There is a lot of good research that supports the benefits of wearing compression gear, especially when it comes to aiding in recovery from exercise. Elite athletes swear by the benefits, and these people need to be at peak levels of performance to keep their jobs. There is both physiological and psychological benefits to wearing compression gear.
This article provides a great explanation of how scientific studies are performed, how the statistics are reviewed and why small studies can be misleading. In this case the study was performed on too small of a group, which meant the researchers weren’t able to claim the benefits of beet root juice that they thought they would. But had they used a larger group, the “p-value” would have been below 0.05 (the cutoff point for most journals) and they would have been able to show that beet juice actually does have significant benefits, at least in generally athletic people.
So if you want to see some benefits of beet juice in your own performance:
It’s best in events that last 5-30 minutes
Take 500-600 mL of beet juice 2 to 2.5 hours before event
You can take concentrated beet juice to prevent a full stomach
Most of us are familiar with the RICE method of recovery – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You probably still want to use this method if you’re suffering from a serious injury or if you’re not in a rush to recover, but if you’re an athlete with sore muscles, RICE can actually delay healing by half a day. You don’t want to use anti-inflammatories either because they can delay healing and also cause additional damage. Instead you should speed up healing with more movement without pressure, or basically, get moving again. If you’re sore from running, go for a walk or a light bike ride.
This is scary and a big reason of why I don’t trust supplements that contain more than 1-2 ingredients. Most of the supplements I take are basic, like creatine, fish oil, and protein. I’ve taken pre-workouts in the past, but I’ve never trusted them enough to use more than a few times. If it tastes like chemical soup, it probably is.
A fun article, but there are also some great examples (especially the girl from Tokyo) of how we can teach our kids to like healthy foods by giving it to them early in life. Even if they hate it at first, they can grow to love it.
“Potentially” is the key word here. The first two issues brought up here are about using bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement. They’re valid concerns, but I wouldn’t guess likely in most people who are drinking it. The third issue is an interesting one though – we don’t much about consuming large amounts of saturated fat in this manner. It could be good or it could be bad.
This article is focused on doing complexes, which are workouts that consist of a series of exercises all performed in a row (kinda like Crossfit WODs). The post is directed towards women, but complexes are great for men too. There are several examples of complexes here. I’m definitely going to try them after my broken foot heals.
Chipotle just announced a new ingredient to their menu and it’s vegan! We went and tried it today and it was delicious! The girl at the counter was telling us that she loves meat but that she can’t stop eating the sofritas because it’s so good. And what makes it even better is that Chipotle recently removed bacon from their pinto beans, so those are vegan now too! When they can get rid of all of their GMO ingredients, I love that place.
This isn’t health or fitness related but it was such a cool tip that I had to share it. And hey, a part of feeling good is looking good, so you should make sure that your tie is in order. There, now it’s kinda health related right? 😉
I haven’t really thought much about training with my daughter, but it is pretty early still, considering that she isn’t even born yet. 😉 I don’t even know if she will be interested in sports although I do hope to instill some sort of interest in fitness in her life.
I wouldn’t say these are a healthy version of Krispy Kreme donuts, but they are definitely health-“ier.” They are nice and soft too. I’ve made several vegan donuts in the past and I’ve never really been too pleased with the consistency. These are great. I made a simple powdered sugar and water frosting for half and this easy chocolate frosting for the other half. I reduced the amount of sugar in both. Next time I want to try this 2-ingredient chocolate fudge frosting.
I’m a member of a vegan health and fitness group on Facebook and Thomas Tadlock recently made a post about his “amazing” vegan body transformation. From what I understand, he want from fit to fat and back to fit again. I’ve done this too and it’s a lot easier to get fit again after already having been fit before, so I don’t think his example is very realistic, but it’s still inspirational to see someone do it entirely on a vegan diet.
I haven’t listed to the podcast that accompanies this post yet, but the list of resources on this page are good enough to link to. Omvana looks like a really cool app for the iPhone. They call themselves the “Spotify” of meditation.
This is a really funny commercial for a product that sounds fake, but is actually real. You spray the water before pooping and it creates a film on top that traps the stink beneath it when the poops goes through. Awesome idea!
Michelle has been craving pickles like crazy now that she’s pregnant, but I don’t want her eating the crappy preservative-packed pickles from Target, so I’m trying to find healthier alternatives. I bought Bubbies, but she doesn’t like the taste of those, so I’m thinking that I might just have to make my own. It looks really easy and only takes 3-10 days, so it might actually be something worth trying.
Holy crap I couldn’t imagine trying to do a deadlift from a six inch deficit. My back hurts just thinking about the injury that would come from that. Good tips here for anyone crazy enough to try it though.
Many people don’t realize how things like restriction and loss of mobility can seriously effect other parts of the body. Elevated heels can cause tight calves and shoe padding can result in decreased stability and cause muscles to become inactive. Sitting can also cause the glutes to become weak and inactive. This article brings up another great point as well – what are we doing to our kid’s health by making them sit for 7-8+ hours per day. Are any schools using standing desks yet?
I can totally relate to the part of this article talking about old hardgainer advice of working out only 3 days per week and being lazy the rest and then having unfit friends question your fitness levels during a friendly game of football in the parking lot. I played in a field though. This actually happened to me and that’s when I realized that I needed some conditioning work included in my own personal program.
This is a recipe from one of my coworkers. She says this is an awesome recipe, so I’ll take her word for it. I wasn’t happy with the outcome of my last hummus-making experience, so I can’t wait to try this one.
I’ve played around with intermittent fasting before and I really liked it. I can’t remember why I stopped. I should try it out again. Just like this article says, I got very hungry in the mornings until my body adjusted, but I found that coffee with MCT oil blended in really helped.
I highly recommend reading this post and the one that Mark Sisson linked to in the first paragraph on 5 cosmetic ingredients to avoid. I been very careful about buying safe foods to eat, but I haven’t been too cautious about the cosmetic products I use. I just recently started learning about the dangers of the chemicals in things like body wash and lotion and how the skin absorbs it and directs it into the bloodstream, so this one came at good timing.
I’ve always wondered about the health benefits when comparing the differences between standing standing at a desk or sitting on a Swiss ball. Seems to me like sitting on a Swiss ball for long periods of time is just as bad as sitting on any other chair, but there is a benefit of activating muscles on the ball that aren’t always used.
This detailed experience of a journalist consuming nothing but a meal replacement drink for two weeks was absolutely amazing to read. I wrote about soylent earlier this year when the creator wrote a blog post about it. It sounded too crazy to be real, but it turns out it’s true. This is something that I would love to see succeed – not as a meal replacement for normal people, but for people who struggle to get enough food to survive.
We’ve started using coconut oil on Michelle’s belly while she’s pregnant to help prevent stretch marks, and the other day I accidentally used too much and got oil everywhere. I was concerned about the safety of the oil being so close to her private parts so I thought I should look it up. It’s safe! During my research I also found this forum post about using coconut oil as a sexual lubricant. The posters say that the coconut oil may help with people who suffer from yeast infections and it might also be safe to use on latex condoms (although you should definitely be cautious, as oils are known to break down latex).
There are many benefits of intermittent fasting, which you can find if you do a quick search on my site. This article doesn’t focus on those benefits, but instead on the fact that people who skip breakfast often don’t end up making up for the calories lost at a later time in the day. It’s a good way to reduce your total daily calories if you’re trying to lose weight.
I’ve never seen these before. They look very convenient and super-easy to build. All you need is two 32″ x 8″ blocks of wood that you can cut “steps” into and you’re good to go. I don’t know how much one block of wood at those dimensions would cost, but it’s probably not too expensive. And as long as you aren’t lifting extremely heavy or dropping the bar on block, you’re probably fine starting with just one block.
I’ve seen these massive posts from Ben Greenfield before but I haven’t read most because of their length, but the last couple he’s done have blown me away. I’m going to go back and read as many of these as I can. This one was amazing!
If you suffer from pain from doing bench press, for example in your forearms, elbows or shoulders, try doing reverse grip bench presses instead. I’ve done reverse grip bench presses before, but not because I was suffering from pain. I don’t remember what the benefit was anymore, but I do remember that I couldn’t lift anywhere near what my normal bench was.
I really want to be one of those people who are able to deep squat with good form, but I think it’s just not built in for me. I haven’t performed deep squats with heavy weight in about 2 months because of a knee injury I suffered while doing deep squats. I really worked hard to go below parallel and I put so much focus on my form, but then my right knee started to hurt like hell and it hasn’t stopped since. It has gotten slightly better over time, but the minute I do squats again, the pain comes back for several days. I still can’t run due to the pain either. I went to my physician and she says it’s not an ACL or meniscus injury based on the exercises she performed, but instead something called “runners knee.” I’ve been given pills for inflammation and a worksheet of rehabilitative exercises. As much pain as the squat has caused me, I’m afraid to do them again. That’s not to say I don’t want to though. I love squatting heavy weight. I miss it.
This is all you need. Most of these exercises are always in my routine, although I might add a few isolation exercises just to change things up and keep my routines fun. Here’s part 2 with some additional variations to those basic exercises.
There are chemicals in everything we use around the house these days and I wouldn’t doubt if they are part of the reasons why more people suffer from health conditions like cancer or developmental issues. That’s why we try to use only homemade or natural cleaners, and why I just bought a hand steamer (no chemicals at all!)
I don’t eat chocolate that often but this research has me thinking that I should. I just went to see my physician yesterday and oddly I seem to have an elevated blood pressure. I’m going back in for some tests on Monday, but for now I’m thinking that I should start eating at least 45g of chocolate a day to help keep my blood pressure normal. 45g actually seems like a lot though. For example 45g of the Lindt chocolate bar in the photo above is about half of the bar, or 275 calories and 27.5g of fat. I suppose it’s not too bad if you’re in good health.
I love that this guy did his experiment, tracked results and posted it, even though he didn’t end up improving his deadlift, which was the goal of experiment. Still something to be learned from it though. He had fun by changing his routine and he saw an increase in muscle mass over his entire body. Still sounds like a success to me.
Powerlifters, CrossFitters and lifting coaches always seem to slip in a quick mention about using olympic lifting shoes, but I’ve never seen one person actually say why someone should use them. This article has all of the “whys” covered. Great article!
Being healthy usually means spending a good amount of time preparing food, which I don’t mind at all. I love cooking. But despite all of the hours I’ve spent in the kitchen, I’ve never learned how to properly use a knife. Or at least that’s what I thought. After looking over this infographic, I realize that a lot of the individual knife tips I’ve read over the years has stuck with me. This is a really handy infographic though. I still learned some things.
This is a perfect go-to list of exercises for those times when you can’t get to a gym, for example if you’re traveling or on vacation. When I went to Vegas a few years ago, I did many of the bodyweight exercises in my hotel room every morning.
If you have questions about using wraps, belts or straps to aid in lifting weights, read this. I personally don’t like to use anything, but I would be interested in using a weight belt for heavy squats and deadlifts.
This is a list of 14 common excuses people give for not getting vaccines. I work with several people who have told me many of the things in this list. I never flu vaccines either, but not really because of any reason on the list. I just don’t go because I’m lazy. After reading this I feel like I should start though.
I’ve done several CrossFit workouts before, but I’ve never actually done CrossFit on consecutive days. I got the urge, so I decided to take a break from my old tried-and-true routine by throwing in a full week of Crossfit.
I started by gathering a list of CrossFit workouts from the official CrossFit website. I went back into the archives and put together a full week of WODs (workout of the day). I squeezed them onto a Microsoft Word document and printed it out to take with me into my home gym.
One of the first things I realized is that I didn’t understand most of the terminology, but I finally found it all explained on the CrossFit FAQ page. Probably the most useful things to understand as a beginner are the terms “PX’ed” (prescribed), “AMRAP” (as many reps as possible) and “For time” (complete the workout as fast as you can).
This is the routine that I did, along with the notes I took along the way.
Workout Name: CINDY
My completed rounds: 12
I was able to complete 12 rounds before I couldn’t do any more pushups or pullups. I probably could have done more squats, but I didn’t know the rules on continuing. I figured that I should stop anyway, because I wasn’t sure how punishing the following week was going to be on my body. I finished my final round with an extra long set of squats of about 50 or so. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was somewhere around there.
Workout Name: NANCY
5 rounds for time:
Overhead Squats, 15 reps (95#/65#)
My time: Approx. 28 minutes
I really thought I was going to do well on this one, but wow, it was difficult. I especially had problems keeping good form on the overhead squats. I just couldn’t seem to keep my arms straight above my head while squatting. Overhead squats are a new exercise for me so I probably should have started with much less weight than what was prescribed (95 lbs. for men, 65 for women), but I powered through anyway.
Workout Name: CrossFit Tri
1 mile run
100 Double Unders (or 4x singles)
This one wasn’t timed or for reps, but I finished it at about 24 minutes. I don’t have a row machine, but I found that the suggested alternate exercise for rows are sumo deadlift high pulls (SDHP) with just an empty olympic bar (45lbs). Those things really kicked my ass. For each 100 meters, you need to do 10 SDHP’s, so for this WOD, I had to do 200 pulls. By the time I got to 150 SDHP’s, I just wanted the pain to stop! I’m not able to do double unders yet, so I just did 100 regular rope jumps instead. I realized later that single-unders are in no way able to compensate for the exertion required of double unders and that I should have done at least 400 single-unders or the official CrossFit approved one-for-one alternative, tuck jumps. Here’s a video with an example.
Workout Name: Elizabeth
21-15-9 reps for time:
Squat Cleans (135#/95#)
My time: approx. 23 minutes
If there one thing I learned from this day, it’s that if you don’t have experience with a lift, start out with lighter weight than what is prescribed. I pulled a muscle in my arm at the very beginning of doing the squat clean, which made the rest of the workout much harder than it needed to be. I kept massaging the muscle after every couple of reps to work it out, and that helped me get through it.
This one is definitely tough. I had poor form for the first 4-5 reps and then I re-watched the exercise video on the CrossFit site a couple of times to get the form down. Since this was my first time doing this exercise, I could only get in 3-5 reps each time with short breaks in-between before starting up again.
I don’t have Olympic rings available to me, so I had to do dips on my power tower. From what I’ve read on the CrossFit forums, they recommend substituting power tower dips for olympic dips at a 2:1 ratio, and some suggest a 3:1 ratio. I have always had shoulder problems with dips so I just did them one for one. It was still a great workout.
Workout Name: Jackie
50 Thrusters (45#/45#)
My time: 14 min. 34 seconds
I don’t know if it was the previous day’s workout or if it’s all of the workouts of the week finally catching up to me, but I was pretty sore all around. The foam roller was putting me through some pain!
This day was probably the easiest of all of them so far, but that’s not to say that it isn’t a tough workout. Thrusters are a new exercise for me. I did the exercise with just the bar (45lbs.), which is the way the workout was planned. I saw some videos of people on YouTube doing it with 45’s though. Now that’s crazy.
I also learned that there are different types of pull-ups in the CrossFit world; kipper pull-ups and butterfly pull-ups. Both of those pull-ups seem really weird. I watched a video online and I couldn’t help but laugh at how silly it looks when a group of people are doing butterfly pull-ups at the same time. I can see how these pull-ups can add some variety to a workout though and I’m sure they work a lot of other muscles that regular pull-ups don’t. I don’t have the space in my basement to swing my body around to do these, so I had to stick with regular pull-ups.
Workout Name: AMRAP 20
10 Burpee Box Jumps
10 Burpee Wall Balls
10 Goblet Squats
400 meter run
* 10 walking lunges before each 400m run and 10 more after reaching turn-around point
My completed rounds: 2.75 rounds in 20 min.
I got to rep 8 of round 3 on the wall ball squats when the timer went off. I went on to finish the round at 4 min. 18 seconds later. I was beat by the time this workout was finished.
Some Final Notes
CrossFit is a lot of fun! Even without lifting heavy weight, I got really sore. CrossFit is very similar to HIIT training, except that CrossFit puts more focus on functional strength & conditioning while HIIT often focuses more on cardio-only training and less weight lifting. I love that I was able to lift weights and get a cardio workout at the same time. It definitely felt like a more athletic routine than what I’ve ever done before.
There are a lot more body movements involved when doing CrossFit, so to prevent injury I would recommend that if you’re a beginner that you watch instructional videos for all of the exercises, even the ones that you think you know, because CrossFitters do a lot of things differently. I also suggest that you start slow and use a lighter weight than what is prescribed – at least for the first couple of weeks.
I’m doing my old weightlifting routine again right now, but I plan to start adding a week of CrossFit into my routine regularly from now on. I’m thinking that I might do one week of CrossFit every couple of months to start, but I had so much fun that I have a feeling I might do it a whole lot more as time goes on. The way I get with things, I wouldn’t be surprised if my garage became a fully-outfitted CrossFit gym within a year 😉
A coworker of mine was just talking to me the other day about how he took a blood test and had it sent out to be analyzed for food sensitivities. His test showed that he doesn’t do well with soy and oranges, which confirmed what he already knew, in addition to several other foods. I would be very interested in getting one of these tests. I don’t know if he used ALCAT, but he said that his family physician extracted the blood and sent it out. Some health insurance plans might even cover the test. I hope mine does.
I’ve never heard of pull-ups like these, but they sure do sound tough. And if you’re not strong enough to do grappler pull-ups yet, check out the progression plan at then end of the article to help you get better at pull-ups.
This is one of the best videos I’ve ever seen on how people should be eating. At one point, Dr. Wahls could barely even walk anymore because of multiple sclerosis, but she changed her diet and reversed the effects of the disease. This is proof of the importance of the foods that we consume.
Another awesome gardening idea! I don’t have mulch or rocks surrounding my back yard and instead I have about a foot of empty space all along my fence, which basically just grows tons of weeds. I’d really like to buy a bunch of hay bales to grow some food instead. The only problem is that the plants don’t get any nutrients from the soil, but it seems that you can add nutrients to the bales.
I’ve read a lot about the Gerson Therapy. It sounds so promising. I’m a strong believer that diet can cure many problems of the body, but I did have my doubts that pseudoscience such as this could cure cancer. I can definitely understand why someone would consider cancer therapy such as this, instead of using radiation and chemotherapy, but If I ever get cancer, I will probably seek out traditional therapy.
I’m definitely adding dumbbell rows, or this Kroc variation, back into my routine after reading this article. Grip strength is something that I’ve had problems with before, and I would love to be able to improve it when doing deadlifts.
Peanut butter is one of the most delicious foods in the world, in my opinion, but I actually don’t really it much anymore, mainly because of all the points made in this article. Although it’s not as tasty as peanut butter, I mainly stick to almond butter.
From what I’ve been reading about beans in the recent months, they aren’t exactly a great food source because the body has problems digesting them, hence the reason for increased flatulence after eating them. Soaking beans before cooking greatly helps the digestion process though, which is what I do regularly.
With the stress of cancer diagnosis and treatment, exercise routines are often reduced or forgotten altogether. Though widely acknowledged by fitness enthusiasts as a powerful way to prevent most types of cancer, many patients or their doctors do still not recognize the research that conclusively shows exercise to be an effective complimentary treatment. The leading cancer research organizations are attempting to change this, yet change is slow. Patients are often left to their own devices, when it comes to gaining the benefits of exercise, with a minimum amount of input from their doctor.
Getting Started with Benefits
A huge amount of research has been performed to confirm the many holistic benefits of working out during cancer treatment. Holistic treatments are always preferable to allopathic ones, because holistic forms help by improving the general health status. The cascading benefits of exercise begin with strengthening the circulatory system. This allows an increased delivery of oxygen to the cells, as well as a more even distribution of hormones and nutrients.
The benefits continue with a stronger metabolism and the increased production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland. Growth hormone stimulates IGF-1 production. This secondary hormone is found in every cell of the body and is responsible for cell division and the repair of genetic material. IGF-1 is further necessary for growth in the muscles and other skeletal tissues. It is no surprise that exercise has been found to relieve a wide range of symptoms seen in cancer patients, including fatigue, digestive upset, insomnia, rapid weight change, and emotional disturbance. Exercise has further been found to speed recovery following surgery for breast and colorectal cancer, and increase quality of life for lung cancer patients.
Avoiding Physical Inactivity
It turns out that a sedentary lifestyle is just as dangerous for cancer patients and survivors as it is for otherwise healthy individuals. The call from cancer experts to avoid physical inactivity is recognition of this fact. Every patient will benefit from using some form of exercise. Those with advanced brain or mesothelioma cancer may seem to be in a special class that should rest and avoid exercise, but researchers are challenging these preconceptions.
Patients in special circumstances may face limitations on the amount or type of exercise that can be safely undertaken, but they will gain benefits from physical activity. Physical therapists are often employed for these patients, those recovering from surgery, and others with limited mobility. Experts trained in cancer care can help in any case, but the benefits of their services are often not recognized by doctors or insurance companies.
Never Go Alone
It may seem like patients using exercise as a complimentary treatment are left to go at it alone, yet this should never be the case. No matter the doctor’s feelings on the topic, patients should always share their routines and experiences with medical personnel. A personal trainer, family, and other loved ones can also be strong resources. Finding support is a critical part of exercising through cancer.