Friday, May 3, 2013

Develop 6 Pack Abs

We all have ‘em---abs. Abdominals, Core, 6-pack, stomach muscles! Whether you can see them or not is another story. And regardless if you have a 4, 6 or 8-pack, being lean, functional and strong in the mid section is a must. Here are sure-fire ways to develop your abs.

Good attitude. Be optimistic and confident about your body. Visualize your 6-pack as the lean strong muscle it will be.

 Proper nutrition. Eat small meals, eat breakfast, and find the foods that optimize your metabolism.

 Endurance ExerciseDo interval training, cross-training, and classes such as indoor cycling, and classes innovated by the author such as cardio core cross-spin, cardio yoga, etc.

 Resistance ExerciseKeep a steady stream of individualized, intense strength workouts for all muscles.

Isometric ExerciseInclude core builders such as high and low planks, bridges, as well as disciplines such as yoga and pilates.

Stability Ball. Use exercise balls for crunches, situps, core balancing and core stretching.

Train the entire core. Do not just train abs, utilize exercise for complete core activation of lower back, obliques, transverse abdominus and pelvic floor muscles.

Breath. Learn how to yogic breath to better activate the abs, utilize the diaphragm and allow the body to lengthen the core.

Using these simple yet important tactics will highlight your 6-pack and also improve your function and overall health and wellness.

 Marc Thompson
 Marc D. Thompson BS,VPT is a national innovator of on-line virtual training and group instruction (via Skype). Thompson has 25-years of experience as a fitness trainer and personal coach focusing on medicine and exercise physiology. He has dedicated his life to isolating the physical strengths and weaknesses of each client and matching them with a multitude of fitness disciplines to improve their physical, mental and psychological well-being.

Marc D Thompson, VirtuFitTM 
Virtual Personal Training, Live & OnlineTM

Aquatic Fitness

Aquatic fitness is any healthy activity performed in water. The use of water for fitness is not new but it has many benefits. Water provides a cushion, to keep impact to a minimum. It is soothing and relaxing. Water also maintains our body temperature as we perform high heart rate exercises.
Water allows movement for those with orthopedic limitations that could not be performed safely on land. Here are a few aquatic ideas to discover how water can best enhance your wellness.

1. Aquatic cross training (land and water exercises intervals)
2. Deep water lunging
3. Laps without using arms
4. Laps without using legs
5. Speed strokes
6. Butterfly laps
7. Water yoga
8. Water Tai Chi
9. Water Pilates
10. Surface diving drills

Marc D. Thompson BS,VPT is a national innovator of on-line virtual training and group instruction (via Skype). Thompson has 25-years of experience as a fitness trainer and personal coach focusing on medicine and exercise physiology. He has dedicated his life to isolating the physical strengths and weaknesses of each client and matching them with a multitude of fitness disciplines to improve their physical, mental and psychological well-being.

Flip Flops

Researchers at Auburn University have found that wearing flip-flops alters the way one walks, changing the gait in subtle ways that can lead to serious sole, heel and ankle problems. The toes are designed to balance our body, wearing flip flops forces the toes to act as stabilizers. 

Blueberries and Memory

 Wish you had a better memory? Feel like you just can’t remember things like you used too? What if you found out that popping a few blueberries in your mouth could do the trick?  Well in fact, scientists are saying that among their many nutritional benefits, blueberries might be playing a larger role in our memory then we ever knew before.

Blueberries, which have been coined a super food for many years, may be even more powerful than anyone had first imagined.  Blueberries are known to be rich in antioxidants, an important defender to protect our bodies from cancers.  Not to mention the high fiber content of the blueberry has made it a highly recommended dietary choice for those with a history of irritable bowel, constipation or high cholesterol. 

So what is this about memory? Most recently much attention has been focusing more specifically on a type of antioxidant found in the blueberry called anthocyanins.  These are part of a large group referred to as polyphenols, which are in abundance in most fruits and vegetables. It is however the blueberry that appears to contain the most significant amount of anthocyanins.  

Recent studies have shown that those who consume diets rich in blueberries, and blueberry juice, have greater evidence of anthocyanins in the part of their brain that is involved in improving memory, learning, decision making, comprehension and numerical ability.  It appears that the role of the anthocyanins is related to allowing the neurons of the brain communicate and thus enhance memory.  Studies going one step further have even suggested that increased consumption may help slow the decline in mental status of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the natural decline seen in aging.

So just how many blueberries will have your brain powered up? Most studies suggest about 3 cups of blueberries, or 2- 2 ½ cups of blueberry juice a day will do the trick!  

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.

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Men Who Are Obese While Young...

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Men who are obese in their early 20s have a significantly increased risk of dying or of having serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease by the time they reach age 55, a new long-term study indicates.
Researchers tracked the health of 6,500 Danish men from age 22 until age 55. At the start of the study, 83 percent of the young men had normal weight, 5 percent were underweight, 10 percent were overweight and 1.5 percent were obese.
By the end of the follow-up period, nearly half of the men who were obese at age 22 had been diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure, suffered a heart attack, stroke or blood clots in the legs or lungs, or had died.
Compared to those with normal weight, obese young men were eight times more likely to develop diabetes, four times more likely to have a potentially fatal blood clot, and more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, have had a heart attack or to have died, according to the study published April 29 in the online journal BMJ Open.
Every unit increase in body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight) was associated with a 5 percent increased risk of heart attack, a 10 percent increased risk of high blood pressure and blood clots, and a 20 percent increased risk of diabetes.
Overall, obese young men had a nearly 50 percent risk of developing any of these serious health problems by middle age, compared with a 20 percent risk for young men with normal weight, according to a journal news release.
The findings suggest that rising rates of obesity may counteract the decrease in deaths from heart disease, and place a huge burden on health care systems worldwide, concluded study author Henrik Toft Sorensen, a professor at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues.
The study found an association between obesity in young men and a greater risk of serious health problems or death by age 55. However, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases outlines the health risks of being overweight.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Blind Cords Pose Danger to Toddlers, Doctors Warn

Young children are at high risk for accidentally strangling themselves with window blind cords and parents need to be aware of this threat, doctors report.
Children aged 16 to 36 months seem particularly vulnerable to this danger, because they have relatively large heads compared with the rest of their bodies as well as softer windpipes, the doctors noted. They also have less muscle control than adults, which makes it harder for them to disentangle themselves from the cords.
The British doctors wrote their warning, published online April 29 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, after they treated a 22-month-old boy who was brought into the emergency department after being found hanging on the pull chain of a window blind cord.
The child was discharged after an overnight stay in hospital, but not every child in this type of situation is so lucky, the doctors noted.
"In the U.K., it is thought that one or two young children die each year from blind cord strangulation," they wrote. "It is believed that there are probably many more under-reported near misses."
Data indicates that more than 200 infants and young children in the United States have died from accidental strangulation in window blind cords, Dr. Manas Datta, from the department of pediatrics at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, said in a journal news release.
The British Blind and Shutter Association and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents recommend installing cordless blinds, short pull cords, using safety devices and keeping children‘s beds away from blind cords.
The best option would be a ban on looped window blind cords, the doctors said. Until that happens, "it is imperative that parents are educated about the hazards of window blind cords and appropriate safety devices are installed in homes with young children," they concluded.

More information
The Window Covering Safety Council offers window covering safety tips.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.