How to Treat Tendonitis

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to treat tendonitis Tendonitisis the slight tearing that occurs in the tendons that connect muscle to bone. By overextending or overusing muscles in a repetitive fashion the tendon can become strained and develop microscopic tears. Mild or routine cases of tendonitis can be treated at home with rather simple procedures. If you’ve tried these procedures and been unsuccessful or if you’ve been troubled by the same patch of tendonitis for over a year, consult your doctor as you’re likely suffering from an chronic condition.

Symptoms of Tendonitis

When your joint, such as shoulder or knee, feels stiff and achy following an activity or is inflamed in the general area of the joint, it is very likely you’re suffering from tendonitis. The pain usually becomes worse during and after an activity and might be worse the following day.

Treating Tendonitis

To treat tendonitis, you must focus on loosening the tendon, reducing the pain and eliminating the inflammation.

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Loosen the Tendon

Tendons are the stiff pieces of tissue at the end of a muscle that connect the muscle to bone. When the tendon is pulled too much, it can tear slightly. As the tears heal, scar tissue is formed which creates additional stiffness in the joint lasting anywhere from six weeks to six months. To avoid injuring the tendon again, you must work to make the scar tissue and tendon as supple as possible. The best ways to loosen the tendons is light stretching, massage and ultrasounds with your doctor’s assistance.

Reducing the Pain and Inflammation

To trick to reducing pain and inflammation is to avoid making the area more stiff. Ice, for example, will reduce pain and inflammation, but it will also make the joint stiff which might hurt the tendon more. A topical pain reliever with menthol, on the other hand, will relieve the pain and open the blood vessels helping to further loosen the area.

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Products with MSM, also known as Methyl Sulfonyl Methane, are especially effective at helping reduce inflammation and pain caused by tendonitis. You should avoid Cortisone injections as they will reduce inflammation but cause more scar tissue to be created making the injury worse over time.

Prevent Tendonitis

To prevent tendonitis, you should always stretch before exercise and avoid overtaxing your muscles and joints. Don’t overextend and be sure to warm up and cool down as part of your daily fitness routine.

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How to Reduce Back Pain

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

 how to help with back painIf you are constantly troubled by back pain and muscles spasms, you need to make some changes to avoid damaging your back. It may be that your posture is terrible or you’re putting too much strain on your back muscles. Reducing back pain can make your life much easier and much more enjoyable – here’s how.

Stop Lifting

If your back is troubling you day after day, your first step is to stop making it worse by lifting incorrectly, twisting oddly and carrying heavy weights. If you normally carry your toddler, have him walk for a few days. If you’re carrying a baby, invest in a hip shelf that can help save your back. Groceries wearing you down? Try folding carts or take one bag at a time. By reducing the work your back muscles are doing, you will be well on your way to reducing pain.

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Build Muscle

If you’re plagued by constant back pain, it is likely that you don’t have enough muscle to properly support your midsection. You need to build muscle in both your back and your abdominals as these muscles properly support your back. Visit with a personal trainer or begin a series of crunches and other midsection toning exercises to start building muscle. You’ll find the muscle builds slowly, but you’ll immediately notice a difference in how you stand and possibly your energy level. Every little bit of muscle helps, so start crunching!

Stand Up Straight

Often posture is the number one cause of back pain. Do you slouch? Try and catch yourself slouching and force yourself to stand up straight. Hours spend seated behind computers can hurt your back as well, so invest in a ergonomic chair or at the very least an ergonomic chair pad to help support your back – then sit in it correctly with your feet on the floor.

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Stretch and Walk

Going for a walk while standing up straight and taking deep breathes can have a huge impact on back pain. Raise your arms over your head to stretch your back and, without hurting yourself, try and touch your toes. Lay on your back and draw your knees up to your chest to help stretch your back as well. Then hop up from the floor, and start walking. The exercise will relax all of your muscles and get the blood moving.

Apply Heat

If your back still needs a bit more TLC, apply a heating pad or sit against a heated massage chair. The heat will help to soften and relax the muscle making knots loosen and spasms cease. A hot tub or even a hot shower can help to relax the muscle as well, especially if your able to stand in the shower with the hot spray focused on the area in need.

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How to Handle Muscular Dystrophy

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to handle muscular dystrophyA diagnosis of muscular dystrophy can be devastating. There are many variations of the disease and none are good. While some are almost immediately life threatening, others attack muscles slowly over time giving patients an opportunity to handle the disease in hopes of a cure down the road. Here is how to handle muscular dystrophy.

Exercise

Muscular dystrophy is a disease that affects the muscles. By strengthening the muscles, the disease can be slowed in some patients. If you are diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, the first step is to plan an exercise routine with the guidance of your doctor and physical therapist.

Other kinds of exercise should be included in your routine including breathing and coughing exercises to aid with the respiratory system. Exercise should be undertaken very seriously as it can slow or even prevent abnormal positioning of the joints or curving of the spine.

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Drugs

For certain forms of muscular dystrophy, prescriptions drugs have been shown to be effective in slowing and helping patients handle the disease. There is no cure yet, although scientists are working to find one. If you have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, ask your doctor about corticosteroids to slow muscle destruction, and with myotonic muscular dystrophy, phenytoin, procainamide or quinine can treat delayed muscle relaxation.

Surgeries

For many patients with muscular dystrophy, surgery becomes necessary. If you are a good candidate, undergo surgery to help correct muscle shortening. Also talk to your doctor about a surgically implanted cardiac pacemaker if you suffer from Emery-Dreifuss or myotonic muscular dystrophy.

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Mobility Assistance

If your disease continues to progress despite your best preventative efforts find mobility assistance. Being about to move on your own is huge, and when you’ve lost freedom, there are large adjustments to be made. Locate a motorized wheelchair or even just a cane or walker to help get around when your muscles begin to prevent normal walking or become painful after walking distances.

Stay Positive

Finally, the most important step of all is to remain positive. There are ongoing explorations into possible treatments and new procedures. Work hard at keeping your muscles as healthy as possible, and work just as hard to keep your brain and mind in working condition. Focus on the joys of life and try to remember that life is about more than the effects of a disease, even if it’s hard at times.

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How to Work Out With a Baby

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to workout with a babyIt can be hard to structure a workout when you’re no longer the boss of your time. Before your baby was born you were able to take leisurely stolls, stop by the gym after work and hop on the treadmill when the urge struck. Now you’re spending your time caring for a little one who allows you only minutes of precious free time when she’s napping or playing – and those minutes aren’t often long enough for the kind of work out you need to lose the baby weight. Fortunately, there are ways to work out with a baby.

Go For a Walk or Jog

The easiest way to exercise with a baby is to put her in the stroller and go for a walk. The stroller adds a bit of resistance and the faster you walk the more calories you’ll burn. You might even get lucky and have your baby drift off for a nap while you walk letting you hike or jog up to an hour burning a great deal of calories in a single outing. If your baby isn’t comfortable in a stroller or likes to be closer to you, try wearing her in a front carrier or backpack for older babies. You’ll dramatically boost your calorie expenditure and be able to hold your baby close.

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Do Crunches

Your baby will love to help you do crunches. Simple lean her on your knees and crunch up to see her. If she’s a wiggle worm or tries to roll off, you can simply do your crunches while she plays with her toys. An ab routine usually takes less than ten minutes and can be broken up into parts between the floor gym and bouncy chair.

Dance or March

If you have a fussy baby, and who doesn’t, you’ve probably already discovered the power of movement to soothe her. Why not use that movement to your advantage? Rather than just pace the house, march in place for fifteen or twenty minutes wearing your baby in a carrier or in your arms. Turn on some music or put in your ear buds and dance with your baby. She’ll love the interaction and movement and you’ll be surprised at how many calories you can burn in a few songs.

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Go Biking

Invest in a bike trailer and pull your baby along while you bike. The extra weight and resistance will add up to a lot of extra calories burned.

Pushups, Squats and Lunges

You might not be able to lift weights with an infant playing around you, but you can do some other forms of resistance training. Drop and do twenty push-ups when your child is playing contentedly and then do some squats. Alternate your squats with lunges and hold your baby for a bit of resistance when she starts getting fussy. Just be careful to not lose your balance. Squats might be the better option for baby resistance exercises.

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How to Strengthen Your Back

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to increase back stengthIf you want to strengthen your back, you really need to be working on your abdominal muscles or abs in addition to the large trapezius muscle that covers the top of your back. To strengthen your back, you should combine a variety of muscle building exercises with excellent posture so that you’re not undermining your efforts.

Build Muscle

The first step to strengthening your back is to get approval from your doctor to begin a weight lifting routine – especially if you have prior back pain. Then, with your doctor’s approval, begin by working each set of muscles separately. You’ll need to increase strength throughout your trunk to fully support your back, so start at the top and work down.

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Rowing

Rowing and shoulder presses can help to strengthen the trapezius muscle. This is a large triangular muscle that extends from the back of your neck and shoulders tapering down your spine. To build this muscle, you can work it vigorously with intense activities with a great deal of repetition.

Abdominal Work

The same can not be said for muscles in the lower back. These muscles are not as thick and strong as the trapezius, so you should be careful to not overexert your efforts. Your lower back is supported by bands of muscle that wrap around your back and sides. Start with basic crunches and crunches across the body touching your elbow to your knee to build the large ab muscle and work a bit on the sides.

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Then use a machine or the guidance of a personal trainer to twist while holding weights effectively using the side bands of muscle. Side bends with light weights will also help to strengthen the sides of the abdomen. Finally, dead lifts or carefully lifting weights from the floor to your knees will strengthen the muscles of your lower back.

Posture

The muscle work will help to increase your posture, and better posture will help your muscles support your trunk more effectively.

Other Strengthening Ideas

You can also use supplements to build muscle more quickly, but be sure to read supplement reviews to find the most suitable program for your needs. Also, if you are not comfortable with weights or lack a gym and proper supervision, a Pilates program or video can do a great deal of work strengthening your back and midsection.

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How to Lose Weight

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to lose weight >All of the television commercials and emails we receive make it seem simple to lose weight. Take a pill, buy this book, try this special meal plan and in recent years, have this surgery. Losing weight isn’t necessarily challenging, but it does require effort and a commitment. To change your body, you’ll have to change your routines and possibly your whole lifestyle. Here’s how to lose weight.

Understand Calories

Calories are individual sources of energy. Your body needs energy to perform its daily functions and the number of calories a person actually needs in a day varies by what he does and his size and age. For example, a teenage boy requires thousands of calories a day to keep up with his activities and his body as it grows literally inches a month. A thirty-five year old man is less likely to be playing football or basketball after school and is only growing out at this point, so he needs far less calories. The amount of muscle you have will also increase the number of calories you require.

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Excess Calories

If you eat more calories than your body needs to complete its daily tasks, the extra calories are stored in the body as fat. The more calories you consume over your body’s required amount the more fat is stored in the body.

Reducing Calories

The first step to losing weight is to reduce the number of calories you consume on a daily basis. As it is better to burn calories rather than starve them away, you’ll want to reduce calories by no more than 1000 per day over the span of a week or two and increase your activity level.

Activity Level

Calories are designed to be burned. This means that if you continue to sit on the couch but simply stop eating, you will lose weight, but most of that weight won’t be a long-term loss. Your metabolism, or burn rate, will dramatically slow effectively burning fewer calories over time. Then, once you stop the particular diet, your metabolism burns fewer of the calories you’re now consuming again and the weight piles back on.

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Instead of a simple diet, increase your activity level to burn 500 or 1000 calories a day. A brisk one hour walk will burn 350 calories. Combine a one hour walk with a slight reduction in calories and you’ll find your weight loss goals much more easily met.

A Weight Loss Plan

If you are serious about losing weight, you should make two changes. The first is to increase the amount of healthy foods you eat and reduce the unhealthy ones. Don’t diet per se, but do replace fattening chips with rice cakes or whole wheat crackers. Skip the ice cream and have sorbet. Track how many calories you’re actually consuming to keep it close to how many your body actually uses on a day without the extra exercise. This will help to keep your metabolism up. By simply switching from high calorie foods to lower ones, you’ll be eliminating hundreds of calories from your diet.

Increase your activity level dramatically. Take the stairs at work and walk when possible. If you can’t get to a gym or take a long walk, try to do short bursts of activities during the day. Get your heart pounding as often as possible. Even standing or stretching while watching television burns far more calories. Walking in place or on a treadmill while you watch your favorite shows burns even more. The more calories you burn and the more muscle you build, the faster the fat will come off.

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How to Lose Weight with Weight Training

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to lose weight with weight trainingMost people heading to the gym to lose weight hop on a treadmill or other cardio machine and completely ignore one of the most effective means of burning calories. Weight training will build your muscles and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns. Unlike treadmills and elliptical machines, muscle will continue burning calories every minute of the day boosting your metabolism and creating an all over healthier you.

Weight Training

To make the most of weight training, you should be completing a routine and recording your efforts to ensure you’re lifting the proper amounts of weights and not overtaxing your muscles. You don’t want to lift as much weight as it takes to max out in a single lift or two. You should ideally be lifting as much weight as you can stand for three sets of eight to twelve reps. By the last set, your muscles should be tired, but not on the verge of collapse. Overloading yourself can injure your muscles.

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Building Muscles

To build muscle, you must essentially tear your existing muscles and let them recover by growing new fibers. The more muscle fibers you have, the larger and stronger your muscles will be. To tear the muscles on a microscopic level, you should be exercising until you feel a burn, but not pain. Then you should rest. Large muscle groups such as legs and buttocks will need a day of rest following an intense weight lifting session as will arms and chest. Alternate these workouts so that you focus on one group one day and then let it rest while you focus on the other group the following day.

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Muscles and Weight Loss

A pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day. By gaining a few pounds of muscle over the span of a month or so, you will be able to burn off a serving of ice cream by doing nothing more than sleeping on the couch. Your muscles will be taking care of it for you. Of course, if you skip the ice cream, your body will lose two pounds a week by itself. If you skip the ice cream and lose the potato chips, you might be losing almost three pounds of fat a week – without ever touching a treadmill.

Lose Weight Fast with Weight Training

Weight training is a sure way to lose weight so long as you’re not still consuming more calories than your body was burning before you built muscle, but if you want to lose weight even faster, you should go from slow and steady weight training to rapid weight training, also called circuit training. Circuit training is a system of stations that you must complete rapidly one after another. By moving quickly, your heart rate stays high effectively giving you a cardio workout at the same time as you are getting a strength workout.

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How to Lose Weight Fast with Martial Arts

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to lose weights with martial artsTo lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories on a daily basis and burn off the extra calories that are currently being stored as fat. A program of mixed martial arts fitness and nutrition can easily get you started burning hundreds of calories and teach you the right way to provide the energy your body needs to lose bulk, build muscle and stay healthy.

The concept behind how to lose weight is simple. Eat less, eat better, burn calories. But many people fail to lose weight simply because they lack discipline. Martial arts are built on a solid platform of discipline. This, along with the variety of programs and methods available, make it ideal for those looking for the best way to lose weight fast.

Lose Weight Fast

To lose weight fast, you need to accelerate the basic weight loss principles. In essence you need to burn off fat more quickly and consume the right number of calories to give you energy for the day and your workouts while removing enough to help those pounds fall away.

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Burning Calories

There are many ways to burn calories quickly. Cardio exercises such as spinning or biking, running, elliptical machines and stair stepping can all burn calories quickly. But the most effective calorie burn both in the short term and long is calories burned by your existing muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at a resting rate.

Building muscle burns more calories overtime, which helps you keep weight off and lose weight steadily over weeks and months. But building muscle takes time, so to lose weight fast but actually keep it off you need a combination of fast calorie burning combined with strength exercises.

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Losing Weight with Martial Arts

Martial arts can be for everyone. Learning the basic moves, positions and skills uses a full range of muscles which helps to build new muscle mass for long term weight control while burning large amounts of calories in the short term with every kick, punch and turn.

To lose weight using martial arts, first visit with your doctor to be sure you are physically ready to endure the work and strain of intense exercises such as martial arts.

Then visit with a trained instructor in your area or find a program online or in a local gym. Martial arts programs can be purchased in DVD format such as the popular Tae Bo and kick boxing and classes are offered at most commercial gyms. There are also gyms dedicated only to martial arts fitness programs in most communities.

Dress appropriately and try out a class. Sit through the first one if you feel uncomfortable, but the only way to lose weight is to get moving. Even if you try only a few moves at a time, the more consistent you are, the more weight you will lose and the stronger you will become.

When combined with a low calorie, low fat diet, any exercise routine, but especially one as intense as martial arts will help you lose weight fast and keep that fat off.

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How to Lose Five Pounds Fast

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to lose 5 poundsIt’s definitely swimsuit and shorts season, and there is nothing worse than pulling on a pair of shorts or last years suit and discovering it just a bit too tight. If your warm weather wardrobe is pinching in all the wrong places, it’s time to lose five pounds FAST.

Losing Five Pounds

It seems everyone is always trying to lose five or ten pounds, but for many reasons, it just doesn’t seem to happen for most of us. Fad diets, faulty portion control and too many opportunities to fall off the wagon are the primary reasons for yo-yo dieting, but you can’t afford to join that group – you need to lose the weight the right way.

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Diet

It all boils down to your diet and your nutrition. You should be eating plenty of food every day, it just needs to be of the healthy variety. To lose five pounds fast, you can simply chunk all of your soda (even the diet ones), chips, cookies, ice cream, and other treats out with the trash.

Leave yourself fruits, veggies and complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread. Eat when you’re hungry, and chew some gum if you’re not hungry but have the urge to nibble. Removing all the empty calorie snacks you would normally just toss back will also help to cut back where it counts.

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Exercise

If you’re just looking to lose five pounds, you’ll want to choose your exercise carefully. While muscle building exercises such as lifting weights are terrific in the long and short-term, you’re interested in short-term gains. You want to see results quickly, and who can blame you? Stick to intense cardio such as jogging on the treadmill or the elliptical. Swimming is another good way to burn calories fast, but you might not be ready for the old swimsuit just yet.

The bottom line here is that you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning, but you’re doing it in a completely healthy way. Fasting or eating five bites of cabbage a day doesn’t help you lose real weight, plus you’ll just over indulge when you reach your goal creating a yo-yo diet situation.

Drink Water

Finally, while you are dieting and exercising, increase your water to over a gallon a day. You’ll be using up quite a bit of water with your intense exercise, but you’ll also be helping to flush out any stored water which might be making you look or feel bloated. Diet, exercise and water is all you need to lose five pounds fast.

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How to Gain Muscle Tone

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to gain muscle toneTo gain sharp definition in your muscles you’ll need to take a two fold approach. First you must build the muscle as much as possible, and then you’ll need to remove the fat that is between the skin and muscle. The thinner this layer, the more the definition of muscle will show.

Building Muscle

Building muscle is as simple as tearing away the existing muscle and letting the muscle grow larger and stronger as it heals. To encourage the muscle to grow, you must tax it to the limit. Lifting weights and working against resistance, such as resistance bands or water, are the means to most effectively encourage new muscle growth.

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To build muscle, you’ll need to exercise regularly. Lifting weights and establishing a routine to work all muscle groups is essential to your success. Work close to your limits every day to gain the maximum benefits, but don’t push yourself to a point where you risk injury or aren’t able to work out effectively the next day.

Many body builders seeking to build large muscles choose to use bodybuilding supplements to ensure they are getting the right balance of nutrients and additives to increase strength and power.

Eat a balanced diet heavy on proteins and vegetables, but low in fats. The increased muscle will burn fat, but you should incorporate an intense cardio routine into your exercise plan to burn off more calories as quickly as possible. As the fat melts away and the muscles before more defined beneath the skin, your muscle tone will be truly impressive.

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Losing Fat

Even those who appear slender may sport an impressive layer of body fat. Extra calories will be stored as fat. You can build impressive muscles, but the muscle definition will be hidden under the fat until you’re able to lose enough to see the outline of the muscles through it.

Loosing fat is a challenge for any dieters, but those trying to gain muscle tone must work especially hard. To gain muscle you must consume extra calories that will convert to the muscle, but old calories are still stored as fat. To lose fat while gaining muscle, you must focus on eating the right kinds of calories. Protein is used to build muscles while carbs and fats convert more readily to fat.

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