Friday, December 30, 2005

More Back Exercises

The back is made up of many muscles. In this blog I will not review back muscles. Rather, I will give you some more back exercises.

1. Back row – This exercise works all of the major back muscles, including the rhomboids and trapezius muscles. You can use the weight machine. Machines may differ. See the instructions for position and execution. Some machines have a bar you put across your chest to stabilize your body. Put the bar so that you are perpendicular to the floor and comfortable. Some even have a seat belt which is really not needed if you keep yourself steady. Use a weight that gives you a challenge but does not give you real pain.

Pull cable attachment to waist, and do not lock your elbows when you go back to starting position. Exhale when you pull and inhale when you release. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward during the contraction. Shoulders are stretched forward when you return. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

2. Back row cardiovascular machine – you may have seen the often electronic back row cardiovascular machine. The position and movement are similar to the above, but legs are often. Exhale when you pull and inhale when you release. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward extended before you on a bar of the machine. You do not have a bar to stabilize your chest. Keep your body and legs relaxed wand steady except for your arms that pull and release the cable. during the contraction. Shoulders are stretched forward when you return. Do this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You can get a cardiovascular and resistance exercise out of this. Once you do this exercise once a week for a month, you can move up to 30 minutes. Feel your body and what it is telling you that you can do.

3. Pull down machine – This is a variation to the cable latissimus dorsi pull down exercise described in another blog. There are usually two choices of where to grip the machine. Use variation each time you use the machine. Use a weight that gives you a challenge but does not give you real pain. You pull down the bars to the front of your chest without touching your chest and release without locking your elbows. Exhale when you pull and inhale when you release. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

4. Deadlift –Use a barbell or free weights. Use a weight that gives you a challenge but does not give you real pain. Face the bar or free weights. Place your legs shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Bend at the waist to lift the bar or free weights with an overhand wrist grip. Do not let your knees pass your toes when you bend to grasp the barbell. Straighten your legs as the barbell passes your shins and reaches your knees. Then extend your back until you stand straight. Hold the straightened position for three seconds. Return the bar to the floor by returning to the original position, not by arching or hyperextending your back. Exhale when you pull and inhale when you release. Do four sets of ten repetitions. This exercise also works your hamstrings and gluteus maximus. Actually, while it mostly works out the hamstrings, secondary muscles involved include the forearms, trapezius muscle, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps and calves.


Some information for this blog was obtained from
http://musclereview.com/Templates/exercises/exercisestypes.htm
Accessed on December 30, 2005

Disclaimer: information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Three Barbell Exercises

Free weights are generally better to do than barbells since they require more strength from primary and secondary muscle groups to stabilize your movements and posture. Barbells are usually better to do than machines for the same reason, although barbells often do not allow for the variety for motion that free weights or different machines allow.

Here are three exercises that target different muscles and can be done using barbells:

1. Biceps curls - Choose a barbell weight that will give you a challenge but that you can move for ten repetitions with a full range of motion. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Lift the barbell up until it almost touches your chest, and then down so that your elbows are almost straight. Do not lock your elbows. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

2. Chest press - Choose a barbell weight that will give you a challenge but that you can move for ten repetitions with a full range of motion. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Push the barbell out until your elbows are almost straight, and then bring it back until it almost touches your chest. Do not lock your elbows. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

3. Leg muscles - Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. This time point your toes diagonally out, each toward opposite corners of the room if you are facing the wall. Keep your wrists resting on your quadriceps with your palms facing outward, grasping the barbell. Relax your arms. Sit and get up. Make sure that your knees do not extend beyond your toes. This works your legs muscles and gluteus maximus. It works your adductor muscles especially and is a good variation to cable exercises, squats and lunges. Do five sets of ten repetitions.

Don’t forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that helps to lift your shoulders over your head and rotate it toward and away from your body. The muscles are the infraspinaturs, supraspinatus, subscapularis and teres major. Baseball pitchers use these muscles a lot. They are frequently injured by tears, tendonitis, impingement, bursitis and strains.

Shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis refer to an inflammation of a particular area within the shoulder joint that is causing a common set of symptoms. They can also be called "impingement syndrome", which indicates an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and the bursa that surrounds these tendons. Several bones, muscles, and ligaments contribute to the complex shoulder joint. This increases the chances of injury.

Impingement syndrome occurs when there is inflammation between the top of the humerus or arm bone and the acromion or tip of the shoulder. The tendons of the rotator cuff lie between these bones. In healthy situations, these tendons slide effortlessly within this space. Due to genetics or other factors, the space can become too narrow for normal motion, and the bursa and tendons become inflamed. They thicken and contribute further to the narrowness of the space. The bones rub against each other.

Rotator cuff muscle exercises are often overlooked. A common exercise is often done in grammar school gym classes: arm circles. Have your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. You can do these in the air or against a wall. You can do four sets often small or large circles, in each direction, with each arm. If you do small circles one week, do big circles another week. Do the circles slowly, with a steady posture. Do four sets often repetitions with each arm in each direction (moving frontward and backward).

You can also use a rotator cuff machine at the gym. Ask a personal trainer where it is. Have your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Make sure that your arms, shoulder and back are steady. Just concentrate on moving your rotator cuff muscles. Do four sets often repetitions.

You probably need to work out rotator cuff muscles once every two weeks. Too much working out of these muscles can lead to injury.

You can see four more rotator cuff exercises at htt;://www.aafp.org/afp/20030315/1315ph.html.

Don’t forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Some information for this blog was obtained from http://www.aafp/prg/afp/20030315/1315ph.html and
http://www.jointhealing.com/pages/shoulder/rotator cuff.html
Accessed on December 29, 2005

Disclaimer: information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Express Yourself!

What is your self-expression? Millions of people are not expressing themselves in their work. You can see it in their faces in the subway in New York City. They do not look inspired. When some people wear a uniform, they do not feel like they are expressing themselves. I remember in Catholic high school where I had to wear a uniform. We had to wear collars. So I tore off an old white shirt and put its collar under a tank top. I had several detentions for uniforms my freshman year. The Dean of Women finally forgot about it and let me on my way. I was a good student.

What is your expression for you body. It need not be a "cookie cutter" body of aerobics instructors errs. By "cookie cutter" I mean a body that looks like many other bodies. It seems like people are striving for that. One of the earliest blogs was about how no two people have the same genetics or bodies. One person has a color eyes that no one has seen another person has a particular shape of biceps that no one saw. One person may have a big bottom. Several celebrities have made money off their distinct features. Love what is your own and what you cannot change, except perhaps by drastic measures. Then choose what you want and can change.

What is your true self-expression? Is it being a big bodybuilder? Is it being a welterweight boxer? Is it being slim with few muscles? Is it being voluptuous? First get your annual medical check-ups, connect with yourself to monitor how you feel and perform, and then choose what workout you want for the body you want.

And love yourself!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Dance! Be in the Moment!

I went dancing for the first time in weeks last night. I went to the Copa Cabana after office work dressed in sexy but not-too-sexy clothes and long boots. And I danced, and danced, and danced. I was not too attracted to my partner, but I danced. I could have easily said that I wanted to go home and sleep but I danced. I thought that I wanted to go home, but I stayed and danced.

I connected to myself. I was in the moment. I felt past dates and pains and regrets. But I danced. I expressed who I am. I felt my strength, used it and shared it with the world. I expressed my sexuality. When my partner paused to wipe off his sweat, I danced.
At times like this, there is the present moment. Who cares if you blew your workout yesterday? Who cares if you have a report due at work today? You are here now lifting that dumbbell. You are great, strong, committed, and present. Dance! Be true to who you are! Be true to your word! Get in the game of your life. Get into your work out. Be it. Perform. Breathe out. You are done. Congratulate yourself.

Working out is the best hobby. It prepares you for times like this, to dance!
You never know what can happen!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Be Grateful

Did you ever notice how beautiful birds are when they sit on a winter tree branch and munch on a little berry? Did you notice how new rain and snow often are even if you have seen them before hundreds of times? Did you notice how your eyes, nose, toes and other body parts are unique and your own? You would notice them anytime and anywhere!

Do you know how even the pain after some workouts feels good? Does it feel great for you to know you did what you said that you would do in terms of working out? Doesn’t it feel good to breathe, be alive and be healthy? Isn’t the spring breeze or winter wind on your face an expression of love in the universe?

It is all good. Be grateful.

This is a short and important blog.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Acknowledge Yourself

You must acknowledge yourself when you go to the gym. If you fail to meet a weight loss goal by a set time, acknowledge yourself for trying, getting to the gym and being a person who plays and fights. If you are in a game, race or long-distance run, acknowledge yourself.

If you finish a workout and feel pain, acknowledge and love yourself. If you miss some days at the gym, forgive yourself acknowledge yourself for even playing the fitness game and noticing you were out of integrity.

You are healthy enough to move. Even if you are sick, you love, you think, and you move. You are amazing. You are “lucky”. You are unique and the only one of you in the world. You are taking on your health. You are you. You are the “luckiest” person on Earth. You are beautiful. You are fun. You mean business. You play to win but are always a winner! You are the best. You are real. You get to the bottom of things and play. Acknowledge yourself.

This is a short and important blog.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Get to Know Yourself

Working out is not just about health, looking good and getting bigger and stronger. Its benefits include mental and the spiritual elements.

When you work out in one hour, one day, one week, one year, or years, through the same or different routines, outdoor sports, aerobics classes, free weights or anything else, you get to know yourself. That is one of the huge benefits of working out.

What do I mean by getting to know yourself? Have you ever overcome a big obstacle? Have you overcome heartbreak, relatives that are a way that does not work for you, a boss who acts like a jerk, tough courses in school, an illness or any other situation? Well, that is like sticking with your workout, finishing a Marathon, going when you see no results yet.

Like peeling the layers of an onion, with you being the onion, you get to see who you are, what you are made of, what makes you tick, and what you can do. And that is priceless.

This is a short and important blog.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Success = Getting Up Over and Over Again

Working out ultimately is not about looking good. It is about health and it is about looking good. Ultimately it is a way of being. It is growth. It is connected in several dimensions to mentality and spirituality.One thing you get about working out is to stay committed to your goals, forgive yourself when you do not meet them, and get back up over and over again. If you do not do this, you are quitting, and missing one of the many lessons that working out gives you. Even if you work out alone, you grow and learn from working out. You apply the lessons to life, family, work fun and everything!

This is a valuable lesson that you do not want to miss. Whether you do not reach your fitness goals or weight goals, or you miss a day, or you do not get an exercise right, or you feel pain after an exercise, or whatever else, you will learn, as long as you are present and aware, to get back up over and over again.

Success is defined by culture and media. It often means for people to look good, have great relationships, have money and have things. None of these aspects of success are inherently bad. YOU get to define success for yourself. And an important element of that is to forgive and love yourself, and to get back up over and over again.

This is a short and important blog.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cable Leg Adductor and Abductor Exercises

The adductors are a group of muscles that include: the adductor magnus, longus and brevis, the gracilis and the pectineus. They originate on the pelvic bone and attach at intervals along the length of the femur. This interval attachment provides the most power and stability for the hip joint and the femur.

The primary function of the adductors is adduction of the legs, or movement of the legs toward the centerline of the body. The adductors also stabilize the hip.

The abductor muscles, on the other hand, abduct the leg away from the centerline of the body. They include the gamelli muscles, piriformis muscle and gluteus minimus.
Do you remember the leg scissor exercises from grammar school? Those worked the adductor and abductor muscles. You can use bands of these muscle groups as well. I will describe a cable exercise to do.

You need to be in shape to do this exercise with a significant amount of weight. Have a personal trainer supervise you for the first time. Choose a weight that gives you a workout, but does not give you severe pain. Choose a weight that you can lift for the full range of motion. Breathe in when you extend your arm and breathe out when you lift the weight.

For the adductor muscles, go to the cable rack. Attach an anklet (most gyms have this) to your right ankle. Move your left leg behind you, to make room for you to steadily move your right leg in front of your left leg and then back like a pendulum. Make sure the weights do not hit. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions. Repeat for the left leg.

Now put the anklet around your right ankle again. This time face the other way. This will allow you to swing your right leg away from the centerline of the body, working the right leg’s abductor muscles. Move your leg for the full range of motion. Make sure the weights do not hit. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions. Repeat for the left leg.

As with other muscle groups, rest in between days where you use the triceps as primary muscles in an exercise. Have fun!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Some of the information for this blog was taken from http://www.fitstep.com/Advanced/Anatomy/Adductors.htm
Accessed on December 20, 2005

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Four Hamstrings Exercises

The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of the leg: the biceps femoris (long head), biceps femoris (short head), semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. They are responsible for: knee flexion, internal rotation and external rotation and hip extension.

When you work out a muscle or muscle group, you want to target as many muscle fibers as you can, in as many different angles or ways that you can. Choose a weight that gives you a workout, but does not give you severe pain. Choose a weight that you can lift for the full range of motion. Breathe in when you extend your arm and breathe out when you lift the weight.

Here are the exercises:

1. Use the hamstring curl machine. Adjust the seat also that your knees are aligned with the mark, usually a plastic circle on the machine. Hold your back steady. Use a seat belt if you must. Leave only a little space between the small of your back and the back of the seat. Do smooth, easy movements up and down. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

2. Use the lie-down hamstring curl machine. Make sure that your ankles are beneath the bottom bar that you lift. Do smooth, easy movements up and down. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

3. Lunges (See the lunges blog.)

4. Squats (See the squat blog.)

As with other muscle groups, rest in between days where you use the triceps as primary muscles in an exercise. Have fun!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pectoralis Major and Minor - Chest Exercises

You can do several exercises for the pectoralis major and minor. I will list and describe one machine and two variations of a dumbbell exercise here.

Choose a weight that gives you a workout, but does not give you severe pain. Choose a weight that you can lift for the full range of motion. Bend your knees slightly. Do not lock your elbows during the exercises. Breathe in when you extend your arms and breathe out when you lift the weight.

Here are the exercises:

1. Lie down on a bench with your dumbbells, one in each hand. With your feet flat on the end of the bench or on the floor, make sure there is only a small natural space between the small of your back and the bench. With your wrists facing each other, right and left, start by extending your arms to your sides (right arm to right side and left arm to left side). Then bring your wrists together without having the weights touch. Do four sets of ten repetitions. You can repeat another four sets of ten repetitions with your wrists facing forward.

2. Use a fly machine. Adjust the arms of the machine to go as far backward as possible. Make sure that the seat position is comfortable. Bring your arms together. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

3. Use an incline chest machine. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

4. Use the bench press. Find the weight that is right for you and balance it on each side. Repeat the back position of [1.]. Do four sets of ten repetitions

As with other muscle groups, rest in between days where you use the triceps as primary muscle group in an exercise. Pay attention to how your body responds to each exercise. Have fun!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Two Simple Latissimus Dorsi Exercises

The Latissimus Dorsi are some of the largest muscles of the body, and the largest muscles of the back. They help define your back and waist. They assist in your bringing objects down from over your heads toward your body or, if you are bent, lifting them from close to the ground to close to your body.

Choose a weight that gives you a workout, but does not give you severe pain. Choose a weight that you can lift for the full range of motion. Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Do not lock your elbows during the exercises. Breathe in when you extend your arm and breathe out when you lift the weight.

Here are the exercises:

1. Use a pulldown machine. Keep your shoulders down. Grasp the bar and bring it down behind your neck. Then let it go slowly. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

2. Use dumbbells. Bend forward slightly and use one arm to support your weight against a surface such as a weight rack. Hold a dumbbell with the other arm lifted behind you so that the shoulder and elbow can be as close to 180 degrees as possible. Lift the arm up, pointing the elbow up until you cannot go up and back more due to your shoulders. When you extend your arm, do not lock the elbow. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

As with other muscle groups, rest in between days where you use the triceps as primary muscles in an exercise. Have fun!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Three Simple Triceps Exercises

I will repeat some material from the previous biceps blog:

When you work out a muscle or muscle group, you want to target as many muscle fibers as you can, in as many different angles or ways that you can. The triceps are a basic muscle group, composed of three muscles from the shoulder to the elbow. They primarily help you to push things away from you or to push your body from a resistance such as a wall or floor.

It is recommended that you use free weights instead of machines. You have to do more work with free weights, thereby working more muscle fibers and building core balance and strength as well.

Choose a weight that gives you a workout, but does not give you severe pain. Choose a weight that you can lift for the full range of motion. Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Do not lock your elbows during the exercises. Breathe in when you extend your arm and breathe out when you lift the weight.

Here are the exercises:

1. Use dumbbell weights that work for you. Hold one arm over your head with a dumbbell and the elbows bent. Proceed to extend that arm over your head, using the other arm for slight support if you need it. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

2. Bend forward slightly and use one arm to support your weight against a surface such as a weight rack. Hold a dumbbell with the other arm lifted behind you so that the shoulder and elbow can be as close to 180 degrees as possible. Extend the arm out. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

3. With your arms behind you, hold onto a chair that is secure on the floor. Your legs will be bent or extended before you. Keep your shoulders as low as possible to resting position (not slouching). Use your arms to lift your body up and down. Do four sets of ten repetitions.
As with other muscle groups, rest in between days where you use the triceps as primary muscles in an exercise. Have fun!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Three Simple Biceps Exercises

When you work out a muscle or muscle group, you want to target as many muscle fibers as you can, in as many different angles or ways that you can. The biceps are a basic muscle group, composed of two muscles from the shoulder to the elbow. The primarily help you to pull things toward you and to lift things.

It is recommended that you use free weights instead of machines. You have to do more work with free weights, thereby working more muscle fibers and building core balance and strength as well.

Here are three variations of biceps curls with free weights. Choose a weight that gives you a workout, but does not give you severe pain. Choose a weight that you can lift for the full range of motion.

Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Do not lock your elbows during eth exercises. Breathe in when you extend your arm and breathe out when you lift the weight.

1. Lift the dumbbells from your arms being almost straight smoothly until the dumbbells almost touch your upper arms. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

2. Repeat [1.] but have your arms point diagonally - 45 degrees from the front of your body.

3. Repeat [3.] and have your inner wrists facing the side of your body.

These variations will allow you to target different muscle fibers and get off a plateau.

As with other muscles, rest in between days where you use the biceps as primary muscles in an exercise. Have fun!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Monday, December 12, 2005

How Many Calories Should You Burn Per Day?

The amount of calories that you need per day to be healthy varies by: if you are female or male; if you are a pregnant female; your health; your diet; your age; the amount of muscle that you have; and your level of activity. Pregnant women, sick people, young and older people and people with a high level or activity or stress need more calories than average. Men need more calories than women.This is important since the basic way to lose weight is to take in more calories and to burn more calories. Note that if you exercise a lot more by time and/or intensity, you can take in more calories and still lose weight.

Notice that muscle burns more than at. That is not a myth. It is the Truth. Therefore, dieting and aerobics alone are usually not efficient to lose weight. You will need to build muscle. Many women are afraid that if they train, they ill look like a bodybuilder. Do not worry. Unless you train a lot and eat an amount of protein that is a lot more than normal for you, this will not happen. Weight training is good for health, burning calories and your bones.

Weight training also affects insulin resistance due to increased muscle mass. Insulin is a hormone released by the Islets of Langerhans of the pancreas and promotes the uptake of glucose from the blood into cells. Insulin is the body's primary storage hormone because it directs digested nutrients such as glycogen and amino acids into either lean tissue (the liver and muscle) for fuel, or into the fat cells. When you lift weights, your body relies on glycogen for energy. When glycogen fuel stores are depleted, more nutrients are shuttled into muscle cells as opposed to your fat cells. Your metabolism is activated and you burn more calories.

Fat cells are resistant to insulin and glucose. Glucose is more likely to get into muscle cells and get burned. If there are too many fat cells more insulin will be needed. This condition may lead to diabetes. In addition, excess insulin goes to the liver, where it is converted into triglycerides, precursors to fat. Triglycerides interfere with insulin sensitivity, and a vicious cycle ensues.

To find out how many calories you should be burning per day, do an internet search. It is even better if you consult a physician or dietician. Again, as you work out and get more in touch with your body, you will feel how much food you need per day.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Some information for this blog was obtained fromhttp://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_6_1x_Calorie_Calculator.asp, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006/si=2765 and http://www.bodymusclejournal.com/vol03/women_bodyfat_loss.html

Accessed on December 12, 2005

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Week's Quadriceps Training

Remember that quadriceps blog at the beginning of my blog page? My blogs have been a matrix of different spiritual and physical aspects to working out, in no particular order. Here is where I am choosing to place a week's quadriceps training plan. This is for intermediate fitness people. Do not forget to first consult a physician before working out and a personal trainer before taking on a new routine.

It is important to rest between quadriceps workouts, so this routine is to be done every other day. It does not include cardiovascular workouts. I recommend cardiovascular workouts and weights each gym day in order to work out your heart, lungs and muscles. Everything is interdependent. To get a good workout and burn fat, do cardiovascular routine for over 20 minutes. I recommend at least 30 minutes. Cardiovascular workout information will come in other blogs.

Do a ten-minute cardiovascular warm up before your quadriceps weights. Afterwards, do a ten-minute cardiovascular cool down. Stretch before your quadriceps workout. One way to stretch your quadriceps is to stand up and hold one leg at a time for at least five seconds bent behind your hips. Do this before and after your weight workout.

Day One

Do five sets of 10 repetitions of leg extension. Use a weight that gives you a workout but not severe pain.

Day Two

Do four sets of 15 squats. A squat blog will follow shortly. Make sure your legs are shoulder-width apart, you do not lock your knees and you move slowly for the full range of motion.

Day Three

Do four sets of 10 lunges holding a dumbbell in each hand. Use a weight that gives you a good resistance but not severe pain. One repetition is comprised of both knees going to the floor, in other words, two moves.

Day Four

Use the lying down leg press machine. Do four sets of ten repetitions with your heels on the edges of the machine. Get up and stretch.

Day Five

Use a big workout band. They sell them at some gyms and sports good places. Or you can buy them online. Stand. Place one end of the workout band under the ball of a foot. Put the other end of the workout band beneath your other foot. Secure your body against a wall for balance if you need to with the arm opposite the foot with the workout band around it. Lift your foot against the workout band pressure for four sets of ten. Repeat with the other foot by first changing the workout band positions. What a great workout this is! You will sweat and hardly move!

You may notice that you cannot take a day off in between workouts with these five exercises. So choose three per week and then stick with which three work for you per one-month cycle. Use the same exercises for one month, then change two exercises to get off a plateau!
Drink your water before, during and after exercising to match your body’s needs.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Alcohol and the Liver

Alcohol poses damage to the liver when drunk in excess. First, here is a brief overview of the large amount of work that the human liver does:1. blood detoxification;2. drug detoxification;3. glycogen storage;4. plasma protein synthesis; and5. production of bile for digestionExcessive drinking of alcohol can cause alcohol-induced liver disease.

There are three primary types of alcohol-induced liver disease:1. Fatty liver, which is characterized by the excessive accumulation of fat inside the liver cells. The liver is enlarged and upper abdominal discomfort is often felt on the right side. This is the most common alcohol-induced liver disease.2. Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute inflammation of the liver, destruction of individual liver cells and scarring. The liver is often enlarged and tender. Symptoms may include fever, jaundice, an increased white blood cell count, and spider-like veins in the skin.3. Alcoholic cirrhosis is the destruction of normal liver tissue. Non-functioning scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. Symptoms may include those of alcoholic hepatitis, in addition to portal hypertension, enlarged spleen, ascites, kidney failure, and confusion. Alcoholic cirrhosis may lead to liver cancer, which is often fatal.Since the symptoms of alcohol-induced liver disease may resemble symptoms of other medical conditions, consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Some information for this blog was obtained from http://www.umm.edu/liver/alcohol.htmAccessed on December 8, 2005

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Moderate Alcohol Intake

My father always told me about Socrates's saying: "Pan metron ariston". That means that everything taken to the extreme is no good. That includes being overly fundamentalist religiously, studying, or working out. This is a central way that I live my life. Perhaps that is why moderate alcohol drinking has been found to be healthy in everything from lowering blood pressure, preventing diabetes, guarding against osteoporosis, keeping away the common cold, and even preventing cancer.

Alcohol molecules end in -OH. Alcohol has been used medicinally throughout recorded history. This use has even been recorded in the Bible. One of the earliest studies that alcohol can be beneficial was in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Some medical research suggests that alcohol can have a greater impact on heart disease than vigorous exercise, eliminating salt and dieting. I would have to read this research. I am not advocating drinking, but alcohol does dilute the blood, thereby decreasing blood pressure.

Go to www.pubmed.gov and look up "alcohol" or "alcohol and health" to find related scientific journal articles. Do not overdrink. But if you have a glass of wine a day, or I would say every other day or on weekends, you may be furthering your health. This of course depends on where your health is now.

Too much alcohol can be harmful. Pregnant women should not drink alcohol. More on overdrinking will come in a future blog.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Some information for this blog was obtained from http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholAndHealth.html and http://www.webmd.com/content/pages/9/1675_57836
Accessed on December 7, 2005

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Interval Training

Interval training is an amazing way to increase your cardiovascular health, get off a plateau and increase performance in day-to-day life or in a sport. It is sometimes called Guerilla Cardio or, by the Swedes, the Fartlek technique. It is to be used by intermediate or advanced exercisers, and done for the first few times after the permission of a physician and the overseeing of a personal trainer. An interval session involves a warm-up period, several short, maximum-intensity efforts separated by moderate recovery intervals, and a cool down period. At the beginning, the total time can be just five minutes and one can work themselves up to 40 minutes. Besides the above health benefits, it is proven to be more effective at burning calories compared to long duration, low intensity workouts.

Interval training is a way to improve your aerobic capacity, which is the ability of the body to remove oxygen from the air and transfer it through the lungs and blood to the working muscles. You will raise your anaerobic threshold, the point at which the body can no longer meet its demand for oxygen. Thus, you will be able to keep utilizing oxygen in aerobic respiration, which burns fat! And you will be able to work out harder and longer.

You can use many movements into interval training and incorporate it creatively into a cardiovascular or weight workout. You can walk or run slowly for some minutes, and then quickly, alternating speeds. The fast walk or sprint run can last about a minute. You can use climbing and descending stairs slowly and quickly, or use this quickly in between ten-minute cardiovascular session. You can incorporate walking, running and climbing stairs. Spin classes often use interval training by varying speed and incline.

Go past your comfort zone. But, as with everything else in working out, listen to your body. If real injury can occur, cool down or stop. You will see that each time, or every few times, that you do interval training, you will get better at it.

You can use a heart rate monitor to make sure that you stay in your target heart rate zone.

To find out more about the science of interval training, look it up at www.pubmed.gov.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Some information for this blog was obtained from http://www.bodytrends.com/articles/cardio/interval.htm
Accessed on December 6, 2005

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Perfection Context and Being Straight with Yourself

This blog is related to the one called "Choosing Your Body". Do you ever think that everything you do, whether it is raising your children, cleaning your home, looking good, losing weight and practicing your body is never good enough? Do you think you will never get the body you want?

There is a difference between striving for perfection, thinking you will attain it after you take several steps or thinking you will never attain it, and being straight with yourself in terms of something you need to put into action to up the level of what you are doing. I think of myself as perfect from the spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I rejoice in who I am and always did since I was a child. I can lose or gain weight, be tired, laugh or yell, and at the core of my being, the context of what I do, that is what I believe.

We are marvelous creatures. No two of us are alike, even identical twins. We came out of one sperm meeting an egg of a particular month, and we are here! Our bodies are an amazingly complex and coordinated system. Have you ever thought how lucky you are to be here and to be healthy, or to have the level of health that you have?

Why not think of yourself as perfect? I do not mean to have severe acne and think you will make it to the cover of a dermatology magazine. I do not mean to not work out for months and notice you are huffing and puffing up the stairs and not go to the physician. I do not mean to notice that you are losing your temper more than usual and not get the source of it. I do not mean to like how your hair looks a certain style and not go to the hairdresser. I do not mean to not be straight with yourself when you are being lazy and there is something you can put in like an ingredient to a recipe that can up the level of what you are doing, if that is your commitment.

I mean to really feel and get that you are perfect. It may not be explainable in words.

Do you get it?

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Hard Work

Do you know how sometimes you do not want to take the first step? You may not want to start a conversation with someone and talk about something that you both have been avoiding. You may not want to start that term paper. You may not want to start your work out. But the first step is the most important step.

You may find that all of that hard work that you are avoiding is really just in your mind. Look back on your life to when you were happy. Happiness is generated from the inside, but that will be in another blog. You may find that you were happy relaxing at the beach or on the patio with a lemonade, or talking with a friend on a lazy afternoon. You may also find that you were happy when you "worked hard". Many people get a high from sweating and doing the work - doing what needs to be done to get a promotion, finish that report, build some muscle.

Everything is yin/yang. Intending results and being a big, welcoming receptor for results is more of the yin quality of human beings and the Universe. The reverse of that is action - going out and creating and doing what it takes to get what you want. Think of a great football player scoring a touchdown. First he catches the ball while other football players are trying to block him or hit him. Then he maneuvers his way against all the obstacles on the field to make that touchdown. All the while, he stays mindful and present. From the beginning, he intended and was committed to making a great play and scoring, or at least contributing to his team winning. The flip side of that was the action, the challenge with himself, and the competitive drive.

Recently I resisted starting to work on one of the several papers that I have to complete for the end of this semester in my Ph.D. program in information science. It took months to get the books I needed, and hours to read them and make notes for the paper. Then I had to organize my major points, write, edit and type! Once I took the first step, the rest was a good flow of "hard work" I actually enjoyed snuggling up in my bed and creating that paper.

The same can be true for working out. Take that first step. Start to work. You may find you love the "hard work" and sweat, until it is not hard work anymore and becomes your self-expression! Be happy and be your "work" moment to moment!

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Genetics

Everyone is different. For example, two men can work out their biceps doing the same exercise for the same amount of time while on the same diet. One of their biceps may have a different shape or be bigger. If you are working out to look like someone, forget it. You won’t. You will only look like you - a variation of you. And that is good news because you are unique and beautiful. And guess what? You were always unique and beautiful even before you starting dieting and working out. Who wants a cookie-cutter body anyway? It's all about taking your body to another level - whether it is a certain muscle, weight, flexibility or strength. It's all a variation of you anyway.

Some people that do aerobics or some female bodybuilders or some female strippers and male bodybuilders look too similar. But they never look alike. Let your body be itself. You may not be able to change some things like proportions or having at least some cellulite. Embrace it: it is you, it is unique and it is lovely!

Genetics influences how your skeleton is which has a lot to do with posture and length of muscles. It influences from where we tent to lose weight from first. For instance, some women will lose fat from their face that they don't want to lose before they lose all the fat they want to lose from a certain body area. Or they may lose breast fat that they don't want to lose before they lose the abdominal fat that they find it difficult to lose. Remember, you cannot spot reduce. But you can work out and keep in touch with your body to the point that you may be able to influence what you lose from where - much like you can think yourself through an illness and through the pain in a marathon. This cannot be explained so much in words as it can be felt and learned spiritually and through experience.

No matter what, love yourself!


Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.