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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:58 am 
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Why you should take the stairs: Exercising for up to an hour a day 'halves the risk of heart failure'

Exercising up to an hour a day can slash your risk of heart failure by nearly half, according to new research.

A Swedish study found that more than an hour of moderate exercise or half an hour of vigorous exercise can cut heart failure by 46 percent.

Published their findings in the journal Circulation: Heart, researchers found that the more active a person, the lower their risk of heart failure.

They added that taking the stairs rather than the lift, walking or cycling are simple steps to cut risk.

Heart failure prevents enough blood being pumped around the body at the right pressure and usually occurs because the heart muscle has become too weak or stiff to work properly.

It affects more than 750,000 people in the UK, NHS figures show.

Risk of death within five years of diagnosis is 30 per cent to 50 per cent, researchers said.

The study looked at 39,805 people aged 20 to 90 who had no heart problems when the study began in 1997.

They assessed the amount of leisure time the participants enjoyed at the beginning of the study and compared it to their heart health.

They discovered that people who developed heart failure were older, male, had lower levels of education, a higher BMI and a history of heart attacks.

They were also more likely to have suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Lead researcher Dr Kasper Andersen, from Uppsala University in Sweden said even low levels of activity should be encouraged.

He said: ‘You do not need to run a marathon to gain the benefits of physical activity - even quite low levels of activity can give you positive effects.

‘Physical activity lowers many heart disease risk factors, which in turn lowers the risk of developing heart failure as well as other heart diseases.’

He said that the problem of lack of activity could be tackled by making it easier for people to walk or cycle around.

He said: ‘The Western world promotes a sedentary lifestyle.

‘There are often no healthy alternative forms of transportation; in many buildings it is hard to find the stairs; and at home television and computers encourage sedentary behaviour.

‘Making it easier and safer to walk, bicycle or take the stairs could make a big difference. Our research suggests that everyone could benefit from getting out there and moving every day.’ ... ilure.html

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:55 pm 
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Study: Eating High-Fat Dairy Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

High-fat diets have been enjoying excellent press lately. Earlier this month a study was published showing that low-carb diets outperform low-fat diets for both weight loss and heart health. This week, a new study suggests that people eating high-fat dairy products are at significantly lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than those eating less dairy.

The study was presented at this year’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Vienna, Austria. It included data for nearly 27,000 people (60% women), aged 45-74 years, culled from the Swedish Malmö Diet and Cancer Study. Study participants were tracked for 14 years after original data collection, during which time 2,680 cases of Type 2 diabetes were diagnosed.

The results showed that study participants eating eight portions of high-fat dairy a day (including cream and whole milk) had a 23% lower incidence of developing diabetes than those eating one portion a day. The same effect was not found for those eating low-fat dairy products.

Researchers controlled for a range of factors to weed out other possible contributing causes, including total energy intake, BMI, leisure time physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and education.

The study also tracked diabetes rates associated with eating meat and meat products like sausage, and found an increased risk of developing the disease for those eating the most meat, regardless of fat content. But, people eating lower-fat meats were at greater risk than those eating high-fat meats (9% greater risk for high-fat meats versus 24% for low-fat meats).

The results suggest that when it comes to diabetes risk, not all fats are created equal. Dairy fats may actually provide protection against the disease.

Quoting lead study author Dr. Ulrika Ericson, from the Lund University Diabetes Center in Malmö, Sweden: “Our observations may contribute to clarifying previous findings regarding dietary fats and their food sources in relation to Type 2 diabetes. The decreased risk at high intakes of high- fat dairy products, but not of low-fat dairy products, indicate that dairy fat, at least partly, explains observed protective associations between dairy intake and Type 2 diabetes.”

If you’re wondering, “eight portions” of high-fat dairy in this study is the equivalent of about six ounces of whole milk or a little over one ounce of whole cream per day. That’s about two and a half tablespoons of cream in a cup of coffee.

Don’t run out to raid the dairy aisle just yet. While this study included data from a large population sample, there are significant differences between the average American’s diet and the average European’s. Dairy appears to be a distinguishing factor in diabetes risk within the context of a typical Swedish diet, but we don’t know if the results would hold true with a similarly sized U.S. population sample. Future research will have to plumb that possibility.

At the very least, these results add to a growing list of findings suggesting that fat may not deserve the dietary arch villain label it has carried for decades. ... etes-risk/

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:18 am 
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Your body versus gym machines: which is better?

When should you use an exercise machine and when should you rely on your body instead? Charmaine Yabsley examines different options and asks the experts.

Power plater versus pilates class

"A Pilates class is ideal for rehabilitation for back and muscular pain and creating a long, streamlined look," says Amanda Boyle, head of education for Power Plate Australia. "For weight loss and reducing overall body fat, a Power Plate class is the most efficient, short-duration workout you can do."

It seems the scientists agree. A 30-minute Power Plate class, which involves movements performed on a vibrating surface, is the most efficient workout for weight loss. The University of Antwerp in Belgium found that overweight or obese people who regularly undertook Power Plate exercise were more successful at long-term weight loss and shedding belly fat than those who combined dieting with a more conventional fitness routine and those who simply dieted.

"It's because the poses you perform on the vibrating plate 'fire up' your muscles, so your entire body is working," Boyle says. "Every second you're working out on the Power Plate you contract your muscles about 35 times, which increases your metabolic rate and the rate at which you burn fat. During a Pilates session, this is only 10 times per second."

Winner: Power Plate. "I would still recommend regular Pilates, as it's very calming," Boyle says. "Great core strength is always important and a combination of movement, diet, quiet time and happiness is the secret to the best workout of all."

Running machine versus outdoors

If your goal is to run a marathon, head to the great outdoors. If you're after a light jog, switch on your running machine, says Steve Manning, podiatrist and Queensland president of Sports Medicine Australia. "Running on a treadmill is fine for those with knee or hip problems, or if you're overweight, as there's little weight bearing on your joints," Manning says. "Running on the pavement uses a different type of muscle contraction, which a running machine can't emulate." As a running-machine surface is smooth, there is no change in your step or pace, which helps to increase your fitness levels.

Winner: Outdoor running. "Although cushioned running machines may help reduce the shock impact on knees and joints, continual running at the same pace will increase your risk of osteoporosis," Manning says. Whichever option you choose, keep running. Scientists in California found those who ran for 40 minutes a day lived longer and were healthier, both physically and mentally, than those who did no running at all.

Cross trainer versus outdoor workout

Those complicated-looking machines in the gym promise tight butts and abs and toned legs and arms, just by choosing the right type of workout. But do cross-trainers work? "Gym machines have less impact on the joints, because there's some ergonomic assistance, so they are designed to assist you in your workout and make it easier," personal trainer Nick Coumbis says. "I would recommend these machines for those who are overweight, unfit or recovering from injury or surgery as they can benefit the rehabilitation process."

But can machines compare to a session of lunges, push-ups, sprints and just being outdoors, breathing in the fresh air? "Working outdoors, you're in charge of moving your body and you have more variations for movement than you would on a machine," Coumbis says. For instance, he explains, a bench press machine will work some muscles, but in a push-up, where you have to support your own body weight, the muscles are working in unison to sustain your position.

Winner: Outdoors. "Head outdoors as often as you can - even a walk in the fresh air will do you good, and it's a good weight-bearing exercise which will help you tone up," Coumbis says. Recent research at Bangor University in Wales found those who exercised in parks received greater benefits than those who only worked out indoors.

Weight machines versus weight bearing exercises

"Weight machines are popular at most gyms. Both options are going to give you a good resistance workout," says Amanda Doyle, director of Vision Personal Training. "Ideally, work with a trainer to ensure you're lifting the correct load and working the targeted muscles and your pacing is correct."

Winner: Weight machines. "Body-weight exercises are limited to squats, push-ups, burpees and sit-ups, which are beneficial for improving overall fitness, but if you want to build strength and increase lean muscle tissue, a trainer and a machine is best."

Stationary bike versus cycling

Should you hit the road or pedal on a stationary bike? Both have their drawbacks, says Tim Langridge, owner of Yes You Can! Health & Fitness. "Stationary cycling can be monotonous and you have to be really motivated to push yourself harder," he says. "However, cycleway cycling can be dangerous and, unless you have a stretch of open road, it's difficult to get your speed up to burn more kilojoules."

Winner: Try spin classes instead. "One spin class can burn up to 2930 kilojoules and the fun environment can be a great motivator." ... 7060452690

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:10 am 
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Heart Fitness Improves Brain Health

A new Canadian study suggests exercising to improve cardiovascular fitness may protect individuals from cognitive impairment associated with aging.

“Our body’s arteries stiffen with age, and the vessel hardening is believed to begin in the aorta, the main vessel coming out of the heart, before reaching the brain,” said Claudine Gauthier, Ph.D., first author of the study.

The hardening is believed to contribute to cognitive changes that occur during a similar time frame.

“We found that older adults whose aortas were in a better condition and who had greater aerobic fitness performed better on a cognitive test.

“We therefore think that the preservation of vessel elasticity may be one of the mechanisms that enables exercise to slow cognitive aging.”

The researchers worked with 31 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 and 54 older participants aged between 55 and 75.

This enabled the team to compare the older participants within their peer group and against the younger group who obviously have not begun the aging processes in question.

None of the participants had physical or mental health issues that might influence the study outcome. Individual fitness levels were assessed via established exercise physiology protocols for maximum oxygen consumption after maximum exercise on standardized equipment.

Cognitive abilities were assessed with the Stroop task. The Stroop task is a scientifically validated test that involves asking someone to identify the ink color of a color word that is printed in a different color (e.g. the word red could be printed in blue ink and the correct answer would be blue).

A person who is able to correctly name the color of the word without being distracted by the reflex to read it has greater cognitive agility.

The participants undertook three MRI scans: one to evaluate the blood flow to the brain, one to measure their brain activity as they performed the Stroop task, and one to actually look at the physical state of their aorta.

The researchers were interested in the brain’s blood flow, as poorer cardiovascular health is associated with a faster pulse wave at each heartbeat which in turn could cause damage to the brain’s smaller blood vessels.

“This is first study to use MRI to examine participants in this way,” Gauthier said.

“It enabled us to find even subtle effects in this healthy population, which suggests that other researchers could adapt our test to study vascular-cognitive associations within less healthy and clinical populations.”

The results demonstrated age-related declines in executive function, aortic elasticity, and cardiorespiratory fitness — thus, a link between vascular health and brain function, and a positive association between aerobic fitness and brain function.

“The link between fitness and brain function may be mediated through preserved cerebrovascular reactivity in periventricular watershed areas that are also associated with cardiorespiratory fitness,” Gauthier said.

“Although the impact of fitness on cerebral vasculature may however involve other, more complex mechanisms, overall these results support the hypothesis that lifestyle helps maintain the elasticity of arteries, thereby preventing downstream cerebrovascular damage and resulting in preserved cognitive abilities in later life.”

Thus, cardiovascular exercise is believed to help maintain arterial health both in the heart and in the brain thereby preserving brain health and mental functions. ... 74103.html

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Patient nearly dies after being denied access to life-saving drug

A DRUG company denied a critically ill woman access to a life-saving drug this month because it wanted to ramp up pressure on Health Minister Peter Dutton to subsidise its $500,000 per patient per year medicine.

Mr Dutton had to intervene to pay for the medicine Soliris to save the woman’s life.

The furious Health Minister told News Corp: “I won’t tolerate patients being used as pawns”.

“My job is to take care of patients and the few outlier companies that conduct themselves in that manner had better think again.”

Melbourne woman Toula Lockley, 42, suffers from a rare disease called aHUS that sees tiny blood vessels blocked, cutting off the blood supply to major organs.

Around 70 patients in Australia suffer from the disease and without Soliris 80 per cent of patients die or develop end stage organ failure within three years.

Toula’s heart was affected and was unable to pump blood.

Her doctor Annabel Tuckfield described her patients’ situation as “do or die no question”.

“She came into the emergency department blue, ready to arrest,” Dr Tuckfield told News Corp Australia.

The hospital provided Toula with an emergency dose of the medicine on September 6 and her doctor then began pleading with the drug company and the Health Minister to make more doses available to keep her alive.

Renal specialist Professor Jeff Szer said the manager of the Australian arm of the drug company Alexion, David Kwasha, spent 12 hours trying to make some doses of the drug available but was rebuffed by his head office in the US.

Mr Dutton had to step in on September 13 to pay for a second dose.

Mr Kwasha told News Corp the company had provided the drug on compassionate ground to 11 Australian patients but his US head office had made it clear no further compassionate doses would not be made available until the government reached an agreement with the company to subsidise the drug.

The government’s expert advisory committee approved the drug for subsidy in March and the government last week announced it would provide $63 million to fund it.

However, the drug company is refusing to accept conditions placed on the funding that would see patients who recover taken off the drug after 12 months.

Clinicians have told News Corp Australia they were not happy with the original restrictions the government wanted to place on access to the drug fearing for patients who might not get access quickly again if they were taken off after 12 months.

Late Friday the government’s expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee issued a statement clarifying the conditions it wants to place on funding for the drug.

“We have NOT recommended that all patients must stop receiving treatment after 12 months,” PBAC chairwoman Professor Sue Hill said.

“If a patient is responding well but does not have the disease fully under control, they will continue to receive subsidised treatment as long as is needed to maintain their health and as long as they continue to improve,” she said in a statement.

Patients who are in remission at 12 months will be taken off the drug and their condition will be continually monitored and if they have any sign of relapse, “even just an abnormal blood test” then the PBAC has recommended they be given the medicine again.

There is not enough evidence available at present on how long patients need to use the treatment and because it is so costly the PBAC wants the company to gather more evidence as the medicine is in use to refine the guidelines on its use.

Mr Kwasha said Alexion was urgently seeking a meeting with the government this week after the PBAC’s clarification on funding conditions.

“The public statement looks more like what we are asking for,” he said.

“It seems like there could be a resolution,” he said.

Professor Szer who has been involved in the negotiations on the funding for the medicine has described the process as “a bit like children fighting in a schoolyard”.

He says clinicians “can live within the boundaries” of the PBAC’s latest conditions.

In its latest statement on the funding negotiations the company said last week it would immediately provide Soliris to patients with aHUS if the government “agrees to allow physicians to determine their patients medical needs as recommended by regulatory authorities in Australia and Europe”.

“In contrast, Government repeatedly imposes inhumane treatment conditions on aHUS patients.”

Doctors describe the effects of the drug as incredible with patients who’ve used it rapidly moving from a situation where they are on dialysis with swelling of the brain and at deaths door to being well enough to go back to work and play sport.

The company is negotiating subsidies with Canada and the UK at present and it is believed it does not want Australia’s funding conditions to set a precedent for those nations.

The case throws a spotlight on the tough tactics used by drug companies trying to force governments to pay exorbitant prices for new medicines.

Negotiations over another high cost $300,000 per patient per year medicine for cystic fibrosis called Kalydeco have reached a stalemate because the company won’t accept restrictions the government wants to place on funding. ... 7065869166

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:29 pm 
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Sports drinks have 'no proven benefits' and their promotion by celebrities should be banned, say doctors

Sports drinks are useless for the majority of people and their use by celebrities simply misleads the public into thinking they work, experts have warned.

A host of world class sportsmen, including Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, or golf champion Tiger Woods have had sponsorship deals with sport drink manufacturers.

Although they are not as deadly as tobacco, researchers said fans and spectators may be misled into thinking these products boost sporting prowess and are good for health.

But Australian researchers said any health benefits claimed by rehydration drinks remain unproven.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, they said: ‘Such sponsorship could mislead the public into thinking these products work well and/or are good for health—for which there is no strong scientific evidence.’

Previous research, published in BMJ Open, found a 'striking lack of evidence' to support claims about improved performance and recovery for many sports products like drinks.

Experts advise that specialist sports drinks offered little benefit over plain water if you are exercising for 90 minutes or less.

At this level, the main concern is to replace fluid lost through sweat to avoid dehydration, and water does the job perfectly well.

Writing in the BMJ, Simon Outram and Bob Stewart of the Institute of Sport, Exercise, and Active Living, in Melbourne, Australia, said: 'Successful sponsorship campaigns remove or minimise any scepticism about the product, a common reaction to advertising.

'A form of seamless or hidden product association is created whereby such products come to be seen as integral to sport - the sports supplement or sports drink.'

Celebrity endorsement helps to promote that idea, they said.

They argued: 'It is for good reason that nutritional supplement and sports drinks companies invest heavily in sports sponsorship.

'Such sponsorship - together with associated product endorsements and advertising - conveys the message that their products are integral to sporting engagement and achievement.

'Sport may have found itself lending unwarranted credibility to products which would otherwise not necessarily be seen as beneficial for participation in sports and exercise or as inherently healthy products.'

They added: 'If sport authorities, teams, and sports personalities distanced themselves from supplement and drinks company sponsorship, ways would have to be found to cover the financial gap created.

'Lessons can be learnt from the history of tobacco sponsorship and its gradual restriction, which did not lead to the wholesale collapse of sport.'

The World Anti-Doping Agency has also highlighted the potential inclusion of undeclared and banned substances in these products as a result of global differences in labelling and manufacture. ... ctors.html

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:44 pm 
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10 ways to beat spring hayfever naturally

These foods help fight off sneezes, sniffles and sore eyes, says nutrition expert Lisa Guy.

Springtime is here and with it comes pollen season, which is bad news for hay fever sufferers.

Seasonal hay fever or allergic rhinitis is one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions in this country, affecting three million Australians.

Hay fever is typically a reaction to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds that makes the immune system believe pollen is a harmful invader, triggering production of the antibody immunoglobulin E.

This stimulates release of histamine, causing inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages, along with excessive mucus production and other symptoms such as sneezing, itching nose and throat, watery eyes and a clear, runny nose.

However, before you reach for anti-histamine medications this spring, there are a number of foods, nutrients and herbs that are extremely beneficial for alleviating hay fever symptoms.

1. Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit contain more vitamin C, gram for gram, than oranges (especially the yellow kiwifruit variety).Vitamin C is an effective natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory, and it also supports healthy immune function and protects from secondary respiratory conditions.Kiwi fruit also contain bioflavanoids, antioxidants that complement vitamin C’s effect in the body and are potent anti-histamines and anti-inflammatories.Try taking a vitamin C supplement with bioflavanoids, at a dosage of around 2g of vitamin C and 1000mg of bioflavanoids a day.Other good food sources of vitamin C and bioflavanoids include citrus fruits, strawberries, red capsicums, broccoli, papaya, guava and mango.

2. Pineapple

Pineapple is a rich source of bromelain, an enzyme with strong systemic anti-inflammatory effects, which helps decrease mucosal inflammation and nasal congestion.

3. Turmeric

Commonly used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine, this spice contains curcumin, a phytochemical with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that are comparable to steroidal and nonsteroidal drugs.Curcumin has been found to have anti-allergy properties, which inhibit the release of histamine.Turmeric is most often used in dried form, but try fresh turmeric, which looks similar to a small ginger root. Peel a section and grate, then add about two teaspoons to rice dishes, stir-fries or soups. Just make sure you wear gloves as turmeric stains.

4. Onion

Having an onion a day can help keep your hay fever at bay. Onions are packed with the flavanoid quercetin,
a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine.Eat red onions raw and tossed through salads, or on sandwiches or in cooked dishes. Quercetin is also found in apples, kale, red grapes, berries, cherries and parsley.

5. Licorice and nettle teas

Studies have shown that nettle tea can help relieve inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and ease nasal congestion, sneezing and itching.Drinking licorice tea can also alleviate symptoms. Licorice root has a soothing effect and helps to reduce irritation of the respiratory system.

6. Orange and green fruit and vegetables

The vibrant colour of carrots, pumpkin, apricots, mango and papaya indicates high levels of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Green leafy veg are also an excellent source (the orange colour is masked by their green chlorophyll content).Vitamin A is important for healthy mucous membranes throughout the respiratory tract. It also helps promote healthy immune function, prevent secondary respiratory infections and reduce inflammation.

7. Horseradish and garlic

Horseradish is a pungent root vegetable which acts as a decongestant, helping to clear nasal passages. Grated fresh horseradish root adds a lovely kick to roast meats and vegetables.Garlic helps clear nasal congestion and its potent antibiotic properties help prevent secondary respiratory infections in chronic suffers. It is also a good source of quercetin, a natural anti-histamine.

8. Probiotics

Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria, and taking them can help boost our intestinal tract, so a daily dose of probiotics can help hay fever sufferers restore a more balanced immune response to pollens. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria in our gut, our immunity is likely to be compromised, leaving us more susceptible to developing allergies and illnesses.Taking a probiotic supplement daily is recommended, along with consuming fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickled sprouts and vegetables and miso.

9. Ginger

Make yourself a fresh vegie juice with a good slice of fresh ginger. Ginger is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce nasal swelling and associated hay fever symptoms.A good juice combo is carrot, celery, beetroot, apple and ginger. You can also add in some green “leafies” such as parsley, mint, kale or spinach. Fresh ginger can be added to curries and stir-fries, and is delicious made as a hot or iced tea.

10. Avoid certain foods

Limit or avoid cow’s milk and other dairy products as they can increase the production of mucus in the respiratory tract and exacerbate hay fever nasal congestion. Try alternatives such as rice, almond, quinoa and coconut milks. ... 7070508956

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Head for the Cure raises $124,000 for brain cancer research

SAN ANTONIO - KSAT 12 helped raise $124,000 Saturday for brain cancer research and awareness campaigns. It was our first Head for the Cure 5K, which was held in honor of former KSAT 12 News Director Jim Boyle.

Twelve hundred people came together to fight for a cure and it all started with one man. Jim Boyle died in March from brain cancer and, with a legacy in mind, the first San Antonio Head for the Cure 5K was born.

"He loved to run. This would be his ideal day. I'm just so grateful that everybody's out and enjoying it like he would have done," said Jim Boyle’s daughter, Erin Boyle.

She is one of many who holds the event close to her heart. Reporter Katrina Webber not only ran for Jim Boyle Saturday morning but also for her older brother, who died from brain cancer two weeks ago.

"It just fills my heart to see all these people care and come out, and I hope by this effort it will one day lead to a cure,” Webber said.

The hope is to find a cure for people like Heaven, a little girl who is battling brain cancer right now. When she and her family finished the race, she said, “I’m going to spank cancer’s butt!”

That’s exactly what Carlos Garcia is trying to do as well. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in January.

"My husband has overcome many obstacles. He's an overcomer,” said Carlos Garcia’s wife, Patricia Garcia.

These brain cancer warriors were surrounded by hundreds who came to support their own loved ones.

“We're running for Marci West, my little cousin who passed away in June from brain cancer,” said Crystal Luna.

Another group was dressed up like Wonder Woman.

“We’re running for Camila Mason!” they cheered.

Many hearts joined together Saturday, filled with love and hope, fighting for the same cause. ... r-res.html

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:42 pm 
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Libby Norris: Benefits of exercising with a partner

What if I told you there was a way to make your workouts more intense while still keeping them fun, plus increase your chances of sticking with your program up to 200%?

Does it sound too good to be true? What if I told you it was as easy as finding a workout buddy?

We've all experienced that temptation to blow off some kind of group activity from a major event to simple coffee catch up. And what stops us from failing to follow through? We don't want to let the team or a friend down. And, once you got there you likely had more fun or at the very least felt better about not ditching your duty!

You can reap the same reward by partnering up for your workouts to increase your chances of success for both results and for being able to stay on your fitness bandwagon. We know that one of the big draws of group exercise classes is the social aspect. It's more fun, misery loves company, you end up working harder because you're more conscious and if you don't show up, people miss you.

If group classes aren't appealing, you can set up a similar scenario for regular workouts in the gym, the park or at home.

If you're still not convinced, consider the following 3 key benefits:

1 - A workout buddy can GET you moving.
How often have you caught yourself saying you'd start your new fitness program Monday and then something happened in your week and life that derailed your best intentions? A 2011 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that the exercise habits of people you know have a positive influence on your exercise habits. If you partner up with the right workout buddy, you could benefit from their good habits or at least have someone that may be feeling motivated to stay on track when you're not!

A study from Stanford University showed that social support is stronger than any financial incentives. A phone call every 2 weeks increased the amount of exercise of those starting to workout by an average of 78%. Imagine what could happen if your support was a live partner, friend or spouse!

2 - A workout buddy can KEEP you moving.
A study from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together and found that couples who worked out separately had a 43% dropout rate over the course of a year. Those who went to the gym together, even if they did different workouts, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.

There are times during a workout where you may feel like giving up but having a partner can help you over those hurdles with a combination of motivation and distraction.

3 - A workout buddy can get you MORE results.
This is called the "Kohler effect" and taps into our competitive nature. There is significant increase with exercise performance if you perceive someone to be slightly better.

A study at Michigan State found that even a "virtual partner" added significant benefits! Participants who were told their virtual partner had exercises 40% longer. This perception resulted in a 90% increase in their performance. Another group was told they were on a team which was scored based on the teammate who quit first. Not wanting to be the weakest link caused participants to exercise for an average of 2 minutes longer.

One of the most staggering stats was on the impact of sticking with the program. Over time, the performance of participants who worked out with a team continued to improve, exercising for up to 200% longer than those working out on their own!

Another study found that women who exercised with friends burn around 236 calories compared to the 195 calories burned in a solo session!

Exercise partners provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and, in some cases, healthy competition. They can play the role of teammate, co-coach and cheerleader.

Because everyone is different with workout preferences and motivation, though, keep the following in mind when searching out the RIGHT FIT for a workout buddy:

You like them - you're going to be spending some close up and sweaty time with this person!

A role with goals - they don't need to be a fitness guru but make sure you both share the similar goals and are at a similar stage in your commitment (past contemplation and into action!)

Good attitude - workouts can be tough so the last thing you need is a "negative nelly" adding to the challenge

Compatible motivation - people are unique with preference for tough love or a drill sergeant versus a more cheerleader or supportive style

Compatible schedules - if your schedules don't coincide, you won't have a chance to benefit from that partner

Team training is getting so popular, new equipment is being developed along with new programs and certifications targeted on partner drills. We thank the following suppliers for the fun tools we're featuring on our buddy training segment. ... -1.2029080

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:33 am 
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Six 'health' fads that are doing more harm than good

The weather is heating up, and many people will be dusting off running shoes and diets to get fit in time for the summer months. While there's nothing wrong with taking up a new exercise or diet regime, there are a few fads at the moment that it's best to avoid – for the good of your health.

Heated classes

It started with Bikram yoga, and now there are a variety of exercise classes offering heated rooms.

All that sweating might make you feel like you're working harder, but a study by the American Council on Exercise found that increasing the temperature did not make people work harder – in fact, results suggested people might be working less in hotter classes.

Another concern with heated classes is the potential to over-stretch muscles and ligaments, and cause injury.

Natural sugar

Cutting down on processed sugar is beneficial for health, but there has been a trend towards using "healthier" sugar options like raw sugar, agave nectar, and palm sugar as substitutes.

While they may have more flavour than their refined cousins, there is no difference in nutritional value so you still need to be wary of using too much.

Hot water with lemon

Long touted as morning must-have, it's suggested a cup of hot water with lemon in it cleanses and "awakens" the digestive system, and aids in weight loss.

However, regular consumption of hot water and lemon – or other fruit-based herbal teas, for that matter – will erode the enamel on your teeth over time, due to the highly acidic nature of such beverages.

This will make your teeth appear yellowed, and can also lead to sensitivity.

If you really must have a cup of lemony water to start your day, follow it immediately with a glass of ordinary water to dilute the effects of the citric acid.

Overuse of vitamin supplements

Some people need to take dietary supplements for problems such as vitamin D or iron deficiency, but for otherwise healthy people, vitamin tablets should be unnecessary.

In fact, taking too much of a dietary supplement can be toxic, according to, and it can be easy to overdo a particular vitamin or herb if you're taking multiple supplements.

Some supplements can interfere with prescription medication as well, so it's best to consult your GP or a dietitian before taking a lot of supplements.

Sleep monitors

They track your sleep by monitoring your movement during the night, noting when you were awake and when you were sleeping, and provide you with a report on your sleep quality the next day.

The problem is the stress of receiving a "poor sleep" result can lead to even worse sleep.

Heart rate and movement cannot tell you what stage of sleep you are in – brainwave measurement is needed for this. So if you are truly concerned about your sleep, it's best to see an expert.

Going gluten-free without a good reason

While there is certainly a lot of junk food that contains gluten, unless you have coeliac disease there is no real reason to cut gluten out of your diet entirely.

It might feel healthier, but there are plenty of healthy grains that contain gluten – oats are an excellent example – and there are also plenty of unhealthy gluten-free options.

It's best to stick to a healthy diet that allows for healthy grains, whether they contain gluten or not. ... 0oro4.html

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:00 pm 
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WWE News: Possible Drug Use In WWE, Wrestlers Could Be Cheating The Wellness Policy

In a very surprising report, it seems that some WWE performers are possibly cheating the WWE Wellness Policy. The story is that there has not been a Wellness Policy violation since Randy Orton’s violation back in 2012 and Ricardo Rodriquez’s violation in 2013. This seemed fishy to many, as at least one person has seemingly been caught violating every year. Thought to be a bit skeptical, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer decided to look into it.

This really got going when UFC suspended Fighter Cung Le. He tested positive for an excessive level of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) after his fight in Macao, China, on August 23 of this year. He was originally suspended by the UFC for 9 months, but then it was changed to a full year. This suspension made people wonder, “Could WWE performers be on HGH as well?”

The idea has merit. WWE’s Wellness Policy prohibits wrestlers from using HGH, but they cannot easily test for it. Since the human body will secrete growth hormone due to several factors, a test might show that you are on HGH. In fact, if you work out in the gym or have an injury in which your body is recovering, you will test positive for growth hormone because your body is changing itself. Those who work out a lot and are breaking down muscle in the gym also have a chance to secrete this hormone.

For example, have you ever gone to the gym and your entire body is hurting the next day? Your body is now at a point where it must recover. While you are barely moving, your body is secretly growing somewhat because of the exercise you put it through. So if you are in a sport or a place where you must work out a lot — that is, killing your body in the gym — you will probably have a positive HGH test. WWE talent is known for working out a ton, and many talk working out for three to four hours at a time. Obviously, your body will show some growth with that much work put on it.

The issue with drug testing is that most only check blood and urine; there are usually never anymore tests past this. Everyone does a preliminary test, but those who test positive must go on to more selective testing to see if they are, in fact, using. So usually more specific tests are ordered for these people. If you test positive for marijuana during the first round of tests, they will test your blood again for THC with a more specific test. If you test positive on subsequent tests, then you definitely did use marijuana. It is a banned substance on WWE’s Wellness Policy list.

Due to the fact that HGH is something the body can naturally give off for those who work out a lot, it is really hard for WWE to test for it with a normal blood test. There is a possible but more complicated way, which involes testing the thyroid hormones. T3 is normally higher, but if T4 is higher, you could have a high human growth hormone. Even then, you are not able to totally prove there is an issue, and the cost can be high if numerous people test positive. If a person is not injured and they work out normally, this means they could be using if both T3 and T4 are higher than they should be. Then it comes down to the problem of a person being naturally higher, which is less common but still possible.

It is easy to test for steroids as you simply test cortisol levels. HGH is far more difficult to prove, as there is no legit test WWE would want to order that can totally prove something. It comes down to specifics, and some tests could be hundreds of dollars, and even then may not prove something. Basically, the only way to get in trouble in WWE for using is if someone caught you injecting it.

So it comes down to them not wanting to spend the money for the higher end tests past normal urine and blood. Specifically testing the blood or other areas of the body can mean more time and more effort. So there could be a human growth hormone issue in WWE, but it cannot be proven. It cannot be disproven either.

It is said that WWE does not test for HGH due to all the issues that comes with it. Yet the growth hormone is on the banned substance list. It is understandable if you see the specifics to it broken down like we did above.

The Wrestling Observer reports that you can get away with using in WWE.

“For those who are using [performance-enhancing drugs] to beat WWE testing, the standard stack is to use low doses of testosterone and higher dosages of HGH, because HGH, as far as enhancing a physique and gaining strength, works far better in synergy with a steroid to enhance its effects, and low doses of testosterone can keep one below the 6:1 T:E ratio.”

The newsletter asked around, and was told exactly how some beat the testing.

“Asking around, I was told exactly how they beat the system (GH with low dosages of test, usually taken on Wednesday, that’s out of the system within a few days to beat the tests).”

What is even more revealing is that WWE changed it’s policy to help those with two strikes on the WWE Wellness Policy. They can get their two strikes REMOVED if they enroll in a redemption program. So someone like Randy Orton could very well violate the Wellness Policy again and WWE would be able to protect themselves against releasing him for a year on his third strike because they have this small clause which allows Orton to redeem himself.

They also instituted a program allowing therapeutic usage of banned substances in WWE. Now this could mean several different things. It could mean that they are allowed to use Sudafed (over-the-counter decongestant on the banned substance list), or it could mean the usage of banned drugs with doctor permission such as HGH, testosterone, or steroids.

So is there still a drug problem in WWE? Potentially. The issue is that WWE has a Wellness Policy they tout as one of the best in the business. Yet they still do have several guys who are big. They very well could have gotten bigger on hard work like John Cena, who has not changed much body wise in his 12 years with the company. If he used in that time, we would have noticed a change. However, you have some like a Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero who we know used because they started out small and just got bigger and bigger. It comes down to WWE still having a potential drug problem even in 2014, and it is obviously something they need to take care of. ... ss-policy/

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:24 pm 
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sounds interesting.. i want to know does it work for me as i am underweight and wants to gain some weight.. so does it works for me..?
online free games

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:22 pm 
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Three exercises to make you run better

Getting stronger is essential to becoming a better runner.

Coaches David Dellanave and Kelly Starrett, author of Ready to Run, suggest three exercises to improve your biomechanics and overall mobility.


Get into a low squat position and stay there for 10 minutes, keeping your weight on your heels and your knees pushed out.

You'll know pretty quickly how much tissue restriction is in your hips, legs and ankles.

When you're starting out, feel free to take mini-breaks.


Find a lifting or aerobic bench. Lie down, putting your shoulders on the bench and your feet hip-distance apart on the ground.

Breathe in, squeeze your glutes and lift your pelvis up, pushing through the hips. Keep the chest and spine neutral and the movement nice and fluid.

When you get the motion down, add weight with a barbell for an extra challenge.


Starrett invented the couch stretch, a favourite among CrossFitters and a great way to increase hip mobility.

Kneeling in front of the couch or a wall (and facing away from it), press your back shin against it, toes pointed up. Put the front leg in a lunge position and stretch out that hip flexor.

Then, lean back, squeeze the glutes and get a full stretch in your hips and quads. ... 1542x.html

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:24 pm 
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The 7 worst things you can say to someone battling breast cancer

When you find out someone has breast cancer, it can be hard to know what to say. Even if you have the best of intentions, it's easy to blurt out something that's less-than-helpful.

"People don't mean to be insensitive," said Alyson Moadel, director of the psychosocial oncology program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. "The news just scares them, and they don't know the right thing to say."

While not every person will object to all of the following phrases, it's probably best to err on the side of caution and try to avoid these.

"My sister/mother/friend had breast cancer."

"Everyone's got a cancer story," said Dr. Dennis Citrin, author of “Knowledge is Power: What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer.”

While hearing your friend's diagnosis may seem like a good time to share the hardships of others, you have to realize all breast cancer patients aren't alike.

"There can be subtle differences between the types of breast cancer that one person's experience may have no relevance for another," Citrin said.

Every individual breast cancer patient will have her own unique struggles to face, so avoid relating the negatives, or even positives, of someone else's condition.

"Are you going to lose your hair?"

Most women view hair as a link to femininity, and the idea you might lose it can be very hard to bear. Even for a patient who's already thinning up top, best not to make a comment related to hair at all.

"We all want to be told we look good," says Melanie Young, breast cancer survivor and author of “Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor's Guide to Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer.”

If you notice your friend is looking particularly nice one day, make it a point to let her know. Another good bet: invite her to test out some new makeup with you and turn it into a fun day of pampering.

"Will you lose your breasts?"

Having a mastectomy is not necessary in many cases, so don't assume it's the norm for every breast cancer patient.

"The new paradigm of treatment isn't focused on immediately sending patients to the surgeon," Citrin says.

Most doctors will biopsy the tumor before determining the best course of action. Emerging research indicates that 10-year survival rates are equal among bilateral mastectomy and lumpectomy with radiation patients, so you may begin hearing of fewer women having both breasts removed. Bottom line: She may not yet know whether or not she needs a mastectomy, so safer not to bring it up. On the flip side, you shouldn't try to make a mastectomy out to be positive either. "

I had people tell me, 'I wish my boob job was covered by insurance,'" Young said. "But do you wish you had cancer?"

"Do you think hormone therapy or weight gain caused it?"

Like any type of cancer, there are many breast cancer risk factors that have been discovered from looking at patterns across large populations of women. But no one can say for sure what causes any individual's specific case. Sometimes DNA is damaged and cancer gets a start for no reason at all.

"A lot of people feel anxiety when someone they know is diagnosed with breast cancer, so they try to explain it away," said Dr. Marisa Weiss, a breast cancer survivor and director of breast radiation oncology at Lankenau Medical Center near Philadelphia and founder of

Try to avoid a "what if" line of questioning.

"Are you sure you want to try that treatment?"

When breast cancer patients are first diagnosed, some family members feel like they need to take control of the situation, Moadel said. That includes trying to make decisions when it comes to how they should take their medications or what treatments might be best. This is one area where the breast cancer patient really needs to call the shots.

"Cancer doesn't mean she'll want to stop doing the things most meaningful for her," Weiss said. No matter what treatment lies ahead for your loved one, keep in mind she ultimately know the best path for herself.

"You don't look sick."

Other people might try to downplay a loved one's condition, Moadel said. Making things out to be fine, however, isn't as uplifting as you'd think. Whether you're dealing with early stage or relapsed/recurrent breast cancer, it's still a scary thing.

“Treating their illness like a minor ailment doesn't touch on how they're truly feeling," Moadel said.

A person could be battling it for years to come, so you can't just push those fears aside. When a loved one is open to discussing their illness, don't be afraid to share the sadness with them and offer support when needed. ... st-cancer/

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:09 pm 
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Relay for Life spreads word

The Marlborough Cancer Society is holding a launch party on Tuesday for its next Relay for Life in the hope of attracting hundreds of willing participants.

Event co-ordinator and fundraiser Zoe Gray said the event would act as an information evening, and give people the opportunity to sign up for the February walk and choose their tent site.

Guests could also sign up for the relay at an early-bird rate of $15 per person.

Following the launch on Tuesday night, the rate would go back up to $20 per person, Gray said.

Teams of 10 to 15 people can enter the relay, which starts on February 28 and runs to March 1 at the Giesens Sport & Events Centre in Renwick.

Those registered before and on the night of the launch will go into a prize draw, and the first team to be fully registered and paid will get the "Mitre 10 Hospitality Package".

When the winning team arrived at the relay, their tent would be set up with camping beds and a barbecue with meat which had been donated.

The society was hoping to attract about 80 teams for the 2015 event, after dropping from between 100 and 120 teams to 37 for their last event in 2013.

"That would be amazing. If we could get 80 that would be fantastic," Gray said.

Corporate teams were also being targeted.

"It's a great team building event, working as a team and doing your bit for the greater good of the community."

Renwick School principal Simon Heath will be speaking at the launch. ... reads-word

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