Older Adults: Build Muscle to Live Longer

New UCLA research suggests that the more muscle mass older adults have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. The findings add to the growing evidence that overall body composition — and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI — isa better predictor of all-cause mortality.

The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, is the culmination of previous UCLA research led by Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant clinical professor in the endocrinology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, that found that building muscle mass is important in decreasing metabolic risk.

“As there is no gold-standard measure of body composition, several studies have addressed this question using different measurement techniques and have obtained different results,” Srikanthan said. “So many studies on the mortality impact of obesity focus on BMI. Our study indicates that clinicians need to be focusing on ways to improve body composition, rather than on BMI alone, when counseling older adults on preventative health behaviors.”

The researchers analyzed data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, conducted between 1988 and 1994. They focused on a group of 3,659 individuals that included men who were 55 or older and women who were 65 or older at the time of the survey. The authors then determined how many of those individuals had died from natural causes based on a follow-up survey done in 2004.

The body composition of the study subjects was measured using bioelectrical impedance, which involves running an electrical current through the body. Muscle allows the current to pass more easily than fat does, due to muscle’s water content. In this way, the researchers could determine a muscle mass index — the amount of muscle relative to height — similar to a body mass index. They looked at how this muscle mass index was related to the risk of death.

They found that all-cause mortality was significantly lower in the fourth quartile of muscle mass index compared with the first quartile.

“In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” said Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor in the geriatrics division at the Geffen School and the study’s co-author. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.”

This study does have some limitations. For instance, one cannot definitively establish a cause-and-effect relationship between muscle mass and survival using a cohort study such as NHANES III. “But we can say that muscle mass seems to be an important predictor of risk of death,” Srikanthan said. In addition, bioelectrical impedance is not the most advanced measurement technique, though the NHANES III measurements were conducted in a very rigorous fashion “and practically, this is the best situation possible in a study of this size,” she noted.

“Despite these limitations, this study establishes the independent survival prediction ability of muscle mass as measured by bioelectrical impedance in older adults, using data from a large, nationally representative cohort,” Srikanthan and Karlamangla write, adding that BMI’s association with mortality in older adults has proven inconsistent. “We conclude that measurement of muscle mass relative to body height should be added to the toolbox of clinicians caring for older adults. Future research should determine the type and duration of exercise interventions that improve muscle mass and potentially increase survival in (healthy), older adults.”

5 Fresh Fitness Trends for 2019

Day after day, Americans are bombarded with bad news about the country’s obesityrates and related negative side effects. Knee replacement surgeries among middle-aged adults increased 2.5-fold over the last decade, due in large part to rising obesity rates, according to recent government data. Obese teens seeking to lose weight still drink a lot of sugary soda and don’t exercise, a Temple University study found.

But according to the American Council on Exercise’s (ACE) just-released fitness predictions for 2012, some of these negative trends could be turning around. In fact, a recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found improvement in U.S. obesity rates for the first time in more than three years. The report said that more Americans are now normal weight (36.6 percent) than overweight (35.8 percent).

And after ACE surveyed more than 1,500 personal trainers, exercise scientists, group fitness experts, and lifestyle and weight management coaches, the group found some positive attitude shifts among American dieters. For example, although many are still focused on quick weight loss tricks and gimmicks, there’s increasing interest in a long-term lifestyle changes for better health, says ACE exercise physiologist Jessica Matthews, MS.

“People are more focused on a complete picture of wellness, both emotional and physical,” Matthews says. “It’s not just about exercise; there’s really been a shift toward creating the best versions of themselves possible.”

Here’s how else ACE experts expect our approach to fitness and weight loss to change in the New Year.

  • Wellness training: Thanks to the average gym rat’s newfound focus on wellness, ACE predicts an uptick in lifestyle coaching — advice not just on workout routines and techniques, but on healthy eating, stress relief, and more. And you might not have to travel farther than your gym for the extra support: ACE found that fitness facilities are hiring more nutritionists and physical therapists to serve the expanding needs of their members.
  • Tech-fueled workouts: In 2011, personal logging devices such as FitBit, BodyMedia, and Nike Plus were the must-have fitness accessories to track workouts and share training successes with social networks. Whether you want to simply log calories with an app like Everyday Health’s My Calorie Counter or share your 5K training progress with your friends on Twitter, ACE predicts that technology-powered exercise will continue to be hot in 2012.   Personal training is also going high tech. ACE believes that more trainers will use technology to provide remote one-on-one or small group training, whether through uploading workout videos to YouTube or their personal sites, using software to view and track a client’s workout and nutritional information, or tweeting daily tips. Fitness facilities are getting savvier, too, creating more online, interactive fitness plans for their members.
  • Small-group training: Are you a Zumba dance fanatic? Love your local gym’s intense-but-effective boot camp class? ACE says that small-group classes such as Zumba, boot camp, TRX suspension training, and interval training will continue to be popular workout trends in 2012. Matthews says these classes are further evidence of a long-term shift toward workouts that emphasize core, balance, and stability, as opposed to more traditional cardio and weight training.
  • Weight loss support at work: You might not have a corporate gym, but ACE found that office wellness initiatives like team walking challenges or that Biggest Loser-style weight-loss competitions will be hot in 2012. A survey of 1,200 employers found that companies spent an average of $200 on wellness incentives per employee — anything from wellness competitions and prizes to gym memberships — in 2010, up 35 percent from $163 in 2009, and experts predict that number will continue to rise. ACE predicts that more business owners will provide discounts to outside fitness facilities and health clubs.
  • Fighting fad diets: Although ACE has seen great progress in diet and fitness education, Matthews says the average dieter still believes the best way to lose weight is through a restrictive or fad diet. As part of ACE’s efforts to combat this approach, the organization is providing better tools for trainers to help clients set healthier goals and stay motivated without crash diets. ACE also introduced a lifestyle and weight management coaching certification to help dieters understand what it takes to achieve long-term weight loss results.

For the full list of trends to watch, visit ACEFitness.org.

For more fitness, diet, and nutrition trends and tips, follow @weightloss on Twitter from the editors of @EverydayHealth.

Healthy Eating For Healthy Joints

“All Human illnesses and diseases can be traced to either nutrient deficiencies or excesses in the human body.” 
Dr. Victor G. Rocine 1930

“It is a laughable sight, to see those guilds of cobblers and tailors… when they march in procession, stopping, round shouldered, limping men, swaying fromside to side. They look as though they had all been carefully selected for an exhibition of their infirmities.” 
Bermadino Ramazzo 1700

“We do not have to suffer as we do with arthritis. The scientific research has proven that a change in diet and lifestyle, coupled with the addition of some exercise and a basic supplementation program that includes Cod Liver Oil can reduce the symptoms of arthritis”.
Mark J. Occhipinti, M.S., Ph.D., N.D.  



Arthritis is not a genetic disease, nor is it an inevitable part of growing older! There are causes for these joint afflictions, and they lie in our environment, mainly in the food we eat. Many researchers believe that rheumatoid arthritis did not exist anywhere in the world before 1800. It is well documented that these forms of arthritis were once rare to non-existent in rural populations of Asia and Africa. As recently as 1957, no case of rheumatoid arthritis could be found in Africa. That was a time when people in Africa followed diets based on grains and vegetables.

These once unknown joint diseases have become common in people that live in wealthier nations or move to the big cities in their native countries. With these changes they abandoned their traditional diets of grains and vegetables for meat, dairy products, and highly processed foods.

Humankind’s Most Common Affliction is Becoming Much Worse

The very word Arthritis conjures the thought of someone hunched over, or of an individual with deformed hands and feet. Diseases of the muscles and bones are among the most common of all human afflictions, affecting all ages, but becoming more prevalent with years. Government surveys indicate in the United Kingdom approximately 15% [more than 9 million] of adults currently suffer from troublesome arthritis with symptoms of swelling, limitation of motion, or pain. Approximately half of all people over 65 years report having arthritis.

The spread of degenerative diseases has continued to expand both in its scope and reach during the past 50 years. Many researchers point to food, more precisely the way food is prepared and eaten and the relationship to degenerative disease. It is a widely accepted fact today that arthritis and diet are strongly related. The standard Western diet, better referred to as SAD [Standard American Diet] has 40 percent more of the calories being derived from animal fats and man-made fats, such as [Trans Fatty Acids-partially or completely hydrogenated vegetable oils].

Refined carbohydrates [white flour and white sugar] make up an additional 22 percent of the Western diet. Nearly two-thirds of the foods eaten every day in a typical Western diet are made of foods devoid of vitamins and minerals. These types of foods are commonly referrer to as “stressor foods”, and rob the body of vitamins/minerals and enzymes necessary to maintain health.

Arthritis; A Description

Arthritis is an autoimmune disease of the joints characterized by pain, swelling, and redness, heat and, sometimes, structural changes. This condition is more common in women than in men. Arthritis may result from another condition, be associated with another condition, or simply develop on its own.

The two most common forms of this disease are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease and the most common form of arthritis and joint disorders, is the gradual deterioration of cartilage, usually in the larger, weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and spine. This wear and tear is a normal process predominantly found in people age 55 and older. Among those younger than 45, it occurs more often in men. After that age, women contract this disorder more often. By the eighth decade of life, approximately 90% of all people are affected by osteoarthritis.

Since this is a natural part of aging, beyond a certain age most people will almost certainly contract the disease, even if the symptoms are not detected. Although the joints are not always inflamed, the articular cartilage may begin to flake and crack, due to overuse or injury. In severe cases the underlying bone becomes thickened and distorted. Scar tissue may then replace damaged cartilage. If movement becomes painful and restricted, lessened use of the associated muscles will lead to their atrophy.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic joint disease affecting one or more joints; the synovium gradually becomes inflamed and swollen. Inflammation may occur in other parts of the joints as well. Gradual weakening of the bones comprising the joint occurs in persistent cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Tissue destruction occurs in the most severe cases. The most commonly affected joints are those of the hands and feet, particularly those of the knuckle and toe joints. The wrists, knees, ankles, and neck are also frequently affected.

Rheumatoid arthritis may occur as a single mild attack, or as several episodes, which can leave the victim increasingly disabled.
In extremely few persons, rheumatoid arthritis causes extensive deterioration of joint and bone tissues, producing deformities of the affected and surrounding areas. Damage to the lungs, heart, nerves and eyes can also occur, making it difficult to lead an active, normal life. This form of arthritis can affect people of any age, including juveniles, but predominantly affects those between the ages of 40 and 60. Slightly less than one-half of affected individuals have complete remission. Approximately one in ten individuals are severely disabled.

Management of Arthritis

Traditional Treatment

There are three primary objectives in the treatment of arthritis:

1. Reduction of inflammation and pain
2. Preservation of the joint’s function
3. Prevention of deformity

The standard treatment for many types of arthritis is to remove weight from the joints. This may entail using a cane, going on a weight reduction diet, sleeping on a bed, which properly conforms to the shape of the body, and getting frequent rest.

Regular exercise, both active and passive, will keep the affected muscles from weakening. The individual may benefit from a hydrotherapy program under trained supervision. Heat and cold applications to the joint may induce muscle relaxation and an analgesic effect.Side Effects of Traditional Treatments for Arthritis

Aspirin [part of the NSAID’s also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs] is commonly used as a painkiller as well as other nonprescription pain relievers. Since the therapeutic dose required is relatively high [2-4 grams per day], toxicity often results.
Some side effects of aspirin include Tinnitus [ringing in the ears], and stomach irritation, including bleeding peptic ulcers.
Extensive research as demonstrated that at best this is a short term treatment, due to individual sensitivity to side effects (aspirin, for example, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding). Physician may try several drugs to determine which has the least deleterious effects. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Indomethacin; corticosteriods, ant-malaria’s drugs, gold salts, penicillamine, plus experimental cytotoxic drugs that all weaken the immune system and treat the symptoms, not the underlying of the disease.

There are two dangerous paradoxes’ in arthritis treatment. One is that the drugs most commonly used to treat arthritis are toxins to this intestinal barrier. All commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, etc.), apart from aspirin and nabumetone (Relafen) [cause damage to the stomach], are associated with increased intestinal permeability in the gut. While reversible in the short term, it may take months to improve the barrier following prolonged use.

The second dangerous paradox is that while it may decrease pain in the joints short-term, NSAID’s prevent cartilage repair by blocking collagen production, while accelerating cartilage destruction. The higher the dosage and longer the usage the faster the destruction.

Finally, surgical removal of badly inflamed joint synovium may be required. Common types of surgery are synovectomy (removal of the synovial membrane), arthroplasty (for realignment and reconstruction), repair of tendon rupture, arthrodesis (fusion of the joint). Some joints may be artificially replaced. All forms bring some type of temporary relief, but not long term results, as subsequent surgeries are many times required 5-7 years later for the same or similar conditions.

Alternatives to Traditional Treatment for Arthritis

Treating the Causes of Arthritis

Research has shown that the addition of EFA’s [essential fatty acids] help to ease and relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
These EFA’s can be found in cod water fish [oily fish from cold northern waters contain omega-3s: sardines, herring, mackerel, bluefish, salmon and, albacore tuna]. Certain plant foods [flaxseed and flax oil, pumpkinseeds, hemp, a canola and soy oil contains small amounts of omega-3 and type of green vegetables-Purslane] contain remarkable properties [omega-3 fatty acids], which have demonstrated the ability to ease the symptoms of arthritis in many individuals.

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly unsaturated fatty acids. In addition to helping to relieve pain and discomfort arthritis, essential fatty acids also promote normal blood clotting, lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol [the good cholesterol]. This, in turn, lowers cardiovascular heart-disease risk, guards against degenerative changes in tissues, cells and some cancers and reduces inflammatory responses that is associated with the many different forms of arthritis.Why Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oils in the Treatment of Arthritis?

For thousands of years humankind has suffered from Arthritis. It was described by Hippocrates in his early writings, and has subsequently been discussed through the centuries as one of the afflictions of humankind. During the past several hundred years researchers noticed when certain oils were added to the foods of animals that were lame the symptoms of lameness disappeared. An early pioneer of Cod Liver Oil treatment for arthritis was Dr. De Jong who had treated successfully the Queen of the Netherlands. There have been many great men and women who have pioneered the search for a treatment for those who have suffered from the symptoms of more than 100 types of arthritis. They include, but are not limited to: Dan Dale Alexander, Dr.Airola, Dr. De Jong, and others.

There is growing evidence increased consumption of fish may be beneficial to health. Recent studies have found an association between consumption of fish oil and reduced risk of cardio-vascular disease, as well as improvements in other health conditions, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Current research on the benefits of consuming more fish is directed at the effects derived from omega-3 fatty acids in many fish species. Frankly though, human dietary preference reveal up to one-half of the population may not like to eat fish. Of those who do eat fish, many prefer fish only when it is deep-fried, [such as fish and chips] or consume non-fatty fish species, which are poorer sources of fish oil yet high in cholesterol [shellfish-shrimp, lobster, and crabs.
This is one reason Cod Liver oil in liquid form or Cod Liver oil capsules have become popular as an alternative source of fish oil.

Cod Liver Oil and fish oil supplements are the best and most readily available sources of omega-3 EPA and DHA [two very important components that reduce inflammation within the body, especially around the joints. The majority of trials have been conducted using either fish oil or cod live oil supplements and further evidence has come from studies of fish-eating populations such as the Japanese and Greenland Inuits.

Support for the use of Cod Liver oil capsules primarily comes from several well-known epidemiological studies from around the world. One study, conducted in the Netherlands, suggested ingestion of as little as 35 grams of fish per day (a single one-half pound meal of fish per week) might help prevent coronary heart disease, possibly significantly reducing mortality due to cardiovascular disease in a 20 year follow up. Further, it has been suggested a regular diet of fish may decrease levels of plasma triglycerides, plasma cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL), and very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (VLDL), both considered very bad types of fat in the human body.

Cod Liver oil capsules supply concentrations of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The EPA-DHA rich Cod Liver Oil is generally sold in soft gelatin capsules or liquid. The gelatin provides an oxygen barrier which prevents the development of toxic fats [lipid peroxides]. Liquid, non-encapsulated formulations generally do not have this protection from oxidation of fats, unless the product contains Vitamin E.

Cod Liver Oil: How It Works

EPA and DHA, both found rich in Cod Liver Oil and fish oils has also been found to suppress production of inflammatory agents found in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory effect of the omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce production of interleukin-l and tumor necrosis factor, both principal causes of inflammation within the body that affect the joints and skin. In cases of psoriasis vulgaris, fish oils produce symptomatic improvement by effecting changes in levels of the inflammatory compounds that cause the skin lesions and ulcers.

Cod Liver oil and fish oils block the uptake and replace the fatty acid arachidonic acid [found in high concentrations in all animal products]. The EPA and DHA in fish oil “replaces” the arachidonic acids [found in highest concentrations in animal products] that when available are used by the body in the production of pro-inflammatory hormones known as prostaglandin 2, with healthy anti-inflammatory hormones-prostaglandin 1and 3.

Cod Liver Oil: A Therapeutic Approach

Most Cod Liver Oil capsules contain 300 or 500 milligrams of omega-3 oil per one-gram capsule. Thus, patients therapeutically using fish oil at the levels discussed in this section may require between 8-16 capsules/daily to achieve a therapeutic level. Cod Liver oil capsules are also available in extra strength or high strength form that contain 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per capsule. This would allow a more reasonable intake of 4-8 capsules daily as part of the therapeutic therapy. Cod Liver oil can of course be taken as it has been for hundreds of years, by the spoon. One level teaspoon contains 4 grams of omeg-3 fatty acids. It is available flavored, as well as emulsified to mix better with juice [the “cocktail”, as I like to call it is mixed with a combination orange and cranberry or cherry juice]. Whatever choice to take Cod Liver oil you choose, it is important that vitamin E is included to protect the oils.

Fundamentally, many of cod liver oil’s secrets are related to vitamins. All liver extracts are naturally high in vitamins A and D, but especially the liver of the cod. Cod Liver oil has been used for years to enhance the immune systems and combat the effects of the common viral infections such as coughs, colds and flu. Remember receiving a spoonful of medicine [Cod Liver oil] each day as a child? I certainly do! Recently, research has shown cod liver oil to be a rich source of the Omega 3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Clinical trials have proven effective in the alleviation of the symptoms of joint and heart disease, relief of joint inflammation and in the treatment of a variety of skin diseases.

What is found in Cod Liver Oil?

Vitamin A: as known as “Retinol” is an extremely valuable nutrient and has an effect on a variety of bodily functions including the healthy growth and repair of the skin. Vitamin A also known as Retinol aids the healthy growth of hair and nails and is necessary for the visual process. Vitamin A was the earliest vitamin to be officially identified although records show that as long ago as 1500 BC.

Vitamin D : Also referred to as the sunshine’ vitamin, was first discovered in the 1920’s when it was found to prevent rickets. Vitamin D can be manufactured by the action of sunlight on the skin and is fat soluble vitamin, and can be stored in the body.Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is essential for the healthy formation of bones and teeth and helps protect against bone density loss in as we age.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids are found almost exclusively in foods of marine origin. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help form cell membranes and control vital metabolic processes necessary for good health. Research reported in the Nutritional Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease, published by the Department of Health (1994 recognized that small amounts of these Omega 3 fatty acids – found in oily fish and fish oils – are essential in the diet of man. The report concluded that these fatty acids “have a powerful plasma triglyceride reducing action” as well as appearing to be “anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory effects in the body”.

How Much Is Enough?

For general good health, two fish meals a week or 150-200mg daily of omega-3 in cod liver oil supplements will maintain effective brain and body function.

To obtain relief from inflammatory conditions, higher doses still may be needed although requirements vary from individual to individual. In research, good results have been achieved with as little as 2.6-3.0g (2600-3000mg) per day, the standard dosage is typically around 8 grams daily [the amount of two teaspoons].

Cod Liver Oil contains Vitamin A and D, both fat-soluble vitamins that may be toxic to the liver and body at high doses greater than 100,000 IU’s daily [equivalent to ½ bottle of Cod Liver oil daily for months]. It would be prudent and safe to chose the “High Strength” or “Extra High Strength” cod liver oil products which provide increased levels of omega-3s without raising A and D content.

The Applications for Cod Liver Oil in the treatment of other Autoimmune Diseases

Good nutrition-eating the proper foods, according to certain dietary rules have proven to bring relief to millions of arthritis suffers worldwide. [British Journal of Medicine 1994, The Lancet 1998, British Journal of Rheumatology, 1993, Annals of Neurology 11/97]

Boosting the immune system by avoiding certain foods, i.e., animal products; especially dairy products, which directly stimulate the pro-inflammatory hormones [prostaglandin 2, and negative energy foods, white flour, sugar, processed foods, are discussed in this latest edition of the New Arthritis and Common Sense, 1999.

The addition of fish oils [omega 3 fatty acids, especially cod liver oil] is being used successfully world-wide in the treatment and management of:

Arthritis: Rheumatoid, Osteo and nearly twenty other types of arthritis.

Asthma [low omega 3 blood levels are linked to asthma and allergic conditions]

Psoriasis: Doses of 3-4 grams daily [3-4,000 mgs] have proven effective in reducing redness, itching, and scaling.

Crohn’s Disease:Those suffering from this and other debilitating conditions of the colon have an option to drugs. Recent research has found that 72 percent of the Crohn’s disease patients taking fish oil supplements remained free of symptoms versus those taking placebo or medications.

Alzheimer’s Disease:The addition of fish oil/cod liver oil 1-2 days a week reduced the incidence of developing Alzheimer’s disease in a group of several thousand older men and women in Holland in a double-blind study.

Low levels of omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to depression, anti-social behavior and schizophrenia.Diet and Arthritis

From personal experience and exhaustive research it is a known fact that diet has a powerful influence on arthritis. Diet can make the symptoms much worse when foods are eaten that are high in saturated fat and animal fat or coupled together with refined foods [white flour and white sugar]. Correcting the diet with whole foods, including whole grains, vegetable, and fresh fruit can reverse many of the symptoms associated with arthritis. Eliminating certain foods from the diet have proven to be of benefit in some rheumatoid arthritic patients. A sample elimination diet includes going on a limited number of foods such as fish, pears, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, and mineral water and then reintroducing foods one at a time to provoke the symptoms.

Food Triggers Arthritis Symptoms

It is common to provoked the symptoms of arthritis by drinking milk or eating dairy products. Foods typically triggering allergic reactions that include inflammation and pain include, but are not limited to: cereal grains, dairy products, tea, coffee, red meats and citrus fruits. Gluten may cause immunologic reactions in the gut allowing for the absorption of immune complexes and other sensitizing antigens.
Therapy should be for at least three-six months. Infectious agents may also effect arthritic conditions. Disturbances in the small intestine due to antibiotic therapy may promote abnormal types of bacteria, which can irritate the small intestine wall leading to toxin release, and increased intestinal permeability [leaking of undigested foods directly into the blood stream-which causes a host of unwanted side effects in the body]. The possibility of candidiasis [yeast infection] in the intestines is debatable but he encourages further research in this area.

The Anti-Arthritis Way of Eating

Diet: The Only Real Hope For Arthritis

Research has shown a reduction in inflammation and pain when individuals reduce or eliminate animal products from their diet. Dietary fat has a toxic effect on the intestine of experimental animals, causing injury that increases the permeability of the small intestine, allowing more antigens [large undigested food particles] to enter the body. When diets high cholesterol were fed young animals there was a dramatic increases their “leaky gut” [ a medical term for damage to the small intestines that will allow the passage of large particles of undigested food to pass into the body]. In Vegan diets which have failed to help arthritis patients, it was found that there diet was high in vegetable oils [corn, sunflower, safflower] all known to damage intestinal integrity and increase inflammation.

Finding a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet allows the defense systems to work to its full capacity removing antigens that enter the system and removing immune-complexes from the blood. Components of the rich Western diet are known to impair its function. Vegetable oils, including those of the omega-3 variety are particularly strong suppressors of the immune system. This immune suppressing quality of oils (for example, Cod Liver Oil ) has been used to suppress the pain and inflammation of arthritis, but like too many drug therapies the ultimate outcome may not be best for the patient.

Low-fat diets have been shown to retard the development of autoimmune diseases, similar to lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, in experimental.

A healthy diet also supplies antioxidants and other phytochemicals that keep the joints strong and repair damage. Animal studies have shown that the foods consumed on the rich Western diet fail to provide adequate antioxidants to destroy the damaging free radicals that form in the joint tissues.

Foods to Avoid and Foods to Increase in Your Diet

People will say to me “I knew there had to be a hitch”, “I knew there would be foods that I would have to avoid or give up”.
My answer is a simple. Yes! There will be if you want to get away from the pain, suffering and the side effects of drugs that are given to treat the symptom, not the underlying cause. Research has demonstrated that adding Cod Liver Oil to the diet provided relief of symptoms over the course of treatment [greater than one year], without any changes in the diet. {British Journal of Medicine, 1993] Imagine what would happen with a course of Cod Liver Oil and a change in diet in those suffering from arthritis?I recommend that the following foods be avoided if you are trying to become free of painful joints.

White Sugar, C White Flour Coffee, Alcohol, Meat and Dairy products, Chocolate, and Carbonated Beverages [soda, pop],

The following foods should be limited:

Wheat, Corn, and White Rice. Fruit juice [high sugar concentration]

The following foods should be increased in the diet:

Vegetables [green, yellow, red, orange], Beans and Legumes and peas, Seeds [Raw or dried by baking in your oven], Millet, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Soy products such as Tofu, cold water oily fish [Tuna, Salmon, Haddock, Sardines, Anchovies], Herb Teas [especially decaffeinated Green Tea], 100 percent whole grain flours [wheat, rye, flax] and fresh fruit [especially berries and melons]. A source of fish oils [Salmon, Sardines, Anchovies, fresh Tuna, Cod and Haddock].

Case study testimonials

Case Study 1: Aerobic Instructor with Sore Knees

Ellen, a 36-year-old aerobic instructor and mother of two small children had consulted with me after a routine visit to her doctor for knee pain. Blood work was done in addition to her check up and she was found to have blood cholesterol of 208 in November of 1998. Her knees had been bothering her; gradually becoming worse over time which is a real problem for someone that makes their living as an aerobics instructor. Ellen decided to try Cod Liver oil [4 grams daily- 1 tsp.] in December after reading the book,

“The New Arthritis and Common Sense”, and to make some gradual changes to her diet, i.e., more vegetables and grains. With a few weeks she noticed that her knees were no longer bothering her with the constant pain that she had been experiencing. At the end of January she returned to have blood work done again and was pleasantly surprised, as was her physician to find that her cholesterol had dropped [38 points] to 170. Ellen went away on a two-week vacation and decided to skip the daily Cod Liver oil until she returned home. By the end of the second week her knees began to bother her once again. That convinced her to renew her daily dose of Cod Liver oil. As of last word she and her knees are doing great as she continues to teach aerobics classes 3 days weekly.

Case Study 2: Elbow Pain in a Tennis Player

Barbara, an active 35 year old women consulted me for a very stiff left elbow that would really become painful a day after she would play 1-2 sets of tennis. Her treatment in the past had been an ice bag and some type of NSIAD, which would cause stomach upset. Barbara’s diet was very good, containing fruits, vegetables and grains. She did not use dairy products are except for the occasional chicken breast, ate mainly fish [3-4 times weekly]. In our conversation I mentioned that there had been extensive research on the use of Cod Liver oil in the treatment of joint pain, and especially arthritis. She decided to give Cod Liver oil a try [4 extra-strength capsules-1,000 mgs daily] After 4 weeks Barbara called me to say that her elbow pain did not occur after playing tennis twice during the past two weeks. She was delighted, and mentioned that she noticed that her skin’s complexion seemed to be nicer.

Check Healthy Recipes: Many delicious choices for soups, main courses and for treating your sweet tooth in a healthy way.


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7-year old girl with omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. J Parenter Enteral Mutr.1988.12(5);521-525.
Geusens, P. et al. Long-Term Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in Active Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 1994. 37: 824-9.
Faulkner, G. et el. Aspirin and bleeding peptic ulcers in the elderly. British Journal of Medicine,1988: 297:1311-1313.
Holford, Patrick, ‘Say No to Arthritis”, 1993, Ion Press
Hollander, Hong, Kirkpatrick, et al. Differential effects of fish oil supplements on atherosclerosis. Circulation, 1987. 76 Suppl 4. 1245.
Hutchinson. Fish liver oil vs. fish oil. Can Med Assoc. J. 1988. 139;1037.
Isseroff, R.R. Fish again for dinner! The role of fish and other dietary oils in the therapy of skin disease. J Am Aca Dermatol. 1988. 19; p 1073.
Kirban, S. “Medical Approach versus Nutritional Approach to Arthritis”. Oxford Univ. Press, 1983.
Kremer, J.M. Effects of Manipulation of Dietary Fatty Acids on Clinical Manifestations of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lancet, (Jan 26, 1985) Kragballe, K. & K. Fogh. A low-fat diet supplemented with dietary fish oil (Max-EPA) results in improvement of psoriasis and in formation of leukotriene BS. Acts Derm Venereol. 1989. 69(1); 23-28. Kremer, J.M. et al. Effects Of High Dose Fish Oil On Rheumatoid Arthritis After Stopping Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 1995; 38[8]: 1107-1114.
Kremer, J.M. , J. Bigauoetter, A. Michalek, et al. Effects Of Manipulation Of Dietary Fatty Acids On Clinical Manifestations Of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lancet. 1985. I; 184-187.
Krupp, M.A. and Chatton, M.J. (Ed) . Current Medicinal Diagnosis and Treatment. Lange Medical Publications, U.S.A., 1984. pp. 367-368
Lau, C.S., et al. Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation on Non-Sterodial Anti-Inflammatory Drug Requirement in Patients with Mild Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Double-blind Placebo Controlled Study, British Journal of Rheumatology, 1993: 32:982-989.
Macfarlane, H. “Diets to Help Arthritis”, Thorsons, 1994.
Mandell, M. & Conte, A.A. : The role of allergy in arthritis, rheumatism and poly-symptomatic cerebral, visceral and somatic disorders: a double blind study. J. mt. Aced. Prey. Med. 1982 (July) : 5-16.
Mankato, MN, “The Essential Arthritis Cookbook: Kitchen Basics for People with Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Pain and Fatigue”, Appletree Press, l995.
Murry, M. Arthritis: “How You Can Benefit from Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise and other Natural Methods”, Prima Pub. 1994.
Nizzi, K. The Omega 3 Connection. Esquire Books, Inc. 1987.
Panush, R. S.: “Food Induced (”Allergic”) Arthritis: Clinical and Serological Studies.” Journal of Rheumatology, 1990;17(3):291294.
Rickett, J. , D. Robinson & A. Steinberg. Effects Of Dietary Enrichment With Eicosapentaenoic Acid Upon Autoimmune Nephritis In Female Mice. Arthritis Rheumatism. 1983. 26(2);133-139.
Scala, James, MD, “The New Arthritis Relief Diet”, Plumb Pub. 1998
Schumacher, H.R. et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases, [10th ed]. Atlanta: Arthritis Foundation, 1993
Simopoulus, Artemis P. M.D and Robinson ,Jo. “The Omega Plan”, HarperCollins, l998.
Terrass, S. Arthritis: “How Your diet Can Help”, Thorsons, 1994.
Theodosakis, J. MD, “The Arthritis cure”, Century Books, 1997.

Senior Exercise and Fitness Tips

Chair-bound people face special challenges  There are many reasons why we tend to slow down and become more sedentary with age. It may be due to health problems, weight or pain issues, or worries about falling. Or perhaps you think that exercising simply isn’t for you. But as you grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever to your health. Getting moving can help boost your energy, maintain your independence, protect your heart, and manage symptoms of illness or pain as well as your weight. And regular exercise is also good for your mind, mood, and memory. No matter your age or your current physical condition, these tips can show you simple, enjoyable ways to become more active and improve your health and outlook.Six myths about activity and aging 

What are the benefits of exercise for older adults?

A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life—even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. But getting active is not just about adding years to your life, it’s about adding life to your years. You’ll not only look better when you exercise, you’ll feel sharper, more energetic, and experience a greater sense of well-being.

Physical health benefits

 As metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge. Exercise helps increase metabolism and builds muscle mass, helping to burn more calories.Helps you maintain or lose weight.

People who exercise tend to have improved immune and digestive functioning, better blood pressure and bone density, and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.Reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. 

Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.Enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance. 

Mental health benefits

 Quality sleep is vital for your overall health. Regular activity can help you fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, and wake feeling more energetic and refreshed.Improves sleep.

Exercise is a huge stress reliever and the endorphins produced can actually help reduce feelings of sadness, depression, or anxiety. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident.Boosts mood and self-confidence. 

Activities like Sudoku or crossword puzzles can help keep your brain active, but little comes close to the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain. It can help brain functions as diverse as multitasking and creativity and can help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Getting active may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.Does amazing things for the brain. 

Overcoming obstacles to getting active as you age

Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge at any age—and it doesn’t get any easier as you get older. You may feel discouraged by health problems, aches and pains, or concerns about injuries or falls. If you’ve never exercised before, you may not know where to begin, or perhaps you think you’re too old or frail, and can never live up to the standards you set when you were younger. Or maybe you just think that exercise is boring.

While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, they’re even better reasons to get moving. Becoming more active can energize your mood, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. And reaping the rewards of exercise doesn’t have to involve strenuous workouts or trips to the gym. You can gain the benefits from adding more movement and activity to your life, even in small ways. No matter your age or physical condition, it’s never too late to get your body moving, boost your health and outlook, and improve how you age.Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.

 Regular physical activity helps you look and feel younger and stay independent longer. It also lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and obesity. And the mood benefits of exercise can be just as great at 70 or 80 as they were at 20 or 30.Fact:Myth 2: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down.

 Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.Fact:Myth 3: It’s too frustrating: I’ll never be the athlete I once was.

 Changes in hormones, metabolism, bone density, and muscle mass mean that strength and performance levels inevitably decline with age, but that doesn’t mean you can no longer derive a sense of achievement from physical activity or improve your health. The key is to set lifestyle goals that are appropriate for your age. And remember: a sedentary lifestyle takes a much greater toll on athletic ability than biological aging.Fact:Myth 4: I’m too old to start exercising.

You’re never too old to get moving and improve your health! In fact, adults who become active later in life often show greater physical and mental improvements than their younger counterparts. If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, you won’t be encumbered by the same sports injuries that many regular exercisers experience in later life. In other words, there aren’t as many miles on your clock so you’ll quickly start reaping the rewards. Just begin with gentle activities and build up from there.Fact: Myth 5: I can’t exercise because I’m disabled.

  but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics, chair yoga, and chair Tai Chi to increase their range of motion, improve muscle tone and flexibility, and promote cardiovascular health. Many swimming pools offer access to wheelchair users and there are adaptive exercise programs for wheelchair sports such as basketball.Fact:Myth 6: I’m too weak or have too many aches and pains.

 Getting moving can help you manage pain and improve your strength and self-confidence. Many older people find that regular activity not only helps stem the decline in strength and vitality that comes with age, but actually improves it. The key is to start off gently.Fact:

What if you hate to exercise?

If you dread working out, you’re not alone. But you don’t have to exercise until you’re soaked in sweat or every muscle aches to make a big difference to your health. Think about activities that you enjoy and how you can incorporate them into an exercise routine: Listen to music or an audiobook while lifting weights. Window shopping while walking laps at the mall. Get competitive while playing tennis. Take photographs on a nature hike. Meet new people at a yoga class or fitness center. Watch a favorite movie or TV show while on the treadmill. Instead of chatting with a friend over coffee, chat while walking, stretching, or strength training. Walk the golf course instead of using a cart. Walk or play fetch with a dog. If you don’t own a dog, offer to take a neighbor’s dog for a walk or volunteer at a pet shelter or rescue group. Go for a run, walk, or cycle when you’re feeling stressed—see how much better you feel afterwards. Find an exercise buddy, someone whose company you really enjoy, and try activities you’ve never tried before—you may find something you love. At worst, you’ve spent time with a good friend. warming up, cooling down exercising with mobility issues

Building a balanced exercise plan

Staying active is not a science. Just remember that mixing different types of physical activity helps both to keep your workouts interesting and improve your overall health. The key is to find activities that you enjoy—based on the four building blocks of fitness. These are:

1: Balance

 Maintains standing and stability, whether you’re stationary or moving around. Try yoga, Tai Chi, and posture exercises to gain confidence with balance.What it is:

Improves balance, posture, and quality of your walking. Also reduces risk of falling and fear of falls.Why it’s good for you: 

2: Cardio

Uses large muscle groups in rhythmic motions over a period of time. Cardio workouts get your heart pumping and you may even feel a little short of breath. Includes walking, stair climbing, swimming, hiking, cycling, rowing, tennis, and dancing.What it is: 

 Helps lessen fatigue and shortness of breath. Promotes independence by improving endurance for daily activities such as walking, house cleaning, and errands.Why it’s good for you:

3: Strength and power training

Builds up muscle with repetitive motion using weight or external resistance from body weight, machines, free weights, or elastic bands. Power training is often strength training done at a faster speed to increase power and reaction times.What it is: 

 Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle, and improves balance—both important for staying active and avoiding falls. Power training can improve your speed while crossing the street, for example, or prevent falls by enabling you to react quickly if you start to trip or lose balance. Building strength and power will help you stay independent and make day-to-day activities easier such as opening a jar, getting in and out of a car, and lifting objects.Why it’s good for you:

4: Flexibility

Challenges the ability of your body’s joints to move freely through a full range of motion. This can be done through stationary stretches and stretches that involve movement to keep your muscles and joints supple and less prone to injury. Yoga is an excellent means of improving flexibility.What it is: 

Helps your body stay limber and increases your range of movement for ordinary physical activities, such as looking behind while driving, tying your shoes, shampooing your hair, and playing with your grandchildren.Why it’s good for you: 

Types of activities beneficial to older adults

 Walking is a perfect way to start exercising. It requires no special equipment, aside from a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and can be done anywhere.Walking.

Keeps you motivated while also providing a source of fun, stress relief, and a place to meet friends.Senior sports or fitness classes. 

 Working out in water reduces stress and strain on the body’s joints.Water aerobics and water sports.

 Combines a series of poses with breathing. Moving through the poses helps improve strength, flexibility and balance, and can be adapted to any level.Yoga.

 Martial arts-inspired systems of movement that increase balance and strength. Classes for seniors are often available at local YMCA or community centers.Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

Getting started safely

Getting active is one of the healthiest decisions you can make as you age, but it’s important to do it safely.

from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a preexisting condition. Ask if there are any activities you should avoid.Get medical clearance 

Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule.Consider health concerns. 

Exercise should never hurt or make you feel lousy. Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out in a cold sweat, or experience pain. And put your routine on hold if a joint is red, swollen, or tender to the touch—the best way to cope with injuries is to avoid them in the first place. If you regularly experience pain or discomfort after exercising, try exercising for less time but more frequently throughout the day.Listen to your body. 

 If you haven’t been active in a while, build up your exercise program little by little. Try spacing workouts in ten-minute increments twice a day. Or try just one class each week. If you’re concerned about falling or have an ongoing heart problem, start with easy chair exercises to slowly increase your fitness and confidence.Start slow and build up steadily.

by , and keeping water handy.Prevent injury and discomfort 

for at least 3 or 4 weeks so that it becomes habit, and force yourself to stick with it. This is much easier if you find activities you enjoy.Commit to an exercise schedule 

Instead of zoning out when you exercise, try to focus on how your body feels as you move—the rhythm of your breathing, the way your feet strike the ground, your muscles flexing, for example. Practicing mindfulness will improve your physical condition faster, better relieve stress and anxiety, and make you more likely to avoid accidents or injuries.Experiment with mindfulness. 

If you have an injury, disability, weight problem, or diabetes…

While there are challenges that come with , by adopting a creative approach, you can overcome any physical limitations and find enjoyable ways to get active and improve your health and well-being.

Support activity levels with the right diet

Diet as well as exercise can have a major impact on energy, mood, and fitness. Many older adults don’t get sufficient high-quality protein in their diets despite evidence suggesting they actually need more than younger people to maintain energy levels and lean muscle mass, promote recovery from illness and injury, and support overall health. Older adults without kidney disease or diabetes should aim for about 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Vary your sources of protein instead of relying on just red meat, including more fish, poultry, beans, and eggs. Reduce the amount of processed carbohydrates you consume—pastries, cakes, pizza, cookies and chips—and replace them with high-quality protein. Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chips, replace a baked dessert with Greek yogurt, swap out slices of pizza for a grilled chicken breast and a side of beans.

Tips for staying motivated

It’s easy to become discouraged when illness, injury, or changes in the weather interrupt your routine and seem to set you back to square one. But there are ways to stay motivated when life’s challenges get in the way:

 such as improving your mood and energy levels and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.Focus on short-term goals,

when you successfully complete a workout, reach a new fitness goal, or simply show up on a day when you were tempted to ditch your activity plans. Choose something you look forward to, but don’t allow yourself to do until after exercising, such as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.Reward yourself 

 Writing down your activities in an exercise journal not only holds you accountable, but is also a reminder of your accomplishments.Keep a log.

7 Health And Fitness Articles You Should Read Today

CrossFit Training Push Ups


 from Well and Good NYC The Body Book: Cameron Diaz’s Smart New Health Book

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Cameron Diaz’s book, head to Amazon. This book is being called the smartest book by any celebrity, yet. Grab your copy and get learning.


 from FitFluentialGet Your Plank On: 17 Plank Workouts to Try

Get abs o’ steel for summer with Fit Fluential’s roundup of 17 plank workouts!See more: The Anatomy of a Perfect Plank      


 from Alden Tan9 Things You Need to Drop to Be Happy

You’ll be surprised that some of the things we do daily may take away from our happiness. Try dropping one or two this weekend and see how it feels!


from Pinch of YumSweet Potato, Kale, And Sausage Bake With White Cheese Sauce

This tasty dish sounds like the perfect addition to a chilly spring Saturday menu! Grab the recipe, go to the grocery store, pick up a movie and prepare for a relaxing night in. Plus, at only 331 calories per serving, it’s GUILT-FREE!


 from Zen to FitnessH.I.I.T. & Tone Workout #10

Get your heart pumping with this workout from Zen to Fitness! You’ll feel it after you’re done.


 from Finding My Fitness5 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Running

Breaking into running can give you a sensation like no other, but deciding to run can be intimidating. This guest post by Audrey Clark on Finding My Fitness will help you find the motivation within to run!


 from AllSpice and NutmegFalafel Salad + Pistachio Crusted Yogurt Rounds

I want to incorporate more salads into my life. So the challenge is on to create different, fun salads.

We couldn’t agree more, Norma! We can  include more salads. Try this one next week for lunch!all

Does Zinc Really Cure the Common Cold?

Does zinc cure the common cold?  This is a common, and serious question these days, as many people have colds and are looking for anything that will help.  The answer is No.  Zinc is a non soluble metal consisting of two zinc atoms sharing a pair of electrons that is used in industry to galvanize steel.

However, one atom of zinc with its 2+ electrical charge is water soluble. It combines with 4 to 8 molecules of water to form hydrated, or solution, zinc ions carrying a 2+ charge. Unlike the metal zinc, solution zinc ions (Zn2+ ions) have powerful, and strongly beneficial effects on upper respiratory infections (rhinovirus common colds). Rhinoviruses, one of the five genera of the picornavirus RNA virus family of which much is known, are now known to be the cause of the great majority of colds.

Colds are infections of the nasal cavity – and especially infections of the highly vascularized nasal mucosal turbinates of the nasal cavity. The digital helical CT studies by Shigeru Ishikawa, MD, PhD, of the Department of Otolaryngology at Kanazawa Municipal Hospital, Japan, greatly help visualize the nasal cavity itself, and particularly the highly vascularized mucosal turbinate tissues covering the nasal turbinate bones. According to Dr. Ishikawa, the images marked as “untreated” are similar to what one would find in a person experiencing a common cold.

Bruce Korant, PhD, of Du Pont Chemicals showed in Nature in 1974, that Zn2+ ions were strongly antirhinoviral. Others have shown that Zn2+ ions help T-cell lymphocytes release large amounts of interferon-gamma, a powerful antiviral agent. Other functions of Zn2+ ions helpful in treating or curing common colds include anti-inflammatory activities, destruction of histamine, stabilization of cell plasma membranes (prevents cell leakage, congestion and runny nose), and stimulates T-cell lymphocytes into action.

Wouldn’t a nasal spray releasing Zn2+ ions be the real cure? It certainly seems logical!  But, nature says, “No way!” Nasal sprays and nose drops releasing Zn2+ ions have been used for over a century as a mild, short acting, nasal decongestant having no role in shortening colds or curing colds. In his 1990 European patent Application (number 381522) Professor Derek Bryce-Smith of the University of Reading, Great Britain, found that frequent administration of strong zinc sulfate nose drops provided only a mild nasal decongestant effect — consistent with literature published in the 1930s.

Conversely, Zn2+ ions released into the mouth can shorten or cure common colds because they are absorbed into tissues through the mouth-nose biologically closed electric circuit (BCEC), a recently discovered feature of human physiology. The directionality of the mouth-nose BCEC is easily demonstrated with an ohmmeter. Simply reversing the leads shows a diode-like differential in resistance. Zn2+ ions from nasal spray or drops are repelled from nasal tissue surfaces by the same mouth-nose BCEC.

Zinc gluconate lozenges releasing Zn2+ ions at 5 to 8 millimolar concentration kept in contact with the oral mucosa for 20 to 30 minutes used nine times a day definitely shortened common cold symptoms by 5 to 7 days! This astonishing effect was documented in two independent clinical studies, one in the U.S. in 1984, and the other in Great Britain, at the Medical Research Council Common Cold Unit (MRC) in 1987. As follow up to these reports, many common food ingredients (aspartic, citric, tartaric, other food acids, acacia, and strong bases) were used in other studies of “flavor masked” zinc lozenges in experimental therapy of colds. The researchers did not know that those chemicals strongly bound Zn2+ ions rendering those lozenges ineffective against colds, setting back common cold research by 10 years or more.

The technology behind efficacious zinc lozenges involves complex mathematics in the arcane field of solution chemistry. That is a study of what happens to metal compounds when they are dissolved in water. As shown in the figure, zinc chloride and zinc acetate release 100% of their zinc as antirhinoviral Zn2+ ions at physiologic pH 7.4, while zinc gluconate releases 30% of its zinc as Zn2+ ions at pH 7.4 according to solution chemistry calculations by Guy Berthon, PhD, INSERM Unit 305, Toulousse, France. These three merited close study. Other common zinc compounds do not release Zn2+ ions at physiologic pH 7.4 and have no utility in treating common colds. Zinc chloride reacted with lozenge ingredients, because it was too unstable. Zinc gluconate mixed with sweet tablet bases (except fructose – see MRC study) became offensively bitter after lozenges aged for a while.

Properly prepared zinc acetate lozenges release 100% of their zinc as Zn2+ ions at physiologic pH. They shorten common colds dependent only upon zinc ion availability (ZIA), a name for zinc lozenge strength derived from Fick’s laws of permeability, the pharmacology law governing absorption of solutes through membranes and tissues. Efficacy starts at a ZIA strength of 25, where colds last a day or two less than normal (and treatment is hardly worthwhile). Amazingly, stronger ZIA 50 zinc acetate lozenges were strong enough for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to grant the world’s first and only “Cure for Common Cold” patent. Lozenges having a ZIA strength of 50 to 100 shorten colds symptoms by 5 to 7 days; and lozenges having a ZIA 100 or higher strength often result in a “cure” in less than a day with no further treatment.

Further information concerning the importance of zinc ions being available at physiologic pH for efficacy to result in treating common colds is slightly more technical follows:Fraction of Zinc as Zn2+ Ions from Several Compounds at Physiologic pH 7.4 with Discussion

The only relevant pH in common cold therapy with zinc lozenges is the 7.35 to 7.4 range. All acids and other bases are quickly buffered to that pH range in blood, lymph, and tissue. Acid-base balance in body tissues and fluids is carefully regulated in a state of good health and is always maintained within normal physiologic limits.

The 7.4 pH of blood and extracellular fluid is close to the natural 6.8 pH of 20 mMol zinc acetate, suggesting good absorption potential as well as close approximation to laboratory pH conditions.

When using zinc lozenges, salivary proteins complex with and precipitate some Zn2+ ions at salivary pH, while some zinc is swallowed, and some is absorbed into oral and oropharyngeal tissues and is held at pH 7.4. Once absorbed, some Zn2+ ions are chelated by blood, lymph, and tissue while others remain in a hydrated ionic form. Whether or not a given amount of a zinc compound can 1) provide sufficient Zn2+ ions to be antirhinoviral in nasal tissue, 2) induce local interferon production, 3) provide local cell membrane stabilization, and 4) provide Zn2+ ions for the numerous other physiologic interactions at pH 7.4 is determined by the chemical stability of the zinc complex. Only absorbed Zn2+ ions available at pH 7.4 migrating from oral tissues into nasal and nasopharyngeal tissues are useful in shortening common colds.

Zinc compounds having very low stability constants such as zinc acetate release useful amounts of Zn2+ ions at pH 7.4, while zinc compounds with higher stability constants do not. For example, at pH 7.4, 100% of the zinc from zinc acetate (log K1 = 1.03) remains as hydrated Zn2+ ions, while only 30% of the zinc from zinc gluconate remains as Zn2+ ion (log K1 = 1.70). The availability of Zn2+ ions from zinc sulfate, lactate, malate, maleate, tartarate, and succinate (log K1 = 1.8 to 2.8) ranges in effect from less than desirable to useless for treating colds. Essentially no Zn2+ ions occur at pH 7.4 from zinc citrate, oxide, glutamate, tartarate, carbonate, glycinate, orotate, amino acid chelates, EDTA, and other highly chelated zinc compounds (log K1 = 4.5 to 16.5) as soluble or insoluble zinc complexes, rendering these compounds completely useless in treating colds.

5 New Fat Burning Exercises

In the episode , I describe the SAID principle of exercise. SAID stands for Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands – and this means that our bodies eventually adapt to the demands we place upon them. Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

So if you’re doing the same workout routine or the same exercises week after week, or month after month, your body becomes very efficient at those exercises or that routine, and you no longer burn as many calories or get as good a fitness response from your efforts..

This is why I personally change up my routine every week and I recommend you introduce new fitness moves or change up your workouts at least once a month to get the biggest bang for your workout buck.

In today’s episode, you’ll get 5 brand new exercises that will burn fat fast, challenge your metabolism, and keep your workouts exciting.

You can view most of these exercises in my . Let’s jump right in! 5 New Fat Burning Exercises video  

New Fat Burning Exercise #1: ManMaker

The ManMaker (sorry ladies, I didn’t invent the title) is the only exercise in this episode that actually requires equipment – in this case a set of . To do this exercise, get into a position with one hand on either dumbbell, then do a push-up. Next, row with one dumbbell, then row with the other dumbbell. Stand quickly (also called a “clean”) and place both dumbbells on your shoulders, then do a  followed by an overhead press. dumbbellspush-upfront squat

Return the dumbbells back to their starting position to complete that repetition and get ready for the next repetition. To maximize your results, choose a weight that makes it difficult for you to complete 10 repetitions of the ManMaker. Just 10 repetitions of this potent move can be used for a fast, 5 minute, full body, fat-burning workout!

New Fat Burning Exercise #2: Breakdance Push-up

This exercise will not only improve your core and upper body strength like a regular push-up, but also will also increase your agility and flexibility – and it doesn’t actually require you to be a professional breakdancer. 

Start in a bridge position with your bellybutton facing the ceiling and your weight supported on your hands and feet. Then “flip” to one side or the other, keeping one leg off the ground, and do a push-up. Then “flip” again back to the bridge position. Here’s a  Try 5 breakdance push-ups for each side. great example of a breakdance push-up.

The 5 Best Full Body Exercises


In the episodes  and , we learn that there is one distinct similarity between both fat-burning and muscle-building goals: They each require the use of full body, multiple-joint exercises that activate many muscles at the same time. How To Lose Fat QuicklyHow To Build Muscle

When it comes to full body exercises, some are more effective than others, so in this article, you’ll learn the 5 full body exercises that get you the most results in the shortest period of time. (Each exercise below links to a video demonstration of the movement.)

The 5 Best Full Body Exercises

Full Body Exercise #1: 

Turkish Get-Up

I may be a fitness buff, but my history and geography skills aren’t quite up-to-par, so I’m not quite sure how of why this exercise is “Turkish.” But the “Get-Up” part is easy to understand once you’ve tried this move.

To complete a Turkish Get-Up, you lie on your side, with a dumbbell in one hand. The dumbbell should be held out at arm’s length. From this position, you simply stand, while keeping the dumbbell overhead at an arm’s length. This means you only have one arm and two legs to help you both stand and push the weight of that dumbbell up as you stand.

This exercise can be difficult to learn, but if you can do 3-4 sets of 5-10 Turkish Get-Ups per side, then you are probably in pretty good shape!

Full Body Exercise #2: 

Swing Squats

For this exercise, hold a dumbbell or a  down by your feet with one outstretched arm, then drop into a squat position with your butt pushed behind you, your back straight, and your heels firmly planted. Now, stand about halfway up as you begin to swing the dumbbell up, quickly reverse direction and drop down into a full squat position again, then powerfully stand as you swing the dumbbell overhead. kettlebell

If you do this exercise as explosively as possible, which I highly recommend, you will find that your heart rate will get very high with just a few repetitions, making the swing squat both a cardiovascular and strength building exercise.

Full Body Exercise #3: 

Medicine Ball Slams

This is a great stress-relieving exercise, and also helps to build power and athleticism in the upper body, core, and legs. It is also a very easy full-body exercise to learn.

To do a medicine ball slam, you simply get a medicine ball (those big heavy balls you can often find in the corner of the gym), raise it overhead, then swing your arms down as you release the ball and slam it into the ground as hard as possible.

As you can imagine, this can be a loud exercise, so you may want to find a private area of the gym (like an empty group exercise room) and you will also need to be careful not to let the ball bounce back up and hit you in the face!

For an extra challenge, I sometimes finish a workout to complete exhaustion with 50-100 medicine ball slams.

Full Body Exercise #4: 

Burpees (also known as Squat-Thrust Jumps)

As an infamous exercise used by fitness bootcamp instructors, the burpee is one of those movements that you can love to hate. It will give you a full body workout in a matter of mere minutes, but also requires a great deal of focus and intensity.

Here’s how to do a burpee: from a standing position, squat down, put your hands on the ground, kick your legs out behind you, do a push-up (optional), then kick the legs back up into a squat position, stand and jump as you swing your arms overhead. If you’re an advanced exerciser or want to add even more “oomph” to this exercise, you can wear a weighted vest as you do your burpees.

Most burpee workouts involve doing a series of 10, 15, or 20 burpees as part of a full body weight training or body weight circuit, but you can do just 1-2 minutes of burpees in the morning as a fantastic metabolic booster to jumpstart your day!

Full Body Exercise #5: 

Deadlift-to-Overhead Press

The premise of the deadlift-to-overhead press is fairly simple: you pick a heavy object off the ground and lift it overhead. The object can be a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, sandbag, or, if you’re working out with a partner, even another person!

When you pick the object off the ground, which is called a deadlift, you’ll need to have good form: looking forward with your knees bent, butt out, and back straight.

You then stand, and as you stand or after you are in a standing position, hoist the weight overhead – using your hip and leg muscles to assist your upper body with driving the weight up.

A Full Body Exercises Workout

Want a fast and effective workout that gets you fit fast and burns lots of calories in a short period of time? Those last two exercises (the Burpees and the Deadlift-to-Overhead Press) are the key exercises for a tough but highly effective workout called . The Burner

Bad Discs and Sciatica: How To Fix Them Yourself

Dr Bookspan is a military researcher. Harvard School of Medicine clinicians have named her “The St. Jude of the Joints.” A degenerating disc, or one that is slipped (herniated) can be painful and frightening. Despite the fact that discs usually can heal quickly and easily, people are commonly told that a disc problem is a difficult and long-term condition.They are told to accept and “live with” pain and reduced ability. They may stay on pain and anti-inflammatory drugs for long periods. Recent news reports from Time Magazine and The New York Times quote spine specialists as saying that back pain is mysterious, and that commonly used modalities like acupuncture, strengthening, surgery, massage, chiropractic just aren’t working. However, the case is that back pain is usually simple to understand, and simple to fix without surgery or special beds or equipment.

Back Pain Is Not Mysterious

People do an astonishing number of things every day to strain, weaken, and pressure their backs. You know you shouldn’t lift wrong, but you do — all day, every day — picking up socks, petting the dog, for laundry, trash, making the bed, looking in the refrigerator, and all the dozens of times you bend over things. You work bent over your desk or bench. You drive bent forward.

If you go to the gym, you probably lift weights bent over, stretch by touching your toes, do yoga by bending over at the waist, then bend over to pick up your gym bag to go home. No wonder your back hurts. Most people know that bending wrong will injure your back. But they stand, bend, sit, and lift wrong many dozens of times a day, day after day, then compound the problem with holding muscles tightly, and doing bad exercises. They may do special “back exercises,” but not be aware that strong muscles will not automatically give you good posture, make you bend and lift properly, or make up for all the things you do the rest of the day to hurt your back. They wonder why they still get pain even though they take their medicine and “do their exercises.

“Many wind up in back surgery, or long term or recurring pain, not understanding why their physical therapy, pills, or yoga “didn’t work.”

What Are Discs?

Discs are little fibrous cushions between each of your vertebrae (back bones). You have discs in your neck, the middle of your back, and your low back. You also have two discs in each knee. A knee disc is commonly called a meniscus. You even have a little disc between your lower and upper jaw bone at your temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ). Discs are living parts of your body.

They do many things like absorb shock, and keep your bones from grinding against each other. When you abuse them by bad habits, they can break down.

How Discs Herniate

Years of forward rounding, squashes your discs and pushes them out toward the back. The discs eventually break down (degenerate) and push outward (herniate). Think of a water balloon.

When you squeeze the front, it bulges toward the back. The resulting herniation can press on nearby nerves, sending sciatic pain down your leg. Or if you squash and push the discs in your neck with a forward head posture – letting your head tilt “chin-forward” instead of holding it up straight, the disc in your neck may herniate and press on nerves, sending pain down your arm. Tight muscles from years of poor positioning and short resting muscle length can also press on the same nerves mimicking sciatica. Chronic forward bending (flexion) also overstretches the muscles and long ligament down the back, which weakens the back, and pushes vertebral discs posteriorly. The pressure of your own body weight on your muscles and discs over years of poor sitting, standing, and bending habits is enough to injure your back as badly as a single accident.

Think of braces on your teeth. After years of pushing, things eventually move. An unfortunate situation is that someone with a slipping or degenerating disc is often told they have “degenerative disc disease” or “disc disease.” But it is not a disease. The condition was misnamed. A hurt disc is a simple, mechanical injury that can heal, if you just stop grinding it and physically pushing it out of place with terrible habits.

Forward bending gradually pushes discs out to the back. Lift and bend properly to avoid pushing your discs out of place. Sitting with lower back rounded can eventually push low back discs out.

Not a Disease

An unfortunate situation is that someone with a slipping or degenerating disc is often told they have “degenerative disc disease” or “disc disease.” But it is not a disease. The condition is misnamed. A hurt disc is a simple, mechanical injury that can heal, if you just stop grinding it and physically pushing it out of place. It will heal and stop pressing on nerves. The disc pain and sciatica will go away.

It is simple, and depends a great deal on how you hold your body when sitting, bending, and exercising.

Discs Can Heal

Disc injury is not a life sentence. Disc degeneration or slippage (herniation) can heal and stop hurting- if you let it – no differently than a sprained ankle. Stop damaging your discs with bad bending, standing, and sitting habits and your discs can heal. It takes years to herniate a disc, and only days to weeks to let it heal it by stopping bad habits.

When Pain Isn’t From Discs Often

A person may be in great pain from simple damaging bending and movement habits. They may go for an x-ray or MRI, and the scans show a degenerating or herniated disc. The pain may not be from the disc, but from the strained, tired muscles from bad habits. Just like car tires that are mid-life, but perfectly good, some wear masy show on exam — but may be unrelated to the pain. Pain is falsely ascribed to the disc. Pain continues, but from the poor mechanics. This is no mystery.

Change the bad habits to change the pain. Sometimes, people go for surgery for the “bad disc.” But their pain persists or returns— because they never corrected the bad mechanics that caused the pain. Or they may herniate another disc for the same reasons they herniated the first one — bad sitting and lifting and all the other bad habits that they did not easily change.

What To Do Every Day To Stop Ruining Your Discs

First thing in the morning, don’t sit on the edge of the bed. Instead of sitting and rounding your back, turn over and lie face down. Prop gently on elbows, but not so high that it strains. It should feel good and help you start your day with straighter positioning. Get out of bed without sitting. Sit without rounding. Don’t be ramrod straight or hold your muscles tightly. Just hold a comfortable, natural, straight position. Stand and carry loads without forward head, or rounding your low back. (Don’t lean backward either, to “balance” the weight — that causes problems of its own. Just use your muscles to stand straight. Count how many times you bend each day. For most people, it will be several hundreds of times a day. Imagine the injury to your back by bending wrong that many times each day. Lift using the lunge or squat, not bending over. Don’t use bad knees as an excuse to wreck your back. Bending properly will strengthen your knees as well. Or you can use “the Golfer’s pickup” where you raise the back leg and rest your arm on the front leg. Raise computer monitor off the desk – use a low shelf or phone books. – Move your TV up higher. Stop curling downward and forward to watch. Move desk and car seats closer to sit back not forward (don’t worry about having to keep feet on floor or “flat thighs”). Move keyboard off “below desk” tray, and back up on the desk. Use a lumbar roll (jacket or towel will do) to pad the backward-rounding space in most chair backs. Sit up and lean slightly back. Don’t round against the lumbar roll. More about this later. Use your muscles, not joints to hold you up. It’s free exercise. Don’t do bad exercises (described below)—Use good exercises to retrain bending habits and how to position your body in healthy ways when moving around (described below). Back exercises

Don’t Exercise in Ways that Damage Your Back

Many people hurt from excessive forward bending. Unfortunately, many exercises they do for their back often involves more forward bending: toe touches, knee to chest, and crunches.

It is important to strengthen the muscles that pull the back the other way. These are the extension exercises (to follow). Bend properly for everything, even the water fountain, to pick things up from the floor, to look in the refrigerator, or take things out of the dishwasher.

Keep your torso upright and bend your knees. Keep your knees over your feet, not slumping forward, which is hard on the knees. Don’t stretch by bending over at the waist without supporting your body weight on your hands. Many people are surprised to find that they injure their back doing forward yoga stretches. You wouldn’t pick up a package that way. 

Ineffective Exercising

Strengthening and stretching are crucial, but alone will not change posture or lifting habits, and so cannot “cure” back pain or posture problems.

Many contribute to the original problem of over rounding and bad posture. Back exercises are supposed to be used to retrain you how you hold your body all the time. Doing exercises for back pain is not like getting a shot of penicillin or going to confession. It does not “fix” bad habits the rest of the time.

One common example is doing “pelvic tilts,” then walking away, letting your back flop into any old bad posture, instead of keeping the proper tilt you just practiced.  are supposed to be used to retrain your thinking and habits when you get back up off the floor. This does not happen automatically.

This is where many people have missed the point of back exercises. Strengthening has no effect on posture if you don’t apply the strength the rest of the day to control joint angles for all activities.

Exercises to Strengthen and Retrain Muscles

Back pain exercises are misunderstood. People often injure their back all day then hope to fix it with a few exercises.

They don’t understand when this does not work. They lie on the floor to do exercises, then stand up and walk away with no use of the positioning or strength they just practiced. It is like eating butter and sugar all day, then doing 10 minutes of exercises and wondering why it doesn’t “work.” The key is what you do all day.

Try a small number of these exercises slowly. See how you feel the next day, then increase. Use these back exercises to retrain how to stand, sit and move all day.

 You know not to bend wrong to pick things up, but you do it. Every day. Hundreds of times a day. Instead, bend your knees. You already know that. But most people don’t do it because their legs are too weak.Lunge.

The lunge exercise retrains bending habits and gives you free leg and back exercise at the same time: Bend properly using the lunge for all the many dozens of times you bend every day. Keep front knee over ankle (left) not forward (right).

Keep front knee over ankle (left) not forward (right). Stand up, feet apart. Slide one foot comfortably back, keeping foot straight not turned out. Tuck your hip under to reduce the arch in your back, and to stretch back hip.

Don’t lean back. Bend your knees to dip to the floor without touching the floor.If you can’t dip all the way down, at least dip a few inches. Don’t let your front knee come forward. Keep front knee over ankle. Don’t arch your back. Tip your hip under to prevent arching and straighten your posture.

Don’t lean back. This is a great exercise to strengthen your legs and practice proper bending and lifting posture. You already know you should use your legs like this to bend and lift. Now you will be strong enough to do it. – Upper back extension. Most people stretch their back by forward rounding but never strengthen the back muscles that hold the back upright.

 is an important exercise to strengthen at the same time that you practice moving your back in the other direction. Lie face down on the floor, hands and arms off the floor. Gently lift upper body without hands. Don’t force. Don’t crane your neck, keep it straight, just lift using upper body muscles. Upper back extensionUpper back extension

 This is another important exercise to strengthen the back and practice extending the hip. Lie face down, hands under your chin or wherever comfortable. Gently lift both legs upward, knees straight. Don’t yank or force. Don’t pinch the low back, just use lower body muscles.Lower back extension.

 A major purpose of your abs is to hold your back in position when you are standing up. But many people allow their back to sway or arch too much. They may do “exercises” for this by lying on the floor or standing against the wall and pressing the low back (pelvic tilt) to reduce the curve. But that does not change your positioning the rest of the time, and so, does not heal the back pain. You are supposed to use the tilt when standing to keep your back in position – preventing arching. This exercise strengthens your abs and back at the same time you retrain how to hold your back without arching.Lower back extension – Isometric abs.

Learn to use your abs to control the posture of your back: Keep your low back from arching even against moving resistance, simulating real life activity when standing up. Lie face up, arms overhead on floor, biceps by your ears. – Press your low back toward the floor to remove the arch. You will feel your abdominal muscles working to prevent your back from arching. Hold hand weights an inch above the floor, without arching your back. Keep your low back against the floor by using ab muscles to straighten your spine. As you get better at this, gradually straighten your legs so that you can practice posture the way you need it for standing up – spine held at healthy position without bending knees. This is how your abs should work all the time, when standing up, to prevent too much arching.

Use this exercise to practice using your abs to control the posture of your back, even against moving resistance, simulating real life activity when standing up. Notice that you don’t need to tighten your abs to do this. Just use ab muscles, like any other muscles, to move your body to healthy position.

 In a push-up position (hands and toes, not on knees) tuck your hips under so that your back doesn’t arch. You will immediately feel your abs working when you do this. You will also immediately feel the pressure in your back disappear, that was caused by arching. The purpose of this exercise is to train your abs at the same time you relearn how to hold your back when you are standing up. Keep your back straight, not letting it sag into an arch like a hammock.Hold a push-up position.

Tuck hips as if you were starting a crunch, but don’t hike your behind up in the air or drop your head. Make your posture as straight as if you were standing up. Use a mirror, if available, to see yourself and learn what healthy position feels like. Use this new healthy position all the time, particularly when you stand and reach overhead. Don’t let your back arch to reach overhead. Use the principle of this tuck exercise.

Tuck your hips under to remove the low back arch. You will immediately feel your abs working and pressure gone from your back.

How to Stretch Your Hamstrings Without Ruining Your Discs

Tight hamstrings are commonly accepted to contribute to back pain. The irony is that many hamstring stretches are done in ways that round and strain the back and squash discs.

Leaning over at the waist for toe-touches does stretch your back and hamstrings, and may feel good, but it is terrible for your back. This is true even for yoga stretches where you bend over at the waist without supporting on your hands. You know never to bend over like that to pick things up.

It doesn’t magically become good for you by calling it a stretch.  Lie on your back and hold one leg in the air, keeping shoulders, head, and hip flat on the floor and back straight. Keep your other leg straight and flat against the floor too.

If the front of your hip is too tight, your bottom leg may rise along with your top leg. To fix this common problem, stretch the front of your hip using the lunge.

 – Walk with feet parallel, not turned in or out. Weight on sole, not arches. – Walk, move, exercise and sit down with shock absorption.When Walking and Exercising

Avoid Bad Exercises

For more on how to avoid bad exercises that contribute to back pain, click here Summary A herniated or degenerating disc is not a mysterious “condition” or a disease. People spend their day sitting, working, walking, and driving in the very hunched posture that pushes discs out the back. They hunch over the computer, lifting and bending wrong all day, walking heavily, and slouching all day, and then exercise in ways that strain and pressure discs and muscles. They do yoga and Pilates exercises that forcibly pressure discs.

They try remedies that do not address the cause of the problem, do physical therapy in ways that exacerbates the original problem, give up favorite activities, have surgery then return to previous injurious habits, then everyone is astonished that they “tried everything and nothing seemed to work.” It’s like eating butter and sugar all day, then waving your hands in the air for 5 minutes and saying “I don’t understands why I don’t lose weight, I do my exercises.” How is your body positioning right now? Use your muscles to stand and bend properly for all daily tasks. Bonus: It burns calories, strengthens, and is a free workout.

You Don’t Have To Live With Pain (Homework!)

Watch other people’s posture, gait, and movement habits. Notice injurious postures doing “fitness and health” moves featured in fitness magazines. Notice your own habits. Use principles learned in this article to identify and eliminate the cause of your own pain.


Get the quick story on why you get back pain and how to fix your own back pain with the . Back Injuries and Post Rehabilitation Guide

To learn to stretch the way you really need, learn why stretches can harm, and to feel better about stretching, read . this stretching article

 by Dr. Jolie Bookspan. Expanded second edition. Revolutionary core training method that involves no crunches. Combines sports medicine with fun exercise to get a workout at the same time that you retrain your muscles for healthy movement for ordinary daily activities. Burn more calories and get incredible abs. Used by military, law enforcement, and the nation’s top spine docs. Books The Ab Revolution™ No More Crunches! No More Back Pain! Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2013 and has been revamped and updated for comprehensiveness.

How to Exercise With Arthritis and Sore Joints

Dennis Thompson Jr., HealthDay News Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH DMARDs for Ankylosing Spondylitis How to Stay Active With Joint Pain your privacy      

Exercise helps arthritis pain, but sore joints stop you from wanting to work out. Learn how exercise can improve your range of motion and make all movement easier.


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Research has shown that exercise can help reduce arthritis pain and improve range of motion, and it’s now considered an essential part of arthritis management.

This is a far cry from days past, when people with arthritis were warned to  exercise to avoid further damage to joints. Doctors now know that, in addition to all its heart health benefits, regular exercise can:not Reduce inflammation, stiffness, and joint pain Build muscle around joints, better supporting them and protecting them from shock and daily wear and tear Increase  flexibility Improve endurance exercise routine

You do need to take some special precautions to make sure that your exercise routine provides maximum benefit while reducing the risk of injury and pain from sore joints.Before You Begin Exercising With ArthritisTo get started safely, talk to your doctor first. Be sure to take into account any health concerns so that you follow the best possible  for your individual needs. Consulting with a physical therapist will be helpful as well, as this fitness professional is trained to build specific exercise programs to address the sore joints, aches, and any limitations you might be feeling. The catch-22 of working out with arthritis is that, while exercise can help improve your condition, you may feel as though you’re in too much pain to begin. A physical therapist will show you the right way to get started and help you progress to meet the ultimate goal of exercising most days of the week.

Also look into exercise classes designed just for people with arthritis. These classes can show you specific techniques and help you adapt them to your individual condition. You could also share information with other arthritis patients about exercise strategies that work. These programs often are offered through health clubs, community centers, and the Y.Creating Your Arthritis-Friendly Workout

The best exercise program for people with arthritis has a number of components and a certain order in which they should be done.

 It is essential that you warm up prior to each workout session. If you don’t give your muscles and joints a chance to warm up, injury and pain are much more likely. Spend at least five minutes walking or doing another activity at a slow pace. You also might consider applying heat to your joints prior to exercise, to help loosen them up.The warm-up.

 There are three main types of exercises recommended by the Arthritis Foundation:The exercises.  improve your range of motion and ease of movement. These are the most essential exercises for arthritis patients and should be performed at least once a day. After your gentle warm-up, devote the next 15 minutes to flexibility exercises. Mind-body disciplines like  or tai chi include some of the best range-of-motion exercises available. Flexibility exercise tips for greater success: yogaFlexibility or stretching exercises

Move slowly, gently, and deliberately. Don’t push yourself past slight discomfort. Stretch in a warm room, which will help your muscles relax and move more easily.  benefit sore joints by building up the muscles around them. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that people perform strength training every other day, after your flexibility exercises. Strength training exercises include isometric exercises that work muscles without moving the joint, such as squeezing your thigh muscle while lying on your back, and isotonic exercises that work muscles while moving (bending) the joint, such as a leg press and a partial chair squat. Strength training tips for greater success: Strength training exercises

You must take a day off between strength training sessions to give your muscles time to recover. Ease into strength training — don’t lift heavy weights too soon. If you feel joint pain, lower the resistance or amount of weight you’re using, or switch to another exercise that works the same muscle group.  is a recommended addition to your workout routine once you are able to comfortably do both flexibility and strength training exercises. Aerobics are good for your overall health and wellness — just be sure to choose the right type of activity for you. Aerobic exercise tips for greater success: Aerobic exercise

Avoid high-impact activities. Walking is a good form of aerobic exercise for people with arthritis; jogging and running are not. Explore non-impact aerobic activities. Water aerobics and swimming are excellent forms of aerobics that don’t stress the joints. Bicycling is another good way to get aerobic exercise. Aim to do aerobic exercise three or four days a week. Ultimately, on each of these days you want to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in the target heart range recommended by your doctor, but start slowly, with even just five minutes. Pay attention to your body. If you have pain that lasts longer than one hour after an aerobic workout or if you find yourself with swollen joints or joints that are more stiff and weak, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about how to adapt your workout.

 The last part of any good exercise session is the cool-down. These steps will ensure that your body benefits and recuperates from each workout:The cool-down. Ease out of exercise. Just as you warmed up at the beginning, be sure to give yourself 5 to 10 minutes to cool your muscles and joints. Do your aerobic activity at a slow pace to bring your heart rate down and then perform more stretches, rather than stopping exercise abruptly. Take a soak. Some time spent in a warm whirlpool, sauna, or steam room may help relax muscles and joints that have been stressed by exercise. Ice it. If you’ve got sore joints, apply ice or cold packs to help reduce inflammation.

Yes, you have to be more careful about your exercise plan when you have arthritis, but the benefits go beyond heart health. Exercise is essential to stay mobile and enjoy life.

Learn more in the Everyday Health . Fitness Center