12/19/2011

Key Action to Control Your Appetite

There's shrimp, beef, rice, noodles, corn, broccoli, and raspberry pie and chocolate truffle candy.If you're like most everyone, you will wish for try a little of everything. But a broad variety of foods at one meal can lead you to eat more foods. Since each diverse food has its own satiety stage, and you can try to close your hunger switch. The experts have found that appetite is controlled by biochemical signals. Some foods activate the desire to eat more, while others tend to suppress that desire. Here's how to manage the urge to overeat.


1. Don’t skip meals.
People who skip breakfast or lunch lend to overeat in the evening, this is common among chronic dieters. A problem is that during meal, skipping, the body's store of glycogen, used as a fuel, drops. That signals the body to demand food and could make you hungry.

2. Soup it up.
In 2001, Researchers at one University in the United States invited some men to lunch for two weeks. On different days the men received one of three appetizers, tomato soup, cheese and crackers, or fresh fruit. Calories in each appetizer were equal. Then the men ate a main course. Tomato soup beat the other two in reducing the number of entree calories consumed. Soup lowered later calorie intake by 25 percent compared with cheese and crackers. The key may be the large volume of space that soup takes in the stomach.


3. Snack sensibly.
A large meal, especially one that's sugary, stimulates the body to produce insulin over a longer period; this, in turn, removes excess sugars from the bloodstream and encourages fat storage and production. With smaller, more frequent meals, less insulin is released over a shorter period. According to some scientific thinking, this helps in the weight wars by lessening the amount of fat produced and stored. Nutritionists call this small-meal approach grazing, and for it to be effective, you have to munch the right foods. If grazing sounds like too much freedom to eat, schedule it in advance. Plan your day so that you can snack with healthful goodies every two hours or so.


4. Eat more complex carbohydrates.
A few years ago, dieters were encouraged to dine on high-protein, low-carbohydrate foods, a hamburger patty with cottage cheese on a lettuce leaf, for example. Since then, such diets have been criticized as unhealthy and potentially dangerous. Foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat-rice, potatoes, corn and pasta-have made a big comeback, thanks in part to their ability to satisfy the appetite with fewer calories.


5. Feast on fiber.
Fibrous foods provide robust mouthful that must be chewed thoroughly. It's a natural way to slow eating, and eating more slowly means eating less. The extra time lets the body know it has received fuel and doesn't need much more.

Soluble fiber in foods such as barley, beans, apples, citrus fruits, beets, carrots and potatoes also dampens insulin response. Normally, after a meal, insulin levels rise to help metabolize sugar and fat. But soluble fiber helps keep insulin levels lower after a meal, says Kenney.

Moreover, foods high in fiber tend to have fewer calories in every bite, which means fewer calories consumed overall.

6. Know your own triggers.
Whether it’s sizzling sausage or crunch popcorn, the smell, sight, sound and even texture of foods are powerful triggers to overeat. First, ask yourself why you want to eat. It may have nothing to do with hunger.  Actually our eating is so dependent on external cues that just seeing foods makes us want to eat.

Emotions are another reason people eat. Eighty-five percent of my patients had psychological reasons for overeating. A major trigger is stress. Before you eat, ask yourself, "Am 1 eating because I'm hungry or because I'm upset?"


Keeping a food record can help identify your strongest cues. For a few days, write down everything you eat and what made you start thinking about food, an advertisement, emotion or aroma. That helps you out-think the next craving.

Everyone experiences food cravings at some time. When one occurs, some researchers suggest, picture it as following a wave pattern, You have to ride that wave till the craving subsides, with a food craving, it’s much easier to ride the wave if you distract yourself. Ideally, do something incompatible with eating, like taking a walk. In 20 minutes, the craving will probably diminish.

12/18/2011

Yoga may help keep weight off at mid-life

Researchers found that overweight people in their 50s who regularly practiced yoga lost about five pounds over 10 years, while a group in the same age range gained about 13 1/2 pounds over the same period.

Middle-aged people of normal weight generally put on pounds over 10 years, but those who did yoga gained less weight than those who didn’t practice yoga.

The researchers collected data from 15,500 people between the ages of 53 and 57 who were asked about exercise, weight, health and diet histories. The findings, published in 2008 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, showed that those who practiced yoga tended to avoid junk food and overeating because they wanted to respect their bodies.

12/16/2011

You Can Beat the Odds of Heart Disease—Even If It Runs in Your Family

When a man was only 48, and had a heart attack, the doctor told him that plaques of fat had clogged the spaghetti size arteries that carried oxygen to his heart. In those days, though, no—one knew why this happened. Most doctors thought heart disease was just nature’s way of ploughing under the old crop.

Every two years since 1948, more than 5000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts have had their pulses checked, their diets monitored and their habits watched in an attempt to discover the risk factors of heart disease. Their blood is run through dozens of tests, the fat in their bodies is measured, the rhythm and structure of their hearts are charted.

Every two years since 1948, more than 5000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts have had their pulses checked, their diets monitored and their habits watched in an attempt to discover the risk factors of heart disease. Their blood is run through dozens of tests, the fat in their bodies is measured, the rhythm and structure of their hearts are charted.

Of course there’s a difference between knowing something and acting on it. The citizens of Framingham still eat as many pizzas, chips, doughnuts and sundaes as do people in other towns. I was no exception, even though I know how crucial a healthy diet and regular exercise are. Somehow, there had to be a way to change my habits without taking all the pleasure out of life.

Over the years, I’ve hit upon a number of solutions. I still snack on sweets. I don’t turn up my nose at red meat. And I’m always interested in finding ways to exercise less. But my cholesterol is now below 5.5. Here’s how you can do it too:

1) Think fat, not cholesterol. Many people who believe they’re following a low—cholesterol diet really aren’t. Some types of shell—fish, for example, are relatively high in cholesterol, while many baked foods and potato chips have none. Yet if you eat more crabs and prawns, and less of those prepared foods, your cholesterol count can actually fall. The reason is that prepared foods frequently contain tropical oils (coconut, palm and palm kernel) high in saturated fat. And it’s the saturated fat in the food you eat, more than the cholesterol, that is the problem. (Egg yolks and organ meats, incredibly rich in cholesterol, are exceptions to this rule.)Most cholesterol in your body is produced by your cells, Saturated fat signals your cells to make more cholesterol and acts as the raw material for its manufacture. Trim the saturated fat in your diet and you automatically cut the cholesterol in your blood.

Food labels don’t usually list saturated—fat content, but there’s a way to “guesstimate.” Many labels list total fat content, and, although the amounts of saturated fats vary from product to product, I figure that often about half is saturated fat. Roughly speakingthe saturated fats in beef, pork and other red meats are typically a little less than half the total, while those in dairy products are a little more. Some tropical oils, however, are more than threequarters saturated fat!

How much fat is too much? A cheeseburger, a large order of chips and a milk shake can contain nearly 28 grams of saturated fat, about as much as the average person, without heart problems, should consume in a day. Yet many of us eat 50 to 75 grams, with frequent binges of 1 00 grams or more.


2) Substitute good ingredients for badMost of us dont need dieting classes; we need cooking classes. The meals we eat come from a short list of unwritten recipes— an “oral cookbook” —passed down from generation to generations: macaroni—and—cheese casseroles, bacon and eggs, hamburgers and chips, lasagna, fried chicken and meat. Many of these recipes originated in an age very different from our own, when people engaged in manual labors 12 hours a day, six days a week. Their bodies required a high—fat diet; ours don’t.

In theory, one family member can change his diet, but in practice almost no-one is willing to prepare two different sets of meals day in and day out. However, you can remove saturated fat from your favourite family recipes.

Diet books frequently suggest that you throw out all the family’s favorite meals. We  could substituted soft diet margarine for butter, skim  milks for whole (saving ten grams of fat for every half a litre! ), egg whites for whole eggs, nonfat yoghurt for sour cream, whole-grain cereal crumbs for bread crumbs and vegetable oils for shortening.

It’s easy to cut down. For dinner, instead of a 250— gram sirloin, fried potatoes, peas and a piece of pie, substitute a 170— gram portion of lean steak, a baked potato topped with soft diet margarine, peas, and low fat oatmeal biscuits. You will have eaten eight grams of saturated fat instead of 37. Yet few of us would finish such a meal feeling deprived.

3) When you eat outimproviseMany people eat deep-fried foods five lunches a week, and thats enough to kill anyone. Some fast food restaurants fry foods in highly saturated oils or beef tallow. The result is that chicken and fish get drenched in more fat than the choicest cuts of beef contain. A typical fast—food chicken-patty sandwich has more fat than half a liter of ice cream, and just six chicken nuggets can have over 20 grams of fat. Some fried vegetables absorb even more fat than fish and meat do.

If asked, chefs will usually prepare vegetables without butter, sour cream or cheese sauces and will broil your chicken instead of frying it. On your potato, try cooked chopped broccoli, fresh diced tomatoes or nonfat salad dressing. If no low—fat entrees are offered, improvise.

4) Take a walkIf you exercise, you can diet less. Exercise stimulates the production of a protein called HDL, which removes fat from your blood and may actually scrub plaque deposits off the walls of your arteries.

Most people like jogging, but the problem is finding time to jog, or to swim or play tennis. So we could park on the far end of the car park, climb stairs instead of waiting for a lift and walk to the store to buy newspapers.

Most of the benefit of exercise—whether running, brisk walking, cycling or aerobics—comes from very little effort. So even the most confirmed couch potato, by taking a brisk half—a—hour walk four or five times a week, can cut his odds of dying of a heart attack in half.

5) Know the point spread. Get your cholesterol count checked. Depending on your age, weight and medical history, it should fall below 5.1, with 5.1 to 5.9 a borderline reading. If your total cholesterol is over 5.1, you may have enough HDL to counteract it.

Two months after limiting saturated fats in your diet, have your cholesterol checked again. If it hasn’t dropped to a healthy level, set a lower daily limit and check your cholesterol 60 days later. If the number doesn’t look respectable, ask your doctor for help. You can start to change the odds that you’ll suffer a heart attack or stroke if you take the steps outlined above. 

How to Fat-Proof Your Children

Now, with statistics showing that childhood obesity is on the rise, it is more important than ever to teach your child healthy eating habits. Of course, you cannot totally control whether your child is fat. The most significant factor is genetics. If one parent is obese, a child has a 40 percent risk of also being obese. If both parents are obese, the risk soars to 80 percent,

Even given the powerful influence of genes, childhood obesity has raised so much in the last few years that clearly there must be other factors at play. The good news is that, while researchers work to identify those factors, you can help your child avoid a weight problem by following five simple guidelines that I've developed:

1.      You select the food and mealtimes, children chooses how much to eat.

The healthy and positive way to manage feeding grows out of trust: trust in your child to eat in a way that's right for him or her. It's a process that relies on the child's internal cues of hunger, appetite and satiety to guide the feeding process.

A Duke University study suggests that the more parents control their children's food intake, the fatter the kids become, also, by restricting the food you give a growing child, you interfere with the natural growth process. There is evidence that children who under eat have less energy and slower rates of maturation.

The solution was not to put the child on a diet and promote under-eating. It was to reassure Todd that he would not have to go hungry. When you give children enough food and permission to eat, they relax and stop overeating. The object is to help your child regulate, by himself, the amount he eats.

Babies are born with the instinct to take in just the amount of food appropriate for them. Each child has within him the genetic-blueprint for his growth, and it's not only futile but destructive to try to change it.

Of course it will help your child if you go easy on high-calorie foods like french fries and candy. While studies suggest that fat children are no more likely to eat excessive amounts of these foods than thin children are. They pay more of a price because of their relative inability to burn off the excess calories.

Don't eliminate all high-calorie food, however. If you do, your child will want to sneak sinful” foods. And don't go overboard on low calorie alternatives.

2. Remove feeding cues.

If there are visible reminders of food, people will often succumb. A candy dish or cookie jar is a booby trap for an eater sensitive to such cues. I don't advocate withholding candy or cookies, this is cruel and inhuman punishment. But we should give children such sweets only when they are truly hungry for them.

In the same way, if a child generally eats at a particular spot, say, on the floor in front of the TV, it can be an eating reminder whenever he's there, whether he's hungry or not. Wouldn't it be better to spare him the thought of food at all, except when it's time to eat?

You can help do this by limiting opportunities to eat. Maybe he should eat only at the table, and then just eat, not watch TV or read magazines. That way, he' 11 have to choose between eating and doing something else.

3. Teach slow, relaxed eating.

Your child will have time to enjoy his food and find his natural stopping point if he eats slowly. Have him sit calmly in his chair. Engage in pleasant conversation, don’t use the lime for scolding and airing grievances. If he eats fast, have him wait awhile before having seconds. If you don't deprive him of food, he will learn to tolerate his hunger because he'll know that, before too long, he can make it go away.

The slow eating technique and the delay before seconds are not tricks to get your child to eat less. They arc methods to help him be sensitive to his hunger and appetite, and to use those cues to regulate the amount he eats.

4. Don't treat your child differently because he is fat.

What was a parent to do? If your child is just behaving like other kids, and the only reason you can think of for curbing his eating is his weight, you'd better let it pass. Otherwise he Ml feel singled out and embarrassed, which could cause him to eat even more,

5. Encourage exercise.

The best way to increase exercise for children is to let them do what comes naturally. Even the least active child is a whirlwind by adult standards. Toddlers are constantly on the move; they prefer running to walking. Preschoolers want to climb higher, run faster and play harder than they ever have before.

Pick out active forms of family recreation like biking, but don't force your child to take part. If too energetic, efforts to get your child to exercise may result in his plodding along just to please you or refusing to exercise at all. As with eating, exercise demands division of responsibility; you need to create the opportunity, but allow your child to choose whether to do it.

If you consistently use these methods through your child's growth years, odds are he will be of normal weight. At the very least, you will give him his best chance of keeping the fat off, and of building good eating habits for life.

12/14/2011

Foods That Boost Your Moods – Fruit & Nut

Bananas

Magnesium deficiency and stress are linked so closely that some doctors and dietitians advise people who lead hectic lives to add magnesium-rich foods like bananas to their diets. Most Americans do not eat the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium (280 mg for women, 350 mg for men), says Dr. Mildred S. Seelig, former president of the American College of Nutrition. If you juggle a hectic schedule, the problem is worse: stress hormones, which flood the body during limes of tension- drain magnesium from cells, resulting in lower resistance to colds and viruses and a tired feeling.

Researchers have also found that increased magnesium in-take results in less anxiety and better sleep. If you don't like bananas, other good magnesium sources are nuts, beans, and leafy greens.


Oranges and Grapefruits

Researchers have found that even a small deficiency in vitamin C, a key ingredient for boosting levels of energizing norepinephrine, can leave you feeling irritable and blue, A lack of vitamin C rich foods also inhibits your body's ability to absorb the iron it needs to fight fatigue.

In a 2001 study of more than 1000 men, German researchers found that among those with diets only slightly deficient in vitamin C, a daily dose of 150 mg, roughly the amount in two oranges, resulted in less nervousness, crankiness and depression.

Consuming more than this amount of vitamin C may make you feel even more upbeat. University of Alabama researchers found that those who regularly consumed more than 400 mg of vitamin C per day (roughly two 12-ounce glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice or six oranges) were half as tired as those who consumed less than 100 mg. per day. Vitamin C supplements are also effective.


Brazil Nuts.

Due to the rich soil in which they grow, Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium, a trace mineral that some research has linked to upbeat moods.

In a 2001 study involving 17 men and 33 women at the University of Wales, Swansea, those given 100 micrograms of selenium (the equivalent of one or two Brazil nuts) each day for five weeks reported a greater sense of happiness, more energy and a reduction in anxiety compared to participants given a placebo. These results were especially evident among those with low levels of dietary selenium, illustrating the importance of having a sufficient amount of this mineral in your diet. Other good sources of selenium: seafood, beef and whole-grain breads.

Chocolate
Many women crave chocolate, especially when they're suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or when boredom or stress strikes. There are a number of possible reasons for this. Some experts believe that like many sweet carbohydrates, chocolate may have a soothing effect. Others suggest that caffeine and similar substances in chocolate may act as stimulants. If nothing else? The sheer pleasure of eating it may be all you need to lift your spirits.

Coffee

That morning cup really can jump-start your day. Recent research links the amount of caffeine in one to two cups to clear thinking and more energy for up to three hours. In a study of50 sleep-deprived people, the amount of caffeine in as little as 1.5cups of coffee boosted their concentration, energy and confidence levels.

Some researchers believe caffeine causes a slight, temporary rise in blood pressure and blocks hormonal messengers that lull us to sleep. However, more than two or three cups a day may make you irritable and jittery.

Blot Peppers

If you like hot salsa, you may be attracted to more than its taste. According to University of Pennsylvania researcher Paul Rozin, capsaicin can stimulates the mouth's nerve endings, causing a burning sensation. In response, Rozin theorizes, the brain releases endorphins, natural painkillers that may produce a temporary high.

So, the more hot peppers you eat, the stronger the soothing effect. In fact, some hot pepper lovers may just be hooked on the high. Moral of this story: when you eat certain foods you may become addicted to staying in a good mood.

12/13/2011

Foods That Boost Your Moods – Grain & Meat

Someone may not recognize it, their carbohydrate cravings may actually be her body's way of helping her to feel hap pier. In the past two decades, a number of studies have confirmed a link between certain foods and our ability to feel more alert, calm, and even upbeat. "We've found that some foods influence the production of brain chemicals that are directly involved in determining our mood, mental energy, performance and behavior says Judith Wurtman, a nutrition researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Many good-mood foods may already be silting in your kitchen. Here are some of the most important ones.

Whole-Grain Bread.

Most foods contain one or more of 20 different amino acids, molecules found in animal and plant proteins necessary for good health. Like the lobbyists, amino acids compete to deliver messages to the brain. In this case, eating a few slices of plain, whole-grain bread helps the amino acid tryptophan's message be "heard": relax, be happy. Once it enters the brain, tryptophan boosts levels of serotonin, the soothing, mood-elevating brain chemical also stimulated by the anti-depressant Prozac.

The trick is to eat the bread ahead of any protein rich meal or cheese. This allows tryptophan to enter the brain before other amino acids can crowd it out.

Turkey

This low-fat protein source is rich in an amino acid called tyrosine, which boosts levels of the brain chemicals dopamine, and norepinephrine, and in turn improves motivation and reaction time. U. S. military research has indicated that tyrosine lifts energy levels and helps the body to cope belter with stress.

A turkey sandwich or turkey noodle soup may produce the same results. Effective alternatives to turkey are tuna and chicken.

Beef

Complete avoidance of red meat may do more harm than good. People on low cholesterol diets may experience iron deficiencies that make them feel tired and blue. Iron keeps the body's cells fueled with oxygen and, thus, energized.

Illinois State University nutrition professor Jan Shane discovered that those who ate as little as three ounces of beef, a small hamburger, per day absorbed 50 percent more iron than those on a vegetarian diet, suggesting that a little bit of beef may be a good energy source, "Consumers need to change their thinking about beef as something that is terrible for them, "says Shane.  "You need to eat only about three ounces of it each day to significantly improve your iron absorption.  "

Water

Mild dehydration is a common but often overlooked cause of fatigue, says Elizabeth Somer, author of Food Mood. When the body dehydrates, blood flow to the organs decreases and the body slows down. Drinking enough water each day can prevent you from feeling lethargic.

But don't rely on thirst, Somer says. Most adults should drink eight to ten glasses of water per day. Caffeinated soft drinks and coffee, however, are no substitute. They may act as diuretics and increase dehydration.

12/12/2011

Get Thin Stay Thin -Tips for Weight Loss

1.Don't ignore hunger!
2.Eat a hearty breakfast!
3.Eat only when you're hungry!
4.Limit your consumption of "pleasure" foods!
5.Throw out the scale!
The world was divided into two groups: natural fats and natural thins. And, and the feast-or-famine cycle of traditional dieting may well be responsible for many chronic weight-control problems. The dieter first starves herself, then binges when her body can't take it anymore, Built-in survival mechanisms rebel, and the body builds up fat reserves so it can survive the next famine the diet.

According to Sheila Ramsey, director of the Georgetown U University Diet Management and Eating Disorders Program in Washington, D. C. "Very low calorie diets that leave a person chronically hungry are doomed to fail: Neural and hormonal signals from the body will drive a person to eat despite high levels of motivation and willpower.

As I applied these new insights to my own eating patterns, 1 stopped dieting. I began to listen to my body's signals for food and to eat more nutritious food more often. The changes I experienced in getting off the diet/binge cycle were gradual (because it took me awhile to break my bad eating habits), but eventually my weight went down. Here's how to get off the diet/binge roller coaster:

1) Don’t ignore hunger.
Everybody gets hungry, even thin people. The difference between the hungry thin person and the hungry fat person is that the first eats and the latter fights hunger in every possible way. The overweight person denies hunger, represses it, and ignores it. Bui hunger always catches up in the end. Sooner or later, dieters all report that extreme hunger causes them to lose control, to go berserk, off the diet, on to eating.

You can stop the feast-or-famine cycle by eating as though you have no weight problem, eliminating the intermittent diet famines your body has adapted to. You have to convince your body that it can safely stop storing fat. The key is to eat well whenever you are hungry and stop eating when you are full.

You are probably thinking. If I eat every time I am hungry, 1 will be enormous in no time. That's simply not true. You may gain a few pounds at first. But as you retrain your body, you will not be hungry for more food than you need: you will finally be able to consistently avoid over-eating, so you can lose weight.

2) Eat a hearty break fast.
Eating too little at breakfast to save calories for later in the day is self defeating. If you skip a morning meal, your blood sugar level drops and you start craving food.

To lose weight, start each day by eating some real food. Eat as much as you need to feel satisfied, no more, no less. If you don't feel hungry in the evening, try going to bed with your stomach satisfied but relatively empty. You will rest more completely because you do not have half the refrigerator to digest! And since you have been on a natural mini-fast all night, you will have an appetite for breakfast.

3) Eat only when you're hungry.
People with weight problems often have no concept of their own hunger. They are so busy dieting or starving themselves that they have stifled their bodies' normal hunger sensations. Studies have shown that overweight people are more likely to eat in response to external cues a plate of food, a clock that indicates dinner time, than internal hunger pains.

I have discovered that as overweight people learn how to stay well-fed, their response to external signals diminishes and they begin to respond to genuine hunger. Then they can lose weight.

Learn to recognize hunger. Ask yourself if what you’re feeling is something else: fatigue, thirst, boredom, even loneliness. But when you have identified your feeling as hunger, eat. When you're full, stop eating. As you begin to eat according to your body's fuel-need signals, your nighttime binging will stop. You won't be overwhelmed by the "munchies" because you will have supplied your body's fuel needs all day long.

4) Limit your consumption of “pleasure" foods.
I've divided food into two basic categories; real food and pleasure food. Real food is fuel for the body's needs, while pleasure food, which is high in fat and/or sugar, is primarily for taste satisfaction. The categories are pretty obvious. Broccoli is real food. Cookies are in the pleasure group.

When you're hungry, you are faced with choices. If you’re not suffering from excessive hunger, you can be rational about them. Go to the refrigerator. What looks good? If you have chosen a real food, say, a turkey sandwich, you can be certain your body can use it for fuel. Eat it and enjoy.

Rut what if you have ice cream on hand and nothing else sounds good? Although you don't want to eat pleasure foods whenever the urge strikes, there is a legitimate place for them in your diet. If you have analyzed your feelings and there are no other needs imitating hunger, eat the ice cream. You have not failed. On the contrary, you have accepted your natural appetite, but not blindly.

Surprisingly, when you know you can eat anything you want and that you never have to put up with unsatisfied hunger a-gain, it takes a lot of pressure off. You'll begin to want to eat what your body needs, and your body will begin to need foods that will lead to slimness.

5) Throw out the scale.
The bathroom scale has become something of a god for dieters worldwide. Its blessing? Showing a loss on a given day, can make the worst of circumstances easier to lake. But its curse, he little needle moving upward, will cast a depressing shadow on the best of times.

Discard it today. It is not an ex-weight watcher who wants to be naturally thin. For permanent weight loss, you and your body need to get together instead of fighting each other. As you satisfy your hunger by eating properly at the right time, the distorted, exaggerated hunger you have forced your body to endure will diminish. Gradually, you will begin to experience only normal hunger, which is not the enemy, hut a healthy feeling. Eliminate over hunger, and you will eliminate overeating. Gradually. Slowly. Naturally. Honestly!

12/07/2011

Ten Big Fat Lies about Dieting

For Most of us, dieting is a frustrating fact of life. With so much conflicting nutritional information about, it can be difficult to tell which weight loss strategies really work. Start by discounting these confusing myths.

1. All calories arc created equal
What you cat,not how much, is the main factor behind weight gain, according to research at Cornell University in New York, Calories from fat pack on the pounds. The reason; during digestion, the body burns many more calories metabolizing protein and carbohydrates than it does metabolizing fat. For every 100 calories of carbohydrates we consume in excess of our daily requirement, only 75% are turned into body fat. But 97 of every 100 excess fat. Calories are turned into body fat.

The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 30 percent of daily calories come from fat. Some food-packa-ging labels should make it easier to calculate your daily intake. Avoid palm and coconut oils and other saturated fats — often contained in snacks like crackers and cookies—and opt for low-fat products, such as skim milk and low-fat yogurt.

2. Desserts are taboo
Ruth Lahrnayer. a registered dietitian, advises against categorizing foods as "good” and "bad". Even cakes, pies and ice cream can sensibly be worked into a diet, she says. Moderation is the key. Cut down on other meals if you will be eating out at a restaurant known for its lavish sweets. Or indulge, but take only a few bites. If you crave desserts often but want to save calories, try poached fruit, sorbet or sponge cake heaped with berries. All will satisfy your sweet tooth and supply nutrients as well.

3. When you lose and regain weight. It’s tougher to loss it again
Thomas Waddent, an obesity researcher compared  dieters with people who weren't, and found both groups lost weight easily. One caveat: other studies suggest that losing and gaining weight repeatedly may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.Experts recommend diet plans that promote a steady loss of one half to one pound a week. Cutting out rich desserts or that glass of wine with dinner every day are painless ways to achieve that goal.

4. It makes no difference whether you are top or bottom heavy
In fact, where weight is distributed makes all the difference. Recent studies suggest that people who store fat on the upper torso and abdomen (apple shape), rather than on hips and thighs (pear shape), may have an increased risk of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. There is probably little you can do to alter how your body is genetically programmed to store fat, but you can lose excess weight overall.

5. Fast foods are forbidden
A plain hamburger on a bun is still a healthful choice. So is grilled chicken or a green salad with low - cal dressing. But watch out for French fries, milkshakes and batter-dipped chicken or fish.

6. Fasting is the fastest diet
Some studies suggest that drastically reducing calorie intake switches the body into a "starvation mode" which conserves calories and decreases your metabolic rate. The more frequently you deprive yourself of food, the better your body may get at storing calories. So, in the long run, repeated fasting may actually undermine your weight- loss efforts."If you fast to cancel out a recent food binge, you'll probably rebound and overeat," says nutritionist Franca Alphin. What's more, unsupervised fasting for more than three days can create increased risk of gallbladder disease, kidney stress, irritability, hair loss and lowered immunity to infection.

7. Fake fats are a free ticket
As with sugar substitutes, some dieters believe that fake fats make once-taboo foods acceptable. Such foods have a place in a healthful diet. But, cautions Alphin, "Don't assume that because a food doesn't have real fat, you can eat lots of it. You still need to consider portion size and calories, and whatever else is on the menu that day. "Kathleen Zelman, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association concurs: ''Although fake fats offer more options for a low-fat diet, the products that contain them: ice cream ,cakes ,cookies, tend to be high-calorie foods to begin with.The key is moderation. "

8. Fad diets are an effective way to take off pounds
Diets that advocate eating, say, large amounts of only one type of food (such as grapefruit, nuts of meat) for several days or a week is big time losers. ''You don’t  earn a thing about eating sensibly, "says Alphin, "When you go off the diet, you'll have the same bad eating habits and regain any weight you lost. " Adds Alphin, "With any diet, unless you make a commitment to changing your life-style, it is unlikely the weight will stay off.

9. To keep weight off simply watch what you eat
According to Thomas Wadden, exercise combined with dieting ensures weight loss better than dieting alone does. Experts also agree that sticking with regular, moderate exercise is more important than occasional vigorous workouts are. Obesity researcher Kelly Brownell encourages patients to make a series of small physical efforts: taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking the car far from where you are going and walking. "People think they have to do a lot to burn a few calories, so they conclude, Why bother? says Brownell. "They overlook the other positive aspects of regular exercise; appetite control, mood enhancement and possibly a raised metabolism. "

10. It's all your fault you are fat
Albert Stunkard's research at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine indicates that body shape and size are in large part determined by a person's genes. In short, some people are more predisposed to be fat. Moreover, someone who was obese in childhood will have more fat cells than an "average" person. Once made, the cells may enlarge or shrink, but they never disappear.

Yet genes don't have to control your girth. The size of your fat cells depends on you, on your eating habits and life style. Mere are ways to keep them small.

Fill up on low-fat, fiber, rich foods, such as noodles, rice, wholegrain breads, fruits and vegetables. Chew food slowly, putting down your eating utensils between bites. It takes 20 minutes from the time you start eating for the brain to registers that your stomach is full.

Keep a log for a week, noting what, when and how much you eat, as well as your mood. Then study the connection between your emotions and your diet. If anxiety triggers uncontrollable eating, enroll in a stress management, relaxation or exercise class.

Most important, before getting caught up in dietary myths, let good sense shape your eating habits. Your body will thank you for it.

11/25/2011

Over physical training

Over physical training is a poorly defined complex of the body’s psycho-physiological responses to:

1) an excessive training load;

2) too frequent competitions;

3) Inadequate recovery time following an intensive work load, or any combination of these. It may be aggravated by other "stressors" in the athlete’s life, such as financial or work pressures, social stresses, excessive travel, inadequate sleep and nutrition, or lack of recreational opportunities.



A.Definitions
1.Short term over physical training
This may be difficult to distinguish from the normal sense of fatigue which accompanies an intensive training program. However, adequate recovery from and/or management of stressors will lead to an improved state of fitness and better performance. Inadequate recovery leads to a persistent sense of fatigue, often accompanied by muscle soreness, greater effort sense during training, and poorer performances during training and competition.

2.Long term over physical training
This syndrome may occur if the factors which precipitated the short term condition persist another important cause is misinterpretation by a coach or athlete of undesirable performance results being due to under training. In this situation, there may be a profound breakdown of various psychos-physiological systems which may not recover without many weeks or months of rest.

Over physical training can also disrupt the immune system, which makes the athlete more susceptible to infections. The endocrine system may show a stress response. Similarly, over training can profoundly affect the psychological status of the athlete. The widely used Profile of Mood States (POMS) shows a characteristic "inverse iceberg profile," with low levels of vigor, and high indices of fatigue, depression, and anger. This profile can be reversed with appropriate management of training, and time allowed for recovery.

B.Prevention of over physical training
The highly trained, strongly motivated elite athlete constantly treads a fine line between optimal levels of training, and over training. Close communication between insightful coaches and athletes who are "tuned in" to monitoring their own mental and physical responses to training is required to detect the "early warning signs" of over training and to react appropriately.

11/24/2011

The Heart as a Site of Fatigue

In healthy individuals there is no direct evidence that exercise, even prolonged endurance exercise, is limited by fatigue of the heart muscle. Because the heart in effect gets first choice at cardiac output, the heart is well oxygenated and nourished, even at maximal heart rate. In addition, because the heart is "omnivorous" in its appetite for fuels, it can be sustained by either lactic acid (which rises in short - term work) or fatty acids (which rise in long-term work). In individuals free of heart disease, the ECG does not reveal signs of ischemia (inadequate blood flow) during exercise. If ischemic symptoms are observed - then this is, in fact, evidence of heart disease.

During prolonged work that leads to severe dehydration and major fluid and electrolyte shifts, or other situations in which exercise is performed after thermal dehydration or diarrhea, changes in plasma, Na+ , K+ , or Ca2+ . can affect excitation - contraction coupling of the heart. In these cases, cardiac arrhythmias are possible, and exercise is not advised.

11/23/2011

Grouping of Cardiorespiratory Endurance Activities

Group 1 Activities that can be readily maintained at a constant intensity and inter inter-individual variation in energy expenditure is relatively low desirable for more precise control of exercise intensity, as in the early stages of a rehabilitation program. Examples of these activities are walking and cycling,especially treadmill and cycle ergometry.

Group 2 Activities where the rate of energy expenditure is highly related to skill, but for a given individual can provide a constant intensity. May also be useful in early stages of conditioning, but skill level must be considered. Examples include swimming and cross - country skiing.

Group 3 Activities where both skill and intensity of exercise are highly variable. Such activities can be very useful to provide group interaction and variety in exercise, but must be cautiously considered for high - risk, low - fit, and/or symptomatic individuals. Competitive factors must also be considered and minimized. Examples of these activities are racquet sports and basketball.

The risk of injury associated with high impact activities or high intensity weight training must also be weighed when selecting exercise modalities, especially for the novice exerciser or an obese individual. It may be desirable to engage in several different activities to reduce repetitive orthopedic stresses and involve a greater number of muscle groups. Because improvement in muscular endurance is largely specific to the muscles involved in exercise. It is important to consider unique vocational or recreational objectives of the exercise program when selecting activities. Finally, it is important to consider other barriers that might decrease the likelihood of compliance with, or adherence to, the exercise program (travel, cost, spousal or partner involvement, etc.).

11/22/2011

The Relationship between Muscle Strength and Muscle Flexibility

It is often said that strength training has a negative effect on flexibility. For example, someone who develops large bulk through strength training is often referred to as "muscle - bound." The term muscle - bound has negative connotations in terms of the ability of that athlete to move. We tend to think of athletes who have highly developed muscles as having lost much of their ability to move freely through a full range of motion. Occasionally an athlete develops so much bulk that the physical size of the muscle prevents a normal range of motion. It is certainly true that strength training that is not properly done can impair movement; however, there is no reason to believe that weight training, if done properly through a full range of motion, will impair flexibility. Proper strength training probably improves dynamic flexibility and, if combined with a rigorous stretching program, can greatly enhance powerful and coordinated movements that are essential for success in many athletic activities. In all cases a heavy weight - training program should be accompanied by a strong flexibility program.

11/21/2011

Practical Application of Muscle Stretching Techniques

Although all three Muscle stretching techniques have been demonstrated to effectively improve flexibility, there is still considerable debate as to which technique produces the greatest increases in range of movement. The ballistic technique is seldom recommended because of the potential for causing muscle soreness. However, it must be added that most sport activities are ballistic in nature (e.g., kicking, running), and those activities use the stretch reflex to enhance performance. In highly trained individuals, it is unlikely that ballistic stretching will result in muscle soreness. Static stretching is perhaps the most widely used technique. It is a simple technique and does not require a partner. A fully non-restricted range of motion can be attained through static stretching over time.

The PNF stretching techniques are capable of producing dramatic increases in range of motion during one stretching session. Studies comparing static and PNF stretching suggest that PNF stretching is capable of producing greater improvement in flexibility over an extended training period. The major disadvantage of PNF stretching is that a partner is required for stretching, although stretching with a partner may have some motivational advantages. An increasing number of athletic teams are adopting the PNF technique as the method of choice for improving flexibility.

11/20/2011

Muscle Stretching Techniques - PNF Stretching Techniques (PNF, Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation)


The PNF techniques were first used by physical therapists for treating patients who had various types of neuromuscular paralysis. Only recently have PNF stretching exercises been used as a stretching technique for increasing flexibility.

There are a number of different PNF techniques currently being used for stretching, including slow - reversal - hold - relax, contract - relax, and hold - relax techniques. All involve some combination of alternating contraction and relaxation of both agonist and antagonist muscles (a 10 - second pushing phase followed by a 10 -second relaxing phase). Using a hamstring stretching technique as an example, the slow - reversal - hold – relax technique would be done as follows. With the athlete lying supine with the knee extended and the ankle flexed to 90 degrees, the athletic trainer passively flexes the hip joint to the point at which there is slight discomfort in the muscle. At this point the athlete begins pushing against the athletic trainer's resistance by contracting the hamstring muscle. After pushing for 10 seconds, the hamstring muscles are relaxed and the agonist quadriceps muscle is contracted while the athletic trainer applies passive pressure to further stretch the antagonist hamstrings. This should move the leg so that there is increased hip joint flexion. The relaxing phase lasts for 10 seconds, at which time the athlete pushes against the athletic trainer's resistance, beginning at this new joint angle. The push - relax sequence is repealed at least three times.

The contract - relax and hold - relax techniques are variations Ml the slow - reversal hold - relax method. In the contract - relax method, the hamstring are isotonically contracted so that the leg actually moves toward the floor during the push phase. The hold - relax method involves an isometric hamstring contraction against immovable resistance during the push phase. During the relax phase, both techniques involve relaxation of hamstrings and quadriceps while the hamstrings are passively stretched. This same basic PNF technique can be used to stretch any muscle in the body. The PNF stretching techniques are perhaps best performed with a partner, although they may also be done using a wall as resistance.

11/17/2011

Muscle Stretching Techniques - Static Stretching



The static stretching technique is a widely used and effective technique of stretching. This technique involves passively stretching a given antagonist muscle by placing it in a maximal position of stretch and holding it there for an extended time. Recommendations for the optimal time for holding this stretched position vary, ranging from as short as 3 seconds to as long as 60 second. Data are inconclusive at present; however, it appears that 30 seconds may be a good lime. The static stretch of each muscle should be repeated three or four times.

Much research has been done comparing ballistic and static stretching techniques for the improvement of flexibility. It has been shown that both static and ballistic stretching are effective in increasing flexibility and that there is no significant difference between the two. However, with static stretching there is less danger of exceeding the extensibility limits of the involved joints because the stretch is more controlled. Ballistic stretching is apt to cause muscular soreness, whereas static stretching generally does not and is commonly used in injury rehabilitation of sore or strained muscles.

Static stretching is certainly a much safer stretching technique, especially for sedentary or untrained individuals. However, many physical activities involve dynamic movement. Thus stretching as a warm - up for these types of activity should begin with static stretching followed by ballistic stretching, which more closely resembles the dynamic activity.

11/16/2011

Muscle Stretching Techniques – Ballistic Stretching



Ballistic stretching involves a bouncing movement in which repetitive contractions of the agonist muscle are used, to produce quick stretches of the antagonist muscle. The ballistic stretching technique, although apparently effective in improving range of motion, has been criticized because increased range of motion is achieved through a series of jerks or pulls on the resistant muscle tissue. If the forces generated by the jerks are greater than the tissues' extensibility, muscle injury may result.

Successive forceful contractions of the agonist that results in stretching of the antagonist may cause muscle soreness. For example, forcefully kicking a soccer ball 50 times may result in muscular soreness of the hamstrings (antagonist muscle) as a result of eccentric contraction of the hamstrings to control the dynamic movement of the quadriceps (agonist muscle). Ballistic stretching that is controlled usually does not cause muscle soreness. 

11/15/2011

Muscle Stretching Techniques - Agonist Versos Antagonist Muscles



The maintenance of a full, non-restricted range of motion has long been recognized as critical to injury prevention and as an essential component of a conditioning program.

The goal of any effective flexibility program should be to improve the range of motion at a given articulation by altering the extensibility of the musculotendinous units that produce movement at that joint. It is well documented that exercises that stretch these musculotendinous units over a period of time increase the range of movement possible about a given joint.

Stretching techniques for improving flexibility have evolved over the years. The oldest technique for stretching is called ballistic stretching, which makes use of repetitive bouncing motions. A second technique, known as static stretching, involves stretching a muscle to the point of discomfort and then holding it at the point for an extended time, this technique has been used for many years. Recently another group of stretching techniques known collectively as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), involving alternating contractions and stretches, has been recommended.

Before discussing the three different stretching techniques it is essential to define the terms agonist and antagonist muscles. Most joints in the body are capable of more than one movement. The knee joint, for example, is capable of flexion and extension. Contraction of the quadriceps group of muscles on the front of the thigh causes knee extension, whereas contraction of the hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh produces knee flexion.

To achieve knee extension, the quadriceps group contracts while the hamstring muscles relax and stretch. The muscle that contracts to produce a movement, in this case the quadriceps, is referred to as the agonist muscle. The muscle being stretched in response to contraction of the agonist muscle is called the antagonist muscle. In knee extension, the antagonist muscle would be the hamstring group. Some degree of balance in strength between agonist and antagonist muscle groups is necessary for normal smooth coordinated movement and for reducing the likelihood of muscle strain caused by muscular imbalance.

11/14/2011

Muscle Soreness and Dynamic Muscle Flexibility



Muscular overexertion may present as muscle soreness, muscle stiffness, and muscle spasm. According to the muscle spasm hypothesis of muscle soreness, ischemia to the muscles release pain substances from the muscle fibers and stimulate the pain receptors, resulting in reflex spastic contractions and a continued cycle of ischemia and pain, Stretching the muscles helps reduce the spasms and associated pain. According it) the tissue damage hypothesis, micro-tears occur and pain/soreness results from the nerve - endings being stimulated by muscle tissue swelling. Proper massage aid in reducing tissue edema, and decreasing accompanying muscle spasm. Ice applications or other forms of cryotherapy, and pool training, may facilitate the body's healing response. Appropriate rest will allow microscopic damage of the tissue to heal.

Active range of motion, also called dynamic flexibility, refers to the degree to which a joint can be moved by a muscle contraction, usually through the mid-range of movement. Dynamic flexibility is not necessarily a good indicator of the stiffness or looseness of a joint because it applies to the ability to move a joint efficiently, with little resistance to motion.

Passive range of motion, sometimes called static flexibility, refers to the degree to which a joint may be passively moved to the endpoints in the range of motion. No muscle contraction is involved to move a joint through a passive range.

When a muscle actively contracts, it produces a joint movement through a specific range of motion. However, if passive pressure is applied to an extremity, it is capable of moving farther in the range of motion. It is essential in sport activities that an extremity is capable of moving through a non-restricted range of motion. For example, a hurdler who cannot fully extend the knee joint in a normal stride is at considerable disadvantage because stride length and thus speed will be reduced significantly.

Passive range of motion is important for injury prevention. There are many situations in sport in which a muscle is forced to stretch beyond its normal active limits. If the muscle does not have enough elasticity to compensate for this additional stretch, it is likely that the musculotendinous unit will be injured.

11/13/2011

ATP -The Immediate Energy Source



Various sports activities involve specific demands for energy. For example, sprinting and jumping are high - energy activities, requiring a relatively large production of energy for a short time. Long - distance running and swimming, on the other hand, are mostly low - energy activities per unit of time, requiring energy production for a prolonged time. Other physical activities demand a blend of both high - and low - energy output. These various energy demands can be met by the different processes in which energy can be supplied to the skeletal muscles.

Energy is produced from the breakdown of nutrient foodstuffs?' This energy is used to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the ultimate usable form of energy for muscular activity. Adenosine triphosphate is produced in the muscle tissue from blood glucose or glycogen. Glucose is derived from the breakdown of dietary carbohydrates. Glucose not needed immediately is stored as glycogen in the resting muscle and liver. Stored glycogen in the liver can later be converted back to glucose and transferred to the blood to meet the body’s energy needs. Fats and proteins can also be metabolized to generate ATP.

Once much of the muscle and liver glycogen is depleted, the body relies more heavily on fats stored in adipose tissue to meet its energy needs. The longer die duration of an activity, the greater the amount of fat that is used, especially during the later stages of endurance events. During rest and sub maximal exertion, both fat and carbohydrates are used as energy substrate in approximately a 60% to 40% ratio.

Regardless of the nutrient source that produces ATP, it is always available in the cell as an immediate energy source. When all available sources of ATP are depleted, more must be regenerated for muscular contraction to continue.

11/10/2011

Fatigue during Muscular Exercise




Muscular fatigue is usually defined as the inability to maintain a given exercise intensity. As we will see, there is no one cause of fatigue. Fatigue is task - specific and its causes are multifocal and vary from occasion to occasion. Fatigue during muscular exercise is often due to impairment within the active muscles themselves, in which case the fatigue is peripheral to the CNS and is due to muscle fatigue. Muscular fatigue can also be due to more diffuse, or more central, factors. For example, for psychological reasons an athlete may be unable to bring his or her full muscle power to bear in performing an activity. Alternatively, environmental factors such as hot, humid conditions may precipitate a whole series of physiological responses that detract from performance. In such cases, the cause of the fatigue resides outside the muscles.

Not only does the cause of fatigue vary with the nature of the activity, but the training and physiological status of the individual, as well as environmental conditions, affect the progress of fatigue during exercise. Fatigue can be due specifically to depletion of key metabolites in muscle or to the accumulation of other metabolites, which can affect the intracellular environment and also spill out into the circulation and affect the general homeostasis. The failure of one enzyme system, cell, or muscle group is likely to affect numerous other cells, organs, and tissues. Therefore, the causes of fatigue are interactive.

The study of fatigue in exercise has occupied the attention of many of the best biological scientists. Identifying a cause of fatigue is not simple, as it is often difficult to separate causality from concurrent appearance.

11/08/2011

Common Sense Treatment For Majority of Back Pain



It's encouraging to know, however, that the majority of back pain can and should be treated without ongoing care or surgery. A good rule of thumb when caring for your back at home is to start small, simple, traditional remedies are the best way to go. Most pain can be treated with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Intermittently applying ice and heat to the affected area is also effective for most people. Total bed rest is more harmful than good, however, because reclining for long periods of time can aggravate the discomfort by making muscles tighter. A better choice than bed rest is to avoid activities that increase your pain, but to maintain activities that do not. Keep moving, if possible, but use common sense when lifting and doing other activities that could worsen your condition.

Left untreated, back pain can increase greatly, so it's important to treat discomfort as early as possible. Failure to do so could eventually cause changes in posture and further muscle aggravation that could worsen the condition.

When a patient treats back pain with home remedies, in the majority of cases recovery takes less than four weeks. If pain persists past the four week point, you should see a doctor. But if your back pain is due to a fall or other trauma, see a physician immediately. It's also crucial to see a doctor when your pain could be due to a more serious illness. Though only one in 200 people has back pain solely as a symptom of something more dangerous, if you experience fever, bowel or bladder difficulties, unexplained weight loss, numbness tingling, or if you have a history of cancer or previous back injury, seek medical help immediately.

11/07/2011

Back to the Basic Spinal Care



Brace yourself. If it hasn't affected you yet, the statistics say it probably will. Maybe it will strike after you've lifted a heavy bag of groceries. Maybe turning quickly in response to an unusual noise will trigger it. The sobering fact is, no matter how familiar or benign a movement has been in the past, your back may suddenly take it as an affront, and it will let you know about it.

Almost 85 percent of Americans will experience some type of back pain in their lives. Not surprisingly then, back pain is the second leading cause of doctor office visits in the United States. A 2006 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that $ 50 billion was spent that year on the diagnosis and treatment of spinal ailments in this country a-lone. This is a tremendous increase from the 1950s.

Most physicians feel sedentary lifestyles have caused this rise in back pain and injuries. In our increasingly automated, hurried age we exert ourselves less and stress ourselves more. As a result, we are more likely to have poorly conditioned muscles and carry extra weight, both of which are important factors in whether a person develops back pain. Poor posture, incorrect lifting techniques, soft mattresses, awkward sleep positions and muscular inflexibility are other factors that contribute to back problems.

Understanding some basic anatomy might help explain how back pain can come on so unexpectedly. The spine comprises 24 vertebrae, the sacrum (the triangular bone connected to the pelvis) and the coccyx (tailbone connected to the sacrum). Forty muscles, 31 pairs of nerves, and countless tendons and ligaments wave their way around and through these bones. Muscles such as the latissimus dorsi stabilize the spine as it lifts, twists, straightens or bends. Muscles in the buttocks and upper thighs provide additional stabilization and postural support. As a shock absorber for it all, gelatinous discs of cartilage sit between each vertebra and aid in keeping the spine flexible.

As with any complex instrument, things can go wrong when the back is not cared for properly or is unduly strained. Because the spine's components work together inextricably, even the slightest damage within any of its systems can make movement painful.

A regular exercise program is your best, most crucial defense against back pain and injury. It's also great for your physical, mental and spiritual health in general. Activities like walking, Swimming and biking are excellent because they can relax you and stress your back less than sitting and standing do. They may also help you lose any excess weight that could exacerbate your discomfort. Modified sit ups are excellent as well, because keeping the abdominal muscles in shape helps protect the lower back. For more information about activities, your doctor can provide you with a personalized list of exercises that can strengthen the abdominal, leg and back muscles, all of which are important to back health.

In addition to exercise, watch your posture and be careful when lifting. Do not bend at your waist, bend at your knees and use your legs to lift. Use a stepladder instead of reaching for high objects, and don't carry heavy objects by yourself. Your physician has literature explaining proper lifting techniques as well as stretches and sleep positions that may improve your flexibility and chances of avoiding back pain.

When exercise, good posture, proper lifting and the like are part of your daily life, our spine should respond well to your care. Back pain is treatable but, more important, it's often preventable. Your health is worth any lifestyle changes that might be necessary.

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