100713 Killing the pain of exercise, does it kill the gains too?

Killing the pain of exercise – does it kill the gains too

In a study conducted at Ball State University years ago, researchers found that lifters who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen disrupted the benefits of lifting weights. The manufacturer of Tylenol funded this study.

After the results of this study came in the researchers discussed amongst themselves the ill effects of both of these drugs on muscle protein synthesis. This is especially true, according to the study, when a person is trying to build up muscle mass.

Because the original study was only a one-day study, it was decided to extend it out with a greater population. This population was a mature group of 36 men and women 60 to 78 years in age. This group exercised for three full months. It is unknown exactly how many times a week they exercised or what the exercises consisted of but the results were outstandingly remarkable.

According to lead researcher, Todd Trappe, “those lifting weights and taking recommended doses of ibuprofen or acetaminophen increased both their strength and muscle mass 25 to 50% beyond that of placebo group which lifted weights and took look-alike but inactive pills.”

The question that immediately arose after these results were examined was whether or not you should be adding these drugs your exercise program. The quick answer from Trappe was no.

As he explained ” the amount of the benefit that you get when you do resistance exercise without the drugs is so substantial that is not worth risking their potential side effects such as gastric bleeding.”

What about the trainees who are already taking these drugs? Todd explained it this way” you don’t need to worry that they’re interfering with any resistance exercise are doing.”

Now from my reading of the literature and perhaps this is just true for the younger trainees, most of it states that taking a pain reducing substance tends to lower the synthesizing ability of the protein after exercise. More study obviously needs to be conducted in this area. However, for the older generation it appears that taking these substances will help you maintain and improve your strength and muscle mass.

If these results were true then, is there reason to doubt they would be true today? In my gym, the recommendation is to readjust the lifting schedule rather than revert to these types of pain management aides.

080713 More benefits of exercise

More benefits of exercise

Exercise has been cited as being beneficial for avoiding, lessening, and mitigating a vast array of diseases in the past. Now, new research is confirming even more of these exercise related benefits for those who choose to follow this path to better health.

According to a recent report from Duke University, working out directly affects your heart. You may reduce your risk of developing heart disease up to 25% by doing 750 minutes of high intense minutes each week. By doing 300 minutes of intense exercise you lower your risk of heart disease by 20% and exercising 150 minutes per week lowers the risk by 14%.

Despite scientific research and the medical expert’s advising exercise to manage the pain of arthritis, up to 90% of those with arthritis fail to meet even the standards of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Of this 90%, nearly half get no exercise at all. They are inactive.

Boost your memory with movement.

Aerobic exercise pushes the rate of circulation up and this helps to increase the flow of oxygen rich blood into your brain. A study of almost 300 older people found that of those who walked at least 72 blocks, about 4 miles and 880.0 yards, each week had more gray matter in their brain than those who did not walk or exercise each week. Those who were walking each day cut their risk in half of developing memory problems.

Achieve a calmer state of mind with exercise

Regular aerobic exercise tends to reduce an individual’s level of stress hormones, and decreases the amount of fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure when under duress. Some of the recommended ways of aerobically exercising are walking, running, swimming, biking, or any other activity that keeps your heart rate up and within the target range for up to 20-30 minutes a day.

Equally effective is resistance circuit training. This method involves doing a series of exercises without stopping for 3-6 times around a circuit-thus the name circuit training. It is most effective with the large muscle groups such as legs, chest, and back. As an example, when doing an intense lower body circuit, the series could look like this: do each exercise for 1 minute. Do this 3-6 times, if you are able.

• Skip rope
• Squats
• Skip rope
• Calve raises
• Skip rope
• Dead lifts
• Skip rope

Obviously, before beginning any of these exercise suggestions consult with your doctor.

050713 Americans are severely obese, to the tune of 15.5 million citizens.

 Americans are severely obese, to the tune of 15.5 million citizens.

A survey of 3 million Americans, conducted by the RAND Corporation in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and subsequently published online in the International Journal Of Obesity found that more than 6.6% of adult Americans are now 100 or more pounds overweight! This is an increase of almost 4% (3.9%) from the year 2000.

The cost of healthcare is more than doubling with the epidemic of severe obesity in our nation. Obesity increases the frequency cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes and other chronic and mostly preventable diseases.

When will this stop?

The health benefits of water to your brain

If you want to do something to help your brain the most, drink water. Since the brain is 80% water, dehydration leads to increases in the stress hormones, which in turn interfere with cognitive abilities. When referring to liquids that hydrate the body, we are excluding coffee or alcohol.

According to Medical Dr. Daniel G. Amen and Tana Amen, RN., you should be drinking half your weight in water ounces every day. For example, a person who weighs 200 pounds should be drinking 100 ounces of hydrating liquids over the course of their waking day. Naturally, you should be drinking more water when the day is warm and humid or if you are working outside or exercising and losing water to perspiration.

Keep hydrated for peak mental and physical performance.

040713 The Fourth of July

The fourth of July

Declaration of independence

Our treasured Declaration of Independence set the stage for our Nation’s future.

We are a free Country because we chose to be free and fought to be free from the constraints of England over two hundred years ago.

Even today, when called upon, we continue to fight for freedom worldwide.

It is my perception that in many instances these countries fail to appreciate the fact that we are sending our young to help give them freedom from oppression.

My undying gratitude goes out to our military men and women fighting these wars.  May God be with each one of you.

If I were younger, I would join you again.

Danny M. O’Dell, USAF, 1965-1969

030713 The differences between free weights and machines

The differences between free weights and machines

Exercise, according to the most basic definition, means physical activity that develops or maintains fitness. It also implies being able to control your body, with or without external resistance, while doing the physical exercise.

In free weights, the resistance placed upon your body comes from a freely moving external object such as that found in barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and your body mass. These devices, augmented with different sized and weighted throwing objects such as medicine balls and externally loaded vests along with weights attached to the limbs make up the majority of equipment used in free weight training.

In free weight lifting, the challenge is to control and move the load with the correct technique while at the same time stabilizing it and yourself as you complete the movement. These three challenges to your body are not possible when using machines.

When lifting with machines the external load moves in a guided and often times restricted manner. Machines come in all sorts of variations from plate loaded, selectorized, electronically controlled, hidden springs, and rubber band outfits.

None of the currently available machines provides the challenges of free weights. Moreover, the challenges that they do provide will be less than free weights when it comes to the control, stabilization and the movement direction of the load. In fact, it is going to be a rare occurrence when you find a machine that actually fits your body because none of us are built the same.

The bottom line is this: if you want to get stronger and more coordinated, use free weights the majority of your time in the gym, otherwise, you are losing out when it comes to the subtleties of controlling and stabilizing your body while under a load or in living your daily life to the utmost.

010713 Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking

Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends at least two and a half hours of strength training per week working muscle groups such as the shoulders, chest, upper back, lower back, legs, and abdominal muscles. And two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity spread throughout the week. Exercise time is decreased if the intensity is higher. In this case, DHHS recommends one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, again spread throughout the week.

You will note there are no weekend warrior (meaning someone who tries to get all of their exercise time in on one day) recommendations here. Those who try to cram it all in on one-day or over two days frequently end up injured.

If you are not able to set aside 30 minutes each day, then do your exercises in 10-minute bursts over the course of the day.

Participating in a daily regimen of physical activity not only enhances your heart, lungs, and circulatory systems it also eases the pain of arthritis.

This may sound counterintuitive to the arthritis sufferer but the physical act of moving the joints keeps the synovial fluid, the transparent, viscid fluid secreted by the synovial membrane and found in joint cavities, bursae, and tendon sheaths, of the joints equally spread throughout them.

Walking can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight, which is important because numerous studies have found a link between obesity and cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidneys, the breast in postmenopausal women, and the uterus.

Physical activity can also reduce your risk of coronary artery disease, improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system and boost the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol and can even help manage or prevent high blood pressure. As a side note, losing excess fat weight also has the tendency to lower your blood pressure numbers and make you feel better about yourself.

Fighting depression can be a lifelong task but scientists find that physical activity can be a useful addition to pharmacology and therapy for treating depression. If you are depressed, see someone and get help. Physical activity helps ease the stress of the day, helps cut back on anxiety, helps you sleep better, and boosts your spirits for facing the day.

Walking, as well as other physical activity can help prevent the risk of type II diabetes. Additionally physical activity may also make it possible to decrease the amount of insulin or other types of medications you may be taking to control your diabetes. It goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway, see your Doctor before altering your medication.

Osteoporosis is a scary term for those with the diagnosis. Walking puts a load on the bones, which in turn causes them to become stronger, which in the long-term may well prevent fractures. Physical activity combined with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D may help prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis.


There are many good reasons to exercise and probably 100 times that many excuses for not exercising. The decision is up to you as to whether not you take advantage of the opportunities to exercise and thereby improve your health or simply sit around and complain about it.