Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Shockingly Small Amount Of Money From Pink NFL Merchandise Sales Goes To Breast Cancer Research
While fans can also purchase pink clothing and accessories to support the cause, a shockingly small amount of the fans' money is actually going towards cancer research.
According to data obtained from the NFL by Darren Rovell of ESPN, the NFL "takes a 25% royalty from the wholesale price (1/2 retail), donates 90% of royalty to American Cancer Society."
In other words, for every $100 in pink merchandise sold, $12.50 goes to the NFL. Of that, $11.25 goes to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the NFL keeps the rest. The remaining money is then divided up by the company that makes the merchandise (37.5%) and the company that sells the merchandise (50.0%), which is often the NFL and the individual teams.
Then consider that only 71.2% of money the ACS receives goes towards research and cancer programs.
NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Revenue

In the end, after everybody has taken their cut, only 8.01% of money spent on pink NFL merchandise is actually going towards cancer research (see right).
According to the NFL, any money they take in, that is not donated to ACS, is used to cover the costs of their breast cancer awareness program, "A Crucial Catch." The NFL also told Business Insider they donated approximately $1 million per year to the ACS in the first three years of the program.
Still, there are unanswered questions about where the money is going and who is profiting.
The most popular place to purchase pink merchandise is at the NFL's online shop, official team stores, and at the stadiums. In these cases, the NFL and the individual teams are acting as the retailer.
It is unclear how much of the 50% markup for items being sold directly by the NFL and the teams is going to the ACS, if any at all.
Of course, in addition to money, the NFL is also raising awareness for breast cancer and it is hard to put a value on that.
If fans want to show support for their team and for breast cancer awareness, that is great. But if the point is to actually help fight cancer, fans would have a much bigger impact if they skipped the NFL and donated directly to the ACS or other organizations working to fight cancer.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Will Athletics Protect Your Bones?


In many ways your bones are like a tree - strong, yet supple. Your bones can withstand a tremendous amount of force, and yet they are flexible enough to not be brittle. The balance of mineral content and density is a precise one. Too great a variation in either direction can mean your bones aren’t strong enough to resist external forces or flexible enough to withstand an impact.

Your bones are also like your muscles, in that they respond to training. It’s well known that resistance exercise combined with a suitable diet will improve bone density in healthy adults. The problem is, as we age our bones can get weaker. Even worse, sometimes our bodies don’t respond to stimuli in the same way.

To shed some light on this issue, the researchers in this study looked at the bone health of various senior populations, ages 65 and older. Specifically, they looked at all of the following factors: age, sex, bodyweight, calcium and vitamin D consumption, and leg strength. Many of the participants were also elite senior athletes. The rest of the subjects were not athletes, but otherwise healthy.

Some of the results were expected. Sex, age, weight, and nutrition all had a major effect on bone density. Knee flexion strength (but not knee extension, oddly), also had an effect, but only on the hip bones. The other major result comes as a surprise, at least on the surface: being an elite athlete didn’t appear to yield significantly stronger bones.

To my mind, there are three factors we need to consider when we analyze these results:

  1. Bodyweight: Bodyweight was one of the biggest factors on bone density, in part because load and impact are are each affected by bodyweight. The athletes who participated in the study were lighter than the non-athletes. Since the athletes' bones were just as strong as the non-athletes, it’s possible the athletics made up the difference.
  2. Type of Sport: Less than half of the athletes were runners. The researchers noted that running increases whole-body bone density, but the number of cyclists and swimmers present in the study may have reduced this effect. 
  3. Activity Level of Non-Athletes: Finally, the non-athletes were all healthy in this study, and so they were not necessarily inactive. Perhaps they did not represent a real sampling of the senior population.

So there you have it. Athletics don’t necessarily keep your bones healthier. Nevertheless, pound-for-pound, athletics seem to be effective and may also decrease bodyweight while still maintaining healthy bones.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Triglyceride Heart Risk


For years, I’ve been telling my clients and physician friends that the current obsession with cholesterol levels is way out of focus. In my opinion, high LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol is more likely than not a very small contributor to the current epidemic of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, elevated triglycerides appear to be a far better marker for lifestyle choices which probably affect heart disease and stroke risk. Fortunately, a few, simple dietary changes can lower high triglycerides and significantly improve cardiovascular wellness. Best of all, lowering hypertriglyceridemia often doesn’t require any medications or supplements.

Triglycerides are a form of fat that is contained in blood. Elevated levels of blood triglycerides (over 150 mg/dL) have been implicated in a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. In fact, a recent review of 61 studies found that the risk of death increased incrementally in relation to the amount of triglycerides present in blood samples of over 1,000,000 study participants. Simply put, the higher the level of triglycerides, the greater the incidence of cardiovascular and overall mortality.

Interestingly, conventional medicine frequently employs a distinctly natural approach to managing hypertriglyceridemia: high dosage, prescription fish oil. However, many people with high triglycerides may want to consider dietary interventions prior to (or in conjunction with) prescription or supplemental fish oil therapy. The medical literature informs that eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, nuts and oily fish can dramatically lower blood triglycerides. What’s more, if you consistently replace high glycemic carbohydrates (refined, starchy and sugary foods) with fatty fish, greens and nuts, your triglycerides levels will likely plummet. If additional support is required, losing excess weight and regular aerobic exercise can further affect triglyceride concentrations and improve your overall lipid profile. Best of all, these three nutritional strategies tend to support virtually every aspect of wellness without side effects.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Anti-Inflammatories: Green Tea, Ginger, and the Athlete

by  Charles Bennington

I would venture to guess that most people understand there are many inflammation responses going on in the body at any given time. The acute inflammation we get from the physical stimulation and demands created by our training programs is generally a good thing, pushing the body toward repair and healing. However, outside of our exercise-induced inflammation, we are also bombarded by other physical, chemical, and biological agents and stimuli that contribute to chronic inflammation. While the acute inflammation from exercise is nice to keep in check, it is the sum of all stressors of chronic inflammation that we really need to concern ourselves with. Chronic inflammation can eventually potentially lead to multiple conditions and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and even some cancers.

Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

Since we’ll tackle additional recovery measures and restorative means in another article, let’s look at some supplements we can use to stave off excess inflammation and see if we can’t pick up some additional benefits along the way. A search on Breaking Muscle for “fish oil” shows there is already eight pages of results, so we’ll go ahead and pass on that one since it’s been covered in depth already. Instead, the first supplement we’ll check out will be a quick look into green tea.

Green Tea

One of the good things about looking for links between green tea and inflammation is that this potent plant is being used in a plethora of medical and scientific research pieces as we speak. Susanne M. Henning, Ph.D., R.D., adjunct professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles has finished a block of research that intended to study the influence of green tea on prostate cancer. A study group consumed six cups of brewed green tea daily for three to eight weeks, depending on the timing of their prostate surgery, and the control group did not consume green tea. Post-study serum prostate-specific antigen concentrations were considerably lower in the group that consumed the tea.

Researchers also established that in the green tea-consuming patients, nuclear factor kappa B (NFKB) was greatly reduced. As NFKB is a serious indicator of inflammation that is linked to cancer, autoimmune diseases, septic shock, viral infection, and improper immune development, it is an exceptionally good thing to keep down. Additionally, scientists from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio have identified that the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) decreases the expression of interleukin-8, a protein that causes inflammation. They also identified an inverse relationship in that the higher the dose of EGCG, the greater it decreased the expression of interleukin-8.

Ginger Root

Another item to supplement in the battle against inflammation also starts with the letter “G” - ginger root. Both the American Association for Cancer Research, in its journal Cancer Prevention Research, and a University of Michigan study identified that ginger may have potential as a colon cancer prevention agent. They also found that supplementation with ginger root reduced colon inflammation markers. Aside from colon cancer, ginger has also been shown to work against skin, ovarian, and breast cancer. And for a benefit a little more in tune to our exercise pursuits, the University of Georgia found that adult exercisers who took two grams of daily oral supplementation of ginger had a reduction in exercise-related muscle pain by 25%.

Green Tea, Ginger, and the Athlete

I realize what I have presented here in regards to green tea and ginger is predominately concerned with cancer (not that fighting cancer is ever a bad thing). But if you look at the relationship that exists between cancer and inflammation, anything that lowers cancer risk factors through reducing markers of inflammation is more than likely going to help out your swollen traps and lats, too. If we consider that ginger can potential reduce our muscle pain by 25% along with the green tea EGCG and interleukin-8 relationship, green tea and ginger might present a potent one-two punch against joint and muscle aches from our training.

It is also worth keeping in mind that your body has a finite number of resources that can ever be dedicated to physiological functions. The less overall inflammation your body has to contend with, the more that it can focus on healing your exercise induced, localized, acute inflammation.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Consistent Bed, Wake Time Linked to Healthier Weight



Exercise science professor Bruce Bailey studied more than 300 women from two major Western U.S. universities over the course of several weeks and found that those with the best sleeping habits had healthier weights.
The main findings from the study, published online in the American Journal of Health Promotion:
  • A consistent bed time and, especially, a consistent wake time are related to lower body fat.
  • Getting less than 6.5 or more than 8.5 hours of sleep per night is associated with higher body fat.
  • Quality of sleep is important for body composition.
Women in the study were first assessed for body composition, and then were given an activity tracker to record their movements during the day and their sleep patterns at night. Researchers tracked sleep patterns of the participants (ages 17-26) for one week.

The most surprising finding from the study, according to the researchers, was the link between bed time and wake time consistency and body weight. Study participants who went to bed and woke up at, or around the same time each day had lower body fat. Those with more than 90 minutes of variation in sleep and wake time during the week had higher body fat than those with less than 60 minutes of variation.

Wake time was particularly linked to body fat: Those who woke up at the same time each morning had lower body fat. Staying up late and even sleeping in may be doing more harm than good, Bailey said.
"We have these internal clocks and throwing them off and not allowing them to get into a pattern does have an impact on our physiology," Bailey said.
Bailey related consistent sleep patterns to having good sleep hygiene. When sleep hygiene is altered, it can influence physical activity patterns, and affect some of the hormones related to food consumption contributing to excess body fat.

Bailey and his team also found there was a sweet spot for amount of sleep: Those who slept between 8 and 8.5 hours per night had the lowest body fat.
Sleep quality also proved to have a strong relationship to body fat. Sleep quality is a measure of how effective sleep is, or how much time spent in bed is spent sleeping. Those who had better sleep quality had lower body fat.

To improve sleep quality Bailey recommended exercising, keeping the temperature in the room cool, having a quiet room, having a dark room, and using beds only for sleeping.
"Sleep is often a casualty of trying to do more and be better and it is often sacrificed, especially by college students, who kind of wear it as a badge of honor," Bailey said.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Boosting Pain Tolerance

By Alex Hutchinson

Matt Fitzgerald has an interesting new article on pain tolerance and running that's worth checking out. In it, he describes the results of a classic 1981 British Medical Journal study (full text freely available) on pain threshold and pain tolerance in swimmers.
What's the difference between threshold and tolerance? Threshold tells you when a stimulus becomes painful; tolerance tells when it becomes so painful that you can't take it anymore. The 1981 study compared three groups: elite swimmers, club-level swimmers, and non-competitive athletes, using ischemic pain (how many times they could squeeze their fist while blood flow to the hand was cut off) as a pain test.

The first key result: all three groups had basically the same pain threshold. So the elite athletes weren't gifted with some strange insensitivity to pain; they hurt just the same as everyone else. But there were enormous differences in pain tolerance: the elite athletes lasted far longer than the club athletes, who in turn lasted longer than the non-athletes. Put simply, the top athletes were willing and able to suffer more and for longer. Intriguingly, this isn't something they were born with. Another part of the study involved measuring pain threshold at three different times during the season. Their pain tolerance was modest early in the season when training was relatively low-key; it was highest during peak season when they were training hard (and suffering every day in practice); then it dropped again after the end of the season.

The message here? Suffering is something you have to practice -- and you really do get better at it. So embrace the pain of training!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Two Ingredient Banana Pancakes (Gluten & Dairy Free)


While pancakes may not be the most healthy breakfast option, you can improve their contents with a small alteration. On top of that, it only takes two (and a half) ingredients to make them.

Serves 2; Adapted from multiple sources
  • 2 large, ripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

Just mix this all up together thoroughly (with a hand or standing mixer if you can) and cook in a pan like you would with any pancake. Having made several variations of flour-less banana pancakes, I believe you'll appreciate adding the baking powder. Without it, they don't rise much and can feel a bit like banana eggs. That said, they're still tasty and very quick to make. Don't expect your standard pancake and you might be pleasantly surprised

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kids Are Less Fit Than Their Parents Were


Today's kids can't keep up with their parents. An analysis of studies on millions of children around the world finds they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young.
On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. Heart-related fitness has declined 5 percent per decade since 1975 for children ages 9 to 17.
The American Heart Association, whose conference featured the research on Tuesday, says it's the first to show that children's fitness has declined worldwide over the last three decades.
"It makes sense. We have kids that are less active than before," said Dr. Stephen Daniels, a University of Colorado pediatrician and spokesman for the heart association.
Health experts recommend that children 6 and older get 60 minutes of moderately vigorous activity accumulated over a day. Only one-third of American kids do now.
"Kids aren't getting enough opportunities to build up that activity over the course of the day," Daniels said. "Many schools, for economic reasons, don't have any physical education at all. Some rely on recess" to provide exercise.
Sam Kass, a White House chef and head of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move program, stressed the role of schools in a speech to the conference on Monday.
"We are currently facing the most sedentary generation of children in our history," Kass said.
The new study was led by Grant Tomkinson, an exercise physiologist at the University of South Australia. Researchers analyzed 50 studies on running fitness — a key measure of cardiovascular health and endurance — involving 25 million children ages 9 to 17 in 28 countries from 1964 to 2010.
The studies measured how far children could run in 5 to 15 minutes and how quickly they ran a certain distance, ranging from half a mile to two miles. Today's kids are about 15 percent less fit than their parents were, researchers concluded.
"The changes are very similar for boys and girls and also for various ages," but differed by geographic region, Tomkinson said.
The decline in fitness seems to be leveling off in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps in the last few years in North America. However, it continues to fall in China, and Japan never had much falloff — fitness has remained fairly consistent there. About 20 million of the 25 million children in the studies were from Asia.
In China, annual fitness test data show the country's students have become slower and fatter over the past several decades.
Experts and educators blame an obsession with academic testing scores for China's competitive college admissions as well as a proliferation of indoor entertainment options such gaming and web surfing for the decline.
China's Education Ministry data show that in 2010 male college students ran 1,000 meters (yards) 14 to 15 seconds slower on average than male students who ran a decade earlier. Female students slowed by about 12 seconds in running 800 meters.
Motoaki Nito of the Sports and Youth Bureau at Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said there had been a decline in physical fitness among youth since the 1980s.
To turn that around, the government has urged municipalities and schools to promote youth fitness. Nito said that this had resulted in a gradual increase of physical strength, which while not equal to levels seen in the 1980s, had reversed the trend.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Better Broccoli


Eating healthfully requires more than just consuming fresh, whole foods. The manner by which you combine foods and how you prepare them also plays an important role. A case in point was presented at this year’s meeting of the American Institute for Cancer Research in Bethesda, Maryland.
Cruciferous vegetables are frequently cited as among the healthiest known foods. Popular members of this revered category of non-starchy vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, kale and mustard. When cooked gently or eaten raw, cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane – a potent phytochemical which possesses anti-cancer properties. However, if these vegetables are cooked for prolonged periods of time or heavily processed, sulforaphane decomposes.

So, what’s the best way to ensure that you’ll get the most out the broccoli you’re eating? For starters, lightly steaming broccoli for up to 5 minutes ensures that myrosionase, an enzyme needed to form sulforaphane, remains active. In addition, if you eat raw cruciferous vegetables at the same time as cooked cruciferous vegetables, the production of sulforaphane will still take place. As a practical example, this might mean eating some grilled chicken or fish with a side of roasted broccoli and an arugula salad (another member of the cruciferous family).

It’s also worth noting that there are many other healthful components present in broccoli and its relatives. For example, broccoli is a good source of carotenoids, a group of antioxidants which support bone, ocular health and beyond. However, in order to efficiently absorb these fat-soluble substances, broccoli and other vegetables need to be eaten with fatty foods. Studies published in the medical literature reveal that adding oil-based condiments, such as mayonnaise and olive oil to cruciferous vegetables increases the bioavailability of many of their health promoting nutrients and phytochemicals.

Last, but not least, if you really don’t care for the taste of lightly cooked or raw broccoli, you can always add some broccoli sprouts to salads or sandwiches. Fresh broccoli sprouts contain an abundance of sulforaphane and do not possess the characteristic flavor or odor associated with cooked broccoli. Instead, they have a much milder taste that is reminiscent of radishes. What’s more, recent studies have documented numerous health benefits related to broccoli sprouts, including their potential to protect against heart disease, insulin resistance and oxidative stress.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Pizza Cleanse: Testing the benefits of eating only pizza for five days straight

By Andy Kryza

Every day, some new uber-cleanse hits the market, but who wants to turn into a zombie during a week-long juice diet? Why does doing something healthy have to taste like crap?
We thought it was a bluff. And so we embarked on the first-ever Pizza Cleanse.
The rules were simple: for five themed days, our intrepid anti-vegetable reporter ate three square meals of pizza per day. He paired it with an organic greens beverage each morning, moderate exercise, and whatever the hell else he wanted to drink. And then things got dark, and not just because another DiGiorno was on fire in the oven.
Keep reading to see if the Pizza Cleanse is right for you/if you enjoy watching men descend into outright madness.  READ MORE

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Closer Look at the New Cholesterol Guidelines

by Dr Ron Sinha

New Cholesterol Guideline Theme: It’s All About Your Heart Attack Risk

The main recommendation from the guidelines is that individuals who fall into any of the following four categories should be on a statin:
1. Those with existing heart disease
2. Those with LDL levels above 190 mg/dl
3. Those with diabetes aged 40 to 75 years with LDL between 70-189 mg/dL and without existing heart disease
4.  Those without heart disease or diabetes, with an LDL between 70-189 mg/dL and an estimated 10-year heart attack risk of above 7.5%
When comparing the old guidelines to this one, the first 3 categories are essentially unchanged.  Most doctors would put heart disease patients, diabetics and those with LDLs above 190 mg/dl on statins.  There are some advantages to the newer guidelines:
  • The focus of therapy is on statins, which are the default drug of choice.  This is a good thing for those who truly need statins and should hopefully avoid cumulative toxicity from multiple drugs.
  • The concept of treating to a specific LDL target number has been eliminated.  This is good since it should reduce unnecessary high dose statin therapy to reach low targets which have not been proven to reduce heart attack risk.
  • These guidelines do a better job of highlighting statin adverse side effects which will hopefully make clinicians think twice before pulling the statin trigger
  • Greater overall emphasis on heart attack risk rather than a focus on the LDL number which makes more sense.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Science Compares Hill Running to Level-Grade


There’s a steep hill near my house that accounts for a portion of my usual running loop. It’s also a part of our local marathon, and a spot you see many runners doing trips up and down for their intense training days. Hills are always one of the hardest segments of a running route, but some studies have questioned their usefulness as a training tool. To expand our understanding, researchers recently compared incline running to level-grade running in a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

The researchers focused on three major measures of running performance. The first was VO2 max, which is the body’s maximum ability to utilize oxygen. VO2 max is an important factor in aerobic exercise, since more oxygen means more energy.

The second variable the researchers considered was blood lactate level. Blood lactate level is a measurement of the byproduct of anaerobic metabolism. For endurance performance, depending too much on the anaerobic systems will result in fatigue. A related score is the lactate threshold, also called the anaerobic threshold, which is the point at which your muscles produce more lactate than your body can remove. It’s also the point at which your ability to maintain a pace takes a steep nosedive.

The final focus of this study was running economy, which measures how much oxygen is required at a given running speed. Some people believe running economy is one of the most important variables to examine when looking at changes to running performance caused by training. Much like a campfire, the body needs oxygen for its aerobic energy processes. When oxygen consumption in the body is high, it’s because our energy expenditure is elevated as well. Although increasing VO2max is important, since it represents the greatest degree the body can consume oxygen, having better running economy by reducing the oxygen required at race pace is probably even more critical.

Separate tests of strength and power were also taken for good measure. All of these variables were studied on a group of 32 experienced runners over six weeks of training. The study participants were broken into three groups. The runners in the control group kept doing the training they had been doing prior to the study. Another group ran at an incline on a treadmill for both intervals and steady state. The rest of the runners ran on a flat treadmill surface for the same relative intensities as the hill group.

The researchers discovered that incline running did indeed improve performance, but it did so at about the same rate as the level-grade running. So when it comes to hills versus flat running for performance, there doesn’t seem to be a major difference over six weeks. Interestingly, the control group improved too, although not as much in running economy. This is probably because none of the participants had been doing intervals prior to this test. These results suggest it was the intervals, not the incline level, that made a difference in the two test groups.

It’s important to note the intensities were the same between the two treadmill test groups. What this means is that if you aren’t doing hills or intervals now, the extra intensity could be beneficial to your training if added in for a few runs a week. The researchers noted that none of the protocols replace weight training as a running aid, so stay in the gym as well.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Haile Gebrselassie's World Record Marathon Fueling Plan

by  Alex Hutchinson

A quick tidbit from a PowerBar-sponsored presentation after the New York marathon, given by exercise physiologist Trent Stellingwerff (who used to work for PowerBar's parent company, Nestle): the fueling plan used by Haile Gebrselassie when he set his first marathon world record of 2:04:26 in Berlin in 2007.
- 3 hours before race: wake up, have breakfast including one bottle of orange sports drink
- 1 hour before race: another bottle of sports drink plus a banana-flavored sports bar
- a few minutes before the start: one gel
During the race:
- 5K: 250 ml sports drink (one spoonful of "Performance Sports Drink" powder mixed with 250 ml water)
- 10K: 250 ml sports drink
- 15K: 250 ml sports drink
- 20K: 250 ml sports drink plus one gel (black current flavor)
- 25K: 250 ml sports drink plus one gel
- 30K: 250 ml water plus one gel
- 35K: 250 ml water plus one gel
- 40K: 250 ml water plus one gel
In total, that works out to between 60 and 80 grams of carbohydrate in 1.1 liters of water each hour, which is a pretty high rate of consumption. Traditionally, scientists figured that 60 grams an hour was pretty close to the maximum you could absorb, but research in the past decade has shown that by mixing two different types of carbs (which are absorbed into the intestine through different pathways) you can get that up to 90 grams per hour -- so Geb's definitely pushing into that upper range.
This is quite interesting, because Geb is a classic example of an athlete who performs extremely well despite becoming extremely dehydrated during his races. He's reported to have lost 9.8% of his starting weight (i.e. 5.7 kg or 12.5 lbs) during on marathon a few years ago. He also has one of the highest sweat rates ever recorded: in one lab test, he was shedding 3.6 liters per hour of sweat! So he's a great illustration of the nuances inherent in the current hydration debate. He's definitely not making any attempt to limit his hydration losses to below 2% of his starting weight, as many experts still recommend. On the other hand, he's not just heading out and figuring he'll take a drink whenever he feels like it -- though that, by some accounts, is the approach he took in his first marathon, back in 2002, when he blew up and was passed late in the race by Khalid Khannouchi and Paul Tergat. Instead, he has a very detailed plan about the fluid (and, just as importantly, the fuel) that he'll be taking in during the race, beginning before the race even starts.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

10 things Coke, Pepsi and soda industry won’t say

1. “Energy drinks aren’t for everyone.”
2. “Caffeine and alcohol make a dangerous cocktail.”
3. “The hottest new beverage is water.”
4. “Coke made Santa fat.”
5. “Diet drinks aren’t health foods.”
6. “We’re caffeine-dependent.”
7. “We like big cups and we cannot lie.”
8. “Our deep pockets will veto a soda tax.”
9. “Our charitable donations wind up in strange places…”
10. “…including with doctors and dentists.”

Read More 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Russian's Big Lifts

The first lift is 209kg/436 The second lift is 255/562

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tendonitis Remedies


A reader asks: “I’ve had recurrent bouts of tendonitis in my elbow and shoulder. When I go to see my doctor about it, he usually recommends Advil or Aleve to manage the pain and swelling. But, I don’t like to take these types of drugs. Are there are any natural remedies that I can use to reduce tendon pain and speed the recovery process?”.

Tendinitis or tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that affects one or more tendons, tissues that connect muscles to bones, in various sites throughout the body including the elbows, knees, shoulders and wrists. Conventional treatment of tendonitis frequently involves the use of anti-inflammatory medications and/or physical therapy. Complementary and preventive approaches include acupuncture, addressing repetitive motions that may contribute to the irritation and the topical application of natural remedies such as DMSO (dimethyl sulfide) – an analgesic solvent derived from the wood pulp.

Several studies have documented a potential role for dietary supplements as complementary agents in the treatment of tendonitis. In general, the supplements in question have included two classes of ingredients: a) those that support the structure of connective tissue in general and tendons specifically; b) natural anti-inflammatory agents. Amino acids (arginine), collagen-based ingredients and organosulfur compounds (MSM) have been found to assist with the repair of damaged tendons in trials involving patients with Achilles tendinopathy and rotator cuff tears. Specially-coated digestive enzymes (bromelain and Phlogenzym aka Wobenzym) and natural extracts from fruits (apples, grapes) and turmeric may reduce systemic inflammation and, thereby, improve flexibility and functioning. The aforementioned dietary supplements are typically recommended as adjuncts to alternative or conventional therapies. However, because tendonitis isn’t a dangerous or life threatening condition, some practitioners will recommended natural approaches i.e. dietary changes and supplements prior to considering corticosteroids or pain relieving medications which often carry a higher risk of side effects

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Police Physical Ability Test: Would You Meet the Requirements?


The Physical Qualification Test (PQT) or Physical Ability Test (PAT) consists of various tests and is meant to weed out the weak out. Here are some of the more common tests you'll run into:

1. The 75-Yard Pursuit Run

2. Push Ups

3. Sit Ups

4. 1.5 Mile Run

physical ability test, police physical test, physical test for police academy

Read More

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Creating and Maintaining a Daily Regimen for Increased Performance


 We have cones, or color receptors, in our eyes. This is a dead giveaway that we evolved as creatures active in the daylight. It also means we are sensitive to the daily rhythms of light and darkness, also known as the circadian rhythm. The body’s chemical environment changes in a regular cyclic pattern based on the daily photoperiod that varies over the course of the year, dependent on our distance from the equator. Although artificial sources of light allow us to remain active over a longer portion of the day, we have had these light sources available to us on a mass basis for only about a century. As humans, we are still very much dependent on the daily ebb and flow of sunlight.
For those serious about pursuing a career as an athlete, even on an avocational basis, you must realize that developing a regular daily regimen will contribute greatly to your progress. It will allow your training to become the variable in your life, and hence your physiological existence. 
The purpose of this article is to explore this topic as it would apply to a lifestyle athlete. Although we cannot all organize our lives to fit an optimal model, cognizance of the optimal model should help in making future lifestyle decisions. I realize that many are on irregular or capricious work schedules, and that life intrudes frequently on the athletic lifestyle, but it is definitely to the benefit of all athletes to attempt to develop some sort of daily schedule to minimize disruptions.  
Timing of Training
Strength and power activities generally are conducted most effectively later in the day, preferably in the late afternoon or early evening hours. This, however, is not an excuse to sleep late and remain excessively indolent for much of the preceding time. To make use of this timing, the body must be fed enough calories prior to a late afternoon training. This means the athlete must rise early enough to have breakfast, a snack, and lunch in order to devour, digest, and assimilate the volume of food necessary to provide an adequate internal environment. This is the type of situation where a daily regimen will contribute to optimal training conditions.
Scheduling Sleep
Having a regular sleeping schedule sets the tone for the establishment of a regimen. A regular sleeping schedule should include getting two hours of sleep before midnight. This allows the athlete to rise early enough to begin activating the body and to eat enough times prior to the important training session of the day. It also forces the athlete to establish a regimen for eating, restoration, and recovery after training and before retiring.  
The Benefits of Regimen
A daily regimen reduces emotional stress and anxiety, two factors that upset brain and body chemistry. Unpredictability, and the resulting lack of control, is a major cause of anxiety and a disrupter of the high performance capabilities of the body. As I mentioned earlier, the objective is to have everything in your life be routine, so that training is the only variable.
A regimen also has the benefit of making some aspects of the day habitual so they are less likely to be forgotten. For instance the timing of food supplements can be a significant part of the preparation equation. The athlete with a regular schedule is less like to mistime the administration of supplements. The entire goal of establishing a regimented lifestyle is to make as many of the mundane tasks of life as effortless as possible, in order that you can put your energy into the very important activity of training.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How Timing and Temperature Affect Your Warm Up


Every athlete in every discipline knows the importance of warming up. A good warm up doesn’t just help to keep you safe from injury - it also improves performance. So getting in a good warm up is a strategy we all should utilize.

But sometimes getting a good warm up isn't as straightforward as it might seem. For instance, there are those times when you do a warm up and feel ready to go. Then, for whatever reason, you are delayed in actually starting your workout. Even worse, sometimes this happens in a cold environment. In a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers asked how long you should ideally wait after a warm up to begin exercising, and also investigated the effects of cold temperatures on workout effectiveness.

One of the ways warming up helps you to perform better is by increasing your body and muscle temperatures. Increasing temperature up to a point improves blood flow and primes the muscles and nerves for action. This can still be done in the cold, but once you stop moving, the warmth will be rapidly lost to the air around you. Combining cold temperatures with a long break between a warm up and workout would seem to be a bad idea.

The question of how long you should ideally wait after a warm up to begin exercising is far too complicated to cover in one article. The duration, intensity, and methods used to warm up alone might dramatically affect how long to wait before exercise or competition for ideal results, and even more importantly, it’s not the best researched topic either. So let’s just say, a good time to wait is less than the time it takes for you to not be warm anymore.

In this study, the researchers took some runners and some rowers and had them do four separate trials. They chose athletes from different sports to get a more complete look at the effects. The trials had two different rest periods that followed the warm ups - five minutes and thirty minutes. They also tested two different temperatures of environments - near freezing and room temperature. Each athlete did a warm up with both short and long rests and in warm and cold temperatures on different days of the week.

To summarize, the four testing scenarios were:

  1. Near-freezing temperatures and five minutes of rest
  2. Room temperatures and five minutes of rest
  3. Near-freezing temperatures and thirty minutes of rest
  4. Room temperatures and thirty minutes of rest

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the cold temperature combined with the thirty-minute rest period had a negative impact on performance. The rowers were only affected by the cold temperatures with the long rest period, but the other testing conditions showed little difference in performance results. The runners were more affected by each variable. The near freezing temperature along with a long rest had the biggest impact. The next two scenarios with the most negative impact on performance were near freezing with short rest and room temperature with long rest.

So when asking yourself if you need to warm up again after a delay in a cold temperature, the answer is yes. The authors recommend wearing warm clothing to help mitigate any detrimental effects, which may allow for longer delays after your warm up. But when in doubt, just warm up again.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Really Causes Muscle Cramps


The newest and most scientifically supported theory is that muscle cramps are caused by premature fatigue.2
As you get tired, your muscle’s reflex control becomes dysfunctional. Instead of contracting and relaxing like they’re supposed to, they keep firing. Basically, your muscles become “twitchy” and can’t stop contracting.
This theory is supported by several lines of evidence.
1. The muscles you use the most during your workouts are the ones that usually cramp.
2. Muscles that cross multiple joints are more likely to cramp than other muscles. These muscles generally have more activity during exercise when they’re more likely to get tired.
3. You’re far more likely to cramp during a race than you are in training — when you’re pushing yourself harder than normal. Cramps also tend to occur at the end of races when you’re most fatigued.
4. If you don’t pace yourself properly, you’re more likely to cramp. Athletes who go out too hard relative to their training experience are much more likely to cramp than those who stay within their limits.7,14
5. Drinking pickle juice helps cramps disappear faster than drinking water or nothing at all, and this happens before the salt from the pickle juice can be absorbed. Researchers think this is because the salty taste of the pickle juice “tricks” the brain into relaxing the muscles.12
6. Some evidence indicates that athletes who cramp have more muscle damage before races.

 Read More

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Keep Your Slow Cooker On After Cooking for Easy Cleaning


If you have used a slow cooker, you know that the burnt remnants can be a pain to scrub off completely. But here’s a secret: keeping the slow cooker going and adding water will actually make it easier.
The Kitchn’s trick is to empty out what you made into a new pot, fill the slow cooker with water and just let it keep cooking.
Make sure water level is high enough to cover any burnt-on rings. Set the cooker to LOW and let it keep going for a couple of hours. That stubborn, cooked-on residue should come off much easier after this treatment.

Friday, November 1, 2013

4 Natural Tips to keep your body on track during Daylight Savings Time


Sunday, November 3 is daylight savings time, where people set their clocks back (remember the phrase: Spring forward, Fall back) one hour beginning at 2:00 am. While most of us are used to this, it’s not uncommon for many to frown upon the change, complaining of going to work and waking up in the dark.

Their complaints aren’t unwarranted. Disruption in light affects our internal clocks which in turn alters our sleep/wake cycles, or circadian rhythm. At the root of this cycle is melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate these cycles. With the onset of the time change in the fall, melatonin production starts earlier in the day, essentially throwing our bodies out of whack.

The disruption our bodies endure due to time changes can lead to seasonal affective disorder, or SAD (which affects 5 percent of the U.S. population), depression and fatigue. “Even if you don’t have full-blown SAD, you can experience the ‘winter blues,’ or feelings of exhaustion, sluggishness and sadness,” says Michael Terman, Ph.D., and author of Reset Your Inner Clock.

Here are 4 tips to keep your body on track naturally during daylight savings time

Eat foods with melatonin
Instead of supplements, choose foods that naturally have high levels of melatonin. Tart (also on labels as “sour”) cherry juice concentrate tops the list, followed by sour cherries, walnuts and mustard seed. Incorporating them in your diet during this time can help restore your circadian rhythm.
Dr. Russel Reiter of the University of Texas Health Science Center says, “We were surprised at how much melatonin was in cherries, specifically the Montmorency variety.”
Since finding fresh ones may be difficult, dried, frozen and canned cherries found at whole food and health stores are also effective.
Some studies liken ongoing lack of sleep and sleep disturbances to triggering the brain to into thinking the body is in a state of perpetual drunkenness. During the start of the time change, it’s suggested that going to bed earlier and even waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal can ease the body back into rhythm.
Get light
In an effort to obtain more light, many people, especially those with SAD, turn to lightboxes. However, while the Mayo Clinic says they are typically safe, the clinic warns against side effects like increased headaches, nausea and skin reactions for those with sun sensitivities. Instead, getting as much natural light as possible is encouraged. Opening blinds that are typically kept shut, or opening them sooner than usual is advised as is going outside and taking a short walk.
Exercise can help people adjust to the time change. However, it’s not necessary to spend hours breaking a sweat. Just a short, brisk walk or run will suffice. Biologist David Glass of Kent State University says such activity stimulates the release of serotonin in our brains that help us adjust with a time change