2006-11-29 00:00:00

Just How Many Calories Were In That Thanksgiving Dinner?

The following article was sent to me by Scott Campbell, who is the Fitness Director at NW personal training.? NW Personal Training offers quality personal training with dedicated fitness professionals.? If you have an questions, please contact Scott at Scott@NWpersonaltraining.com.
Thanksgiving is a holiday full of tradition, indulgence and, regrettably, extra pounds! Is there a way to stay fit and still enjoy the turkey feast? The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America?s non-profit fitness advocate, suggests a balance between committing to a fitness regimen and limited caloric intake over several days to stay healthy and trim through the holidays. ?A 160 lb. person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal,? said Dr. Cedric Bryant, ACE chief exercise physiologist. ?Many people start by snacking throughout the day and that combined with the meal can lead to a total caloric intake of 4,500. All holiday delicacies can be enjoyed so long as they?re eaten in moderation and combined with a proper exercise plan.? Tips to Stay Fit

  • You can make up for a feast of rich, higher-fat foods with lighter, lower-fat meals for the next couple of days. Plan for the big meal that day with a low-calorie, low-fat breakfast and lunch. Never skip meals, just limit them.
  • Look back and assess your diet over the past few days by recording your caloric intake with a food diary. Have you been over-indulging at recent party feasts? Are there additional celebrations looming? Try eating sensibly in order to afford the extra calories come meal time.
  • Don?t panic or feel guilty if your diet seems to have gotten out of hand. When you balance your intake over several days, you have ample time to regain control.
  • Make physical activity a regular habit. Beyond burning calories, exercise is essential for good health, stress management (oftentimes a challenge during the busy holiday season) and overall well-being.
  • Working out consistently will help jump-start your metabolism allowing you to burn more of those calories from your holiday binge.
  • Have a salad, light soup or some fruit and veggies before leaving home or prior to your meal. This way you will feel fuller and less likely to overeat.
  • Select only your favorite foods at a holiday buffet and let other guests enjoy traditional fare like nuts, rolls and sweet potatoes.
  • Practice portion control. A smaller serving of the real thing can be very satisfying and calorie-trimming.
Filed under: — @ 2006-11-29 00:00:00
2006-11-28 00:00:00

Beat The Holiday Blues!

As the sun’s rays retreat for the season, the “winter blues” appear. The reason for the blues we feel during winter-time has many factors. The term seasonal affective disorder would lead us to believe that the season is to blame for our blues. The changing of the seasons and the lack of sun do play an important part in our mood, but there are other very important variables that change in the winter.

Study after study has shown the link between mood and exercise. By now it should come to no surprise that exercise improves your mood. During the winter months it is common to decrease our exercise due to weather and holiday stress. Living in the northwest, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of winter activities that are fun and great for the body and mind.

Idea #1

Take up a winter sport! They are plenty to choose from and many don’t require much skill to start.

Remember that there is more to winter sports than just downhill skiing. Mt Hood offers a number of cross-country ski trails that are located just off highway 26. Cross-country skiing is a great low impact exercise that is also very easy to learn. If you would like something a little slower, snow-shoeing is a great way to see Mt. Hood?s winter wonderland. Most of the outdoor stores in Portland rent cross-country skis and snow shoes. It is a good idea to rent equipment to see if it is something that would truly interest you before making the investment. Also, you might have a friend that wouldn’t mind loaning you some of their equipment.

We have all heard the old adage, “you are what you eat.” If you eat crap that is exactly how you will feel. During the holidays, the workplace becomes a junk food minefield with cookies and pastries at every turn. It is important to plan your junk food intake during the this time of year. I know this sounds very boring, but stick with me.

Idea #2

Plan out your junk food intake.

Look at the week that you have ahead of you. If you know that you have two holiday parties, happy hour with the coworkers and a brunch date with your friends, limit your junk food intake at work. The holiday parties will be much more fun if you don’t already have food guilt before you get to the door.

Idea #3

Supplementation can help through the holidays.

Vitamin B is known to decrease stress and increase energy. Adding a multi-B each morning will help fight the winter blues and put some pep in your step. Also, a recent study showed fish oils to be helpul in preventing depression, read more.

So far we have covered exercise and food, what else could be contributing to depression during the holidays? Maybe stress? The holidays are the most stressful time of year for many people. Financial stress, family stress, travel stress all come to a head this time of year. If your defenses are down, it is that much easier to let the little things pile up and before long your molehills are mountains.

Idea #4

Write out your commitment and prioritize.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with you think about at all your commitments at once, especially when your fighting for a parking spot at the mall with your screaming kids and the spilt latte on your lap.

Take time to list the items that need your attention and then rank them from most important to least. Not only will this put your mind at ease, but it makes it that much easier to delegate when you know what you have in ahead of you.

Idea #5

Plan a post holiday vacation.

It is much easier to make it through the stress of the holidays when you know that you have a vacation to look forward to. Plan a short vacation in the beginning of the New Year, even if it is a couple nights at the beach or in a cabin on Mt. Hood. This needs to be a time of relaxation and rejuvenation. You made it through another holiday season, treat yourself.

Lastly, enjoy this time with friends and family. Remember that there is only one 2006 holiday season, once it is gone there will never be another.

Happy Holidays!

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-28 00:00:00
2006-11-27 00:00:00

Beat Holiday Jet Lag

Six Ways to Cope with Holiday Jet Lag
Filed under: — @ 2006-11-27 00:00:00
2006-11-22 00:00:00

Guest Article: Comparison shopping for healthcare

I recently learned about Vimo and they intrigued me because they look to be the Lending Tree of healthcare and offer comparison shopping for surgical procedures, insurance, doctors, health savings accounts, and hospitals. They claim to even be able to help consumers negotiate down medical bills they already received. Vimo seems to be a company worth watching because if they can achieve even part of what they plan it could make a direct impact to healthcare consumers. Given my interest in consumer-directed healthcare I asked Chini Krishnan, founder and CEO of Vimo, on the importance of empowering the consumer and putting them in the drivers seat of their own healthcare choices. Here’s what Chini had to say:

It’s no secret that people are turning to the Internet for healthcare advice, bypassing even their trusted doctors to access information. Some people think this is a good thing: You develop a symptom — a rash, a cough, a headache — and immediately you go online to get a diagnosis. Others, especially the doctors, are dismayed that people are getting false or misleading information from Web sites. Online advice, they say, is often not credible and raises unfounded fears among the public.

But the public is not listening. Now, more than ever, folks are online searching for information, treatment options and any piece of data they can access regarding their own health challenges and those of loved ones.

So it stands to reason that this fervor to capture information electronically about disease states would transcend to other areas impacting healthcare, such as coverage, procedures and providers. Online comparison shopping has emerged as an important aspect of “electronic healthcare delivery” and people value this service — it’s part of the great American way.

Think of all the electronic venues for making decisions regarding clothing, computers and virtually anything consumers have their eyes on — from low cost appliances to big-ticket items. When it comes to choosing a healthcare provider, service, hospital, specialty offering or treatment, our citizens want the best value for their dollar. And the power of the Internet is delivering the information that everyone is seeking.

Now, turn this up a notch. People are getting even choosier because under Health Savings Accounts, it’s “their own money” they are spending, not the dollars of the HMO or insurance company. It’s nearly three years since Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) emerged, and while they???ve faced substantial criticism, Americans are voting with their feet and signing up. Consumers are taking control of their own healthcare costs and watching every dollar they spend. Consumer-directed healthcare (CDH) is clearly on the grow.

I suspect critics of CDHPs forgot to factor in the impact of the Internet — the now trusted ally of the consumer for healthcare advice and guidance. The Internet (and yes, sites like ours, Vimo.com) have given people instant access to healthcare price, quality and comparison information that they didn???t have even three years ago. In a previous era, CDHPs probably wouldn???t have worked: people simply wouldn???t have been able to find the data they needed in order to make informed choices. But today, the stars all seem aligned for consumer-directed care, plans and health financial vehicles.

Internet technology again appears to be the backbone for healthcare decision-making. To fully take advantage of CDH, consumers need access to information only the Internet can deliver. For our part, we???re hearing very positive reviews of CDHPs from people who use our site (Vimo.com) to gain the information they need to make smart healthcare purchases. But more people need to know about the information that’s available.

More and more Americans are discovering that the ???hidden??? price and quality information that used to be the domain of the big insurance corporations has finally come to their own desktop. As far as Vimo is concerned, we like this freedom to choose and applaud the technology that is making it all possible.

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-22 00:00:00
2006-11-22 00:00:00

Guest Article: Comparison shopping for healthcare

I recently learned about Vimo and they intrigued me because they look to be the Lending Tree of healthcare and offer comparison shopping for surgical procedures, insurance, doctors, health savings accounts, and hospitals. They claim to even be able to help consumers negotiate down medical bills they already received. Vimo seems to be a company worth watching because if they can achieve even part of what they plan it could make a direct impact to healthcare consumers. Given my interest in consumer-directed healthcare I asked Chini Krishnan, founder and CEO of Vimo, on the importance of empowering the consumer and putting them in the drivers seat of their own healthcare choices. Here’s what Chini had to say:

It’s no secret that people are turning to the Internet for healthcare advice, bypassing even their trusted doctors to access information. Some people think this is a good thing: You develop a symptom — a rash, a cough, a headache — and immediately you go online to get a diagnosis. Others, especially the doctors, are dismayed that people are getting false or misleading information from Web sites. Online advice, they say, is often not credible and raises unfounded fears among the public.

But the public is not listening. Now, more than ever, folks are online searching for information, treatment options and any piece of data they can access regarding their own health challenges and those of loved ones.

So it stands to reason that this fervor to capture information electronically about disease states would transcend to other areas impacting healthcare, such as coverage, procedures and providers. Online comparison shopping has emerged as an important aspect of “electronic healthcare delivery” and people value this service — it’s part of the great American way.

Think of all the electronic venues for making decisions regarding clothing, computers and virtually anything consumers have their eyes on — from low cost appliances to big-ticket items. When it comes to choosing a healthcare provider, service, hospital, specialty offering or treatment, our citizens want the best value for their dollar. And the power of the Internet is delivering the information that everyone is seeking.

Now, turn this up a notch. People are getting even choosier because under Health Savings Accounts, it’s “their own money” they are spending, not the dollars of the HMO or insurance company. It’s nearly three years since Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) emerged, and while they???ve faced substantial criticism, Americans are voting with their feet and signing up. Consumers are taking control of their own healthcare costs and watching every dollar they spend. Consumer-directed healthcare (CDH) is clearly on the grow.

I suspect critics of CDHPs forgot to factor in the impact of the Internet — the now trusted ally of the consumer for healthcare advice and guidance. The Internet (and yes, sites like ours, Vimo.com) have given people instant access to healthcare price, quality and comparison information that they didn???t have even three years ago. In a previous era, CDHPs probably wouldn???t have worked: people simply wouldn???t have been able to find the data they needed in order to make informed choices. But today, the stars all seem aligned for consumer-directed care, plans and health financial vehicles.

Internet technology again appears to be the backbone for healthcare decision-making. To fully take advantage of CDH, consumers need access to information only the Internet can deliver. For our part, we???re hearing very positive reviews of CDHPs from people who use our site (Vimo.com) to gain the information they need to make smart healthcare purchases. But more people need to know about the information that’s available.

More and more Americans are discovering that the ???hidden??? price and quality information that used to be the domain of the big insurance corporations has finally come to their own desktop. As far as Vimo is concerned, we like this freedom to choose and applaud the technology that is making it all possible.

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-22 00:00:00
2006-11-20 00:00:00

Vitamin C Fights Fat

The following information came from Dr. Weil:

Too little vitamin C in the bloodstream has been found to correlate with higher body fat and larger waist measurements. Now, nutrition researchers at Arizona State University are reporting that higher amounts of ?C? in the blood increase fat oxidation; that is, the body?s ability to ?burn? fat as fuel.

Results of a four-week study presented at the Experimental Biology conference in San Francisco in April, 2006 showed that at the start of the clinical trial, participants with the lowest levels of ?C? had the highest body fat and lowest ability to oxidize fat. Some participants in the study were given 500 mg of ?C? daily, others got a placebo, and all were placed on low-fat diets. Both groups lost an average of nine pounds, but body fat decreased slightly more in the ?C? group - the decrease fell just short of statistical significance, and more studies are underway.

It will be interesting to see if vitamin C is eventually shown to help body-fat loss over longer periods of time.

My comments:

All land animals except humans, primates and guinea pigs make their own vitamin C.? Because we don’t manufacture our own vitamin C, we are required to obtain it from an outside source.? The question is how much vitamin C is enough?? There is a lot of debate on this issue.

The RDA was created to provide a level of nutrients that would prevent disease.? Specifically the RDA?vitamin C levels were designed to prevent scurvy.? Vitamin C does much more than just prevent scurvy.? Immune system function,?oxidation reduction and collagen formation are just a few of the many bodily functions that require vitamin C.

Many researchers believe that there are a number of conditions that are a direct result of vitamin C deficiency that are being misdiagnosed.

For a more in depth look at vitamin C defficiency click here “A Case for C.”

Research has shown that as many a 1 in every 16 people have clinically low levels of vitamin C.? Some of the symptoms associated with vitamin C deficiency are bleeding gums, bruising easily and fatigue.? Some of these symptoms are also a result of more serious diseases, so speak with a qualified healthcare provider if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-20 00:00:00
2006-11-19 00:00:00

The Best Doctor I Have Met!

I have a confession to make?I have never healed anyone.

You might be wondering what I am doing with all my free time if I am not healing my patients.? I know a doctor that is much better than myself at healing.? This doctor works twenty-four hours a day and is always on call.? The best thing about this doctor is the fee, this doctor works for free.? What a welcome change in this world of skyrocketing healthcare costs.? Luckily you have already met this doctor, but sometimes we get busy and forget our connection with this great practitioner, so I would like tore-introduce you to Dr. You.

Dr. You has healed every disease out there, from scratches to life threatening conditions, there is not a job too big or too small.? Dr. You has a natural pharmacy that contains pain medications, anti-depressants, anti-bacterials just to name a few.? Because we might not understand how Dr. You uses these substances to heal the body, we have lumped them under the category called ?the placebo effect.?

You might be asking yourself, ?if this Dr. You is so good, why do we need any other doctors??? It is true that Dr. You can do some amazing things, but this practitioner can only work if there are no obstructions.? This is very similar to not being able to do your work when you are stuck on the I-405 bridge.

As a chiropractor, my job is to remove the interferences that prevent Dr. You from being the best doctor possible.? Many of these interferences occur in the spine where the nerves that control our entire body exit.? If there is a blockage at any level in the spine, irritation of the spinal nerves occurs.? Going back to our I-405 analogy, this would be analogous to road rage.? This irritation causes the nerves to function improperly and transmit improper messages to the organs and nerves that they supply.? This can cause everything from low back pain to asthma.

It might not be a stretch to learn that spinal irritation can cause low back pain, but how could spinal irritation be related to asthma?? As I mentioned earlier, the nerves that exit the spine control everything in the body.? These nerves control the muscles of the low back and they also control the lungs.? If the nerves that control the lungs are irritated, the lungs will no function properly.? This is why many patients experience health benefits from chiropractic that reach far beyond pain relief.

It is always best to consult Dr. You before seeking the help of any other practitioner.? No one knows your body better than Dr. You.

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-19 00:00:00
2006-11-18 00:00:00

Open source software for clinical research

A number of my readers have asked me about open source software for clinical research; I recommend taking a look at OpenClinica. From their introduction:

It facilitates protocol configuration, design of case report forms, electronic data capture, retrieval, and management. OpenClinica supports HIPAA guidelines, and is designed as a standards-based extensible, modular, and open source platform.

It has all the right buzz-words: it’s web-based, written using Java, and is pretty simple to use.

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-18 00:00:00
2006-11-18 00:00:00

Open source software for clinical research

A number of my readers have asked me about open source software for clinical research; I recommend taking a look at OpenClinica. From their introduction:

It facilitates protocol configuration, design of case report forms, electronic data capture, retrieval, and management. OpenClinica supports HIPAA guidelines, and is designed as a standards-based extensible, modular, and open source platform.

It has all the right buzz-words: it’s web-based, written using Java, and is pretty simple to use.

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-18 00:00:00
2006-11-17 00:00:00

Active Sitting: Strengthen You Core While at Your Desk

What is it?
You’ve heard of sitting on a donut when you have discomfort sitting but have you ever considered sitting on a sitting disc for fitness benefits? Traditionally found in the rehabilitation environment, sitting discs are gaining popularity in homes, offices and fitness facilities. The sitting disc is a flat circular air filled rubber disc. It can be used strictly for active sitting or it can be used in a variety of ways in a fitness environment to enhance a fitness program.

With more and more advancements in technology many of us are sitting at our computers for extended periods of time. Sitting in a chair can be one of the most biomechanicaly stressful positions we put our bodies into. From an evolutionary standpoint, mankind is not designed to sit. Much to some people’s surprise, there is more strain on our back when we sit than when we stand or move around. Sitting for long periods of time increases stiffness in the hips and low back at the same time weakening the muscles of the abdominal and core. In a home or office environment, active sitting on a sitting disc can help to train balance and mobility in the lower back and pelvic girdle. The sit disc creates an unstable surface when seated causing the body to sway and correct itself against gravity. This added element of balance encourages our postural muscles to become more active, providing small but beneficial movement to train the muscles of the low back, core and pelvis. By keeping the postural muscles active, we allow them to stay strong so they can meet the demands imposed on them in our day to day lives. Not to mention making sitting more comfortable on our butts.

In a fitness environment, the sitting disc can be used alone or in combination with other quipment. For example, standing on the sitting disc will train total body balance. You can then combine standing on the disc and performing a squat type exercise to work strengthand dynamic balance. The unstable surface of the sit disc stimulates the neuromuscular system to work harder than when training on a solid surface. There are as many creative ways to use the sit disc in an exercise environment, as there are fitness programs. You can use it to enhance your core-conditioning program; Pilates mat exercises and traditional strength training exercises.

Who would like it?
Ideally we would all be active in our home and work environments and we won’t need to worry about active sitting. But if your profession requires you to sit for long periods of time you may want to consider a sit disc for your office or home. Even though the level of core and back conditioning you will get is lower than traditional exercises, it will assist you in bringing some core conditioning and low back mobility into your everyday routine. As most of us find ourselves sitting more than we would like for good health, the sit disc can improve posture, strength and mobility of the core.

On the other hand if you are looking for greater challenge in your fitness program you should consider adding some sitting disc exercises to your program. Simply sitting on the disc and doing a fitness V sit or rolling half way back in abdominal curls will substantially increase the challenge to your core muscles. If you find training on other balance equipment like a wobble board or BOSU too challenging, this is a great introductory step to learning how to balance on an unstable surface.

For home fitness programs this tool is ideal and is inexpensive and easy to store.

Who wouldn’t like it?
Once you get past the initial sense of instability most people like sitting on the disc. When using it for fitness benefits, some exercises may be too challenging at the start. If you are currently working out using more advanced balance training equipment you may not find the sitting disc challenging enough. My recommendation is to try it and see how it feels for you.

The learning curve
The disc is small, portable and easy to use. For sitting the learning curve is a matter of seconds. When using it in a fitness program the difficulty of the learning curve will depend on the exercises selected. You may also find that if you haven’t done much sports or fitness training that requires balance that initially the sitting disc can be very challenging. To demonstrate my point, try sitting on it and doing a Pilates half roll back exercise.

Gear needed
No special clothing or gear is needed to use the sitting disc for active sitting. Take it to work, travel with it or use it at home. If you are taking it to the gym you will want to dress for the specific workout. These active sitting discs come in a variety of sizes to fit the size of the pelvic sitting bones. The most common size is 13-14 inches in diameter. Ask a fitness trainer or qualified staff at the supplier for assistance in purchasing the right size for you.

Where can you purchase it?
There are a number of fitness equipment stores that carry the sitting discs. They are sold under a variety of names such as a SitFit, Balance disc, a fit disc, active disc or sitting disc. To try one out visit Fitterfirst in Calgary or visit their website at www.fitter1.com. They even have one that is self inflating and easy to pack in your suitcase. The price range is from $30 to $40 depending on the brand. Most fitness facilities have them on hand so ask a fitness professional to show you how to integrate the sitting disc into your workout routine.

The bottom line
A sitting disc is a small investment that can make a big difference to your spinal health. It is a simple balance tool to learn how to use and can be used in everyday life as well as to enhance your fitness program.

Filed under: — @ 2006-11-17 00:00:00
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