in knee osteoarthritis.  “The pain went down 30 percent,” said Dr. Messier.  “Weight loss decreases the load on the knee joint and inflammatory biomarkers.”

      More studies are needed to understand the relationships between arthritis and diet.  Meanwhile, Susan Bowerman suggests sticking with a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat proteins, and whole grains.  If you’re overweight, losing the excess pounds through calorie reduction and exercise is likely to have a dramatic effect on pain.

Saturday
Jun262010

The Truth About Exercise-UCLA School of Medicine

Combined with a wise diet, exercise is absolutely vital to gaining and maintaining good health, and it's never too late to begin.

 Everyone has heard it a thousand times:  We need regular exercise to get healthy and stay healthy.  Yet judging from the obesity and widespread health problems directly connected to lack of exercise in America, the message either isn't getting through, or it's being excused out of mind.  If you're already following a regular exercise routine, bravo.  If not, but you're still interested in knowing about the single best way to counteract the effects of aging, read on.

Reasons to Exercise

The three main goals or exercise--cardiovascular health, muscular fitness, and flexibility--have a trickle-down effect in many areas, and there are new studies almost everyday that testify to these truths:  Cardiovascular conditioning strengthens the heart and lungs, which in turn improve blood circulation and oxygen intake and absorption.  This means that you can breathe better, heal better, sleep better, and rid yourself of disease and infection more easily.  Blood vessels in the brain are also part of this system, of course, so you will probably find that your mind works better, too.  An added benefit that takes place after and often during a workout is the body's release of endorphins, which reduce pain and give a sense of well-being and happiness.

Meanwhile, strong and supple muscles forestall a host of ills, including back problems, joint problems, and osteoporosis.  The goal of strength training later in life isn't to "beef up," it's to counteract the inevitable loss of muscle mass (about one percent a year after a person reaches age 40) and allow you to lead a normal life--carrying groceries, walking up and down stairs, playing with the grandchildren--for as long as possible.  Finally, flexibility joins the other components in two areas of major importance to seniors--maintaining balance and helping to prevent injury.

That pain Business

Obviously, one reason so many people avoid exercise is that it involves some self-motivation, effort, and discomfort.  But there's a difference between the minor discomfort of healthy exercise progress, and the pain of injury.  It's vital for your health and for the success of your exercise program that you understand the difference, so if you're new to exercise, or just long out of training, begin with your doctor's advice and the hands-on counsel of a competent trainer.  The key is to start slowly, and listen to your doctor, your trainer, and your own body.  Once you get a solid start, you can push yourself a bit more as time goes by.  And always keep your greater goals in mind.

"Aside from improvements in physical conditioning, exercise will lead to improved mood and an overall sense of wellness," says Mark Glavinic.  "Evidence demonstrates an incrased release of chemicals in the brain that make us feel good and will even decrease the intensity of pain perceived by the brain.  Thus, exercise appears to be pretty powerful medicine.  Unfortunately, it's not a pill that can be swallowed--it takes a little bit of effort."

Thursday
Jun102010

Get Back To The Starting Line!

Problem:

Would you like to get back in the game but find yourself sidelined by stiffness or discomfort in your knees? Have you stopped riding because you know you should be in better shape but your body is not up to the effort? The truth is that as time passes, our joints do suffer the consequences of not only normal wear and tear but also ongoing free radical damage we face daily thanks to our enviornment, and years of pounding motos. That damage may also be occurring at the cellular level - such that we aren’t aware of it now but it may cause more serious problems later on. All you want is relief, so you can throw a leg over your bike and clear that double.

 

Solution:

Damage to muscles and joints can be attributed to two factors; inflammation and oxidative stress. Protectin, the clinically tested natural compound found in Xtra has been shown to ease the symptoms of inflammation and joint discomfort on top of supporting healthy connective tissue. Meanwhile, Xtra’s natural fruit blend including cherries, blueberries, cranberries and grapes, delivers the antioxident power necessary to protect you from ongoing free radical damage. Xtra is what your body needs to help soothe, lubricate, regenerate, and restore joints and muscles to healthy working order.

 If you want to ride the whoops better, clear more jumps and have your knees stop hurting you should try Xtra.

To learn more visit www.marti.myunivera.com and search Xtra.



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