July 2020 // Archive

Date based archive
26 Jul

1. Start small.

Too many people go from doing nothing to exercising for hours per day… only to burn out weeks later. If your workout feels daunting, it’s easier to skip out on it, so make the exercise doable. I’ve had many clients who would only exercise if they could run a full five miles or bike for an hour. One client scorned exercise unless she was training for a marathon, so she never exercised. But the 10-minute workout we actually do is always better than the “perfect” workout we never do; something is always better than nothing.

2. Follow the 10-minute rule.

The hardest part about exercising is starting, and the easiest way to get started is to commit to less up front. This approach makes taking that first step less daunting. If you’re 10 minutes in and want to stop, you can, but the momentum and good feelings usually take over, and you end up following through.

In the 10 years I’ve been helping people develop healthy behaviors around food and exercise, I’ve found that most people truly want to exercise more to improve their health and fitness; however, as with diet, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two very different things.YOU MIGHT LIKE

I’ve learned that addressing the psychology behind why people don’t exercise as often as they know they should usually does the trick. Here are some tips that have helped my clients make their workouts actually happen:

1. Start small.

Too many people go from doing nothing to exercising for hours per day… only to burn out weeks later. If your workout feels daunting, it’s easier to skip out on it, so make the exercise doable. I’ve had many clients who would only exercise if they could run a full five miles or bike for an hour. One client scorned exercise unless she was training for a marathon, so she never exercised. But the 10-minute workout we actually do is always better than the “perfect” workout we never do; something is always better than nothing.

2. Follow the 10-minute rule.

The hardest part about exercising is starting, and the easiest way to get started is to commit to less up front. This approach makes taking that first step less daunting. If you’re 10 minutes in and want to stop, you can, but the momentum and good feelings usually take over, and you end up following through.

A before-and-after photo of Rebecca, a MyBodyTutor client who says, “My goal was to live a life where I was at my personal best. That has been achieved, and I lost weight as well.”

3. Pair exercise with something else.

Save your favorite podcast for when you exercise, or only allow yourself to watch your favorite show or listen to your favorite album when you’re on the treadmill. You might find yourself exercising just to listen to music, your favorite podcast, or to watch your favorite show.

4. Never waste a shower.

Use a shower as a reward for exercising. Since you shower every day, you’ll exercise every day. The positive reinforcement also helps train your mind to enjoy the experience of working out.

5. Don’t push to exhaustion.

I always recommend you stop exercising before you’re absolutely exhausted. Even if it’s something you enjoy, stop when you’re feeling good. You’re more likely to want to do it again.

6. Access the power of Mondays.

Exercising on a Monday sets the tone and psychological pattern for the week. If you skip exercising on Monday, it’s much easier to skip exercising on Tuesday, which can quickly become, “Well, I already missed a day. I’ll start fresh on Monday!” Momentum can work for you, but it will also work against you… if you let it.

7. Have fun.

Most of our clients approach exercise as something they should do, instead of something they want to do. In working with them, I’ve realized that the best exercise (and diet) plan is one you can stick to. To take the pressure off, we recommend our clients try different things until they find something they really like. Explore your way through walking, running, cycling, swimming, yoga, Pilates, lifting weights, kickboxing, etc. Allow yourself to do more of what you like and less of what you don’t. Before long, you’ll find yourself looking forward to the fun.

8. Honor your commitment to “you time.”

Schedule your workouts for a time that’s convenient, and don’t give in to the temptation of filling that time up with anything else. I’m always asked about the best time to exercise, and my answer is that it depends on what’s most realistic given your schedule. If you’re not a morning person, trying to exercise in the morning is setting yourself up for failure. You’re asking yourself to do two new things: Wake up early and exercise. Instead, make it easier on yourself: Could you exercise during lunch or on the way home?

9. Opt for the do-nothing strategy.

If you’ve scheduled time to work out but choose to skip exercise, you’re often rewarding yourself with an activity you enjoy, like scrolling through your Instagram feed or watching a show you like. This only serves to reinforce negative behavior. Instead, do nothing. When the choice is to sit and literally do nothing or exercise, exercise almost always wins out.

10. Identify the real problem.

Is it the guys grunting in the weight-training area that turn you off from weight lifting? Try going to the gym during an off hour. Are you scared of looking clueless in the gym? A session or two with a personal trainer who can show you the ropes will make you feel confident in your abilities.

26 Jul

What is a Trigger Point?

Trigger points are involuntary tight tender spots in a contracted muscle. This creates pain and dysfunction within the muscle. They are in parts of the muscle where there is decreased circulation, increased muscle contraction, spasm and increased nerve sensitivity causing a sharp pain or a constant ache. They also can cause referred pain, or pain felt in other parts of the body.

What causes Trigger Points?

Trigger points develop from either stress, repetitive or overuse of a muscle, trauma or accident, structural imbalance, improper stretching or no stretching before physical activity. When a muscle is overused or injured a contraction develops and knots occur. These knots develop when individual muscle fibers are over-stimulated and unable to release their contracted state. This contraction reduces blood flow resulting in a diminished supply of oxygen and a build up of metabolic waste. The contracted muscle (trigger point) reacts by sending out signals of pain.

How it works/What is Trigger Point Therapy?

You can control, decrease or eliminate your muscle pain by treating trigger points yourself. When pressure is applied to the trigger point, the pain-spasm cycle is interrupted which helps stop the contraction making the pain go away.

How to effectively release trigger points:

To treat trigger points apply sustained pressure for a period long enough to release the muscle spasm, about 10-30 seconds to deactivate it, release and relax the muscle. This increases blood flow to the muscle normalizing it and bringing it back to a healthy state. This procedure is one of the most powerful yet simple ways to treat muscle pain and discomfort. We’ve created a free Trigger Point Chart, which includes Fybromyalgia treatment and reflexology information.

26 Jul

The Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator can be used to calculate BMI value and corresponding weight status while taking age into consideration. Use the “Metric Units” tab for the International System of Units or the “Other Units” tab to convert units into either US or metric units. Note that the calculator also computes the Ponderal Index in addition to BMI, both of which are discussed below in detail.

BMI introduction

BMI is a measurement of a person’s leanness or corpulence based on their height and weight, and is intended to quantify tissue mass. It is widely used as a general indicator of whether a person has a healthy body weight for their height. Specifically, the value obtained from the calculation of BMI is used to categorize whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese depending on what range the value falls between. These ranges of BMI vary based on factors such as region and age, and are sometimes further divided into subcategories such as severely underweight or very severely obese. Being overweight or underweight can have significant health effects, so while BMI is an imperfect measure of healthy body weight, it is a useful indicator of whether any additional testing or action is required. Refer to the table below to see the different categories based on BMI that is used by the calculator.

BMI table for adults

This is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended body weight based on BMI values for adults. It is used for both men and women, age 18 or older.

CategoryBMI range – kg/m2
Severe Thinness< 16
Moderate Thinness16 – 17
Mild Thinness17 – 18.5
Normal18.5 – 25
Overweight25 – 30
Obese Class I30 – 35
Obese Class II35 – 40
Obese Class III> 40

BMI chart for adults

This is a graph of BMI categories based on the World Health Organization data. The dashed lines represent subdivisions within a major categorization.

BMI table for children and teens, age 2-20

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends BMI categorization for children and teens between age 2 and 20.

CategoryPercentile Range
Healthy weight5% – 85%
At risk of overweight85% – 95%

BMI chart for children and teens, age 2-20

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI-for-age percentiles growth charts.

Chart for boys
Chart for girls

Risks associated with being overweight

Being overweight increases the risk of a number of serious diseases and health conditions. Below is a list of said risks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • High blood pressure
  • Higher levels of LDL cholesterol, which is widely considered “bad cholesterol,” lower levels of HDL cholesterol, considered to be good cholesterol in moderation, and high levels of triglycerides
  • Type II diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis, a type of joint disease caused by breakdown of joint cartilage
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Certain cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illnesses such as clinical depression, anxiety, and others
  • Body pains and difficulty with certain physical functions
  • Generally, an increased risk of mortality compared to those with a healthy BMI

As can be seen from the list above, there are numerous negative, in some cases fatal, outcomes that may result from being overweight. Generally, a person should try to maintain a BMI below 25 kg/m2, but ideally should consult their doctor to determine whether or not they need to make any changes to their lifestyle in order to be healthier.

Risks associated with being underweight

Being underweight has its own associated risks, listed below:

  • Malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, anemia (lowered ability to carry blood vessels)
  • Osteoporosis, a disease that causes bone weakness, increasing the risk of breaking a bone
  • A decrease in immune function
  • Growth and development issues, particularly in children and teenagers
  • Possible reproductive issues for women due to hormonal imbalances that can disrupt the menstrual cycle. Underweight women also have a higher chance of miscarriage in the first trimester
  • Potential complications as a result of surgery
  • Generally, an increased risk of mortality compared to those with a healthy BMI

In some cases, being underweight can be a sign of some underlying condition or disease such as anorexia nervosa, which has its own risks. Consult your doctor if you think you or someone you know is underweight, particularly if the reason for being underweight does not seem obvious.

Limitations of BMI

Although BMI is a widely used and useful indicator of healthy body weight, it does have its limitations. BMI is only an estimate that cannot take body composition into account. Due to a wide variety of body types as well as distribution of muscle, bone mass, and fat, BMI should be considered along with other measurements rather than being used as the sole method for determining a person’s healthy body weight.

In adults:

BMI cannot be fully accurate because it is a measure of excess body weight, rather than excess body fat. BMI is further influenced by factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, muscle mass, and body fat, and activity level, among others. For example, an older person who is considered a healthy weight, but is completely inactive in their daily life may have significant amounts of excess body fat even though they are not heavy. This would be considered unhealthy, while a younger person with higher muscle composition of the same BMI would be considered healthy. In athletes, particularly bodybuilders who would be considered overweight due to muscle being heavier than fat, it is entirely possible that they are actually at a healthy weight for their body composition. Generally, according to the CDC:

  • Older adults tend to have more body fat than younger adults with the same BMI.
  • Women tend to have more body fat than men for an equivalent BMI.
  • Muscular individuals and highly trained athletes may have higher BMIs due to large muscle mass.

In children and adolescents:

The same factors that limit the efficacy of BMI for adults can also apply to children and adolescents. Additionally, height and level of sexual maturation can influence BMI and body fat among children. BMI is a better indicator of excess body fat for obese children than it is for overweight children, whose BMI could be a result of increased levels of either fat or fat-free mass (all body components except for fat, which includes water, organs, muscle, etc.). In thin children, the difference in BMI can also be due to fat-free mass.

That being said, BMI is fairly indicative of body fat for 90-95% of the population, and can effectively be used along with other measures to help determine an individual’s healthy body weight.

26 Jul

[quote]”Heart rate monitoring is the single most accurate means to understanding how your body is responding to exercise and the activities of daily life.”[/quote]

Mark GorelickPhD (Biomedical Science), Director of Product Science & Innovation at Mio Global …

Heart rate, which is sometimes referred as heart pulse, is the frequency with which the heart beats are measured. Instead of Hz/Hertz, we use beats per minute (bpm) as the standard unit of measurement for heart. The heart frequency can vary according to the body’s physical activities and needs [usally tied to the amount of oxygen absorbtion and Carbon dioxide release]. 60–100 bpm is medically accepted as a normal resting adult human heart rate. However, during sleep, it can come down to 40–50 BPM.

Most effective fitness training can be acheived if you really care about how heart healthy you are during the training. To determine the Heart rate zone, you’d need to know your Resting and Maximum Heart Rate. You can use this script to find your zone.

Manual method to find the resting and maximum heart rate (To get rough calculation):

Resting pulse should be measured first thing in the morning. To measure, put your middle and index finger to either your radial artery on your wrist or your carotid artery in your neck. You can either wait for an entire minute and count the beats or count how many beats occur in 20 seconds, and multiply this number by 3.

Maximum heart rate is the highest number of heart beats per minute (bpm) when exercising maximally. This is best measured during a maximal exercise test, in which the body is pushed to its physical limit. To measure your maximum heart rate, run as fast as you can for 5 minutes and then measure the pulse. This will be close to 208-(0.7 multiplied by your age). For example, for a 35 year old guy, it should be around 184bpm. (Tanaka, H., Monahan, K.D., & Seals, D.R. (2001). Age-predicted maximal heart rate revisited. J Am Coll Cardiol. Jan;37(1):153-6.)

The most commonly used formula is to take your age (in years) away from 220. For example, if you are 35, your predicted max heart rate is 185 bpm (220 – 35). The formula was derived from a range of maximum heart rate studies in 1970 by William Haskell and Samuel Fox.

Assisted method to find the resting and maximum heart rate (Close to precise):

You can also measure using fitness trackers/activity trackers with heart rate monitor or wearable heart rate monitor. Not all the trackers come with heart rate monitors. Some comes with a built in optical heart rate monitor (like Fitbit surge), and some comes with bio-impedence sensor based heart rate monitor (like Jawbone UP 3). Yet another class of activity tracker comes without any inbuilt heart rate monitors. But if you have an activity tracker that comes with low power Bluetooth (BLE) or ANT+ enabled (like Garmin Vivofit 2), that would be the most reliable in the affordable class. Also note that, the current market is flooded with so many trackers that do not support heart rate monitoring.

To find your resting heart rate, the second option is to have a wearable heart rate monitor like the Rhythm+ or the Wohoo Tickr X chest strap. You can pair this with your smartphone (along with apps like Sleep as Android) and get your resting heart rate.

Medical method to find the resting and maximum heart rate (Very precise):

The most accurate way is to consult with a Human Performance Laboratory to conduct a metabolic exercise stress assessment. [This technique is out of scope for this article].

26 Jul

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Delta brainwaves are the slowest of the brainwaves. They occur during the deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. You are completely unconscious during this state. Delta waves suspends external noise and awareness. This state is very important since your body goes to a restorative state, heals itself and resets its internal clocks.
Following are some of the amazing discoveries made regarding delta wave:
Simulation of delta waves for 5 minutes relieved headaches in 14 out of 15 participants (Solomon GD; 1985)
A 1985 study provided some of the earliest clinical evidence for the ability of delta wave stimulation to aid in pain relief, and specifically the relief of headaches.
In this study, 15 patients with acute muscle contraction headaches were given just 5 minutes of delta stimulation at 1 to 3hz. All but one of the patients reported complete relief of their headache in that short time.
4 of the patients were also treated in a placebo-controlled trial- none of the 4 responded to the placebo, but all 4 experienced headache relief when given actual delta photic stimulation.
This experiment included an additional 6 patients who were suffering from chronic muscle contraction headaches- and again, all but one patient experienced complete headache relief after 5 minutes of delta stimulation.
The study reached the conclusion that “slow wave photic stimulation appears to be effective in the treatment of acute and chronic muscle-contraction type headaches.”
Solomon GD. Slow wave photic stimulation in the treatment of headache—a preliminary report. Headache. 1985;25(8):444-446.
30 minutes of Delta wave mixed with music reduced anxiety by 26.3% (measures as STAI(State Trait Anxiety Inventory)) [Padmanabhan R, Hildreth AJ, Laws D.A; 2005]
This 2005 study was conducted to explore whether brain stimulation could be useful in reducing preoperative anxiety in patients, while still allowing them to be “street ready” after the operation- meaning their mobility and functionality would not be hindered.
108 patients who were scheduled to undergo general anaesthesia for elective surgery were recruited for this controlled study. About an hour before their operation, the subjects were asked to complete a State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) questionnaire. The STAI is a well validated and widely used test for measuring subjective feelings of anxiety. Scores for the STAI range from 20 to 80, with a higher score corresponding to higher anxiety levels.
Subjects were separated into one of three groups. One group listened to a 30 minute audio track including music and binaural beats stimulating delta activity. Another group listened to exactly the same music, but without the binaual beats. The third group received no specific intervention, and participants were allowed to read or watch television.
At the end of the 30 minutes, participants completed the STAI questionnaire for a second time. The group who listened to delta binaural beats experienced the greatest reduction in anxiety scores, a 26.3% drop. By comparison, the group who only listened to music lowered their scores by 11.1% on average, and the “no intervention” group lowered their scores by just 3.8%.
This is one of a number of studies that has successfully shown that the effect of audio brainwave stimulation is not just a placebo, nor is it the same relaxing effect that one may get from simply listening to relaxing music. These carefully executed and peer reviewed studies give evidence for a very distinct benefit specific to this form of therapy.
Padmanabhan R, Hildreth AJ, Laws D. A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgery. Anaesthesia. 2005;60(9):874-877
58% of participants subjected to delta waves for over a period of 1 month experienced improvement in sleep quality and reduction of fatigue. (Michel Le Van Quyen;2012/D. Siever;2002)
Three different treatments were tested in this study, with the aim of finding ways to increase the quality of life for those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
The 49 participants were randomly distributed into three groups. One group would receive brainwave stimulation. The second would receive standard and alternative medical therapies such as prolotherapy, neural facial therapy, and acupuncture. And the third would receive nutritional supplements, consisting of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and herbs.
The brainwave stimulation group listened to a 30 minute delta session every night while in bed. The delta stimulation was delivered through a pair of headphones (using isochronic tones), and the participants either removed the headphones when the session ended, or simply fell asleep with the session still playing.
All of the participants completed the SCL-90 survey before treatment, and after one month. When survey scores from all three groups were compared, it was found that more patients from the brainwave stimulation group (58%) experienced improvements in sleep and reductions in fatigue than did patients in any other group.
Siever, D. (2002) “The Rediscovery of Audio-Visual Entrainment Technology.
26 Jul

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

Most of the bodybuilders are tempted to start with weight training the moment they hit the gym. They work tirelessly for hours and find themselves going nowhere from where they started. They ignore the warm-up routine thinking that it might be a waste of time in accelerating towards faster results.

In reality, if your focus is on muscle mass building or shaping, you should be spending the first 30% of your time at gym warming up for an effective result, followed by 50% of the time on muscle training (weights, resistance training, etc) and the last 20% of time cooling down. Yes, you heard it right! ‘Cooling down’.

Let us examine why warming up is so critical and important.

Reason 1: Preventing injury

Warming up prevents the risk of being injured. This is the single most important factor for warming up. Warming-up increases the body temperature which leads to increased blood saturation of muscles and connective tissues. Hence, the more blood reaching the muscles, tendons and ligaments, the better the elasticity of these tissues. Also warming up prepares the muscles for impending workload. Warming up may reduce the likelihood of excessive muscle soreness.

Reason 2: Increasing Flexibility

Warming up increases the ease of movement by decreasing muscle viscosity and flexibility at individual body part level. Training the muscles through an identical range of motion, from lifts to stretches would prevent any muscle strain.

An increase in temperature also contributes to faster muscle contraction and relaxation. Nerve transmission and muscle metabolism is increased, so the muscles work more efficiently.

Reason 3: Delivers Nutrients & Oxygen to the right muscle groups

Increased blood flow to exercising muscles, eases the delivery of nutrients required for energy production. Also warm-ups increases degradation of oxy-hemoglobin. This means, warm-ups helps to break down the chemical complex of oxygen, which enables it to separate from the blood and enhance its delivery to the muscle.

Increased blood flow, increases muscle temperature. This is good because the hemoglobin in your blood releases oxygen more readily at a higher temperature. More blood going to the muscles, along with more oxygen available to the working muscles, means better performance.

Your body increases its production of various hormones responsible for regulating energy production. During warm-up this balance of hormones makes more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production.

Reason 4: Boosts heart health

Prepares the cardiovascular system for impending workload. Helps the heart and blood vessels adjust to the body’s increased demands for blood and oxygen. Increase blood flow to the heart. More blood to the heart means a reduced risk for exercise-induced cardiac abnormalities. The blood vessels dilates reducing the resistance to blood flow and lowering the stress on the heart.

Reason 5: Improves focusing & Self-motivation

Enhances the speed of transmission of nerve impulses. Motor skills improve greatly when you’re warmed up. Warm-up exercises are also important as a form of mental preparation. Your mind can ease into the workout.  Your body experiences a great deal of stress during activities like weight training, so an adequate warm up and mental preparation increase your chances of enduring and benefiting from the hardest part of your exercise regimen.

Warm-up is also a good time to mentally prepare for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy. Positive imagery can also relax the athlete and build concentration.

Reason 6: Promotes fluid movement & De-toxification

By activating the heat-dissipation mechanisms in the body (efficient sweating) an athlete can cool efficiently and help prevent overheating early in the event or race. Sweating reduces the amount of heat stored in the body. Your body spends more energy cooling itself than through any other activity. Your body water intake automatically increases. You feel more thirsty and makes you drink more water which detoxifies your body.

26 Jul

Step 1:

Wear tight clothing, or roll your top up. If you’re measuring your hips alone, stand in front of a mirror so you can position the measuring tape correctly. Your hips can be located at the widest part of your buttocks.

Step 2:

Wrap a cloth tape measure around the widest part of your buttocks. Again, if you don’t have a cloth tape measure, use a piece of string and measure the string afterward. Do not pull the tape measure so hard that it’s compressing the skin; make sure the tape is only placed at the surface of your skin.

Step 3:

Hold the beginning of the tape measure in place on the front side of your body with one hand. With the other hand, wrap the tape measure around your body until it overlaps with your starting point. Take note of your measurement, and measure once more for accuracy.

Hip to Waist Ratio

The Hip to Waist ratio is widely used by individuals to indicate the distribution of fat in the body, and it can also determine if you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions associated with obesity and being overweight.

To calculate your hip to waist ratio, measure your hips and waist using the detailed instructions given above. You will then divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. Research has found that people with an “apple-shaped” body (more weight around the waist) face more health risks than individuals with “pear-shaped” bodies, who carry more weight around the hips. Men and women with a hip to waist ratio of 1.0 or higher are considered at high risk for health conditions associated with obesity and being over weight.

25 Jul

Please follow the routine in the video:

Exercises to be avoided

Just like certain activities may be more appropriate to participate in during your “this time of the month”, there are also some exercises you may want to avoid. That said, many women will be able to continue with their normal exercise routine with just some minor adjustments.

In general, you should reduce training stress and volume during this time. This doesn’t mean to stop training — to the contrary, this just means to cut back a little bit.

If you’re feeling unusually tired, you may want to cut back on intense cardiovascular or endurance-type training. During this time many women report experiencing an increase in rate of perceived exertion, so exercises that’re moderately difficult feel much more difficult during this time. It’s also ideal to eliminate skill and precision training during these few days.