Archive for February, 2013

To Order your strength bands click on the link below and search strength bands

Have you heard of minimalist or barefoot running? Have those “toe shoes” caught your eyes? Over the past few years, there has been new exercise trend which calls for humans to revert back to our natural form of locomotion by taking a barefoot approach to our footwear. Often times this is referred to as minimalist exercise. Often times minimalists get reactions along these lines: “Has that person lost their mind?” “But, they are not wearing any shoes?” or, “Those shoes are hideous!”
Minimalist foot wear is revolutionary, shocking and socially deviant in part because the designs of shoes have changed little over the past few houndred years. Also our culture teaches that to exercise we need shoes with tight laces, toe protection, ankle support a thick sole and an elevated heel. While many might hope that minimalist footwear will soon fade like an exercise craze or a bad teen fashion statement, many top fitness professionals think it is here to stay.
Minimalist foot wear is not a fashion statement. In my opinion minimalist footwear is quite ugly. One man in his early eighties commented that my shoes were “very attractive.” I think he was just trying to be nice. True barefoot runners develop calluses and scars. However, feet are supposed to be ugly and the minimalist idea behind this “trendy” movement is to keep the orthopedics of our bodies healthy.
Minimalists feel that the human body was not born to wear the typical 20th century shoe. The general theory is that the typical shoe prevents the muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones of the lower leg from functioning properly. It is the minimalist belief that the shoe acts as a cast similar to the one which gets placed on a broken arm. After six or eight weeks in a cast, the hand and wrist loses flexibility and strength. Studies have shown that when a shoe is placed on the foot of an individual from a culture that does not wear restrictive shoes for six to eight weeks, their feet lose a great deal of their dynamic abilities. Furthermore, minimalists feel that when you add in a heel to a shoe, it disrupts proper body alignment. Also, a thick sole makes the ankle more unstable in addition to the unnatural ankle support provided by the shoe preventing ankle support from being developed by the ankles muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Unfortunately, most evidence concerning minimalist movement is anecdotal, but it is noteworthy that the leading professionals in the fitness industry are wearing “bare wear” and researching the benefits of minimalist exercise. None the less, those who begin an exercise routine minimalist in nature should understand that thus far, little research has been devoted to this style of exercise. New minimalist exercisers should understand that the transition to minimalist running takes a very long time (6 months for me) and those who are senior citizens, diabetic, obese, have poor blood circulation, or have Plantar Fasciitis should avoid switching to a minimalist shoe.

Here is a basic tutorial on how to use a foam roller. If you need to buy a foam roller click the second link below and search foam roller!


Posted: February 18, 2013 in Articles, Thought of the Day

There are so many cliché sayings in the health and fitness industry that often times the point of the saying is overlooked. The meanings behind sayings such as “we are what we eat” or “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” have a great deal of truth behind them and can positively impact one’s health if the premise behind the saying is implemented into an individual’s daily life. However, many people become desensitized to these sayings, do not care, or just do not believe it to be true because they have heard the saying so many times, thus missing the point.
With spring coming and summer rapidly approaching, many of us are feverishly working on health goals to help enhance warm weather experience. Some of us may be trying to lose a few pounds in order to look better in a bathing suit or improve our flexibility to impress our friends by hitting the golf ball further. Perhaps, you have decided you are going to take advantage of the many fresh fruits and vegetables available in the spring as opposed to buying frozen or canned alternatives. Whatever the case may be, I want to remind you of one of the most important health sayings and possibly the most overlooked; “it takes time.”
It takes time to change and the results we want to see cannot take place until the behaviors themselves have changed. Rome was not built in a day and thus cannot be destroyed in a day. Think about an individual who has become a couch potato. They did not become a couch potato overnight. The behaviors leading to their sedentary lifestyle did not change instantaneously nor did they become so out of shape in a matter of days that they can no longer go run three miles like they used to. This situation took a great deal of time to form, and will take at least an equal amount of time to change. Those who are overweight and trying to lose weight did not gain the weight in a weeks’ time (even though it might seem that way) and thus cannot expect to lose the weight more rapidly than it was put on.
I give so much praise and I am happy to see so many people trying to change their health and the behaviors that attribute to our health problems. Unfortunately, trying is often times all we ever accomplish. Many of us do not reach our health goals because we lack the patience to wait long enough reap the benefits of our efforts. So many times because we do not see results right away we get discouraged and give up. However, the best advice I can give to those of you trying to make some health changes is to not get discouraged and not give up because change takes time!

Just in time for Valentines day….

Last spring, I heard a lot of chatter in the media about an article published in the March 2012 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine where researches suggested that those who ate chocolate in moderate amounts were skinnier than those who didn’t eat chocolate at all. This is great news right? Now you can go out and eat all of those wonderful chocolate bars you have been torturously depriving yourself of for year’s right? Maybe our overweight tendencies have been caused by depriving ourselves of these wonderful morsels?
Well, I hate to tell you, the answer is no. Remember if something sounds too good to be true than it is probably not true! While this study was carried out by people who have much more medical and nutritional knowledge than I do, this publication necessitates a closer look and perhaps an interpreter to help everyone fully understand what was discovered about chocolate.
It is true that researches found a correlation between those who ate moderate amounts of chocolate and being skinny. This sounds possibly logical as numerous health benefits of chocolate (such as benefiting one’s blood pressure, stabilization of blood glucose, high levels of antioxidants and positive affects on cholesterol) have been previously established. However, if you look at the type of chocolate used in the study, it is not the chocolate one would find in the check out at the local grocery store. The chocolate used in the study was not milk chocolate, but rather dark, bitter chocolate in its purest form.
Also, “moderate” amounts of chocolate are probably much smaller than you think. A chocolate bar is not a moderate amount of chocolate, it is actually quite excessive. A moderate portion of chocolate would be maybe the size of two nickels. Perhaps you think only a nutritional freak would eat a portion of chocolate that small. Well this is probably true. Remember the study didn’t say the more chocolate you eat the skinnier you are; it said those who eat moderate amounts are skinnier. Keep in mind too, that those who completely avoid foods are at risk for binge eating, potentially causing excessive weight gain and could possibly explain why those who didn’t eat any chocolate were not as skinny.
The biggest point of this study overlooked by most is that those classified as “skinny” were placed in that category based on their body mass index. This analytical tool of health only compares one’s height and weight, not taking into consideration an individual’s lean body mass. Therefore, it is possible that moderate chocolate eaters were considered skinny, but actually possessed a large amount of body fat and very little lean muscle mass.
So, take this study with a grain of salt. Certain types of chocolate do have a few healthy attributes, but then again so does beer, ice cream and lard. Remember moderation is the key! Just because a study says that chocolate is good for you, doesn’t mean you have the license to eat all the chocolate you desire. A practical view of our society would still clearly show that we are still very overweight and that we eat a lot of chocolate….