Have you ever noticed that people carry weight in different parts of their bodies? Some carry it around their hips, resembling the shape of a pear, while others carry it around the middle, looking more like an apple. For quite a few years, having the shape of an apple has proven to be more of a health risk than a pear, but researchers have been unclear as to why people carry weight in different areas. But new research from the University of Edinburgh is helping to shed light on why humans don’t all carry weight in the same areas — and how the new knowledge can be used to help fight obesity.
Scientists pinpointed a protein known as 11BetaHSD1 that seems to indicate body shape. According to the research that was published in the journal Diabetes, apple-shapes tend to have higher levels of the protein than pear-shapes do. The protein is known to raise levels of hormones that are linked to obesity and is associated with an over-reaction in the immune system that results in unnecessary inflammation that causes damage to healthy cells.
Raphael Calzadilla is a certified trainer with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and has been a personal trainer for almost 20 years. He is also a natural competitive bodybuilder, 2001 Mr. Connecticut, and winner of the prestigious WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) Pro Card, earning him status as a drug-free professional bodybuilder. You can learn more about Raphael at his website www.fitbyraphael.com.
Four years ago I was asked to speak at a fitness and nutrition seminar. With the audience being primarily women, I was excited to once and for all clear up the misconceptions about cellulite. Finally, it was my chance to talk about the infamous cottage cheese-look that makes women cringe in disgust.
I enthusiastically told my wife, Pam, and shared some of my material. She was excited about the subject matter and was listening intently. I told her that, from a medical standpoint, cellulite doesn’t exist. Her eyes got so big I thought I’d be shot on the spot, but I told her to be patient because it gets better.
I told her that cellulite is nothing more than fat. Len Kravitz Ph.D., who published an outstanding article “Cellulite: Everything You Want To Know and More,” in which he said “the name (cellulite) originated from the French medical literature over 150 years ago.” He goes onto describe the physiological reasons why cellulite is nothing more than plain old body fat. (more…)
The reason anyone starts a fitness program is to see results, and the only way to know how far you’ve come is by knowing where you started.
P90X, the popular extreme home fitness program, understands the importance of tracking all indicators of fitness.
Instead of just tracking weight or measurements, P90X has an intensive Fitness Assessment that tracks your weight, measurements, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular capacity every step of the way.
The P90X program is split into three phases, 30 days each, and at the end of each phase, you will retest to see how much your health has improved. The first test is done before the first P90X workout so you know your baseline of fitness.
An Army Times article reported this week that soldiers are taking drastic steps to meet the military’s weight standards. Soldiers have admitted to taking diet pills and laxatives, starving themselves and getting liposuction in order to meet what some see as impossibly low weight standards.
“Liposuction saved my career — laxatives and starvation before a PFT sustains my career,” an anonymous soldier told the weekly paper. “I, for one, can attest that soldiers are using liposuction, laxatives and starvation to meet height and weight standards. I did, do and still do.”
Almost half of all uniformed men and women in the US Army do not meet the weight standards, according to a 2009 military fitness report, and those officers are then made to use tape measurements to determine body fat percentage. If the percentages are too high, the soldiers cannot earn promotions or hold leadership roles. A further failure to lose weight is grounds for job loss. More than 24,000 soldiers were discharged between 1992 and 2007 for failure to meet weight standards.
VO2 max (V-volume per time, O2-oxygen, max-maximum) is typically defined as the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to process oxygen during exercise. This number is useful because it is the most reliable way to determine the fitness level of the individual. By knowing your VO2 max, you can not only compare your fitness level to “standards”, but you can also objectively assess your progress while improving your current overall level of endurance and fitness.
Knowing your VO2 max is also great for setting goals and motivation. Most recreational exercisers really don’t need to know their VO2 max; although I recommend knowing it along with your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat, and BMI (Body Mass Index). By knowing these numbers, you are able to self- diagnose your current overall state of health and well-being (extremely important if you are over the age of 45). The more oxygen your muscles use, the more efficiently your body works, allowing you to do more work, with less stress on your body. VO2 max is one of those rare health numbers you want to go up, not down. (more…)
Tune in this Wednesday, October 21 to The Doctors to learn the latest and greatest in how to get rid of that stubborn fat that just won’t seem to go away.
You may have tried the most expensive cellulite cream on the market or the most talked-about meal-delivery diet, but nothing seems to help you lose that bit of soft stuff on your derriere or the uneven skin on your upper thighs. (more…)
The Food and Drug Administration has approved two new methods to remove unwanted fat, Zeltiq and Zerona. The first method essentially freezes the fat off, while the other uses a low-level laser to zap the fat cells.
Zeltiq involves a gel patch that shapes itself to the body and then is connected to a machine that freezes the unwanted fat. The cells essentially self-destruct and are absorbed back into the body over a period of several months. The treatment was originally approved by the FDA to anesthetize the skin before dermatology operations. “At first it was a strange pulling feeling, a little painful,” said one patient. “And after about five or 10 minutes, you basically get numb.”
Pop quiz: What does an obese person look like?
BMI (body mass index) is a number health professionals use to classify people into categories based on their height and weight. It’s a simple equation that gives a single number, but not always an accurate one.
A person’s BMI is determined by dividing weight by the square of the person’s height. The number that comes out then corresponds with a health classification. A BMI of 25 or less classifies a person as being of a normal weight. If the number is 25-29, the person is overweight, and 30 and above is obese. The weight classification is what signals to doctors how at risk for health problems you are. It ‘s assumed that the closer you are to a normal weight, the healthier you are. (more…)
The fitness world is driven by supplements. Everyone is looking to find that edge to be and look the best. As a fitness specialist, I recommend going the natural route and earning the desired results the hard way. Either way, I’m excited that more and more people are beginning to exercise and making healthier lifestyle changes. If you do decide to go the supplement route, which is fine, below are a few of the new and booming supplements of 2010:
Today is National Running Day. The beauty of running is that all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and workout clothing, and BAM!… you are on your way. Other than that, there’s no expensive memberships or equipment to buy.
National Running Day is an initiative put forth by a group of organizations across the country, including Boston Athletic Association, Oregon Track Club, USA Track & Field, among others.