Author Archives: Steve

About Steve

Muddling through, just like every one else.

Why Do Processed Foods Make You Fat?

by STEVEN MILNER IIST

We are always being told if you want to lose weight don’t eat too many processed foods and here is one of the reasons why.

I’ve been talking a lot recently about our body’s fat burning hormones and here I mention leptin and in later posts I’ll tell you how you can actually use certain “cheat” foods to raise leptin levels and accelerate fat burning in your body. What you may NOT know about leptin is that raising your leptin levels may be completely WORTHLESS unless you also take steps to improve your SENSITIVITY to leptin.

The Problem is that many people are actually quite insensitive to leptin due to years of high body fat levels and diets full of processed foods. This essentially makes your body unresponsive to leptin, even at high levels…like a computer with no processor. Having said that you can get back on the path to heightened leptin sensitivity simply by eating more of one specific type of food.

Knowing that a large consumption of processed foods is one of the main contributors to leptin resistance and fat storage, you can immediately begin repairing your leptin receptors and instigate fat loss within hours by following this one simple rule:

Apart from cheat days, aim to eat only single ingredient foods. What do I mean by single ingredient foods? Simple. A single ingredient food is a food whose only ingredient is the food itself.

Tomatoes, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Green Beans, Broccoli, Apples, Pears, Cashews, Walnuts, Almonds, Olives, Avocado, Kidney Beans, Eggs, Yogurt, Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries etc. Other foods that fall in to this category include pretty much any meat, vegetable, nut, seed, oil, bean, or fruit.

Unlike pre-packaged processed foods with a long list of artificial ingredients and food additives that we often can’t even pronounce let alone identify, all of these foods are whole, natural foods that only contain one ingredient.

And when you begin consuming a diet full of these types of foods, without all the additives, you’ll immediately begin to repair your leptin sensitivity and make leptin even more effective at signaling fat burning to your body.

This is one of the reasons I thought you’d appreciate knowing why we say processed foods aren’t good for you.

Ever wondered how your body actually burns fat?

By STEVEN MILNER IIST

Let’s start by working backwards, how do we get fat?

A few years ago a popular health magazine decided to try to answer that same question by reasoning that if we knew all the “tricks” to gaining weight, we could learn what “not” to do if we wanted to stay lean.

So they picked a group whose job requires them to maintain enormous stores of body fat – Sumo wrestlers. If we knew what they did we might learn what not to do so they looked at what Sumo’s did to get fat and this is a simplified description of much how they go about it.

They had a strict daily workout regime with as much rest as possible in between workouts, they took a lot of short naps and then at the end of the day, they ate their one meal, a massive calorie dense amount of food and beer that would make an all you can eat buffet at the local gastro pub seem skimpy. Shortly after this multi-thousand calorie feast they’d go straight to bed for the night.

So what can we learn from this? One reason this technique is so effective for weight gain is that it mobilizes every fat-storing mechanism we have in our body. The point here is that if you want to burn fat instead of store it, you have to learn how to turn off your “fat storing mechanisms,” and instead turn on your “fat burning mechanisms.”

So here’s the simplified biochemistry behind the Sumos’ weight gain…

When you eat a big carbohydrate rich meal, it sends your blood sugar soaring. The body immediately releases a hormone (insulin) whose job it is to control that sugar and get it out of the bloodstream and into the muscle cells. The ting is when the muscle cells don’t need it, like if you’re not moving around much and are inactive, insulin takes that sugar and shuttles it into the fat cells. No wonder insulin is also known as the “fat-storing hormone.” Insulin does its work with the help of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which is kind of like the “fat-storing enzyme.” LPL takes triglycerides (fats) from the bloodstream, breaks them down into smaller parts (fatty acids), and then promptly helps store these fatty acids in your fat cells.

Once insulin is released into the bloodstream, it effectively locks the doors to the fat cells. They won’t open up and release their potential energy stores (that is, you won’t burn fat) until insulin levels come back down. Of course, the more you continue to eat that same high carb diet, the less your insulin levels go down. That’s the biochemistry put very simply, and it works that way whether you’re a couch potato or you’re a professional Sumo wrestler.

So Just How DO You Burn Fat?

You do the exact opposite of everything I just said, and here’s why …
Insulin has a sister hormone, and its name is glucagon. It’s a critical component involved in fat burning biochemistry. When blood sugar is low, and you need more energy, (but food isn’t available), glucagon is secreted into the bloodstream. Its purpose is the exact opposite of insulin’s. Glucagon goes into the cells and causes fat to be released. And it does so with the help of a fat-burning enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL).

Much as glucagon is the “opposite” of insulin, HSL is the “opposite” of LPL, the fat-storing enzyme I spoke of earlier. HSL breaks down triglycerides (a form of fat stored in your cells) into fatty acids and glycerol, so as they travel around the bloodstream they can be burned for energy or excreted.  This glucagon-HSL partnership makes up part of the fat burning process.

To sum it all up and working backwards, we start to see the obvious: Fat burning (and weight loss) won’t take place unless the fat-burning components (glucagon/ HSL) are all in place.

The fat burning switch is in the “off” position as long as insulin levels are high. Insulin levels are high whenever blood sugar is high, and blood sugar is typically high in response to high-carbohydrate meals. Therefore the solution to the problem involved in “how to burn fat” is pretty simple. Keep blood sugar in a safe, moderate range where it won’t trigger an insulin spike. By keeping blood sugar (and insulin) down, you allow glucagon/HSL, the fat-burning switch, to do it’s magic.

If you want to trigger your fat-burning switch, you have to learn to eat in a way that won’t trigger excess insulin. Fortunately, that isn’t that hard to do. I’ll tell you more about how to do this by understanding the dangers posed by high glycaemic indexed carbs, processed foods and bad fats in future posts.

Thanks for reading!

Fourteen day kick start diet to fat loss and better health

By STEVEN MILNER IIST

Fast & Simple Fat Loss with Clever Eating

It is possible to lose 15 lbs of body fat in 14 days simply by eating right.  Provided you have 15 lbs to lose. I should point out that I always encourage people to exercise but if your nutrition isn’t spot on you will still struggle to shed fat.
When you are in touch with the way your body reacts to diet and exercise manipulating your nutrition can transform your body almost overnight. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to do this; in fact it’s often easier if you’re not.  More likely than not you will have been eating the same way for years and the next 14 days will throw your body into the hyper fat burning zone. This way of eating can shed body fat and put on muscle but to also completely change your blood lipid profile.  High cholesterol and triglycerides are brought back into the normal range in less than 30 days with this nutrition plan.  This way of eating is often called “Nutrition Cycling” and is extremely effective.

So for the next 14 days here’s what you’re going to aim for and the strategies you are going to use.

Strategy # 1: Eat all the protein you want.
You can eat: Beef, Eggs, Lamb, Seafood, Pork and Chicken, Turkey or even Ostrich if you can get it.

Strategy #2: Limit your carbohydrates to 30 grams a day or less.
Although you can have any carbs you want as long as you stay under 30 a day, I’d suggest sourcing your carbohydrates from the following sources or similar.
Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage. By eating veg you can eat a large volume of food while getting your vitamins and fibre into the bargain.

Strategy # 3: Water
Drink 39 ml of water per kg of bodyweight. You can also drink black coffee, tea and any zero calorie drink but water is the best.  Buy water if you want but water is water, when you mix it with coffee it’s still water. You don’t need to be a snob about it, we pay a fortune in the UK to ensure we get good quality water straight out of the tap.

Strategy #4: Don’t drink your calories.
Stay away from high calorie sugary drinks.  They do nothing but make you fat! And that includes all types of fruit juice, yes it does!

Strategy #5: Have a splurge day.
After 14 days I want you to celebrate by eating anything you want!  This will stimulate your metabolism and also fill your muscles up with glycogen so it won’t turn to fat.

Moving forward – day 15 & beyond
By taking the carbohydrates out of your diet temporarily, it trains your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are present you body will not turn to fat stores for energy. Monday to Friday you should eat like you have for the past 14 days, pay attention to how your body responds to certain foods and if something is causing you to gain fat cut it out of your diet.  Bear in mind that the carb limit of 30 grams is a starting point and most people will do brilliantly at 30 grams of carbs a day, others will need a little more carbohydrate so pay attention to how you feel and experiment with things a little.  Most people will feel and look best in the 30 to 50 grams a day range.  Remember this isn’t a static diet like most diet plans; this diet plan should be specific to you and your unique body.

The Victory Weekend.
Every weekend following the first 14 days you can eat whatever you want for 12 to 48 hours.  You can call this the victory weekend or your splurge days.  It lets you feel human and enjoy food without looking like a diet freak!   Your body is in a constant state of physical transformation weekly with this diet, that’s why it’s important to know when to stop at the weekend. If you find that you have an unlimited appetite on weekends, that’s ok within reason but be careful. If you are eating pizza and ice-cream you may want to stop after 12 hours.  On the other hand if you are carbing up with potatoes, fruit and veg and maybe a slice or two of pizza the full 48 hours may be best.  The whole idea is to become aware of the way your body responds and adjust your food intake accordingly.

That’s why you have to be aware and notice when you start to feel bloated.  Everyone responds to food differently. I can’t emphasis this enough, keep an eye on yourself and the way your body responds.

A Breakfast that Helps to Burn Fat?

by Steven Milner IIST

Here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning.
If your reading this you are probably concerned about bodyfat and the shape of your body, after all this is a health site. What I outline here is fantastic 5-minute recipe for a delicious breakfast to speed up your metabolism, charge your energy levels and start you burning belly fat.

If you want to pack on belly fat, here’s a foolproof way to do it:
Just eat any version of the typical English breakfast, including the utterly idiotic “low-fat” breakfast popular in the 80’s of orange juice, whole wheat toast, special K, skimmed milk and a banana that’ll guarantee a surge of the fat storage hormone insulin, and a crash of blood sugar a couple of hours later to boot. (This, by the way, is exactly why you’ll be starving at 11 o’clock and ready to kill for a kitkat.)

So what’s a good alternative? Well here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning…
One of the best breakfasts for eliminating belly fat is a high-protein shake. Protein revs up the metabolism and doesn’t have nearly the same effect on insulin, the fat storage hormone I mentioned earlier, that carbs do. Use a high-quality whey protein that provides one of the cleanest, most powerful sources of protein on the planet.
For breakfast, mix the protein powder (you might want to get hold of a hand blender) with either water or whole milk (still legal in England). Then choose from a variety of options similar to the “toppings” section at a smoothie counter.

Any of the following, alone or in combination, is terrific:
1) A tablespoon of peanut butter: The fat blunts the impact of the shake on your blood sugar (and insulin levels) and the peanut butter is a delicious addition.
2) A tablespoon of oatmeal: The oatmeal adds some more fibre and some valuable beta-glucans, which help control blood sugar. Don’t do this if you’re sensitive to gluten.
3) A cup of frozen berries: Blueberries are low in sugar and calories and loaded with antioxidants. Plus if you use them frozen, it makes your protein shake taste like a smoothie.

For a super-charged bodybuilders breakfast shake you can also include a raw egg or two Rocky style.
Bodybuilders have been using raw eggs in their protein shakes since the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger, as it’s one of nature’s most perfect foods and one of the highest rated protein sources on the planet.

Add these two secret weapons and voila, you’re done…
After choosing one or more of the “extras” (see above), you can take it a stage further by adding a scoop of a propriety brand of fibre. Fibre not only maintains the health of the digestive tract, but it also reduces the risk of a number of diseases including heart disease and diabetes and even certain forms of cancer. It also keeps you, as old-timers used to say, “Regular.”
And if you want to go the whole hog add one tablespoon of flavoured omega-3 fish oil. It provides a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids which lower inflammation and benefit your health in a myriad of ways. And the fat will keep you fuller longer, adding to the time that this shake will keep you away from bad snack habits. All this should take less than two minutes to prepare.

Why is this shake perfect for trimming ugly belly fat?
The reason this shake is perfect for trimming belly fat is simple: it won’t cause your fat STORING hormone, insulin, to rise. When your blood sugar goes up quickly and stays there, insulin rises in response. This effectively turns off the hormone glucagon, your fat BURNING hormone that has the exact opposite effect of insulin.
If you want to burn belly fat, you’ll want your fat-burning switch to be turned “on” and your glucagon to be flowing. So you want a breakfast that doesn’t send insulin levels skyrocketing. It’s that simple.

Here’s the recipe in case you were wondering.
Here’s a sample recipe for a “belly-fat eliminating” breakfast shake. Feel free to vary to taste.
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 cup whole milk or water
1 cup frozen blueberries (any berries will do)
1 tablespoon oatmeal
1 raw egg (optional)
3 ice cubes (optional)
1 scoop fibre (optional)
1 tablespoon flavoured fish oil (optional

If you come up with some interesting variations, let me know!
Meanwhile, be ready to be surprised at how good you feel, how much energy you have and how easy it is to start dropping waist sizes.

I get my protein powders from a number of sources such as SK Sports or the shop at the shop in my gym Ultrafit Nutrition

DON’T STAND BY AND WATCH YOUR KIDS GET FAT!


by
STEVEN MILNER IIST

DON’T STAND BY AND WATCH YOUR KIDS GET FAT!
The busy school year brings habits that encourage kids to become overweight or obese. Here’s some ideas on how to help your children lose weight or stay fit all year long. Last year, a study from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth UK, revealed that:
Three quarters
of parents failed to recognise their child was overweight.
33 percent of mums and 57 percent of dads considered their child’s weight to be ‘about right’ when, in fact, they were obese.
One in ten parents expressed some concern about their child being underweight when they were actually a normal, healthy weight.

Figures taken from the most recent large-scale survey in the UK shockingly reveal that 33 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys aged between two and nineteen years are obese or overweight. Parents need to be aware that healthy weight in childhood is more than an aesthetic issue, and looking good isn’t always the same as feeling good. Studies show that obesity in children and teens can be a predicter of not only a person’s weight later in life, but also overall health, longevity and quality of life. A recent study of 227,000 Norwegians who have been followed from adolescence to middle age found that those who were overweight or obese as teens were over three times more likely to die of heart disease. In addition, the risk of death from colon cancer and respiratory diseases, including asthma and emphysema, was two to three times higher in the subjects who were overweight or obese as teens. However, getting children to eat healthy and exercise sufficiently is easier said than done. Read on for tips on getting children to eat healthier and exercise more.

Nutrition Tips to Fight Obesity
Make favourite dishes healthier.
You don’t have to serve kids only salads and roast chicken. But do make their favourites, like burgers, pasta, and pizza in a healthier way. Try using olive oil instead of butter, and reducing the amount of cheese, cream, butter and other high-fat dairy products used in the recipes. Sneak extra veggies into tomato sauces, or use green peppers and broccoli as pizza toppings. For sandwiches, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread and low-fat versions of dressings like mayonnaise.
Pack a lunch.
Let your child help plan his or her weekly school lunches. Not only will you likely save money, the meal will be healthier, too.
Limit pop and fruit juice
.
Both contain lots of sugar and calories. If you do serve juice, dilute it with soda water to lower the calories. Keep filtered water in the fridge so it is available and cold when kids need a drink, that is if you don’t trust the tap water.
Eat meals together.
Having family meals together helps adolescents eat more fruits, vegetables, and fibre and fewer fatty foods and soft drinks. Even if you don’t have time to eat a family meal every night, make sure you have healthy options in the kitchen to avoid last-minute dinners of fast food or takeout, which tend to be higher in fat and calories than home-cooked meals. Some good options to have on hand are pre-washed lettuce, baby carrots, cold cuts of meat,  whole-grain bread and low fat spreads and dressings.
Offer treats in moderation
.
Ice cream, cake, sweets and biscuits can be limited to special occasions like birthday parties, holidays, amusement park trips, and other infrequent occurrences or celebrations. As alternatives, keep plenty of fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, and berries washed and easily accessible.

Exercise Tips for Losing Weight or Staying Fit
Sneak in exercise.
If you make working out into a game or play time, kids will be more interested. Try skipping, roly poly, playing tick, and jumping for children 5 to 8 year olds. Older kids can play statues, jump rope games, relay races, or run obstacle courses. The key is to make exercises “FUN”ctional. Give it a go, the old favourites are still the best. Kids love to run about and make it look effortless for hours sometimes, ever notice how all this stops when kids get fat?
Turn off the TV.
Studies have found direct correlation between the number of hours of television that children watch and their risk of obesity. Video games and computer usage contribute to the problem as well. Limit the time your child spends on these sedentary activities to no more than an hour per day.
Chores count as exercise, too.
Making the bed, mowing the lawn, and raking leaves all count as exercise. Assign older children more active chores and they’ll exercise without even knowing it.
Get extra help.
If your child’s school doesn’t offer extracurricular or organized team sports, search out programs in your local community or classes at the local school gym.
Set a good example.
Your kids watch what you do, so set a good example by improving your nutrition and exercise habits as well.

IT’S NOT FAIR TO STAND BY AND LET YOUR KIDS GET FAT!
YOU WOULDN’T TRY TO HANDICAP YOUR KIDS IN ANY OTHER WAY WOULD YOU?

Dangers of the HCG Diet

HCG SIDE EFFECTS


Edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

Dangers of the HCG Diet
reblogged from “Fit and Health” website by Tom Scheve

Losing weight at the rate of a pound a day may sound tempting, but the HCG diet may pose some very serious health risks.

Taking the HCG hormone itself can cause a variety of complications that can read like the fine print in a prescription disclaimer: Users may report incidences of headaches, blood clots, restlessness, leg cramps, constipation, temporary hair thinning, depression and male breast enlargement. Also, you may feel, well, like you’re pregnant — swelling, breast tenderness and water retention, anyone? HCG can also cause a potentially life-threatening condition called ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), in which ovaries over-stimulated by hormones can swell and leak fluid into the abdomen. This can cause abdominal pain and weight gain but can lead to blood clots, kidney failure, fluid build-up in the abdomen or chest, and electrolyte imbalances.

On top of the possible complications from the hormone, severely reduced calorie diets have their own set of side effects. While the amount of calories your body needs depends on how much activity you do every day, most adult women need between 1,800 and 2,400 calories per day, and adult men need 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day. Those trying to lose weight typically eat between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day. At 500 calories, the HCG diet calls for only a fraction of those requirements.

When you’re on an extremely reduced calorie diet such as the HCG plan, you’re basically starving yourself. By allowing so few calories per day, it can be difficult to meet your daily nutritional needs. You may also experience some not-so-pleasant side effects such as fatigue, nausea, constipation and diarrhoea. Your hair might start falling out. Even worse, you may develop gallstones, which could require surgery to correct.

Another problem with severely restricted calorie diets is that once you go off them and start eating a regular amount of calories, you’re bound to regain some of the weight you lost.

The FDA (America) has also received at least one report of an HCG dieter who developed a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the lung that can potentially be fatal

.

Proponents of the diet point out that the hormone HCG is natural and clearly safe for pregnant women and the foetus’ they carry, and that dieters receive a much smaller dose of HCG than is found under normal conditions in pregnant women.

“Bodybuilders have been injecting HCG at the end of seriously stacked steroid cycles to re-start the bodies natural testosterone production, it works but you have to inject it. Drops, pills and sprays are only available on prescription for fertility treatment and claims in respect of weight loss are mostly fraudulent. There are easier ways of losing weight.”
STEVEN MILNER  IIST VTCT

INTRODUCTION TO THE HCG DIET

by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

HCG, just what is it?
Just recently there has been a spate of virus’s hacking peoples face book profiles and posting outlandish claims for weight loss using HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin. The first time I saw this I thought people would see how ridiculous the whole idea was, but then I realised not everyone has taken steroids before!

So is HCG a steroid?
Well no, but it is a human growth hormone found in high concentrations in the urine of pregnant women. So why would men and women who are clearly not pregnant use it? Lose weight without trying? Hardly!

Here’s the science behind the claims.
HCG may have more than one medical application, but it’s primary function is to guarantee that a developing foetus receives the calories and nutrients it needs to grow, this is despite the daily caloric intake of the mother in the early developmental months of pregnancy. How does it do this? By mobilising the calorie dense fat deposits from the “problem” areas such as the hips, buttocks, abdomen and thighs. Fat from these areas is released by the action of HCG, providing energy for the foetus. This way, if the mother doesn’t consume the extra calories needed for babies growth, her fat reserves will be converted to energy for that growth. HCG is produced by a woman early on in her pregnancy and levels of HCG in the bloodstream peak at around 14 weeks. After that, levels gradually decrease. HCG’s peak levels occur during in the time when a woman would be least likely to know she is pregnant, and therefore less conscious of the need for more nutrients needed during pregnancy.

This is where things should start to worry you.
In the past bodybuilders who cycled anabolic and in particular androgenic (male sex hormone) steroids knew that the synthetic testosterone overdose taken during the cycle shuts down the natural testosterone production of the testicles (which then shrink). So at the end of a cycle it’s important that the natural production resumes as quickly as possible (so your balls grow back) and this is achieved within hours of administering an INJECTION OF HCG. The American Federal Drug Agency has only approved HCG for fertility treatments by injection and that offering drops, pills, nasal sprays etc. as an homeopathic remedy  is both FRAUDULENT and ILLEGAL. Furthermore, HCG is gonadotrophic, meaning that it prompts genital development, and was used as a treatment for boys experiencing a delay in adolescence or gonad development due to disorders of the pituitary gland. For a grown man this means gynecomastia or “bitch tit” and when you develop breast tissue you open yourself up to breast cancer. While it is rare, around 340 men are diagnosed with the disease in the UK each year.

Can it force your body to burn fat?
Well it can if you want to inject yourself for 40 days and only eat 500 calories a day chosen from a very short list of “allowed” foods. As far as diets go this one can be made to work but it’s also been about since the 1920’s so why haven’t we all been using it for years?
There are lots of old wives tales regarding the medicinal benefits of drinking a pregnant womans urine but this might just be taking the piss too much!

ZUMBA “It’s exercise in disguise.”

ZUMBA “It’s exercise in disguise.”

by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

I’ve been asked a few times now about Zumba and whether or not it’s a fad and does it work? Last year I reported on predicted trends for health and fitness in 2012 with a post titled “Fun workouts will remain hot in 2012 by the ACSM” Zumba makes it into the top ten at nine and looks set to climb as 2012 goes on.

Top 10 worldwide fitness trends for 2012
1. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals
2. Strength training
3. Fitness programs for older adults
4. Exercise and weight loss
5. Children and obesity
6. Personal training
7. Core training
8. Group personal training

“9. Zumba and other dance workouts
ZUMBA! and Other Dance Workouts. ZUMBA! Requires energy and enthusiasm from the instructor and the participants, which combines Latin rhythms with interval-type exercise and resistance training. ZUMBA! and other dance workouts first appeared on the list of potential trends in 2010 and ranked no. 31 of 37 potential trends; in 2011, it was ranked no. 24 of a possible 31 choices. In 2012, it jumped to the top 10. Clearly, the popularity of ZUMBA! is growing with this rapid escalation in popularity. Future surveys will determine if this is a trend or a fad.”
(According to ACSM’s HEALTH & FITNESS JOURNALA | www.acsm-healthfitness.org )

“I think people are waiting to see if we’re a fad, but class numbers keep getting bigger and Zumba is becoming more popular, so now, people realize we’re here to stay,” said Alberto Perlman, CEO and co-founder of Zumba fitness. “Zumba is liberating and magical, and one of the key ways it has expanded is through word of mouth,” Perlman said.

Zumba classes are offered in more than 110,000 gyms in more than 250 countries. So it probably won’t be hard to find a gym that offers these classes. One look in the local classifieds lists loads of venues and classes to suit all levels and pockets. A friend of mine recently posted on facebook how much she had enjoyed a class she’d been to because it was fun and got her more sweaty than “just going to the gym”. She also said that she’d paid £2 and was considering another class at £3.50 but that another was too expensive at £6 per class. Being a fit lets you enjoy life more, getting and staying fit should also be enjoyable and Zumba certainly seems to fit the bill here. Give it a go and let me know what YOU think.

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique
By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique, are they the same thing?

Your muscles are vital in supporting normal body movement and exercise. If you suffer from pain or discomfort associated with decreased muscle function, treatment can improve your quality of life as well as your muscles’ ability to work better for longer. Muscle Activation Techniques and Trigger Point Therapy are two similar forms of treatment but for different muscle conditions. I would always advise talking to your GP if you are at all unsure of the nature of your condition.

Areas of Focus
Muscle Activation Techniques treat different problems than Trigger Point Therapy and making the correct choice early increases the chances of successfully eliminating your condition in the shortest possible time. Muscle Activation Technique, designed to combat muscle imbalances, can improve overall function and prolong the functional effectiveness of the muscle group involved. As a contrast, trigger point therapy, is a form of alternative medicine and is generally used to alleviate the pain associated with knots in your muscles.

Application
Muscle Activation Techniques and trigger point therapy involve stimulating the affected muscles by a professional trained in the specific treatment. During trigger point therapy, trigger points are manipulated and massaged in a systematic order to relieve the pain and discomfort that occurs with tight muscles, including those in your back and shoulders. Muscle Activation Techniques uses a similar approach, in that your various muscles are treated in a specific order. The theory is that your muscles, being connected to your nervous system, need to work in harmony to prevent reduced function in certain areas of your body. With Muscle Activation Techniques, muscle problems are not massaged away, but rather treated through specific manual therapy. By working these muscles with Muscle Activation Techniques, you allow the therapist to harmonize your entire body, improving the function of your muscles as a whole.

Likely Benefits
While Muscle Activation Techniques and trigger point therapy were designed for different conditions, the benefits are similar. Both M.A.T and T.P.T improve flexibility and range of motion as well as managing pain and discomfort. Treatments can be instrumental to achieving a full range of motion without pain in your muscles and joints. Whats great is both types of therapy can improve posture and neither makes use of medication.

But Which Way To Go
The decision to use Muscle Activation Techniques or trigger point therapy will depend on your symptoms, if you suffer from tight muscles due to long hours at the computer, headaches, back pain, strain injuries, foot pain or hip pain, trigger point therapy might be the best choice. If performance in a sport or workout you have done often for many years has fallen away, Muscle Activation Techniques might be a better choice. If your flexibility and range of motion are decreasing with age, Muscle Activation Techniques may be the way forward.

Trigger Point Therapy or Muscle Activation Technique

How 15 Minute Doses Of Physical Activity Can Boost Your Life

STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

How 15 Minute Doses Of Physical Activity Can Boost Your Life

It is still better to exercise even for 15 minutes a day than to do nothing at all. It is better to do a consistent 15 minute workout that you can stick with, than risk prolonged discomfort with little return for your effort in turn leading to you quitting exercise in the end. There have been numerous studies published regarding the physical and mental benefits one can get from consistent short duration physical activities. This is good news for sedentary or inactive people who usually get overwhelmed with 30 minutes a day of exercise in the pursuit of health and fitness benefits.

Cardiovascular Health
An interesting three-month study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that 15 minute cardiovascular and strength training workouts can produce significant improvements in one’s fitness levels and heart health, such as decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

What 15-Minute Strength And Cardio Exercise Programs Can You Do?
Alternate 30 seconds or a minute of resistance training routine like push-ups, squats, lunges and abdominal crunches with a minute of cardio routine like star jumps, step-ups, jogging in place or dancing in place until you complete a total of 15 minutes. This type of workout can increase your heart rate throughout the 15 minute routine.

Walk briskly for 15 minutes early in the morning or in the afternoon.
Dance for 15 minutes every morning or before taking a shower at night.
Clean, sweep or map the floor nonstop for 15 minutes every day.

Waist Management
An Australian study published in Diabetes Care showed that people who take more breaks from sedentary positions, such as standing up more frequently from a sitting position or taking a single step, can have smaller waist circumference and lower blood glucose and triglyceride levels.

How To Incorporate Workout Breaks To Your Day
Give yourself a rule or set an alarm every 20-30 minutes so you can take a short walk or stretch break wherever you are. Standing or walking around the room while using the telephone is one option. Squeeze your butt while sitting, extend and bend your knees, lift and lower your arms and twist your torso side to side every 30-60 minutes.

Self-Control
A study on exercise and self-control conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, published in Appetite showed that exercise helps reduce a person’s chocolate cravings and improves one’s coping strategy for stress.  This study also suggested that a short dose of exercise can help people who are trying to quit smoking to cut back on caffeine and switch to a diet.

How Physical Activities Improve Your Self-Control
When craving for something like chocolates or salty junk foods, try to get outside your house first and walk for 10-15 minutes. You might be surprised how physical activities can help diminish your cravings. Whenever you feel the urge to eat something, boredom doesn’t help, get busy by dancing inside your room for 10 minutes, or completing your household chores. This strategy will distract you from thinking too much about food. Try to do your 15-minute home workout routine and you will feel more empowered to control your urges to eat extra calories, because you might not want to offset the 100 calories burned from a short workout just by eating a 100-calorie piece of chocolate.

Better Mood And Self-Esteem
A 2010 meta-analysis, which collectively observed more than 1,200 participants, published in Environmental Science and Technology showed that “Green Exercise” or outdoor activities, such as walking, running, hiking, biking, taking your dog or kids out walking for as little as 5 minutes a day, improved self-esteem and mood, compared to physical activity lasting 10-60 minutes.There have also been a number of studies proving that sedentary people can benefit from shorter periods of exercise when it comes to mental health improvement.

15 Minute “Green Exercise” Tips
Walk your dog every day.
Play with your kids in the garden.
Check out the nearest park to your work, nowadays many of them have organised activities at lunchtimes.
Use your bike to run errands.

Live Longer
A study published this year in Lancet Journal and conducted by researchers at the National Health Institutes in Taiwan found that those who exercised 15 minutes a day, or a total of 90 minutes a week, extended life expectancy by three years, compared with those who did not exercise at all. This study tracked 416,000 Taiwanese adults.

Make A 15-Minute Workout Part Of Your New Lifestyle
Choose the most doable and the most practical activities you can for every day, like walking or doing the garden, and spice things up when you’ve got more time and resources.
Make your activities fun and enjoyable by involving your partner, your kids and even your friends.
Memorize by heart a simple 15 minute exercise routine that you can use to target your whole body, using only bodyweight exercises.
When on a trip or vacation, make a commitment to yourself to move at least 15 minutes a day, even just by strolling or climbing up and down the stairs several times a day.