How to significantly increase bone density in 12 months

osteopenia.jpg

You have three options to increase bone mineral density and decrease the probability of broken bones as you age: strength train, take medications, or do nothing and hope you don’t fall.  Wendy chose the first option.   A year ago, at the age of 65 Wendy was informed, “There is osteoporosis in the total lumbar spine, total hip, and femoral neck.  There is a 10 year probability of major osteoporotic fracture of 20%”.

Only one year later, here were Wendy’s changes:

·         12.4% bone density increase in the total lumbar spine

·         3.5% bone density increase in the hip

·         .02% bone density increase in the neck

Wendy has been strength training with us for the last year.  The sessions are thirty minutes, once per week.  The only other change to her regime was taking calcium supplements.  

While strength training is not a cure for decreasing bone density, it is an effective treatment. A treatment can slow, reverse, or stop the progression of a condition. 

Another 60 year old client of ours increased her bone density one standard deviation over the course of two years – one 30 minute workout a week and no meds. Significant results do not require hours in the gym. Those who are older required more recovery, and for most, strength training one time a week is optimal.

At Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers we work with people of all ages. UsingMedX equipment with special medical rehab features, we can accommodate those with limiting conditions.  All totaled, Wendy strength trained for about 25 hours in the past year.  Had she not exercised her condition would be likely worse, possibly much worse were she to fall.  Was it worth the 25 hour investment?  Wendy will tell you that it is.

New Years fitness resolutions - for many the only certainty is the automatic bank draft

new years.jpg

This is going to be the year you get in the best shape of your life. You sign up at the health club for 12 months to get the special rate, and then the automatic bank draft begins. You faithfully go at first, and then you miss a couple of weeks and then a couple of months. You had good intentions to really buckle down this year. However, for most people this never happens.  The only certainty is the automatic bank draft.

Canceling the membership involves a large processing fee. You ride it out cringing whenever you see the monthly bank draft for a service you did not use.

Twelve months pass; you send a registered letter stating you do not want to renew.  The next month the bank draft is still being charged. The club informs you that they switched you from a yearly contract to a month-to-month membership.  This becomes a huge hassle; you end up canceling the credit card to make it stop. 

People have high expectations of regular attendance that, for most people, never happens. The renewal rate at health clubs is 30 percent. There are more former members of health clubs than there are current members. That is a lot of dis-satisfied customers. 

What good is a program that requires hours in the gym each week even if you don’t go?  If you lower the bar a little you might find that that you will stick with a program for the long term. Each week do a little bit more than are used to handling, and over time, you will achieve your optimal health.

Three steps to sticking to a program:

1. Engage in activities you enjoy. You'll more likely stick to things you enjoy doing. 

2. Make modest permanent changes in eating habits that you are willing to stick to.

3. Start a strength training program that will produce the largest return for minimal time spent exercising, 30 minutes a week.   You’ll have more time to spend outside the gym doing activities you enjoy (See number 1).  

At our Austin Fitness Training and New Orleans’s Personal Training facilities we are not out to see how much exercise you can withstand, but how little exercise you can do to produce the most change. There is a long list of health benefits and fitness benefits that will motivate you to stick to it.  Over time, the improvements will be life changing.  Also, there are no bank drafts or contracts. 

"Instinctive Training" Theory - eat as much as possible, sleep whenever possible...run away from danger

jones.jpg

If we followed our instincts we certainly wouldn’t exercise.  Arthur Jones, founder of Nautilus and  MedX exercise equipment, had this to say about following our instincts:

“For anything even approaching the best possible results from training, it is absolutely essential to work in direct opposition to your instincts. If you followed your instincts, you would do quite a number of things -- eat as much as possible, sleep whenever possible, defecate, fornicate, lie, brag, steal, run away from danger or fight if simply forced to or if faced with an obviously inferior foe in possession of something that you desired, and avoid any form of physical labor -- but you wouldn’t lift weights.” [Nautilus Bulletin # 1 Chapter 20]

Lifting weights stresses the body, and it is metabolically expensive.  Calories are expended exercising, recovering from that exercise, and restructuring as a result of the stress on the body. It runs counter to our instinct for self preservation.  Our body sends us strong signals to stop – our muscles burn, our breathing is rapid - just when the exercise is getting productive. 

Getting to the point to where strength training is productive is hard to do on your own. The exercise is often terminated early or form deteriorates. At our Austin Strength Training and New Orleans Strength Training we take care of every detail and help you maintain form to get you safely to the point where the exercise is productive. Our goal is to give you a workout you cannot get on your own.

This is a program people of any age or condition can do, and it does not take a lot of your time.  In fact, those who are most out of shape have the most upside potential because they start at a lower baseline. 

Each week you’ll come and you do at little more than your body is used to handling and over time the changes will be transformational. The long list of health benefits and fitness benefits  will motivate you stick to it even though, ironically, your instincts are telling you to do otherwise. 

Exercise to Prevent Depression

cloud.jpg

A landmark study finds that one hour of exercise a week can prevent depression. From the study1:

“Results showed that people who reported doing no exercise at all at baseline had a 44% increased chance of developing depression compared to those who were exercising one to two hours a week.”

And this: 

"These findings are exciting because they show that even relatively small amounts of exercise -- from one hour per week -- can deliver significant protection against depression."

"Most of the mental health benefits of exercise are realized within the first hour undertaken each week." 

Overwhelmed and want to begin exercising but don’t know where to start?   To achieve success it helps to set the bar at a height you are willing to jump over each week.  At Austin Strength Training and at New Orleans Strength Training we follow a high intensity training (HIT) protocol with the goal of getting you stronger with minimal time in the gym.  Each week you’ll do a little more than you are used to handling.  You will improve each week and experience the motivating factor of success. Combine our training with an activity you enjoy - walking, biking, or gardening. This once-a-week strength training is something you can stick to, and it will change you.  

Your energy levels will riseaches and pains will subside, and you’ll feel the euphoric feeling produced by increased endorphin levels. Being stronger, living pain-free, and having more energy is a step in the right direction – an upward, happier direction.  

The Right Exercise to Improve Brain Health

BDNF.jpg

A family history of age-related cognitive impairment might be the most important reason of all to exercise. Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) is a protein produced by the body that is essential for brain health. BDNF levels decline with age.1   Those with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases exhibit reduced BDNF levels.2  

Fasting will elevate BDFN levels;3  The mind becomes focused when the need for food for survival looms large, and BDFN levels rise.

BDFN also rises in response to exercise. According to one study 4 comparing continuous exercise versus hit intensity training (HIT):

“The HIT protocol might represent an effective and preferred intervention for elevating BDNF levels and potentially promoting brain health.”

HIT is what we do at our Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Personal Training facilities.  Declining BDNF levels can be reversed.  It is best to take steps to do it now.  

Study compares interventions for increasing bone density:  jumping versus strength training

Jumping-feet.jpg

A study concluded that impact loading (jumping) was safe intervention to help middle-aged and elderly men maintain their bone  density. However, compliance - getting the subjects to jump regularly - posed a problem.  In the study 42 men aged 50 to 74 were assigned to three different groups. One group lifted weights for the upper body. The second group also lifted weights and did a high dose of impact loading jumping 80 times.  The third group lifted weights and jumped 40 times.

Result1: “This study indicates that while impact-loading exercise can be safely undertaken in middle-aged and older men, the current combined program did not elicit significant improvements in bone mineral density”.

It is interesting to note that the high-dose jumpers had a 53% compliance rate; the moderate-dose jumpers had a 65% compliance rate.  74-year-olds aren’t given to repetitive jumping for good reason.  The more often you jump the risk of injury goes up.  This is especially true as we age, as our bodies are not as resilient.

There are safer options to effectively stimulate improvement of lower-body bone mineral density besides jumping.  Strength training both the upper and lower body is a safer alternative to potentially dangerous lower-body impact loading. At our Austin TX Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers locations to increase strength we use MedX rehabilitation exercise equipment and a protocol that is gentler on the joints.  The body adapts to the demands placed on it.  Stronger muscles generating more force will require stronger connective tissue and bones.  One of our clients increased her bone density one standard deviation following our program.

27% decrease in body fat after increasing anaerobic training

anaerobicexercise3.png

As part of their off-season training program, athletes cut back on their aerobic activity and increased their anaerobic activity to see if there would be a significant change in body fat. They eliminated stationary bike rides and increased sprints, medicine ball throws, Olympic lifts, squats, and bench press. The result1: they reduced their body fat 27% over three years. 

It helped that the subjects were possibly uniquely suited for this change to anaerobic exercise. The subjects were professional hockey players – the best of the best in a sport that requires extraordinary anaerobic effort. The average shift in a hockey game is 45 seconds of all-out anaerobic exertion.   

For non-elite athletes anaerobic exercise is still an effective compliment to diet for losing fat. After aerobic exercise your body’s resting metabolic rate returns to baseline in short order.  Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, will result in a raised metabolism for at least 21 hours after the exercise session is over.  

With persistent daily aerobic exercise your body will lower its resting metabolism; it is the body’s biological imperative to preserve its energy stores (fat). In contrast, anaerobic exercise (strength training) will make you stronger, and a stronger more muscular body will burn more calories even at rest.  

At our Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness Training locations we offer high intensity training to increase strength, muscle and metabolism. While exercise can help, it is important to note that only with changes in eating habits  can you lose fat and keep it off.

Reducing the incidence of migraines with the right exercise

migraines pic.jpg

A study1 sought to find what type of exercise had the biggest impact on reducing migraines. Subjects were put in three groups. One group did high-intensity interval training (HIIT), another did moderate continuous exercise, and the third did no exercise. The conclusion:

“The data showed high-intensity training significantly reduced the frequency of migraine attacks.”

Why is HIIT effective? The researchers concluded that:

“The ‘afterburn’ effect of high-intensity training has a positive impact. After you do high-intensity training, your body for a long period has to have certain adaptations. You need more oxygen after the workout [Excessive Post-exercise Consumption] than you do when you have just continuous, moderate-pace exercise.”

Another study examining the afterburn affect found that:

“Both resistance training and intermittent aerobic training [Sprint training on bikes] increased excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) to a greater degree than did steady-state work [Running].”

The type of resistance training is also a factor.  High intensity resistance training (HIT) produces more EPOC than any other form of resistance training.   HIT and sprint training on bikes is what we do at our Austin Strength Training and New Orleans Strength Training facilities. 

One of our clients, Joan, had suffered from migraines the past 15 years. Narcotics were often necessary to alleviate her pain.  She has worked out with us for two months now. She reports that she has stopped having the migraines.

The benefits of strength training for MS patients

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.jpg

It was once believed that exercise was bad for those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS); a recent study concluded otherwise.  A quote from the study1:

“Physical training can relieve many of the symptoms, including the excessive fatigue and mobility impairments that are often seen. New research now shows that resistance training may protect the nervous system and thus slow the progression of the disease.”

And this:

"Among persons with multiple sclerosis, the brain shrinks markedly faster than normal. Drugs can counter this development, but we saw a tendency that training further minimizes brain shrinkage in patients already receiving medication. In addition, we saw that several smaller brain areas actually started to grow in response to training,"

There is a long list of benefits from proper resistance training; for those with MS the list is even longer and more vital.  At our Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Fitness Training locations we have worked those with MS since we first opened our doors.  We use MedX exercise equipment.  With its medical rehab features, we are better able to work with those with compromising conditions.

One of our trainers, Glenn, has MS and has been training with us for 10 years.  He had this to say about the workout:

“Our workout is high intensity, but short in duration, so it's a perfect routine for MSers (especially with heat intolerance - a very common symptom).  And unlike standard workouts, you get through a full body workout before your MS symptoms can flare due to a rise in core body temperature.”

“Perfect routine of MSers”, it is beneficial for a number of other conditions as well – arthritis, diabetes, osteopenia, back problems, stroke …

To Age with Grace

golf aging.jpg

As we age we become weaker, slower, less agile, less physically attractive…  While some accept this fate with poise and a positive outlook, for others, it is a difficult transition.

In the business of personal training I occasionally run across young people consumed with their bodies and how well they perform. In the “poker game of life”, they are holding aces. How they manage their hand when the cards they are holding are no longer aces depends on their outlook. They cannot stop the dissipation of the body over time, but there is a bright side.

When comparing younger and older exercisers, those who are older can produce far greater improvements in strength, increases in energy, bone density, and the abatement of pain.  After all, a 20 year old is not going to increase her bone density a standard deviation or increase mitochondrial capacity by 49% but a 60 year old can.  This does not require hours in the gym each week. 

With proper exercise you can significantly increase your health span, the length of time that you are healthy—not just alive.  At Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Fitness Training locations our trainers can help you increase your health span and age with grace.

Exponentially increasing the amount of an anti-inflammatory agent produced by the body

myokines.jpg

Inflammation can heal you, debilitate you, or it can ultimately kill you.  The endocrine system releases molecules that are chemical signalers that work to keep your inflammation in check. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to increase those chemical signalers - maybe even increase their numbers exponentially?   There is.

Inflammation has a positive role in healing wounds and fighting infection.  The swelling, redness, and warmth are signs that your immune system is sending white blood cells, immune cell-stimulating growth factors, and nutrients to the affected areas 2. After an ailment is resolved that inflammation should go away.  If the inflammation persists it can lead to a number of inflammatory conditions including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, skin conditions, plus respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.  It makes weight loss more difficult, and it can interfere with sleep.  

Cytokines are chemical signalers that are released by the cells affected by the stress of a wound or infection; they trigger inflammation.  Not all cytokines trigger inflammation. There is a subgroup of cytokines called myokines; they reduce inflammation.  One of those myokines is Interleuken 6. In a Bulletproof podcast Doug McGuff, Body By Science author, had this to say about Interleuken 6:

“Interleukin 6 has an anti-inflammatory effect but it also has neat bio chemical effects. It very aggressively up regulates the uptake of glucose into the muscle cell and glucose utilization and glycogen mobilization. It also ramps up lipolysis. Mobilization of fatty acids from stored body fat and it’s ramping through the cell, through the mitochondria to do beta oxidation of fatty acids all of that is augmented and ramped up by Interleukin 6. Other things that it does, is it stimulates the release of nitric oxide which causes vessel dilation. Increasing blood flow into the skeletal muscle but it has the more long term effect with modulating blood pressure towards more optimal levels and it actually accesses a lepton surrogate to increase insulin sensitivity so it has just this one myokines has so many beneficial effects that we’re looking for."

 How do we get more Interleukin 6?  Dr. McGuff again:

“Interleukin 6 is liberated from contracting skeletal muscle particularly when it’s doing high intensity work but pretty much in any sort of muscular activity. It is released to some degree and it increases as the intensity of exercise rises, it’s released in exponentially greater degree.”

 At our Austin Strength Training and New Orleans Strength Training locations with our clients we use a high intensity strength training protocol, a protocol that exponentially produces more anti-inflammatory myokines.

With inflammatory conditions such as arthritis the wrong exercise can inflame joints even more. The trick is to work the muscles without inflaming the joints.  We have an extensive line of MedX equipment with medical rehab features that are gentler on the joints.  We also employ a low-impact exercise protocol that minimized forces place on the joints.  This allows us to safely work the muscles intensely.  For arthritis pain sufferers this results in stronger muscles, increased mobility, and decreased inflammation, and protection of the joints to facilitate a life uncompromised by pain.  For arthritis pain sufferers the positive results can be surprising, sometimes well beyond anything you would expect.

Study finds elevated metabolism 21 hours after exercise session with certain types of exercise

eEPOC.jpg

You can maintain an elevated metabolism long after your exercise session is over – even into the next day – with certain types of exercise.  After exercising it takes a period of time for your resting metabolism to return to normal. The type of exercise you do is a determining factor in how long your metabolism will remain elevated.  

In an exercise study, ten young men performed three different exercise routines one week apart. Each session burned the same number of calories.  The first week was resistance training, the next week was steady-state aerobic exercise, and the last week was high-intensity intermittent aerobic training.

The subjects’ resting metabolic rate (RMR) was measured at 12 hours and 21 hours after each session.  The results from the study1:

“The steady-state trial did not influence RMR at either 12 hour or 21 hour post-exercise.  Both resistance training and intermittent aerobic training increased excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) to a greater degree than did steady-state work, indicating that either mode may be more effective at increasing total daily caloric expenditure than steady-state aerobic exercise.”

The study reported that resistance training produced more EPOC than the other two modes of exercise at both the 12 hour and 21 hour mark.  The type of resistance training is also a factor.  High intensity resistance training (HIT) produces more EPOC than any other form of resistance trainingHIT is what we do at our Austin Strength Training and New Orleans Strength Training facilities. 

 The study demonstrates that in the short-run resistance training can temporarily raise your metabolism up to 21 hours after your workout.  In the long-run as you become stronger your body will have a permanently higher RMR. While a higher metabolism helps, it is important to note that studies show that exercising is not the key to weight loss.  Eating less is.

Over 600% increase in back strength after 10 sessions, how is that possible?

lumbar.jpg

As we age we increasingly confine our movement to the mid-range of motion of our lumbar muscles; basically we become less limber. The fully extended and flexed positions of the lumbar become very weak and prone to injury. Avid exercisers including those who lift heavy weights often have pronounced weakness in the flexed and extended positions.  This is because those positions are seldom adequately exercised during a routine workout. These positions are in such a weakened state that it does not take much to produce dramatic strength increases, but it has to be the right exercise on equipment that will safely accommodate a full range of motion.

In an exercise study measuring improvements in back strength, subjects performed one back exercise of six to 15 repetitions once a week for ten weeks using the MedX lumbar exercise machine. Before and after the ten week training period, subjects were tested for isometric strength at seven angles through a 72° range of motion of the lumbar. The study recorded the largest increases in back strength at the fully flexed and extended positions and much less in the median point. The results1:

·        At the fully extension position strength increases ranged from 180% to 364%

·        At fully flexed position strength increases ranged from 427% to 607%

The design features of the MedX lumbar exercise machine  accommodate safe and effective exercise of the lumbar from the fully flexed to fully extended positions; no other exercise equipment can do that. We have that machine along with full lines of MedX strength and rehabilitative exercise equipment at our Austin Fitness Training and New Orleans Fitness Training locations. More back strength through a full range of motion results in greater movement, increased circulation, better lubrication of the vertebral discs, and less likelihood of pain and injury.

Exercise should prevent injuries, not cause them

fonda.jpg

 “I have a fake knee, I have a fake hip, I’ve got a lot of metal in my back – it’s a field day at the airport. My body hurts almost all the time.” ~ Jane Fonda. Jane, longtime aerobic exercise innovator, finds it hard to do yoga.1 

While heredity is a factor, years of repetitive use from aerobic exercise will eventually wear out your joints, regardless of your genes. The key is to not overdo it. As a preventative measure it would help to safely strengthen those joints that are prone to injury; one day a week substitute low-impact circuit strength training instead of high-impact aerobics. It’s more cardiovascularly demanding than most aerobic exercise, and your aches and pains will subside.

At our Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Personal Training  locations we have clients who can no longer do aerobics, but they have no problem strength training using our protocol. 

With our protocol we:

·      Eliminate high-impact jerking movements that create forces that lead to injuries.

·      Limit movement to a pain-free range of motion.

·      Sufficiently work muscles to a deep fatigue to stimulate a positive adaptation with one exercise set instead of multiple sets.  We seek to determine, no how much exercise you can withstand, but the least amount you need to continuously improve.  This lowers the probability of repetitive-use injuries.

·      Use MedX equipment with medical rehab features that are more easily tolerated by the joints.

Done correctly, low-impact circuit strength training will give you a measure of protection from injuries and bring relief from chronic pain.  Your body doesn’t have to “hurt almost all the time”.

Golfers driving for greater distance

Golfers with more strength and flexibility will increase their club head speed and hit the ball farther. Increasing only strength produces marginal improvement; the same goes for increasing just flexibility.  However, increasing both strength and flexibility produces far greater results.  From a study of golfers using MedX circuit strength training and MedX stretch flexibility exercises: 

Chart golf 2 the one IMG_6497.JPG

 Reporting in the December 1997 industry journal Fitness Management, researchers Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., and John R. Parziale, MD

At  Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Personal Training  we use MedX stretch machines and MedX strength training equipment  to focus on strength and flexibility improvements.  One of our clients, a club golf pro, told me he was hitting the ball farther.  I asked him, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yes I am sure. I use a GPS system to measure the distance”.  He does once-a-week 30-minute training sessions with us.  

With our program golfers can:

·       Increase strength and flexibility

·       Address muscle imbalances and decrease the likelihood of injuries that often resulting from repetitively swinging the club in one direction.

·       Have improved energy and stamina to finish strong on the back nine.

·       Spend minimal time in the gym and have more time available to play golf.

·       Play and enjoy golf more often which will positively affect your health.

Reducing the mortality risk of metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome.png

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors - abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and excess body fat around the waist – that double one’s risk of early mortality.  This risk can be lowered significantly. A quote from this study, Inverse associations between muscle mass, strength, and the metabolic syndrome:

"Findings indicate that insulin resistance is a central abnormality in the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and that muscle mass and strength are strong protective factors independent of insulin resistance and abdominal fat accumulation. If confirmed prospectively, increases in muscle mass and strength needed to prevent a substantial proportion of MetS cases would be achievable with a short-term strength training intervention." 

Strength training does more than produce bigger and stronger muscles: strength training, particularly high intensity training (HIT) for strength, produces a response from the endocrine system.  In response to HIT’s demands on the body the following fat-burning hormones are released:

Do nothing and your fat cells release their own hormones that work to increase your fat even more. Eventually a stroke or heart attack will occur.  Don’t know where to begin to make changes?  Begin with something you can stick to – once-a-week 30-minute sessions of HIT.  Take it easy at first and do a little more each week.  You'll feel better and be more inclined to spend more time doing physical activities you enjoy.  Couple these changes with changes in your eating habits, and over time, the improvement in your health will be transformative.

It can be done. One of our clients lost 60 pounds went from five insulin shots down to one a day.  At Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Personal Training  we can help you achieve the goal of a stronger healthier body.

Decreasing scoliosis curvature without surgery or braces

scoliosis 2.jpeg

Researchers found that for adolescents with scoliosis there exists an imbalance of the muscles used for truck rotation that can be addressed with a certain type of rotational exercise.   In this study, The role of measured resistance exercises in adolescent scoliosis, 20 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis performed resistance training on the MedX rotary torso – one set twice a week for four months.  The results:

“Sixteen of the 20 experienced a curvature reduction and no patient showed an increase in curve. “

It can be difficult to isolate and safely work the rotational muscles of the torso. When exercising with the MedX rotary torso machine you are firmly secured in the machine in an upright position.  This secured position prevents cheating thereby more effectively targets the intended muscles.  The range of motion can be finely adjusted to accommodate those with limitations.  These features make for effective safe targeting of the hard-to-isolate trunk rotation muscles.

Carol, one of our clients with scoliosis, suffered from persistent back pain for years.  Past attempts at strength training exercise resulted in more pain.  Her back pain disappeared when she started training with us.  She has remained pain-free for 11 years now.

Anyone can benefit from this exercise.  Golf, tennis, and sports involving throwing predominantly use one side of the body.  This can create muscles imbalances that lead to back injuries.   With proper use of the MedX rotary torso imbalances are reduced.   At Austin strength training and New Orleans strength training we have the MedX rotary torso along with all the other MedX Core equipment and full line of MedX strength equipment.

Breaking the cycle of arthritis pain and immobility

For arthritis pain sufferers improper exercise leads to more pain, more joint inflammation, and restricted mobility.   However, the right exercises with the right equipment can produce totally unexpected results.

In 2012, I had injections for arthritic shoulder pain. At the time, the doctor proposed the idea of getting shots every few months. Although he told me, "It's no big deal," I made it my mission to avoid those shots.  I avoided the injections for five years.

Unfortunately, I had a serious fall resulting in injuries to my shoulders and arms. The x-rays indicated that nothing was broken; just inflamed arthritic joints. Injections in my shoulder and arm gave me no relief.  My mobility was becoming increasingly restricted. 

After four weeks of no improvement in my condition, I decided to exercise. My trainer restricted my movements to a relatively pain-free range of motion, certain movements were eliminated, but overall we proceeded as normal. My expected outcomes were either:

· the pain would be no worse, and that would be a victory.

· the pain would be worse and would cause me to plot another path to recovery.

After the workout, I was breathing hard for several minutes. It was an exhilarating feeling after the weeks of idleness. Four hours after the workout, my blood pressure (BP) was 102/63. I've been on high blood pressure medication for 36 years. Those are extraordinarily low numbers for me.

The breathing and the BP numbers are indicative that the workout had produced a systemic effect beyond just tired muscles. A systemic effect produces a hormonal response including pain-mediating endorphins and anti-inflammatory myokines.  I slept well and woke up refreshed – no tossing and turning to find a position where I was not in pain.

I was amazed to find I could lift my arm over my head – not possible before the workout. Pain associated with arthritis can lead to immobility and weakness. This leads to more pain – rinse and repeat.

At Austin strength trainers and New Orleans strength trainers we work with pain sufferers to reverse that cycle. We have an extensive line of MedX equipment with medical rehab features that are gentler on the joints.  This allows us to safely work the body to a deep fatigue.  For arthritis pain sufferers this leads to stronger muscles, increased mobility, and protection of the joints that facilitates a life un-compromised by pain.

 

How to reduce dangerous visceral fat

Visceral fat, found in and around the organs, can be a serious danger to your health. There is a hormone called adiponectin that will prompt the body to reduce visceral fat and increase lean tissue. 

A quote from The Secret Life of Fat:

"Exercise increases adiponectin, the hormone emitted by fat tissue that moves fat away from the viscera to the limbs and hips. It improves insulin sensitivity, too, leading to lower blood glucose and triglyceride levels. The added benefit of most of these hormones is that they won’t just burn fat, they’ll increase lean tissue, which also leads to higher metabolism. So even at rest, we’ll burn more calories."

The best way to increase adiponectin levels?   According to one study: “A progressive high intensity exercise program demonstrated increased adiponectin concentrations in overweight and obese children.”  Another study concluded: “The results show that high intensity interval training (HIIT) positively changes blood lipids and adiponectin variables in obese adolescent girls, resulting in improved insulin sensitivity, as attested by a lower HOMA-IR, and achieving better results compared to moderate-intensity exercise. “

The hormones of your endocrine system can work against your fat loss efforts, or they can make fat loss more achievable.   In addition to adiponectin, HIIT simulates a cascade of fat-burning hormones; among them testosterone, human growth hormone, and irisin.

HIIT is what we do at New Orleans Personal Trainers and Austin Personal Training.   For those who are extremely out of shape, all you have to do is a little more than you are used to handling.  Each week you will improve, and soon your hormones will work for you rather than against you.