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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Clinical deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid clinical deficiency. Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk of B12 deficiency: long-term vegans who avoid common fortified foods (such as raw food vegans or macrobiotic vegans) and breastfed infants of vegan mothers whose own intake of B12 is low.

In adults typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes. Often these symptoms develop gradually over several months to a year before being recognised as being due to B12 deficiency and they are usually reversible on administration of B12. There is however no entirely consistent and reliable set of symptoms and there are cases of permanent damage in adults from B12 deficiency. If you suspect a problem then get a skilled diagnosis from a medical practitioner as each of these symptoms can also be caused by problems other than B12 deficiency.

B12 Vitamin

Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite and failure to thrive. If not promptly corrected this can progress to coma or death. Again there is no entirely consistent pattern of symptoms. Infants are more vulnerable to permanent damage than adults. Some make a full recovery, but others show retarded development.

The risk to these groups alone is reason enough to call on all vegans to give a consistent message as to the importance of B12 and to set a positive example. Every case of B12 deficiency in a vegan infant or an ill informed adult is a tragedy and brings veganism into disrepute.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What is Exercise Intensity?

Exercise intensity refers to the level of exertion. For instance, lifting a weight that results in muscular fatigue after just a few repetitions or “reps” of an exercise is pretty high with respect to intensity. So too would be an all-out running or cycling sprint where fatigue occurs in a minute or so. Basically, the higher the intensity, the shorter the possible duration of the exercise. To reach such a high level of intensity, exercise often includes resistance against an otherwise simple movement of a muscle group or related groups. Examples of resistance training include weight training or running on an incline (for example, running on hills or a graded treadmill) or cycling (for example, cycling uphill or an exercisebike with variable resistance). It is the level of the resistance that dictates the level of intensity. Higher intensity and muscular fatigue will be associated with muscle adaptations that will allow for greater strength and power. In this case, muscles can enlarge or “hypertrophy.”


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Muscle Minerals

Did you know that a deficiency of certain minerals can derail your workouts by limiting muscular contractile abilities? Here are the ones you should be concerned with:

Calcium. You need it for muscle contraction—including your heart-pumping ability—as well as bone formation and strength and blood clotting. Aim for about 1,200 milligrams a day.

Potassium. It helps strengthen nerve impulses throughout the body—including the muscle—and controls blood pressure. Try to get about 4,500 milligrams a day (most Americans get only about half that).

Magnesium. It also helps muscle and nerve function and is considered an energy and immune system booster. Plus it helps improve calcium absorption and regulate blood sugar levels (to fight against diabetes). Shoot for about 400 milligrams a day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dangers Of High Protein Diets

Protein Diet

At one time there was a belief that higher intakes of protein can be problematic to health. Today we know that for most people this isn’t the case. In fact, diets with a higher level of protein then the RDA are encouraged for athletes as well as people during weight loss. Two areas of health have been the target for concern regarding higher protein intakes.

The first is kidney health. It was long believed that since higher intakes of protein leads to the formation of more nitrogen-based compounds such as urea, this work become detrimental to the kidneys. However we now know that this isn’t the case unless a person has a special situation related to the kidneys and receiving guidance from his or her physician.

The second area is in relation to bone. Some research efforts have determined that when diet protein levels increase, so too does the level of calcium in the urine. This lead to the conclusion that high-protein diets cause a loss of calcium from bones, rendering a person more prone to osteoporosis. However, follow up research has shown that the higher protein intake also increases calcium absorption, thus leading to a corresponding increase in calcium in the urine.

So, like kidney dysfunction, the notion that a high protein intake, such as 25 percent of calories for weight loss or maintenance, leads to osteoporosis has not been shown to be true.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Hormone of Darkness

Healthy Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone made by your pineal gland (a small gland inside your brain). Your pineal gland controls your sleep/wake cycle and your body's internal clock—what scientists call your circadian rhythm. Melatonin's main function is to help you fall asleep, but today all sorts of other claims are made for it. Can melatonin cure insomnia, prevent jet lag, block cancer, restore immune function, improve your sex life, and even retard aging? Let's look more closely at what melatonin can really do.

Melatonin does help you sleep. When your eyes notice it's getting dark, that information gets sent to your pineal gland, which then starts to make melatonin, which makes you drowsy. That's why melatonin is sometimes called “the hormone of darkness.” Most people begin making melatonin at sunset, reach a peak at around two in the morning, and then gradually taper off toward sunrise. Until you're about 40, you make plenty of melatonin. After that, you make less and less as you get older, which may be one reason many elderly people don't sleep well.

Taking melatonin supplements on a regular basis a few hours before bedtime does help many people with frequent sleep problems get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you only have occasional nights where you just can't seem to get to sleep, melatonin probably won't do much for you, especially if you're under age 40. On the other hand, because it's not addictive and has no side or morning- after effects (unlike most over-the-counter sleep medicines), it's worth a try. The dosage for getting to sleep varies hugely from person to person. Some people need just 100 mcg, while others take several milligrams. For most people, 100 to 400 mcg taken two to four hours before bedtime works very well.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Incremental Workouts

Sprinting should be performed incrementally. The increment is a time of rest between sprints equal to or greater than the time spent sprinting. A good rule of thumb is to take twice as long for the rest period as the sprint time. For instance, if your sprint took 10 seconds, you would rest for 20 seconds before you perform the next sprint. Active rest is best, like walking back to the original starting line before the next sprint is performed. The intensity of the sprints is also increased incrementally as your body becomes accustomed to the workout.

Incremental exercises

During a training session, no sprinter or middle-distance runners in their right mind would ever dream of running every repetition of a distance at their absolute maximum. They decide on a set pace, a set number of work intervals, a set recovery time (or rest interval), and they aim to complete all the work, but only just!—or perhaps to burn out only on the very last one. By definition, this means that the first few work intervals will feel relatively easy; but as the session progresses, you will start to feel under increasing pressure by the stopwatch, until, at the end, it will be all you can do to squeeze out that final interval. Hence there is progression within the session, which ultimately reaches an intensity climax.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What is Arginine?

ArginineArginine has always been a popular nutrient among bodybuilders. Along with its metabolite ornithine, it’s long been touted as stimulating growth hormone. More recently, various supplements that feature forms of arginine have been promoted as nitric oxide precursors. Nitric Oxide performs numerous vital functions in the human body. It dilates blood vessels, lowering blood pressure while increasing blood flow, and the increased blood flow is thought to increase the flow of nutrients and oxygen into muscle.

Besides being the direct precursor of Nitric Oxide synthesis, arginine acts as a substrate for the synthesis of proline, the major amino acid found in collagen, which is the primary protein of connective tissue. Arginine is also a primary precursor of creatine.

Some studies show that arginine may encourage fat and glucose oxidation because of its link to Nitric Oxide, which in turn, increases the signaling effects of a nucleotide called GMP, which is directly involved in fat burning and penile erection (drugs such as Viagra also work by raising cyclic GMP).

While arginine offers heady health benefits, there are problems with supplementing it. In solution it’s strongly alkaline, and it has to be compounded with hydrochloric acid to create a supplemental form. Supposedly that prevents acid-base problems when you take a concentrated dose, but taking more than nine grams a day often leads to nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. The side effects may be due to the rapid conversion of arginine to Nitric Oxide in the gut coupled with  impaired intestinal absorption of other amino acids, such as lysine and histidine.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What is Obesity?

Simply stated, obesity is a state of excessive body fat. Based on research using Body Mass Index almost one-third of American adults are obese. However, one potential downfall to using BMI as a measure for obesity is that BMI is not sensitive to body composition. Remember, obesity refers to excessive contribution of fat to an individual’s body weight, not necessarily total body weight. However, more times than not, the two go hand in hand.


One exception is in the case of heavier yet more muscular people. These people would include bodybuilders and other strength athletes who train with weights. The training leads to the development of greater than typical amounts of muscle tissue. Thus, if we merely use body weight to determine the BMI of a 5-feet 10-inch 220-pound man with 12 percent body fat, he would have a BMI over 30 and would be considered obese.

Consequently, to accurately identify obesity, we must measure body fatness, not just body weight. A body fat percentage greater than 25 percent for men and 30 percent for women is generally considered obese.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Milk and Mucus Production

Although many consider it disgusting, mucus does impart some beneficial effects in the body. Mucus forms a thin film that covers the surface of the mucous membrane, which lines the digestive and breathing tracts, protecting against a number of mechanical, temperature-related and chemical irritations. Mucus itself consists of various proteins, sugars, salts and immune factors, as well as enzymes. Since those with respiratory ailments, such as colds and asthma, tend to produce excess mucus, the substance is more associated with being a liability than a protector.

While a number of foods have been linked to “excessive” mucus production, milk has gotten an especially bad rap. The belief that milk increases mucus production dates back to the 12th century. But like many other food myths, this long-held belief isn’t true.

As an asthmatic, I’ve been advised by doctors that I should steadfastly avoid drinking milk because it would increase mucus production, thus obstructing my bronchial tubes. Despite this advice, I’ve never noticed any particular increase in asthma symptoms after eating or drinking any type of dairy food. Research examining the connection has found no actual relationship.
In one study, a group of people who believed that drinking milk increased mucus flow were given milk and a beverage that had the same consistency as milk but contained no actual milk. The subjects reported that both beverages equally increased mucus release. The study authors concluded that those who think that drinking milk increases mucus production often find that it does.

Milk does not increase mucus production, though anything that irritates the breathing tract does. Milk is not in that category. Nor are any other dairy foods. Milk also does not increase or bring on asthma symptoms, which are more often related to exposure to allergens than to drinking milk.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Is Vanadium?

Vanadium is present in trace concentrations in most organs and tissues throughout the body and has long been questioned in regard to essentiality.

However, it is important to realize that the presence of a substance in the body does not necessarily indicate essentiality. Nevertheless, researchers have discerned that the absence of vanadium from animal diets reduces their growth rate, infancy survival, and levels of hematocrit, despite the inability of researchers to identify specific functions for vanadium.
Foods Sources of Vanadium:
Although still only containing nanograms to micrograms of vanadium, breakfast cereals, canned fruit juices, fish sticks, shellfish, vegetables (especially mushrooms, parsley, and spinach), sweets, wine, and beer are good sources. A dietary requirement for vanadium has yet to be established, but 10 to 25 micrograms of vanadium per day may be appropriate.
Vanadium Foods

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Role of Conjugated Linoleic Acid


Conjugated linoleic acid is a controversial food element. It’s been touted as helping build muscle while promoting fat loss. Structurally, it’s an 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid isomer derived from the essential fatty acid linoleic acid. While there are 28 identified isomers, or similar compounds of CLA, the two most active versions are cis-9, trans-11; and trans-10, cis-12. Most commercial CLA supplements are composed of a mixture of those two isomers. CLA is found naturally in beef, lamb and dairy foods. CLA may help reduce bodyfat by:

  • Increasing resting energy expenditure by stimulating the activity of thermogenic proteins known as uncoupling proteins.
  • Interfering with the activity of the fat-cell enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which blunts the amount of fat that can be storedin fat cells.
  • Increasing the activity of the enzyme that works with L-carnitine in shuttling fat into the mitochondria, where fat is burned.
  • Preventing new fat cells from forming by inhibiting the actions of fat-promoting genes.
  • Lowering levels of leptin, a protein produced in fat cells that helps to regulate food intake and energy usage.

Ultimate 30's Workout

Increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone your body produces by working multiple muscle groups and keeping rest periods short. For cardio, your lactate threshold can still be increased throughout your thirties, so intervals are king to counter any loss of lung power.

Ultimate 40's Workout

Short, sharp shocks are the way to fire up your body in your middle years - which means you can forget long-winded weights workouts. Vary exercises, intensity and timings to keep your muscles guessing.

Ultimate 50's Workout

You may not be able to lift the heaviest weight, but that's okay. Instead, stretching and yoga should be part of your training, and body-weight moves can replace heavy workouts. Do three sets of 10 reps of the following exercises to protect your joints and maintain muscle mass and testosterone.