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For December 10, 2019

  • Easy Rider: Pain-Free Bike Riding
    Easy Rider: Pain-Free Bike Riding

    (Prevention Magazine, 9 August 1999) Breezing around on a bike can make you feel like a kid again. But a stiff back or sore joints can snap you back to reality within minutes -- or really hammer you the next day. To keep bike riding pain-free, follow these tips to prevent...

    An achy back: Adjust the seat and handlebars so that your back's not too stretched out. Your elbows should be slightly bent and your back at no less than a 50-degree angle to the road. Another tip: Alternate rounding and arching your back every 10 to 15 minutes. Muscles fatigue quickly and become sore when they have to maintain the same position for a long time.

    Knee pain: A seat that's too high or too low can stress your knees. To get the right height, adjust the seat so that there is a slight bend at the knee even when your foot is at its lowest point. More tips: Stick to low gears so you spin easily instead of straining in a higher gear, and keep your knees pointing straight ahead as you pedal.

    A sore bottom: A large, cushy seat may not be the answer. Too-soft foam may allow you to sink into the hard frame. A seat that's too wide can cause your legs to rub, resulting in chafing. Try seats specially designed for women; they offer extra padding where you need it most. Or, try a gel seat cover. Another tip: Invest in a good pair of bike shorts. They come with a built-in cushion that pads and protects your bottom. There are also new baggy styles available, as well as underwear versions to wear with regular shorts. (These are all designed to replace regular underpants.)

    A stiff neck: When your upper body is too extended, it can cause neck strain. Unless you're a hard-core rider, you can try switching to handlebars that allow you to sit more upright, such as mountain-bike style or the old-fashioned, antler-shaped type. If you really want the aerodynamics of a road bike, make sure you move your neck around frequently, so it's not in one position for too long.

    Tingling hands: Gripping the handlebars too tightly for too long can lead to pain, numbness, or tingling. Change hand positions often, and keep your elbows unlocked.

    Quick Tip: If you're riding for several hours, the best way to avoid all-over aches and pains is to take frequent breaks. When you stop, walk around and do some stretches.

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  • The anti-aging effects of blueberries
    The anti-aging effects of blueberries

    The secret to eternal youth may already be atop your cereal. A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience found that eating blueberries can reverse age-related loss of memory and motor skills. Nineteen-month-old rats (equivalent in age to 65-year-old humans) that were fed strawberry or spinach or blueberry extracts -- foods high in antioxidants -- all showed improved memory, but rats that ate the blueberry extract regained balance and coordination as well. This discovery comes on the heels of earlier findings that antioxidant-rich foods can prevent neurological degeneration associated with aging.

    Blueberries, like the other foods tested, contain flavonoids, potent antioxidants which are believed to reduce free-radical damage, but researchers are uncertain of what it is that makes the berries in particular so effective. Regardless, says the study's lead author, Dr. James A. Joseph, "nothing bad has happened from eating blue-berries, and nobody's ever OD'd."

    From Mensjournal.com by Emma Sussman Starr
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  • Seven Reasons You Can Still Have Fun Exercising in the Rain
    Seven Reasons You Can Still Have Fun Exercising in the Rain

    Wet-Weather Exercise Secrets

    (Prevention, Aug 1999) � Don't let showers stop your program -- it's only water!

    1. Wear garments that breathe. A plastic slicker may keep the rain out, but you'll get steamy on the inside.
    2. Stick to asphalt and concrete, but avoid the painted lines on roads; they can sometimes be slicker than the road surface. Keep off slippery wet grass too.
    3. Choose leather walking shoes. They resist water better than cloth or nylon mesh. (Also, rippled soles give you better traction.)
    4. Wear bright clothing. You'll be more visible to drivers on rainy days.
    5. Use a hat or visor with a large brim to keep rain off your face. If you're still getting pelted, carry an umbrella: You can still get a brisk walk even if you aren't swinging your arms fully. And walking with an umbrella, no matter how it may slow you, is better than watching TV!
    6. Step around puddles. It may seem obvious, but for walkers who keep to a straight course, standing water may be deeper than it looks.
    7. Stuff your wet walking shoes with newspaper or paper towels to speed drying.
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  • Resistance Exercise Improves Cholesterol Levels
    Resistance Exercise Improves Cholesterol Levels

    By I.S.S.A.

    High-intensity strength training using weight machines and free-weights improves cholesterol levels as much as aerobic exercise in previously sedentary young women, researchers report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

    The same strength training exercise program also reduced body fat, they add.Dr. Bharathi Prabhakaran and colleagues from the Old Dominion University, Darden College of Education, Norfolk, Virginia, assigned 12 healthy young women to a high-intensity, progressive strength training program and 12 others to a non-exercising 'control' group. Women in the exercise group performed a variety of resistance training exercises, including repeated leg curls, leg extensions, presses, press-up and biceps curls. Each training session lasted 45 to 50 minutes and women exercised 3 days a week for 14 weeks.

    The control group did not participate in any structured exercise program.

    'At the end of training... total cholesterol was significantly lower... in the resistance exercise training group than in the control group,' the investigators report. Resistance training reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called 'bad' cholesterol -- by 14%, and did not affect levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or 'good' cholesterol.

    Body fat also decreased slightly in the group who engaged in resistance training, while measures of muscle strength improved.

    In contrast, there were no such changes in the group of women who had not exercised, the investigators note. Studies link lower levels of both total and 'bad' cholesterol, as well as higher levels of 'good' cholesterol to a lower risk of heart disease.

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  • Hate Exercise? Positive Thinking Can Help
    Hate Exercise? Positive Thinking Can Help

    How to Make Exercise Feel Easier

    (Prevention, August 1999) � Exercise feels good, right? Not for everyone -- especially if you're overweight or just starting out. You're hot and sweaty, your heart is racing, and you're breathing like a freight train.

    And if you perceive this experience as negative, chances are you're not going to stick with it, says Joanne Kraenzle Schneider, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a registered nurse. But she suspects that if you shift your thoughts to more positive ones, you'll be more likely to continue exercising.

    Makes sense, and a small pilot study she did supports this. More research is needed. In the meantime, when you're out for a walk or in an aerobics class and find yourself saying or thinking negative things, counter them with positives. Below are some common reactions to exercise and ways to look at them positively.

    What You Think During Exercise How To Respond
    "I'm bored." Visualize a positive experience such as a favorite vacation, a get-together with friends or a childhood memory. Or focus on the details of your surroundings.
    "I hate to sweat." "Sweating's a good thing. It's cooling my body because I'm working hard, which will make me healthier."
    "I'm sore."* "I'm challenging my body to use different muscles I'm not used to using. I'm making progress and building muscles."
    "This is tiring." "I need to push through it. I'll feel energized later."
    "I don't like when my heart pounds so hard." "My heart is getting stronger. It's pumping blood and oxygen to all my muscles so they can work harder."
    "I don't like feeling hot." "I'm working my muscles and burning calories."
    "I don't like feeling short of breath." "This indicates I'm doing what I should be doing. My muscles need oxygen to move so I need to take in more oxygen."
    *Note: This refers to muscle soreness or achiness, not sharp pain or pain in your joints. If you're experiencing the latter type of pain, stop exercising, and see a doctor if it continues.
    Read More...
  • Notes On Nutrition And Supplements
    Notes On Nutrition And Supplements

    By BOB MYHAL

    When using a thermogenic product (such as Ripped Fuel, Hydroxycut, EPH 833, etc.) to stimulate fat loss, be sure to take in sufficient amounts of protein�at least 20 grams every 3 hours�to prevent your body from cannibalizing muscle tissue. The easiest, most effective way to do this is with a low-fat protein powder or MRP.

    If you frequently experience painful muscle cramps during or after your training, then you should try taking 1 or 2 grams of the amino acid taurine approximately 2 hours prior to training�it has powerful and proven anti-cramping properties.

    As far as thermogenics or so-called fat-burners are concerned, ephedrine is still the king of the hill, but when you�re deciding on your weightloss supplementation program don�t overlook hydroxycitric acid (HCA).

    HCA is derived from the tamarind fruit and seems to work by inhibiting excess carbohydrates from being stored as bodyfat. MuscleTech�s Hydroxycut is a popular product containing HCA.

    The chemistry of 19-norandrostenedione is telling. Basically, 19-norandrostenedione is structurally identical to a testosterone molecule right up the chain with two key exceptions: first, it is missing the hydrogen atom in the 17th position and second, it also lacks a carbon atom in the 19th position.

    What happens is that when the liver processes the norandrostenedione molecule it adds a hydrogen atom in the 17th position. The liver, however, has no mechanism for adding the carbon atom in the 19th position.

    What results is virtually a testosterone molecule missing the carbon atom. This molecule has the anabolic properties of testosterone (it may in fact have 2 or 3 times the anabolic effect of testosterone) without the level of androgenic side effects typically seen with extended testosterone use.

    If you�re looking to drop fat and get lean, you�ll benefit from 3-5 cardiovascular training sessions per week. Ideally, each session should be 30-45 minutes in duration.

    For fat burning, it�s actually more beneficial to train at a consistent level of intensity throughout the session rather than using some sort of interval training (as with some of the machines which stimulate a series of inclines and declines).

    It�s also crucial for you to do your cardio training on an empty stomach�otherwise you�ll simply be burning up glycogen stores (sugar rather than fat). First thing in the morning is the best time for cardio training. If this isn�t possible, at least try not to eat for 3 or 4 hours prior to your cardio session�that way you�ll be primarily burning fat stores.

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