Thursday, March 31, 2011

Globalization of Fat Stigma

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Middle Aged Women Seeing Increased Pressure to Fit Thin Stereotypes

Today in the Science Times of the New York Times, Tara Parker-Pope wrote today that many women that are middle-aged or older are involved in extreme dieting and extreme exercising. I see anorexic or too-thin-looking women at the gym all the time. I have asked gym managers why they don't stop them from working out due to legal reasons. Cynthia Bulik, director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says that half the clients since 2003 have been adults, rather than adolescents: "Even in their 50s and 60s -- and, believe it or not, beyond -- women are engaging in extreme weight- and shape-control behaviors."

Tamar Pryor clinical director of the Eating Disorder Center of Denver, who studied 200 cases of midlife eating disorders, says there are more that are under the radar because people are so functional in other areas of life. Older women, she says, are more adept at concealing the problems, and people may attribute symptoms to aging.

I have a client in her 60's who diets to the extreme. Yet she does not overexercise, and is realistic in terms of certain thing she cannot do with exercise that have to do with skin characteristics. She is overall balanced, yet she restricts any sweets, milk and more because she is afraid this will lead to overeating. She has not mastered this in herself or found that balance. She cannot change this unless she want to change. Her overall goal, though, is health, energy and abilities, so I would not say she is at the extreme that these ladies are.
My new fitness book Pocket Guide to Fitness Edition II is out now!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ibuprofen and Parkinson's Disease

In a recent study, published in Neurology, scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health showed a link between ibuprofen, found in Advil® and other drugs, and reduction of the chance of acquiring Parkinson's disease.
My new fitness book Pocket Guide to Fitness edition II is out now!

Harvard School of Public Health: Mercury Exposure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

"... large-scale study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), researchers found no evidence that higher levels of mercury exposure were associated with higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or total cardiovascular disease in two separate studies of U.S. adults."
My new fitness book Pocket Guide to Fitness edition II is out now!

Robert Wood Johnson Study on Health and Social Factors

What Shapes Health-Related Behaviors? The Role of Social Factors

This includes education, where we live, diet, exercise, smoking, and more.
My new fitness book Pocket Guide to Fitness edition II is out now!

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Short Study on Stress and Health

How Social Factors Shape Health: The Role of Stress
This covers the impact of family and work situations, low income, and more.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gym Etiquette

Here are some major points about gym etiquette:

1. Wipe your sweat from the machine or mat after you use it.

2. Return weights to how they were prior to using the machine.

3. Do not use your cellular telephone and keep it on only for incoming emergencies.

4.Do not interrupt someone during a set, like to use the machine, unless perhaps they are facing you and can easily nod.

5. Do not speak or moan (if lifting heavy weight) too loudly.

6. Do not drop weights to the floor. This makes noise and can even shake the floor.
My new fitness book Pocket Guide to Fitness edition II is out now!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Push Up with Oblique

This is a tough exercise. Try it. I haven't.
Search for my push up blog post from years ago for the proper way to perform a push up. Hold a free weight in one hand. Use a weight that is doable and will give you a good workout for four sets of ten repetitions. When you are on the "up" part of the push up, twist your right side to the right in a controlled motion, using your right oblique, then return to starting position. Exhale when you go up, and inhale when you go down. Repeat for the left side. On repetition consists of twisting one time on each side.
My new fitness book Pocket Guide to Fitness edition II is out now!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Lunge with a Twist

Here is a variation on a lunge where you use a medicine ball to twist for your oblique muscles. Search for the lunge blog post for the proper way to do a lunge. Grab a medicine ball with a high enough weight to give you a workout and that you can use for four sets of ten repetitions. If this is too many repetitions for you, do two sets of ten repetitions. One repetition consists of lunging once with your right leg and once with your left leg.

Hold the medicine ball in front of your waist. Once you are down in the lunge position, twist right and left, and return the medicine ball to center as you are getting up to the original position. Repeat for the other leg. Make sure to keep your back vertical. This further engages core muscles. For a harder workout, hold your arms straight out chest level with the ball.
My new fitness book Pocket Guide to Fitness edition II is out now!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tuesday Science Times Article on Self-Compassion

Tara Parker-Pope wrote in the Science Times section of the New York Times this week about a new book by Dr. Kristin Neff, associated professor of human development at the University of Austin in Texas. The book is about self-compassion. Dr, Neff points out that, while most people show compassion for friends, they show little for themselves, when they make a mistake. I can relate: I recently lost a bracelet. I am not sure if it was real if I’d found it or it was a present. I had allowed a man to get on my nerves. As I took off my jewelry at the gym and was not present. I remember thinking that I am not being careful where I am putting my bracelet, and would lose it. I then recalled several items, including heirlooms, I lost lately. I just looked for a pair of gorgeous shoes and can’t find them. Well, usually things turn up when you don’t look for them. I tempered this with thinking of how much I handle each day well.

The article author went on to say self-compassion is needed when one goes off a diet (although I believe in dieting once in a while, but not diets) or missing a workout. I have written about this in Pocket Guide to Fitness and the Acceptance and Being Grateful blog posts. Do a search. She writes accepting imperfection, although I advocate thinking of oneself as perfect. Who can tell you otherwise?

A key point is that, if one is not self-compassionate, they may get emotionally, and then give up on their nutrition and workout regimen. In a 2007 Wake Forest University study of two groups and diet, the group with the instructor who said: Everyone in this study eats this stuff, so I don’t’ think there’s any reason to feel real bad about it” ate less candy It is important to remind yourself that everyone has feelings of inadequacy once in a while. Dr. Neff will conduct a controlled study to see if self-compassion can reduce anxiety, depression and stress.

You can take a self-compassion test at

This was cross-posted on
My new fitness book is out now!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

How to Rejuvenate Your Brain at Any Age

Sharon Begley wrote an article in Newsweek about having your brain get younger and sharper as you "age". You do this, according to the article, through exercise, meditating, and even video games. Look up the subject on

You can have your cells become younger with exercise too. Look up my telomere blog post.
My new fitness book is out now!