Thursday, July 14, 2011

DrMirkin's eZine: Exercise principles, trichomonas, more . . .

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
July 17, 2011

Everyone Should Train like an Athlete
All exercisers should follow the principles of training
used by competitive athletes. You will gain far more health
benefits from intense exercise than from more casual exercise,
and you will gain more strength and muscle growth.
Athletes do not do the same workouts every day. If they
did, they would not gain the increased strength, speed and
endurance that are necessary for competition. They take an
intense workout in which they feel a deep burning in their
muscles, feel sore on the next day, and take lighter workouts
until the muscle soreness goes away. Then they take their next
intense workout.
PEAKING: Never try to exercise at an intense pace when you
start a new program. For example, if you are starting a
stationary bicycle program, ride at a very slow pace every day
until your muscles start to feel sore or tight and then stop.
In the first six weeks, limit your workouts to no longer than a
half hour. Only after you can exercise at a casual pace for 30
minutes every day should you try to increase the intensity of
your workouts. You may also want to check with your doctor
before you start exercising intensely. Intense exercise can
kill people who have blocked arteries leading to their hearts,
and many people do not know that they have this condition until
it is too late. Even regular exercisers can suffer from blocked
arteries and not know it.
My PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING report continues at the bottom
of this eZine.


Reports from

Estrogen from yams

Strong in 30 minutes a week

Gall stones


Dear Dr. Mirkin: How common is trichomonas?

From a single sexual contact, you can acquire a sexually-
transmitted parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis, and it
increases your susceptibility to becoming infected with HIV.
Trichomonas infections stay with you until you are treated. In
women, it commonly infects the vagina and urinary tube to cause
vaginal irritation, discharge and odor; burning, discomfort
and frequency urinating; and even high fever and severe belly
pain. In men, it can cause an irritation inside the penis or
burning with urination or during ejaculation.
Trichomonas is more common than chlamydia and gonorrhea
combined. Thirteen percent of women 50 and older are infected
(presented at the annual meeting of the International Society
for STD Research, July 12, 2011). Testing is done on samples
collected from routine pap smears and urine, vaginal and
urethral smears. The most dependable test yet, called APTIMA,
has just been approved by the FDA, with a cost of $50 to $100.
The treatment for an infected person and all of his or
her partners is metronidazole pills in a single 2 gram dose, or
500 mg twice a day for seven days. Treatment does not provide
immunity; a treated person will be re-infected after a single
exposure to an infected person


Dear Dr. Mirkin: Should I take calcium pills?

Taking calcium pills both with and without vitamin D is
associated with a 15 percent increased risk for heart attacks
and strokes (British Journal of Medicine. April 19, 2011;
American Heart Journal, 2008;156:556-63). Taking one gram of
calcium daily for five years markedly increase heart attacks
and strokes (BMJ, January 15, 2008). Treating 1000 people with
calcium or calcium and vitamin D for five years would cause an
additional six heart attacks or strokes and prevent only three
Calcium in pills, unlike calcium in foods, causes a rise
in blood calcium levels that can damage arteries by:
*increasing clot formation, a major cause of heart attacks and
strokes (J Bone Miner Res. 1997;12:1959-70),
*thickening neck artery plaques (Atherosclerosis. 2007;194:426-32), and
*calcifying main arteries (J Bone Miner Res. 2010;25:505-12).
A review of 11 controlled studies involving about 12,000
patients found that taking calcium pills (at least 500 mg/day)
without also taking vitamin D is associated with almost a 30
percent increase in heart attack risk (British Medical Journal,
July 29, 2010). Furthermore, most people take calcium
supplements to help prevent or treat osteoporosis. Taking
calcium pills without vitamin D pills has not been shown to
reduce bone fractures.
I believe that you should get your calcium in food, not
pills. If you feel that you need to take calcium pills, take
1000 mg of calcium with 1000 IU of vitamin D. Excess calcium
in the blood blocks the conversion of inactive vitamin D to
active vitamin D. Lack of active vitamin D, by itself, can
increase risk for heart attacks.


Recipe of the Week:

Any Vegetable Curry

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in
The Good Food Book


Follow us on



Please "Like" us and share with your friends.



INTENSE WORKOUTS: Athletes divide their intense workouts
into periods of *sustained effort, *short intervals, *long
intervals, and *combinations of these variations. If you are
not competing in athletic events, you only need to do short
SHORT INTERVALS: A short interval takes less than 30
seconds because an athlete does not accumulate significant
amounts of lactic acid in less than that time. Muscle burning
is caused by increased acidity in the muscle caused by lactic
acid accumulation.
An athlete can do a very large number of repeat short
intervals, often 100 or more in a single workout. A top
runner will run a large series of short runs up to 220 yards.
Cyclists often use a clock. In short intervals, athletes get
out of the burn soon after they feel it.
LONG INTERVALS; Long intervals usually last two minutes
or more, and build up so much lactic acid in the bloodstream
that a top athlete can only do a few of them in a workout. A
runner may run four to eight half-mile repeats. Cyclists may
push their intervals between lamp posts or use some other
measure of fixed distance of all-out riding. Long intervals
are done with such intensity that the athlete is short of
breath and feels intense muscle burning during each interval.
INTENSE CONTINUOUS WORKOUTS: Cyclists often use sustained
workouts as the basis of their training regimens. They pick up
the pace and as soon as they start to feel the burning in their
muscles, they let up on the pressure, slow down, and the
burning goes away. Almost immediately afterwards, they start
to pick up the pace and again back off as soon as they feel the
burning. Getting out of the burn as soon as it occurs allows a
cyclist to take this type of intense workout for many hours.
soreness that you feel usually 8 to 24 hours after an intense
workout is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS
is caused by muscle damage itself. Biopsies show bleeding into
the muscles fibers, and disruption of the fibers and the Z-
bands that hold the muscle filaments together as they slide by
each other. If you don't suffer muscle damage, you do not gain
significant muscle growth.
during exercise means that you are applying enough force on
your muscles to pull the fibers apart and damage them.
However, the longer you stay in the burn, the longer it takes
for the muscles to heal. Most athletes do some form of
interval training that takes them out of the burn soon after
their muscles start to burn.
The burning feeling in muscles that is transmitted back
to your brain is actually caused by the increased acidity
brought on by a buildup of lactic acid in muscles. Muscle
damage is caused by the pressure on the muscles from hitting
the ground with your foot during running, or pressing very hard
on your pedals, and has nothing to do with excessive buildup of
lactic acid. It is caused by excessive force on muscles during
intense exercise. Lactic acid starts being cleared from
muscles within seconds of stopping exercise. Furthermore,
lactic acid is the most efficient muscle fuel, since it
requires less oxygen than any other source of energy.
Athletes exercise intensely until they feel a deep
burning in their muscles and then let up on the pressure. The
burning usually goes away almost immediately. Then they pick
up the pace to increase the pressure on their muscles to cause
the burning to return. They stop the interval workout when
their muscles start to stiffen and hurt.
intense workout, the athlete's muscles are supposed to feel
sore. If he takes off completely, he may recover faster, but
he will never reach his potential in competition. Active
recovery, in which a person exercises at reduced intensity,
makes the muscles more fibrous and resistant to damage during
hard workouts. This allows the athlete to take more intense
workouts on his hard days and makes him a better athlete. He
can compete only as fast as he moves on his hard days.
A TRAINING PROGRAM FOR YOU: Set up your program so that
you plan to exercise faster on three days a week, never on
consecutive days. Plan to exercise at very low intensity on
your four recovery days. For example Tuesdays, Thursdays, and
Saturdays will be your faster days. The other four days are
for recovery.
If you are a runner or cyclist, run a little faster on
your hard days and much more slowly on your recovery days. If
your muscles feel sore or tight on scheduled hard days, skip
that hard workout and do a very easy workout or take the day
off. Injuries come from taking a hard workout when your
muscles are still sore or tight from a previous intense
HARD DAYS: Start out very slowly and as your muscles feel
more comfortable, gradually pick up the pace. When you start
to feel the least burning, immediately slow down and remain in
that slow pace until the burning is completely gone. Then
gradually increase the intensity until you reach the burn
again, and immediately slow down. Continue to alternate bursts
of increased intensity with slow recoveries until your legs
start to feel stiff or you stop recovering from the burn or
tightness. Then quit for the day.
EASY DAYS: You are not supposed to feel discomfort or
burning on recovery (easy) days. If a workout on a recovery
day prevents you from taking your hard workout on the next day,
you exercised too intensely or long on your recovery day. Go
for as long as you feel good and quit for the day when you feel
tightness or discomfort. If you feel stiff or hurt in one
group of muscles on one side of your body, take the day off.
Soreness in one part of your body is a sign that you are
developing an injury.
PROGRAM PROGRESS: Try to increase the intensity of your
hard days, and do not increase the intensity of your recovery
days. If you avoid injuries, you will become stronger and
should be based on two very fast interval days, one very fast,
prolonged day, and four recovery days. For example, try short
intervals on Tuesdays, long intervals on Thursdays and
sustained hard workouts or races on Sundays. The other four
days are supposed to be so easy that they do not interfere with
your recoveries to limit your hard-intense days or worse, cause
injuries. Remember, if you do not recover for your next intense
workouts, your easy days are too long or too intense, and you
should do less, more slowly on your recovery days.



BACK ISSUES of the eZine from 2004-2011 are available at

YOU ARE WELCOME TO COPY the e-Zine's contents for
use in your own newsletter, company or club publication,
BLOG or website. Please give proper credit and a link
back to

The e-Zine is provided as a service. Dr.Mirkin's reports and
opinions are for information only, and are not intended to
diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and
treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.
For more information visit

We DO NOT sell, rent or give your e-mail address to anyone.
Copyright 2011 The Sportsmedicine Institute, Inc.

Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
10901 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington MD 20895, USA

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:


Post a Comment