The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #96 – Fun Fitness Gadgets, Brain Injury Repair and Treatment for Autism

kinect-plus-iphone

Based on a traffic surge I received after posting my update on Sunday last week, two days later than usual, I’m going to be experimenting with the days of the week that I publish these weekly recaps. I just wanted to provide a heads up for anyone who looks forward to these. I’ll only be experimenting with Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays though.

Anyway, here’s my recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.



Fitness Gadgets: Cheaper Than a Gym Membership?

There are a lot of cool devices here, like the Fitbit and the Up by Jawbone. Nike+ Kinect actually sounds pretty cool too and it has a lot of good reviews on Amazon. Now I want it πŸ˜‰



How to Build a Simple Home Gym (Bloom to Fit Style)

I agree completely with this article because this is basically what my own home gym contains. The only thing I’m missing from the primary tools list is a set of kettlebells. From the secondary tools list I’m missing a TRX trainer. Even without those though, I have everything I need and I never need to go to a commercial gym.



Oxygen chamber can boost brain repair years after stroke or trauma

How awesome would it be to be able to cure brain injuries, and treat Alzheimer’s and dementia, even as far as 20 years after the injury occurred? What an exciting discovery!



What to do When You Think You Might be Injured

Preventative care on injuries is great advice, but the problem is that most people don’t feel like it’s necessary because they don’t feel anything wrong. Then it’s too late. I admit that I’m sometimes that person, but I’ve been trying to do more soft tissue work.



A Little Known Yet Powerful Cause (And Treatment) for Childhood Autism

If you have a child already suffering from autism, supplementing to boost glutathione levels might be something you want to look into. But what I think everyone should also get out of this is that your kids can either benefit or pay for what you do to your body before they’re born. Put good stuff in and keep bad stuff out.



Dear Mark: Can’t Squat, Please Help; Plus, High CRP, No Symptoms, and Glutathione

Another article talking about glutathione. It looks like I need to seek out a quality N-acetyl-cysteine supplement to help my own levels. I’m very interested in seeing how it works for me.



Why Are We Breathing Inefficiently (and What Are the Ramifications)?

Learning to breathe correctly can help get rid of tension in various parts of your body, for example the back and shoulders, which is where many people hold it. The video in this post showing how to do a corrective breathing exercise is excellent. I learned a more basic version of this exercise about a year ago, but I never stuck with it. I’m going to try to do it more often from now on.



Natural Energy Drink Alternatives

Did you know that some energy drinks can contain more than 3 cups of coffee in only a single sip? Too much caffeine can cause severe adrenal gland depletion and can even increase risk of stroke and arthritis, among many other terrible things. And that’s not even considering the artificial sweeteners that energy drinks contain. I believe that 1-2 cups of high quality coffee per day is fine, but this post has a few natural energy drink alternatives you might want to use.



Top Seven Fitness and Nutrition Experts

Oooh, I only recognized three people from this list. I can’t wait to see the content the rest of these guys share.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #95 – Biome Testing, Heavy Rope Training and Recharging For the Day

ubiome

A couple days late, and a little short but here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I read last week.



uBiome – Sequencing Your Microbiome

Having your microbiome diagnosed isn’t something that’s easily accessible by normal consumers and certainly not for the prices offered by uBiome in this indiegogo campaign, so you should considering contributing soon before they are fully funded. You can start at $69 for the GI sequencing kit or go all out for $335 and get a GI, oral, ear, nasal and genital testing kit. Hurry up, you’ve got until Jan. 31st before prices go up.



Jump Rope Training: The Beauty and Power of HEAVY Jump Ropes

I never thought about training with heavy ropes, but it sounds really interesting. I rarely use my speed rope because I never feel like going outside to use it, so it probably wouldn’t be worth my money to buy a heavy rope, but the Crossrope cables mentioned in this article sound amazing. Could you imagine jumping rope with a 3 lb. rope? That sounds painful.



Homemade Oat Milk, Two Ways

I’ve actually never tried oat milk before. I’ve made my own soy milk, hemp milk and almond milk. The only one I really like is almond milk, but it’s still a bit bland for things like cereal. I’m just so used to the sweetened process milks from the store. I want to move away from store bought milks so I’m on the quest to find my favorite homemade “milk”, which means the next to make on my list is coconut milk and now oat milk!



Olympic Lifting: 6 Clean and Jerk Technique Fixes

If you have any interest in olympic lifting, you’ll enjoy this post teaching how to do the clean and jerk properly. There are six tips here, mostly highly technical, provided by olympic lifting expert, Wil Fleming.



Mastering the Mid-day Recharge (In 15 Minutes)

I came across this older article on the Bulletproof Exec site as I was searching for recommendations on how much pink Himalayan salt to use in the my morning wake-up glass of water . The Pzizz app and T-Papp workout sound really interesting. I haven’t purchased the Pzizz app yet, but I probably will soon. I don’t think I’ll be buying the T-Papp DVD’s but it still sounds interesting.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #94 – Smart Drugs, Paleo Vegetarianism and Starting Your Garden With Cheap Shop Lights

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My Jeep broke down last weekend and all week I’ve been busy spending time working on it, so I’m surprised I managed to get any reading done this week, but I think what I’ve got in this week’s update is really good. I plan to get my Jeep back up and running this weekend, hopefully before the Denver Broncos game tomorrow, so that next week I can spend more time reading. Have a great weekend and go Broncos!


Smart Drugs? REMEMBER MORE – THINK FASTER – BE WISER

This article discusses the effects of smart drugs, the types of smart drugs available, how they act on our minds, the evidence of their benefits and moral questions someone may have when taking them. I think this is a great introduction to smart drugs and provides an excellent starting point to start doing more research on your own.


Experimenting with the Paleo Diet for Vegetarians

I’ve looked into this a lot myself, and like the author of this post, I didn’t find much information online. As a vegan, it’s extremely difficult to go paleo because the paleo diet restricts a lot of what we eat. It’s not impossible though. Look at raw food vegans. I think that’s probably about as close to paleo as we can get.


The Paleo Diet for Vegetarians: Your Questions Answered

Susan, the author of the above article on eating Paleo vegetarian, got so many questions about her experiment that she put together a Q&A. There really isn’t any good information out there on doing something like this.


Why January Is Most Annoying Time To Go To The Gym

A funny collection of videos of people doing stupid stuff in the gym. I laugh but I feel bad because everyone has to start somewhere. If you see a newbie in gym, be nice and help them out. πŸ˜€


How to deadlift by Mark Bell – YouTube

Watching all of these lifters, their differences in form and having Mark Bell describe what’s happening is really useful.


TrainerRoad

If you’ve ever looked into tracking your cycling workouts using a bike trainer, you’ve probably come to realize that it’s just too expensive. Not anymore! This device connects to regular bike trainers (the compatibility list is on their site) and outputs live data to your computer during your workout. What makes this even better is that they have 250+ structured workouts and they also sync up with videos like the The Sufferfest. I want this!


ICM – Indoor Cycling Music

Now that it’s too cold to ride outside, I’ve been paying more attention to indoor cycling stuff and this one was mentioned during a cycling podcast I listen to. It seems like a pretty cool service and it’s cheap at $4.99 per month. I listed to the 30 min. sample on the site and while I found some of it a little cheesy, I was bobbing my head and tapping my feet most of the time. I like it. They have 30, 60 and 90 minute mixes.


How To Easily Start Garden And Flower Seeds Indoors On The Cheap!

It’s not time to start seedlings indoors yet, but it’s never too early to start planning. I’m so happy to have come across this article. I had no idea that I can use cheap shop lights to grow seedlings. This method also helps to keep your plants straight and stops them from growing thin and skinny from trying to reach sunlight. You want to start seedlings 6-8 weeks before the last frost in your area.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #93 – How Sugar Strengthens Bones and Teeth, Restoring Cognitive Function With Lithium and a Dozen Sleep Hacking Tips

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Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. I did some catching up, so it’s a big one! I hope you have some time this weekend πŸ˜‰


How to Strengthen Bones and Teeth with White Sugar

This theory seems so ridiculous, but I actually sort of believe it. It makes sense, but I’m really not sure what to think of it yet. I love this type of thinking.


Should We Ice Injuries?

I have a recurring back injury that I got from pulling around heavy dough troughs when I worked at Wonder Bread. The first time it happened I was bed-ridden for more than a week until I could finally walk again. It would come back once or twice a year usually after doing something like lifting a mattress or playing basketball (actual examples ;)). I’d go to my doctor, get some pain killers and wait a couple days to feel better. It hasn’t come back for a couple of years now, until last week when all I was doing was sitting down while visiting my grandparents. I felt it pinch, I let out a loud gasp and I headed home before it got too painful. This time was different than others in the past because I immediately got on the foam roller and really dug into it for about 15 minutes and then iced it for another 20. I felt pretty good before bed and the next day, the pain was completely gone. Foam rolling and icing is my new savior!


Video: 6 Biohacks That Will Change Your Life Forever

Dave Asprey condensed his information into a short 25 minute presentation and I condensed it even more. I still highly recommend having a listen.

Take 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 per 25lbs. of body weight, exercise at high intensity for short duration, divide your calories (50-70% healthy fat, up to 20% animal protein, up to 20% vegetables, about 5% fruit or starch), avoid “healthy” foods with anti-nutrients (ie. bananas), learn to control, relax and strengthen muscles, learn to breathe properly by practicing for 10-15 min. per day for at least 40 days (5 sec. in, 5 sec. out), train your heart using emWave, upgrade your head (eat healthy fats, meditate, eeg-based neurofeedback, fix sleep).


Extended sleep reduces pain sensitivity

I wonder in how many applications the results of this study effect our bodies. Being that this is a health and fitness blog, one thing that comes to my mind is the effect sleep has on our pain thresh-hold in the gym. I wonder if getting more sleep can help us push through more, harder reps?


Vitamin D tied to women’s cognitive performance

I recently had bloodwork done to check for nutrient deficiencies and everything came back fine except for slightly low vitamin d levels and high iron levels (more on that later). I actually get a lot of sun regularly, but it seems that’s not enough. I have 24.8 nanograms of Vitamin D per millileter of blood serum (normal is 30-100) while the women in this study had less than 10 ng/mL. Wow! Most people are deficient, so if you don’t already, take a Vitamin D supplement and improve your brain performance! Vitamin D2 is harder for some people to absorb than D3, so keep that in mind when buying a supplement. From the research that I’ve done, the best supplement that I can find for vegans is Vitashine Vegan Vitamin D3.


Warm-up

This massive article starts off by discussing the mechanics of the body’s muscles and joints and how to optimize their position. Then it gets into the exercises we can do to prepare our joints and muscles for the workout ahead. This is great stuff! There’s a printable form and an awesome Q & A section too.


Yoga shown effective for treating chronic neck pain

I’m willing to use any sort of natural remedy, as opposed to taking medication, if at all possible which is why it’s great to learn that a form of yoga, called Iyengar yoga (link to poses from the website of the inventor of Iyengor yoga), has been shown to effectively treat neck and lower back pain. There’s also a great YouTube playlist of asanas as taught in the Iyengar method provided by Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher John Schumacher.


WHFoods: The Latest News About Walnuts

This article suggests buying walnuts whole, with the skin intact, because that’s where 90% of the phenols are contained. I never realized that they came with/without skin. Walnuts also provide many health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, providing anti-cancer benefits and anti-inflammatory benefits. It only takes one ounce (approximately 7 shelled, or 14 halves) per day to get the benefits of the walnut.


Go ahead and jump: Learning how to properly jump and land can help female athletes avoid serious knee injuries

There’s been up to a 50% decrease in ACL tears in female soccer players who have taken part in a jumping and landing program. The difference between genders is that females tend to land with knees pointing inward while males tend to land with knees outward. I’m not sure what kind of program is being referenced, but I would guess something like plyometric training.


Lithium restores cognitive function in Down syndrome mice

How awesome would it be if there were a potential treatment for down syndrome. I’ve never heard about lithium supplementation before but this doctor recommends 10-20 milligrams (from lithium aspartate or lithium orotate) per day for brain anti-aging and many other health benefits.


How to Front Squat: Everything You Need to Know

I rarely do front squats because I suck at them, but this article has me wanting to include the exercise in my routine. A tip in one of the videos really spoke to one my own problems, which is flexibility. I’ve always used four fingers of each hand when balancing the bar and just like Eric Cressey says in the video, that requires too much flexion of the wrist. Next time I’ll try two fingers instead. There’s a lot of info here, so if you read this you’re sure to find a tip that can help your front squat.


Squat and Deadlift Technique: Why the “Knees Out” Cue Might not be Enough

Another great video from Eric Cressey. I’ve noticed that I’ve been having problems with my knee positioning and this short video is going to help me out a ton.


Heavy Metal Natural Detox

I’m currently suffering many of the symptoms mentioned in this post – fatigue, disrupted sleep, headaches and brain fog. Brain fog was the first thing I noticed, about two months ago. I went to the doctor and they ran some tests; blood tests for nutrient deficiencies and sleep tests to see if I had sleep apnea. As I mentioned above, everything came back mostly fine except the iron test showed my iron was high, so we ran a few more blood tests, this time testing for genetic hemochromatosis, or iron overload. The test came back positive. The treatment is to draw a pint of blood every week until my iron levels go back to normal and then maybe a couple of times per year after that. This seems very similar to the heavy metal exposure issues mentioned in this article from Ben Greenfield. In addition to the recommendations Ben mentions, I plan to make other changes to my diet as well, to try to reduce the amount of phlebotomies I have to get in my lifetime.


Building a Better Front Rack: Shoulder and Trunk Stability Relationship

I’ve never paid much attention to where my elbows are when I’m doing squats until after watching this video. When I did squats this week I realized that I raise my elbows way up behind my back when squatting! I couldn’t believe it. Well, I’ve fixed that thanks to the MobilityWOD folks πŸ™‚


Blueberry Kombucha Smoothie

I’ve been brewing my own kombucha for a couple of months now, but I haven’t used it in a smoothie yet. Now I will πŸ˜‰


Squat Like A Baby: 7 Reasons this is a Ridiculous Myth

If anyone ever tells you to squat like a baby, point them to this article. Squatting like a baby sounds great doesn’t it, but as we age, our bodies might not be capable anymore.


12 Tips For Sleeping Better Than A Baby

If you’re considering sleep hacking, you’ll appreciate this gold mine of information. There are soooo many cool tips here. To do all of this at once would be pretty damn expensive, but you only need a couple things to get started and you can work up from there. I really want a pair of those sleep headphones.