Start To Maximize Your Exercise Performance The Right Way

It is called intra-workout supplementation and is sometimes the most oft ignored component of the workout program that needs to be properly done to maximize your exercise performance.

Intra-workout supplementation is the best way to maximize your exercise performance

Simply put, it is the supplementation that you need to take in during your workout routines, which is anchored on several scientific studies that support it- highly beneficial for accelerating mass gain progress and boost recovery.

Initially intra-workout supplementation started out with water as a hydrating agent and helps cool the body for enhanced performance. But as science evolved, so did the quest to enhance performance and recovery, where water is no longer the ideal solution.

Scientists began to thoroughly research on what the body can use more to gain more, so came carbohydrates which-when added to water- became the workout drink that was more effective than plain water.

Years passed and sports scientists continued to look for more effective minerals and nutritional ingredients to further enhance strength and performance.

The evolution of sports and its challenges

In the early 1990’s, scientists began to focus their attention towards fitness science and theories based on the ell-known premises of the time which included the following;

  • The effects of workout and overloading on the muscle’s structural protein components.
  • How the muscles are broken down and how it can optimally build back up during recovery.
  • Different types of fatigue not caused by the lack of carbohydrates and how it can be best addressed.
  • How different training and nutritional needs are taken into consideration during intra-workout plans.
  • Carbohydrates may help fuel the body during workouts, but this is not the only solution for supplementation.

The importance of amino acids

While hydration with water is an ideal yet basic supplementation, just a small amount of water lost in your body weight may even have an effect on your training performance.

A 2 to 3 percent drop in the body’s water weight during a high intensity interval training routine could result in a huge drop in performance with reduced repetitions, and higher ratings of exertion, according to research.

In order to avoid this, just make sure to stay hydrated by drinking six to 12 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes into your workout programs.

You can then make the most of amino acid supplements where in high concentrations taken during exercise largely increases exercise-induced protein synthesis or muscle building. It also increasing blood flow to working muscles and heightened cellular sensitivity that allows the muscles to absorb substrates and fuel at a faster rate.

It is advised to take amino acid supplements before your workouts to make sure that amino acids are in your blood stream to during your exercise program and still reap the same benefits.

Start to maximize your exercise performance and allow your body to reap the results better and faster.

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Virtual Reality For Elderly To Help Improve Quality Of Life

Seeing good initial results from several test runs, a move to develop virtual reality for elderly people as a means to help them feel relaxed is currently underway and may soon be made available.

Harnessing the technology of virtual reality for elderly people

She seems to be enjoying it and has already tried it five times. 103 year old Virginia Anderlini used to sit alone in a sofa of her San Francisco elderly-care home, until one day she was introduced to Dr. Sonia Kim who gave her the opportunity to take those virtual reality trips that made her happy.

On this very recent visit by Dr. Kim, Anderlini was really looking forward to her next virtual reality adventure and as expected, Dr. Kim starts to place a virtual reality headset over her eyes.

Anderlini began to giggle as she was transported into another world and this time a sunset view of the horizon of a Hawaiian beach, surrounded by glistening rays of dusk and as she looks up she sees the blades of leaves from towering palm trees.

She beckons to her son, who was seated close by and tells him, “Terry, you’ve got to see this too.”

Feelings of self-pity and low self-esteem

For Kim, being a virtual reality entrepreneur gives her a sense of fulfillment with her hopes of helping improve quality of life for the elderly. She envisions that her VR program – one example of which was the Hawaiian sunset beach environment – called Aloha VR, may be a way to help people relax, instead of spending long hours sitting in front of the TV.

Kim also said that even for unhappy people, virtual reality may be a way to provide them an escape into a world that may somehow allow them to divert their attention from their hurt and pain.

Studies show that many elderly people, especially those cared for in assisted-living homes are often at risk of depression, brought about by feelings of being left alone. Also, because of their limited physical capabilities, they begin to feel sorry for themselves.

This paved the way for Kim to initially establish Once Caring Team back in 2014, where staffers call seniors on the phone to check their status and also take down notes on medication and doctors’ appointments.

So with virtual reality for elderly people, we might soon have the ability to make it available for all.

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Popular Weed Killer Faces Lawsuits From Cancer Patients

Popular weed killer brand Roundup by agricultural chemical firm Monsanto, was the subject of more than 30 residents seeking justice for those affected by the weed killer formula believed to have caused cancer among users.

Popular weed killer causes cancer

Lawyer Robin Greenwald, from the Weitz and Luxenberg law firm, is representing more than 30 people suing or planning to sue Monsanto after their popular weed killer brand Roundup’s primary ingredient glyphosate was believed to be cancerous.

Greenwald, who is the head of environmental protection if the firm, said that all the complainants were afflicted with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – which is a cancer of cells called lymphocytes and is a vital part of the body’s immune system.

Roundup as the common denominator  

Greenwald said that the complainants all have one thing in common – they were regularly using Roundup as a weed killer as part of their routine activities.

“Some people are landscapers, some people are migrant farm workers, some people are farmers,” says Greenwald. “What everyone has in common is that they all used Roundup and they all have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

The lawsuit was based on a 2015 report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization, where there were allusions to glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic’. The report also claims that glyphosate was responsible for causing cancer in several animal tests and also found the chemical can also damage DNA in human cells.

Glyphosate is safe, according to some scientists

A scientist, Dr. Donna Farmer, who has been studying the chemical at Monsanto for more than two decades, strongly refutes the IARC findings.

“I can tell you glyphosate is safe. The data that they look at, they cherry pick it and then they interpret the studies completely different than research who actually did it,” says Farmer.

To support her claim, Farmer said that glyphosate targets a certain enzyme in plants, but is not present in humans and animals, indicating that numerous long-term studies by Monsanto and independent study groups did not find any evidence linking glyphosate to cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on the other hand, supported Farmer’s claims that glyphosate does not pose any cancer risk to humans, according to toxicologist Dr. David Eastmond who studies agricultural chemicals at the University of California, Riverside.

“IARC focuses on hazard identification and the EPA focuses on risk. Risk is a more involved process in that it involves not only can it cause cancer, but is it likely to cause cancer under specific sorts of conditions,” Eastmond added. “I think that certainly the risk is modest and probably very small.”

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The Discovery Of Liquid Aspirin May Help Treat Cancer

 This, after scientists found a way in getting medication to the brain in the form of a liquid aspirin for conditions like brain cancer or tumours.

Liquid aspirin can break through the blood brain barrier

 What doctors previously thought was a very complicated process may now be artificially done the easier and natural way. For a very long time, doctors have been at loggerheads in breaking through the blood-brain barrier which has been very effective in protecting the brain that it even blocks essential medicine from entering the brain.

Researchers from the Brain Tumor Research Center of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth together with Innovative Pharmaceuticals, claim that they were able to reformulate a liquid aspirin that increases the ability of drugs or medicines to cross the blood brain barrier.

Resilience of the blood-brain barrier

 While the scientists admit having difficulty at first in treating elderly patients especially those undergoing treatment for brain cancer due to its highly selective permeability. The barrier, which separates blood from the brain fluid and allows only certain molecules in a tight controlled manner like gasses, water , amino acids, glucose and lipid-soluble molecules.

“This is a potential game-changer for research into brain tumours and clearly shows what sustainable research is able to achieve,” says Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of the charity Brain Tumour Research. “It is science like this that will enable us to eventually find a cure for this devastating disease, which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.”

The revolutionary drug called IPI867B, is a reformulated aspirin combined with 2 other ingredients, as tests have shown that introducing this drug variant successfully improves the body’s transport system to carry much-needed drugs to the brain.

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3 Steps To Healing Your Diastasis Recti

healDRA-diagram-450x236During pregnancy, as the belly grows, what many women don’t realize is that, to accommodate that growth, changes occur not only in the uterus and skin (hello, stretch marks!), but all the way down to the abdominal muscles.

That’s because, as your babe grows larger toward the later stages of pregnancy, your belly needs to expand out further than the abdominal muscles allow. This expansion is possible thanks to the linea alba—a line of connective tissue that runs from under your sternum to your pubic bone, and connects the two sides of your “six pack” muscles, or rectus abdominis muscles. The linea alba stretches and becomes lax, allowing your baby to have more room than it would otherwise.

It’s really quite phenomenal that your body is able to do this! However, this increased laxity in the linea alba can cause a separation between the abdominal muscles that can stick around long after pregnancy. This common separation is termed diastasis recti abdominis (DRA).

When your linea alba loses its ability to generate tension, it can’t support your belly very well. In fact, diastasis recti is often the cause of “stubborn” post-baby bellies. If you suffer from DRA, you might think that you look bloated all the time, or that you look four months pregnant when you’re really two years postpartum, and despite your best efforts, you haven’t been able to slim your midsection.

In “mom” talk, the connective tissue that runs down the midline of your belly, is now like a pair of yoga pants (aka everyday pants) you can see through when you bend over. That stretch, that thinning of the fabric… that’s what diastasis recti is like.

The connective tissue becomes more stretched, not as dense, not as “thick,” which leads to a very measurable separation between the two sides of your abdominal muscles. The gap can extend all of the way from your sternum bone to your pubic bone, or just somewhere along that line. Typically, the largest gap will be around the belly, giving you that “ever pregnant” appearance.

Or, even more serious to your health and workouts, maybe your feel that your lower back and pelvis aren’t as stable and secure as they once were. As the connective tissue of the linea alba becomes stretched, widened, and thinned, it can impair the ability of the abdominal muscles, and entire core system, to do their best work.

This means that you’ve lost some of the support network for the core, the spine, and potentially, your abdominal and pelvic organs. This loss of support can result in increased risk of injury to the low back and pelvic floor concerns such as incontinence. If you’re unsure if you have DRA, you might find this article on the signs of diastasis recti helpful.

Before you stress… DON’T! Diastasis recti is a very common occurrence with pregnancy and you can heal it. Here are three steps to do just that:

Step 1: Stack Your Body in Good Alignment

Think of alignment as how your body’s joints and bones stack up to create your posture. That posture can either be strong, supported, and encourage proper movement patterns, or it can be weak, and lead to losses in core strength. For example, if you are in a chronic “rib thrust” position (in which the bottom of the ribcage is positioned forward and upward, ahead of the torso), the linea alba could be constantly overstretched. With good alignment, the muscles and connective tissues have the right amount of length and tension.

healDRA-ribs-over-hips-306x442Getting your body into good alignment is like the tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” You don’t want your spine too straight or too curved. You want it just right. That “just right” alignment is called the “neutral spine position.” This alignment gets the diaphragm stacked over the pelvic floor muscles to allow for the core stability system to work its best.

Here’s how to get into a neutral spine position and proper alignment:

  • Stand with your feet facing straight ahead and directly under your hip bones (not as wide as your pelvis).
  • Position your ribcage over the top of the hips.
  • Allow a slight arch in your lower back so that your bum is “untucked.” Your tailbone should not be tucked under your torso.
  • Focus on maintaining a tall thoracic spine,) thinking of growing up through the crown of the head. Allow a gentle forward rounding of the top section of the spine.

When healing your diastasis recti, use this alignment in all exercises and in daily life. The photo on the right shows what this alignment looks like when I am standing.

Step 2: Improve Your Core and Floor Connection

Understanding how to gain and release tension (engage and relax) in your core and pelvic floor muscles is extremely important for supporting your tummy in daily life and when exercising. When the ribs are over the hips, the diaphragm is stacked over top of the pelvic floor. This helps the pressure system in the core work well. When you inhale, the diaphragm moves downward slightly and the pelvic floor stretches to allow this change in pressure. When you exhale, the diaphragm moves back upwards and the pelvic floor contracts upwards, too. DRA occurs when the pressure system in the core isn’t managed well.

Here’s how to improve your Core and Floor Connection:

  • Lie down on the floor on one side, making sure that your head, hips, and heels are in one straight line
  • Drape your top arm over the front of your ribcage.
  • Take a deep inhale breath, focusing on sending air into your ribs, belly, and pelvis.
  • Then, perform a full exhale, feeling your top arm fall back toward your body, and a gentle “lifting up” sensation through your abs and pelvic floor. Focus on lifting your pelvic floor muscles up into your body and raising your belly button up toward your breastbone.

Note: The contraction is very gentle. Think of it as about only 30 percent of your maximum ability of contraction.

Step 3: Perform These Exercises to Heal Your Diastasis Recti

Now that you you’ve learned the core and floor connection, it’s important to use that connection to help heal your diastasis recti during “tummy safe” exercises, as my colleague Beth Learn from Fit2B would say. By “tummy safe,” I mean that they are going to challenge you to strengthen your core musculature, but will not cause any harm to your abdominals and pelvic floor. These exercises help to create tension, density, and strength in the linea alba.

For instance, I recommend that, while healing your diastasis, you avoid exercises that involve facing your belly to the floor (front-loaded positions) such as pushups, front planks, and bear crawls. The core may not be able to manage the pressure and intensity created by these exercises. Exercises like pushups or front planks require so much coordination of the core to be able to maintain proper form. Sometimes women feel that they can’t control the abdominals in that position. Their belly bulges outward, or they feel pressure downward into the pelvic floor.

Exercises To Do And Exercises To Avoid Post-Pregnancy

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In addition, exercises such as crunches, sit-ups, v-ups, and double-leg raises may also create a bulging belly. The bulging can occur when the core isn’t able to properly control the intra-abdominal pressure. The pressure from the ‘load’ has to go somewhere and usually goes outward. This can happen to anyone who doesn’t have proper intra-abdominal control, not just women with DRA.

Below are some of my favorite “tummy safe” core exercises for women completing diastasis recti rehab. Remember to use the core and floor connection in all of these exercises, exhaling through the toughest part of each exercise.

Heel Slides with Alternate Arms

  • Exhale, extend one leg out straight, hovering the leg above the floor
  • Simultaneously, extend the opposite arm towards the floor above the head
  • Ensure the hips stay stable
  • Inhale to return to the start position

Glute Bridge

  • Exhale, squeeze the glutes, and lift the hips upwards until the body is in a straight line from shoulders to knees
  • Inhale to return back down to the floor

Half-Kneeling Pallof Press

  • Squeeze the back leg glutes tight
  • Exhale to press the arms straight out in front of the chest
  • Feel tension in your core to resist rotation as you press outwards
  • Inhale to return back to the start position

One-Arm Farmer’s Carry

  • Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell slightly away from the body
  • Walk at a normal strolling pace
  • Keep your body tall and centred (avoid slumping to one side)

Side-Lying Knee Abduction

  • Get into a side lying position on the floor with your hips and knees bent to 90-degree angles. Make sure your head, shoulders, and hips are aligned (not rotated forward or backward)
  • Keeping the 90-degree bend at the hip and knee, raise the top leg, opening up the hips, and then lower the leg back down to bring the knees together.
  • Place a hand on the top hip so you can feel your hips staying stable.

For more examples of effective core exercises for healing diastasis recti, see these two articles on diastasis recti and no-crunch core exercises.

Start Healing!

Be patient with yourself, stay consistent! By prioritizing proper alignment as well as the core and floor connection in all of your exercises and in daily life, you’ll go a long way toward healing your diastasis recti and improving your core health.

Exercises To Do And Exercises To Avoid Post-Pregnancy

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Moves That Promote Core Strength Through Yoga

Whether it be muscle building or simply just wanting to stay fit, working to aim for better core strength through yoga cn give you good benefits

Core strength yoga moves for better health and body

Yoga enhances physical flexibility by promoting the use of muscles in new ways, especially in men. Common physical activity involve the feet for running and walking, , hands for playing ball, among others. But with yoga, the movements involve muscles moving in new patterns and ways that would enhance flexibility in movement and form.

Here are some of the reasons why yoga, as an exercise method is beneficial for men.

But what if this is your first time to get into a yoga session? Worry not.

Know what you are getting into. It may seem a bit tasking in taking the time to know what your class is all about or what you are planning to do. With yoga, you may want to do a little research to get to know some terms and history of yoga.

Although yoga may be involved mostly on body movements, it would be helpful to have a headband handy to wear during the yoga sessions as these involve a lot of perspiration that could sometime distract, especially when sweat gets into your eyes. Having a headband prevents this from happening.

For hygiene and sanitary purposes, it’s better to have yours, rather than blame yoga for catching a skin disease due to common-use or unsanitary workout mats.

Focus on the workouts. Yoga is one of the most popular workouts today and admit it, the one working out next to you could be your epitome of an ideal date that could cause you some untoward distractions and let you lose sight of your goals for the day. Clear your mind and focus on the work ahead.

Come in fully rested. Yoga is mostly done through body stretches and limbering exercises that sometimes could stress the muscles, joints and extremities. A stressed body could more likely be hurting instead of conditioning.

The yoga workouts may be exciting, but it does not mean that you have to extend more effort to do extra repetitions than what is prescribed, especially since yoga is more isometric, rather than eccentric or concentric. Extra reps may even be more useless instead of benefitting from it.

Here are core-busting yoga routines to work on.

Rainbow side plank – Assume a plank position with the left forearm flat on the ground, then reach your right arm overhead as you lift the right hip up the ceiling return to main position and repeat 10 times with 3 sets.

Dolphin pose pike ups – Go to a forearm plank with the forearms parallel to each other. Walk your feet towards the hands as far as can be possible. The shoulders should always be directly above the elbows. Repeat 10 times and perform three sets on both sides.

Plank knee drops – Go to a high plank position with the hands twisted slightly until they both point 90 degrees on both sides. Bring the right knee to the right armpit with the foot off-ground. Drop the knee down to the right then back up the right armpit. Do 10 times on each side and complete 3 sets each.

Crescent lunge twists – Go to a lunge position with the left leg forward with the right leg stretched back. Place your weight on the front heel and the other side with the back with the heel of the foot at the back. With hands held like doing a prayer, twist the upper body across the front leg and the right elbow pushed out the left knee. Hold five seconds and repeat 10 times on each side.

Half moon with repeated hip rotation- Stand with feet together but with toes pointed outwards. Tip the upper body forward as you lift the right leg to the ceiling. Rotate the right hip open and upwards with foot flexed and return back. Repeat 10 times on each sides for three sets.

These exercises for core strength through yoga is surely effective and powerful.

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Health Labels Looking To Alter Online Ordering Habits

From getting a taxi to ordering food, people begin to develop online ordering habits that make it easy for anyone having a smartphone or laptop computer- anywhere and everywhere.

New innovations may further spur online ordering habits

Making good food choices or knowing food nutritional values may be as simple as looking at your phone screens and can even help you count calories. This after the Food and Drug Administration activates the new calorie labeling regulations that will take effect this spring.

The plan is to let people know how much calories they can have with the click of a button on a food item of their fancy, as some companies like Starbucks have already started to join in the calorie count bandwagon.

What you know won’t hurt you

A collaborative study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University reveals that there is a positive effect on people to know how much calories they have in their diet and these are good reasons for inspiring them to eat healthy.

Study lead Eric VanEpps  a graduate student from Carnegie Mellon University says that they wanted to focus on the idea whether people can make healthful online choices for food if the nutrition values inform them about the calorie content of each food item in the menu.

“Calorie labels can be really helpful,” says VanEpps. “We have what we think of as healthy categories like salad. But not every salad is healthier than every sandwich.”

The researchers said they already have an idea about some restaurants devising a visual representation of colour coded labels that help people distinguish food items that are healthful with green, less healthful with yellow and not-so-healthful with red.

High tech online menu study

The researchers teamed up with a health insurance firm based in Kentucky to develop an online meal ordering system for their employees and over the course of six weeks, people were given options to choose their food on a website for pickup, instead of waiting in queue at the cafeteria.

All of the users, numbering close to 250, saw ‘traffic coded’ menus with the exact calorie counts and those without labels.

Their study reveals that users who used the online menus with colour-coded calorie counts ordered 10 percent lower calorie content compared to those who were not provided with the colour coded menus or access to their food’s health information.

The researchers are hopeful that someday, they may be able to see people’s online ordering habits be able to clear the way for more healthful and wise food choices.

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