MIND OVER MUSCLE
According to scientists at California State University of Long Beach, overthinking a movement can hurt your performance. Long jumpers who thought about their movements as they jumped achieved nearly 6 inches less than those who focused on something external – a target on the course. The reason: Focusing internally disrupts automatic processes that allow your motor control system to take over, says study author. So, the next time you perform an exercise that requires a lot of technique, such as a snatch, focus on something other than your actions.
DO THIS, NOT THAT
DON’T DO seated chest press machine
DO dumbbell bench press
Machines force your body to move in the path of the machine and not in its natural movement pattern, the body isn’t perfectly symmetrical, setting up future injury.
HANDS OFF YOUR JUNK!
According to a University of Tennessee study, limiting the variety of treats you eat may not boost weight loss. For 18 months, researchers assigned participants a daily caloric range, one group was allowed to eat as much sweet or salty snacks they wanted – staying withing daily calorie range, the other group was allowed only two set treats daily. At the end, the group with restricted variety did take in fewer calories from junk food, but did not lose more weight than the other group. The reason: Probably because they compensated by eating more of other high-calorie foods, says study author. Eating more fruits and veggies will help avoid eating higher-calorie foods while trying to lose weight.
FIGHT THE CANCER
According to a Ohio State study, inflammation causes a rise in MicroRNA-155, a molecule associated with increased cancer risk. Sugar consumption, fried food consumption (unhealthy oils), excess alcohol, trans fats and smoking are significant causes of inflammation in the body. Fruits and veggies, spices (garlic, hot chilies, turmeric, ginger), beans and legumes, healthy fats (EPA and DHA), proteolytic enzymes and anti-oxidants protect against inflammation. To maximize health, minimize inflammatory foods and maximize anti-inflammatory ones.
THE VIKING DIET
According to a study reported in the British Journal of Nutrition, men who ate the traditional Scandinavian diet – lots of cereal grains, berries, vegetables, low-fat milk, and fish – were 43 percent less likely to have a waistline over 39 inches than those didn’t eat the diet. The reason: The fiber in the grains like oats and barley keeps you fuller longer, reducing overeating says study author. The slimmest people in the study averaged 117 grams of grains a day, that equals 1/2 a cup of cooked oatmeal.
MUST-HAVE MUSCLE TOOL
According to researchers in Canada, a foam roller can help increase your range of motion, which can improve your form and reduce your risk of injury. When men spent 2 minutes foam-rolling their quads, they found that the knees bent nearly 13 percent more afterward. The reason: Foam-rolling warms the connective tissue around the muscle, making it more conducive to stretching, says study author.
FIBER DOES A BODY GOOD
If your system requires daily ingestion of large amounts of insoluble fiber to remain regular, it may be a sign that the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the body are out of adjustment. Constant exposure to antibiotics (in the food supply, prescriptions, soaps etc.), chlorine (in the water supply), and junk food diets all contribute to a shift from a healthy balance of gut flora, to “dysbacteriosis”. Consider a dual approach of limiting exposure to chemicals which destroy bacteria, and consuming prebiotics, probiotics, and fermented foods to help restore healthy gut balance to maximize health.
SAVE IT FOR LATER… INTERVAL TRAINING THAT IS
According to a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, when men ran sprints at 6 p.m., their peak power was significantly higher than when they trained at 6 a.m. The reason: Your body temperature naturally spikes later in the day, warming your muscle so they can contract more efficiently, says study author. If you usually compete in the mornings, you should train in the mornings.
PILLS LEAD TO DIABETES
Overusing antibiotics can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes, scientists in Denmark found. These meds may alter the balance of microorganisms in your gut, which prompts changes in insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. So skip the unless your doctor insists because of a serious bacterial infection.
DID YOU KNOW
Men who did interval training for just 2 minutes had a peak heart rate of 173 beats per minute, compared to 166 BPM for those who ran continuously for 30 minutes.
GETTING YOUR VITAMIN K?
Vitamin K-2 (Menaquinone) is important for blood clotting in humans, and it also plays a key role in positioning calcium in the bone matrix instead of in soft tissues like the lining of blood vessels (creating arteriosclerosis). K-1 is present in leafy green veggies, but the chemical transformation into K-2 requires a conversion made by “good” bacteria in the intestine. To maximize healthy K-2 production, consume plenty of green vegetables, probiotics, and fermented foods to keep those “good” bacteria dominating in the battle for your health.
KIWIS TO FIGHT CHOLESTEROL
Kiwis can help improve your cholesterol profile. In a study from Spain people who ate at least one of these fruits a week had 8 percent higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels of triglycerides (bad blood fat) than those who ate less. The fruit’s antioxidant content may play a role, the researchers think.
According to research from Singapore, you may run slower on a treadmill than you would outside. When people were asked to pick a treadmill speed equivalent to their typical outdoor pace, they selected a speed that was 27 percent slower than their actual outdoor pace. The reason: Treadmill running lacks the perception of movement – called backward optic flow – as you pass objects or people to help you gauge your speed, says stud author.
TOXIC CHEMICALS AND BEAUTY
The FDA currently does not regulate the chemical contents of most cosmetic products (as it can with food and drugs), meaning there is no one protecting the consumer from the chemicals or toxins these products contain. Recent lab studies have found traces of lead in lipstick, and many known carcinogens in skin and nail care products. To maximize health, buy organic skin, hair and nail products, and minimize the use of chemicals on the body.
HEARTBURN, GERD, OR ACID REFLUX?
The FDA has added proton-pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid) to their watch list for potentially serious safety concerns, meaning people are having serious side effects including increased cases of pneumonia. These drugs weaken stomach acid so much that the immune system is compromised, vital nutrients are not being absorbed, and side effects are dire. If heartburn, GERD, or acid reflux are problematic, consider altering diet, adding healing substances like slippery elm or aloe, and using natural healing methods to address the root cause of distress rather than band-aiding the symptoms with drugs and suffering their side-effects.
HOME REMEDY FOR ALLERGY ATTACK
One possible natural home remedy when experiencing an acute allergy attack (sneezing, runny eyes etc.) is to mix about 1 teaspoon of salt (preferably unrefined sea salt) in 6 oz of water and sip until reaction stops. The salt supports adrenal function and inhibits histamine reaction. Do not rely on this method if allergic reactions are life-threatening.
According to a Penn State mouse study, when green tea is consumed with starch (muffins, bagels, etc), it can reduce the ensuing insulin spike by up to 50%. Since insulin triggers fat storage, the EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) in green tea may reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, which may subsequently lower fat storage. This benefit does not occur when sugar is added to tea, and EGCG does not lower the insulin spike of sugar, only starch. To maximize the health benefits of green tea, including weight loss, blood sugar balance, cancer prevention, and antioxidant protection, it is best to omit the sugar.
DID YOU KNOW
Your teeth start growing 6 months before you are born. While few babies are born with teeth in place, the teeth that will eventually push through the gums of young children are formed long before the child even leaves the womb. At 9 to 12 weeks the fetus starts to form the teeth buds that will turn into baby teeth.
*Consult physician before trying a new supplement, food or diet. Especially if you’re on any medications.