Monday, March 19, 2007

Possible Three-Month Abdominal Exercise Program VI

Here are some more abdominal exercises. Rest for a day in between these exercises.

Day One:

This exercise may look simple. You can do it on a hard chair at home or at work. Sit up straight. Flex your feet, bend you legs 90 degrees, and have your knees close together. Bring up your feet up one or two inches over the ground. It is not so easy, right? Do this for four sets of ten repetitions.

Here is a harder version, to do once you can do the above exercise for at least four weeks. You may need to put your hands flat under your upper hamstrings with the palms facing down for support. Bring your legs up about an inch so that your thighs are 180 degrees out from your hip socket. Now bring your legs up one or two inches. This is really hard, right? Start off doing this for one set of ten repetitions until you can do four sets of ten repetitions.

Day Two: Pilates Plank

Get a mat and get on it face down. Have your arms 90 degrees down from your shoulders. Rest on your elbows and knees your thighs should be bent 90 degrees. Now straighten your legs. Rest your legs on your toes. Your legs should be close together, knees about two inches apart at most. Keep your back straight. Do not have your but higher than your back. Keep this position for ten seconds. Do this four times. Work up to ten times. This is another exercise that looks easier than it is.

Day Three:

Do abdominal crunches as per the first abdominal blog. Keep your legs straight up, at a 90 degree angle from your hips. This will vary the lower abdominal muscle fibers used.

Check out the Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com! My book Pocket Guide to Fitness will be available at www.authorhouse.com (best buy), www.amazon.com and http://www.bn.com in about three weeks.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Possible Three-Month Leg Exercise Program IV

Check out the Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com/! My book Pocket Guide to Fitness will be available at www.authorhouse.com (best buy), www.amazon.com and http://www.bn.com/ in about three weeks.

1. Do lunges one time a week. See the lunges blog.

2. Matt Exercise “It-Seems-Easy-But-It-Is-Not-Exercise

This exercise is great for abdominal muscles, leg muscles and glute muscles. Place your left knee on the mat. Place your left palm flat on the floor by you. Keep your left arm straight. Do not lock your elbow. Rest on this hand. Bend your body only as much as our need to when you rest on your hand. Bring your right leg bent so that your thigh is parallel to you right hip socket. Straighten and then bend your leg. Do this for two sets of ten repetitions. You read correctly – two sets of ten repetitions. This exercise seems easy, but it most likely will not be easy for you. Change legs and repeat.

Next, keep your right leg straight. Do not lock the knee. Do circles of about six inches in diameter forward, and then backward. Do each direction for two sets of ten repetitions.
Change legs and repeat.

3. Lie down on your left side. Put an elastic ban around your ankles. You can leave your left arm straight and rest your head on it, or bend your elbow and rest your head on your left hand. Keep your legs straight. Do not bend your knees. Bring your right leg up. Exhale when you bring your leg up, and bring it down, inhaling, without touching your legs. Do four sets of ten repetitions. Change sides and legs and repeat.

Rest your legs one day between each exercise or set of exercises. This does not include aerobic and cardiovascular work that you do.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Marathon Training

Check out the Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com/! My book Pocket Guide to Fitness will be available at www.authorhouse.com (best buy), www.amazon.com and http://www.bn.com/ in about three weeks.

If you would like to run a good time in the Marathon, you need to train months ahead of time. Some people start three months ahead of time. I recommend six months, especially if you are a beginner. First, get clearance from a physician. It is a good idea to see her or him a week or so before the race as well.

In summary, start running about four days a week. If you have never ran more than five miles, it would be a good idea to train for a half marathon first. I did my first marathon with no training, with a goal to finish, and I did, even after little sleep, but I had trained in a gym for five solid years and knew my capabilities. Use what is on this blog to get close to your body and "hear" what it can do.

If you have run more than five miles and you are training for a marathon, start training for a month running five miles four days a week, about six months before the marathon the first month of training. Up this to running seven miles four days a week for two weeks, and then 10 miles four days a week for two weeks. For a month, run 10 miles two days a week and 12 miles two days a week for a month. Then run 15 miles three days a week and 12 miles one day a week for a month. Slow down during the last month of training. Run 15 miles two days a week and 12 miles two days a week for three weeks. For the last week of training, run ten miles four days a week. Include one long run of at least 20 miles at the beginning of this last month to get yourself ready for the marathon. Make sure to eat starchy carbohydrates before each run.

There are different combinations of these runs. Ask a veteran marathoner. Get a coach. Above all, do what feels right for you. You may feel you need to lose weight. Do so until you get to your comfortable running weight for your time goal.

Keep up with your weight training before the race. You may not want to bulk up and add weight to your running weight. You will want to keep your muscles toned. Most muscles will work in some way during the race.

Check out the Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com! My book Pocket Guide to Fitness will be available at www.authorhouse.com (best buy), www.amazon.com and http://www.bn.com in about three weeks.

If you would like to run a good time in the Marathon, you need to train months ahead of time. Some people start three months ahead of time. I recommend six months, especially if you are a beginner. First, get clearance from a physician. It is a good idea to see her or him a week or so before the race as well.

In summary, start running about four days a week. If you have never ran more than five miles, it would be a good idea to train for a half marathon first. I did my first marathon with no training, with a goal to finish, and I did, even after little sleep, but I had trained in a gym for five solid years and knew my capabilities. Use what is on this blog to get close to your body and "hear" what it can do.

If you have run more than five miles and you are training for a marathon, start training for a month running five miles four days a week, about six months before the marathon the first month of training. Up this to running seven miles four days a week for two weeks, and then 10 miles four days a week for two weeks. For a month, run 10 miles two days a week and 12 miles two days a week for a month. Then run 15 miles three days a week and 12 miles one day a week for a month. Slow down during the last month of training. Run 15 miles two days a week and 12 miles two days a week for three weeks. For the last week of training, run 10 miles four days a week. Include one long run of at least 20 miles at the beginning of this last month to get yourself ready for the marathon. Make sure to eat starchy carbohydrates before each run.

There are different combinations of these runs. Ask a veteran marathoner. Get a coach. Above all, do what feels right for you. You may feel you need to lose weight. Do so until you get to your comfortable running weight for your time goal.

Keep up with your weight training before the race. You may not want to bulk up and add weight to your running weight. You will want to keep your muscles toned. Most muscles will work in some way during the race. Keep up with your cardiovascular training. Swimming is good to do.

There are many programs out there. Here is one resource from the New York Road Runners Club: http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/training/trainingprogram.php .

Here is what not to do:

Do not weight train three days before the Marathon, especially large muscles like the quadriceps or hamstrings. No matter how trained you are, you will feel it on race day, in ways that you do not like!
Do not wear old, tight sneakers. No matter how trained you are, you will feel it!
Do not have long toenails. No matter how trained you are, you will be in danger of having a loose toenail which will fall off eventually. Your old toenail will regrow, but the loose one will hurt during the race. This happened to me in two races. One was a marathon. Where would you be without me telling you my tips?

After the Marathon, do not run for at least five days. Let your muscles rest and rebuild. It is a good idea, two days after the race, to do some light cardiovascular work, especially if you are used to it, or swim, so your muscles will not “crash” and so your blood circulation will keep flowing. This last sentence is guided more by my intuition and experience than science! Doing some kind of workout the week after the marathon will also keep your confidence high and not allow you to slump mentally or physically!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Caffeine

Caffeine has been shown in some studies to have adverse effects on the human body, while other studies show no significant or beneficial effects. Do your research on such Web sites as www.pubmed.gov, www.nih.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.webmd.com, and on Yahoo! and Google.

Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system (CNS), having the effect of temporarily reducing drowsiness and restoring alertness. This is useful for some people while studying, working and driving. Beverages containing caffeine include coffee, tea, many soda drinks, and some energy drinks. They are very popular.

According to Wikipedia, caffeine is the most widely-used psychoactive substance, and it is legal. Caffeine is used to prevent lung disorders of newborns, and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Caffeine has been shown to increase blood pressure. See http://preventdisease.com/news/articles/062305_caffeine_bp.shtml and http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20020517/caffeines-effect-on-blood-pressure.

On the other hand, caffeine can be useful in treating patients with hypotension, as was shown in the medical journal article "Caffeinated Beverage Intake and the Risk of Heart Disease Mortality in the Elderly: a Prospective Analysis" by Greenberg J.A., Dunbar C.C., Schnoll R., Kokolis R., Kokolis S., and Kassotis J., published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on February 2007, volume 85, number 2, pages 392to 398. Some studies have shown that caffeine boosts metabolism and so would be beneficial to take before a workout. You can try this for yourself.

Different foods have different effects on different people. However, you should not feel you need to use this or supplements to be healthy and fit and to sustain being healthy and fit.

Check out the Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com/! My book Pocket Guide to Fitness will be available at www.authorhouse.com (best buy), www.amazon.com andhttp://www.bn.com/ in about three weeks.

Cellulite

You see posters in pharmacies and other stores on how to get rid of cellulite, especially in Europe. Women of all ages and sizes, as women can see in locker rooms, have varying degrees of cellulite. Many so-called solutions to cellulite ranging from lotions to surgery exist. You can easily search for this online.

Conclusions on what cellulite is exactly have not been made. In fact, only 79 medical articles come up if plugging in "cellulite" in the search box of www.pubmed.gov, and not all of these articles have to do with cellulite. Some have to do with cellulitis, for instance. Cellulite appears when fat protrudes through connective tissue. The condition may largely be genetic, which is one reason that dieting, exercise and cosmetic lotions and procedures usually do not work. Diet and exercise will reduce fat in general, and so can reduce cellulite. Increasing muscle will also decrease the appearance of cellulite to an extent, and to a varying degree for different people and taking into account But often, especially in women, if a low body fat percentage cannot guarantee no cellulite. Thin people can have it. Women have it more often than men. One study suggests "Current evidence suggests that structural differences in fat architecture between the sexes account for its appearance". The study title is "Cellulite: Is There a Role for Injectables?", and it was written by Rotunda AM, Avram MM, and Avram AS. It was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy in December 2005, volume 7, numbers 3 to 4, pages 147 to 154.

Mesotherapy, employ the technique of multiple injections of pharmaceutical and homeopathic medications, plant extracts, vitamins, and other ingredients into the subcutaneous fat, has been found by at least one study to have some effectiveness. The study is "Histological Cha nges Associated with Mesotherapy for Fat Dissolution" by Rose PT and Morgan M, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy in March 2005, volume 7, number1, pages 17 to 19.

Conclusions from the medical study "Effect of Weight Loss on Cellulite: Gynoid Lypodystrophy" is: "Conclusions: Cellulite is a complex condition, and treatments such as weight loss have variable effects on the improvement or worsening of this condition. Additional studies are required to understand how the factors that influence and modulate cellulite severity, particularly those at the level of the subcutaneous tissue septa, can be manipulated to improve this condition". The study is by Smalls LK, Hicks M, and Passeretti D, et al. in Plastic Reconstructive Surgery August 2006 edition, volume 118, number 2, pages 510 to 516.

Looking over the first page of cellulite medical journal articles on PubMed, I found the techniques of the VelaSmooth system and Triactive system to be effective, although only 20 patients were studied. These procedures cost a significant amount, so keep this in mind when doing research. This study was called "A single center, randomized, comparative, prospective clinical study to determine the efficacy of the VelaSmooth system versus the Triactive system for the treatment of cellulite" was written by Nootheti PK, Magpantay A, Yosowitz G, Calderon S. and Goldman MP and was published in Lasers Surgery Medicine, in the December 2006 edition, volume 38, number 10, pages 908 to 912. This is not a product endorsement.

A main point of this blog is to first love your body, and to take care of your health. Go for your physicals. Be and stay in shape. If you have a little cellulite, it is not the end of the world. I happen to think that some of it is feminine and cute. Little babies usually have it. Do your research and have a good attitude.

Some information for this blog was obtained from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulite.

Check out my Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com/! My book Pocket Guide to Fitness will be available at www.authorhouse.com (best buy), www.amazon.com andhttp://www.bn.com/ in about three weeks.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

"Where Do I Start to Get Results?"

On these blogs, I have written how you can eat what you want without gaining weight, increasing metabolism and knowing when you feel real pain or lazy pain. Some of you may think that this is unbelievable, or that you yourselves can never do it.

How do I start?" you may ask. Read the blogs. Buy my book Pocket Guide to Fitness, that will be on www.authorhouse.com, www.amazon.com and www.bn.com in about two weeks. Read it two times. Internalize it. Live it. You will see results.

You need to be grateful for your body, take the first step, acknowledge and appreciate yourself, commit to a future goal, which may be vague in the beginning of your workout adventure, and listen to your body.

In the beginning of your workout adventure, you will need to sweat. Do the aerobic and cardiovascular work, and lift the weights. Drink plenty of water. Work through the pain. Weeks later, get off the plateaus. Challenge yourself. Listen to your body.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Pilates Method

Joseph Hubertus Pilates, a gymnast of Greek and German parents, in the early 20th century, developed several exercise to strengthen what he called the "core" muscles of the abdomen, back, hips and buttocks. These muscles are important in balancing and in serving as stabilizers for many moves of other muscles such as the arms and legs muscles. He wrote Return to Life through Contrology and Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education.

Many Pilates studios have popped up, especially in the past ten years. They offer instruction in matt exercises as well as with the Pilates reformer, a machine with bands and movable parts to assist in Pilates movements. A person must do research as to how qualified instructors are and how comprehensive classes are, and what level classes are appropriate.

Pilates is great for many reasons:

1. Your mind will be developed in the Pilates principles of mind over matter, breathing, centering, concentration, control, precision and fluidity. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pilates_Principles)
2. Your mind will be developed in working through pain, especially in the beginning, and in producing slow, flowing movements.
3. It is important for overall strength and for the spine to strengthen the core muscles.
4. Many Pilates moves "hit" muscles in unique ways and work on muscle fibers not used in other exercises.
5. Doing Pilates exercises is great for getting off a plateau. (See the first blog.)

Some disadvantages of Pilates include:

1. Doing Pilates exercises does not provide for an aerobic workout.
2. Doing Pilates exercises does not provide for a workout of non-core muscles, and so is not an overall strength workout.
3. Doing Pilates exercises can develop oversized muscular midsection, sometimes even diminishing the waist-to-hip ratio. Ladies especially may not like this. This would occur, however, only if someone use Pilates for at least an hour five days a week or so and did not balance it with other exercises, such as internal oblique and external oblique exercises.

Pilates exercises are definitely worth a try! See if they are right for you! You can easily do library or Internet research on Pilates.

Check out my Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com/! My book Pocket Guide to Fitness will be available at www.authorhouse.com (best buy), www.amazon.com and
http://www.bn.com/ in about three weeks.