Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The 5 Factors of Fat Loss Training

We’re using resistance training as the cornerstone of our fat loss programming. Our goal is to work every muscle group hard, frequently, and with intensity that creates a massive “metabolic disturbance” or ”afterburn,” leaving the metabolism elevated for several hours post workout. Here are a few studies to support this:

Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM. Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management.
European Journal of Applied Physiology. March 2002, Vol 86 (5): 411-7. Epub 2002 Jan 29.

This study used a circuit training protocol of 12 sets in 31 minutes. EPOC was elevated significantly for 38 hours post workout, which is a pretty significant timeframe for metabolism to be elevated. If you trained from 9 to 10 a.m. on Monday morning, you’re still burning more calories (without training) at midnight on Tuesday! Can we compound this with additional training within that 38 hours? No research has been done, but I have enough case studies to believe that you can.

Another study: Kramer, Volek et al. Influence of exercise training on physiological and performance changes with weight loss in men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 1999, Vol. 31, No. 9: 1320-1329

Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: Diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks). Now, the weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet- and aerobics-only groups respectively). The addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real worldsignificant fat loss over dieting alone. Thirtysix sessions of up to 50 minutes is a lot of work for one additional pound of fat loss. However, the addition of resistance training greatly accelerated fat loss results.

One more: Bryner RW, Ullrich IH, Sauers J, Donley D, Hornsby G, Kolar M, Yeater R. Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800-calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, April 1999, 18 (2): 115-21.

The aerobic group performed four hours of aerobics per week. The resistance training group performed 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps, 10 exercises, three times per week. VO2 max increased equally in both groups. Both groups lost weight.

1) High Intensity Resistance Training

The resistance training group lost significantly more fat and didn’t lose any lean body mass, even at only 800 calories per day. The reason the calories were so low was to really take any dietary variables completely out of the equation and compare the effects of the exercise regime on LBM and metabolism. The resistance training group actually increased metabolism compared to the aerobic group, which decreased metabolism. It seems that aerobic training is a more significant stress to the body than a starvation diet.

In my experience, full body training in a superset, tri-set, or circuit format (with non-competing exercises) in a rep range that generates lactic acid (and pushes the lactic acid threshold or LAT) seems to create the biggest metabolic demand. It makes sense; training legs, back, and chest will burn more calories and elevate metabolism more than an isolated approach training one of them. The rep range that seems to work best is the 8-12 hypertrophy range, although going higher will work just as well with a less-trained population.

2. High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training

The second key “ingredient” in fat loss programming is high intensity interval training (HIIT). I think most readers are well aware of the benefits of interval work. It burns more calories than steady state and elevates metabolism significantly more than other forms of cardio. The only downside is that it flat-out sucks to do! Interval training works. Too bad it isn’t more fun to perform!

The landmark study in interval training was from Tremblay: Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism. Metabolism, July 1994, 43 (7): 814-8

This study pitted 20 weeks of endurance training against 15 weeks of interval training:

• Energy cost of endurance training = 28,661 calories.
• Energy cost of interval training = 13,614 calories (less than half)

The interval training group showed a nine times greater loss in subcutaneous fat than the endurance group (when corrected for energy cost). Read that again. Calorie for calorie, the interval training group lost nine times more fat overall. Why? Maybe it’s EPOC, an up-regulation of fat burning enzyme activity, or straight up G-Flux. I don’t care. I’m a real world guy. If the interval training group had lost the same amount of fat as the endurance group, we’d get the same results in less time. That means interval training is a better tool in your fat loss arsenal.

3. High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training

The next tool we’ll pull out is essentially a lower intensity interval method where we use aerobic intervals. Here’s the study we’ll be referring to: Talanian, Galloway et al. Two weeks of High-Intensity Aerobic Interval Training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, April 2007, 102 (4):1439-47. Epub 2006 Dec 14.

This study looked at high-intensity aerobic interval training and its influence on fat oxidation. In summary, seven sessions of HIIT over two weeks induced marked increases in whole body and skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation during exercise in moderately active women. In layman’s terms, the interval work appeared to “up-regulate” fat burning enzymes. This means we can burn more fat in other activities as a result of this inclusion. In other words, we get a bit more bang for our buck.

A quick disclaimer, though: My colleague Alan Aragon once said, “Caring about how much fat is burned during exercise is equivalent to worrying about how much muscle is built during exercise.” In other words, substrate utilization during exercise isn’t really an important variable in the big picture of fat loss. Total calories burned overall is.

4. Steady State High Intensity Aerobic Training

Tool number four is just hard cardio work. This time we’re burning calories. We aren’t working hard enough to increase EPOC significantly or to do anything beyond the session itself. But calories do count. Burning another 300 or so calories per day will add up.

5. Steady State Low Intensity Aerobic Training

This is just random activity, such as going for a walk in the park. It won’t burn a lot of calories or increase muscle or EPOC. There isn’t very much research showing that low intensity aerobic training actually results in very much additional fat loss, but you’re gonna have to really work to convince me that moving more is going to hurt you when you’re in fat attack mode.

Just a reminder... I will be designating 15 or so hours a week at a local personal training center running boot camps, group training, and personal training. I love it and it will be great for clients of Total Health & Fitness. Email me if you are interested. mike.butler@thfonline.com

Telomerase reverses ageing process

Telomerase reverses ageing process

Dramatic rejuvenation of prematurely aged mice hints at potential therapy.

Premature ageing can be reversed by reactivating an enzyme that protects the tips of chromosomes, a study in mice suggests.

Mice engineered to lack the enzyme, called telomerase, become prematurely decrepit. But they bounced back to health when the enzyme was replaced. The finding, published online today in Nature1, hints that some disorders characterized by early ageing could be treated by boosting telomerase activity.

It also offers the possibility that normal human ageing could be slowed by reawakening the enzyme in cells where it has stopped working, says Ronald DePinho, a cancer geneticist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, who led the new study. "This has implications for thinking about telomerase as a serious anti-ageing intervention."

Other scientists, however, point out that mice lacking telomerase are a poor stand-in for the normal ageing process. Moreover, ramping up telomerase in humans could potentially encourage the growth of tumors.
Eternal youth

After its discovery in the 1980s, telomerase gained a reputation as a fountain of youth. Chromosomes have caps of repetitive DNA called telomeres at their ends. Every time cells divide, their telomeres shorten, which eventually prompts them to stop dividing and die. Telomerase prevents this decline in some kinds of cells, including stem cells, by lengthening telomeres, and the hope was that activating the enzyme could slow cellular ageing.

Two decades on, researchers are realizing that telomerase's role in ageing is far more nuanced than first thought. Some studies have uncovered an association between short telomeres and early death, whereas others have failed to back up this link. People with rare diseases characterized by shortened telomeres or telomerase mutations seem to age prematurely, although some tissues are more affected than others.

“They are not studying normal ageing, but ageing in mice made grossly abnormal.”

David Harrison
Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine

When mice are engineered to lack telomerase completely, their telomeres progressively shorten over several generations. These animals age much faster than normal mice — they are barely fertile and suffer from age-related conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes and neurodegeneration. They also die young. "If you look at all those data together, you walk away with the idea that the loss of telomerase could be a very important instigator of the ageing process," says DePinho.

To find out if these dramatic effects are reversible, DePinho's team engineered mice such that the inactivated telomerase could be switched back on by feeding the mice a chemical called 4-OHT. The researchers allowed the mice to grow to adulthood without the enzyme, and then reactivated it for a month. They assessed the health of the mice another month later.

"What really caught us by surprise was the dramatic reversal of the effects we saw in these animals," says DePinho. He describes the outcome as "a near 'Ponce de Leon' effect" — a reference to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who went in search of the mythical Fountain of Youth. Shriveled testes grew back to normal and the animals regained their fertility. Other organs, such as the spleen, liver and intestines, recuperated from their degenerated state.

The one-month pulse of telomerase also reversed effects of ageing in the brain. Mice with restored telomerase activity had noticeably larger brains than animals still lacking the enzyme, and neural progenitor cells, which produce new neurons and supporting brain cells, started working again.

"It gives us a sense that there's a point of return for age-associated disorders," says DePinho. Drugs that ramp up telomerase activity are worth pursuing as a potential treatment for rare disorders characterized by premature ageing, he says, and perhaps even for more common age-related conditions.
Cancer link

The downside is that telomerase is often mutated in human cancers, and seems to help existing tumors grow faster. But DePinho argues that telomerase should prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous in the first place by preventing DNA damage.

David Sinclair, a molecular biologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, agrees there is evidence that activating telomerase might prevent tumors. If the treatment can be made safe, he adds, "It could lead to breakthroughs in restoring organ function in the elderly and treating a variety of diseases of aging."

Spotlight on Nature Photonics

Other researchers are less confident that telomerase can be safely harnessed. "Telomere rejuvenation is potentially very dangerous unless you make sure that it does not stimulate cancer," says David Harrison, who researches ageing at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Harrison also questions whether mice lacking telomerase are a good model for human ageing. "They are not studying normal ageing, but ageing in mice made grossly abnormal," he says. Tom Kirkwood, who directs the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University, UK, agrees, pointing out that telomere erosion "is surely not the only or even dominant, cause" of ageing in humans.

DePinho says he recognizes that there is more to ageing than shortened telomeres, particularly late in life, but argues that telomerase therapy could one day be combined with other therapies that target the biochemical pathways of ageing. "This may be one of several things you need to do in order to extend lifespan and extend healthy living," he says.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TRX Exercise equipment on sale for Christmas!

TRX Suspension Training: Deck the home gym

I love this piece of equipment! I recommend it for all of my clients! Check it out! The killer discount only lasts until the 29th of November!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

By Nkoyo Iyamba

SALT LAKE CITY -- We may see ourselves one way in the mirror, but our medical charts tell a different story.

A new study shows Americans have a distorted view of their health. They think they're thinner or healthier than they actually are.

Health experts say this skewed perception could put their lives as risk.

"You can't feel high cholesterol, and most of the time you can't even feel high blood pressure," explains Julie Hansen, nutrition professor at Weber State University. "So I don't think people know unless they get it measured."

As part of a recent Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey, respondents were asked to provide their height and weight in order to calculate their body-mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height. Respondents then had to classify themselves into several weight range categories.

The results showed 30 percent of people classified as overweight actually thought they were "normal" size, while 70 percent of people classified as obese also thought they were of "normal" weight. Of those classified as morbidly obese, almost 60 percent thought there were merely obese.

Hansen says this skewed perception puts our lives at risk.

"Any other type of disease, this would be like an epidemic," explains Hansen. "This is an epidemic, but people seem to be OK with it."

Hansen also says popular culture is not adding to the obesity solution. She says manufacturers are making clothes and other things bigger and then slapping smaller labels on them to make us feel good.

"There are a lot of accommodations. We're making a larger seat and larger coffin, and larger medical beds," she says. "I don't think we really need to start changing clothing sizes."

The study also showed those surveyed felt their weight problems were less a food issue and more a lack of exercise.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I just found my new workout partner! I love the TRX!

Fitness Anywhere Video

I absolutely love my TRX trainer! I love having clients use it too! Shake up your workout and do something fun that will rock your body into shape!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Medium Repetitions (6-10)

With this approach, your muscles are nuder medium tension for a medium amount of time. Consider this just what it is: A mix of low and high rep lifting. So it helps you improve both muscle strength and endurance. You might say it strikes a good balance between the two. However if you use this rep range all the time, you will miss out on the greater tension levels that come with lower reps and the longer tension time achieved by the higher reps!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

High repetitions (11 or more)

When you use higher reps, your muscles have to contract for long periods of time. This increases the number of mitochondria in your muscle fibers. Your mitochondria are energy producing structures that not only burn fat (the more the better!) but also lead to greater muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. What's more, these structural changes boost the fluid volume in your fibers, adding size to your muscles!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Low Repetitions

Low repetitions (1 to 5): This rep range allows you to use the heaviest weights, which puts your muscles under the highest amounts of tension. This increases the number of myfibrils in your muscle fibers. What the heck is myofibril? It's the part of your muscle fiber that contains the contractile proteins. Think of it this way: When there are more of these proteins to contract, your muscles can generate greater force. That is why 1 to 5 is an ideal rep range for building strength. And, of course, more myofibrils increase the size of your fibers, making your muscles bigger!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

There is no such thing as a bad rep... 3 part series

Trainers don't just randomly choose the number of repetitions a person does. Well at least the good ones don't. That is because the rep range you use dictates how your muscles adapt to your routine. In fact,by knowing the benefits of three key rep ranges, you can choose the strategy that's best for the results you want. Keep in mind that these rep ranges don't work like an on-off button; they're more like a dimmer switch. As you move up and down in reps, you're simply dialing back the benefits of one and emphasizing those of another. I will post 3 more posts that will cover each rep range and what they do.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Part 10 of 10 Super Vegetables

Part 10 Eggplant

Eggplant receives its deep, rich color from a flavonoid called nasunin, a potent antioxidant that protects cell membranes from damage. It's also believed that eggplants may be beneficial to the central nervous system. Eggplants are available year-round, but their peak season -when their flavor is highest- is August through October.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Part 9 of 10 Super Vegetables

Part 9 Broccoli

Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. and a good source of 16 other nutrients. The florets and stems have very similar nutrient profiles. Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family that contains sulfur compounds, which neutralize toxic substances and can lower the risk of cancer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Part 8 of 10 Super Vegetables

Part 8 Carrots

Carrots long have been associated with good eyesight due to the pro-vitamins alpha- and beta-carotene, precursors to vitamin A that also give carrots their bright orange color. From vitamin A, the body can make retinal, a nutrient that's important in helping human eyes perceive light.

Supplements Component 3.mp4

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Part 7 of 10 Super Vegetables

Part 7 Winter Squash

Winter squash is highly regarded nutritionally for its carotenoid phytonutrients, which are responsible for both the color of the squash and for their health-promoting benefits, including powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. Popular types of winter squash include butternut,acorn,and spaghetti squash, as well as pumpkins and kabocha a Japanese squash gaining popularity and becoming available in the United States.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Part 6 of 10 Super Vegetables

Part 6 Asparagus

Asparagus is an excellent source of folic acid, a vitamin essential for proper formation of cells and important for a healthy cardiovascular system. It's also a very good source of potassium, fiber, and Vitamins A, C, and K. Asparagus is in its peak season late March through early June

Friday, August 13, 2010

Part 5 of 10 Super Vegetables

Part 5 Cauliflower

Cauliflower lacks the bright color of its vegetable cousins because its thick outer leaves prevent the production of chlorophyll. Cauliflower still is a nutrient-dense food, however. One cup contains as much vitamin C as an orange and more fiber than a potato. Cauliflower also is an excellent source of folate and B vitamins.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Part 4 of 10 Super Vegetables

Part 4 Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes have a very different nutritional profile than regular potatoes, with increased amounts of beta-carotene and antioxidants. Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin B

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Part 3 of 10 Super Vegetables

Number 3 Dark Leafy Greens

Dark Leafy Greens are a food you sh9ould try to eat every day. As a collective group they are more nutrient-dense than any other vegetable. Leafy Greens are excellent sources of everything from calcium and potassium to vitamin C and iron. Enjoy a variety of dark greens, raw or cooked, including Swiss chard, kale, romaine, collard greens, mustard greens, and spinach

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Part 2 of 10 Super Vegetables

Number 2 Tomatoes

Tomatoes get their bright colors from Lycopene, a carotenoid that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts, and cancer. Lycopene in synergy with other nutrients makes ripe tomatoes one of the best foods you can eat. They are an excellent source of biotin, as well as vitamins A,C, and K.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Part 1 of 10 Super Vegetables

Number 1 Bell Peppers!

Bell peppers are rich in several nutrients, whether they are red, green, orange, yellow, or purple. Because Red Peppers stay on the vine longer, they contain significantly higher levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C than green peppers!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Part 10 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Grapes)

Grapes have been shown to exhibit coronary benefits similar to those associated with drinking wine. Antioxidants called flavonoids are responsible for giving grapes their color, and they are also know to lower cholesterol, reduce blood clots, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Flavonoids mostly are found in darker-colored grapes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Part 9 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Bananas)

Bananas are one of the best dietary sources of potassium and vitamin B6. Potassium is a nutrient involved in blood pressure, muscle control, and nerve function. Increasing potassium in the diet may protect against hypertension, especially in people who are sensitive to high levels of sodium

Monday, July 26, 2010

5 Components For Fat Loss.mp4

Part 8 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Kiwi Fruit)

Kiwifruit contain more vitamin C than oranges, and are a good source of potassium, copper, and magnesium. The peak of kiwi season in the United States runs from November through May. For best tasting fruit, look for kiwi that yield to gentle pressure, a sign the fruit is fully ripe.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Part 7 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Pineapples)

Pineapples have a unique group of enzymes that break down proteins and act as a digestive aid that may help reduce tumor growth and inflammation. It is these strong enzymes that work to tenderize meat when pineapple juice is used as a marinade. Pineapples are also an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Part 6 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Pears)

Pears like most fruits, are a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber not only prevents constipation and ensures regularity of the digestive tract, it also binds cancer-causing chemicals in the colon and inhibits them from damaging colon cells. One medium to large pear can contain as much as 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber. Pears typically also are hypo-allergenic and often are recommended as the first fruit given to infants.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why Diets Don't Work

Part 5 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Papaya)

Papaya contains several nutrients and enzymes - specifically vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and chymopapain - that have been shown to help reduce inflammation. People with diseases that worsen with inflammation, such as asthma and arthritis, often find that their symptoms are lessened when they eat foods containing these nutrients. Most papayas have a green-yellow outer skin that turns yellow when ripe.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Part 4 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Cantaloupe)

Cantaloupe contains many nutrients that promote cardiovascular health, such as potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood-pressure levels and muscle contractions. Cantaloupe also is a good source of folate and vitamin B6 which can prevent damage to artery walls

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Part 3 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Berries)

Berries are a very good to excellent source of Vitamin C, fiber, and manganese, and they're full of strong antioxidants. Diets that include fresh berries have been linked to lower rates of cancer, especially cancer of the liver.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Part 2 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Citrus Fruit)

Citrus Fruits are known for their excellent supply of vitamin C, but oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes also contain more than 60 flavonoids that can discourage inflammation and provide powerful antioxidant protection. Though most citrus fruits are available year-round, their peak season runs from December through May.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Part 1 of 10 Healthy Fruits (Apples)

Apples are good sources of vitamin C, fiber, and phytonutrients, which give apple skins their color. The old adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is validated in numerous studies. Apples are very high in pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. For best nutrition, leave skins on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Being Obese Can Cost a Man Eight Years

Men who are obese at age 20 die about eight years earlier than other men, a new study in Denmark suggests.
Researchers tracked more than 5,000 men starting at the age of 20 until up to age 80. They found that at any given age, an obese man was twice as likely to die as a man who was not obese, and that obesity at age 20 appeared to be a constant factor in death rates up to 60 years later.
"As the obesity epidemic is still progressing rapidly, especially among children and adolescents, it is important to find out if obesity in early adulthood has lifelong mortality effects," said the study's leader, Esther Zimmermann, a researcher at the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
Zimmermann told LiveScience she isn't sure whether the results would hold for Americans, but that a recent study in Sweden echoed her study results. The study will be presented Tuesday at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm.
BMI and death risk
Zimmermann and her colleagues compared mortality among military draftees, including 1,930 obese men and a random sample of 3,601 non-obese men. (Zimmermann said she wasn't sure which men actually were accepted into the military.) They looked at participants' body mass index, or BMI, at the average ages of 20, 35 and 46 and then matched the results with death rates in the next follow-up period.
BMI is an indicator of body-fat calculated from height and weight. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a BMI below 18.5 means the person is underweight; between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal; 25 to 29, overweight; and anything higher, obese.
The results were adjusted to eliminate any influence on the findings from year of birth, education and smoking.
A total of 1,191 men died during the follow-up period of up to 60 years. Of the survivors at age 70, about 70 percent had not been obese at age 20. Though the other 70-year-old survivors had been obese, just as many obese men had died by then.
Results showed men with a BMI of 25 at age 20 had the lowest death risk. Underweight men had a slightly elevated risk, and the risk of early death crept up steadily by 10 percent for each BMI unit above 25.
Obesity is persistent
Zimmermann said it is unclear whether the higher death risk was a result of being obese at age 20 or of remaining obese for many years afterward.
"More than 70 percent of the obese young men were still obese at the follow-up examinations, whereas only 4 percent of the men in comparison group developed obesity during follow-up," Zimmermann said. "Obesity seems to be a persistent condition, and it appears that if it has not occurred in men by the age of 20, the chance[s] of it developing later are quite low."
Zimmermann said her group planned to study what diseases might be responsible for the early deaths in the obese group. She suspects the known obesity-linked diseases played a role, including cardiovascular diseases, endocrine disorders and some cancers. In addition, looking at these diseases over time could shed some light on the mechanisms through which obesity works at different ages.
Her study was funded by grants from the Cluster for Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Copenhagen.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fish Oil May Fight Breast Cancer

A large survey of postmenopausal women has found that fish oil may guard against breast cancer. Although the study wasn’t designed to show a cause-and-effect relationship, it sets the stage for an upcoming trial of fish oil consumption that may clarify the issue.

Meanwhile, 14 other over-the-counter dietary supplements had their hopes dashed, showing no apparent benefit against breast cancer, researchers report in the July Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

While other studies have found that fish oil supplements or a diet high in fish shows promise against cardiovascular ailments, (SN: 2/15/97, p. 101) the new study is the first to suggest a link between fish oil and a lower risk of breast cancer, says study coauthor Emily White, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

White and her colleagues used data from a massive survey of women in western Washington who filled out questionnaires between 2000 and 2002 regarding their diet, supplement intake, exercise habits and overall health and lifestyle. The analysis included more than 35,000 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 76 who didn’t have breast cancer at the study outset. By the end of 2007, 880 of these women had developed breast cancer.

Women who reported taking fish oil at the start of the study were roughly half as likely to develop ductal carcinoma of the breast, the most common form of breast cancer, during the follow-up years. Women taking fish oil showed no reduced risk of the less-common lobular breast cancer.

The scientists accounted for factors that might have influenced the women’s cancer risk such as age, body weight, fruit and vegetable consumption, aspirin use, smoking status, age at which they first gave birth and age at menarche.

“It seems to me that this is not a fluke or a false positive finding, as least with respect to the methods — it’s pretty solid work,” says Timothy Rebbeck, an epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “Short of a randomized trial, this is as about as well as you can do. This is really something that has to be followed up.”

Researchers at Harvard Medical School are now beginning a five-year randomized trial of 20,000 people to examine the effects of fish oil and vitamin D on the risks of cancer, heart disease and other ills.

Other supplements showed no anticancer benefit in the new study. These included glucosamine, chondroitin, grapeseed, black cohosh, soy, dong quai, St. John’s wort, coenzyme Q10, garlic pills, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, melatonin, acidophilus and methylsulfonylmethane.

How fish oil might prevent cancer remains unknown, but inflammation — linked to cancer in many studies — may play a central role. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which impede a compound called nuclear factor kappa-B, White notes. “Fish oil inhibits this major inflammatory molecule,” she says.

TopForm Fish Oil

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What Exercise Science Doesn’t Know About Women

~Gretchen Reynolds

Several years ago, Dr. David Rowlands, a senior lecturer with the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University in New Zealand, set out to study the role of protein in recovery from hard exercise. He asked a group of male cyclists to ride intensely until their legs were aching and virtually all of their stored muscle fuel had been depleted. The cyclists then consumed bars and drinks that contained either mostly carbohydrates or both carbohydrates and protein. Then, over the next few days, they completed two sessions of hard intervals. One took place the following morning; the next, two days later.

Dr. Rowlands found that the cyclists showed little benefit during the first interval session. But during the second, the men who ingested protein had an overall performance gain of more than 4 percent, compared with the men who took only carbohydrates, “which is huge, in competitive terms,” Dr. Rowlands says. Other researchers’ earlier studies produced similar results. Protein seems to aid in the uptake of carbohydrates from the blood; muscles pack in more fuel after exercise if those calories are accompanied by protein. The protein is also thought to aid in the repair of muscle damage after hard exercise. Dr. Rowlands’s work, which was published in 2008, was right in line with conventional wisdom.
Not so his latest follow-up study, which was published online in May in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise and should raise eyebrows, especially lightly plucked ones. After his original work was completed, Dr. Rowlands says, “we received inquiries from female cyclists,” asking to be part of any further research. So, almost as an afterthought, Dr. Rowlands and his colleagues repeated the entire experiment with experienced female riders.
This time, though, the results were quite different. The women showed no clear benefit from protein during recovery. They couldn’t ride harder or longer. In fact, the women who received protein said that their legs felt more tired and sore during the intervals than did women who downed only carbohydrates. The results, Dr. Rowlands says, were “something of a surprise.”
Scientists know, of course, that women are not men. But they often rely on male subjects exclusively, particularly in the exercise-science realm, where, numerically, fewer female athletes exist to be studied. But when sports scientists recreate classic men-only experiments with distaff subjects, the women often react quite differently. In a famous series of studies of carbo-loading (the practice of eating a high-carbohydrate diet before a race), researchers found that women did not pack carbohydrates into their muscles as men did. Even when the women upped their total calories as well as the percentage of their diet devoted to carbohydrates, they loaded only about half as much extra fuel into their muscles as the men did.
Why women respond differently seems obvious. Women are, after all, awash in the hormone estrogen, which, some new science suggests, has greater effects on metabolism and muscle health than was once imagined. Some studies have found that postmenopausal women who take estrogen replacement have healthier muscles than postmenopausal women who do not. Even more striking, in several experiments, researchers from McMaster University in Canada gave estrogen to male athletes and then had them complete strenuous bicycling sessions. The men seemed to have developed entirely new metabolisms. They burned more fat and a smaller percentage of protein or carbohydrates to fuel their exertions, just as women do.
What all of this emerging science means for women and the scientists who study (or ignore) them is not yet completely clear. “We need more research” into the differences between male and female athletes, Dr. Rowlands says. In his own study, a particularly intriguing and mysterious finding suggested that the female cyclists somehow sustained less muscle damage during the hard intervals than the men did. Their blood contained lower levels of creatine kinase, a biochemical marker of trauma in muscle tissue. Did estrogen protect the women’s muscles during the riding? And if so, why did the female cyclists who ingested protein complain of sore and tired muscles during the sessions? “Honestly, I don’t know,” Dr. Rowlands says, adding that he does not think that his findings suggest that women should skip protein after exercise. “It’s true that we didn’t see evidence for a benefit,” he says. But his study was one of a kind. The findings need to be replicated.
In the meantime, female athletes should view with skepticism the results from exercise studies that use only male subjects. As Dr. Rowlands says — echoing a chorus of men before him — when it comes to women, there’s a great deal that sports scientists “just don’t understand.”

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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I guess if you are a mouse!

Mouse Study Suggests Caffeine Boosts Athletic Performance
Increased output in lower leg muscles could make difference in elite performers, researcher says
WEDNESDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- High doses of caffeine could increase muscle power and endurance during activities ranging from walking to running a marathon, British researchers report.
The finding stemmed from testing on mice.
The researchers, from Coventry University, found that giving a caffeine dose of 70 micrometers to mice resulted in a 6 percent increase in the power output of lower leg muscles. They indicated that the effect in humans would probably be similar.
That amount "is the absolute maximum that can normally be achieved in the blood plasma of humans," Dr. Rob James, the lead researcher, said in a Society for Experimental Biology news release. "However, concentrations of 20 to 50 micrometers are not unusual in people with high caffeine intake."
The findings, to be presented Wednesday at the society's annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, may have implications for the use of caffeine in sports.
"A very high dosage of caffeine, most likely achieved via tablets, powder or a concentrated liquid, is feasible and might prove attractive to a number of athletes wishing to improve their athletic performance," James said. "A small increase in athletic performance via caffeine could mean the difference between a gold medal in the Olympics and an also-ran."
Currently, caffeine is not listed as a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Obesity Rate Swells in 28 States

Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, with the No. 1 ranking going to Mississippi, where 33.8% of adults are obese, according to a new report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010.”
Other major findings in the report:
• 38 states have adult obesity rates above 25%. (No state had an obesity rate above 20% in 1991.)
• 10 of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South.
• The number of states where obesity rates exceed 30% has doubled in the past year, from four to eight -- Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
• 19.1% of people in Colorado are obese, the lowest rate of any state.
• The number of adults who report they do not engage in any physical activity rose in 12 states in the past year.
• Adult obesity rates for African-Americans and Latinos are higher than obesity rates for whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia.
• Among adults who did not graduate from high school, 33.6% were obese, compared to 22% with college degrees.
• 12% of high school students are obese and 15.8% are overweight.
• 10 of the 11 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the South, as are the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension
High rates of obesity are associated with lower incomes, race, ethnicity, and less education, according to the report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced, and troubling disparities exist based on race, ethnicity, region, and income,” Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH, says in a news release. “This report shows that the country has taken bold steps to address the obesity crisis in recent years, but the nation’s response has yet to fully match the magnitude of the problem.”
Levi, a professor of health policy at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, says that “millions of Americans still face barriers -- like the high cost of healthy foods and lack of access to safe places to be physically active -- that make healthy choices challenging.”
Among other key findings:
• More than 12 million children and adolescents are obese. The percentage of kids engaging in vigorous physical activity daily ranges from a low of 17.6% in Utah to a high of 38.5% in North Carolina.
• 50% of people surveyed say more money should be invested in preventing Childhood Obesity
Adult Obesity by State
Here’s a breakdown of obesity rankings.
States Percentage Obese
1. Mississippi 33.8
2. Alabama and Tennessee (tie) 31.6
4. West Virginia 31.3
5. Louisiana 31.2
6. Oklahoma 30.6
7. Kentucky 30.5
8. Arkansas 30.1
9. South Carolina 29.9
10. Michigan and North Carolina (tie) 29.4
12. Missouri 29.3
13. Ohio and Texas (tie) 29
15. South Dakota 28.5
16. Kansas 28.2
17. Georgia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania (tie) 28.1
20. Delaware 27.9
21. North Dakota 27.7
22. Iowa 27.6
23. Nebraska 27.3
24. Alaska and Wisconsin (tie) 26.9
26. Illinois and Maryland (tie) 26.6
28. Washington 26.3
29. Arizona and Maine (tie) 25.8
31. Nevada 25.6
32. Minnesota, New Mexico, Virginia (tie) 25.5
35. New Hampshire 25.4
36. Florida, Idaho and New York (tie) 25.1
39. Oregon and Wyoming (tie) 25
41. California 24.4
42. New Jersey 23.9
43. Montana 23.5
44. Utah 23.2
45. Rhode Island 22.9
46. Vermont 22.8
47. Hawaii 22.6
48. Massachusetts 21.7
49. Washington, D.C. 21.5
50. Connecticut 21.4
51. Colorado 19.1

Monday, June 28, 2010

Amazing Migraine!

If any of you have experienced a migraine, or know someone who has, you understand the complete pain they are! I had been suffering with severe migraines... the kind that make you go blind... numb half your body, and make you puke your guts out... for years... My mom has them, so I figured that I was stuck with them for life... I tried medication, but they just mostly made me feel more sick. Anyway I finally had enough and told my doctor that I wanted to be checked for a hole in my heart. I had heard from several clients that the reason they had migraines was because of a hole in their heart that they were bore with. anyway to make a long story short, I indeed had a very large hole in my heart... an atrial septal defect... where the wall between the two atria of my heart didn't develop... so some of the un-oxygenated blood that should have been going to my lungs to get filtered was going straight to my brain, an was a direct trigger to my migraines. I met with doctor Sherman Sorensen, an amazing doctor that deals mostly with Paten foramen ovule or atrial septal defects. The procedure I had was relatively simple... They go through the vein in the leg up to the heart and apply a device that acts like a patch to cover the hole... Eventually the tissue will cove the device and you are like new... I felt amazing right after the procedure, and it has been three months and I have not had a single migraine! If you know anyone that suffers these horrible headaches, don't hesitate to get them checked out! The following link is to doctors website! http://www.sorensenmd.com/

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If you have young kids...Read This!

Popular cartoon characters are influencing the taste preferences of very young children, and not in a positive way, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that the branding of American food product packaging with characters such as Dora the Explorer drives preschoolers to choose higher-calorie, less healthful foods over more nutritious options.
"The bottom line is that when kids are presented with a choice of Graham Crackers, fruit snacks or carrots, and the only difference is that one package has a licensed character on it, they actually think that the food with the character tastes better," said study author Christina Roberto, a doctoral student working at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
The findings, reported online June 21 in Pediatrics, reflect on the food preferences of 4- to 6-year-old boys and girls who found foods tastier when the packaging bore the likenesses of beloved TV and movie characters.
The authors looked at 40 preschoolers -- described as "ethnically diverse" -- attending four child-care centers in New Haven. Over the course of two visits, the team presented the children with samples from three different food types: low-nutrient/low-energy graham crackers; low-nutrient/high-energy gummy fruit snacks; and high-nutrient/low-energy baby carrots.
All the foods were packaged with the same color, shape and design, with one brandless and one branded example from each food category. Branded versions bore the likenesses of eminently recognizable cartoon characters: either Scooby Doo, Dora or Shrek.
By the study's conclusion, all the children had sampled each type of food, both with and without character branding.
Overall, the children perceived foods that had character branding as being tastier than those that didn't, the researchers found.
However, the character branding of carrots, the healthiest option, was not quite as persuasive at driving taste as it was for the two less healthy options. This, the authors suggested, could be because healthy foods are character-branded much less often than junk foods.
"We think what might be going on with that is familiarity," Roberto theorized. "Which means that kids are simply really used to seeing characters on foods that are processed. And those foods are also more palatable, so the effects might be accentuated."
Roberto and her colleagues think the findings highlight the need to restrict the use of character licensing on certain unhealthy foods.
"We restrict this kind of cartoon marketing of cigarettes to kids because it's a public health issue," she noted. "We want to protect our children. So I think there's a great parallel there."
"So the priority should be first to get these characters off of unhealthy foods," she added. "And then as a goal ultimately to get them actually put on the packaging for healthy foods. But first we have to focus on dealing with the unhealthy options, because I don't think slapping them on healthy foods while they're still on unhealthy foods is going to work."
Rahil D. Briggs, director of Healthy Steps at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, agrees that combining popular imagery with unhealthful foods is problematic and likely contributing to the obesity epidemic.
"What is unique about children at this age is that although they have fairly advanced cognitive skills and short-term and long-term memory in place, they do not have the ability to be skeptical about the messages they are receiving," she said.
"So what we, as adults, think of as advertising -- and we know how persuasive it can be -- it is not different to them than simply choosing the Dora the Explorer coloring book over a random coloring book. They identify with the coloring book, and they want everything Dora, from soup to nuts."
It follows then, Briggs added, "that when in the grocery aisle with Mom absolutely they will choose the Dora cereal to complement the rest of their Dora collection."

Will a tax on soda calm obesity rates?

The medical costs of treating obesity-related diseases may have soared as high as $147 billion in 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday, as its new director set a fresh tone in favor of more aggressively attacking obesity.

The cost of treating obesity doubled over a decade, signaling the rising prevalence of excess weight and the toll it is taking on the health-care system. The medical costs of obesity were estimated to be $74 billion in 1998, according to a study by federal government researchers and RTI International, a nonprofit research institute in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The findings were released at a conference on obesity held by the CDC in Washington, D.C. The prevalence of obesity rose 37% between 1998 and 2006, and medical costs climbed to about 9.1% of all U.S. medical costs, the researchers said.

Obese people spent 42% more than people of normal weight on medical costs in 2006, a difference of $1,429, the study found. Prescription drugs accounted for much of the increase.

The numbers underscore the urgent need for deeper interventions in society and the environment that will make it easier for people to maintain normal weight, Thomas Frieden, the CDC’s new director, told conference attendees. While obesity rates among some population groups have shown signs of leveling off, that is of little comfort, he said: The average American is about 23 pounds overweight. Obesity is causing disabilities and exacerbating health disparities, he said. The average American consumes about 250 calories more a day now than two or three decades ago.

“Obesity and with it diabetes are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they’re getting worse rapidly,” he said.

Change is needed on many fronts, he added. “Reversing obesity is not going to be done successfully with individual effort.”

While the CDC is not a regulatory agency and has only a $43 million budget this year for nutrition, physical activity and obesity programs, it is now stepping up its efforts to combat obesity. Last week, the agency released a set of recommendations to help communities prevent and combat obesity. They include discouraging the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, instituting smaller portion-size options in venues such as government facilities, and requiring physical education in schools.

As New York City’s health commissioner for more than seven years, Dr. Frieden was known for measures such as banning artificial trans fats in some foods and requiring certain chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus. In an article published in April in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Frieden and Kelly Brownell, a professor at Yale University, proposed a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, arguing that those drinks “may be the single largest driver of the obesity epidemic.”

In his speech Monday, Dr. Frieden—who became CDC director in June—said measures that had worked to control tobacco, such as taxes and reducing exposure, could help control obesity, too. Those could include a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. A 10% price increase on sugared beverages could reduce consumption 7.8%, he said.

But he didn’t express the proposal as a policy of the Obama administration. The CDC doesn’t officially endorse an increase in taxes on soda, but cites price increases as a proven strategy for tobacco control and says they should be considered as a strategy for obesity control.

The beverage industry opposes soda-tax proposals. “It’s overreaching when government uses the tax code to tell people what they can eat or drink, said Kevin Keane, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association. “It’s hard to make the connection that there’s a unique tie between soft drinks and obesity.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A great summer time recipe!


1 lb ground turkey (99% fat free)
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 tbsp chunky salsa (use medium or hot for extra kick)

Combine all ingredients until well mixed.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide into 4 patties.
Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook over medium heat until cooked thoroughly (about 10 minutes), flipping once about half-way through. A healthier alternative would be to grill them!

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info

* Servings Per Recipe: 4
* Amount Per Serving
* Calories: 161.8

* Total Fat: 1.5 g
* Cholesterol: 70.1 mg
* Sodium: 276.4 mg
* Total Carbs: 7.6 g
* Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
* Protein: 29.4 g

The nutritional information is for the burger itself... adding a bun etc. will change the calories.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Corporate Wellness!

The rising cost of health care and it’s affect on the bottom line of corporations across America is a major concern for today’s leaders. Long outdated is the model of focusing treatment and resources on those who are already sick or disabled. We are now facing trends of shrinking margins, the recent health care bill and a lack of productivity due to absenteeism and the rising cost of treatment.

An increasing number of corporations are taking a proactive approach to increasing costs by providing wellness programs as a part of their employee benefit package. Research shows that corporations who provide healthy choices and provide employee wellness programs are seeing long term savings in terms of sick time disability and other health care costs. Companies that have adopted, and implemented an effective wellness culture are seeing a happier, more productive workplace.
There are numerous approaches and components available to employers with measurable outcomes. Each program must be individualized for your organization, and all options must be carefully analyzed to find a best fit for specific and long term goals and objectives. An article entitled One Wellness Program Doesn’t Fit All Businesses, found that the key to a successful wellness program is developing a customized program that meets the individual goals and needs of each individual organization.

In the following few pages we will examine the problems of rising health care more closely, look at the research, and propose a solution that will benefit both the organization as well as the employee.

The Problem

Today employers are finding themselves staring at a major fork in the road. With the cost of Health Care increasing at a rate of 15% annually, company profitability and long term survival are in jeopardy. Studies have indicated that the rapidly increasing cost of health benefits is the single largest expense line on a company’s profit and loss statement. These increases are becoming harder to sustain at any level.

Only one in twenty adults regularly engage in the top three healthy lifestyle behaviors.
* Well Balanced Nutrition* Get at least 7 hours of sleep
* Regular Exercise
0ver 67% of the American population is now considered overweight or obese. This means that there are close to 100 million Americans that are obese! Studies are also predicting that by 2012 the percentages will reach 75%. Regardless of age, gender, or race the number of overweight and obese Americans is increasing faster than they are decreasing. Since 1980 the prevalence of overweight people has increased from nearly 15% to 34%+. During the same time span obesity has skyrocketed from 15% to over 67%. From 1988 to 2002 the prevalence of extreme obesity has increased from 3% to 5%.

Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as "overweight" and "obese," the risks for the following conditions also increases:• Coronary heart disease
• Type 2 diabetes
• Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
• High blood cholesterol
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)• Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
• Stroke
• Liver and Gallbladder disease
• Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
• Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
• Arthritis
• Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
Higher grades of obesity are associated with excess mortality, primarily from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Wellness programs that improve social and physical environments for healthful eating and physical activity are great preventive strategies for a healthy environment. This equates to healthier, more productive employees as well as a healthy bottom line.

The Research, Statistics and Costs
When researching the benefits of a wellness program it’s good to investigate some of the data.
Consider the following:
* According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the typical American diet is responsible for most of the preventable diseases, including 90% of diabetes, 80% of heart disease, and 70% of colon cancer.
* The CDC also reports that less than 16% of adults engage in regular physical activity, while over 60% report getting virtually no regular exercise.

* According to the Wall Street Journal the 15 most expensive diseases account for 43% to 61% of health care spending growth from 1987 to 2000. The four costliest conditions are heart disease, mental disorder, pulmonary disorders, and cancer account for most of the increase.

* The American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that, employers who invest in worksite health promotion programs can see a return of $2-$10 for every dollar invested over a 2-5 year period. Documented savings are a combination of lower medical costs, absenteeism, worker’s comp claims, short-term disability and presenteeism.

* A review of 32 studies of corporate wellness programs found claims costs were reduced by 27.8%, physician visits declined 16.5%, hospital admissions declined 62.5%, disability costs declined 34.4%, and incidence of injury declined 24.8% after a corporate wellness program was instituted.

* Johnson & Johnson reported average annual savings of $8.5 million during 4 years when 18,331 employees participated in a health and wellness program at work.

* A separate study of the same group showed reductions in tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low dietary fiber intake and poor motor vehicle safety practices.

* Studies show that employees who utilized an employee fitness center gained both physical and psychological benefits: 64% reported an improvement in morale, 70% reported improved job satisfaction, 66% reported improved work productivity, 83% reported improved energy levels, 76% reported an improvement in stress management, and 70% reported an increase in attentiveness at work.

* Employers currently spend more than $390 billion per year on employee health insurance, with annual health care cost increases significantly exceeding the overall rate of inflation.

* The Wall Street Journal, states health care costs per capita will reach $7,500 this year (2008), more than double the $3,470 per person in 1993.
* The rate of inflation in this arena continues to grow at an unsustainable annual rate of 8-14%.
* National data has shown that employee turnover ranges between 20-25% for firms of 1,000 or more employees.

* The actual dollar cost of turnover varies based on a variety of factors, but estimates range from $25,000 per individual and a range of 75% to 150% of an employee’s annual salary.

* In a study of 370,000 employees, Goetzel et al found that presenteeism losses accounted for the majority of per person annual total costs for 9 out of the top 10 most expensive health conditions, with only heart disease having the majority of total costs attributed to medical claims. Other notable factors include:
* Unapproved absenteeism
* Lack of productivity
* Increased turnover
* Recruitment
* Decrease in customer service* A Duke University study involving 11,700 individuals, tracked the increased costs tied to BMI (Body Mass Index).
* Normal BMI $7,500
* Overweight $13,300* Mildly Obese $19,000
* Moderately Obese $23,000
* Severely Obese $51,000

* It must be noted that this “overweight” category (excluding all obese levels), represent well over 30% of the entire population, comprising an immense cost to employers.

The Graphs above clearly show that its not just the obese and moderately obese that need attention.

* Research has also shown that lack of exercise is a major contributor to serious health conditions including but not limited to osteoporosis, stroke, and mental health conditions.

* Reduction in health care costs by 20-55%

* Decrease in short-term sick leave by as much as 32% (Ceridian Prop ROI Tool, 2003)

* A savings of between $3 and $6 for every $1 invested in wellness (U.S. CDC)

* Drop in work comp and disability by as much as 30%

* Enhanced recruitment and retention for all positions

* Examples of companies that have pursued a model of wellness are expansive and growing quickly. 11% of companies have full-fledged wellness programs as part of their employee benefits, and an additional 8% plan to add wellness in the next 12 months.

* Successful programs include Bank of America, Pacific Bell, Coca Cola, Prudential, DuPont, and Johnson & Johnson.

This data can seem overwhelming; however, it should also bring solace to corporations who currently have, or are now considering implementing a comprehensive wellness program. The bottom line will reflect efforts across all ranges of employees regardless of the individual’s Body Mass Index. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

The Solution

When considering a corporate wellness program, keep in mind that it is far better, and less expensive, to prevent employee health problems than to treat them after they occur. It is evident that past attempts to control health related costs have failed and stand to drastically increase in the next few years. Because of the threat of increased expenses, employers sink time and money in a one size fits all programs. A comprehensive wellness program needs to be tailored to fit each individual employee regardless of health issues, BMI, goals and limitations.

Keep the following in mind when selecting an addition to your wellness program:
* Is this customizable to the needs of the few or the majority of your employees, and does it meet their individual needs and goals?
* Fat loss
* Firming and toning
* Muscle gain
* Diabetes
* Cholesterol reduction
* Thyroid issues
* Varieties of nutrition sensitivities
* Event specific training and nutrition
* Professional consultation
* And the list goes on…
* Who can use the services provided?
* Are results measurable and attainable?
* Can you at any time get objective data?
* What is provided by the organization?
* Customized programs based on employees needs, wants and goals
* Nutrition
* Cardio
* Resistance training
* Supplementation
* Professional assistance on a weekly basis and as needed
* How time consuming is the process for you and your team?
* What are the costs?
* Corporate
* Employees
* Efficiency of programs and services
* Track record and history
* Ongoing educational seminars
* Wellness newsletters

Keeping the above considerations in mind, your wellness team will be able to identify the organization that will best suit your needs and goals in designing, or adjusting, your wellness program.


While the information that exists regarding wellness programs is overwhelming and difficult to sift through; the statistics speak for themselves. Employers who do not consider a high quality wellness program face an increase of 10-15% in direct costs related to rising health plan premiums; not to mention all of the indirect costs related to an unhealthy workforce. Numerous corporations have implemented successful wellness programs and have seen dramatic results in the increased health and productivity of their employees, as well as reduced costs associated with absenteeism and health care.

Total Health & Fitness is a team of fitness and nutrition professionals. We provide the finest quality personalized nutrition and fitness programs. We offer individualized programs tailored to the specific needs of our clients. Your employees will receive the finest programs and world class service by our staff. We use sound scientific guidelines to meet the needs of our clients.

We offer individualized:
o Wellness seminars
o Body fat analysis
o Fitness assessments
o Nutrition, cardio, weight training and supplementation programs
o Individualized accountability
o Progress tracking
o Do it yourself programs
o Online consultations
o Phone consultations
o One on One consultations
o Goal setting
o Encouragement and motivation

We focus on improving not only the health of your employees but helping them change their lifestyles.

We offer affordable options regardless of budget or needs. You owe it to your workforce, as well as to your bottom line, to take a closer look. You won’t be disappointed!

To schedule a meeting please call or email Mike at Total Health & Fitness 801-244-4985 mike.butler@thfonline.com

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Few Hints For More Energy

If you didn't know better, you might think that all the energy necessary to get through the ups and downs of an average day could be found in a powder, a pill, or a suspiciously small can. If only! But here's the good news: getting -- and, more important, keeping -- your energy level high is a breeze. Just take a look at these expert tips and tricks.

1. To get your first energy boost of the day: Eat a little something
Studies show that breakfast-eaters enjoy more energy and stay in a better mood throughout the day than their breakfast-skipping counterparts. But we're not talking just any breakfast.
"Muffins, granola, and croissants are energy zappers," Los Angeles--based dietitian Ashley Koff, R.D., says. "They're high in sugar, sodium, and less-healthy fats, providing carbs but rarely protein. So you get superhigh in the morning, and two hours later you're picking yourself up off the floor."
Instead, aim for an energy-balancing mix of high-quality carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats --oatmeal with a serving of almonds, an egg white omelet with a slice of avocado and a side of berries, or even last night's leftovers.

2. To have enough zing to get yourself out the door: Fake it
Slap on a smile. Apply some bright lipstick. Wear a crisp, clean outfit instead of sloggy sweats. If you fake energy until you feel it, soon enough your body will catch on, says Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., author of "The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy." "The face you show to the outside world sends a message to the brain," he says. Research suggests that simply smiling, for instance, releases endorphins and boosts serotonin, which actually lead you to feel the emotion you're projecting.

3. To turn your emotions into energy: Spin your situation
If a few hours at work has depleted your good mood, you might find yourself feeling inexplicably exhausted. A bad mood can sap your energy because it keeps your mind busy ruminating, says Kimberly Kingsley, author of "The Energy Cure: How to Recharge Your Life 30 Seconds at a Time."
Substituting thoughts about what you have in your life, as opposed to what's missing, can help reverse the negative spiral. With the first sign of stress or energy drain, Kingsley suggests, ask yourself, "What was I just thinking that's causing me to be in such a funk?" Once you zero in on the problem, replace it with something that's positive and gratitude-centered -- for instance, "I'm grateful that I just had that argument with Sarah. It was a good reminder that I don't allow people to walk all over me." This type of reframe will stop you from wasting a lot of energy, Kingsley says.

4. To find the energy to conquer your to-do list: Change up your daily routine
The same ol' same ol' is more than boring -- it's an energy suck. When you switch things up, the brain's reward chemical, dopamine, is released, which prepares the body for action, says Gregory Berns, M.D, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Emory University. "The brain is constantly trying to predict the way the world works, so when you encounter something that's novel, it sees an opportunity to learn something new," he explains. Even small changes -- like taking an alternate route to work or making that morning jog an afternoon swim -- can make a difference.

5. To stay energized during a very long meeting: Sip something cold
Anything over ice is an instant pick-me-up, but staying hydrated can also help prevent brain drain, Kingsley says. Water is an ideal drink, but for an extra boost, make it iced tea. The combo of caffeine and the amino acid theanine stimulates alpha brain waves that are associated with an alert state of mind.

6. To keep going on very little sleep: Get small caffeine hits
Instead of downing one giant to-go cup of coffee, drink 4 to 6 ounces (the amount in a small cup or half a mug) every few hours.
Studies suggest that low doses of caffeine throughout the day are more effective than the traditional ├╝bercup first thing in the a.m. Researchers found that shift workers, medical residents, truck drivers, and others who work odd hours not only got a better boost from caffeine when they drank it in small portions, but they also performed better on cognitive tests.

7. To find the energy to deal with conflict: Stop fibbing to others
Making up stories -- even the tiniest white lies -- takes more energy than simply telling it like it is. "Deceit takes a lot of psychic energy," Bowden says.
When you withhold things or aren't forthcoming, you're constantly thinking about what you're saying and how you're saying it in order to avoid blowing your cover. Of course, you don't want to unload in a harsh way in the name of honesty. Try wrapping the truth in something positive. Instead of telling a co-worker her ideas are lousy, say something like, "You have lots of great suggestions, but I'm not sure this one works."

8. To retain your energy when you're upset: Breathe!
It's normal to get worked up when something rotten happens. But staying worked up is just a waste of energy, and breathing can help you take it down a notch, thus conserving your energy.
Try this "4-7-8 Deep-Breathing Exercise" from integrative-medicine guru Andrew Weil, M.D.: Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth and exhale completely through your mouth so that you make a whoosh sound. Then close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for 7 counts, then exhale through your mouth for a count of 8; repeat three more times.
Breathing like this -- as opposed to taking shallow breaths, which we tend to do when stressed -- forces more oxygen into your cells, slows your heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation, ultimately resulting in an energy boost. The trick is to let the belly expand with each inhale, Weil says. "Over time, this improves many aspects of our physiology."

9. To find the juice to de-clutter your surroundings: Picture a tidy space
Clutter is a great big drag on your energy -- and not just because of all the stuff taking up space. "So much of what ends up as clutter are tasks that we haven't finished or obligations we haven't been able to meet," says professional organizer Emily Wilska, founder of San Francisco--based The Organized Life. "Who wants to be in a space where there are constant reminders of things you should be doing or aspiring to?"
Wilska suggests mind-mapping to get motivated: Clip pictures from magazines and write down snippets or words that describe your goal -- "I want an organized living room so I can invite my girlfriends over for our book club." Then post them on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or on your computer desktop as a reminder of where you're headed.

10. To get revved to exercise: Create a killer playlist
If it's time for a real workout, but you're dragging, pop in those ear buds. Your favorite tunes are more than just a distraction from all the huffing and puffing -- researchers have found that matching the tempo of a workout to music with a strong, fast beat can increase one's capacity for exercise by 15 percent.
Choose songs with 120 to 140 beats per minute (the norm for most pop and rock songs). "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas, for instance, clocks in at 128 beats per minute.

11. To avoid an afternoon energy slump: Get moving
The exercise-and-energy equation goes like this: The more active you are, the better your circulation. And the better your circulation, the easier it is for blood to transport oxygen and nutrients (fuel for the cells) to your muscles and brain.
So take a walk. If you can't get outside, a trip around the office or up and down a few flights of stairs will do the trick, says Carol Espel, M.S,. National Senior Director of Group Fitness and Pilates at Equinox Fitness Clubs. A brisk, 10-minute walk is enough to boost your energy level for up to two hours, according to research from California State University.

12. To boost your energy (and treat yourself): Enjoy some dark chocolate
Sugar isn't a complete no-no when it comes to energy --you just have to conquer the crash. That cookie with sprinkles will give you the rush you're looking for, but your body will burn the sugar quickly, and soon enough your energy level will take a nosedive.
Dark chocolate, on the other hand, contains the stimulant theobromine, which boosts energy without the jitters that can come from caffeine. Dietitian Ashley Koff's recommendation for a crash-proof treat: choose chocolate with at least 60 percent cacao and eat it with a little protein -- a dab of organic nut butter atop about 1 ounce (3 squares) of chocolate.

13. To remain sharp at the end of the day: Stay hydrated
Where dehydration goes, fatigue follows. But staying hydrated involves more than drinking lots of water. You also need potassium -- the mineral that helps regulate fluid balance in the body, Koff says.
Even mild dehydration can slow metabolism and sap your energy. To stay hydrated, besides drinking water and eating water-based fruits and vegetables throughout the day, aim for at least one serving of a potassium-rich food or drink -- such as avocado, coconut water, banana, white potato -- each day.