Follow my blog for a constant stream of great fitness tips and information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that in the US in 2009, 20% of adults of all ages and 50% of adults 65 and older reported having doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
It also tells us that “by 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
What is arthritis exactly? Well there are two kinds. The first is rheumatoid arthritis and is defined as "a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints." The second is osteoarthritis. It is defined as "a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual loss of cartilage resulting in the development of bony spurs and cysts at the margins of the joints."
So what can be done to counter the effects of arthritis that doesn't involve a doctor and meds and their accompanying side effects such as increased chance of heart attack and stroke, ulcers and bleeding, and serious skin and allergic reactions (all having the potential of leading to death)?
Answer - strength training.
Study after study confirm that progressive strength training, or training that is designed to produce greater and greater strength as time goes by, has a positive effect on our joints when done correctly and in a manner that provides productive stress rather than distress on the joints in question.
Not only that but all the participants that practiced this form of training in the aforementioned studies...
So your Doctor told you you're showing signs of the early stages of Osteoporosis. He or she probably also told you to start taking Calcium and Vitamin D supplements and to begin an exercise regimen that includes weight-bearing exercises to get your brittle bones back in shape, right?
Well, all of that advice makes sense and will likely significantly improve the density of your bones and ultimately prevent you from accidentally fracturing a hip or anything in your back - but what are these “weight-bearing exercises” your doc mentioned?...
Weight-bearing exercises are any form of physical activity performed on your feet that causes your body to work against gravity and your bones to experience compression and the consequent bone eustress (positive stress) that is the result of that compression.
So what qualifies as weight bearing exercise? Well, your doctor will likely suggest walking as the preferred form of physical activity to improve the health and density of your bones due to its low level of impact and how simple it is to execute.
But . . . one of the numerous problems with starting a walking regimen is that if you were the type to successfully start and continue such a routine, YOU WOULD HAVE DONE SO A LONG TIME AGO and likely not even had this problem in the first place!
So what's the answer?
The Mayo Clinic specifically suggests "strength training exercises, especially those for the back" as well as aerobic exercises...
On Feb. 21, 2011, Francois Tort, trained in American Red Cross Emergency Response, helped save the life of his father, Eric.
While having a family dinner, Eric began choking on a piece of food. Upon hearing choking noises from another room, Francois immediately approached his father and administered abdonimal thrusts to successfully dislodge the blockage. Eric sustained no injuries from the incident.
In April of that year, Tampa's 10 News 10 Connects named Francois Tort, of Fast Twitch Fitness Performance as "Hero of the Week." To see the footage, click here.
The Certificate of Merit is signed by the President of the United States, who traditionally serves as the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross. This custom began in 1913, with President William Howard Taft, who had also been elected President of the American Red Cross. President Taft passed on the honorary Red Cross Chairmanship to newly elected President Woodrow Wilson, thus setting a precedent which continues today.
As a result of an executive action, on September 17, 1928, the Certificate of Merit was established. From 1928 to the present, the Certificate of Merit has borne the signatures of 15 Presidents of the United States. The Certificate of Merit have been issued to individuals who have saved or have sustained a life as a direct result of American Red Cross training in its Health and Safety programs.
What is the best way to shed fat and get in the best shape of your life? Strength and conditioning training. Why? Read on.
The Mayo Clinic tells us that “Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 75 percent of the calories you burn every day.” Your basal metabolic rate, commonly referred to as your metabolism, is how much energy your body burns at rest. The remainder of your calories (25-40%) are used up by your daily physical activity (15-30%) and something called the thermic effect (10%).
Now, we know how to increase the expenditure of calories via the physical activity route. Move more, right? Boring but easy. What we don’t all know is how to affect that much bigger number, namely the metabolism and its 60-75% contribution to your daily calorie expenditure.
Long story short, what you need to understand is that the more lean mass (muscle, bone, etc.) your body holds, the more it costs in calories to exist all day every day regardless of your level of physical activity.
Now, a lot of people will say, “But I don’t want to look all muscley like those bodybuilders…” to which I reply, “You know how you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see? Is that muscle you're looking at?!?”
All of you that worry about getting too big, all I have to say is “good luck”. Most of you (myself included) don’t have the genetics to get to even “kind of big” let alone...
Pregnancy isn’t for the weak. Just as athletes have to prepare themselves for their impending physical endeavors, so do soon to be mothers. Make no mistake - babies are physiological wrecking balls. Pregnancy attacks joints, lean mass (muscle) levels, energy levels, body fat levels and muscle tone - and these are just SOME of the potential victims of baby making.
Not only is it wise for hopeful mothers to begin preparing themselves for mommy-hood by training for increased strength, endurance, balance and injury prevention (all components of fitness and performance that are compromised by pregnancy) but it is strongly suggested that the mother begin this process PRIOR to conception and not during the pregnancy.
The American College of Sports Medicine (and many other reputable health/fitness organizations) suggests that “exercise intensity should not exceed pre-pregnancy levels” meaning that if you were exercising prior to pregnancy, it should be safe to continue to do so at similar levels of intensity after conception assuming all reasonable precautions are being taken - whereas, on the other hand, if you were doing nothing prior to pregnancy, it is advised that you refrain from initiating any vigorous exercise regimens once you are with child.
Trying to get pregnant but not having much luck? WebMD tells us “moderate physical activity was found to benefit women of all body types in a new...