What Is The Best_____? Tip #1

It’s amusing to see so many daily articles on the Internet stating what the “BEST” exercise/diet/cardio program etc. there is for losing weight, improving cardio, building bigger biceps, toning your core, getting rid of back pain, etc., etc.  Nothing is ever the best for everyone, plain and simple and here’s the first, and in my opinion, the most important reason why.

When it comes to “the best”, you have to consider a few variables.  At the top of the list is safety.  Not only safety of the exercise itself but also the application of that exercise for each individual.  For instance, the bodyweight squat is a wonderful exercise that builds lessonsstrength in the legs, hips and core as well as provides improved mobility in the ankles, knees and hips.  And when performed to muscular fatigue, it will provide significant cardiovascular stimulation.  But not everyone can perform this exercise properly due to mechanical reasons or they just can’t grasp the movement and therefore, it is not a safe option for them because they can incur an injury or further along an already bad situation.  On the other hand, some people can execute this movement flawlessly, but the end result for them may be something that causes a problem due to a previous issue or it invokes some discomfort in a joint that previously wasn’t there as an example.

So really, the take home message is this: not every recommendation of the BEST has a universal application to it.  Proper guidance and coaching, along with common sense and not blindly following a suggestion is probably a good start in to finding what’s BEST for you.

The Most Underrated Activity?

In my opinion, one of the most underrated activities a person can do is walk. A lot of people don’t find value in walking, and that’s unfortunate because there are many benefits that can come from taking a stroll.

Fitness-WalkingWalking contributes in several ways to your health and well-being. It can help you reduce weight, lower stress, improve flexibility and mobility, increase cardio-respiratory fitness, exposure to vitamin D, improve lung capacity, provide an opportunity to clear your mind or give you time to think, have alone time or spend time with a friend, reduce muscle soreness and arthritis pain, increase leg and core strength, etc., etc.


Trends In Health

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote back in the summer of 2004. I hate to say it but since then the problem has seemed to worsen exponentially, greatly due to the Internet and marketeers stalking the desperate…..

It was the summer of 2004 and my wife and I were out and about so we stopped by a Barnes & Noble to look around. As we made our way through the various sections, one in particular jumped out at me and froze me in my tracks. Above a large selection of books was a sign identifying the category for which it represented. In big bold letters was “Trends in Health”. I stood and stared for what seemed to be several minutes, almost dumbfounded at what I had just read. My wife had made her way ahead of me and after coming out of my trans like state, I slowly moseyed on over to where she was standing, continually looking back over my shoulder as to reconfirm what I had just seen. Apparently I had a stranger than normal look on my face because she asked me what the problem was, almost implying that I was acting like I had just seen somethreadinging disturbing. I had her walk back to the “trends” section with me and just pointed to the sign.

A trend (as defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary) is something that people veer in a new direction towards, choosing to take on a new approach or become deflected. This happens quite often when it comes to diet and exercise, usually stemming mainly from what’s in vogue at the time. The so-called diet community, nutritional experts and exercise gurus jump on all the hot topics and in their infinite wisdom, make recommendations with total disregard for a healthy and safe approach. Unfortunately, the methods recommended are often too radical, unproven and are promoted as “the be all to end all” for success with little or no regard for optimizing health. This society of “specialists” has been known to red line in so many opposing directions that inevitably everyone appeals to the fads that seem to breed on the bookshelves, magazines and infomercials, all with the hope of dropping weight and looking incredible.

The most disturbing and terrifying thing is that there is very little control of what is propagated today by dieticians, nutritionists, exercise specialists and sadly enough too, doctors. Articles, advertisements, and best selling books (I would not classify the books on the market professing specific weight loss techniques as nutritional information) are professing the answers of how to become lean and mean and in the “best shape of your life”. What’s even more disturbing than the snake oil approach that is all too familiar is that the consumers actually buy in to it (figuratively and literally), either from desperation or as a means to warding off the truth of what really needs to be done, which of course is a well-rounded program of resistance training, conditioning and a sensible eating plan that is done consistency and intensely.

Coconut Oil and Inflammation

Coconut oil has many beneficial uses, one of which is its anti-inflammatory properties. The lauric acid found incoconut oil coconut oil is what provides the anti-inflammatory benefits according to research. I use coconut oil for many things such as baking, frying and as a moisturizer but it was by chance that I found its benefits as a pain reducer. I have been dealing with some soreness in my hands recently – probably a touch of arthritis in my thumb area – and after using coconut oil as a moisturizer I found that my hand pain subsided a bit. I’m attributing this to the topical application to the thumb area and what I feel is anti-inflammatory benefits of coconut oil. Could I be way off base? Sure, but it’s certainly worth giving it a try for sore muscles and joint inflammation in lieu of NSAIDS, prescription meds or suffering through the discomfort.

I will recommend that you stay consistent with the application (you don’t need much) and apply the oil two to three times a day for a week and see if there is any noticeable difference. I also strongly recommend buying a high quality like Carrington Farms which I get at Costco. There are other brands out there of course, just find one that is unrefined organic extra virgin coconut oil and certified organic.