Tag Archives: muscles

Vacation Tips to Maintain Fitness

Well-known fitness expert Chris Powell has some tips for you as he showed on Good Morning America to maintain fitness when you are on vacation. He has some lighter quick exercises you can do so you do not lose what you have built your fitness level to.

According to Chris, your cardiovascular system de-conditioning starts in 7-10 days. Muscles start to atrophy in 2 weeks and you will see loss in strength in 3-4 weeks. Once you are on vacation and stop exercising, it may even be harder for you to get back into your routine.

Some of his routines are as short as 5 minutes each. He starts with “sofa” squats on the front of a chair in 20-second intervals with 10 seconds rest in between for 5 minutes for lower body. He then moves to the back and does some pushups on the back of the chair for another 5 minutes in 20-second intervals for upper body. He then goes on to do 10 back lunges, 10 Hindu pushups, and 10 jack knife crunches on the chair.

Help keep your old muscles stronger longer

The University of Iowa scientists found a cause and possible solution for aging muscles and their age-related weakness. They found a protein, ATF4 that is responsible for the reduction of muscle mass. They also found that ursolic acid, found in apple peels, and tomatidine found in green tomatoes can help prevent muscles from wasting away.

They were able to reduce ATF4 through these two compounds to help muscles resist aging.

So believe that “apple a day…” adage!


Food that help keep you fit

Jody Victor found an aricle from ABC News that tells us about some foods to help get us in shape. Here is their list:

Beet juice: aids in stamina. They state that research shows it may be more effective than caffeine.
Honey: help with endurance. Consuming honey before exercise acts like a “time-released” fuel keeping sugar and insulin levels steady longer.
Pea protein: delays muscle fatigue. You can this in powder form. Since it’s rich in amino acids it can delay fatigue during exercise.
Blueberries: reduces inflammation. When fresh blueberries aren’t available, you can use dried or freeze-dried berries.
Tart cherries: fight pain and regain strength. In a test, it was found that drinking 12 oz of tart cherry juice twice a day helped them gain strength. Frozen, dried, or juice options.
Salmon: to build muscle. Omega-3 fatty acids may also be a muscle booster. Try to include wild salmon in meals a few times a week, or even salmon jerky.
Watermelon: reduces muscle soreness. It was found that watermelon juice helped relieve muscle soreness when drinking about 16oz an hour before exercise. ‘
Pomegranate: muscle strength recovery. It was found by researchers that it helps improve muscle recovery. About 4 ounces of juice was enough to help improve muscle soreness/weakness.
Coffee: for next-day energy. It helps replenish glycogen more rapidly after exercise.
Watercress: reduce DNA damage. It counters the “wear and tear” of exercise. 3 oz. of fresh watercress was enough.
Dark chocolate: curb exercise-induced stress. In a study, the men who consumed 3.5 oz. dark chocolate before 2 1/2 hours of cycling experienced higher blood anti-oxidant levels. Yum!

~ Steve Victor

Early Signals of a Heart Attack

Most people know the warning signals of a heart attack while it is happening- intense chest pain and pain down left arm; profuse sweating; nausea; shortness of breath. But what if you could be getting mild symptoms weeks or days before. I asked Jody Victor®  to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor®: During most active heart attacks the sufferer will experience some or all of those warning symptoms. Recent research at Duke University Medical School, however, has shown that 60 percent of people fail to recognize they are having a heart attack. On top of that, 25 percent of heart attack victims may not even have any chest pain at all. Cardiologists call these painless heart attacks  ”silent heart attacks”. It is always “better to be safe than sorry”.  Seek medical attention if you have any of the active or “pre” heart attack symptoms or just plain do not “feel right”.

Besides the usual early indicators for high risk of a heart attack- overweight, poor diet, inactivity, high stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking- your body can send you signals in the weeks, days, and hours before an attack. Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. Recognizing the “pre” symptoms of a heart attack could save your life.

  1. Unexplained body pains not only in the chest but also in the shoulders, neck, and jaw.
  2. Uninitiated shortness of breath. A feeling of windedness without physical exertion.
  3. Abnormal fatigue. An unusual amount of fatigue can be a sign your heart is working harder than normal or is experiencing a deprivation in blood and oxygen.
  4. Disruption of sleep. You might suffer from periods of sleeplessness or restlessness. May also have bouts of insomnia, where you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Sleep disturbance can occur weeks to months before a heart attack.
  5. Recurrent indigestion. Some people confuse a heart attack with a bad case of heartburn. Or they may think they have the flu.
  6. Cognitive distress. If any of the other “pre” heart attack symptoms are present, you may start to suffer from some level of anxiety or fear.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be more aware.

All the Best!

Steve Victor


Summer Tips for Your Dog

The hot days of summer are upon us. Your dog can’t tolerate the heat as well as you can. I asked Jody Victor® to give us some helpful information.

Jody Victor®: Humans can sweat through pores covering their whole body to dissipate heat whereas dogs can only dissipate heat by panting through their tongues, a much smaller surface. Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Chins, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time dissipating heat as they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs.

Here are some summer tips for your dog to help him/her survive the heat:

  1. If your dog is outside during the day make sure he/she has a shady spot to rest. Dog houses are not good shelter in the summer as they build up heat. You may want to provide a kiddie pool to let your dog cool off in the water. Provide plenty of fresh drinking water.
  2. Avoid strenuous exercise during extremely hot days. Some dogs are not smart about knowing how much heat they can take. They may keep playing fetch even though they are nearly ready to feint. Smarter dogs will take the ball you just tossed for them and lie down in the shade. Listen to your dog and let them rest if they want to lie down. If your dog is panting with the sides of the mouth wide open, he/she needs a rest. If the panting does not go down in five minutes, he/she is too hot. Spray your dog with a water mist bottle to help speed the cooling process.
  3. Take your dog on walks in the mornings or evenings. Avoid prolonged exposure to hot cement, asphalt, or sand, which can burn your dog’s paws.
  4. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date especially since he/she spends more time outside and in contact with other animals. Get an effective flea and tick medication from your vet and continue applying until first frost.
  5. Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.
  6. If your dog likes to go swimming keep him/her away from water that contains algae. Some kinds of algae are highly toxic and can cause quick death after ingesting just a little. Keep an eye out for swimmer’s tail, an inflammation of the tail muscles. If your dog’s tail droops like a wet noodle, he/she may have overdone it in the water. Stop the swimming and give your dog a good rest. If your dog swims in a pool, make sure he/she knows where the steps to get out of the pool are. If your dog swims in salt water make sure you rinse him/her off with fresh water when swimming is done.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to follow your advice.

Steve Victor