Monday, October 29, 2007

Is Creatine For You?

Why is creatine such a big deal? Because creatine works. Lifters know this, professors know this, and the marketers who sell the stuff know this.But what are the side effects? Risks? Here's what you need to know about this muscle-building supplement before you put it into your body.

read more | digg story

Friday, October 26, 2007

Criminalizing Natural Health, Vitamins, and Herbs

(Part 1 of 4) Dr. Rima Laibow, M.D., speaks about a movement to place nutritional supplements under the control of the FDA and pharmaceutical industry. If this outrages you, contact your congressional representative and tell them you don't like "Docket: 2006D-0480" or ANY plans to have the FDA and drug companies controlling your nutritional supplements.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Sleep Smarter and Better

There are lots of ways out there to beat insomnia, increase the quality of your sleep, and master the power nap. Lifehacker gives its top 10 favorite sleep techniques, tips and facts.

read more | digg story

Monday, October 22, 2007

Protecting the Aging Brain

The most effective technique for slowing the decline of the aging brain seems to be physical exercise. Exercise is known both to boost mood and maintain the blood supply network to the brain, both of which are known to be crucial to mental functioning.
Physical exercise is the best-proven prescription so far, the scientists agreed. Memory improved when 72-year-olds started a walking program three days a week, and sophisticated scans showed their brains' activity patterns started resembling those of younger people. Read more
Exercise is not just good for your muscles and your heart, but also for your brain.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The War on Drugs Is Over; Drugs Won: The Failure of Drug Prohibition

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes at the very principles upon which our government was founded."- Abraham Lincoln

As Abraham Lincoln predicted, alcohol prohibition in the 1920s turned the cause of temperance into a national joke. Although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it subsequently increased. Alcohol became more dangerous to consume. Crime increased and became "organized." The court and prison systems were stretched to the breaking point, and corruption of public officials was rampant. The only thing that Prohibition reduced was respect for the law.

Drug prohibition has not stopped the making, selling, buying, or using of recreational substances any more than alcohol prohibition in the 1920s reduced the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Federal, state, and local governments have spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to make America “drug-free" and incarcerated nearly half a million people on drug charges--more than all of western Europe (with a bigger population) incarcerates for all offenses. Yet heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other illegal drugs are as widely available as ever, particularly to young people.

The side effects of the moralistic War on Drugs have been a disaster. Many of the problems that drug prohibition purports to resolve are, in fact, caused by prohibition itself. Drug prohibition helps drug dealers and drug lords make higher profits in the illegal drug black market because prohibition enforcement drives prices up. Illegal drugs are much more expensive than they would be if they were legal since the products themselves are either common plants-- cannabis (marijuana), poppies (heroin), coca (cocaine)--or the cheap pharmaceuticals and "precursors" used, for example, in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Drug prohibition itself also causes most so-called “drug-related” crime. Drug violence is seldom caused by the drugs themselves, but rather by the criminal way in which drugs are sold. Nearly all drug-related murders involve one drug dealer shooting another. Just as Al Capone’s gang killed other bootleggers, drug dealers are violent because they have to be. How else can you run an illegal cash business with no police protection or recourse to the courts?

Leaving aside the failure of drug prohibition to accomplish its purported purpose, the worst aspect of the War on Drugs is its responsibility for a dramatic erosion of our basic freedoms and rights. Nearly every medium to large city now operates a paramilitary-style police unit that specializes in drug raids on homes. The standard of evidence necessary to obtain a warrant for such a raid is often nothing more than the word of an informant compelled to cooperate for his or her self-interest. Most of the techniques now used in the "War on Terror" were first developed for use in the Drug War. Warrantless searches, seizure of property upon arrest, wide-ranging wiretaps, and the general erosion of the assumption of innocence are all the result of the War on Drugs.

America was founded upon the ideals of freedom and individual liberty. The founding fathers envisioned a government that stayed out of the private lives of its citizens unless a citizen's action posed a danger to the welfare of his neighbor. Though government has a right and duty to protect us from harm by others, it should not interfere in bad decision making that puts no one else at risk. The very notion of protecting citizens from themselves is nothing more that the imposition of a religious moral code on everyone, regardless of his or her own beliefs. In this country, adults should be free to make choices that others disapprove of so long as the consequences of those decisions do not pose a direct or potential risk to the welfare of others.

Prohibition only creates crime and related social harms. This was the case with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, and it is the case now with drug prohibition. The War on Drugs has become a war on families, a war on public health, and a war on our constitutional rights. It only took our ancestors about 15 years to realize that alcohol prohibition was a failure and end it. After more than 30 years, the time has now come for contemporary Americans to end drug prohibition and regulate drugs just as we do alcohol and tobacco.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stretching before Exercise May Be a Waste of Time

If you're trying to prevent muscle aches and stiffness, stretching before exercise may be a waste of time (and so is stretching afterwards), according to to a new study.
The elaborate limbering up routines favored by many athletes and gym-goers do little to prevent muscle aches and stiffness, researchers found.

Stretching muscles after exercise may be equally pointless, they say.

[...]

Dr Polly McGuigan, an expert in exercise and sport at Bath University, agreed there was no evidence that stretching muscles did any good before exercising 'In fact there is some evidence 'It could even do harm'

'There is no really good explanation out there for why stretching could reduce post-exercise aches and injuries, or improve performance. Read more
I couldn't agree more, especially on stretching before exercise, which reduces muscle power.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Merck HPV Vaccine Push Shot Down

Good news for freedom of choice and parental rights.
In the face of a growing parental backlash and amid new reports of adverse reactions to the new HPV vaccine, in a dramatic turnaround, the drug giant Merck has announced it will halt a coordinated multi-state lobbying push to have the HPV vaccine mandated for 11-12 year old girls. The vaccine requires three doses and is very expensive at a cost of about $400. The HPV vaccine campaign has been dubbed “Help Pay for Vioxx” by critics alarmed at the heavy hand of Merck in the push to mandate the vaccine across the country.

The quiet lobbying campaign hit the headlines when Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued an unprecedented executive order requiring all Texas girls entering the sixth grade the vaccine Gardasil by 2008. The order has resulted in a backlash from parents and legislators.

About 20 states are considering measures to mandate that girls have the vaccine to attend school, but none has passed so far.

The change by Merck comes as a new report of dangerous reactions to the vaccine was released by the National Vaccine Information Center. The report details several types of reported reactions. According to the report, adverse reactions are growing with 385 adverse event reports made for the vaccine with two-thirds of those having a reaction requiring additional medical care. The reports are most likely the tip of the ice berg because reporting adverse vaccine reactions is voluntary. Studies have estimated that as few as 1-in-10 adverse vaccine reactions are actually reported.
Read more
Like so much government regulation, this was corporate welfare, disguised, in this case, as disease prevention. Apparently though, mandating an unproven vaccine for a disease which can't be spread by casual contact was a little too much for even the normally docile, gullible American public.

By the way, authoritarian Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is also pushing the NAFTA Superhighway which will run through his state, is announcing is support today for, who else, Rudy Giuliani.

Monday, October 15, 2007

10 Embarrassingly Obvious Health Studies

Some health studies discover new information that we can use to stay healthy. These 10 studies do not. In fact, when you read the conclusions of these studies, you just have to say to yourself, "Duh! No kidding?"
Scientists are rational. They’re logical. They’re smart. That’s what makes all that science so readily believable, right? These folks are experts, and so we listen. But sometimes we run across a study that makes us wonder, “Why did anyone study that? It’s obvious.”
Among the earthshaking revelations we learn from these studies are that cigarettes cost money, cocaine and alcohol aren't good for your brain, and people are easier to recognize when they're close than when they're far away. To read more results of health studies which discovered what you already knew, click here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Diet and Fat: A Scientific Consensus Gone Wrong

Everybody "knows" that fat is bad for you, just as they "know" that global warming is caused by human activity. The problem is that fat isn't bad for you, despite the fact that in the 1970s 92 percent of the world's leading doctors claimed it was. In 1988 Surgeon General C. Everett Koop even claimed that, “The depth of the science base underlying its [his report's] findings is even more impressive than that for tobacco and health in 1964.”
It may seem bizarre that a surgeon general could go so wrong. After all, wasn’t it his job to express the scientific consensus? But that was the problem. Dr. Koop was expressing the consensus. He, like the architects of the federal “food pyramid” telling Americans what to eat, went wrong by listening to everyone else. He was caught in what social scientists call a cascade.We like to think that people improve their judgment by putting their minds together, and sometimes they do. The studio audience at “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” usually votes for the right answer. But suppose, instead of the audience members voting silently in unison, they voted out loud one after another. And suppose the first person gets it wrong.

If the second person isn’t sure of the answer, he’s liable to go along with the first person’s guess. By then, even if the third person suspects another answer is right, she’s more liable to go along just because she assumes the first two together know more than she does. Thus begins an “informational cascade” as one person after another assumes that the rest can’t all be wrong.

Because of this effect, groups are surprisingly prone to reach mistaken conclusions even when most of the people started out knowing better, according to the economists Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer and Ivo Welch. If, say, 60 percent of a group’s members have been given information pointing them to the right answer (while the rest have information pointing to the wrong answer), there is still about a one-in-three chance that the group will cascade to a mistaken consensus. Read more

When the global warmers try to stampede the public with threats, intimidation, and claims that the science is "settled" into give them to power to control society, we need to remember that consensus can be wrong, particularly when it's arrived at publicly.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Is There an Anti-Acne Diet After All?

For years, teenagers were told that eating certain foods would make their acne worse. More recently they've been told that was wrong. Diet doesn't affect acne; it's all hormones. Now it turns out that diet can alleviate the condition.
A research team, led by Associate Professor Neil Mann from RMIT University’s School of Applied Sciences, has discovered a solid link between acne and diet.
"We think we've come across a way to alter your diet in a very healthy way that will alleviate the symptoms of acne and at the same time will make you a lot healthier," Associate Professor Mann said.

The study recruited 50 boys and divided them into two groups. One group consumed a typical teen diet of sugary snacks and processed foods, while the other group followed a more natural diet higher in protein and with low-glycemic index foods such as whole grain bread, pasta, and legumes. The study showed impressive results in just 12 weeks.

"The acne of the boys on the higher protein-low GI diet improved dramatically, by more than 50 per cent, which is more than what you see with topical acne solutions," said Associate Professor Mann. Read more

The traditional advice to avoid certain foods was partly right. Sweets, which have a high-glycemic index, were one category of foods that acne sufferers were told to avoid. Greasy foods, another prohibited category, apparently don't have any effect on the severity of acne though.

Folk medicine usually has generations of anecdotal evidence behind it. Though it may not be completely right, and the explanation of why it works may be partly or completely wrong, researchers would be wise to consider and test folk remedies rather than dismissing them out-of-hand as "old wives' tales."

Monday, October 8, 2007

300 Spartan Workout Training. Superset Style 8

Here are the rules for 300 Spartan Workout version 8: Perform one set from A1 and then one set of A2, rest for 45 sec, then repeat until you did 2 sets of each. Don't rest between these sets. For example, perform Staggered Push followed by Decline Press without any break in between this set.


300 Spartan Workout Training. Superset Style 8 - The funniest home videos are here

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Vaginal Strengthening Exercises for More Powerful Orgasms

At her Sex Secrets blog, Svetlana Ivanova has written the female version of my post on PC muscle exercises for men.
If you have weak sexual muscles, you may have a hard time having an orgasm, or, at the very least, you will not have the powerful orgasms that you could be having. To have powerful, intense, and, especially, female-ejaculatory orgasms, you must have strong sexual muscles. The good news is that there are several exercises that can strengthen them. Read more

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Double Your Pull-ups in Six Weeks or Less

The pull-up is the king of upper body exercises. Being able to pull up one's own body weight is one of the most useful tests of functional strength. Elite military units, such as Navy SEALs and Air Force Special Tactics, want their members to be able to do at least 20 pull-ups. As a freshman in high school, I watched a classmate (a heavily muscled swimmer) do 47 during lunch recess. However, the overwhelming majority of men and women (Yes, women can do pull-ups.) can't even do 10. If you would like to dramatically improve your upper body strength, here is the program I used to double my pull-up totals in only five weeks.

Major Charles Lewis Armstrong, USMC, used this routine to prepare himself for an attempt to set a world record for pull-ups. The Armstrong pull-up program consists of two workouts per day, five days a week. Before you faint at the thought of violating the "laws" of fitness that restrict exercise to 3 days a week every other day, remember that the amount of recovery time needed from exercise varies with the type, volume, and intensity. The military typically uses a Monday through Friday training schedule for calisthenics.

Monday: Do five maximum effort sets. Rest 90 seconds between each set. Make sure that each set is a maximum effort set, but don't concern yourself with numbers. You will probably increase the numbers in the last two sets before you see much improvement in the first three.

Tuesday: Pyramid Day. Start the pyramid with one repetition, the next set has two repetitions, the next has three. Rest 10 seconds for each repetition in the previous set. Continue adding reps to each set until you miss a set. That means, if your last set was five, and your next set should be six, but you could only do four, you missed a set. Then finish your workout with one more set at a maximum effort.

Wednesday: Do three “training sets” of overhand pull-ups, three sets of underhand pull-ups, and three sets of overhand pull-ups where the back of your neck touches the bar. Rest 60 seconds between sets. A training set is determined by your current level of strength. If you are advanced, it might be 5 or 6. The goal of the workout is to do the same number of repetitions per set, so start off conservatively. If you can only do one, use one. You must complete nine training sets for this workout.

Thursday: Do the maximum number of training sets that you can. Use the same number of repetitions that you used in your Wednesday sets. Rest 60 seconds between each set. Do training sets until you miss a set.

Friday: Repeat the day that you found to be the hardest in the previous four days. This may vary from week to week.

Most people who stick with this program are able to double their pull-ups in 4-6 weeks. In addition to pull-ups, Major Armstrong did three maximum effort sets of push-ups every morning, and then did his pull-up routine 3-4 hours later. That workout schedule is probably not convenient for most people, but it doesn't have to be followed exactly. Just be sure to do the pull-up routine separately from the push-ups. Though I don't recommend it, you could also skip the push-ups unless you're training for a fitness test which includes push-ups.

Unless you are facing a make-or-break fitness test, I personally wouldn't follow this program longer than 6-8 weeks even if you haven't reached your ultimate goal number. Change to a different exercise routine, while maintaining your pull-up gains by doing 5 sets of 50% of your max, five days a week, or doing your max reps at least twice a week. In other words, if you want to maintain the ability to do 20 pull-ups, do 5 sets of 10, five days a week, or do a set of 20 at least twice a week. After 1-2 months, you should be able to go back to the Armstrong pull-up program at about the same place you left off and push on to the next level.

If you can follow simple instructions, then you can build a HEALTHY, HIGH-PERFORMANCE, ATTRACTIVE body in the comfort of your own home using ONLY bodyweight exercises. To discover the REAL reason you've failed to reach your fitness, fat loss and physique-building goals (and what you can do about it), click here!

 
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