You want comprehensive healthcare reform ? lead a healthier life.

It?s been estimated that healthcare, or more accurately insurance, costs each American $8000.00 per year. The health-care we receive in the US is the best in the world by a long shot. It?s our insurance industry that our government has helped create through worthless regulation that needs reform. A majority of Americans agree in poll after poll, insurance reform is needed, but they do not want government run ?healthcare?. They are smart enough to understand what a disaster that would be. Every ?social program? from Medicare to social security is literally bankrupt. There are other answers.

Why don?t we hear anyone talking about is lifestyle and disease prevention as the key to affordable insurance? Because, it?s not PC to talk about the financial burden the unhealthy lifestyles many Americans put on the rest of the population. Although Americans have free will and choose their lifestyles, 100% of the blame is not theirs. A large portion of it belongs to the American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, the edible oil industry and our government. The recommendations, treatments and products these organizations have bombarded society with using billions of dollars over the years wreak havoc even on the healthy. The end result, 100?s of billions of dollars wasted annually on treating highly preventable diseases.

The CDC reports that obesity related diseases have reached almost $150 billion. The cost of treating obesity has doubled over a decade due to increasing prevalence. According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)t he cost of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in the United States in 2009 is estimated to be $475.3 billion. This figure includes both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include the cost of physicians and other professionals, hospital and nursing home services, the cost of medications, home health care and other medical durables. Indirect costs include lost productivity that results from illness and death. The American Cancer Society estimates total costs of cancer to be $228.1 billion. Those with diabetes in 2002 had more than double the healthcare costs than those without. This includes both direct and indirect costs.

It?s glaringly obvious that the medical, pharmaceutical and insurance industries need to move from being treatment oriented to disease prevention. Unfortunately moving from allopathic medicine to holistic medicine is about as likely as winning the lottery; these industries make a fraction of the money in disease prevention as they do in treating disease. There is just not a lot of money to be made in healthy lifestyles.

CrossFit BS

What is CrossFit (CF)?? In a nut shell it?s performing movements and or exercises under time that are continuously varied from workout to workout.? Started in the mid 1990?s, this training system does have value in improving ones fitness level; that?s where the benefits stop.

CF?s upside according to its proponents is being a total-body conditioning workout that is purposefully varied, which inhibits boredom.? I think it?s a home run for fitness enthusiasts because the workouts are challenging and competitive.? CF?s inherent difficulty, notice I said difficulty not intensity, also benefits the average person because most people do not train hard enough to elicit any measurable result.

The seemingly illogical CF programming is an effort to challenge as many movement patterns and energy systems as possible.? ?CF is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of the ten recognized fitness domains.? They are cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.? Says founder Greg Glassman who is also known for his outrageous unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of CF.

Its the lack of specificity that gives CF it?s upside and its downside. Because the body is receiving multiple forms of stimulus the body never excels at any of them.? Somebody who starts out as a crossfitter and was not strong or muscular through previous training, will not make appreciable gains in strength or muscularity.? Sure, one can get very fit, but that’s too one dimensional.

Intensity and duration exist in an inverse ratio. In other words, as the intensity while performing an exercise increases, the amount of time one can perform the exercise decreases.? CF proponents claim their program utilizes a high level of intensity.? Well, there is no such thing as performing a movement or exercise for 5, 10, or 30 minutes and training with high intensity.? This is a physiological fact, not a choice, and certainly not something you can ?build? up to.

Is CF difficult? You bet your ass.? Is CF Intense? No.? This can best be explained by comparing a sprinter and a miler.? Any type of endurance event is by its very nature of low intensity.? Sprinters are always sucking wind at the end of a race.? In contrast, long distance runners are usually breathing close to normal after several miles of running.? It doesn?t matter how long a world class sprinter trains, because he is going all out physiologically, he is breathing hard every race.? Sprinters, as a result of their intense training are far more muscular than the thin distance runners.? This is not to say distance runners don?t work hard, they do, but the body can only perform at a high level of intensity for so long.? And intensity is a prerequisite to gaining strength and muscle.

You?ll never get truly strong performing CrossFit. No matter what Glassman or other CF coaches claim, it?s not going to happen.? A CrossFitter will never be able to achieve strength gains anywhere near the level of a powerlifter or even a strength enthusiast.? The vast majority of crossfitters have no appreciable strength what-so-ever.? The CrossFitters who are fairly strong or muscular, are former bodybuilders, powerlifters and weight lifting enthusiasts.? Training that targets endurance strength doesn’t increase maximal strength.? Training for maximal strength, however, does increase one’s strength endurance. ? If getting stronger, especially maximal strength, is your goal CF isn?t for you.

You will not attain any measure of lean mass. CF?s founder Greg Glassman claims CF, for the natural athlete, is better at building muscle than traditional hypertrophy weight training.? As with most of his claims there?s no science or empirical data to back this assertion.? While touting the muscle building capacity of CF he fails to explain, the lack of muscularity among most CF athletes.? Crossfitters don?t come close to the muscular development of a natural bodybuilder.?? At best some Crossfitters look athletic, which is great, if that?s your goal.? But, if you want to be muscular, CF is not for you especially if you?re a hard gainer.

It?s been well documented that within the fitness industry for decades that brief high intensity muscular contraction is the most important stimulus for building muscle and strength.? The duration of the exercise or movement is crucial, but can be counter-productive.? Sets lasting 5, 10, 30 minutes are completely of target for building anything but endurance.

If overall conditioning is what you want?? If improving your physique is what you want?? If increasing your endurance is what you want?? Learn how to train each energy system properly for optimum results.? CrossFit needs to be taken for what it really is, a great fitness program.? That?s where it ends.

Is popping multivitamins on a daily basis a risk to your health?

This article by Men?s Fitness.com says so:

Mom always said to take your vitamins. But she didn’t mean overdo it. Thirty-five percent of adults swallow a multivitamin on a regular basis, but several studies warn that an abundance of extra nutrients may not be as good for the body as previously suspected. Just check out the data.

DIABETES: While vitamin K and thiamine appear to help reduce risk factors, scientists warn that selenium in vitamins may increase the risk of type-2 diabetes.

PROSTATE CANCER: Too many multis may increase your risk of developing a form of fatal prostate cancer, according to data from the National Cancer Institute.

LUNG DISEASE: Multivitamins don’t protect against lung cancer, say scientists at the University of Washington. (In fact, too much vitamin E may increase the risk.)

LONGEVITIY: Perhaps most alarmingly, vitamin supplements may increase your overall mortality risk. So says a recent Danish review of 67 studies involving more than 200,000 participants. After analyzing the data, researchers found that people taking vitamins were 4% more likely to die during the course of the study than people who weren’t taking them. Yikes.

THE BOTTOM LINE: If your diet sucks, a multi may help. But if you already eat well
and buy fortified cereals and breads, you’re likely getting all the nutrients you need.

Interesting. Like most Americans who believe that they?re taking an active role in their health, I ingest a multivitamin on a daily basis (and actually, I take them on a nightly basis). But I don?t know if this article is enough to scare me away from taking them every day.

I wish the article had provided more detail as to the appropriate amount of times a week it?s okay to take a multivitamin. Based on that last paragraph, the article would almost lead you to believe that you should take a multivitamin on the days you can?t eat as healthy as you should.

Low testosterone not good for male bone

Low testosterone levels may boost the risk of fractures for men over 60, an Australian study finds.

The researchers tracked 609 men (average age 72.6) between 1989 and late 2005.

The University of Sydney researchers collected information about the men’s bone mineral density, lifestyle habits, and blood levels of testosterone and estradiol (an estrogen).

During the study period, 113 men suffered low-trauma fractures (caused by a fall from standing height or lower). Of those men, 25 suffered multiple fractures.

There were a total of 149 fractures, including 55 vertebral, 27 hip, 28 rib, six wrist and 16 upper- and 17 lower-extremity fractures.

The risk of fracture was much higher among men with low testosterone levels, the team found.

Even after adjusting for a variety of potential risk factors, low blood levels of the two hormones “were associated with overall fracture risk,” the study authors concluded. Fracture risk was associated “particularly with hip and non-vertebral fractures,” they noted.

The findings are published in the Jan. 14 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Vitacost.com’s Daily Health Tip

Sweating the small stuff leads to heart disease

A study finds older men who suffer from chronic anxiety substantially increase their risk of having a heart attack. While stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart problems, this is the first time that chronic anxiety has been identified as a risk factor also.

“There is an independent contribution of anxiety that can predict the onset of a heart attack among healthy older men,” said lead researcher Biing-Jiun Shen, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

In the study, Shen’s group collected data on 735 men who participated in the Normative Aging Study, which assesses medical and psychological changes associated with aging. Each of the men completed psychological testing in 1986 and had no heart problems at the time. The men were followed for an average of 12 years.

The report appears in the Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

During follow-up, the researchers found men who had chronic anxiety had a 30 percent to 40 percent increased risk of heart attack. Those with the highest levels of anxiety on psychological testing had an even higher risk of heart attack.

The risk posed by anxiety remained even after the researchers adjusted their data to account for standard cardiovascular risk factors, health habits, and negative psychological and personality traits, Shen said.

Exaggerated response to acute and chronic stress in anxious individuals may trigger a number of pathways which increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease and being stricken with a heart attack, Fonarow said.

“Highly anxious individuals should be aware they may face an increased risk of a heart attack and take proactive steps under physician supervision to control those cardiovascular risk factors which are modifiable including blood pressure, lipid levels, activity level and weight,” Fonarow added. HealthDay News)

Moral of the story, don’t sweat the small stuff.

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