Sceptically Fit

10/01/2013

Lots of Links

Filed under: Exercise, Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 19:32

Another study on the benefits of going gluten-free.

The likely link between overeating/obesity and fructose is hitting the mainstream media.

Over at Evolutionary Psychiatry, Emily Deans looks at the effects of fructose on the brain.

Chris at Conditioning Research looks at the role ‘floor living’ has in keeping the elderly active and able.

Do you need to reset/repair/improve your metabolism? Fitness Black Book offers a guide on repairing a ‘broken’ metabolism with a focus on eating well and exercising a plenty.

Drinking red wine may increase your testosterone. More accurately, red wine reduces the amount of testosterone that is excreted from the body. Drink up!

And while you enjoy that glass – have you organised your New Year Resolutions? One suggestions is to base your resolutions on the identity you want, not simply the action.

Changing your beliefs isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. There are two steps.

1. Decide the type of person you want to be.

2. Prove it to yourself with small wins.

Here are five examples of how you can make this work in real life.

Note: I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to start with incredibly small steps. The goal is not to achieve results at first, the goal is to become the type of person who can achieve those things. For example, a person who works out consistently is the type of person who can become strong. Develop the identity of someone who works out first, and then move on to performance and appearance later. Start small and trust that the results will come as you develop a new identity.

17/12/2012

Lots of Links

Filed under: Exercise, Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 19:36

The best piece of health-related news in the last month or so: The case for Drinking as much Coffee as you want.

“What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can,” says Dr. Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. He’s even developed a metric for monitoring your dosage: If you are having trouble sleeping, cut back on your last cup of the day. From there, he says, “If you drink that much, it’s not going to do you any harm, and it might actually help you. A lot.”

Officially, the American Medical Association recommends conservatively that “moderate tea or coffee drinking likely has no negative effect on health, as long as you live an otherwise healthy lifestyle.” That is a lackluster endorsement in light of so much recent glowing research. Not only have most of coffee’s purported ill effects been disproven — the most recent review fails to link it the development of hypertension — but we have so, so much information about its benefits. We believe they extend from preventing Alzheimer’s disease to protecting the liver. What we know goes beyond small-scale studies or limited observations. The past couple of years have seen findings, that, taken together, suggest that we should embrace coffee for reasons beyond the benefits of caffeine, and that we might go so far as to consider it a nutrient.

A look at how naturopathy attempts to ‘treat’ prostate cancer – unsurprisingly the advice is at best effective, at worst actively harmful…

The benefits of meditating – five minutes is all it takes.

More evidence that exercise is essential for protecting the mind: exercise linked to lower brain shrinkage when ageing.

Women should lift weights – here’s why and how to do it. Weak fingers holding you back? How about some ‘round the worlds‘ to help with those lifts?

A good shoulder and hip mobility workout. And the importance of planks for hip mobility.

26/11/2012

Getting back into the Groove

Filed under: Exercise, Personal — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 23:22

Starting to get my strength back, I’m going to have to venture into the proper free weights section soon
Tracked a Workout for 1,391 pts Today

  • Cycling:
    • 0:14:27.3 || 3.4 km || 14.2 mph || flat (+86 pts)
    • 0:11:00 || 2.7 km || 14.7 km/hr || flat (+22 pts)
    • 0:29:02.5 || 6.1 km || 12.6 km/hr || flat (+44 pts)
  • Running (treadmill):
    • 0:06:00 || 1 km || 1.5 % (+47 pts)
    • 0:06:00 || 1 km || 10 mph || 1.5 % (+154 pts)
  • Barbell Hip Thrust:
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+27 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+27 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+27 pts)
  • Bent Over Barbell Row:
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+30 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+30 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+30 pts)
  • Hang Clean:
    • 15 kg x 5 reps (+32 pts)
    • 15 kg x 5 reps (+32 pts)
  • Romanian Deadlift:
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (OHP):
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
  • Barbell Squat:
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
  • Cuban Press:
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)

22/11/2012

I’m Back!

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 00:10

Woo! I finally joined a gym – I’m finally working out again. I haven’t been to the gym since July. I sprained my ankle quite badly at the very beginning of August. I moved house and quit my gym at the end of August. Obviously, I really did need to take it easy for a couple of months to heal up. I had signed up for roller skating lessons just before the sprain. The lessons started October and I’ve been too afraid to try my new skates until the lessons started in case I resprained by ankle.

So the closest I’ve come to any serious exercise for about three months is a gentle 10minute cycle to and from the train station (there’s enough of a hill, I’m counting it).

The roller skating lessons are hard work. Its Roller Derby style skating so lots of low ‘derby stance’ skating which is killing my thighs. And my lung capacity seems to have diminished quite  lot! It was definitely time to get back to the gym. It turns out not having a current gym membership is a bit of a demotivator. Who’d have thought? So five weeks of roller skating lessons – each week I must join a gym and work on this.

And this weekend I did. I am tired and have that somewhat comforting soreness from a good workout. I didn’t go too crazy – need to ease myself back into it. And I didn’t do enough stretching… but otherwise. I’m back!

Workout for 1,086 pts

  • Cycling:
    • 0:13:13.8 || 3.4 km || 15.6 mph (+98 pts)
    • 0:13:08 || 2.9 km || 13.2 km/hr (+21 pts)
    • 0:12:59.6 || 3 km || 13.9 km/hr (+23 pts)
  • Cuban Press:
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)
    • 2 kg x 8 reps (+21 pts)
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)
  • Barbell Squat:
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+46 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
  • Romanian Deadlift:
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (OHP):
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+64 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+68 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+64 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+64 pts)
  • Bent Over Barbell Row:
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+29 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+29 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+29 pts)
  • Running (treadmill):
    • 0:02:00 || 10.6 km/hr || 1.5 % (+14 pts)
    • 0:03:55 || 10.6 km/hr || 1.5 % (+32 pts)
    • 0:03:55 || 10.4 km/hr || 1.5 % (+31 pts)
  • Stretching:
    • 0:10:00 (+2 pts)

20/10/2012

A Month of Links

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 11:39

Oh look – yet more evidence that acupunture is a sham, I mean no better than a placebo.

High intensity intervals are the best warm up for exercise-induced asthma.

A look at the different kinds of headaches.

The most thorough guide to herbs and spices I’ve ever seen.

More evidence that exercise is good for your mental health – it makes you crave money less

Can carbohydrates cause mental impairment?

 

A study looking at the role of omega 3 in brain health in the elderly.

18/08/2012

Links this Week

Filed under: Exercise, Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 12:42

An in-depth look at Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity at Hunter-Gatherer including the envy-inducing standard of care IBS sufferers received in Italy and the quality of controls.

Among those who were wheat sensitive, a high number of them tested positive on the cytomteric basophil activation test, and many also tested positive for serum IgG and IgA AGA tests. Many of these patients suffered from anemia and weight-loss. Biopsies showed eosinophil infiltration of the duodenal and colon mucosa.
, despite not having the type of villous atrophy damage associated with celiac.

There seemed to be two groups of IBS wheat-sensitive patients- those with wheat sensitivity alone and those with wheat sensitivity AND multiple other sensitivities to cow’s milk and other foods. The later group was also more likely to also have other types of allergies (non-food allergies, skin allergies, etc.) and a family history of allergies.

Acetylcholine is responsible for ahem, moving things along, so it might explain why wheat causes diarrhea in some people.

Also, it is notable that this study used wheat rather than gluten, so it might be other components of wheat like fructans that are responsible for the symptoms.

Dr Davis (of Wheat Belly) dismisses the benefit of sprouting grains.

It is folly to believe that such a process as simply allowing the seed to germinate somehow disables all the bad potential of modern wheat. It still contains the gliadin protein that clouds your thinking and stimulates appetite. It still contains glutens that disrupt intestinal health. It still contains amylopectin A that sends your blood sugar through the roof. It still contains lectins that disable the normal intestinal barriers to foreign substances. It still contains apha amylase, peroxidases, lipid-transfer proteins, and thioredoxins responsible for a variety of allergic phenomena.

An infographic on differences in sprinter’s vs marathoner’s bodies over time.

Proof that the plank is better than crunches.

There are two disadvantages to old-fashioned sit-ups and crunches. In the long term they are likely to lead to back problems because of the pressure they create on the discs between the vertebrae, and, more to the point, they are not very effective. The muscles in your midsection area are not so much meant for moving your torso, but above all to keep your torso stable when your spine is subject to tension.

Dr Loren Cordain in a discussion on the range of a paleo diet.

12/08/2012

Lots of Links

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:12

Evidence for non-celiac wheat sensitivity

Our data confirm the existence of non-celiac WS as a distinct clinical condition. We also suggest the existence of two distinct populations of subjects with WS: one with characteristics more similar to CD and the other with characteristics pointing to food allergy

Unfortunately not all the olympic coverage has been positive: female olympian fight back against body shaming.

More evidence emerges that meat eating is what allowed modern humans to evolve but of course the article includes unsupported advice not to eat mean…

More reasons to exercise – it causes the body to produce chemicals that prevent cancer.

Interesting developments in the theory of carb-loading. Seems three days of high carb, with high fat on the day offers the best fuelling for endurance exercise.

Another example of how unintuitive the human psyche is – it seems focussing on goals can actually detract from motivation. The key is to focus on enjoying the task at hand.

Fishbach and Choi think that staying focused on our goals detracts from the inherent pleasures of the activities we need to pursue to achieve those goals. Consistent with this, they found that the students at the gym who stayed focused on their goals tended to say afterwards that the exercise felt more of an effort, as compared with the students who were focused on the experience itself.

 

25/05/2012

Community Announcement – How Bra fitting works!

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 23:31

There is some scary sounding statistic floating around about how many women are wearing the wrong sized bra. While I think this is partly the clothing industry’s fault – keeping costs down by only producing a limited range and expecting women to fit – this has been changing over the last decade. However, many women don’t understand how bra sizing works – that the cup size is relative not absolute.

While some women are comfortable without a bra, for most women wearing an illfitting bra impacts on their ability to live an active life. I know I would never have taken up running if I was still wearing the sizing I used to be handed – two band sizes too large just because they didn’t stock any larger cups! And for larger ladies, its not just running. The discomfort of walking around is enough to limit their activities.

 

16/05/2012

Misogyny and Athleticism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:57

Men are strong, like King Kong… everyone knows men are just better at everything athletic, right? Even the men who don’t do any exercise are going to be better than any woman no matter how hard she works because … penis!

Personally, I’ve not noticed too much of this directed at me. But I realise that’s more a combination of my own anti-social and obtuseness, and luck. I’m also not going to pretend that men don’t have some biological advantages – like the male friends I play squash with who don’t do any other exercise and still have a decent backhand, whereas I’ve been lifting for a couple of years and my two-handed backhand is still pretty poor. Damn that upper body strength.

But that’s not what Caitlin is talking about when looking at the idea of being chicked. Rather the idea that any man must always be better at anything slightly athletic than a woman. An idea that is born of misogyny as much as anxious masculinity. If you can only define being a man as being stronger/faster/whatever than a woman, of course you are threatened.

Fortunately, lots of guys, like Brian, reject this silliness.  (Here’s another one.) Interestingly enough, athletic men tend to be way more accepting of the prowess of their lady counterparts than are non-athletic men (which is something I’ve remarked upon before).  It’s very simple, really – if you are secure in yourself in a human being, you won’t have to boost your self-esteem by dominating people you perceive as weaker than you.

Ahh patriachy, when will you ever end?

Colour me Impressed

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:06

I need to fine a gym like this!

(courtesy of MissDeejers – my secret girlcrush!)

 

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