Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Coming from the world of power lifting and bodybuilding as my chosen sports, it’s odd to me that people could derive pleasure out of running. Especially long distance running, not to mention marathons. And judging by the looks on many people’s faces I see running along the beach here in South Florida I suspect most don’t. I believe the reason for this is that most people who choose running as an activity are not doing so as efficiently as possible and therefore feeling as though it’s something they have do as a means to an end.  In other words, many runners are doing it to lose weight or build up there cardiovascular system without realizing that running is a skill and that in order to run efficiently and effectively you must have synchronization of the 3 B’s. The big toe, the butt and the belly! Yes, you read that properly! When the big toe, the butt and the belly are getting along during the run the whole body is in synch and the run becomes much more efficient and effective. Now what in the world do these 3 structures have to do with running?

Well allow me to explain: The big toe is important during the mid stance (when one foot is on the ground) and as the ground, mass of our body and momentum moves over that foot in to flight phase. During this time our hip extends (hopefully), our knee starts extending, our ankle starts dorsiflexing (toes toward shins), our heal starts inverting, our subtalor joint starts going through inversion and our mid tarsel joint locks up positioning our foot for good propulsion off the big toe. And when the big toe propels well, it turns on the butt (and all the associated hip muscles) which in turn turns on the belly (and all the associated trunk muscles). Fortunately for us this all happens through grace, gravity and the ground. However, when this chain reaction is not happening problems are caused throughout the body and the running experience leads to a progressive breaking down of the body, exactly opposite of why we do it in the first place.  

One interesting thing about running is the impact the body goes through (called the loading phase in functional terms) as the body in flight turns into a body on the ground with one leg. It has been said that the forces that go through the body during the landing phase are equal to at least 10 times your bodyweight. And all the motions we described earlier have to happen in a slit second before the body goes through the exploding phase, a transfer to the other side and back to the loading phase on the opposite side. It’s no wonder those people I see running don’t look very happy! There’s a lot going on.
guy running

Exercises specific to running preparation

The goal of any sport specific training program is to ultimately make the sport easier to do. In other words, your exercise program should complement, not confuse, the nervous system patterns being challenged during the sport activity. A running preparation program is no exception. We already spoke about the 3 B’s we need to “turn on” during our training. The following is some sample exercises to help us do just that. The videos that accompany this article will describe each of these.

Phase One – Flexibility/Mobility
Tri Stretch Calf Mobility
Long stride Toed in 3 dimensional Hip flexor stretches 
Walking Tri Plane Mobility Stretch

Phase Two – Strengthening
Clubbell Long Stride Core Strength Exercise Series

Phase Three – Dynamic Strength and Balance
Leg and Arm Drivers in all 3 planes
Resisted Hip drives

Former Vice President of Education for the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Apex Fitness Group, McDermott has traveled worldwide educating trainers and fitness professionals on the physiology of exercise and function. Now a proud father, McDermott is sharing his knowledge and practical experience with clients, patients and athletes with the goal of prevention, rehabilitation and enhanced performance.

Why Vary Fitness?

Fitness and nutrition are very inexact sciences. There are numerous factors both environmental, mental and individually that contribute to how what we do and eat affects our body soul and mind. In over 22 years of professional training, I have come to only one conclusion. There are no conclusions!

However I have noticed that there are two extremely important keys to life long health: variety and mentality. There are few reasons, aside from sport specific and rehabilitative workouts, to repeat any particular workout precisely. It is also important to pay attention to your workout and mentally follow each exercise.

What benefits would an athlete or trainee gain from changing their workout each sessions and mentally focusing on it.
·                     Better progression, meaning more results
·                     Safer, meaning less injury
·                     Less mundane, meaning more fun

Very typically trainees do a cardio warmup, weight workout and stretch as cooldown. However, with variety, each routine is select, different. Focusing on a different muscle group, technique, discipline or other. Just utilizing the various forms of disciplines can take one through a year of workouts. Imagine a day for each of these wonderful activities: Yoga, Pilates, Free Weights, Body weight, cardio, Kick boxing, Boxing, Indoor cycling, Outdoor cycling, Swimming, Machine resistance training, Circuit training, Balance, Core, Intervals, Fartleks, vibroworkouts, Martial arts, Tai Chi, etc.
Creativity is the guiding force in variety of workouts.

Here are a few of my favorites: Resistance circuits, Posterior training (only work posterior muscle groups), Slo-Motion reps, Split days, 45/45 (i.e., do 45 exercise sin 45 minutes without a break), Intervals of cardio with resistance training, Isometrics, Plyometrics, Speed reps, Outdoor workouts, Aquatic Resistance (land exercises with swimming intervals), Cardio Core (Core work with Plyometrics), Fusion Yoga (multi-disciplinary yoga styles merged together), etc.

The possibilities are endless and after having directed over ½ million training sessions none of which were the same, it is possible to workout through an entire lifetime and never duplicate.

Marc D. Thompson founder
Marc D. Thompson, celebrating 25 years as owner of VirtuFitTM, is a prominent fitness trainer and personal coach with a background in medicine and exercise physiology. He has pioneered virtual training and teaches via Skype one-on-one and group classes. Approaching fitness holistically, Marc believes the fusion of creativity and practicality is essential in moving each individual toward their fitness goals. Along with over 25 years of experience, he draws from thousands of exercises, fitness disciplines, sports psychology techniques and nutritional principals to empower each individual client.

Popular Cinnamon Stunt Can Have Serious Lung Effects

MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- As if parents didn‘t have enough to worry about, it seems a growing number of kids are taking the "Cinnamon Challenge" -- a stunt that has landed some in the ER, pediatricians warn.
The Cinnamon Challenge sounds simple but is almost impossible: Swallow a tablespoon of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without the help of a drink. Invariably, the taker ends up gagging and coughing up the spice -- creating a big brown cloud dubbed "dragon breath."

Onlookers apparently find it funny, said Dr. Steven Lipshultz, a pediatrics professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. There are over 51,000 YouTube clips of the stunt -- one of which was viewed more than 19 million times as of last August, Lipshultz and his colleagues report in the May issue of Pediatrics.
But it could be dangerous for the person who downs the cinnamon.

Usually, people suffer no more than burning in the throat, mouth and nose, and a bad cough. But, Lipshultz said, ground cinnamon can be inhaled into the lungs, and some kids have ended up in the ER with problems as serious as a collapsed lung.

"We wanted to bring this to people‘s attention," Lipshultz said. "This seems to be an increasing problem, and based on animal studies, there‘s the potential for lasting effects (on the lungs)."

In animal studies, he and his colleagues noted, a single dose of cinnamon "dust" has been found to trigger lasting lung inflammation, thickening and scarring.

Cinnamon is composed of cellulose fibers that do not break down if they enter the lungs, according to Lipshultz. No one knows if Cinnamon Challenge takers face any risk of long-term lung damage, but there is evidence of immediate risks.
In 2011, Lipshultz‘s team said, U.S. poison control centers fielded 51 calls related to the stunt. In just the first half of 2012, there were 122 calls linked to "misuse or abuse" of the spice.

At least 30 challenge takers have needed medical attention, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Late last year, ER doctors at the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., saw about a dozen 9-year-olds who‘d tried the stunt.

Dry, loose cinnamon can burn and irritate the mucous membranes that line the digestive and respiratory tracts, including the lungs. One concern is that the powder will be inhaled into the lungs, said Dr. Christina Hantsch, a toxicologist with the Loyola emergency department.

Another worry is that, if a challenge taker throws up -- as they often do -- vomit will be inhaled back into lungs, Hantsch added. That could lead to inflammation and infection known as aspiration pneumonia.

Lipshultz said the jump in calls to poison control centers in 2012 coincided with the surge in Cinnamon Challenge videos on YouTube. And the number of Google hits on the topic rose from 0.2 million in 2009 to 2.4 million in the first half of 2012.

Plus, it‘s not only teenagers who are flaunting their encounters with the Cinnamon Challenge. Celebrities and even politicians have posted their own videos, both Lipshultz and Hantsch pointed out.

"And then if their peers start doing it, too, kids feel social pressure to try it," Lipshultz said.

What can parents do, short of locking up the spice rack? Hantsch suggested parents pay attention to what their kids are viewing online, and talk with them about the potential dangers of this seemingly harmless stunt.

Lipshultz agreed. If kids know there are serious risks, they might be dissuaded. "Our hope is that if they have the information, they‘ll make smarter decisions," he said.

Cinnamon is not the only spice of abuse, however. Ground nutmeg -- when snorted, smoked or eaten in large amounts -- can create a marijuana-like high, Hantsch noted.

Unfortunately, she added, "there are many household items that can be abused."

Those range from glue to hand sanitizers to aerosol cooking sprays -- and even marshmallows. A challenge popular with kids, Hantsch said, is the "Chubby Bunny," where you shove as many marshmallows into your mouth as possible, then try to say the words "chubby bunny."

At least two children have choked to death trying the stunt, she added.

More information
The American Association of Poison Control Centers has information on household products that are used and abused.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Chocolate Milk-The Ideal Recovery Drink? Really?

One recent animal study getting attention shows those who are fed within 30 minutes of exercise completion have an increase in lean body mass, a 70 percent increase in fat-oxidizing enzymes, and a 24 percent decrease in abdominal fat. In theory, anyway. Personally, I wish more docs and schools would get on board with testing humans instead…since not all animal results transfer well, or even at all to human results. 
Conventional wisdom among personal trainers and current research show it is important to get a carb/protein snack devoured within an hour of exercise, or even sooner.

There are lots of great recovery foods that offer a good balance of carbs and protein. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and coconut water can work. Pasta is known for it's carb-loading features before long endurance runs. But athletes also enjoy it as a post-recovery option as well. Finish line foods at small 5K races often include easy-to-obtain bagels and peanut butter. If it is a well-sponsored race, you'll be lucky to find tasty pastas at the finish line as well. 

Vegans...those not eating animal products for all kinds of reasons, choose to avoid the Dairy Council funded post-race free samples of chocolate milk, which are an increasing presence at many races. I'm not alone among my vegan friends who can't imagine anything more nauseating at the finish. Our bodies seem to crave fruits to replace lost electrolytes. Nuts and seeds for a little protein crunch.

But a running coaching workshop I considered attending actually had a Dairy Council-sponsored class on "Marketing Chocolate Milk as the Ideal Recovery Drink for Kids." Based on what I've seen, including a recent link from active.com (the site to register for many US road races), recommending chocolate milk, I believe that workshop has been well-attended over the past few years. Anytime I see “chocolate milk” recommended on websites, as I did this morning, I bristle like a porcupine. My reporter’s skepticism wonders what made chocolate milk show up in that brief story that hundreds of thousands of athletes like me would see. And most, unlike me, would never doubt or question it.

Depending on your Google results, the number of mammals on our planet varies. Results show somewhere between 4-5000 different mammals have been alive and well on our planet. We're the only one drinking milk from another species. The only milk we need is our own species' variety, which is very species specific and beneficial, and no mammal needs it beyond weaning.

Humans didn’t start drinking other species fluids until about 3000 years ago anyway. It’s not like we evolved to drink from a cow. Nature put all the nutrition we need out there without having to “borrow” from another species. One of the funniest social media posts I’ve ever seen was a graphic description of how the first human ever got the idea that drinking from another species was OK. We won’t go there.

Remember...I have nothing to sell or promote. I’m just trying to dodge genes that gave my mom, aunt and both sisters breast cancer. And way more. No animal, human or otherwise, should suffer as much as I’ve seen suffering in my family up close and personal. It’s really just that simple.

As an Emmy-winning TV consumer/investigative reporter for 18 years, I can no longer sit at the sidelines as I watch daily dribs and drabs of misinformation work it’s way into what we believe is normal in our culture. Call it reporters’ righteous indignation, or a mama’s simple desire to see her babies grow up in a healthier world.

Blood tests don’t lie. Athletic accomplishments and records don’t lie. Be your own investigative reporter and figure out what truly works best for you. 


There are runners faster and younger than me. There always will be. Yesterday marked a milestone at the St. Stephens Falcon 5K in Bradenton. I placed in my age group at my 45th 5K race or longer since 2006. I placed first in my new age group, 60-64. I love my new age group. Def much easier to place in it.

But I also saw I saw a different kind of first at the race. An award was given to the oldest male and female runner. I wasn’t that far off. I’m happy to say I did not get it. Several of the other racers in or near my age group set around while we waited for awards and commiserated how few of us there were. I apologized to the group for my somewhat sluggish finish time, but since I just registered this week for the National Senior Games this summer in Cleveland, I was saving my energy and muscles for training for that. I will compete at Nationals in all 4 events I qualified in at State, placing fourth in the 100, and third in the 200, 400 and 1500 meters.  

Two weeks ago I did my version of the Disney “Goofy.” That is a half marathon on Saturday followed by full marathon on Sunday. I did a 5K on Saturday, and in my age group, placed first in that, and then a half marathon on Sunday, and placed sixth in my age group in that.

At the half, somewhere around mile 10, a woman who is an extremely fast runner and her boyfriend passed me. Both were fast runners. I was very surprised as I realized as they were passing me that I had actually been ahead of them for 10 miles.

Since I am a much better sprinter than endurance runner, I knew that my time for the half marathon was pretty average, and very slow by this couple’s standards. Thoughts wander as you run, and I kept trying to figure out why this couple had been running so slowly. I have not seen them in a long time. And as I watched them from behind I realized that the man, who had been in great shape, had gained back some of the weight around his waist that he had previously lost a few years ago. 

I remember that a big deal had been made about the huge amount of weight that he had lost through running. I was so curious about it after the race, I started asking around and was told by several friends, that he had been hospitalized recently with a complication from bariatric surgery. I had not known that he had lost the weight mainly as a result of the surgery. The revelation was a disappointment. 

Before I wrote my book I had a client in the healthcare industry. A woman we knew was on a waiting list for years to have bariatric surgery to help relieve her morbid obesity. I was in shock as I listened to her story about how she really didn’t want to lose weight because then she would be bumped off the insurance company’s waiting list for the surgery.

She eventually did have the surgery, and lost a lot of weight, as most people do post-surgery. But she had lots of discomfort and distress. And what was even more shocking was seeing her drink Coke after the surgery.

There is no question bariatric surgery works for a lot of people. But these experiences make me wonder what price are we willing to pay for the quick fix? There are many known and unknown complications from some of these magic bullets, which often don’t work, especially in the long term.

At the race yesterday, once again most of the food was atrocious. Candy was given away by one of the sponsors. Some cupcake company was handing out sugar-laden cupcakes to anyone they could. After you’ve run 3 miles, there is nothing quite like a juicy orange or a potassium-rich banana, which fortunately they had. When will people start connecting the dots and understand that a plant-rich diet combined with a sensible exercise program is the only magic bullet? Ellen’s refrain: “There is not money in broccoli.” Gotta run.

Ellen Jaffe Jones is a certified personal trainer and running coach, and is the author of the best seller, “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day.” She speaks all over the world about eating and staying fit on a food-stamp budget. She can be reached at www.vegcoach.com

Tennis Anyone!

Tennis Anyone!
Warming up to play the game
John McDermott, M.Ed, F.A.F.S.
When preparing to play the game of tennis, we must handle the compensations for the task at hand prior to ever hitting the ball. These compensations happen at the shoulder, elbow and wrist/hand as I have many clients that come into to me complaining of bursitis, tendonitis and even carpal tunnel just from performing and activity that supposed to make them healthier! Other areas of compensation are the hips, knees and even the big toe.
We will start looking at what we can do prior to playing as well as first thing each day to help us better prepare for this chaotic challenge to the body.

Shoulders: Perform a series of controlled arm swings in a circular motion while keeping the shoulder down (shoulder packed position). This allows you to break up any adhesions that may have formed there and brings blood and nutrition to the area to warm up the joint. Do these straight, across the body and behind the body ( 10 repetitions) to cover all planes of motion. If you find it is difficult keeping the shoulder down, shave off the range of motion and only go as far as you can successfully pack this shoulder. If the shoulder loses contact with the upper arm bone (humerous) while hitting, the force will transfer down the arm resulting in some of the conditions commonly seen with this sport activity.

Elbow: Next we will move down to the elbow. Always do shoulder first, then elbow, then wrist. Proper sequence is important. Start by keeping the upper arm parallel to the ground, point the thumb toward the nose. Rotate the thumb out as much as you can comfortably as you extend the arm forward. You may hear and feel some pops and cracks. This is perfectly fine as long as the pain is not severe (3 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being severe). It’s important to move through a full range of extension available. Once you reach the end range, turn the thumb over and rotate back in. Continue this for 10 repetitions slow and controlled.

Wrist/fingers: Wrist flexion/extension is the first motion to be performed. Hold your arm parallel to the ground and using your wrist as a driver (initiator), pull up as far as you can comfortably and then drive down in the same fashion. If you want to do these while holding your racket that’s fine. Perform 10 repetitions before turning your thumb up and positioning for the next movement which is lateral deviations. Lateral deviations are performed by once again directing the space in your hand where the thumb ends and the wrist begins up toward the sky. Drive down by bringing those areas closer together. Lateral deviations is considered the forgotten motion in the wrist, especially in the day and age of the cell phone/texting craze. Loss of this motion at the wrist will cause excessive lateral motion at the elbow, resulting in lateral epicondilitis or it’s better marketed name, Tennis Elbow!!

Hips/trunk/feet: The last warm-up we will discuss will emphasize the lower body and core. Position yourself facing the fence with your arms above your head (on the fence) as high as is comfortable (this activates the core). Place one foot in front of the other. Lift the front knee until it is parallel to the ground. Using the front knee as a driver, begin to move it toward the fence for 5 repetitions while bending the back knee simultaneously. On the 5th repetition, stop a few inches from the fence and hold. Begin sliding the knee side to side keeping the same distance from the fence (note the motion you are getting in the opposite hip). On the 5threpetition in this direction hold in the center and begin to rotate the knee outward and then all the way across to the other side (again note the movement on the opposite hip). Repeat this on the opposite leg, and then repeat the entire sequence with the back leg straight.
Now you’re ready for bed, uh, I mean tennis! This sequence of warm-up exercises should be done in the order I listed them here. In function we call this a top down strategy because we are starting from the top of the head and working our way down. Good luck and have fun!

Exercise May Blunt Heavy Drinking‘s Effect on Brain

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- New research raises the possibility that exercise may protect the brains of heavy drinkers from the damage of alcohol. 

The research is preliminary, however, and has limitations. The number of heavy drinkers in the study was small, at just nine. Also, it‘s not possible to know which came first: brain damage from alcohol use or protection to the brain from exercise.

Still, "aerobic exercise could be a beneficial recommendation for individuals with a history of heavy alcohol use," said study author Hollis Karoly, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

 "This study represents an interesting first step in this line of research. Overall, we hope that this study inspires future research into the relationship between alcohol, exercise and the brain."

Scientists are intrigued by how both alcohol and exercise affect the workings of the brain. Alcohol "can remodel brain chemistry and brain structure. It can lead to neuron cell death, and alcoholism can lead to dementia," said Dr. J.C. Garbutt, a psychiatry professor who studies alcohol use at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Exercise has been shown to lead to enhancement of connections in the brain and may help by lowering blood pressure and changing body metabolic factors such as high fats and high blood sugar, which can negatively affect the brain."

In the new study, the Colorado researchers studied brain scans of 37 men and 23 women, aged 21 to 55, from the Albuquerque, N.M., area who answered questions about alcohol use, smoking and exercise. Thirty-nine were white.
Nine appeared to be what the study defined as problem drinkers.

Those who drank but didn‘t exercise had lower levels of so-called "white matter" in the brain. However, Karoly said, "we found that among high exercisers, the relationship between alcohol use and white matter damage was not significant."
White matter is important for relaying messages across the brain, Karoly said, "so damage to white matter could have a whole host of negative implications as far as cognitive processes such as memory, attention and self-regulation." The subjects didn‘t take tests to assess any of those mental abilities, however.

The people in the study who appeared to exercise the most reported that they got two or more hours of exercise per week. But it‘s not clear what kind of exercise they got or how accurate their recollections about exercise were. Oddly, the participants in the study who exercised the most also drank the most -- nearly 1.75 drinks a day, on average. Those who exercised the least drank an average of less than 1.4 drinks a day.

Although the study showed an association between exercise and brain health, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link.
Garbutt said it‘s difficult to find definitive conclusions in the research. "I would view this as a very early, preliminary study that may highlight some areas for future research but doesn‘t provide much in the way of a solid finding to communicate to the public," he said.

Garbutt cautioned that anyone who drinks heavily or suffers from alcoholism "should get a good medical evaluation before undertaking aerobic exercise. Alcohol can affect heart rhythms, bone strength and the liver and pancreas, and one shouldn‘t start major exercise without knowing if there are risks such as heart problems."

But if a physician says it‘s OK, "exercise is good and might even help the brain," he said.

The study was published online April 16 and will appear in the September issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

More information
For more about alcoholism, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Reduce Your Colon Cancer Risk

 Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but there are ways you can help prevent it, an expert says.

"Colorectal cancer surpasses breast and prostate cancers as a leading cause of cancer death in men and women," Dr. James Yoo, an assistant professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release. 

"It is largely preventable with early screening and detection," said Yoo, who also is chief of the colon and rectal surgery program.

He outlined a number of ways to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer:
  • Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 50 if you are at normal risk. If you are at higher risk -- due to a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, other cancers or inflammatory bowel disease -- talk to your doctor about screenings before age 50.
  • Eat between 25 and 30 grams of fiber each day from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole-grain breads and cereals. You should also eat a low-fat diet. Colorectal cancer has been associated with diets high in saturated fat. Be sure your diet includes foods with folate, such as leafy green vegetables.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Quit smoking. Alcohol and tobacco combined are linked to colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers.
  • Get at least 20 minutes of exercise a day three to four times a week. Even moderate exercise such as walking, gardening or climbing stairs may help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Tell your doctor about any persistent symptoms, such as blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits, weight loss, stools that are narrower than usual, abdominal pains or other gastrointestinal problems.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may raise the risk of colorectal cancer.

More information
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about colorectal cancer prevention.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Poor Parenting = Bully Behavior

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Parents may think they can keep their kids safe by hovering over them, but a new study finds that children of overprotective parents are more likely to be bullied.

And on the other end of the spectrum, having abusive or neglectful parents also seems to make kids a target for bullies, according to an analysis of 70 studies that included more than 200,000 children.

The effects of these types of poor parenting were stronger among children who were bullied and also bullied others (bully-victims) than among those who were bullied but did not bully others.

The review also found that negative or harsh parenting was associated with a moderate increase in the risk of children being bully-victims and a small increase in their risk of being a victim of bullying. Warm but firm parenting reduced children‘s risk of being bullied, the investigators noted.

The findings of the review, led by researchers at the University of Warwick in England, are published in the April 25 issue of the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.

"Although parental involvement, support and high supervision decrease the chances of children being involved in bullying, for victims overprotection increased this risk," Dieter Wolke, one of the review authors, said in a university news release.

"Children need support but some parents try to buffer their children from all negative experiences," he said. "In the process, they prevent their children from learning ways of dealing with bullies and make them more vulnerable.

"It could be that children with overprotective parents may not develop qualities such as autonomy and assertion, and therefore may be easy targets for bullies," Wolke said. "But it could also be that parents of victims become overprotective of their children. In either case, parents cannot sit on the school bench with their children."

Children of parents who establish clear rules about behavior but are also supportive and emotionally warm are least likely to be bullied, the study authors said.

"These parents allow children to have some conflicts with peers to learn how to solve them rather than intervene at the smallest argument," Wolke said.

"People often assume bullying is a problem for schools alone but it‘s clear from this study that parents also have a very important role to play," he said. "We should therefore target intervention programs not just in schools but also in families to encourage positive parenting practices such as warmth, affection, communication and support."

More information
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about bullying.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Diet Soda Dangers

Koach Marlo on: Time For A Colonic? Get the Facts Before You Go For the Cleanse.

Once a month, weekly, regular appointments.  It seems that for some getting a colonic has become a part of their regular routine.  For some it takes place at a spa, a colonic center or doctors office, for others it is in the form or a capsule, laxative, enema or a high colonic.   What started out as a procedure to help colon health, has turned into big business, especially in terms of artificial colon cleansers.  Safe or unsafe; how often; whats the truth on colonics once and for all.

So exactly what is a colonic?  A colonic is an infusion of water into the rectum to cleanse and flush out the colon. The water causes the muscles of the colon to contract, and then pushes feces out through a hose to a closed waste system. It is believed that the waste that is being pushed out contains toxins that have remained in the colon over time, which can spread throughout the body. By ridding your body of this you can maintain a healthier body, decreasing risk of cancer and other diseases.  It is also believed that the stool may be preventing the elimination of waste, so this irrigation will alleviate this issue, promoting colon health.  Another belief is that removing the build-up of plaque will allow for better absorption of nutrients into the blood and allow for speedier digestion. The end result would be better digestion,  healthier skin, weight loss among other benefits. Many doctors of alternative medicine believe it is essential to good health. It is no wonder that will all of these benefits and rave reviews that more and more people are turning to colonics as ways to get healthier.  But whats the truth?

The controversy arises from the fact that a multitude of health professionals believe there is no need for a colonic.  The American Council on Science and Health say there is no need for colonics as the body can rid itself of toxins on its own, via regular bowel movements that remove toxins from the gastrointestinal tract and via kidneys and lungs removing toxins from the bloodstream.  Chief of gastrointestinal endoscopy at Bellevue Hospital Center also states that there is no need, as toxins don’t stay in the colon for years, as many advocates of frequent cleanses propose. A majority of medical professionals believe that colon procedures, such as colonoscopies, are only done out of medical necessity.  They also state that there are dangers of colonics for those who suffer from any IBS, IBD, Crohns, Colitis or other intestinal diseases.  Modern medicine sits very far from Western medicine when it comes to the topic of colonics.

In fact, the greatest area of controversy is that the colon is not just a place for waste, but for absorption.  Much absorption occurs within the colon and then nutrients are brought to the bloodstream to be transported throughout the body.  By having frequent colonics, this may disrupt the absorption of valuable nutrients.  Dehydration and tears and internal damage can also be side effects of frequent procedures.  Laxative abuse also has been known to have a boomerang effect, not allowing the colon to work as well once they are discontinued.  To date colon cleansers are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration so unless they are proven harmful they can remain on the shelves so many products can easily be abused and overused.

Taking the controversy out of colonics, the one thing that has been proven to be a healthy colon cleanser is a healthy high fiber diet. Fiber has been considered to act like a toothbrush that helps to remove the food particles from your intestines to keep it healthy.  Fiber is not digested by the body so it will come through and push out the waste as it gets flushed through the body.  Keeping a diet of about 25 grams of fiber is the recommended amount.  Fiber can be found in whole grain foods, leafy vegetables, beans and berries. Water is also key in helping to continuously flush food and fiber out of the colon.  Keeping hydrated, by drinking between 5-8 glasses a water a day, is very essential to colon health.  Physical activity is also important to keep your blood flowing throughout your body, which then allows your colon to work more easily.

So depending on who you ask you might get a different answer on whether colonics are worth it, and if they are safe.  The bottom line is that you need to consider your present medical state and any medical contraindications, you need to know how much experience the person performing the colonic has (as there are no certifications currently needed), you need to let your medical doctor know to be aware of your lab results prior to or after having one and you need to pay close attention to how you feel.  Perhaps take a closer look at your diet as well before embarking on a colonic journey. It seems that since controversy remains, with no proven health benefits in the long run, you might consider not making this a regular habit.  It does seem that going to often may exacerbate dangers, leave you devoid of nutrients and not allow your colon to do the job it has been doing in humans for centuries.  Colinics? Tread carefully seems to be the best advise until proven otherwise.

Marlo Mittler, MS RD is a Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant, journalist and public speaker specializing in nutrition, wellness and healthy lifestyles. Marlo has been in practice for over 15 years, specializing in Pediatrics, Adolescents and Family Nutrition. Marlo, has appeared nationally on FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS News.

How to get kids to eat Vegetables

My daughter recently said to me, “Mom , I hate to eat tomatoes at restaurants. I keep remembering how delicious and sweet the tomatoes were that we used to grow in our organic garden. Most tomatoes I taste now pale by comparison.”

This was the same child who wowed the nursery school field trip farmer knowing the difference when he tried to stump the kids holding up the green kale leaf with “What’s this?” All the other kids yelled, “Spinach!” It was my daughter who tasted sugar snap peas for the first time and asked, “Is this candy?” My daughters used to love to run into our garden and pull out a piece of kale, a cherry tomato or a stem of dill and run back inside as if they' gone shopping for the day's food. And they had. My kids still love their veggies. This is not rocket science. Studies show that children really gravitate in later years to their early childhood smells. 

“Teach Your Children Well,” as the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song goes. Children respond so well to early tactile and taste stimulation's  If they are imprinted with early tastes for foods in their natural states, it stays with them the rest of their lives. 

Having a garden is the best way to introduce them to nature and understanding that food doesn’t grow in a shrunk-wrapped package at the grocery store. As the snow hopefully melts, and the scents of spring beckon children outside, starting a cheap garden is a great way to keep them outside.

The first place is taking a soil sample to your local county extension service to get an analysis of your soil. This will give you a place to start in figuring out what you can and can’t grow well in your soil. Soil that is mostly sand may only be able to support citrus crops for example, but just a little farther inland can give you half a year of a great cross-section of vegetables.

It’s easier to grow a garden from plants that are already started and are ready to transplant.  But it’s also fun for kids to start seeds from starter pots.

If getting non-gmo seeds are important, try www.seedsofchange.com. They’ll also provide tips on how to start your own garden. You can also join a local farm or community supported agriculture farm to find out where they get their seeds from. You can find them at www.localharvest.org.

If you don’t know anything about gardening, spend a season volunteering there to see how and what they do. You’ll also get first-hand knowledge about what grows well where you are. If it is an organic garden, you’ll learn all kinds of great ways to make and keep your garden organic. If you can’t find such a farm, there are many great organic and container gardening books and online resources. Don’t give up if you failures. Just remember that it is to be expected.

It’s best to just choose 3-4 vegetables your first year. Pick some vegetables like tomatoes that grow fast and furious.  Some varieties will “re-seed” themselves. That means their seeds will drop into the soil and grow again the next year. Talk about easy! Learn what crops grow especially easily where you are. I planted a few pumpkin seeds one year, and once I figured out how to keep out the rabbits, had pumpkin vines and pumpkins taking over the yard and a nearby hill. It was SO much fun for me and my children!

Try planting a few easy herbs like dill and mint. They are also classified as weeds and will definitely grow like one if you don’t control them. Send your children out to the garden before dinner when they are hungry to “harvest” whatever you’ll be making for dinner. These are memories and foods that will last a lifetime!

Koach Ellen Jaffe Jones

Say Ahhhh!

Stick out your tongue and say ahhhh! What color is your tongue? If it is a bright beefy red you might actually be low on vitamin B12.  Don't ignore it as it can be dangerous and cause neurological damage.  Meat and dairy are rich sources for B-12. For Vegans make sure you take a multivitamin to cover your needs. 

Koach Marlo 

Recipe for Kids with Lactose Problems “Balsamic Chicken and Tomato Pasta”

Serves up to 5 people!

Prep time: 45 minutes


    18 oz. chicken breast, cut into small pieces (½" square)
    ½ c. onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cans (14.5 oz.) of diced tomato
    1½ c. sliced mushrooms
    1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp. basil
    1 tsp. oregano
    ½ tsp. thyme
    ½ tsp. rosemary
    ¼ c. tomato paste
    cooking spray
    3-1/3 c. cooked pasta

1.        Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
2.       Sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms in large skillet for 5 minutes over low heat.
3.       Add raw chicken pieces to large skillet with onions, garlic, and mushrooms.
4.       Cook chicken over medium high heat until no longer pink.
5.       Once chicken is cooked, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and spices to the chicken mixture.
6.       Mix together well and simmer over medium low heat for 20 minutes.
Toss 1 cup of sauce with 2/3 cup of cooked pasta for each serving.

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Creating a Circuit Training Routine

Circuit training is a workout routine that combines cardiovascular fitness and resistance training. It was first proposed in the late 1950s as a method to develop general fitness. The initial routines were arranged in a circle, alternating between different muscle groups (hence the name circuit training). By allowing only a short rest interval of 30-90 seconds between stations, cardiovascular fitness is gained along with the benefits of resistance training.

When developing a circuit training routine, a wide variety of exercises and equipment can be utilized. Much of the equipment is relatively inexpensive and includes surgical tubing, jump rope, your own body weight, dumbbells, medicine balls, physioballs and weight training machines. A circuit can consist of as few as three stations to as many as 15 stations based on the goals and pre-training levels of the participants.

Circuit training stations are generally sequenced in a way to alternate between muscle groups, which allows for adequate recovery. The rest interval between stations should be between 30-90 seconds and 1-3 minutes between circuits. There are literally thousands of different combinations you can use when organizing your circuit training programs. I will share with you and demonstrate on video 3 possible combinations using an upper body/lower body strategy, a plane by plane strategy and a proprioceptive/balance strategy.

The Upper Body/Lower Body Strategy (ULS)

With the ULS, we are attempting to move blood and stimulate muscles first from the lower body to the upper body and then from the upper body to the lower body. The benefit of this strategy is an increase in flow in the body as well as an ability to rest one group of muscles while exercising another. A simple example of this would be a squat sequence followed by a rowing sequence.

Plane by Plane Strategy (PbP)

In a PbP strategy we will set up our circuit stations so that each station emphasizes a different plane of motion. The three planes of motion are the sagittal plane (flexion and extension), the frontal plane (side to side) and transverse plane (rotational). Notice I said emphasize because all movement takes place in all three motions but there can be one plane more emphasized then another.

Proprioceptive/Balance Strategy (PBS)

In the PBS circuit we will be challenging the bodies proprioceptive and balance systems. Proprioception is the brains main tool in the body to tell it where it is in space. Challenging these systems in a circuit allows expansion of movement in the brain (where all movement is monitored and controlled) without signaling the threat response ultimately causing injury to the body. This is a great circuit for anyone but particularly for athletes.

Exercise Involved in the Circuits

Clubbell Rockers to Dumbbell Rotational Presses
Dumbbell snatch to Pushups with rotation
Lateral Lunges to Clubbell Standing Abdominal Crunch
Medball lunge with forward reach to Medball Lunge with overhead posterior reach
Supine Shoulder Reaches to Standing Clubbell Side Bends
Standing Dumbbell Woodchops to Medball Posterior Lunge with Rotation
Bosu Ball Squat and dumbbell press to Bosu ball plank with shoulder slides
Single leg squat with reach at knee height to Airex Pad Balance Squat with Dumbbell lateral raise
Split stance rotational body blade exercise to Prone Agro Wheel multi-directional slides

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Beer And Wine: The Hidden Health Benefits

                Alcohol is a difficult topic, because it has health benefits as well as major risks. Studies have shown that when consumed in moderation, meaning two glasses a day or fewer, there are generous health benefits. Beer and wine are slightly different, but both have health benefits you may not have expected.
                Beer is a good source of trace minerals such as folate, biotin, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorous and thiamine. Studies show that moderate alcohol consumption, including beer, decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Beer can also lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase your good cholesterol (HDL). Niacin helps the body convert fat to energy. One can of beer contains 153 calories, and 1 gram of protein. A common critique of beer is that it causes “beer belly.” The average beer has twelve carbohydrates per serving. When consumed in moderation, along with a healthy diet and exercise, weight gain is unlikely.     
                Wine also has its health benefits. It has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, dementia, and certain types of cancer. It can even keep the mind sharp by increasing blood flow to the brain. But there are some conflicting reports. One study showed that women who abstained from alcohol had a higher cancer risk than those who drank in moderation. One the other hand, another study showed that one drink a day could make a woman more prone to breast and uterine cancer because alcohol is believed to boost estrogen production.
                Note that these health benefits only apply to alcohol consumed in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain, alcohol addiction, cirrhosis of the liver, or hepatitis of the liver just to name a few.

Soft Drinks & Health Risks

(HealthDay News) -- Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) may be linked to over 180,000 deaths in the world each year, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from March 19 to 22 in New Orleans.
 Gitanjali M. Singh, Ph.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data collected in the Global Burden of Diseases Study. The effect of SSB intake on change in body mass index (BMI) and the effect of elevated BMI on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer were examined.

 The researchers found that there were 180,000 deaths worldwide attributable to SSB consumption, including 133,000 attributable to diabetes, 44,000 to cardiovascular disease, and 6,000 to cancers. Diabetes deaths related to the consumption of SSBs were the highest in Latin American and the Caribbean (38,000 deaths), while cardiovascular deaths related to the consumption of SSBs were highest in East/Central Eurasia (11,000 deaths). Of the world's 15 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest mortality rate due to SSBs, with 318 deaths per million adults linked to SSB intake. In contrast, Japan, with the lowest per-capita consumption of SSBs, had the lowest mortality rate due to SSB intake (approximately 10 deaths per million adults).

 "Because we were focused on deaths due to chronic diseases, our study focused on adults," Singh said. "Future research should assess the amount of sugary beverage consumption in children across the world and how this affects their current and future health." Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.