Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bulgarian Split Squats

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Bulgarians are real "thigh busters." Play the video and little explanation will be needed. Daughter Jennifer demonstrates and prefers a 3-count on the descent and a 1-count coming up. Try varying the tempo and reps. And if your body weight alone isn't challenging enough, hold a pair of dumbbells. A few sets of these and your thighs will scream for mercy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

To Grunt or Not to Grunt, that is the Question

Deep breathing is essential in a good workout. But when does deep breathing become grunting? And does grunting actually help? Or is it merely a form of exhibitionism? To grunt or not grunt, and what constitutes a grunt, these are the questions discussed here. So before making that next giant exhalation in public, understand about grunting's value and protocol. Go to Grunting.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who is No. 1 in Fatness?

"The defeat of famine is the goal of all successful societies. Unfortunately, triumph often evolves into the other extreme -- gluttony." --Living the Fitness Lifestyle

Beverley Balkau, director of research at the French National health research institute INSERM in Villejuif, led a study published in the journal Circulation that concluded obesity is becoming a global problem.

It puts the rest of the world close to par with the United States, long considered the country with the worst weight problem. An estimated two-thirds of Americans are overweight and a third of these are obese.

Read the full story here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Smoking With Kids in The Car

I can remember long car trips with my mother and stepfather smoking, and often with all the windows rolled up. My mother deluded herself by saying smoking was harmless to her because “I don’t inhale.” And since I didn’t smoke I was only inhaling "harmless" secondhand smoke.

Effective January 1, 2008, such behavior by adults in California will result in a $100 fine. Gov. Schwarzenegger signed into a law a bill making it illegal to smoke in a vehicle if someone under age 18 is present. Similar laws are in effect in Arkansas and Louisiana and under consideration in other states.

As someone who generally objects to government intrusion into most personal behavior, I am cautious about cheering for such legislation. I can see dangers down the road when government becomes too "helpful" in saving us from ourselves.

So call me inconsistent, because at the same time I am in favor of practically any legislation that discourages smoking and protects non-smokers, especially children. The tobacco industry has a powerful lobby. I personally find little distinction between tobacco peddlers and drug dealers. One may have the law on their side, but both are in the business of destroying lives.

The law takes effect January 1st.

Read more about the new law here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Cell Phone As Your Personal Trainer

The prototype Wellness mobile phone from Japan’s NTT DoCoMo Inc. has a way of keeping track of a user’s health, according to company spokesman Noriaki Tobita. It can take your pulse, check your body fat, time your jogs, and tell you if you have bad breath.

Spokesman Tobita calls the device a “hassle-free way of keeping track of a busy person’s health.”

Call me an old coot — go ahead, it’s ok — but if the latest multi-multi use cell phones make lives “hassle-free,” I'm not convinced. For example, now motorists will be able to distract themselves even further while driving in traffic. They will be able to yak on the phone and check their body fat.

Those less critical of the devices than I am may want to read more about the Wellness mobile phone here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Advances in Dietary Supplement Research

Many of us take supplements of one kind or another. Personally, I am very careful about taking them and skeptical about many of the claims made by supplement manufacturers. I do not rely on their advertising claims. I hope you don't either.

Some supplements, high quality fish oil (Omega 3) immediately comes to mind, have unquestionable value. While some others are suspect. A few have even been proved dangerous, such as some of the diet pills that we've all read about.

The Gray Iron advice is to take only those supplements that you have discussed with your physician. Remember that certain substances may interact negatively when combined with prescription or over-the-counter medications you might be taking. Ask a pharmacist for professional advice.

To read more from the National Institutes of Health, go here: Advances in Dietary Supplement Research Highlighted.