Getting Fit: Taking It Up A Notch – Part 5

Getting Fit: Take It Up A Notch Part 5 is the last in this particular workout session with our physical therapist Diane Foley. It’s been an exciting journey from start to finish for me. Clearly I’ve gotten stronger and just may reach my goal of being one “hot mama” for the wedding!

Before you start any exercise routine or change your health care regime, please see your physician to make sure you are able, and if anything hurts when you do it, STOP IMMEDIATELY!

physical therapist, Diane Foley
Diane Foley, Physical Therapist

Check out the Workout Rules in the first of the series and for quick links to the other exercises, here are the links to Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Let’s get started on Diane’s final 3 exercises:

12. Oblique Sit-Ups
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk, oblique sit-ups
Oblique Sit-Ups
Getting Fit

Advanced: Lie on your right side with hips and knees bent slightly. Place your left hand in front of your body on the ground while keeping your right hand under your head. Perform an abdominal crunch by raising your legs and shoulders up off the ground at the same time, hold for 1 second and return down to the beginning position. Perform each side for 30 seconds.

Newbie: Standing Side Crunch: Stand with your arms overhead. Lift the right knee sideways while doing a right side bend. Try and touch the right elbow to the right knee. Hold for 1 second in the air and return to the beginning position. Perform each side for 30 seconds.

13. Hamstring Curl on the Ball
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk, oblique sit-ups
Hamstring Curls on Ball

Advanced: Position yourself on your back with your hands by your side on the ground for support. Place a 55 inch ball under your calves and lift your bottom up in the air until your body is straight. Bend your knees and roll the ball towards your bottom until your knees are fully bent. Now roll the ball away while straightening the legs. Be sure to keep your bottom up and abdominals tight while rolling the ball. Perform this exercise for 30 seconds.

getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk, oblique sit-ups
Hamstring Curls on Ball
Getting Fit
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk, oblique sit-ups
The Bridge
Getting Fit

Newbie: Bridge with Ball Squeeze: Lye on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Place a kickball between your knees and squeeze the ball. While squeezing the ball, raise your bottom up as far as your can. Hold the bottom squeeze for 1 second and then lower to the beginning position. Repeat for 30 seconds. Be sure to squeeze the ball between your knees the entire time.

14. Bicycle Abdominal Crunch:

Advanced: Lie on your back with your hands behind your head with the right leg bent and the left leg straight (like your riding a bicycle). Lift your head and shoulders off the ground and rotate your body to the right. Try to touch the left elbow to your right knee. This is an abdominal crunch. Hold this crunch for 1 second and then bend the left knee and straighten the right leg and rotate left. Try to touch the right elbow to the left knee. It is okay if you can’t touch the elbow to the knee. This is normal. Perform exercise for 30 seconds.

Newbie: Perform the same exercise however keep both knees bent in the air. Be sure to breath while performing this exercise. Perform exercise for 30 seconds.

Now you’ve got the entire routine. Let me know your results. Diane, Karen, and I have started our next session with a new series of exercises. It’s even higher intensity. Stay tuned… .

getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk, oblique sit-ups
Getting Fit
Come Join Us!

What is your favorite exercise?

GETTING FIT – TAKE IT UP A NOTCH – PART 4

The holidays are fast approaching. How are you doing at getting fit and taking it up a notch? This is part 4 of our workout series with Diane and Karen. I’m real excited about the progress I’ve made. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine being stronger now than I was in my twenties, but I am!

physical therapist, Diane Foley
Diane Foley, Physical Therapist

Before you make any changes to your health care routine, I just want to remind you to please check with your health care professional to made sure you can! If it hurts, STOP IMMEDIATELY!!

The Workout Rules are found in the first article in the series Getting Fit – Take It Up a Notch. Both Part 2 and Part 3 brought us 3 new exercises each. Now let’s get started with the next 3 exercises from Diane… .

9. Plank Walk and Straddle Jump:
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk
Plank Walk
Getting Fit

Advanced: Assume push up position with hands and feet on the ground. Walk your hands down to your forearms one at a time, then come back up to your hands one at a time. Alternate hands going up and down. Perform exercise for 30 seconds. Next, in push up position, jump into a straddle and then jump your feet back together. Perform exercise for 30 seconds.

Newbie: Assume push up position with feet on the ground and hands on the table. You may want to put towel on the table to protect your hands. Be sure to keep your body straight and your abdominals tight. Perform the hand walking (as stated above) for 30 seconds. Jump straddle and together with the feet (as stated above) for 30 seconds.

10. Burpy
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk, burpy
Burpy Pushup On Bosu
Getting Fit: Taking It Up A Notch

Advanced: In standing position, reach down and place your hands on the ground. Jump feet back in to a push up position (body straight with abdominals tight; optional: do a pushup). Jump feet forward to just behind your hands and stand up with arms overhead. Perform exercise for 30 seconds.
If you want a bigger challenge, you can do this exercise on a bosu. Place Bosu (half a ball with one flat side and one round side) about 6 inches in front of your feet with the flat side up. Reach down and put hands on outer edges of the bosu, jump feet back and assume push up position. Jump feet forward and stand up with arms overhead.

Newbie: Assume the push up position with your hands on a table and your feet on the ground. Perform push ups keeping body straight and abdominals tight.

11. Side Lunge with Diagonal Reach (Saturday Night Fever Move)
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising, burly, abdominal exercises, Saturday Night Fever, plank walk
Doing More than Staying Alive!

Advanced and Newbie: Lunge sideways with the right leg bent and the left leg straight. (Optional: you can place the right bent leg on a bosu.) Reach down with your left hand and touch your right foot. Bring arm up across the body and reach up to the left.Point your finger and imagine you are doing the John Travolta Saturday Night Fever dance! You can look at your left hand while performing this exercise. This will challenge your balance a little more. Perform each side for 30 seconds.

If you can play the music while you do this exercise it’s even better! Next week is our last in this series, but it won’t be over. Every few months Diane changes out our routines, so once you get this one down, we’ll change it out for you — it keeps it interesting!

What’s your favorite exercise so far? Which do you dread?

GETTING FIT – TAKE IT UP A NOTCH – PART 3

Are you ready to continue to take it up a notch! I am! Part 3 is a continuation of our workout session and these ladies are doing wonders with me! As a book worm with limited athletic prowess, I never developed visible muscles. I always exercised whether it was hiking, dancing, swimming or playing tennis, but that’s pretty much where it ended. As we get older, strength training is important for our bones, balance, and overall fitness.

fitness, exercise, aerobic exercise, weights, body beautiful, weight control, weight loss
Team Diane Workout
Getting Fit – Take It Up a Notch

When I started working out with Diane and Karen, I was only at one pound weights. Although minimal, it was where I was to ensure I did not hurt myself. I am happy to report that I am now using 5 pound weights! Not only can you see my triceps, but my biceps and back muscles as well! Yes!! If I can do it, just about anyone can, but before starting anything new, please check with your physician to make sure you can. And if anything hurts, STOP IMMEDIATELY!

physical therapist, Diane Foley
Diane Foley, Physical Therapist

Remember the Rules of the Workout before you begin in Getting Fit – Taking It Up A Notch.

These next three exercises are a part of our current session written by Diane Foley, Physical Therapist.

6. Side Step On 8 Inch Step:
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising
Getting Fit:
Side Step Up

Advanced: Take a side step up onto an 8 inch step with each foot. Slowly step down one leg at a time.

Newbie: Stand up tall, slowly lift one foot to the side and touch your toes on an 8 inch step. Slowly return to the beginning position. Work on your balance and progress to stepping up onto a low (3 to 5 inch) step.

7. Tricep Extension
exercise, workout, weight lifting, strength building exercises
Tricep Extensions
Taking It Up A Notch Part 3

Advanced: Begin by kneeling on the ground with your body balancing on your knees and your body bent slightly forward. Grab weights in each hand, place your arms by your side with your elbows fully bent. Weights should be up by your shoulders. While bent forward and keeping your elbows by your side, slowly straighten your arms extending the weights behind you. Hold for one second and return to the beginning position.

Newbie: While kneeling on the ground (balancing on your shins instead of your knees) and bending slightly forward, do the exact same exercise.

8. Lunge with Bicep Curl
getting fit, weight control, bicep curls, lunges, tricep extensions, strength training, weight lifting, fitness, exercising
Karen the Newbie
Squat Bicep Curl

Advanced: Begin in the standing position, holding weights by your side.. Step forward and lunge until your back knee touches the ground slightly. Push back with the front leg to the beginning position and switch sides. While lunging forward, bend elbows and curl the hand weights up to your shoulders. Bring the weights back down to the beginning position when you push your front leg back to the beginning position. If it is too difficult coordinating the arms and legs, then you can do the bicep curl between lunges.

Note: Be sure to keep the front knee in line or behind the front foot when lunging forward. Bending the knee past your front foot places too much stress on the knee and can cause injury.

Newbie: Perform the lunge with bicep curl as stated above, however, limit the amount of knee bend to tolerance and perform the bicep curls between lunges. An alternative to the lunge is the squat.

Stay tuned for the next exercises and ENJOY THE RESULTS!

What is your motivation?

GETTING FIT — TAKE IT UP A NOTCH! Part 2

Getting Fit – Take It Up a Notch Part 2 is a continuation of our workout series. I am still at it with these amazing ladies and we are all bound

fitness, exercise, aerobic exercise, weights, body beautiful
Fitness: Moving to the Next Level — Making a Difference

and determined to make me one hot mama by the wedding! I’m happy to share that a few family members who I had not visited with in a while commented on my triceps (never before seen with the naked eye). As a reminder, please make sure you speak to your physician before making any changes to your health care regimen, and if something hurts STOP IMMEDIATELY!

The rules of the workout are found in last week’s article, Getting Fit – Take It Up a Notch. You may need to make modifications based on what you have — feel free, even if it’s a 5 pound zucchini!

Fitness, workout, weights, weight control, body, weight loss, zucchini, routine, exercise, weight lifting, cardio
Getting Fit – Use What You Can, Even If It’s a Zucchini!
physical therapist, Diane Foley
Diane Foley, Physical Therapist

Since this is a continuation of the same workout, these exercises, written by Diane Foley, represent the next three stations in the series. Let’s get started…

 

3. Sit-Up Crunch:

Newbie: Lay with your hands behind your head, arms flat against the floor. With your legs bent, lift using your core muscles. Note — your arms are not lifting your head up, your core is lifting your head and shoulders. Pulling on your head not only does nothing for the core, but may injure your neck.

Advanced: Using a ball under your upper back, perform sit-up crunch as described above. Hopefully I can do this by the wedding… .

4. Flies on Ball

Newbie: For the newbie, flies are not done on a ball. Begin by laying flat on the floor with arms (holding the weights) straight out to the side. Lift the weights straight up util they meet in the middle. Weights may be as minimal as one pounders (that’s what I started with, but I’m now up to 3) or as much as you can handle.

Fitness, workout, weights, weight control, body, weight loss, zucchini, routine, exercise, weight lifting, cardio
Diane – Flies on Ball for the More Advanced

Advanced: Using an exercise ball under your upper back (a smaller one is better for those a little more vertically challenged like I am), (while holding weights) extend your arms to the side until they are parallel to the ground and then lift the up until they meet in the middle. Keep arms in line with the shoulders on this exercise.

5. Reverse Flies on Ball

For both the Newbie and Advanced: Using the same size ball as in the Flies on Ball, place the ball under your chest with your feet apart on the floor. To balance, distribute weight between your chest and feet . Start with your weighted hands to the side on the ground. Lift weights up so that your arms are even with your shoulders, hold a second, and take it back down. Go very light on the weights for this exercise.

Fitness, workout, weights, weight control, body, weight loss, zucchini, routine, exercise, weight lifting, cardio
Reverse Flies on Ball for the Newbie & Advanced

Don’t forget to warm up and stretch when you start and stretch when you finish!

What are your favorite stretches?

GETTING FIT — TAKE IT UP A NOTCH!

Getting fit… . Are you ready to take it up a notch? In my last article, Fitness — Moving to the Next Level, I shared a little bit about my background and these wonderful ladies who took me on as their project (yes, in this case, instead of completing the project, I am the project). With Physical Therapist, Diane Foley, I will share two paths — one for the newbie (that’s me), and the other for the more advanced. As a reminder, please talk to your physician before making any changes to your regular health care routine. If anything you do hurts, please STOP immediately! The purpose of this series is to move our fitness to the next level and improve our health, not detract from it.

physical therapist, Diane Foley
Diane Foley, Physical Therapist
Rules of the workout:
  • Frequency: 2-3 times a week. Take 2 days off between workouts to give your muscles time to recover.
  • Time: one minute on each station (unless otherwise noted)
  • Intensity: Pick a weight that you can lift for the entire minute and is moderately difficult on the last repetition. The weight may be very light for some of the exercises. This is okay!
First Set of Stations:
fitness, exercise, aerobic exercise, weights, body beautiful, weight control, weight loss
Getting Fit – Karen on the Elliptical
  1. Ride a stationary bike or elliptical (for advanced and newbies). If you do not have access to either, march in place at a quick pace making sure you bring your legs up high enough to hit your hands as you hold your arms at the elbow straight out at a 90 degree angle.
fitness, exercise, aerobic exercise, weights, body beautiful, weight control, weight loss
Getting Fit: Diane – Wall Squat with Overhead Lift

2. Wall Squat:

  • Newbie: Using a large exercise ball, place the ball between your lower back and the wall while move your feet comfortably away from the wall. Slide into a squat moving up and down, keeping the knees behind the toes. Hold each squat for 5 seconds and return to beginning position.
  • Advanced: Do the Wall Squat as noted above, however, add weights and lift overhead on the way up.
    fitness, exercise, aerobic exercise, weights, body beautiful, weight control, weight loss
    Getting Fit: Karen – Wall Squat with Overhead Lift

    The first exercise is more like a warm up to get things going. What is your favorite exercise to get that heart rate up?

Stay tuned for next week’s article with the second set. Because this series makes up an entire workout routine, these articles will be published weekly rather than biweekly.

Pain — It’s Inevitable

Pain is inevitable in every person’s life. Whether caused from prolonged sitting in front of a computer screen, a sports related injury, arthritis, heavy lifting, or just twisting your body the wrong way, pain is guaranteed. But what causes it?

pain, Natural pain remedies, NSAID, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Ecotrin, Bayer, Ecotrin, aspirin, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen, inflammation, Arnicare
Inflammation Is the Culprit

Inflammation is the culprit — the manner in which the body heals itself through focused immune activity on the area of injury or infection. Common forms of inflammation include

  • redness,
  • swelling,
  • pain, and
  • heat.

Frequently suffers find relief through anti-inflammatory drugs whether by prescription or over-the-counter. This article explores some considerations in the selection of anti-inflammatory agents.

Common Pain Relievers
pain, Natural pain remedies, NSAID, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Ecotrin, Bayer, Ecotrin, aspirin, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen, inflammation, Arnicare
Pain Relievers – Over-the-Counter or Prescription

Most people are accustomed to NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), a pain reliever commonly found either by prescription or over the counter. Recognizable over-the- counter brand names include Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Ecotrin, Bayer, and others. Among some familiar generic names are aspirin, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen. Inflammation reduces with prescription doses. Commercials for quite a few of these drugs are a common occurrence, but the audience tends to either leave the room or zone out by the end of these commercials.

Side Effects
Take Heart with Potassium – The Role of Your Kidneys

Unfortunately, towards the end of these commercials is typically where important facts are revealed in order to make an informed decision on its use — the possible side effects. All NSAID labels include warnings of potential risks of stomach bleeding, heart attach, and stroke. There are other potential side effects which may include liver or kidney problems, allergic reactions, stomach ulcers, leg swelling, heartburn, headaches and dizziness. These are just some of the typical side effects, it’s not all inclusive.

Natural Pain Remedies

Natural pain remedies are an alternative to NSAIDS. There are quite a few of them on the market in the form of creams, gels, and tablets. Please talk to your health care provider concerning your health care practices, especially before trying something new.

What is your preferred natural pain remedy?

References

1. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/types.html
2. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2012/pdf/11_0301.pdf
3. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm
4. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/pdf/14_0298.pdf
5. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/14_0298.htm
6. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php
7. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php?page=3#some_herbs_have_anti-inflammatory_properties

Popeye the Sailor – Man & Spinach

Who hasn’t heard of Popeye the Sailor Man? His strength came from a can of spinach — or did it? Spinach contains nonheme iron, the form of iron that is not readily absorbed unless a person is deficient or it is consumed in combination with heme iron (animal products) or vitamin C. Not only is the form of iron not easily absorbed in spinach, but spinach contains compounds that bind with iron and interfere with its absorption. This article will further explore iron’s absorption and distribution.

Interference
Popeye the Sailor, iron, trace minerals, minerals, blood, hemoglobin, anemia, heme iron, nonheme iron, vegetarians, vegetables, absorption, growth, development, animals, meat, RDA, Vitamin C, bone marrow, interference, oxalic acid, tannins, polyphenols, spinach, phytic acid
Tea — Tannins & Absorption of Nonheme Iron

The absorption of nonheme iron is affected by many dietary factors. Oxalic acid in vegetables and phytic acid as well as additional factors found in grain fibers can bind iron and decrease its absorption. In tea, tannins (polyphenols) reduce the absorption of nonheme iron. If someone has an iron deficiency, the intake of tannins should be watched and fiber intake should be kept within current recommendations. Additionally, zinc supplements will interfere with the absorption of nonheme iron since zinc and iron compete for absorption. (1) (2) (3)

Iron Needs & Absorption

The body’s need for iron is the single most important element affecting nonheme iron absorption. Iron needs increase:

  • During growth and pregnancy;
  • During a state of iron deficiency; and
  • At high altitude due to the air’s lower oxygen concentration resulting in the increased concentration of hemoglobin in the blood. (2) (3)

    Popeye the Sailor, iron, trace minerals, minerals, blood, hemoglobin, anemia, heme iron, nonheme iron, vegetarians, vegetables, absorption, growth, development, animals, meat, RDA, Vitamin C, bone marrow, interference, oxalic acid, tannins, polyphenols, spinach, phytic acid
    Colorado Rockies – High Altitude & Iron Absorption

Where there are inadequate iron stores, the main protein that transports iron in the blood easily binds additional iron from intestinal cells, moving this iron into the bloodstream. On the other hand, when there are adequate iron stores and the protein that binds iron in the blood is totally saturated with iron, little is absorbed from the intestinal cells where iron stays bound. (2) (3)

It is through this mechanism that iron, and the nonheme form in particular, is only absorbed as needed under normal circumstances. Intestinal cells have a two to five day life cycle. If iron is not needed, it will be excreted from the iron that is stored in intestinal cells. Even though high doses of iron is toxic, under normal dietary conditions in the majority of people it is carefully regulated. (2) (3)

Popeye the Sailor, iron, trace minerals, minerals, blood, hemoglobin, anemia, heme iron, nonheme iron, vegetarians, vegetables, absorption, growth, development, animals, meat, RDA, Vitamin C, bone marrow, interference, oxalic acid, tannins, polyphenols, spinach, phytic acid
Red Blood Cells & Iron
Distribution

The hemoglobin molecules of red blood cells contains the majority of iron in the body. The bone marrow stores some, and a small amount is found in other body cells, for example the liver, to store it. The iron found in these body stores can be mobilized if iron is needed. However, these iron stores can be depleted if there is a chronically inadequate intake of dietary iron. (2)

In light of the fact that iron deficiency remains a world wide problem, its absorption is an important factor. Even though a food may be rich in iron does not mean it will be absorbed. The form of iron as well as interference with anti-nutrient compounds and mineral interactions all affect absorption. Taking a specific mineral supplement will interfere with the absorption of other essential minerals. It is for this reason natural supplements are most effective. (2) (3)
References:

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/immpact/micronutrients/index.html
(2) https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/99-02/pdf/nr_ch3.pdf
(3) https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00051880.htm

 

Body Beautiful – Weight Control & Exercise

With summer upon us, there’s new incentive to reach that ideal body weight and get fit. Anyone can achieve their body beautiful with weight control and exercise. Does it take work? Absolutely! Is it worth it? That’s up to you. I’ve posted a number of articles to help you achieve your goals, but instead of searching to find your answer, this post provides the links with a brief description for your convenience. Then, we’ll take it to the next level… Remember, always speak to your physician before making any changes to your health care regimen.

START OVER/TAKE CHARGE: ENERGY BALANCE & WEIGHT CONTROL
weight control, energy balance, take charge, motivation, exercise, portion control, maintenance
5 lb Human Fat Model

Provides an overview of energy balance and how it relates to weight control.
Tip #1 – Write it down.
Tip #2 – Use an app.

 

ON THE ROAD TO HEALTHY LIVING: FOOLPROOF YOUR PLAN!
energy balance, take charge, motivation, portion control, maintenance
On the Road to Healthy Living

Learn how to set your goals and create a realistic plan.
Tip #3 – Find an accountability partner.
Tip #4 – Cut out distractions.

 

 

 

THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT CONTROL
Fish, healthy,
Trout the Healthy Way
                   The Key to Successful Weight Loss

The key is in portion control. Learn the difference between a portion and a serving size.

Tip #5 – Add water.
Tip #6 – Fill with fiber.

 

 

LEAN BELLIES AND BODY TYPE
exercise, weight control, energy balance, take charge, motivation, portion control, serving size, maintenance
Body Type: Apple or Pear

Although we’re each born with a certain body type, excess fat around the middle is dangerous.

Tip #7 – Chew longer with smaller bites.
Tip #8 – Consume protein.

LOW CALORIE ALTERNATIVES COUNT
exercise, weight control, energy balance, take charge, motivation, portion control, serving size, maintenance, food choice, low calorie alternatives
Supermarket – Low Calorie Alternatives

Replace high calorie foods with low calorie alternatives. Check out the recommendations.

Tip #9 – Think smaller.
Tip #10 – Eat protein after exercising.

EXERCISE IS KEY: A TRIBUTE TO OUR MILITARY!
exercise, weight control, energy balance, take charge, motivation, portion control, serving size, maintenance, food choice, low calorie alternatives, stretching
My Dad: Christian Van Den Heuvel  Exercise is Key: A Tribute to Our Military

 

 

Exercise is critical to your health. Take a step in the right direction — the benefits of walking.

 

 

 

MOTIVATED? TIPS FOR CALORIE CONTROL!
exercise, weight control, energy balance, take charge, motivation, portion control, serving size, maintenance, food choice, low calorie alternatives, stretching
Motivated? Tips for Calorie Control

When you’re ready to take the weight off and keep it off, you are motivated. Check out the tips for success in the following areas:

  • Plan
  • Activities
  • Eating Behavior
  • Parties & Holidays
  • Your Reward
  • How to Monitor Yourself
  • Shopping
YOUR HEALTH – A FEW SIMPLE MOVES
physical therapist, Diane Foley
Diane Foley, Physical Therapist

 

Meet Physical Therapist, Diane Foley, and learn a few simple moves to decrease some of the health risks associated with sitting. In this article, Diane provides a stretch for the first of five common muscle groups affected by sitting — the neck.

 

 

SIMPLE STRETCHES TO REDUCE THE PAIN OF SITTING
Chest Stretch, Pectoral Stretch, Stretches
Diane Foley, Physical Therapist
                           Pectoral Stretch

This article is the second in the series with Diane and focuses on the next muscle group — the chest (pectoral) muscles.

 

LOWER BACK — STRETCHES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

 

side stretch, lower back muscles
Side Stretch for the Lower Back

The title says it all.

 

STRETCHES TO ALLEVIATE STIFF TIGHT HIPS
Stretch, hip flexor, hip muscle
Hip Flexor Stretch

Sitting causes the front of the hips to stiffen and tighten. Stretching these front hip muscles (hip flexors) is important. Diane shows you how.

 

 

HAMSTRINGS AND CALVES — STRETCHES
stretches, stretches for the back of the legs, calf stretch lunge
Stretches for the Back of the Legs — Calf Stretch Lunge

Hamstrings and calves are the last muscle group in this series affected by prolonged sitting. Take short breaks throughout the day to stretch and make a difference in your life.

 

 

 

With the review complete, we are ready to take it to the next level. Follow me in this next series as I personally bump it up a notch with Diane and her exercise partner Karen. Although Karen and I share the same first name, she is way ahead of me on the fitness scale.

Are you ready? What’s your incentive?

Iron Man & Woman – Iron Absorption

“Iron Man & Woman” — For hundreds of years the importance of dietary iron was common knowledge. Despite this understanding, one of the most common worldwide nutrient deficiencies is iron. This is also the only nutrient where the RDA for men is less than the RDA for young women. (3)

Worldwide

Every living cell contains iron, amounting to approximately 5 grams, or one teaspoon for the whole body. Iron absorption is based on a number of factors. This article provides an overview of what factors come into play in its absorption. (2)

Absorption – Controls
Hypertension, Silent Killer, High Blood Pressure, Uncontrollable Risk Factors, Age, Family History, Atherosclerosis, preventable risk factors, obesity, excess weight, inactivity, alcohol.
Hypertension – The Silent Killer — Exercise Makes a Difference

Once iron is absorbed it is not easily eliminated from our bodies, therefore, it is important to control iron absorption. Several mechanisms exist to regulate our body’s ability to absorb iron. Generally, iron absorption depends on:

  • the body’s need for iron,
  • its form in a particular food,
  • and many other factors.

Healthy people absorb approximately eighteen percent of the iron present in food, however people who are iron deficient absorb more. (2)

Absorption – Form Counts
Steak – Heme Iron

Iron is found in different forms based on the food. The amount absorbed is influenced by the particular form. Within animal flesh, approximately forty percent of the total iron is:

  1. hemoglobin, the form that is found in red blood cells, and
  2. myoglobin, the pigment that is present in muscle cells.

This kind of iron is referred to as heme iron and is absorbed approximately 2 – 3 times better than nonheme iron (the simple elemental iron). Nonheme iron is the form that is added during the enrichment process to grain products. It is also found in:

  • animal flesh,
  • milk,
  • eggs,
  • grains,
  • vegetables, as well as
  • other plant foods. (2) (3)

    Citrus Fruit – Increases Absorption of Nonheme Iron

Consuming nonheme iron with heme iron together increases the absorption of nonheme iron. Consuming more vitamin C rich foods will increase iron absorption, especially if blood iron is too low or there is inadequate dietary iron. Copper also aids with the body’s iron use.

Iron is the oldest known trace mineral critical for the growth and development of the human body. A number of factors influence its absorption, including its form (whether heme or nonheme) as well as other foods with which it is consumed. The body of knowledge is vast and this article just touches upon its absorption. The next article will further delve into what affects its absorption and its distribution.

References:
https://www.cdc.gov/immpact/micronutrients/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/99-02/pdf/nr_ch3.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00051880.htm

Without the Trace – Minerals That Is


Without the trace — minerals that is, you cannot maintain a healthy life. Also referred to as microminerals, this area of nutrition science is growing at a rapid rate. Although the importance of iron has been known for centuries, it is only within the last 50 years that scientists recognized the significance of other trace minerals. Even though only 100 milligrams or less of each of these minerals are required daily, they are as essential as major minerals for good health. (5)

This article provides a general overview of trace minerals. Discover additional key facts and findings including rich sources of specific trace minerals in this next series of articles.

The Mystery Uncovered
trace minerals, microminerals, iron, iodide, zinc, selenium, copper, fluoride, chromium, manganese, and molybdenum, vitamin C, deficiencies
Selenium Deficiency Found in Remote Areas of China

The importance of each micromineral is like following a good mystery, and still, evidence continues to unfold.

  • Scientists found a rare type of heart disease in a remote area of China. This disease was linked to a deficiency in selenium.
  • In 1961 other research scientists linked a zinc deficiency to dwarfism, prevalent among Middle Eastern villagers.
  • In the latter part of the 1960’s and early 1970’s synthetic formulas for intravenous feeding omitted some trace minerals. When recipients of these intravenous feedings showed symptoms of deficiencies, it led to the identification of these trace minerals.  (1) (2)
The Difficulty in Identifying Trace Minerals
minerals, supplements, lab
Mineral Supplements are Manufactured in the Lab

The difficulty lies in the ability to define precisely what our trace mineral needs are since only minuscule amounts are needed. In order to measure these minute amounts in both body tissues and food, highly complex technology is required.

Although the mystery continues to unfold, we are aware of iron, iodide, zinc, selenium, copper, fluoride, chromium, manganese, and molybdenum. In the next article, we will see how foods rich in vitamin C increases the absorption of minerals, and iron in particular, a trace mineral commonly found deficient in a large percent of the world’s population. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
References:

1. https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/99-02/pdf/nr_ch4b.pdf
2. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6302a3.htm
3. https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/99-02/pdf/nr_ch4a.pdf
4. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp132-c1-b.pdf
5. https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/pdf/Trace.pdf