Archive | June, 2010

Halloween Trick But A Healthful Treat

29 Jun

by Phillip Tomlinson

Cutting loose doesn’t get any better!  Whether you’re in Greenwich Village or on Bourbon Street.

So, you wouldn’t be in danger of having egg on your face if you guaranteed heart-pounding fun amidst the costumed revelry and make-belief.

But, while make-belief is so huge that it attracts the curious from near and far, egg on your face — or anywhere else for that matter — hardly depends on the strength or weakness of your prediction.

That’s because anything can happen, it seems, when you don a simple mask and the streets explode with color and mischief. 

Mischief?

Yes, call it trick or treat. 

Right now though I’m thinking treat  more than trick — eggs to be specific.  Not on your face, but in your stomach!

Yes, eggs like the ones that found a bullseye on the back of my jacket one Halloween night as I went to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

A treat indeed!

That’s because, in case you haven’t heard, eggs have outgrown their status as Halloween missiles — elevated instead to super food now to be tossed into your omelet pan without guilt.

So, drum roll:

And now taking a bow — the incredible, edible egg which has shed its label as pure evil, so much so, that even the American Heart Association no longer recommend that we limit our egg intake.

Why?

In dozens of studies, no connection has been found between egg consumption and heart disease.  In fact, work done by Wake Forest University researchers have shown eggs to be perhaps the ultimate diet food.  Here’s the skinny, according to Wake Forest:  “One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high quality protein, healthy unsaturated fats and antioxidants, for only 70 calories.

And the fat factor?  Well, it turns out eggs are among the best sources of choline — a substance your body needs to break down fat for energy.

One study even found that people who eat eggs as part of their breakfast, eat fewer calories the rest of the day.  But beyond this, is the effect eggs have been shown to have on overall health in general.

So, by all means, work on your trick toss.  It’ll make for good entertainment.  Become handy with that omelet pan as you prepare your creative, mouth-watering treats.  But do so secure in the knowledge that the evidence is overwhelming when it comes to the positive effect egg consumption has on heart health; muscle strength and muscle-loss prevention; healthy pregnancy; brain function; and eye health.

For great information on the value of eggs in your diet, click on the link in the Bodinsync Prescription below:

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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http://www.incredibleegg.org/health-and-nutrition/cracking-the-cholesterol-myth

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BODINSYNC GOES TO CENTRAL PARK:  Join Phillip for his fun and exhilarating Bodinsync Summer Challenge outdoor workout Monday, July 12, from 6:30 – 7:10 p.m. and Saturday, July 17, from 10:30 – 11:10.  For more information please send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

Price:  $20 (usually a $90 value)

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It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s…

25 Jun

by Phillip Tomlinson

Well, heck, this is no monopoly.  So, while you’re thinking “Superman,” you may as well let “Superwoman” into your thoughts too. 

And, of course, you cannot possibly be thinking of those two without — what else — flight.

 Hanging out on top of the world.

Yes, yes,  those caped crusaders are big on flying but, in this instance, I’m actually thinking of you.  So, in that vein, here’s the question:  How many times have you simply felt so great about yourself that you may just as well have been up there in the clouds somewhere?

That’s right — somewhere up there on cloud 9 probably humming  some such tune as “Believe it or not, I’m walking on air…  Flying away all winged outta breath, who could it be…?”

Well, believe it or not, it could definitely just be you, especially if you did what a friend did shortly after he had so generously helped me with a pressing computer problem.

“How can I compensate you for being so generous?” I asked.

“Just show me how to weight-train,” he countered.

“Ill do better than that,” I offered.  “I’ll give you some pretty good tips on diet.”

THE AIR UP THERE

A few weeks later, he was up there in the clouds somewhere.  Walking on air.  “I’ve been overweight for years and I’ve tried all kinds of diets,” he said with a sigh,” but I’ve never experienced this kind of result.”   Thrilled, he began telling his friends about the strategy that had him turning into the incredible shrinking man.

Wanna shed some pounds and feel the air under your wings too?  Then regularly include in your diet what researchers used in one study to help their subjects loose  some 9 percent of their body weight.

SMOOTH OPERATOR

Yes, turn your attention to the smoothie — a popular American indulgence.  But not just any smoothie.  No!  Sugar bombs won’t do!

But one thing is certain:  You’ll be healthier and you’ll hardly miss no longer making those daily visits to the “Sugar Rush” corner ice-cream store.

According to researchers, replacing two daily meals with smoothies containing whey powder — a protein with essential amino acids that build muscle and burn fat — could be a prescription for the most effective gut-busting formula anywhere. 

With this in your arsenal, you could — in no time — be superman or superwoman walking on air somewhere up there in the clouds. 

For a great recipe check out the following in the BodinSync Prescription with this power-packed treat:

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THE BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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20 grams whey protein powder

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup black berries

1 banana

2 tablespoons of  total 0% Greek yogurt

3 ice cubes

1/2 water

Blend and enjoy.

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BODINSYNC GOES TO CENTRAL PARK:  Join Phillip for his fun and exhilarating Bodinsync Summer Challenge outdoor workout Monday, July 12, from 6:30 – 7:10 p.m. and Saturday, July 17, from 10:30 – 11:10.  For more information please send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

Price:  $20 (usually a $90 value)

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Ignore Those Tires And You May Get A Real Bumpy Ride

22 Jun

by Phillip Tomlinson

A bumpy Ride?

Actually that may be putting it mildly.  In fact, a blowout could really topple you.  Make no mistake, terra firma could become a slippery slope if your attention to detail is casual or nonexistent.

And sometimes that slippery slope sticks out like a sore thumb just begging to be noticed. 

One of those sore-thumb instances stared me in the face about a couple of months ago while I was at a gas station.  I noticed a jeep nearby.  That, of course, was hardly the sore thumb.  On the contrary, it was a beautiful machine.  Shiny black.

It didn’t take me long, as a I admired it, to discover the sore thumb.  Well, actually the sore thumbs.   Four of them to be exact.  I couldn’t help but wonder why such a beauty was sitting on bald tires.  That’s right — a hazard in every sense of the word.

So, how about your prized machine?  Is it riding on tires that are a hazard?

Come on!  Be real!  I’m not talking about those tires!  I’m talking sneakers.

So, really, how are those sneakers you’ve been wearing?  

For starters, if you’ve been putting the mileage on them for more than six months, you may already be riding on a slippery slope because they definitely will no longer be up to the task of providing proper support.

But, before you make the trip to buy your next pair, you need to — if you’ve never done so — take some time to consider the rules of the road.

Most important is that you buy quality sneakers that are designed for the activity in which you are involved, otherwise you are asking for trouble.

Real trouble. 

That’s because sneakers are designed with support that facilitate different motions — jumping, lateral movements, etc.  Ignore this and you are putting your most prized machine — your body — in peril because if your feet are in trouble, your knees, hips and back may follow.

Now, that could be quite a blowout!

But here’s some food for thought:   If you run as well as play tennis, you would need two different types of footwear — one that supports the forward motion of running and the other that provides the cushioning and stability for the lateral and stop-and-start motion of tennis. 

If you are one of those weight and cardiomeisters, a basic model should suffice for both activities — according to most experts. 

But before you make a decision, the experts would like you to consider how your mean machine sits on the road — whether your feet overpronate or underpronate when they hit the ground.  Specifically, pronation refers to the normal inward rolling of the feet to provide natural cushioning as we walk.  Overpronation – – when the feet roll too much inward — can cause ankle and knee problems which in turn could lead to back pain.  Of course, if the feet aren’t rolling in enough, they are underpronating.

How do you determine which way your ride is leaning?

According to the folks at homeexercisecoach.com, when your shoes wear on the inner side of the heels you are overpronating while compression on the outer side signals underpronation.  For overpronation, they advise, look for sneakers that have a “dual density” material under the inner heal or a plastic or rubber insert called a medial post.  On the other hand, they point out, the solution for underpronation would be to buy sneakers called “cushioning shoes.”

Because, of course, in this case, what you don’t know could really hurt you, check out the following for more on how you can roll in great comfort and stability:

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THE BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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 http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=13  and homeexercisecoach.com 

 

NOTE:  For information on how to try a free BodinSync Power Workout send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

 

 

 

Suit Up, Go Digging For Buried Treasure!

18 Jun

by Phillip Tomlinson

If you knew for sure you’d find buried treasure if you went looking wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity?  I’d wager that you would.  Who wouldn’t?  Especially if we are talking about the kind of treasure that makes all the difference.

While it may not be the kind you anticipate, believe me, in this instance, it makes a whole lotta difference.  The kind of difference that could spell satisfaction and put a big smile on your face.

Satisfaction?

Sure.  The kind you might consider medicine for the soul — a la Marvin Gaye who seemed to be at a place where we’d all like to be when he cooed, “Sexual Healing is good for me.  Makes me feel so fine.  It’s such a rush, helps to relieve my mind.”

Clarification?

First, lets start with the alarming statistic which has it that one-third of US adults are obese.   And what does all this have to do with buried treasure, you may be wondering?

A lot, it turns out.  To borrow from a recent headline in a national newspaper, “Obesity Can Sink Your Sex Life.”  Well, unless you’re up to the task of uncovering buried treasure, assuming you are carrying some extra poundage.

To be specific, it’s that poundage with which medical journal BMJ is concerned, informing that, in one study, fat men reported  a higher rate of erectile dysfunction. 

And, if the men were looking elsewhere or too hesitant to find company, it showed:  The same study also found that obese women were 30 percent less likely than normal women to have had a sexual partner in the last year.

The solution?

Start digging for buried treasure.  Now!  Start looking for that six-pack that has been buried for so long.  Ladies, that 30 percent figure would become a distant memory.  And Boys,  listen up:  It’s a great barometer for how well you pull that — ahem — ship into dock.  You see, really stirring the waters has a whole lot to do with core health.

Guys, ignore this and your ship could be limping into berth where you’ll be joining the ranks of the estimated 30 million American men who experience some form of erectile dysfunction.  No kidding! 

Here’s the skinny:  On the average, the length of little Johnnie is about three inches when he’s not preoccupied.  The fatter you are, the less of little Johnnie you’ll see, meaning Little Johnnie will, for the most part, be buried somewhere under there by fat from your abdomen.

And to add insult to injury, your plumbing could totally stop you dead before you even hit the open seas.  That’s because, chances are if your core muscles have really dug in, you may already be suffering clogged arteries and, by extension, poor circulation.

Enough said because, needless to say, Little Johnnie will be on indefinite leave and it’ll be no fun listening to Mick Jagger belting out “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

So, either start hunting for those jewels now or take the kind of precautionary measures that’ll keep you and your partner smiling when all hands are capably on deck.

For an effective way to go digging for buried treasure, check out earlier suggestions for diet as well as exercise in the following BodinSync  prescription:

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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Review these links:

http://www.menshealth.com/men/nutrition/food-for-fitness/build-muscle/article/9049402df3f85110vgnvcm10000013281eac/3

http://exercise.about.com/library/blnewmoves.htm  

NOTE:  For information on how to try a free BodinSync Power Workout send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

 

 

 

Get Your Total And The Body That Goes With It

15 Jun

By Phillip Tomlinson

Not so fast. 

 Hold off on the trip to your local supermarket in search of that box of Total, though I’d be the last to discourage you from stocking up on whole grain cereals of all sorts. 

I’m talking a different kind of total.

But that depends on how badly you want to build a body that’s not only functional but is a head-turner when you’re wearing next to nothing on the beach.

While that last thought could be a pretty picture, the truth is functionality is a big deal — especially since we call on our body to do more than a few things on a day-to-day basis.

The operative phrase is “more than a few things.”

And I’m sure, if you had to choose, you’d go with “more” instead of “few.”  That’s when “more” makes you automatic — without skipping a beat.  In the case of functionality, you need to become a “more” kind of gal or guy like the fellow I am about to tell you about.

I saw him one day as he was getting out of his car.  Turns out he was definitely a “more” kind of guy.  What he did was as automatic as walking and, I might add, pretty impressive.

Wanting to peek under his car to do some troubleshooting, he placed two pieces of tissue on the ground, positioned his hands on them and assumed a pushup position, lowering himself to within a few inches from the asphalt.  He had to keep those pretty dapper pants and shirt spotless, so he simply hung out a few inches from the ground just matter-of-factly looking for the problem under his ride. 

That wasn’t all.

The more he looked — and he really looked for a little while — the more impressive his little feat became.

Then satisfied, he pushed up on his arms, retracted his knees up to his chest and popped up back on his feet.

Functionality on display?  Well, you be the judge.

Brings me to the next question:  What’s the best way for you to experience the “more” effect?

The short answer is you’ll be much better served by working your muscles with exercises that simulate the way your body works.  In short, multiple joint exercises.  Here’s the lowdown, you cannot bend down to pick up a pencil — there goes that pencil again — without triggering a bunch of muscles.  In short, you cannot separate anything.

That means for those of us who think we can separate one muscle group by working it today, then a another muscle group by working it tomorrow, and so on, we are attempting the impossible.  In other words, when you roll out of bed each day, your body doesn’t decide to utilize the muscles in your legs independent of other muscles in your body.   So, why not concentrate on making your body a well oiled machine whose integrated parts fully complement each other?

The key?

Total body workouts  using multijoint exercises where possible.  Do this, at a minimum, three times a week and you’ll find that getting your total this way can make things a helluvah lot easier as you jog down to your local supermarket to stock up on that other ‘Total.

With this in mind, here’s a BodinSync prescription for a great multijoint exercise:

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THE BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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  1.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees as if you are about to stoop, while placing your palms on the ground under your shoulders.
  3. Jump your feet out behind you into a push-up position.
  4. Pick one leg up by pulling your knee up to your chest.  You should now only have one leg on the ground.
  5. Do a pushup while straightening the leg off the ground right behind you.  If the pushup is too difficult bend your arms slightly for a partial pushup.
  6. Place the leg back on the ground, while picking up the other leg and pulling your knee to your chest.
  7. Lower yourself to do another pushup while straightening that leg out behind you.
  8. Place that leg back on the ground.  Still in a pushup position, both legs should now be on the ground.
  9. Jump both legs back in toward your chest.
  10. Remove your hands from the ground while rocking back on your heels, so that your feet are now firmly planted.
  11. From that squat position, jump straight up as high as you can in the air, landing back softly on the ground.  If this is too difficult, simply power yourself back to your feet by standing up.  THAT’S ONE REPITITION.
  12. Start over by stooping down again and placing your hands on the ground.

NOTE:  This can be made more challenging by holding a dumbel in each hand for the entire routine, including while doing the pushups.

Go Ahead, Burn Calories Being A Couch Potato!

10 Jun

by Phillip Tomlinson

Bullseye.  A big, fat bullseye. 

And, we take aim —  in the millions —  with pleasure because it’s either us or them and, frankly, we prefer if it’s them.  Why shouldn’t we when we are quite aware of the consequences? 

 

A BATTLE OF NERVES AND WITS

That’s right, those calories can pile up and some pretty good weight right along with them.  That’s why we like going to war on them, locking us in a back-and-forth battle of nerves and wits.  But the truth is they can be downright overpowering — so much so that we sometimes all but throw our hands up in the air, raise the white flag and resign ourselves to fate.   

Then either good sense, frustration, anger or some other thing take hold of us and we suit up ready to do battle again.

May be it’s the beach weather, the college reunion, a wedding, who knows…  So, you begin to see red.  You put those damn calories on notice.  Issue a fatwa.  Those little turds are about to bite the dust.  They’ll get trampled. 

So, you take to the gym to join the treadmill battalion, trampling for hours-on-end in a full frontal assault.

Admirable.

Only thing is your assault may be misguided.  A misguided missile.  Especially if you really want to hit those calories where it really hurts.

OBLITERATION

Let’s put it this way:  If the enemy has you really pinned down in the trenches, would you reach for your side arm or some heavy artillery?

That’s exactly what I thought — you’d reach for the latter. 

Of course, you could do some damage with your side arm, but you’re not just looking to do some damage. 

Obliteration is what comes to mind.

And if that’s what you’re thinking, you need a bazooka.  The real deal.

But as you plan your assault, be aware that aerobic exercise — while it definitely has its merits — is a distant second when it comes to burning calories.  That’s because nothing-but-nothing outdoes the effect weight training can provide.

THE MAGIC

“What’s great about weight training,” New York Times bestselling health and fitness author David Zinczenko reminds us, “is that it burns fat in three ways.  First, there are the calories you burn off breaking a sweat.  Second, there is the fact that new muscle eats up calories, making your body more efficient at burning fat.  And third, there is the ‘afterburn’ — the additional calories burned off in the hours immediately following your workout.”

This last category is where weight training — by far —  really outpaces any other activity by doing a real number on those dirty, rotten bastards called calories.

Here’s the lowdown:  According to researchers, the calorie burn from aerobics lasts some 30 minutes after your workout, while lasting for 48 hours after training with weights.

THE BARGAIN

Yup, that’s right.  No typo here.  Two days of burning calories just hanging out being a couch potato.  Simply being you.

Here’s the magic as validated by science:  While we burn calories in three ways —  by digesting the food we eat, through exercise, and simply being at rest, incredibly it is in this last way — when we are at rest — that we burn the most calories.  But we fry even more of those bastards when we build new muscle. 

So, it boils down to the very pleasing effect that for every pound of muscle you build your body burns an additional 5o calories per day.

Your new refrain?

 The more I build, the more I burn.

And, just think, the burning happens mostly while you’re sitting down simply being you.

What a bargain!

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NEXT TIME:

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 The best way to hit bullseye hanging out being you.

 

 

Stairway To Heaven

5 Jun

by Phillip Tomlinson

Have you ever seen an opportunity that spells pure delight?  One that awakens a flock of butterflies within?  I bet you have.  It’s instantaneous, then you feel it and, as that smile purses your lips, you  reach out and grab the moment by the horns.

And I suspect you already know that, as far as opportunities go, one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling.  

Then, too, if you’re looking up —  setting your sights high — it sometimes makes a helluvah difference how you choose to get there, especially if you’re like that one guy among dozens of morning commuters who exit the train on Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue line at 64th Street.

If you’ve ever exited at that stop you’re accustomed to ascending via one very steep escalator and then another, each seemingly on its way to the skies instead of street level.  Of course, on either side of those two escalators, are two stairs that — needless to say, when it comes to going up — are hardly traveled. 

Hardly traveled except when it comes to the one guy among the dozens of other commuters because, that’s right, you guessed it, he never takes the escalators. 

No, sir.

Instead, he’s staked his claim to those pieces of real estate no one else seems to care for. 

Yes, those two stairways are his.  Well, at least for the time it takes him to sprint up one and then, the other — without skipping a beat.  Let’s just say he’s firing on all cylinders up the stairway to heaven.

This, in plain view, is the quality of  life core strength and conditioning afford you.  It is the cornerstone of balance, flexibility and endurance.  You should also know that as you get older these are keys to reducing your risk in terms of falls and injuries.   A stable core is the pillar on which our entire body sits — as Mark Verstegen director of the elite training center Athlete’s Performance and author of the book Core Performance informs us.

Upper body strength, the ability to perform daily tasks and play most sports, depend on strong legs, hips and back.  In short, this is your stairway to heaven — a heavenly base for any movement you do.

But just how do you get on the stairway? 

Exercise.  And not just any exercise.  In fact, your best bet is to employ multi-joint exercises that’ll not only work your abdominal area, but your hips, back and legs as well.

Here’s something from the BodinSync prescription:

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Modified Hand Walk

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  1. Stand with your feet shoulder with apart.   
  2. Bend from the waist, while still keeping your legs straight, placing your palms on the floor as in diagram 1. Your flexibility will determine the distance between your hands and your feet.  At this point you should be feeling the stretch in your hamstrings.
  3. Walk your hands out away from your feet until your body is in a push-up position as in diagram 2.  Pause for five seconds.
    Walk your hands back in to where you started as in diagram 1. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Diagram 3

    Diagram 1

    Diagram 2

  4. Bend your knees approximately at a 45 degree angle.
  5. Pick one leg up off the floor while balancing on the other.
  6. Raise your torso so that it is horizontal to the floor.
  7. Reach your hands out in front of you so that they are also horizontal to the floor while completing a straight line with your torso.
  8. To complete the position, straighten the supporting leg while pointing the leg that is off the floor straight behind you — leading with your heel — so that it also forms a straight line with your torso as in diagram 3. 
  9. Try balancing firmly on your supporting leg for five seconds.  THATS ONE REPETITION.
  10. Start the routine again as in number 1.
  11. End the second repetition by balancing on the other leg. 

Note — This routine can be made more challenging by:

  1.  Actually doing a pushup while in the diagram 2 position.
  2.  Doing a half-squat while in the diagram 3 position. 

 By the way, like that guy motoring up the Lexington Avenue subway stairs, don’t be afraid to find your own stairway to get your exercise.  He wasn’t just doing it because he could.  He was clearly working on getting stronger.  For starters, if you’ve never done this, start by walking up, concentrating on really using those legs to lift yourself.

 Yes, expect to get a bit winded by the time you get to the top.  As you get more accustomed to this, repeat the exercise several times.  When this becomes easier, start running.  You’d be surprised how much fitter and stronger you become.  If you’d like to ratchet up your training a bit, every time you get to the top of the stairs, do two repetitions of the modified hand walk.