Sunday, December 31, 2006

Weighted Pushups

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Bench pressing (for me) is ancient history. I don’t do it. It was bothering my shoulders, so I stopped. Funny thing, though; I found that I could do all sorts of pushup variations — totally pain-free.

Rotator cuff problems from excessive bench pressing are common. If you are among the afflicted, give it rest. Once you are pain-free, start with a few pushups, gradually adding reps, then weight.

Here’s another thing. When you do pushups with a barbell plate or a dumbbell on your back, you have to stay tight from head to toe. Otherwise, the weight falls off. So weighted pushups are more of a total upper-body exercise than bench pressing. Try them. You’ll see.

Dive Bombers, Hindu pushups, and declines with your feet on a stability ball are good, too. Mix them up. You may find that you don’t miss bench pressing even a little a bit. I sure don’t.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The BMI is Almost Worthless

Once again, medical doctors seem to authenticate what Jack LaLanne preached for years. A simple cloth tape measure put around your waist is a better indicator of a healthy body weight than the BMI (Basin Mass Index). Or as LaLanne puts it: "Your waistline is your lifeline."

Hauling around too much fat is bad, no matter how it is distributed. But belly fat is the most dangerous kind. It is more directly linked to a greater chance of developing heart disease. Learn more in a news report about a Kaiser Permanente study done in Northern California.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Olive Oil Gets Another Gold Star!

Much has been written about the benefits and advantages of the so-called "Mediterranean Diet." But what is it really?

Mostly, it emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and the liberal use of olive oil. Saturated fats are minimal.

Among the fats that are known to be good for us are those from fatty cold-water fish, avocadoes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. For some recent findings on the benefits of olive oil and a Mediterranean style diet, go here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bulking Up to Make the Team

Recently, I watched a TV special about immense football linemen in today’s high schools, players in their teens weighing in at nearly 300 pounds. Apparently, it has become commonplace. Their girth is supposed to get them scholarships to high powered collegiate football programs and then, for some, to make it into the pros.

Some of course will reach those goals. Most, however, will not. But the price they will pay is almost certain to be serious health problems at an early age and a shortened life span.

Typically, teens aren’t known for looking very far down the road. But you have to wonder: Where are their parents and what are they thinking? Today, Junior may be hell on wheels as a high school lineman. But being beefed-up to NFL size as a teen is a prescription for early cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and arthritis, to name a few of the “perks” they can look forward to.

That’s a big price to pay, don’t you think?