Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Someday Melissa

I read about Melissa, who died of bulimia in 2009, in the Sunday New York Times. Her mother took her journal entries and, with others, turned them into the movie Someday, which will be done soon. This is a serious issue. Everyone must band together. Media images and ignorance as to science and fitness play a part. A movie about her life will soon be finished.

See www.SomedayMelissa.com.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Medicine Ball and Lunge for Your Thighs

Hold a medicine ball of a weight that gives you a workout but that you can use for four sets of ten repetitions of this exercise. Hold the ball before you and perform a stationary lung with your right leg forward. Alternatively, you can lunge your right leg laterally to your right or backward. Repeat for the left leg. Each time you move your leg, extend the ball with both hands at chest level, and bring it back to an inch before your chest when you return your leg. Do everything in smooth motions. Do four sets of ten repetitions, choosing to move your leg forward or laterally. For a more advanced exercise, move each leg forward, laterally and backward, and do the same with your left leg, for one repetition.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.LouizaPatsis.com, http://www.Authorhouse.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com and http://www.Amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beauty Sleep

The CBS Morning Show did a piece on a new study published in the British Medical Journal on the idea that beauty sleep may not just be an idea. Go here for a video:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7152379n&tag=mncol;lst;1

This is probably true to an extent: You feel and look more fresh. But, how you feel and intend on the inside will trump the amount of sleep you get. So if you feel good, even if you sleep less, you will still look good.

I will blog more on this at another time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ballerina and Critic

A critic Alastair Macauley made a reference to ballerina’s Jenifer Ringer’s weight. I saw her on Channel Thirteen recently and immediately thought she was one size big for a ballerina. That is because my eyes, as others’ eyes, have been accustomed to seeing often little-girl-figured, flat-chested, stiff-backed ballerinas. As a personal trainer and someone who thinks she has great taste in all from food to paintings to dance to furniture, I can say that beauty and fitness come in all packages. However, the truth and most in the world with a good brain, would say balance and proportion are key> Those who obsess on what they eat and body weight all day probably suffer from a psychological disorders, as perhaps do those that are fat or obese for a long period of time. Why not be able to eat a little of what you want while you make sure you eat lots of healthy food too, your blood is good, you have energy and you work out? The middle sizes, in an exciting, not bland way, 6-10 are usually the best in health and beauty.

A person, even a dancer or dance critic, with no biology education, should not declare themselves the expert on what is healthy and fit, or who eats too many sugar plums, Big Macs, or anything else. Obviously a dancer such as Ringer is self-disciplined or she would not be a dancer. 1+1=2. It’s logic. Now, he has the right to his opinion and artistic directors can do what they want. Masterpieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art represent mostly fat or at least “shapely” women, as Ringer called herself. But in an age where industries such as fashion shove to us either skinny of sometimes anorexic sizes 0-4 or the opposite 12+ plus sizes where women are often out-of-shape, can we go back to a beautiful, exciting middle that is healthy and sexy. I object to the false thinking that a woman with a bust and hips is out of shape. One can be and often is athletic and has a bust and hips. It’s called estrogen. IN other words, how about, in various areas, we have more of what God and Nature intended, the classy ferocious hourglass figure, in other words, that of a WOMAN. I do detect an often abhorrence of this by some, which indicates to me misogyny, fear and stupidity.

As for dance, what matters most, my dears, is ability, and, even more, spirit, energy and that “it”.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Using Band for Abdominal Work

Here are two exercises that work out your abdominal muscles and use exercise bands. They are intermediate level. Most bands come in a package of three, from least to most resistant.

Exercise I

Your abdominal muscles are used as secondary movers here. Choose one exercise band, I recommend the toughest one, and place it below your flexed feet. Hold each end of the band with each hand.  Lie down and use your abdominal muscles to keep your back flat on the floor. Raise and lower your legs slowly, as you would for regular abdominal leg lifts while pulling the band toward you. The more you pull, the harder is the exercise. Do not strain your neck or shoulders. Relax. Just move your legs, and concentrate on using your abdominal muscle to assist in the movement as much as possible. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

Exercise II

Your abdominal muscles are used as secondary movers here.Sit on the floor and place the exercise band below your flexed feet. Hold each end of the band with each hand. Do not strain your neck or shoulders. Relax. Lie down. Then sit up straight slowly but not too slowly, so that your waist and hips are at 90 degrees to each other.  Lie down slowly (but not too slowly) and steadily. Repeat. Do four sets of ten repetitions.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. Version II will be out in a few weeks! If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lift and Close for Your Buttocks

This is a variation on the pelvic lift for your buttocks. Lie down. Keep your arms neutral to your sides. Use your lower abdominal muscles to keep your lower back to the floor.This works out these muscles. Now lift your hips off the floor. At this position, "close" your legs so that your knees touch. This is one repetitions. Do five sets of ten repetitions.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Foam Roller

You may have seen foam rollers at the gym. They are about six inches in diameter and one and a half or three feet in length. I love placing them below my back on a mat, lifting my hips, and rolling up and down to give myself a back massage. Foam rollers are used like this in self-myofascial release (SMR). The fascia is a connective tissue that encases muscles, joints, blood vessels and nerves. The muscles and fascia make up the myofascial system. When you work out, muscles, joints, fascia and nerves may feel tense. A great way to release this tension, and save on some massage bills, is to use a foam roller.

This concept of autogenic inhibition is used to improve soft tissue extensibility; the muscle is relaxed and the antagonist muscle is activated. (Gossman et al. 1982) Foam rollers can be used on the back muscles such as the latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, abductors, calves and gluteus maximus muscles. Soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue are broken down. Flexibility and range of motion may be improved. Iliotibial band syndrome may be alleviated. Press on the tender areas for 10 or more seconds and breathe throughout the movement. Apply more pressure when you exhale. Relax and repeat until pain and tension are reduced. Drink plenty of water after using a foam roller. Skip a day between using it on a particular area. If you have a severe injury, this will not take the place of physical therapist or physician care. Contact a physician before using a foam roller. To view how to use the foam roller for SMR, see http://www.youcanbefit.com/ROLLER.pdf.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kick While Lying Down for Your Abdominals

Assume the abdominal crunch position. Place your hands below you or hold onto a heavy piece of furniture or exercise equipment for stabilizatioin if you need that. Straighten your legs without locking your kees. Point your toes. Kick up and down, in a controlled, steady, vertical scissor fashion. Do not let your feet go below half a foot over the floor. Do five sets of ten repetitions. One repetition is your right and left leg both kicking.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Horizontal Scissors for Abdominal Muscles

Lie down and keep your back flat on the floor, as much as you can because everyone is built differently. Keep your arms to your side unless you need to hold onto something heavy for support. Raise your legs straight, toes pointed, half a foot from the floor If this is too low, they can be as high as two feet above the floor. Higher is easier. Open and close your legs like a scissor. For added difficulty, move one leg at a time to your side. You only need to move your legs about 45 degrees to each side (angle between your centerline and leg). Do four sets of ten repetitions. You can do the same exercise lying on your belly.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Journal Article on Electronic Cigarettes

Yamin, Bitton and Bates reported about possible toxins in electronic cigarettes in an article E-Cigarettes: A Rapidly Growing Internet Phenomenon in the Journal of Internal Medicine. I only read the abstract, and will add to this post if I read the full article.

Electronic cigarettes aerosolize nicotine and produce a vapor that emulates that of cigarettes and supposedly is safer than even secondhand smoke. They are easily found on Web vendors. But new research suggests that they may contain unexpected toxins and devlier nicotine ineefectively, so they may nto even benefit in weaning oneself out of nicotine addiction. Although many coutnries have banned them, they are not regulated as drug-delivery devices by the United States.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Great Books -- Or So They Seem

I am getting ready to leave the New York University Bobst Library. I see next to a computer on a floor I happened to go to to Read the New York Times three books on eating. Although I do not concentrate on that, these books seem interesting:

Eating As I Go: Scenes form America and Abroad by Doris Friedensohn
Food, Morals and Meaning: The Pleasure and Anxiety of Eating by John Coveney
The Year of Eating Dangerously by Tom Parker Bowles

Some chapters in the second one seem especially captivating:

Foucault, Discourse, Power and the Subject

Greeks to the Christians: From Ethics to Guilt

Nutrition Homescapes in the Twentieth Century

An Ethnography of Family Food: Subjects of Food Choice

Monday, November 01, 2010

Abdominal Exercise for Rectus Abdominus and Obliques

Sit down and bend your knees. They do not have to be at 90 degrees. The angle between your waist (upper body) and legs should be about 110 degrees. Grab a medicine ball or free weight with a weight you can do but that is challenging for four sets of ten repetitions. Face forward (ribs forward). Twist to the right and let the weight go to the floor. Face forward again and move backward two to three inches. Now twist again, pick up the weight, holding it in front of your belly, and bring it slowly to your left side (twist to the left). Let it go on the floor next to your left side. Face forward, move backward two to three inches, twist to the left and pick up the weight again. Start your second repetition. This is a great strengthening exercise. If it is too difficult for you to move backward after you face front, skip this step until you are able to do it.
Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Brookhaven National Laboratory -- Genetic Link to Alcohol Response

A year ago I attended an event with other science writers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Since then I have been getting emails about new discoveries and developments.  A few days ago I received one about how genetics affects reaction to alcohol. Specifically,
dopamine receptor deficiency leads to significant brain changes in response to drinking. Two genetic variants of mice were used to compare the brain's response to long-term alcohol drinking in two genetic variants of mice. One strain was genetically normal, and another lacked the gene for dopamine D2 receptor, the brain's "feel good" chemical, that produces feelings of pleasure and reward. In the dopamine-receptor-deficient mice (but not the genetically normal strain), long-term alcohol drinking resulted in significant biochemical changes in areas of the brain well know to be involved in alcoholism and addiction. The scientists were interested in the dopamine system research, which  suggests that deficiency in dopamine D2 receptors may make people (and animals) less able to experience ordinary pleasures and therefore more vulnerable to alcoholism, drug abuse, and gluttony. The scientists were able to breed mice deficient in the D2 gene. Each of the groups were divided in half: One-half had water, while the other half had a solution of 20% ethanol to simulate heavy drinking.




The scientists observed the levels of brain receptor cannabinoid type1 (CB1) after six months in the four groups of mice. These receptors are located near dopamine receptors and are known to influence dopamine receptors and alcohol consumption and addiction. The water-drinking mice without D2 receptors had increased levels of CB1 receptors in brain regions associated with addiction, compared with water-drinking normal control animals. Thanos explained that this may indicate that D2 receptors inhibit the growth of CB1 receptor gene. However, in the mice with D2 receptors which ingested ethanol, this possible effect was negated: These mice had about half the CB1 levels compared to the D2-deficient water drinkers.

In 2005, Houchi et al. had found that CB1 knockout mice had an overexpression of D2 receptor. This increase in humans may decrease their desire for alcohol. The study was published in Neuropsychopharmacology. Thanos said:  "This down-regulation of CB1 after alcohol intake in the D2-deficient animals could underlie the lower reinforcing effects of ethanol in these mice," he added. In other words, fewer CB1 receptors may eventually increase D2 receptors, which may steer humans away from desiring a lot of alcohol.
 

This was an example of an epigenetics sutdy. The alcohol is the environmental factor influencing existing genetics. The main researcher, Panayiotis Thanos Ph.D., will conduct future studies with female mice to see if gender changes results.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cable Rack for Biceps

This is a variation for your biceps. Usually, the little rope extension is used to do triceps on the cable rack. Put the part of the machine where you attach weights at one of the lowest holes. Attach the little rope attachment. Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Use a weight that gives you a workout and is doable. Grab the end and perform a biceps curl. Exhale when you lift and inhale when you return to the starting position. Do not extend your elbow fully and lock it. Keep your elbows to your sides, under your ribs, for steadiness. Do four or five sets of ten repetitions, depending on the weight and your fitness level. Do not bop forward and backward. Keep your body steady, especially your back.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

NYU Physician John Iofantis Finds Protein Link to Childhood Leukemia

New York University Langone Research Center physician John Iofantis found a link between t-cell acute lymhoblastic leukemia, and protein NF-κB. Several hundred children are affected annually by leukemia, which can be fatal within weeks. Dr. Iofantis says that the chemotherapy is not targeted and can come with serious side effects. The NYU team focused on genomic and animal studies, while a team at Institute Municipal d'Investigaciones Mediques tackled different facts of the disease.
The protein makes tumor cells live longer and become more resistant to treatment. When activation of the protein was targeted, tumor cells began to rapidly die. Dr. Iofantis is hopeful that new drugs to target the protein will be developed.

Harvard Public Health Review Article on Epigenetics

The article expressed the passionate interest of scientists to find out how genes interact with each other and the environment, thereby affecting genes and proteins expressed. For instance, redheads, even ones with olive skin, tend to have a higher-than-average predisposition to skin cancer. This may be in part due to how the gene or hair interacts with the environment, and the consequences of this interaction. Epigenetics refers to how the environment affects genes and causes traits that may be inherited. According to the article, this may be one perspective from which to look at the question of why about 80 to 90 percent of heavy smokers do not get lung cancer.
Usually epigenetics has referred to radiation or pollution changes. They are expanding it to mean other factors that cause changes: chemicals, diet, exercise, workplace hazards and more. For instance, manganese, found in welding fumes, some wells, fungicides and pesticides, is a neurotoxin that can lead to manganism, a Parkisonian-type disorder. Environmental factors often increase genetic risks. For example, a March 2010 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the importance of the effect of environmental factors for those with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced, diet, and limit alcohol intake.
One researcher, James Mitchell, is studying in fasting in animals to see if this will protect them (and humans) before surgery or chemotherapy. He will study if deficiencies in amino acid tryptophan will confer resistance to malaria. Epidemiologists David Christiani found that a common gene variant made Shangai textile workers more vulnerable to lung disease.
More research will shape public health policy. A danger is that genetically-screened people are charge higher for or denied health insurance.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Are Diseases Manufactured?

Some fellow science writers from the American Medical Writers' Association started a series of posts on whether or not pharmaceutical companies manufacture diseases, such as the female sexual dysfunction? I wonder if children or other people had different diagnoses before autism or attention deficit disorder were coined. I am usually middle of the road in most topics. I think that disease if often a result of a schism in the spirit-mind-body connection and that some drugs are not tested or screened enough by companies, and the FDA, and may cause so many side effects, it is best not to take them. Medication, thoughts, exercise, kind friends and more may help in disease more than medication.many people who follow an oncologist's advice by the letter do not get better, and some hospitals integrate "Eastern practices". Other times, you need medication and or surgery. Many natural path followers end up using them.

this is an interesting discussion,though, and I'd love to hear your views. One writer wrote that pharmaceutical companies target mostly physicians, so they need to do their work in reading and discussing the latest studies so they don't get duped -- interesting! maybe they are too busy with insurance companies. Another writer recalled a book "Manufacturing Depression".

There is a book and blog on selling sickness: http://sellingsickness.blogspot.com.

There is also a film on selling sickness: http://icarusfilms.com/new2005/sell.html.

Here is the Web site for the Amsterdam 2010 Selling Sickness Conference
http://www.gezondescepsis.nl/conference-2010/conference-programme.html

What are your thoughts?

Disclaimer: This is not a very scientific post. More information on this may follow. None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.  The second edition of Pocket Guide to Fitness will be out soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Massage Article in New York Times

New York Times ran an article about a study on the benefits of massage.I have already written about massage on another post. I would not mind having two or three a week. You need a massage after you work out or dance for several hours. The study was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The lead author was Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. A total of fifty-three adults were randomly assigned: 29 of them to a 45-minute session of deep-tissue Swedish massage and 24 of them to a session of light massage. Blood samples were taken before and up to an hour into the massage intravenously. 
Each massage had its benefits. The Swedish group experienced significant decreases in levels of  stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginin vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Their number of lymphocytes increased. The light massage group experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment and larger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/health/research/21regimens.html?_r=1

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Katherine Schwarzenegger's Body Image Book

Katherine Schwarzenegger wrote Rock What You’ve Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty. Even she could not escape feeling bad about herself. Maybe she was self-conscious knowing her Dad's training history. She thinks that being close to one's Mom fosters high self-esteem and it is important to appreciate and be proud of what you have.

Million of Americans have eating disorders. Most of them are young women. They hear other women complain about their bodies, and see skinny, touched-up magazine photographs. The author gives examples of her life and those of others where they were dissatisfied with their bodies, and turned it around. Katherine inspires woman to see beauty in and to rock what they have!







British Reality Television Show

In the October/November issue of Metro Source New York, Paul Hagen writes about a new London reality show on diets. I like some reality shows, like of course Dancing with the Stars :), but others seems to have us be voyeurs in the calamities and miseries of others. That is how this show sounds. People are put on three extreme diets ad endure things like freezing showers, in attempts to lose weight. As I have written, you don't need to be on a diet to lose weight. This is often extreme to yo-yo dieting and to really knowing how to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

This show may lead to the impersonalization that sometimes occurs from too much violence on television, emailing or texting instead of calling and getting together. It also done nothing for the participants or audience to learn to have a healthy lifestyle.

The diets are: a. A Victorian diet of protein that includes weird animal body parts; 2. a 1920's diet of severe caloric restriction; and c. a Edwardian era diet where you have to chew each bite 30 times, lift their heads back and swallow what goes down, and the spit out the rest. The bites and spitting out are counted. This is insane, and more a means to humiliate people and for those, perhaps with low self-esteem, to earn a little cash.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

I read another great article in Yoga Journal (October 2010, Issue 232). The author is Roger Cole, PhD, a certified Iyengar yoga instructor and research of sleep in Del Mar, California. This one is about thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), when pain spreads for the neck to the arm and hands. It is caused by compressing or overstretching nerves or blood vessels near the top of the rib cage. This usually develops form repetitive action such as playing a musical instrument or using the computer. I was surprised to see that the top rib attaches to the first thoracic vertebra. The magazine advocates certain yoga movements and an emphasis on good posture. For instance, when typing, do not put your head forward.

The thoracic outlet is the oval space atop the rib cage. It is bordered by: the breastbone, the uppermost ribs, and the first thoracic vertebra. The subclavian artery and vein, and the nerves that serve your hand cross over and through the thoracic outlet, between the first rib and clavicle on the way to the arm. Tight muscles, misaligned bones or scar tissue cause TOS when they squeeze or pull o blood vessels or nerves enough to cause pain or numbness. Yoga can loosen the scalenus anterior and scalenus medius, the muscles that connect the sides of the neck to the top of the rib cage. Here is a stretch to loosen up these muscles, open the thoracic space and alleviate pain.

There is an interesting stretch:

Lie down on a mat. Put open wooden block under your pelvis and open under your shoulder girdle. Place your head on a folded towel. Turn your head to the right so that your chin touches (or tries to touch) the towel. With your hands, push down on the left side of your upper rib cage. Hold for a minute. Breathe. This loosens your left scalenus muscles. Do the same for your right scalenus muscles. Turn your head to the left so that your chin touches (or tries to touch) the towel. With your hands, push down on the right side of your upper rib cage. Hold for a minute. Breathe.

Disclaimer: This is not a very scientific post. More information on this may follow. None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Friday, September 03, 2010

What You Want

I recently read Lynn Grabhorn's Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings. She writes about how feelings ad the thoughts attract what we want - or not. I do not believe this 100 percent. I think some things just happen and we do to know why. But I have see how my being and feelings attract people or things to me. There are signs you are coming close to getting what you want.

You must know what you want, or have your intuition know where you are going. Part of this is feeling better as you get closer. If you get what you don’t want, feel how you would feel if you had it, at least for 16 seconds and say "not that" without making it wrong. If you are being all this and inspired, versus fix it, action, and you don’t see results yet, keep the faith ad trust in God and the Universe, and sit back, relax and have fun.

Often people say "I want more money" This implies lack. "I want to be skinny" implies not loving or accepting your miraculous body. Feel healthy, fit, thin or however you want to be, for at least 16 seconds according to her. Appreciate yourself and whatever steps you take in fitness. Observe the difference this makes in several weeks' time. Share your goals with a trusted friend. Listen to each other. Get out your bad emotions and complain to get to what you want. Have your goal in fitness, do what you have to do, have fun, love yourself and see the results unfold.

Disclaimer: This is not a very scientific post. More information on this may follow. None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.LouizaPatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.BarbesandNoble.com and http://www.Amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is Soy Not Healthy?

I read an article by Kaayla T. Daniel, Ph.D., C.C.N. that recent studies have shown that soy does not lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease or deserve and Federal Drug Association-approved heart-health claim. This announcement came from the American Heart Association (AHA). University of Colorado researchers reported in a January issue of Clinical Investigation that soy worsens cardiomyopathy, which affect 1 in 500 Americans. It is the leading cause of death among young athletes. High levels of flavones found in soy put women at risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study reported in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Women's Health. Dr. Daniel points out that pro-soy articles are prevalent in journals with a lot of soy advertising.

Disclaimer: This is not a very scientific post. More information on this may follow. None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.LouizaPatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com and http://www.Amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Fructose and Cancer

I never liked fructose as much as vegetables. I don't have a nutrition degree, but my all-important intuition told me they are acidic. I saw an article by Dr. John Bruffa that recent studies show that fructose may lead to cancer. Of course, we burn calories and millions of chemical reactions take place in our body. Also, our mind body connection, as I recently posted, affects this. But this is worth a mention. Past studies have shown that glucose feeds tumor cells. According to Dr. Bruffa (www.DrBruffa.com), studies have shown the same for fructose. A June study published in Hepatology showed that it may be linked to liver cancer. Another study by Princeton and Rockefeller Universities published in February in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior concluded that high fructose corn syrup causes obesity in rates. Most fructose travels to and is metabolized by the liver. It causes a ramping up of uric acidic production in the liver. Cancer grows better in an acidic environment. This is not direct evidence linking cancer to fructose, but may be a good leveling effect on being scared of glucose versus fructose. Balance, everyone, is key!

Disclaimer: This is not a very scientific post. More information on this may follow. None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Posted by Louiza Fitness Tips for Life at 8:17 AM

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Variations on Abdominal Crunchs

I am really good at abdominal exercises. However, in Vic Dimonda's Theater Dance class at Alvin Ailey in Manhattan, I feel when I do these two variations:

1. Lie down on your back with not more than an inch and a half of space under your lower back. Do abdominal crunches with your legs open: Have the soles of your feet touching while each knee is out in the opposite direction. In other words, with your hips, knees and feet, make a diamond shape. Keep your chest and back steady. Keep your elbows open and do four sets of ten repetitions of abdominal crunches as per my abdominal crunch blog post. Exhale when you go up, and inhale on your way down. Do not touch the floor; go up to about an inch above the floor steadily and slowly.

2. Repeat the above while keeping your knees and legs to the right. Your left hip is facing the ceiling. Do the same with the knees and legs to your left and your right hip facing the ceiling. Do four sets of ten repetitions for each side.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.LouizaPatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com and http://www.Amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.
Posted by Louiza Fitness Tips for Life at 8:17 AM

Being Afraid of Food

As a personal trainer, I will make sure a client is healthy before training them, and ask them how they want to look. It is about health and energy, then how you look. I think that was is healthiest and most attractive for most, especially women, is o have a balance of being thin, muscular and curvy.

An acquaintance once told me he heard Deepak Chopra, M.D. talk about food: What we think about what we eat affects our health. I believe this I think The Secret and other such thought processes of thinking all you believe comes true have some Truth in them. I don’t' believe them 100%: No one knows the mysteries of the universe, and we should not keep paying them like they do. Ultimately, you want to elf and intuition to where it's usually on the dot correct, and trust yourself.

But I do think that those that worry too much over what they eat actually come out of fear and may create disease. You are not going to develop high cholesterol if you eat red meat or fast food once in a while. And some choslesterol is good and is needed for processes such as making the hormones estrogen and testosterone. It is not good to eat junk all day, mostly processed food, and no salt or sugar. Out bodies need sugar, salt and fat. Most of our food gets reduces to sugar, and n if you eat little fat, you go into a "starvation" state and burn fat slower. I recently dined with a friend who could not believe I had pancakes and bacon. (I usually don’t eat the fatty part of the bacon, and pick at it.) He is a vegetarian, but flab than tone. I believe exercise is even more important of health that what you eat: You work o your cardiovascular health and burn many calories. Usually your body gets rid of what it does not need. Your body, unless you are a couch potato, will constantly be processing food and have a good rate of metabolism. After a while, especially if you read Pocket Guide to Fitness, you may be able to have a strong mind-body connection and be healthy and fit, even if you eat some sugary, salty or fatty food in balance. It is one of those 80:20 rules. (Again, you want to avoid too many processed chemicals.)

Having dessert or McDonald's or some salt is too bad unless you mostly eat this, don’t' work out, and don't eat a well-balanced diet. You dot' want to live in fear and be obsessed about what to eat or not. You will probably end up yo-yo dieting. You want to be at a point where you know when your body may "need" a chocolate bar, some extra salt, or to rest and not work out. Sometimes good things happen to "bad" people and "bad" things happen to "good" people. There are no guarantees. I believe, if you keep trying to avoid sickness or disease, you may be creating it in your subconscious and then life
Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician. javascript:void(0)

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Web Sites That Promote Eating Disorders

Today on the Today Show, Dr. Nancy Sniederman talked about these Web sites. People should not give them out to those they suspect of having eating disorders. But we can write to Congresspeople to talk about them. You can easily (unfortunately) find the links. Here is one:

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/08/03/websites-that-encourage-anorexia--amp-other-eating-disorders-for-girls-popular--and-controversia.htm

Teenagers and others actually use them to promote and write about their and others' anorexia and bulimia.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spiderman with Weights: Overall Workout

Several posts ago, I wrote about the great exercise of "walking" across the floor and back as many times as you can. You can accentuate the difficulty of this exercise by holding free weights, and - or by adding ankle weights. Keep your head, neck, back and hips in line. Do not lit your pelvis above your back. Move on the palms of your hands and balls of you feet for as long as you can. You may need to rest every 10 yards or so. Then take a warm bubble bath to soothe your muscles!

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician. javascript:void(0)

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Your Brain and Exercise

Bone-morphogenetic protein, or BMP, is found in the brains of laboratory mice and throughout the body and keeps brain stem cells from dividing into additional stem cells or baby neurons that make one more alert, and more quick to learn and remember. At Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, exercise was found to possibly decease BMP levels in mice. Noggin a brain hormone which inhibits BMP activity, had similar effects as exercise. Exercise may increase Noggin levels or decrease BMP levels. there is a concern that too much exercie, low levels of BMP or high levels of Noggi, may not regulate stem cells enough. But stem cells seem to wear themselves out if too many or too active. More neurons are not formed. Further studies are needed.

Find out more by reading the New York Times article Phys Ed: Your Brain on Exercise by Gretchen Reynolds. at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/your-brain-on-exercise/or by looking up BMP and other key words at www.pubmed.gov.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Killer Exercise for the Obliques

Lie down on your left side on a mat. Place your hands behind your head, arms out. Keep your neck straight. Face forward. Use your right oblique muscle to bring your right elbow closer to your waist. Simultaneously lift your legs, the right on top of the left leg, to your right elbow. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions. Place your hands behind your head, arms out. Keep your neck straight. Face forward. Use your left oblique muscle to bring your left elbow closer to your waist. Simultaneously lift your legs, the left on top of the right leg, to your left elbow. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions.

Stretch each oblique for at least 10 seconds: Sit with your legs in front of you or in a lotus or modified lotus position, or stand. With your arms over your head,bend in one direction. Repeat for the other direction.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician. javascript:void(0)

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Use Your Rib Cage for Your Abdominals

Vic Lamonda uses this, as many others do, in his Broadway Dance class at Alvin Ailey Dance Center.

Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Place the palms of your hand on your hipbones. Thrust your ribcage forward in one controlled motion, while keeping everything else steady. Go back to center. Repeat three times, for four total repetitions. Now thrust your ribcage backward. Repeat three times. Do the same for each side. Repeat three times. Now circle clockwise four times using all four positions. Do the same counterclockwise.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two Magazine Articles: O Magazine and Bazaar

Hey All,

There is an interesting article in June 2010 O Magazine by Martha Beck on vision boards. It's about how visualizing is not the same as the goal (I'd say mostly yang) energy of work-reach goals. I'd say she is talking about the yin-yang balance being in the zone. She said she'd rather not choose the usual: cute man, mansion, etc. But I see nothing wrong with that. She did say to choose just random shots like a beautiful leaf, because that connects to your subconscious...interesting. I'd say do both types. She said to let go of the goal after you do it, which is great and very difficult i.e. don't be attached. The third "stage" is be in action when an opportunity arises (be present). Unattached action can be tough.

I do believe you can cause what you think of. I've seen it. I liked Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. I tried to move things with my nose and by nodding when I was little. LOL. She goes over a contraption where brain waves change results. As usual, I do see the dual side. Sometimes stuff happens, and if we also think your subconscious/conscious causes stuff, then the danger is you view those with bad circumstances (even earthquake or flood or war victims) as causing it, and I do believe there is also God, destiny, and randomness...just keep inquiring.

Well, I did not get a return (yet) on a coffee (won't get into the story) at one store uptown, and went downtown where I saw a new coffee shop with 50% off coffee at the time I was there...so I did get it back. Then I saw in Bazaar May 2010 with three gals, one being Kim Kardashian, doing nude shots celebrating curves...Well, duh, women have a chest and hips and it's about time that fashion and fitness magazines reflect that, within the parameters of being fit. There is no excuse for not being fit (except severe injury temporarily): You only have to enroll yourself. However, women can be that with muscle and fat within certain parameters as shown by science. So here is yet another article that has to do with my fitness promise....hahaha....putting it out there and letting go as O's article said.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ab Coaster

I saw a woman on the Ab Coaster yesterday at the New York Sports Club by Union Square (cute club). I tried it. It is an easty-way-out machine. I don't have a burn today after doing five sets of 25 repetitions with 10 pounds on each side. But maybe I will have one tomrorow. You hold onto handles and just use your lower abdominal muscles to bring up your hips and legs. it's harder to do this on teh stand-up machine with handles or even to lay on the floor and bring up your hips in pulses with your lower abdomiaml muscles. But for a change I suppsoe doing the Ab Coaster may be good. It may work out different muscle fibers. i'll see if I have a burn tomorrow! The more fit you are, the more it takes to give you a burn. ;)

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Brain and Meditation

Most people know that meditating, taking a break from a busy schedule and focusing on the now in a grateful mode, is good for them. A similar peace for me can be found in Nature or after a hard workout. But there is something special about meditation, when you can get into it, and you are in that altered state of being, much like when you awake or lie on the beach, and are half-asleep.

Scientists have been doing experiments on yoga and the brain. They have found that the brain continues to learn at a rapid rate into middle age, and may not reach its peak in young adulthood. If one practices focusing their attention on the breath or a mantra, the brain restructures itself. In the journal Neuro Image in 2009, Luger et al. published findings on how gray matter in the brain increases after meditation. The brain in these areas becomes more efficient or powerful. The brain can focus in other areas after mediation. Vispassana or reality now medication increases attention in the moment, and prevents times we are absent-minded and may have accidents, etc. This can save lives in areas such as surgery or driving!

Some studies showed a decrease in gray matter or activity in the amygdala, an area of the brain responsible for stress. A study by psychologist Barbara Frederickson et al. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that mediation increases compassion. We feel more connected as One.

She writes that the goal of mediation is not to get rid of or to obsess with unpleasant thoughts, but to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and learn to move through or process them without getting stuck. it's about being real and expressing your emotions, while you also observe yourself, to me. Your thoughts and emotions can give you a clue as to who you are and what you want...but you want
to use them for that, and to be still underneath it all. Meditation, yoga and exercise are a part of that.

Information for this blog post was obtained from Kelly McGonigal's Your Brain on Meditation in Yoga Journal.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Christy Turlington Quit Runway After Being "Picked Apart"

Even yoga guru and successful supermodel Christy Turlington was annoyed at being picked apart by French before a runway show after deemed "pregnant-looking" for their tiny-sized clothes.

How many women (or men who love them) don't want to have a chest, butt and some soft fat in places?

From Oprah: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Christy-Turlingtons-Aha-Moment

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Seventh Chakra: The Crown Center

Location: top of the head, brain, nerves, pineal gland, central nervous system

Human development: Energy used for self-realization and enlightenment

Positive manifestation: Bliss, peace, self-actualization, universal love

Negative manifestation: Abuse, despair, spiritual denial or religious

Associated illnesses: Brain tumors

Somatic sensations: Non-sensation, absence of sensation

Somatic concept: being, not doing; Integration; Results of direct experiences acquired from heightened, enhance awareness, intuition, and honest introspection

Yoga pose-movement: headstand, Salutation pose, Skull tapping

Human Potential: identification with sublime, integration, self-actualization, self-transcendence

Some of the information from this blog post was obtained from Mind and Body Healing Through Awareness, Yoga and Somatic Integration by Linda Christy Weiler, M.S.

Sixth Chakra: The Third Eye

Location: Area between the eyebrows; eyes, face, pituitary gland and autonomic nervous system

Human development: Energy used for mental powers and greater self-awareness

Positive manifestation: Intuition, perceptive, rational cognition

Negative manifestation: Confusion, spaced out, over intellectualizing

Associated Illnesses: Headaches

Somatic sensation: Stillness or emptiness, expanding space

Somatic concept: body parts and people are connected in harmony

Yoga pose-moment: Child's, Dolphin and Repetitive seated bowing

Human Potential: Inspiration, clarity and deep understanding

Some of the information from this blog post was obtained from Mind and Body Healing Through Awareness, Yoga and Somatic Integration by Linda Christy Weiler, M.S.

Fifth Chakra: The Throat Center

Location: Throat, neck, shoulders, thyroid and parathyroid glands, respiratory system

Human Development: Energy used for commucniation and self-expression

Positive manifestation: Trust, truth, communication, creativity

Negative manifestation: Frustration

Associated illnesses: sore throat, thyroid or voice problems

Somatic sensation: Relaxed jaw, sincerity through grounding

Somatic concept: Settled, aware, body language agrees to spoken language

Yoga Pose-Movement: Hare, Fish, Child's poses

Human Potential: Authentic voice and effective, honest communication

Some of the information from this blog post was obtained from Mind and Body Healing Through Awareness, Yoga and Somatic Integration by Linda Christy Weiler, M.S.

Fourth Chakra: The Heart Center

Body Location: Center of chest, heart, hands, arms, lungs, thymus gland, lungs, and circulatory system

Human Development: Energy used for compassion, love, self-expression

Positive manifestation: harmony, unconditional love, acceptance, fulfillment

Negative manifestation: Grief, passive aggressive, attachment, insensitivity, sadness

Anticipated Illnesses: Cardiovascular problems, arthritis, hypertension, stroke

Somatic Sensation: Openness (form of expansion)

Somatic Concept: reach or spread out; inclusion for acceptance, confidence and serenity

Yoga pose-movement: Half shoulder stand, legs up against the wall, Simple Camel Pose

Human Potential: Compassion

Some of the information from this blog post was obtained from Mind and Body Healing Through Awareness, Yoga and Somatic Integration by Linda Christy Weiler, M.S.

Third Chakra: Navel Center

Location: navel, solar plexus, liver, muscles, digestive system, pancreas, spleen

Human Development: Energy used in pursuit of power, achievement, social identity, and raw emotions

Positive Manifestation: Discipline, will power, self-control, and commitment

Negative manifestation: Greed, powerless, guilt, doubt, anger

Associated Illness: ulcers, hepatitis, hypoglycemia, gallstones

Somatic Sensation: Anticipation, grounding

Somatic Concept: Containment, confidence through preparation, courage and timeliness

Positive Aspect: intuition or gut feeling

Negative Aspect: Doubt or dread

Yoga Pose-Movement: Bow pose, Cat, Twist while sitting cross-legged

Human Potential: Assimilation; healthy emotional and energetic "digestion"

Some of the information from this blog post was obtained from Mind and Body Healing Through Awareness, Yoga and Somatic Integration by Linda Christy Weiler, M.S.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Second Chakra

Sacral Center

Location: Sacral spine, bladder, kidney, genitals, gonads, ovaries, reproductive system

Human development: Energy used for sex and relationships

Positive manifestation: Passion, patience, endurance, creativity

Negative manifestation: frustration anxiety, fear

Associated illnesses: impotency, diabetes, kidney and bladder problems

Somatic sensation: urgency, tension from contained energy

Somatic concept: Rising up for creativity, growing and action

Yoga pose movement: Inclined plane, single let seated forward fold, seated spirals

Human Potential: Creativity

Seven Chakras: Chakra One - Root Center

I am earning my continuing education credits to renew my International Sports Science Association certificate. I chose the course "Mind Body Healing" and am reading same book by Linda Christy Weiler, M.S. She reviewed the seven chakras. This information is taken from her book.

Location: Perineum, base of spine, feet, legs, bones, rectum, large intestine, adrenal glands, excretory system

Human development: Used for survival

Positive manifestation: safety, stability, acceptance

Negative manifestation: fear, avoidance distrust, insecurity

Associated illnesses: those that have to do with excretion

Somatic sensation: contraction or being grounded into the base of the body without fear of falling

Somatic concept: Letting go or detachment, stability, security, and support

Yoga pose Movement: Seated boat pose, seated hug-the-knees, rocking in cross-legged position

Human Potential: Survival

Monday, May 03, 2010

Glamour Cover

June's Glamour cover includes model Crystal Renn, size 12, as was shown on the today show. As I've posted before, I think the fashion and fitness industries should include toned and curvy models between the sizes of 6 and 10. Crystal is a beautiful woman, but is still plus-size. In addition, some photographs were air-brushed. She looks size 6 in one of them.

See http://www.glamour.com/

Some progress has been made at least.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lecture on Meditteranean Diet by Dr. Artemis Simopoulos

On April 15th at the Cathedral in New York City, world-renown author Artemis Simopoulos, MD, lectured on the Mediterranean diet in memory of Dr. Demetrios Flessas. Dr. Simopoulos is the President of The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, DC, and one of the first researchers to discover the virtues of ω-3 fatty acids through her studies of the diets of the Mediterranean peoples. Through the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, she and others conducted studies on the different Mediterranean diets, as well as Indian, Chinese, Western and other diets. She found that the diet of Greece, with its high amounts of ω-3 fatty acids, or “good fats” — as well as its excellent balance between the ω-3s and ω-6s — is the best of these diets. She is the author of several books, such as The Omega Diet: The Lifesaving Nutritional Program Based on the Diet of the Island of Crete, A Balanced Omega-6/ Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio, Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease), and Metabolic Control of Eating, Energy Expenditure and the Bioenergetics of Obesity and over 280 scientific papers. Having received her MD degree at the age of 23 from Boston University School of Medicine she was the youngest person to graduate from medical school in Massachusetts.

Dr. Simopoulos began with a slide of Hippocrates, who many centuries ago wrote about the importance of exercise combined with diet, genetics and a good home environment. She then talked about genotype, the environment and development producing phenotype, and presented the results of several studies on diet in easy-to-understand yet detailed graphs and charts. She focused on the importance of ω-3 fatty acids such as linolenic acid and the ratio of ω-6 fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, to ω-3 fatty acids. She stressed that, in Paleolithic times, people ate much more vegetables than today. In the diet then and in many vegetarian or eastern diets today, the ratio of ω-6:ω-3 fatty acids is close to 1:1. . Food production as we know it began about 10,000 years ago. Linoleic acid is plentiful in many vegetable oils, such as poppy seed, safflower, sunflower, and corn oils. The very healthy ω-3 fatty acids α-linolenic acid is found in vegetables common in Greek diet such as purslane, known as glystrida or antrahla in Greek [verify]. This is the eighth most commonly eaten wild plant in the world. Its ω-3 fatty acid content is much higher than spinach, red leaf lettuce and buttercrunch lettuce. Western diets are not as rich in this fatty acid as they used to be or as Mediterranean diets such as the Greek diet are today. Even when meat was incorporated into the diet, it did not include the chemicals and processing that we see today.

Genetics is not destiny through diet and exercise, we can get healthier. In fact, later in the lecture, she said that exercise induces different cellular pathways in the body than the aging process. She showed how, through the years, the consumption of Western diets high in fast food, red meat and processed foods that are often high in saturated fats and calories has increased through the years in the US and worldwide, and has been associated with diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, and several cancers. The preferred diets by nutritionists are diets low in healthy fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, like those olive oil, and high in ω-6/ ω-3 fatty acids.

She went on to show several charts showing the ratio of ω-6: ω-3 fatty acids in various diets such as the Greek and Western diets. The Greek diet prior to 1960, which was closer to the authentic Greek diet, showed a higher percentage of ω-3 to ω-6 fatty acids as was the diet of Crete prior to 1960. Legumes such as lentils, “wild” vegetables know as “horta” in Greek, and fruits played and still play a huge role in keeping away heart disease and cancer. In recent years, fast food and snacks such as ham and cheese sandwiches have predominated in the Greek diet. As a matter of fact, Dr. Simopoulos stressed how much healthier and less full of saturated fats Greek cheeses such as feta and myzithra are compared to cheeses such as American and cheddar cheese. The Greek cheeses contain arachidonic (polyunsaturated ω-6 fatty acid), eicasopentaenoic (ω-3 fatty acid), docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic (ω -3 fatty acids), whereas US cheeses do not. The Indian diet in rural areas has an ω-6: ω-3 fatty acid ratio close to 5:1. However, in urban areas, perhaps because of the predominance of fast food and frying with ω-6–containing oils, the level of ω-6 fatty acid is much higher to that of ω-3 fatty acid. Another chart showed how people who ate diets high in polyunsaturated fats and fatty acids, such as those of Greenland Eskimos who ate a lot of fish fat, suffered from fewer incidences of cardiovascular deaths than those who ate other diets such as those in Europe and the United States. Moderate amounts of alcohol, especially red wine, were also found to prevent disease.

Livestock and poultry fed on grass instead of corn produce healthier milk, eggs, and meat because they contain ω -3’s. Feeding on these products, less common in Western diets, was associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cancers. These products include pasta made from them.

In another study, Greek snails were found to have higher levels of ω-3 fatty acids than French snails.

Dr. Simopoulos advised that, in New York City, one can find purslane and other horta at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. She concluded with seven dietary guidelines of her book The Omega Diet published by Harper Collins:

The seven dietary guidelines of The Omega Diet

On the 5 to 8 of October 2010, Dr. Simopoulos will be in Ancient Olympia, Greece for the conference of the World Council on Genetics, Nutrition and Fitness for Health called “Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition and Healthy People”. For more information, visit http://ww.cgnh.net/wcgnfh/hahnhp

Childhood Obesity Soaring in Rural America -- Businessweek by Serena Gordon

(copied) FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- In the past 35 years, the percentage of overweight or obese children in one Louisiana town has more than tripled, new research shows.

In the early 70s, fewer than one in six children (14.2 percent) in the town of Bogalusa was overweight or obese. By 2008-2009, almost half of the town's children and teens (48.4 percent) fell into those categories, according to a study in the April issue of Pediatrics.

The startling findings come on the heels of a more encouraging study, published in January in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), that found overweight and obesity rates across the United States appeared to finally be leveling off.

"These findings show that we still have a long way to go as a nation to get where we need to be with childhood obesity," said study author Stephanie Broyles, an assistant professor and epidemiologist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

"Our national goal was 5 percent for childhood obesity by 2010, and we're nowhere near that. This needs to remain a high priority," she said.

The JAMA study found that 16.9 percent of American children are obese.

In the current study, Broyles and her colleagues used data from the Bogalusa Heart Study, a long-term community-based study to assess the natural history and development of heart disease from childhood through adulthood. Bogalusa is a semi-rural town, according to the study.

At the start of the study in 1973, Bogalusa was a community of about 20,000 people, with 65 percent white and 35 percent black residents. In 2008-2009, the researchers found that the population had shrunk to about 13,000 people and was 57 percent white and 41 percent black.

Between the two study periods, the rates of overweight and obesity tripled in Bogalusa. The researchers didn't find any significant differences in the rates of overweight and obesity between the races. Data on family incomes and education levels weren't available.

Broyles pointed out that this study wasn't meant to single out Bogalusa, but to highlight a growing disparity between town and country. "Rural children may be more at risk for overweight and obesity," she said.

"In places like Bogalusa, you almost have a food desert. Access to whole wheat bread choices, fresh fruits and vegetables are typically more limited," she explained.

And, she said, she doesn't think Bogalusa is the only place experiencing unusually high levels of overweight and obesity in children.

Dr. Goutham Rao, clinical director of the Weight Management and Wellness Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, agreed that it's likely there are other areas of the country also experiencing substantially higher rates of childhood overweight and obesity. "What I'm hoping is that this study doesn't indicate that we have a growing dichotomy where a huge chunk of the country is getting better, but poorer, rural communities may be getting worse."

Although access to food and physical activity opportunities may be more limited in rural areas, Rao said parents shouldn't just resign themselves to having heavy kids. "There are a lot of things that families can do to reverse this problem. You're definitely more vulnerable because of your environment, but even in Bogalusa, not everyone is becoming overweight," he said.

Rao and Broyles recommended strategies such as limiting TV and computer time, encouraging physical activity and eating together as a family. They also recommended making healthier food choices whenever possible.

Broyles said that the communities and schools need to be involved, too. Schools need to offer healthy food choices and encourage physical activity. Communities can add sidewalks and parks and create safe places for kids to move around, she said.

"There many pieces to the puzzle," Broyles said. "It's not all on the shoulders of the parents. Schools have a role to play; the community has a role to play; and decision-makers and politicians have a role to play. Everyone needs to recognize that this is a really important problem."

More information

For more on overweight and obesity in children, including prevention advice, visit Nemours Foundation's KidsHealth.


SOURCES: Stephanie Broyles, Ph.D., assistant professor and epidemiologist, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.; Goutham Rao, M.D., clinical director, Weight Management and Wellness Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; April 2010 Pediatrics

New Study on Women and Fat

A new study by neuroscientist Mark Allen and colleagues at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah shows that regular weight women who looked at fat images and probably pictured themselves as fat have a spike in brain activity in the same area that anorexic women have when they picture themselves overweight. This may be due to anxiety stemming from society pressure and media images to be thin. Men do not have a similar spike in brain images, except for male body builders, who had similar activity as bulimic women. The spike of activity was in the brain region known as the medial prefrontal cortex, thought to be involved in self-reflection and evaluation of self-worth.

New studies would need to include overweight people. They may see a spike when seeing thin images or asked to picture themselves thin.


To read more, see http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/allwomenworryaboutgettingfatstudysuggests

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Hamstrings with Swiss Ball

Lie down on a mat. Place your arms where comfortable. Bend your knees. Put your right ankle on top of a Swiss ball. Keep your other foot on the floor. Using your right ankle, bring the Swiss ball toward and away from you. Repeat for five sets of the repetitions. Repeat for the other leg. To make the exercise harder, lift your legs from the mat throughout each set.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories .

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Report (AHRQ) on Health Disparities

(Copied from email) AHRQ's annual quality and disparities reports, which are mandated by Congress, were first published in 2003. The reports show trends by measuring health care quality for the nation using a group of credible core measures. The data are based on more than 200 health care measures categorized in four areas of quality: effectiveness, patient safety, timeliness, and patient-centeredness.

The 2009 reports include a new section on lifestyle modifications, because preventing or reducing obesity is a crucial goal for many Americans and an important task for health care providers.

The reports found:

One-third of obese adults have never received advice from their doctor about exercise.
Obese adults who are black, Hispanic, poor or have less than a high school education are less likely to receive diet advice from their doctor.
Most overweight children and one-third of obese adults report that they have not been told by their doctor that they are overweight.
Most American children have never received counseling from their health care provider about exercise, and almost half have never received counseling about healthy eating.
The reports indicate that the lack of health insurance slows improvement in health care quality and reduction of disparities. For many services, not having insurance is the single strongest predictor of poor quality care, exceeding the effects of race, ethnicity, income or education.

Americans with no insurance are much less likely than those with private insurance to obtain recommended care, especially preventive services and management for diabetes. While differences between blacks and whites in the rates of lack of insurance have narrowed in the past decade, disparities related to ethnicity, income and education remain large.

The quality and disparities reports are available online at http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr09.htm, by calling 1-800-358-9295, or by sending an e-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1855 or (301) 427-1244.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

LKB1/AMPK Tumor Suppressor Pathway Controls Cell Growth and Metabolism

Also speaking yesterday at the biology-chemistry meeting at the New York Academy of Science was Dr. Reuben Shaw of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He showed his work which points to one tumor suppressor pathway's link to metabolism. This is very interesting work: metabolic genetic types or disease or even food may be linked to cancer. This would add to disease prevention and treatment. You can look up in a textbook or online what a tumor suppressor pathway is. There are several of them. As you probably know, tumor growth is a result of non-regulation of cell growth. Usually, apoptotic molecular cell reactions guide a cell to its programmed cell death. these reactions are triggered by chain of events down to DNA. Transcriptions factors and cofactors bind to DNA and regulate if a gene will be transcribed (copied) or not. Genes express amino acids which in turn make proteins which in turn, as enzymes or regular proteins, drive reactions. For instance, transcription factors determine whether the protein 53(p53) gene, which encodes the p53 protein, will be transcribed and how often. This is a tumor-suppressor protein, as other ones are. It regulates cell growth and apoptosis and conserves genetic stability by preventing genome mutation, which may lead to cancer.

Serine/threonine kinase 11(LKB1) is a protein kinase. It modifies other proteins by adding phosphate groups to them, rendering them active or inactive, largely because their three-dimensional structures is changed, allowing them to fit or not on cellular substrates. In the familial cancer Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome (PDS) and 30 percent of cases of non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), this gene is mutated. Loss of its function in genetically-engineered mice leads to tumor formation or metabolic disease. Metformin, a generic drug widely used to treat diabetes, lowers blood glucose through the LKB1-AMPK pathway in the liver. Dr. Shaw is investigating the pathway to further understand the molecular basis behind these reactions. 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved in regulating glucose, cholesterol and lipid metabolism in specialized metabolic tissues, such as the liver, muscle and adipose tissue.

Dr. Shaw has found the protein kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) to be involved. AMPK phosphorylates the substrate of mTOR, allowing for mTOR to be inhibited and apoptosis to happen, thus preventing cancer. These steps are also involved in the transcriptional control of glucose metabolism.

Look up Dr. Shaw on www.pubmed.gov!

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.