Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why and how people in Austin should eat quinoa for health and weight loss


from: http://quinoatips.com/

Some time ago I wrote an article about the four ways to cook quinoa. Well this little article has been published on numerous websites and has attracted a lot of attention. I think the reason is that it helps people understand that quinoa is actually quite easy to cook and eat.

When people first hear about quinoa they learn about its benefits but not how to include it in their diet. I have re-written the article this week and have put it on this page.

Background information

Quinoa is often thought of as a grain but in fact seeds from a plant. These quinoa seeds are small and come in a range of varieties. The most common variety is white which has now become readily available in the uk being stocked by Tesco, Sainsbury’s and numerous health food shops. Red quinoa has recently become available in the uk although I understand that it has been on sale in the U.S. for quite some time.

The truth about rinsing Quinoa

For most types you do not need to rinse it. This is because the large manufacturers realized that they would sell more if it was prewashed before going on sale. So I have not found quinoa on sale in Austin that has not been rinsed in the last few months. If it tastes bitter then you need to rinse it by running it under a cold tap for 2 - 3 minutes before cooking. Just occasionally you can taste a slight bitter twang to the quinoa but it is not enough to make the quinoa inedible

What does it taste like?

This superfood has a unique flavour and feel to it. It is compared to rice but it has a definite crunch to it. If you overcook it, it will become soft and fluffy like rice but it will not become sticky and stodgy like overcooked rice does. The flavour is unique but is similar to other grains which is probably why it gets confused with other grains. The best description I can think of is like a mildly crunchy porridge.

How do you cook it?

The simplest method is to boil it. You take one part of quinoa to two parts of cold water. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 - 20 minutes. There are 2 factors that effect the cooking time.

You can slightly under cook the grains for 8 - 10 minutes which gives a much nuttier and crunchy feel. This is the way I prefer it. When it is subsequently added to other ingredients for a bit more cooking it is better to undercook it. In fact one method of cooking (shown below) includes no pre-cooking at all.

How to microwave quinoa grains

It can be cooked in a microwave quite simply. Using the same ratio of 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water place them in a microwave dish and cook for 3 minutes. Then leave to stand. Stir for a moment and cook for a further 3 - 5 minutes. Allow to stand for 2 minutes. Any remaining liquid can be drained - it is important that the grains in a microwave are not allowed to go dry.

Cooking soups and casseroles with quinoa

This method simply includes quinoa in soup recipes and casseroles. There is no need to pre-cook the grains in the ways shown above. In soups it can add substance and flavour just by adding it to a favourite recipe. It really is a matter of trying out different soup recipes to find out what you like. Casseroles are very similar.

How to sprout quinoa

Quinoa sprouts are the least impressive sprouts you will ever see.It takes only 2 - 3 days to sprout and must be eaten straight away as it does not keep well. The sprouts are tiny. The benefit of preparing the grains this way is that you can eat it raw. A huge boost for those in Austin on a restrictive diet demanding raw food. The protein content is almost legendary and raw it really packs a punch as it is full of nutrients and vitamins. It is best combined with other salad vegetables as it can be quite bland on its own.

Monday, April 13, 2009

About your medical rights in Austin. Specifically regarding physical therapy

This is a re-post of an e-mail from my friend and collegue, Allan Besselink, an Austin physical therapist and fellow trainer in the Austin area. Please educate yourselves:

Hello everyone:

I just wanted to send out a quick note to you regarding an important issue in our health care system. Direct access to physical therapy is currently in front of the Texas and California legislatures. This is a huge consumer issue nationwide. In Texas, we are one of few remaining health care providers that require a referral from a "gatekeeper". A patient can't simply go to a physical therapist, regardless of the problem. Unfortunately, consumers do not realize this!

I have been posting information on this topic regularly on my website (http://www.smartsport.info). The direct access discussion thread on my website now has over 1700 hits - of which about 600 have come in the past 10 days!

With this in mind, I am dedicating tomorrow's episode of "Consumer's Guide to Health" on BlogTalkRadio specifically to the topic of direct access. This 30 min show is a call-in online talk radio format. You can find the show information at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/abesselink. The call-in number is (646) 929-1567. The show begins at 8:00 pm central time and live streams for 30 minutes - but the discussion may go beyond this. Afterwards, a podcast is available for download from the website and from iTunes.

Please pass this along to your friends, your family, your colleagues, and to any consumers concerned about their access to health care, the cost of their health care, and the right to choose the providers of their health care!

I hope you can join me for the discussion.

All the best,

Allan

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Strength training in Austin builds strong bones


ARTICLE SOURCE: http://naturalnews.com

Bone density sharply enhanced by weight training, even in the elderly

Saturday, August 06, 2005 by: Dani Veracity, citizen journalist
Key concepts: Strength training, Bone density and Weight training

As people reach old age, osteoporosis is a major determining factor in quality of life. In Healing Moves, Dr. Mitchell and Carol Krucoff write, "Age-related declines in muscle and bone mass … can lead to frailty and fracture -- the primary reason older adults wind up in nursing homes." If you don't want to spend your later years resting in a nursing home, losing your independence and draining your or your family's financial resources, you need to do something to remain independent. According to numerous studies and aging manuals, that "something" is strength training, an activity known to increase bone mass and thus decrease the possibility of osteoporosis.

Postmenopausal women are especially prone to osteoporosis because they lack estrogen. Most women know this and begin to take calcium supplements to ward off the debilitating disease. Calcium supplements are important, but according to Kathy Keeton's book, Longevity, they are not enough. Not only does your body need magnesium and other nutrients to assimilate calcium into your bones, it also needs strength training to retain calcium. Keeton quotes nutritional biochemist Dr. Neil S. Orenstein: "Without consideration of these effects, no amount of calcium supplementation will prevent osteoporosis."

Numerous studies demonstrate strength training's ability to increase bone mass, especially spinal bone mass. According to Keeton, a research study by Ontario's McMaster University found that a year-long strength training program increased the spinal bone mass of postmenopausal women by nine percent. Furthermore, women who do not participate in strength training actually experience a decrease in bone density.

In Prescription Alternatives, Professor Earl Mindell and Virginia Hopkins detail these findings: "In a recent study on bone density and exercise, older women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by one percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent. The women who exercised also had improved muscle strength and better balance, while both decreased in the non-exercising group."

Increased bone density, improved muscle strength, better balance -- these three things will dramatically improve your later years and increase your longevity. Only these health improvements can help prevent a bad fall, which is often a turning point in an elderly person's life. One bad spill can result in a broken hip, an injury that can lead to an elderly person's immobility and dependence on others. Only strength training can provide these benefits, but what exactly does "strength training" or "weight training" mean?

A little training goes a long way

Strength training does not mean that you have to train for the Olympics or tediously do the same exercise over and over. According to Healing Moves, a variety of exercises will yield bone-building benefits: "Physical impact and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it.

The best bone builders are exercises that put force on the bone, such as weight-bearing activities like running and resistance exercises like strength training. In general, the greater the impact involved, the more it strengthens the bones." However, it is important to distinguish the exercises that will increase bone density from the ones that will not. "Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity … Dancing, stair-climbing and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote (good) mechanical stress in the skeletal system, contributing to the placement of calcium in bones. Aerobic exercises such as biking, rowing and swimming do not strengthen the bones," writes Gary Null in Power Aging.

Now, aerobic exercise is great for your cardiovascular system, so you still should do it along with strength training. You don't have to devote a lot of time to strength training to experience the benefits. Null believes that only 15 to 30 minutes of weight training, two to three times per week, can provide you with the bone density you need to prevent osteoporosis. Just make sure that you work all your different muscle groups and allow a 24-hour lapse between sessions.

For best results, women should start strength training long before menopause; however, women can experience the benefits at any age. "A 1994 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that women as old as 70 who lifted weights twice a week for a year avoided the expected loss of bone and even increased their bone density slightly," writes Robert Haas in Permanent Remissions. According to Dr. George Kessler's Bone Density Program, "One study of people in their 80s and 90s living in nursing homes who exercised with weight machines three times a week for just eight weeks showed improvements in strength, balance and walking speed." It's never too late to lift just a few light weights and increase your bone density.

The experts speak on strength training and bone density:

Without resistance exercises to strengthen muscles and bones, most people face a midlife slide into flabbiness and its associated ills. And as we age, strength training becomes even more important to offset age-related declines in muscle and bone mass that can lead to frailty and fracture— the primary reason older adults wind up in nursing homes.
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Osteoporosis. Bone-thinning osteoporosis can lead to fractures, especially hip fractures, a major medical problem for the elderly. One way to maintain strong, healthy bones is to get plenty of calcium. Certain kinds of exercise, including strength training, also help keep bones healthy. In addition, weight training helps prevent fractures by strengthening the leg muscles, contributing to improved balance and decreasing the likelihood of falls, the cause of most fractures in the elderly.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 452

Because nine out of 10 hip fractures result from falls, engaging in activities that increase strength and balance helps decrease the risk. strength training is one of the best ways to increase bone density in the spine naturally and prevent falls.
Overdosed America by John Abramson MD, page 219

Postmenopausal women are at the greatest risk for brittle bones

Men also can have brittle bones, but women — especially thin women who are past menopause — are at greater risk. If you're thin, you have less weight bearing down on your bones during normal activity, and that means your bones will weaken faster. It's particularly important for you to start a regular program of weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, or strength training. Studies have found gardening is also good at pumping up your bones so if you enjoy that activity, keep it up. The fresh air and sunshine are an added bonus.
Eat and Heal by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 278

Calcium suplements are not enough

Simply increasing your calcium intake doesn't guarantee that the calcium is going to get into your bones. To properly absorb calcium the body needs other nutrients as well—magnesium, for one, and other vitamins. Exercise, particularly weight training, helps the bone retain its calcium. "Without consideration of these effects," says the nutritional biochemist Dr. Neil S. Orenstein of Lenox, Massachusetts, "no amount of calcium supplementation will prevent osteoporosis."
Longevity by Kathy Keeton, page 120

Numerous studies demonstrate strength training's ability to increase bone mass, especially spinal bone mass

There's even some evidence that increasing muscle mass can increase bone mass. When researchers at McMaster University in Ontario put a group of postmenopausal women on a year-long program of anaerobic strength training, not only did their muscle size increase by 20 percent, but their spinal bone mass rose by 9 percent. It's possible, then, that strength training might help ward off osteoporosis.
Longevity by Kathy Keeton, page 160

In a recent study on bone density and exercise, older women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by 1.0 percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent. The women who exercised also had improved muscle strength and better balance, while both decreased in the nonexercising control group.
Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 20

We know that weight lifters have much denser bones in their back and legs than do runners, for example. Studies do show that walking prevents bone loss in the spine, but strength training has been proved to build bone mass in the spine and hip. One study that (deservedly) got a lot of media attention followed a group of postmenopausal women who were generally healthy—but sedentary. None were taking HRT, or any other bone-related medicines, or taking calcium supplements. Half performed a simple weight-lifting routine twice a week, while the other half stuck with their couch potato ways. After one year, the weight lifters built their bone mass 1 percent on average, at both the hip and spine. That compares favorably to what you'd see with HRT alone. To give you perspective, consider this: the women who did not lift weights lost up to 2.5 percent of their bone mass over the same time period— and also lost muscle mass and gained body fat and weight. The weight lifters became much more active in general (as the researchers calculated it, a 27 percent increase), while the sedentary group became less active. The weight lifters lowered their body fat, gained muscle, and had better balance and more strength. And here's a wonderful bonus: the researchers had the daughters of the women who lifted weights come in and do the tests their mothers were acing. In every case, the weight-lifting women outperformed their own daughters!
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 279 and 280

A Journal of the American Medical Association Article reported a Tufts University study in which forty postmenopausal women. 50 to 70 years of age, were tested and measured by their participation in different levels of exercise. The conclusion of this study was that high intensity strength training exercises are an important, effective and feasible means to preserve bone density. In other words, exercise prevented the onset of osteoporosis.
Milk The Deadly Poison by Robert Cohen, page 268

Still, we were confident that Ramona could do even better, so we told her to work harder and to try some strength training as well. When Ramona came back to see us one year later, her bone density was 10 percent higher. And she had become a fanatic about strength training, working out four times a week.
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 102

Strength training does not mean that you have to train for the Olympics or tediously do the same exercise over and over: A wide variety of weight-bearing exercises yields bone-building results

Physical impact and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it. The best bone builders are exercises that put force on the bone, such as weight-bearing activities like running and resistance exercises like strength training. In general, the greater the impact involved in an activity, the more it strengthens the bones. That's why the bones in the racket arms of tennis players are denser than the bones in their nondominant arms. When muscles and gravity aren't pulling on the bone, humans can lose bone mass rapidly. This is dramatically illustrated when people are forced by injury or ill health to undergo complete bed rest and, as a result, lose about 1 percent of their bone mass per week. This is similar to the devastating effects on bone mass seen in young, healthy male astronauts in outer space, due to the loss of gravity.
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Exercise for Skeletal Health. Weight-bearing exercises are very important to help avoid osteoporosis. Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity. Women should not resist going to gyms as they age. But even if you don't go to a gym, you can still profit from taking a little one-pound weight and curling it throughout the day. In fact, you can take a five-minute break every hour to do exercises. Dancing, stair-climbing, and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote mechanical stress in the skeletal system, contributing to the placement of calcium in the bones. Aerobic exercises such as biking, rowing, and swimming do not strengthen the bones.
Power Aging by Gary Null, page 363

Not only is weight training safe, it is important for preventing osteoporosis. As muscles are pulled directly against the bone, with gravity working against it, calcium is driven back into the bones. It also stimulates the manufacture of new bone. This adds up to a decrease in the effects of osteoporosis by 50—80 percent. Women need to do weight training two to three times per week for fifteen to thirty minutes. All the different muscle groups should be worked on. Twenty-four hours should lapse between sessions to rest muscles. For best results, an exercise program should be started long before the onset of menopause.
Womans Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Dr Gary Null, page 277

Walking may be the best all-around exercise, but as far as bone building goes, strength training is the cream of the crop. The pull of muscle against bone stresses a bone, and that kind of stress is what makes a bone become stronger. Impact also strengthens a bone, but the impact that comes from running or jumping, say, can be otherwise harmful to the body. Muscle working against gravity provides another kind of impact for the bones, stimulating bone formation and slowing loss. Strength training with free weights (including light hand and ankle weights) or weight machines is the most direct way to provide that stress and impact of muscle on bone, which is what makes it ideal for building and preserving bone density.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 279

Since stronger muscles do a better job of holding joints in their proper places, resistance training can lessen the joint wear and tear associated with osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis that most often afflicts older adults. What's more, studies find, weight training can strengthen your bones, offering added insurance against osteoporosis. That's because your bones and muscles are intimately connected. When you work your muscles against resistance, they pull on the bones they're attached to. In medical lingo, your muscles exert stress on your bones, and your bones, under stress, respond by laying down more calcium to reinforce themselves, explains Dr. Ades.
Healing with motion by the editors of-Prevention health books, page 332

Not only is weight training safe, it is important for preventing osteoporosis. As muscles are pulled directly against the bone, with gravity working against it, calcium is driven back into the bones. It also stimulates the manufacture of new bone. This adds up to a decrease in the effects of osteoporosis by 50 to 80 percent. People need to do weight training two to three times per week...
Get Healthy Now by Gary Null, page 15

Do strength-building exercises, such as weight lifting, three times a week for at least ten minutes. This is particularly important for women, since it helps maintain bone density.
The Real Age Diet by Michael F Roizen MD and John La Puma MD, page 39

Strength training is also one of the proven ways to reduce the risks associated with osteoporosis, because strong muscles can support the bones more effectively. Strength training also slows the aging process, improves posture and balance, and increases energy, strength, and stamina.
Active Wellness By Gayle Reichler MS RD CDN, page 151

Almost any type of vigorous exercise will maintain or build bone. Dr. Lee recommends walking, biking, tennis, or weight lifting.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 473

The physical stresses to which bones are subjected during exercise stimulate new bone growth. Get at least 30 minutes of walking, weight lifting or another weight-bearing exercise, three times a week.
Bottom Line Yearbook 2002 by Bottom Line Personnel, page 18

Exercises that put stress on your bones, such as jogging and weight training (even light weights), will also strengthen your bones, whereas exercises that do not stress your bones, such as swimming, will not improve bone strength.
Complementary Cancer Therapies by Dan Labriola ND, page 198

For best results, women should start strength training long before menopause; however, women can experience the benefits at any age.

Extensive research has shown that muscles and bones will get stronger in response to strength training regardless of your age. Some health experts call strength training "the closest we've come to a fountain of youth."
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Aerobic exercise has long been touted as a way to prevent or slow bone loss, but researchers increasingly emphasize the benefits of strength training, such as weight lifting, to prevent bone loss at any age. A 1994 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that women as old as 70 who lifted weights twice a week for a year avoided the expected loss of bone and even increased their bone density slightly.
Permanent Remissions by Robert Haas MS, page 205

One study of people in their 80s and 90s living in nursing homes who exercised with weight machines three times a week for just eight weeks showed improvements in strength, balance, and walking speed. Even people who are already frail can, with proper exercise using light weights, build up enough leg strength to walk without a cane. I've no doubt of the bone benefits that went along with these results, even though they weren't tracked by the researchers.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 281

Strengthening exercises such as weight training are as important as calcium for strong bones, and they can be started at any age. Even someone age 80 or older can be helped by weight training or isometrics—a form of exercise that involves contracting and releasing specific muscles. Your hospital, community recreation center, or senior center is likely to have more information on this exercise technique.
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B White MD, page 442

The more bone you build early in life, the better you will be able to withstand the bone loss that starts to occur by about age 35. Years later, the loss of bone mass can result in the debilitating disease called osteoporosis. To develop bone mass, you need to make weight-bearing exercise part of your daily life—with activities like walking, running, and weight lifting.
Wellness Self-Care Handbook by John Edward Swartzberg MD FACP and Sheldon Margen MD, page 41

Weight lifting is not just for the young. Gerontologists and others who study aging now know that muscles built when you are 40, 50 and 60 can help more than just your self-esteem. Developed leg, trunk and arm muscles help protect older bodies from injuries related to frailty. These muscles help keep bones, which peak in density between ages 21 and 30, stronger longer.
Uncommon Cures for Everyday Ailments by the editors of Bottom Line Health, page 112

As with every other strategy in this book, it is never too late to benefit from strength training. You know you should be getting 30 minutes of weight-bearing aerobic exercise three times a week. Strength training is a valuable addition because we know it builds bone more directly and efficiently than any other kind of exercise you can do.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 293

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Austin Boot Camp by Austin personal trainer doing boot camp in Austin

Hello Austin,

Yes, Austin, it's time for boot camp once again. Celeste Brinson, an award winning Austin nutritionist in Austin, who bases her cutting edge nutrition and weight loss programs on the latest research, and me, a "Austin Top Ten" personal trainer, who trains personal training clients at the South Congress Athletic Club, are teaming up to bring you the best boot camp in Austin.

There are so many Austin boot camps to choose from in Austin. I believe our Austin boot camp is the best for many reasons, but here are a couple in case you are on the fence.

-Our boot camp is the only boot camp in Austin that offers exercise combined with nutrition

-Most Austin boot camps make you run for about 80 percent of the time and then fill in the remaining 20 percent with poorly executed planks and lunges. Our boot camp uses, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands, and classical pilates methods to make our members into the fittest boot campers in Austin.

-Most boot camps in Austin are in excess of $200, while ours is only $189

-Celeste and I are totally accessable and encourage phone calls and e-mails

-Our boot camp offers an indoor location for bad weather

-Train with Jake is the coolest name for an Austin Personal Training and Boot Camp company in Austin

Best Austin Personal Trainers conducting Personal Training services in Austin, training boot camps in the following neighborhoods:
Central Austin NeighborhoodsAllandale, Brentwood, Bryker Woods, Clarksville/West End, Crestview, Downtown, Hancock, Heritage, Highland, Hyde Park, North University, Northfield, Old Enfield, Rosedale, Skyview, West CampusWest Austin NeighborhoodsFarwest, Highland Park West, Tarrytown, West Austin, Westlake HillsSouth Austin NeighborhoodsBarton Hills, Bartons Bluff - Spyglass, Battle Bend Springs, Bouldin Creek, Cherry Creek, Dawson, Galindo, Shady HollowSoCo (South Congress), South Lamar, Travis HeightsSouthwest Austin NeighborhoodsBee Cave, Barton Creek, Circle C Ranch, Lake Pointe, Rollingwood, WestcreekSoutheast Austin NeighborhoodsEast Riverside/Oltorf, Onion Creek, Southeast Austin, Willow CreekEast Austin NeighborhoodsEast Austin, Cherrywood, Del Valle, Delwood, French Place, Rosewood, SeabrookNorth Austin NeighborhoodsBalcones Wood, Cat Hollow, Copperfield, Gracywoods, Mesa Park, Milwood, River Oaks, River Place, Round Rock, Wells BranchNorthwest Austin NeighborhoodsArboretum, Canyon Creek, Cat Mountain, Great Hills, Laurel Oaks, Northwest Hills, NorthwoodNortheast Austin NeighborhoodsChimney Hills North, Copperfield, Harris Branch, Pflugerville

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Validity of Austin Sports Supplements for Austin personal trainers and clients in Austin







One question my Austin clients always ask me is: "what supplements can I buy in Austin to increase muscle power, size, and endurance, and decrease fat mass?"


Sorry to break it to you, folks, some supplements (e.g. whey protein isolate or creatine) may give the subject a slight advantage, but the real key is.....are you ready for this.......the suspense must be killing you.....HARD WORK, PROPER DIET, A SUITABLE AND SENSIBLE EXERCISE REGIMEN, AND ALMOST RELIGIOUSLY CONSISTENT ADHERENCE TO YOUR PROGRAM.

There are a couple of things I would like to point out about supplements:

-They are evaluated as a FOOD, not as a medication, meaning they undergo next to no scientific testing, or regulation.

-They make all sorts of insane (yet unscientific) claims. Ever wonder why a supplement can claim to "RIP FAT OFF YOUR BODY," but can't claim to "cure diabetes?" it gets back to that food/medicine thing. The latter claim would place them in a realm of medication and require far more strict regulation. This is why, on the back of the label, you will invariably find some sort of a disclaimer like "THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE."

-Often times, when tested by private agencies, certain products have often been shown to not contain the quantity of the ingredients specified. Some products have been shown not to contain any of the specified ingredients whatsoever (there is new legislation in the works to begin at least semi-legitimizing the authenticity of the products in supplements).

-Perhaps the most disconcerting prospect is that many of these products, OFTEN CONTAIN PRODUCTS NOT SPECIFIED ON THE LABEL. OFTEN THESE ARE ANABOLIC STEROIDS OR PRECURSORS. This is bad news for athletes especially, because some of them can be banned from competition for life, if they test positive for these supplements. These companies often do this, to feign effectiveness. If I tell you that my rare form of African tree bark will make you stronger, and you take it, and it works, do you ever question whether I added anything to it?



As some of you know, I recently returned home to Austin from the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Atlanta, and while I was there, Ellen Coleman, a world renowned sports nutritionist, provided us will several links (provided) to private companies who evaluate these supplements and compile data for the consumer. Her recommended three primary considerations for whether or not to use a product, were: safety and effectiveness, doping status (for athletes or others who will be tested for banned substances), and THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT (That's right, people. You get what you pay for. I can tell you how many of my clients come to me on Centrum or Sam's Club vitamins.)


HERE ARE THE LINKS TO HELP YOU EVALUATE SUPPLEMENTS (taken directly from Colemen's summary):



United States Pharmacopeia (www.usp.org/USPVerified/dietarySupplements)

ConsumerLab (http://www.consumerlab.com/). Free information; not referenced. Access to Natural Products Encyclopedia by EBSCO for subscribers.

Natural Products Encyclopedia by EBSCO (www.alleghanyregional.com/healthcontent.asp?page=/choice/demonstration/TheNaturalPharmacist-Consumer). Free referenced monographs.

Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database (http://www.supplementinfo.org/) Free referenced information.

Supplement Watch (http://www.supplementwatch.com/). Free referenced information.

National library of Medicine database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed).






Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Austin kids perform better on personal standardized exams after fitness training


AUSTIN - A first-of-its-kind study of more than 2.4 million Texas students found that students who are physically fit are more likely to do well on the state's standardized tests and have good school attendance. Fit students are also less likely to have disciplinary referrals.

The findings released today are based on the results of a battery of six FITNESSGRAM® tests taken by students in grades 3-12 during the 2007-2008 school year. The FITNESSGRAM® tool was created by The Cooper Institute of Dallas. The six types of assessment measure five areas - body composition, aerobic capacity, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. The assessments determine whether students are in a "healthy fitness zone" for their age and gender.
The study analyzed data from 6,532 schools, which represents about 75 percent of the schools in Texas and about 84 percent of the school districts.
"Our state and nation are struggling with obesity, thanks to the combination of increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the declining quality of diets," Gov. Rick Perry said. "We owe it to our children to take the appropriate steps to encourage fitness, steps that are made more clear by the information contained in this first round of testing. I am confident we are on our way to making a difference that will improve and even save lives."
Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said, "Texas is the first state to require an annual physical fitness assessment of public school students. Today's research results show that improving our children's physical fitness can have positive results not only for the children, but for the schools as well."

The study found that cardiovascular health, measured by a walking/running test, had a higher correlation to school success than did the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight, adjusted for age and gender.
"The impact exercise has on the growing brain is unparalleled, said "father of aerobics" Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., founder and chairman of The Cooper Institute. "Increased exercise improves cardiovascular health, and that helps the brain function more efficiently and enhances its ability to learn."

About 78 percent of fourth-grade students were in the healthy fitness zone for cardiovascular fitness, whereas only 20 percent of high school seniors reached the healthy fitness zone. As with the overall FITNESSGRAM® data, cardiovascular fitness levels declined with each passing grade.

About 70 percent of students in each of the grades 3-12 reached the healthy fitness zone for Body Mass Index. About 30 percent of the students were not able to achieve the healthy fitness zone for their age and gender.

Significant correlations were found between physical fitness and various indicators of academic achievement. The study shows that:· Higher levels of fitness are associated with better academic performance. At high performing schools that have earned the state's top rating of Exemplary, about 80 percent of the students have healthy levels of cardiovascular fitness.
· At schools that have received the state's lowest rating called Academically Unacceptable, slightly more than 40 percent of the students achieved cardiovascular fitness.
· Higher levels of fitness were associated with better school attendance.
· Higher levels of fitness at a school were also associated with fewer disciplinary incidents. The research looked at the number of incidents involving drugs, alcohol, violence and truancy.
· Counties with high levels of cardiovascular fitness tended to have high passing rates on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Regional and county data can be found at www.texasyouthfitnessstudy.org.

"This data confirms what we have always thought to be true -- that there is a strong correlation between a student's fitness and their scholastic success. These results provide yet another incentive to reverse the health trends we are seeing among our youth. We need to move forward on this issue as if lives depend on it -- because they do!" said Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and author of the law establishing the assessments.

The physical fitness assessments are given annually to Texas students. The 2007-2008 school year was the first time students were assessed statewide using the FITNESSGRAM®. About 2.6 million students were tested. To ensure that results were representative of a school, test results were removed from the analysis if fewer than 25 percent of the students at a school were tested. Consequently, the research into the correlation between the cardiovascular health and BMI and academic success is based on the performance of 2.4 million students.
The original 2008 baseline data from 2.6 million youngsters, which was analyzed by researchers with The Cooper Institute, found that:· Students were most likely to achieve a healthy fitness zone level on all six FITNESSGRAM® tests at third grade;
· Of the 331,379 third-grade students who participated in the study, 33.25 percent of the girls and 28.60 percent of the boys were in the healthy fitness zone on all six tests;
· Fitness levels declined with each subsequent grade level, reaching a low at 12th grade. Of the 152,144 seniors tested, only 8.18 percent of the girls and 8.96 percent of the boys meet healthy standards on all six tests.
This spring students in grades 3-12 are undergoing a second round of FITNESSGRAM® testing.