Risk factors and chronic diseases often get more attention among the middle-age and elderly population. And rightly so, since that’s when the manifestations of chronic diseases start to show up, and when people get reminded about their chronological age. An integral component of successful aging (also known as healthy aging) is the freedom of physical disabilities and debilitating chronic diseases 1-3. While it is true that it is never too late to become health conscious and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle 4,5, the fact remains that the sooner we start the better off we will be as we get older. If you are in your 20s or 30s, or have kids, read on…
In discussions about dieting, a topic that often comes up is that of “cheating”; is it good or bad to cheat once in a while during a diet?
In order to answer this questions appropriately, it is necessary to look at both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of dieting, and the physiological and psychological responses they each elicit.
As promised, the follow-up article to personal my eating disorder story will cover the science behind anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Now, I know that getting into technical terms may seem overwhelming. Below I’ve tried to simplify this as much as possible for you, and I’ve highlighted the most important things you should know, how it affects you, and why it matters.
Before we dive in, though, a few terms….
How many times have we done or seen people at the gym doing the “wind-mill” stretch before a workout? Sooner or later every weightlifter will experience pain and tenderness in their shoulder. The pain usually lingers for weeks if not months, and the pain is usually more noticeable when performing a bench and/or overhead press, but it gets better later into the workout. Chances are someone has said that it is possibly bursitis or rotator cuff issue, and rest and “take it easy” is the best way to treat it, but taking it easy or rest isn’t going to happen.
How It All Started
It didn’t take much. He was tall and lanky; I was not. But at 5’2” and 100lbs, I was far from overweight. All he did was wrap his hand around my arm, and then do the same to his own. An alarm sounded in my head — but on the outside, I didn’t move a muscle. I knew exactly what he was doing: he wanted to see if I was bigger than he was. I turned away very calmly without a word and left the room.
The following day began as usual. I hung around my 13 year-old peers, giggled my way through class, and turned in assignments late. Then lunchtime rolled around and I simply sat there. “I’m just not hungry,” I told everyone. The truth was, that friend from yesterday was sitting too close for my comfort. I couldn’t let him see me eat.
And so began the beginning of my dark days. As the months rolled by, I continued to skip lunch. And as I began to drop weight off of my already-petite frame, the compliments started rolling in. You’re so pretty. You’re so skinny. How do I get a body like yours? I loved it. No – I relished it, and I craved more. My breakfasts soon consisted of a few quick bites of whatever was on the table, and dinner was cut in half. My stomach growled on a constant basis, but that only made me feel strong. I have the power to resist the food; I can do anything.
Mitochondria are the ‘energy powerhouse of the cell’ that convert the foods we eat to usable energy our body uses to fuel life sustaining reactions within cells, our daily activities and athletic performance 1-4. While energy production capability and muscle performance might seem to be more relevant to sports, it also equally important for achievement and maintenance of health throughout the life span. In this article I will describe how chronological aging affects our mitochondria, its implications and the ins-and-outs of a new type of supplements marketed at “exercise mimetics”.
Most supplements are used for one specific outcome, for example fat loss, muscle growth or general health promotion. However, there are a few exceptions. Fish oil is one of them.
We all know about the cardiovascular health benefits of fish oil, and in a previous article I covered the fat loss effect of fish oil. Now let’s take a look at the potential application of fish oil for those of us who are interested in muscle growth…
Written by Monica Mollica
Fish oil is well known for its beneficial cardiovascular and cardiac health effects. In 2004 FDA approved a prescription fish oil preparation for treatment of high blood triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia) 1. However, recently several studies have shown that fish oil also has other beneficial effects, which might appeal more to the younger population, and especially to fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts. One of these effects is fat loss.
Written by Monica Mollica
Everybody wants to stay young and vital throughout life. But aging is topic surrounded by many questions and myths; here we’ll get to the bottom of it.
Different types of Aging – Chronological Aging and Physiological Aging
Before we get started, I want to make a distinction of two types of aging; chronological and physiological (or biological).
Physiological age, also called biological age, is the result of many factors, many of which are under your control, and varies from person to person (even if they were born on the same date). It refers to age in terms of physical capacity.
Chronological aging refers to how long you have been alive, and is determined by a mathematical formula that is the same for everybody: current date minus date of birth. It is a function of time and cannot be slowed, stopped or accelerated (a side note: according to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, chronological can be modified, since as one approaches the speed of light, time slows down, and thus so does chronological age. But this isn’t relevant for us earthbound folks).
Physiological aging, on the other hand, describes the state of your body. What’s interesting with physiological aging is that many of the factors that impact it are under your full control (e.g. exercise, nutrition, sleep etc). While chronological and physiological aging are related, the years of your life doesn’t necessarily have much to do with the years of your body. Many people don’t like to tell their (chronological) age; however, if you have taken care of yourself you should be proud of it!
Thus, chronological age and physiologic age do not always coincide, and physical appearance and health status often do not always correspond to what is typical at a particular chronological age. When talking about aging and anti-aging, it is the physiological age we’re referring to. Ok, now that we got that cleared out, let’s move on.
To most people outside the gym, the word “muscles” brings to mind huge bulging muscle bellies and bodybuilders. The importance of muscle mass, strength, and metabolic function in the performance of exercise and sports, has never been questioned. However, muscles aren’t just for show. Here I will explain why.