Sunday, February 28, 2010

Insulin

Each time we eat, insulin is released into the bloodstream. This vital hormone, secreted by special cells in the pancreas, encourages our tissues - our muscles in particular - to gobble up the glucose surging through the bloodstream after we eat a meal.

That's good news, because glucose hanging around in the blood is dangerous stuff. It can stick to proteins and destroy their ability to do their job. Kidney damage, blindness, and amputations may result.

But insulin has many other vital roles. After a meal, insulin stops the liver from releasing any fat, a potential metabolic fuel, into the blood. Why after a meal? It turns out that just like glucose, these fats, released as triglycerides, are dangerous if they hang about in the blood too long.

Insulin, sugar, and glycogen
When your body notices that the sugar level is elevated, it is a sign that you have more sugar than you need right now, your body is not burning it and therefore it is accumulating in your blood. So insulin is released to take that sugar and store it. How does it store it? Glycogen? Your body stores very little glycogen at any one time. All the glycogen stored in your liver and muscles would not last you through 1 active day. Once you have filled up your glycogen stores, that sugar is stored as saturated fat.

So the idea of medical professionals recommending a high complex-carbohydrate, low-saturated-fat diet is absolutely a mistake. A high complex-carbohydrate diet is nothing more than a high-glucose diet, or a high-sugar diet. Your body is just going to store it as saturated fat, and the body makes it into saturated fat quite readily.

Your body's principal way of getting rid of sugar, because it is toxic, is to burn it. The sugar which your body can't burn will be rid of by storing it as glycogen, and when those glycogen reserves are full, sugar gets stored as fat. If you eat sugar your body will burn it and you stop burning fat. Another major effect of insulin on fat is it prevents you from burning it. What happens when you are insulin resistant and you have all this insulin floating around all the time? You wake up in the morning with an insulin level of 90.

Friday, February 26, 2010

If you're taking a daily aspirin for your heart, you may want to reconsider.

For years, many middle-aged people have taken the drug in hopes of reducing the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Americans bought more than 44 million packages of low-dose aspirin marketed for heart protection in the year ended September, up about 12% from 2005, according to research firm IMS Health.

Now, medical experts say some people who are taking aspirin on a regular basis should think about stopping. Public-health officials are scaling back official recommendations for the painkiller to target a narrower group of patients who are at risk of a heart attack or stroke. The concern is that aspirin's side effects, which can include bleeding ulcers, might outweigh the potential benefits when taken by many healthy or older people.

"Not everybody needs to take aspirin," says Sidney Smith, a professor at the University of North Carolina who is chairing a new National Institutes of Health effort to compile treatment recommendations on cardiovascular-disease prevention. Physicians are beginning to tailor aspirin recommendations to "groups where the benefits are especially well established," he says.


Doctors generally agree that most patients who have already suffered a heart attack or ischemic stroke, the type caused by a clot or other obstruction blocking an artery to the brain, should take regular low-dose aspirin. But for people without heart disease, the newest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force spell out much more clearly than before when aspirin should be administered.


The panel urged doctors to factor in conditions that could increase a patient's risk of bleeding from aspirin, which tends to rise with age. The group didn't designate a dose, but suggested that an appropriate amount might be 75 milligrams a day, which is close to the 81mg contained in low-dose, or "baby," aspirin. The task force didn't take a position on aspirin for people who are 80 and older because of a lack of data in this age group.

Aspirin Advice
Doctors have been scaling back their aspirin recommendations for people who don't already have heart disease. Here are the current guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Still, many experts agree that doctors may have been recommending aspirin to people for whom the risks might outweigh the benefits.

Aspirin acts as a blood thinner, which is believed to account for much of its benefit of protecting against heart attacks and strokes. But that same action, along with a tendency to deplete the stomach's protective lining, can lead to a danger of gastrointestinal bleeding and possibly bleeding in the brain.

"We would like doctors to re-look at their patients who are on aspirin and consider recommending stopping it where the chance of harm outweighs the benefit," says Ned Calonge, a Colorado public-health official who serves as the task force's chairman. He notes, however, that in studies of healthy people taking aspirin, the actual rates of bleeding and of prevented heart attacks were very low.

What Aspirin Does
Aspirin's effects in the body can have good and bad implications.

Blood thinner: It inhibits clotting, which helps reduce the risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke but increases the danger of bleeding.
Inflammation reducer: It lessens pain and fever by preventing production of the hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. But this can also deplete a protective layer in the stomach and increase the risk of ulcers.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Track

5x800's 2 mins rest



2:56
2:54
2:55
2:54
2:50

Small but fast crew up there tonight. Chris Negron ,Donny , Chas, Patrick

Monday, February 22, 2010

Knee Pain?

Is your knee sore after running? Does your hip ache when you are sleeping on your side? Does it hurt to foam roll the side of your leg? If so, you may have a tight IT band.

The iliotibial tract is a thick layer of fascia that stretches from your hip down the side of your leg to just below the knee. It helps stabilize the knee and can become inflamed in many athletes. Overuse, strength imbalance, forgetting to stretch after a work out, or biomechanical abnormalities can irritate the IT band.

Myofacial release and stretching are the best ways to treat It band pain. Here are three stretches you can do after you have foam rolled the front and sides of your quadriceps.


Lying supine, place a strap around your foot and pull your leg across your body. Do not try to pull the foot closer to your head; focus instead on pulling the leg across the body and nailing both hips to the ground. Hold for one minute and then switch legs.




Lying on the ground, cross your knees (not your ankles!) and pull your knees to your chest. Take a hold of your ankles and pull your ankles towards you (your right hand will be holding your left ankle and your left hand will hold your right ankle). Hold one minute and then switch the cross of your legs.





Standing with your left hand on a wall, step your right foot across and in front of your left. Then stretch your left leg towards your right side so that the side of your foot is now on the ground. Then focus on stretching your left hip away from your left foot. Hold one minute and then switch sides.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How healthy is 100% fruit juice, really?

Q. What should I look for when buying fruit juice? For example the "100% pure and natural orange juice" says it contains 0% Vitamin C. How is that possible? Another one provides 100% Vitamin C but from the list of ingredients we see that Vitamin C is actually added.


A. The USDA considers a half cup of fruit juice equivalent to a serving of fruit but I have my doubts. Processed fruit juice--even 100% juice--is a distant second to fresh whole fruit in terms of its nutritional value.

For one thing, fruit juice is a very concentrated source of sugar and calories. All the fiber, which slows the absorption of the sugars in whole fruit, has been removed.

Secondly, many (most?) of the naturally-occurring nutrients are lost during processing, pasteurization, and storage. As you found, manufacturers may compensate for this by adding nutrients back to the juice after the fact. You could get the same benefit from taking a vitamin C capsule.

Nutritionally, I'd rank processed fruit juice only slightly higher than soda and other sweetened beverages.

If you choose to drink fruit juice, consume it in moderation. Freshly-prepared juice (made from whole fruit with a juicer and consumed immediately) preserves more of the antioxidants. But for the full nutritional benefits of fruit, I think you'd be far better off consuming whole fresh fruit--and drinking water!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This is awesome

We have to try this on a Thursday night.........



Strength Endurance Hill Circuit from Steve Magness on Vimeo.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Big crowd down there for the Thursday Night Run.We ran the Winchester center route.



This is some serious strength work going on here.
He doing 445 pound squat, 135 pound press, 425 pound dead lift.He going do this circuit 10 times the kicker is the amount of time it takes him..4:35...


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cholesterol drugs also boost diabetes rates by about 9 %

Today's Boston Globe

LONDON - Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor, AstraZeneca Plc’s Crestor, and rival drugs to lower cholesterol also boost diabetes rates by about 9 percent, according to a study that quantified a complication that doctors only recently discovered.


The drugs, which generated $34 billion in 2008 sales, prevent heart attacks, strokes, and death, and their benefits outweigh the diabetes risk, said the lead researcher, David Preiss, who is a research fellow at the University of Glasgow.

The pills were linked to one additional case of diabetes and prevented five heart attacks and deaths for every 1,000 patients who took them for a year, he said.

The researchers analyzed 13 studies of the medicines known as statins after a 2008 trial from AstraZeneca, based in London, unexpectedly found patients given Crestor had a 25 percent higher risk of diabetes.

The new analysis involving more than 90,000 patients, published in the journal Lancet, shows the actual increase in diabetes is 9 percent, the risk is tied to the entire class of medications, and the danger increases with age.

“Even though there is a slight risk more than what we knew before, it’s still a reassuring message,’’ Preiss said.

“We’re not talking a huge risk at all, and what we don’t want people to do is take this as a sign to stop taking statin therapy.’’

Future studies and researchers conducting long-term follow-up should include blood-sugar readings and diabetes development, the investigators said.

Patients and doctors should also be aware of the potential risk and adjust treatment if the drugs’ potential benefits no longer outweigh the risk, they said.

Patients may benefit from blood-sugar monitoring during their regular medical checkups, said Chris Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in an editorial that accompanied the study.

While “a new risk of statins has been identified, the risk seems small and far outweighed by the benefits of this life-saving class of drugs,’’ he said.


Another article from the Globe 08-22-2008 Statins do not cause or prevent cancer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is hydrogenated oil trans fat ?

When asked what hydrogenated oil is, most people have no idea. They tend to make the obvious connection that it’s some type of oil, but don’t really know if it’s good or bad, or even if it’s meant for human consumption. Some people think it’s a type of motor oil.

Hydrogenation is a process by which a polyunsaturated oil, often soybean oil, cottonseed oil, or canola oil, is bombarded with hydrogen atoms to give it the characteristics of a saturated fat that’s solid at room temperature. The product of this process is called hydrogenated oil, but is more commonly referred to as trans fat. Because hydrogenation increases the stability of inexpensive polyunsaturated vegetable oils, the resulting hydrogenated oil increases the shelf life of the many processed foods that contain it while also decreasing the cost of production. As such, it’s a tremendous advantage for food manufacturers


Read More

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Masai low rates of coronary heart disease despite a diet high in saturated fat

Well this shouldn't really be a surprise. The science is saying that there is no link between the intake of saturated fat and the risk of CHD [coronary heart disease], stroke, or CVD [cardiovascular disease].

Here is another study which is supporting that idea. (The study is full of assumptions by the way - the claim is that this is a "potentially atherogenic diet".)

Anyway, the Masai have a low carb, high fat diet but they have very healthy blood pressure and lipid profiles.

These researchers suggest their health is due to their high levels of energy expenditure. Who knows, maybe it is due to their diet!

Is their health in spite of or because of their diet?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Running - Feb 13th

What a great day! Chris arrived with roses for all the lady runners in honor of Valentine's Day. How could anyone have a bad run after that?

The temps were almost balmy (well, not quite) but you can definitely feel the difference from the frigid temps over the past couple of weeks. It's more light than dark now when we head out at 6:30am, which is a sure sign of spring.

I saw 4 different Shamrocks driving by during my brief 5 mi run. Noel, George, Tim, and Bill W. Apparently lots of us are roaming the streets of Woburn in the early mornings, whether on foot or in their cars.

Welcome back to Bob O. You are off the list now.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Natural Alternatives to OTC Painkillers

Got a headache? Pop a pill! Pulled a muscle? Pop a pill! Broke your leg? Uhh…seek immediate medical treatment! While pills can’t cure everything, here in America they are the go-to remedy for almost every illness in the book!

But if you’re not convinced that popping pills is the way to go, it might be time to investigate the natural alternatives to everyday over-the-counter (OTC) pain remedies.

Willow Bark:
Although one of willow bark’s major claims to fame is that it was recommended by Hippocrates Cos (460-377 BC) to ease the pain associated with childbirth, the reality is this natural remedy was used centuries before by European practitioners and remains popular today for the treatment of pain, fever and inflammatory conditions. The key ingredient in willow bark – which also goes by the name salix alba and white willow – is salicilin, a derivative of the active ingredient in aspirin. In addition to willow bark, salicilin and salicylic acid can be found in several fruits including cantaloupe and grapes as well as the spices thyme, paprika, cumin, dill, oregano, turmeric, and curry powder.

Capsaicin:
If a particularly spicy spoonful of chili has ever had you reaching for your water glass, you’ve experienced the pain-relieving effects of capsaicin! Ok, fine, at the time you were actually more likely feeling the pain, but when that same ingredient is applied topically, it serves as a natural analgesic by blocking activity at the vanilloid receptor, which sits on pain sensory nerve endings. Are we advocating that you rub your next sprained ankle with chili peppers? Not quite. Instead, opt for a natural capsaicin cream in lieu of your usual muscle relaxant.

Ginger:
There’s a very good reason you mom gave you ginger ale when you were feeling sick as a child (and no, it’s not because it was the only soda left in the house!). Turns out ginger’s active ingredient, gingerols, mimics the chemical structure of capsaicin (see above) to block the vanilloid receptor and reduce pain. Unlike capsaicin, which causes a small amount of pain before blocking the receptor, ginger provides pain relief without the burn. In addition, gingerols prevent the build-up of blood platelets to reduce inflammation and thin the blood and are more soothing on the intestinal tract than traditional aspirin treatments. Ginger is most frequently taken in the form of a herbal tea, however, researchers are currently exploring whether powdered forms may be more effective.

Omega-3s:
Chalk another one up for Omega-3s, which studies show can reduce inflammation and pain, particularly those associated with chronic back ailments, osteoarthritis and other chronic pain conditions. The key behind Omega-3s healing powers lies in its EPA and DHA content, which boost your body’s levels of the chemicals that minimize inflammation and its associated pain. To increase your Omega-3 intake, add cold water fish – such as salmon, tuna and mackerel – to your diet or try a pharmaceutical-grade supplement (check out our store!) that contains low levels of mercury and other harmful heavy metals.

Vitamin C:
Although traditionally touted as the thing to take before you feel sick, Vitamin C – but more specifically ascorbic acid – has some pain-relieving properties too! Found in broccoli, black currants, citrus fruits, kale, parsley, and peppers, Vitamin C helps build collagen in the muscles to prevent injury, has diuretic properties that flush muscles of toxins, and has been shown in studies to help reduce the pain associated with musculoskeletal cancerous tumors.

Magnesium:
Think you’ve got a lot on your plate? Consider the mineral magnesium, which plays an integral role in over 300 body processes, one of which is pain relief. Touted most frequently as a treatment for migraines, magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant and has been shown to reduce the intensity and duration of migraines as well as reduce reliance on prescription migraine medications. To make sure you’re meeting your magnesium requirements, be sure to add plenty of soy, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables to your diet.

Vitamin E:
Although vitamin E is typically associated with improving the condition of the skin – particularly in preventing scarring and stretch marks – it is also an extremely effective treatment for menstrual cramps when taken 3-5 days before menstruation onset. Experts recommend taking about 500 IU Vitamin E daily, which can be achieved either by taking a supplement or high-quality vitamin or by upping your intake of Vitamin E-dense foods such as spinach, olives, nuts, and turnips.

Glucosamine:
Although most frequently touted as an anti-inflammatory, glucosamine has been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen at reducing pain (but with fewer side effects!). Because glucosamine is a naturally-occurring substance in the body and there are no dietary sources, experts recommend that patients considering taking supplements of glucosamine sulfate – which is thought to be the most effective form of the neutraceutical – in doses of either 500, 750, and 1,000 mg.

Although use of most of these remedies is widely supported by the medical community, it is always best to consult a physician before taking a new remedy, especially if you have any chronic conditions or are taken any other medications that might counter or otherwise alter the effect of the drug.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Track

We had a fast group up there tonight. The showdown was the last 400, Chris Negron and
Donny . They took off neck and neck the whole way. On the last turn , Donny went a little wide and Chris hugged the turn. Chris was able to out squeak it out in the last straight away. Chris .65 Donny .66

My times
400 1.21
600 2.02
800 2.47
600 2.02
400 1.13

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lagat vs Rupp in the 5k

Not the best version. Lagat is in orange

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Coconut Oil

In America’s recent past, coconut oil got an undeserved bad name.

Why?

Because it’s high in saturated fats, and they were unjustly demonized. Cutting-edge research has pretty much shredded most of The Lipid Hypothesis — the theory that there is a direct correlation between saturated fat and cholesterol intake in the diet with incidence of coronary heart disease. We now know, for example, that most of the studies which showed dietary intake of saturated fats (particularly those using coconut oil) were bad for you were actually proving that trans fats are bad for you.

But unrefined, virgin coconut oil is an excellent and traditional fat and contains no trans-fats whatsoever.

How can Virgin Coconut Oil boost your metabolism and promote weight loss?

A few things:

1.It’s high in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found patients lost weight when they included MCFA’s in their diet. In fact, when you compare a diet including olive oil or MCFA’s, it was found patients lost more weight using MCFA’s.
2.It’s high in lauric acid. Lauric acid is an MCFA so it will not only possibly help you lose weight (per the study above), but it’s also documented to have amazing antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal properties. In other words, it fights everything from the common cold to serious lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes!
3.It may reduce your food cravings. When you add coconut oil into your diet, you’ll feel more full and eat fewer calories over all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

WAYS TO BLUNT YOUR ATHLETIC POTENTIAL

1.Not having goals, both short term and long term. A fitness regimen with no goals is like driving to a destination you have never been to before without a map or directions. Goals keep you on track. You seek out guidelines and information on how to achieve them. Make those goals!!!
2.Poor nutrition. Food completely controls how your body functions throughout the day. It is the gasoline for your engine. An engine needs gas to run, and it runs better with good gas than it does with crappy gas. Start simple. Make changes in the quality of what you eat then fine tune it from there.
3.Lack of sleep. You can never get “too much” sleep. Our bodies are actually wired to go to sleep when it gets dark and wake up at the crack of dawn. Electricity has jacked up our internal clocks, so no matter who you are and how much you sleep, it is never enough. Sleep is a huge component in the body recovery system. Get more of it!!!
4.Not taking proper rest/recovery time. Rest is different from sleep. You need to let the body rest from your training regimen. Take a rest day every few days. I would even recommend that every few months you take at least a week off from high intensity training. Your body needs time to heal, along with your brain. You will come back rip roaring ready to go both physically and mentally. Recovery simply means listening to your body. Pain is different from the discomfort of training. Pain needs to be respected. Pain takes time to heal. Turn your ego off and let your body heal up proper. The dumbest thing I ever heard anyone say was, “It hurts to train, but I have to workout.” (That was me by the way....)
5.Poor hydration. Water is often an overlooked ingredient in a good training regimen. Water makes up about 60% of the human body. Lean muscle tissue is about 99% water. Bone is made up of about 22% water and even your skin contains water. There is not one system in the entire body that does not depend on water. You will be hard pressed to drink to much water in a day. Drink up!!!
6.Lack of consistency. It’s not easy to stick with a workout program. You can get very positive results working out only two to three days a week if you really work hard and follow a solid nutrition plan. Start small...commit yourself to two days a week and build up to three. Once you start training three or more days a week, you will make leaps and bounds in reaching your athletic potential.
7.Lack of a proper warm-up/cool down. Sure, argue all you want that when the shit hits the fan in life, you don’t get the chance to warm up. Very true, but a training session is not life. You are attempting to improve your athletic ability. You can’t do jack if you get hurt. Warm up those muscles, joints and connective tissues by doing active stretching in full range of motion. Take the time to do some good static stretching when you are done working out. Flexibility will increase. Injuries will decrease. Your workout performance will improve dramatically.
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