Thursday, August 18, 2011

DrMirkin's eZine: Arthritis, cross-training, more . . .

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
August 21, 2011

Virtually All Arthritics Should Do Some Form of Exercise

People who suffer from arthritis need to exercise
regularly because lack of exercise damages joints (Arthritis Care
& Research, January 2011). Even people with severe joint disease,
such as rheumatoid arthritis, need to exercise (Journal of Aging
Research: Aging, Physical Activity and Disease Prevention, 2011).
However, more than half of women and 40 percent of men
with arthritis get virtually no exercise whatever (Arthritis &
Rheumatism, August, 2011). Researchers asked more than 1000
people with proven osteoarthritis of their knees to wear a
pedometer. Only one in seven men and one in 12 women moved their
knees for 20 minutes or more per day. Lack of movement is
deleterious to arthritics' health because the most effective way
to prevent joint destruction from arthritis is to keep the joints
People with arthritis typically have stiffness and pain
when they wake up in the morning. They hurt most after being
inactive and feel better after they move around for a while.
Exercise warms up muscles and joints to help relieve some of the
joint and muscle pain and stiffness. A regular exercise program
can help delay and prevent disability in people with arthritis by
strengthening muscles that can help to control excessive range of
motion that can damage joints. It also allows people with
arthritis to keep on moving. Arthritics should participate in at
least a half hour each day of moderate-intensity, low-impact
activity. Of course, all people with joint pain should first
check with their doctors for their proper diagnosis and
Rules for exercise for arthritics:
*If joint pain worsens when you start to exercise, check with
your doctor to see if you have loose or broken cartilage that can
cause further joint damage.
*If you already have joint damage, the safest exercises are
usually walking and water exercises.
*Try to exercise with a group. When you miss a workout, you will
have to explain to your friends why you weren't there.


Reports from

Low back pain

Chronic stuffy nose

Excessive sweating


Dear Dr. Mirkin: Can cross training (riding a bicycle) help me
run faster?

It is unlikely that cycling helps running performance
and vice versa. In his book, "Lore of Running" (2003), Timothy
Noakes reviewed the world's scientific literature and found no
evidence that cycling helps competitive runners run faster.
Every runner and cyclist who is injured and is forced to exercise
in the other sport learns this. Each day away from your specific
sport makes you slower in your sport.
Training is specific. The best way to train for running
is to run. Running strengthens primarily the lower leg muscles,
while cycling strengthens primarily the upper leg muscles.
Nobody has ever shown that cycling makes you a faster runner,
or that running makes you a better cyclist.
Most research show that cycling does not help to prevent
injuries in runners. Many studies show that strength training,
such has lifting weights, may help some cyclists to cycle faster and
some runners to run faster (Sports Medicine, March, 1998). Many
studies show that resistance training can improves endurance in
running and cycling. However, resistance training can markedly
increase injury rates in runners and cyclists.
If you are a runner who has a lower leg injury, you can
maintain heart and lung fitness by riding a bicycle. Cyclists
with upper leg injuries may be able to do the same with running.
Runners who cannot run because of soft tissue injuries can
maintain their maximal ability to take in and use oxygen (VO2max)
with either cycling or water running (American Journal of Sports
Medicine, January 1993).


Dear Dr. Mirkin: Does the hCG diet really help you lose weight?

Yes, but researchers have been unable to show that human
chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone found in pregnant women's
urine, is the reason for the weight loss, or that it reduces
hunger or improves mood as some proponents of the diet claim.
For more than forty years, the Food and Drug Administration has
required labels stating that hCG "is not an effective adjunctive
therapy" for weight loss. HCG is offered by injection, nasal
spray and pills, but the hormone is inactivated by stomach acids.
The diet recommends that you take in only 500 calories a
day and everyone will lose weight on that few calories. To
maintain weight, most men need to take in at least 2500 calories
per day and women at least 1700.
Furthermore, both near-starvation diets and injections
of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can harm you. HCG
increases levels of estrogen, leptin, insulin and cortisol, all
of which can cause terrible disease when levels rise above
normal. It also has been reported to be associated with
increased risk for blood clots, headaches, and fatigue.
Another problem with the diet is what a person has to do
to keep the weight off. The injections and severe calorie
restriction program cannot be followed long-term, so people
involved in the program must learn how to change their lifestyles
permanently to maintain weight lost on this diet or any other
weight loss program..


Recipe of the Week:

Mango-Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

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


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