Tag Archives: Muscle

Abdominal fat or belly fat

As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection. At one time, we might have accepted this as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems. The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels.

Though the term  abdominal fat  or belly fat might sound dated, “middle-age spread” is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
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At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?…….CLICK & SEE….

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss. .

The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge, but in normal-weight people, it’s generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is.

Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.

Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’ sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting can help you get rid of belly fat:

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For example, studies of the weight-loss medication sibutramine (Meridia), have shown that the drug’s greatest effects are on visceral fat.

For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
Source: Harvard Health Publication

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Living healthy for 100 years

Living to be a 100 years old with sound health & mind is a very real possibility for many many people in the near future. After all, in present days there are sprightly 80 year olds running businesses, managing their finances and living independently (with a very little help from friends and relatives)!

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Health is the only key to a long and happy life. The only effort to maintain a healthy life allalong is to start when one is young, before disease sets in as one gain age.
A great deal of research has gone into understanding aging, as the world’s population is getting older. In one study, senior citizens were divided into three groups. The first group did an hour of aerobic activity (such as running, jogging, walking or cycling) a day combined with weight training with weights of 1-2 kilos. The second group did only little flexing and stretching exercises. The third continued with their usual sedentary life. After a period of six months, the first group was found to not only have gained muscle but also developed a positive outlook on life and become mentally strengthy & sharper. There was no noticeable difference in groups two and three. Uniformly though, they had lost muscle mass and “slowed down” mentally and physically.

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After research and several studies, 10,000 steps a day was declared a magic figure to maintain health. It works out to about five miles a day. Most people actually walk only 3,500 steps a day. The new smartphones, some watches and pedometers are able to track daily activity accurately. The other way is to get up every hour and walk for a minute. This can be added to, or alternated with, stair climbing – a 1,000 calorie per hour activity. Swimming, walking, jogging and running use about 300 calories per hour depending on the intensity, the distance covered and the speed.

Our body requires a certain amount of energy to stay alive even if we sleep all day. This can be calculated as the weight in kilos multiplied by 2.2 multiplied by 11. It works out to around 1,500 calories for a 60-kilo adult. 1,500 calories a day is a “restricted diet.” It is barely enough to enjoy a good meal or indulge even occasionally in tasty, high calorie snacks. To be able to eat more and enjoy it, you need to increase activity. Then the calories utilised in the activity can be added to the total daily consumption.

Every decade the metabolic rate falls by five per cent in men and three per cent in women. Muscles atrophy and become insidiously replaced by fat if they are not used, and with increasing age. Muscle, even at rest, consumes more energy than fat. This lowers the metabolic rate. It also reduces strength and affects balance. Weight training needs to be done. A litre bottle can be filled with water and held in each hand and the traditional school drill should be done using this. This consists of five up and down and side-to-side movements with the arms. Gradually work up to twenty repetitions of each circuit.

Mental activity like puzzles, Sudoku and learning verses by heart alone will not keep the brain sharp, it will only marginally delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It has to be combined with an hour of physical activity a day, preferably outdoors in the sunshine. Even walking up and down a portico or around a block of flats is all right.

It is proved that a person who does regular Yoga exercise with Pranayama & Meditation, with moderate & control diet keeps and maintains long healthy life.

The effect of an hour’s effort today and everyday will make a hundred fold difference in a lifetime. The other fact – one is never too old to start.

It is modern days recommendation that the busiest person should do work out daily …one should consider it as a daily routine as one needs to sleep,get up in the morning,go to toilet, brushing teeth etc. There is a saying that persons who skip daily exercise or physical workout with the excuse they do not afford any time to do exercise will have to spent more time IN BED  when they suffer from different kind of diseases.

In the conclusion it can be said : PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP ONE PERSON HEALTHY & FIT WITH  LONG LIFE
Click & learn : My 2015 Exercise Recommendations and Update by Dr. Mercola

Resources: Health article from The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

Torticollis

 

Alternative Names : Wry neck; Loxia

DEFINITION:
Torticollis is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other.It is a stiff neck associated with muscle spasm, classically causing lateral flexion contracture of the cervical spine musculature. The muscles affected are principally those supplied by the spinal accessory nerve.

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Symptoms:
•Limited range of motion of the head
•Headache
•Head tremor
•Neck pain
•Shoulder is higher on one side of the body
•Stiffness of neck muscles
•Swelling of the neck muscles (possibly present at birth)

Types of Torticollis:

Temporary Torticollis: This type of wry neck usually disappears after one or two days. It can be caused by:

*swollen lymph nodes
*an ear infection
*a cold
*an injury to the head and neck that causes swelling

Fixed Torticollis:  Fixed torticollis is also called acute torticollis or permanent torticollis. It is usually due to a problem with muscle or bone structure.

Muscular Torticollis:
This is the most common type of fixed torticollis. It is caused by scarring or tight muscles on one side of the neck

Klippel-Feil Syndrome:
This is a congenital form of wry neck. It occurs when the bones in an infant’s neck have formed incorrectly. Children born with this condition may have difficulty with hearing and vision.

Cervical Dystonia:
This rare disorder is sometimes referred to as spasmodic torticollis. It causes neck muscles to contract in spasms. If you have cervical dystonia, your head twists or turns painfully to one side. It may also tilt forward or backward. Cervical dystonia sometimes goes away without treatment. However, there is a risk of recurrence.

This type of wry neck  or Torticollis can happen to anyone. However, it is most commonly diagnosed in middle age. It affects more women than men.

CAUSES:
Torticollis  can be inherited. It can also develop in the womb. This may happen if the fetus’ head is in the wrong position. It can also be caused by damage to the muscles or blood supply to the neck.

Anyone can develop wry neck after a muscle or nervous system injury. However, most of the time, the cause of wry neck is not known. This is called idiopathic torticollis.

DIAGNOSIS:
Evaluation of a child with torticollis begins with history taking to determine circumstances surrounding birth and any possibility of trauma or associated symptoms. Physical examination reveals decreased rotation and bending to the side opposite from the affected muscle. Some say that congenital cases more often involve the right side, but there is not complete agreement about this in published studies. Evaluation should include a thorough neurologic examination, and the possibility of associated conditions such as developmental dysplasia of the hip and clubfoot should be examined. Radiographs of the cervical spine should be obtained to rule out obvious bony abnormality, and MRI should be considered if there is concern about structural problems or other conditions.

Evaluation by an ophthalmologist should be considered in children to ensure that the torticollis is not caused by vision problems (IV cranial nerve palsy, nystagmus-associated “null position,” etc.). Most cases in infants respond well to physical therapy. Other causes should be treated as noted above.

TREATMENT:
Common treatments  might involve a multi-phase process:

1.Low-impact exercise to increase strong form neck stability
2.Manipulation of the neck by a chiropractor, physical therapist, or D.O.†
3.Extended heat application.
4.Repetitive shiatsu massage.

†An Osteopathic Physician (D.O.) may choose to use Cranial techniques to properly position the occipital condyles – thereby relieving compression of cranial nerve XI in children with Torticollis. This is an example of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.

Acquired torticollis:
Acquired torticollis occurs because of another problem and usually presents in previously normal children and adults…..

*A self-limiting spontaneously occurring form of torticollis with one or more painful neck muscles is by far the most common (‘stiff neck’) and will pass spontaneously in 1–4 weeks. Usually the sternocleidomastoid muscle or the trapezius muscle is involved. Sometimes draughts, colds or unusual postures are implicated; however in many cases no clear cause is found. These episodes are rarely seen by doctors other than a family physician.

*Trauma to the neck can cause atlantoaxial rotatory subluxation, in which the two vertebrae closest to the skull slide with respect to each other, tearing stabilizing ligaments; this condition is treated with traction to reduce the subluxation, followed by bracing or casting until the ligamentous injury heals.

*Tumors of the skull base (posterior fossa tumors) can compress the nerve supply to the neck and cause torticollis, and these problems must be treated surgically.

*Infections in the posterior pharynx can irritate the nerves supplying the neck muscles and cause torticollis, and these infections may be treated with antibiotics if they are not too severe, but could require surgical debridement in intractable cases.

*Ear infections and surgical removal of the adenoids can cause an entity known as Grisel’s syndrome, a subluxation of the upper cervical joints, mostly the atlantoaxial joint, due to inflammatory laxity of the ligaments caused by an infection. This bridge must either be broken through manipulation of the neck, or surgically resected.

*The use of certain drugs, such as antipsychotics, can cause torticollis.

*Antiemetics – Neuroleptic Class – Phenothiazines

There are many other rare causes of torticollis.

Spasmodic torticollis:
Torticollis with recurrent but transient contraction of the muscles of the neck and esp. of the sternocleidomastoid. “intermittent torticollis . “cervical dystonia”

TREATMENT: Botulinum toxin has been used to inhibit the spastic contractions of the affected muscles.

In animals:.CLICK & SEE
The condition can also occur in animals, usually as a result of an inner ear infection but sometimes as a result of an injury. It is seen largely in domestic rodents and rabbits, but may also appear in dogs and other different animals.

Possible ComplicationsComplications may include:

•Muscle swelling due to constant tension
•Neurological symptoms due to compressed nerve roots

Prognosis:
The condition may be easier to correct in infants and children. If the condition becomes chronic, numbness and tingling may develop as nerve roots become compressed in the neck.

The muscle itself may become large (hypertrophic) due to constant stimulation and exercise.

Botulinum toxin injections often provide substantial relief.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torticollis
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000749.htm
http://www.umm.edu/imagepages/19090.htm

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sternocleidomastoideus.png

http://www.healthline.com/health/torticollis#Causes2

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Jogger’s Nipple

Alternative Names:Jogger’s nipple is also known as runner’s nipple, surfer’s nipple, red eleven, raver’s nipple, big Q’s, red nipple, weightlifter’s nipple and gardener’s nipple, or nipple chafe. There are similar colloquial terms for almost any activity that can result in the condition.

Definition:
The nipples are formed from delicate and very sensitive tissue, and can be painful when irritated.Jogger’s nipple also known as fissure of the nipple, is a condition that can be caused by friction that can result in soreness, dryness or irritation to, or bleeding of, one or both nipples during and/or following running or other physical exercise. This condition is also experienced by women who breastfeed  and by surfers who do not wear rash guards.
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Jogger’s nipple is a common problem for runners, particularly long-distance ones. As you run, your clothing rubs against your nipples and can damage the surface causing soreness, dryness, inflammation and bleeding.

Cause:
Jogger’s nipple is caused by friction from the repeated rubbing of a t-shirt or other upper body clothing against the nipples during a prolonged period of exercise.


The condition is suffered mainly by runners. Long-distance runners are especially prone, because they are exposed to the friction on the nipple for the greatest period of time. However, it is not only suffered by athletes; the inside of a badge, a logo on normal items of clothing, or breastfeeding  can also cause the friction which results in this condition.

Treatment ;
Wearing the right clothing will help to prevent this condition. The best material is silk because it’s soft compared with modern synthetic fibres, which can be quite coarse. Loose-fitting sportswear is also good, as it has less opportunity to rub against you. If you need to wear something that fits closely, then Lycra can be less damaging, because it holds firmly against the nipples. Women should wear a well-fitting sports bra to hold the breasts and reduce movement.

Use something to protect your nipples from the layer of clothing that rubs over them. A plaster is a straightforward idea provided you’re brave enough to remove it and some of your chest hairs, too. Surgical tape is available from the pharmacist and works in the same way but is a little less adhesive.

Barrier creams containing zinc, such as those used for a baby’s nappy area, are protective and soothing. Many people use petroleum jelly for similar benefits.

Prevention:
The condition is easily preventable and treatable. Viable methods include:

*Run shirtless whenever weather and the law permits.

*Don’t use a large, loose-fitting T-shirt during exercise.

*Wear “technical” shirts made of synthetic fabrics, not cotton.

*Stick a small bandage, waterproof bandaid, or paper surgical tape over each nipple before the commencement of exercise to act as a barrier between skin and cloth.

*If the skin is already damaged, apply a pure lanolin product (e.g. Lansinoh or Bag Balm) to the area prior to exercise to prevent chafing. If the skin is not damaged, a barrier product (e.g. Vaseline) can be used. These products do not allow air to circulate around damaged skin; this can prevent healing if used over a period of time. A “liquid bandage” can be helpful for healing or prevention, although it may sting initially.

*Use specialized products available to prevent the condition such as rash guards.

*Wear a sports bra, shimmel, compression vest, or some variety of chest binding clothing.

*Apply an antiseptic cream as soon as you suspect a fissure, with the hope that it may reduce the chances of bacterial infection that would make the condition worse.

*Use a nipple shield (of rubber, or glass and rubber) temporarily.

This condition should clear within a few days. If not, medical attention is warranted. Other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, fungal infections or an allergic reaction can cause nipple pain and changes in the appearance of the skin. In women, breastfeeding (often complicated by thrush infection),  as well as hormonal changes in early pregnancy or during menstruation can also cause nipple soreness and pain.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/joggersnipples.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fissure_of_the_nipple

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Exercise and Arthritis

Introduction:
Arthritis is becoming more and more common — and not just among the very old. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a program of moderate exercise can reduce pain and improve mobility for many of the over 40 million individuals with this degenerative disease.

Now What is Arthritis?
Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is characterized by a progressive loss of cartilage. This degenerative disease is usually limited to a specific area, such as the knees, hips or spine. Common symptoms include joint pain, limited range of motion, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is far less common, causes the inner linings of the joints to become inflamed.

click to see the picture

How Can Exercise Help?
For many years, doctors have recommended that patients with arthritis engage in flexibility training to help improve range of motion and reduce some of the stiffness in their afflicted joints. In recent years, doctors have also begun to recognize the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Not only does a wellrounded exercise program preserve joint range of motion and flexibility but it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, increases joint stability, and lessens the physical and psychological pain that often accompanies a diagnosis of arthritis.

Exercise and rest:-
People with arthritis often have to balance carefully how and when to exercise and when to rest.

In adults, if the joints are particularly inflamed or swollen it may be necessary to rest more than usual. But generally, people with arthritis should exercise every day to prevent joints becoming stiff and painful, and to keep muscles strong.

For children with arthritis, it’s particularly important to exercise even when the disease is very active, because contractures and deformities can develop very quickly.

People with arthritis need three forms of exercise:

 

1.General exercise for health
Any exercise that leaves you feeling a little breathless and your muscles slightly tired is good for you. As well as keeping you mobile it can help you relax, make you feel better about yourself and give you more energy.

When exercising, it’s best to use as much of the body as possible – swimming, walking and cycling are all good options. Swimming has the added advantage that the water supports the weight of your body rather than your joints. Some strokes may not suit you, though, so try to get professional advice.

If you go to exercise classes, check they’re run by a qualified teacher and that the teacher knows about your condition.

2.Mobilising exercises
People with arthritis need to keep their joints moving. Bending and straightening exercises, gentle pedalling or swimming can help a lot. Your physiotherapist may recommend hydrotherapy at your local hospital: many people find they move more freely in water and the warmth of the water loosens their joints.

3.Special exercises to strengthen muscles
If your muscles are strong and healthy, they protect your joints better and you may feel less pain. Your physiotherapist will be able to give you a series of muscle-strengthening exercises to perform at home. Swimming and hydrotherapy are also effective ways of strengthening as well as mobilising.

Exercise checklist for People with arthritis:-

Do the following:
•Choose exercises suitable to your level – if you’re a beginner, work up gradually
•Do gentle warm-up stretches before and after the exercise
•Wear good footwear and appropriate clothing
•Enjoy yourself

Don’t do the following:
•Binge on exercise – little and often is better
•Continue with an activity if it makes your pain worse
•Do fitness or aerobic exercises on a stone or concrete floor
•Exercise if you feel ill

You may click to see :-
Some Basic Movements In Yoga Exercise:
Top Three Types of Exercises for Artherities:

Living with Arthritis

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/arthritis/treatmentarthritis_exercise.shtml
http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=22

http://www.afarewellrescue.com/exercise-and-arthritis/

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.healthyexerciseworld.com/exercise-for-arthritis.html

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