Q & A: Pregnancy, Gaining Weight and Exercising

To me, as a single guy, pregnancy means sweaty palms, shortness of breath and an anxiety attack, but to women, it’s apparently a big deal. Who knew! Now, we all know women care about their figures, but should pregnant women lose weight and exercise? Here’s a quick discussion about pregnancy from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center:

Question: I am 45 years old and just found out I am pregnant. I recently gained seven pounds and was gradually losing it before I knew I was pregnant. Should I try to avoid losing the last few pounds and just keep my weight stable?

And are there restrictions on exercise or lifting. I currently do about 15 to 20 minutes strength training and about 20 to 30 minutes riding a bike and I frequently lift heavy boxes and my four year old.

Dr. Fuhrman: Even if you aren’t pregnant, if you don't overeat and only eat when you’re really hungry, your weight will drop to the healthiest weight for you. And if you are pregnant and you eat healthfully, don't overeat and only eat when you are hungry. Your weight will rise to the healthiest weight for the two of you.

In regard to exercise, whatever activity you are presently accustomed to, you can continue, until the sixth month. Then start to decrease gradually over the last few months, being careful not to strain yourself.

Image credit: Thai Jasmine

Weak Hip Muscles May Hurt Runners' Legs

Printed in the journal Sports Health, a new study suggests weaker hip muscles could contribute to overuse injuries, such as knee pain, shin splints, tendonitis and sore feet, in runners. Experts estimate 70% of runners sustain an overuse injury each year, with half of those injuries occurring in the knee. If hip abductors, i.e. muscles at the outer hip, are weak or easily fatigued it can cause pain under the kneecap, researchers believe strengthening hip muscles could prevent these types of injuries in runners; via Reuters.

But don’t give on your running just yet! Impact exercise like running has been shown to develop stronger bones and muscles, even better than weightlifters. Now, in Dr. Fuhrman’s DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life he demonstrates some exercises that help strengthen your muscles and bones.

In August, a report revealed middle-aged runners were 50% less likely to die than people who did not run. Runners also had a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

Image credit: ingirogiro

Exercise Great After a Heart Attack, Period.

Whether you like weights or cardio, all exercise helps after a heart attack. Published in the journal Circulation, researchers enrolled 209 heart attack survivors in a four-week exercise routine including either a 10-minute warm-up followed by 40 minutes of cycling or 10 exercises with weights and rubber bands. At the end of the study the endothelial function of both groups, i.e. the amount blood vessels widen to increase blood flow, more than doubled, jumping from 4% to 10%; HealthDay News investigates.

And many health experts believe more exercise, coupled with better diet, would cut world cancer in half and other studies have linked aerobic fitness with appetite suppression and bone strength. For fun, mix up your workout! Maybe try Yoga it’s been associated with diabetes control, or Tai Chi which fights arthritis.

But don’t kill yourself! A recent report linked mental tiredness with quicker physical exhaustion. I blog a lot and I exercise a lot and if I don’t relax, I really feel it at the gym.

Image credit: Today is a good day

Men Should Add Impact Exercise for Strong Bones

New findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggest high-impact exercise, like running, helps keep bones strong in men. Scientists studied 42 athletic men, ages 19 to 45, and discovered running yielded bigger benefits for bone density than strengthen training, both runners and weight-lifters had higher bone density than road cyclists, weight-lifters had strong bones due to bigger muscles, but runners had even stronger bones, regardless of muscle size; Reuters reports.

In January, another study on cyclists showed despite having less body fat and more muscle, bike-riders had weaker bones and were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop osteoporosis. Researchers recommended adding running or weight-training. Not a bad idea, because in the U.S. the lifetime rate of bone fracture is 40% in 50-year-old women and over 13% in men, with 300,000 hip fractures each year.

Time for some shameless marketing! Strong bones need strong muscles. Muscles strength is directly related to bone density and in Dr. Fuhrman’s DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life he demonstrates a bunch of bone-building exercises you can do at home and it’s a lot cheaper than a gym membership!

Flickr: jeremyh21

Mental Fatigue Makes Workouts Harder

Wow, new findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggest being mentally tired may cause you to become exhausted more quickly during exercise, but researchers claim your muscles and heart don’t underperform. It’s your “perceived effort” that’s dragging you down. On one day 16 participants were given a demanding 90-minute test and on another day they watched TV for 90-minutes. When put on a stationary bike 15% of subjects stopped exercising sooner when they were mentally pooped; Reuters explains.

I relate to this big time! Tell me if you do too. A year ago I exercised a ton; Yoga, running, weights and more running! But I couldn’t do it anymore, too busy. Nowadays, DiseaseProof draws major attention, so I had to step up my game, hopefully you’ve noticed. Long story short, I was leaving the gym near death. Now I’ve cut back. I still exercise 6 days a week, but for shorter intervals and no more working out twice a day. That was crazy!

Clearly, pushing yourself to mental and physical exhaustion is a dumb idea. Our bodies need sufficient rest and recovery to function properly and previous reports insist Americans are overworked and under-slept. So cut yourself a break. You probably need it.

Image credit: Happy Dave

Osteoporosis Protection for Life!

You might not realize it, but osteoporosis is an epidemic, effecting 8 million American women and 2 million men, yes men can get it too, and causes 1.5 million bone fractures each year. Now, in his brand new DVD, Osteoporosis Protection for Life, Dr. Fuhrman discusses the causes of osteoporosis, offers prevention strategies, like nutrition and exercise, and dispels a lot of the misinformation about osteoporosis.

Like how drugs aren’t the answer. In January, a study came out linking the popular osteoporosis drug Fosamax with esophageal cancer. From October 2005 to May 2008, the FDA received 23 claims of patients being diagnosed with esophagus cancer and Fosamax is the suspect drug in 21 cases and the concomitant drug in 2. And previously, Fosamax and its generic alendronate were found to be associated with irregular heartbeat. Eek!

Then later in January, we learned not all exercise is created equal. Cyclists, despite being thin and fit, actually have more osteoporosis. That’s why researchers suggested bike-riders add running and weight-training to their workouts. Strong muscles mean strong bones and no hip fractures. Because just the other day a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed mortality, i.e. death risk, after a hip fracture lasts for at least 10 years.

So, if broken hips, brittle bones and drug side effects aren’t your thing, give Osteoporosis Protection for Life a try. In it, Dr. Fuhrman also talks about how much calcium people need and the importance of getting vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, what foods are loaded with calcium, such as Bok-choy and spinach, and for you fitness nuts, like me, Dr. Fuhrman demonstrates some funky exercises, like squat jumps, lunge walks and superman swim. It’s a bird, it’s a plane!

Okay, not to be all salesy, but if you’re a man or woman, or just a smart-alecky twenty-something like me, Osteoporosis Protection for Life could be a launching pad on your way to strong, healthy bones. No one wants to be a hunchback when they’re older—right?

Image credit: Drfuhrman.com

Cyclists May Have More Osteoporosis

You’ve probably heard it before. Exercise is really good for your bones. It makes them stronger. But a new study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise claims cyclists were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop osteoporosis or near-osteoporosis. However, biker riders did have less body fat and more muscle. Adding running or weight lifting to a workout can help stimulate the bones and keep them strong; via KiroTV.

In other news, the osteoporosis drug Fosamax has been linked to esophageal cancer. And, getting plenty of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is a great way to keep bones strong and healthy. So is using a weighted vest.

Image credit: semuthutan

Keep Your Fitness on Track, Log Your Progress...

As a kid, I logged all my exercising, religiously! Every rep, mile, pushup, pull-up and minute spent hitting a punching bag was accounted for. Nowadays I don’t write it down, but I keep a sharp mental tally.

And the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends keeping an exercise journal. Here are some suggestions to keep your fitness on track:

  • Write down every physical activity that you do each day, including what you do and how long you spend doing it.
  • Don't just log going for a run or lifting weights. Everyday chores that burn calories count, too. Track activities such as cleaning and vacuuming, or even walking the dog.
  • Keep the journal with you, so you can write things down before you forget.
  • Commit to entering information in the journal every day.

You know this already, but it pays to exercise. Recent research shows exercise curbs appetite and reduces anger and aggressiveness in obese children. Heck, even our president-elect is a fitness junky.

Actually, last year I blogged about my diet and exercise routine for a week.

Via HealthDay New.
 

Stay Fit in 30-Minutes

A lot of people say they don’t have time to exercise. Even doctors can’t find the time!

So, if you’re hard-pressed to get a work out in. Angela Stovall, a master trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Chino, California, put together this 30-minute work out:

Five minutes cardio warm-up: five minutes walking lunges, then alternate between 10 walking lunges and 10 abdominal crunches for three sets.

Hop on the treadmill for five minutes at 3.5 mph: simultaneously doing three-to-five pound bicep curls and shoulder presses. Watch your form.

Then to the mat for 10-20 push-ups: alternate with 10-20 tricep bench dips, three sets of each.

Run stairs or jump on a cardio stair stepper for 5 minutes: then finish with 25 no-weight standing squats and 50 side bends.

This is cute. But 30 minutes doesn’t work for me. Between Yoga classes, lifting weights and running on and off the treadmill, I exercise WAY more than 30 measly minutes.

Oh, and try training like a Spartan or a U.S. Navy Seal. Eye of the tiger baby!

Via That’sFit.