Sunday, July 17, 2016

7 Exercises with High Risk of Injury

Despite the common belief that all exercises are safe, effective and good, it is vital to understand that some exercises pose high risks (especially for people with joint, muscle and other health complications). 

Here are some of the exercises that are considered to have great potential risk for  causing injury:
1. Back arches
Exercises that involve extreme stretching of the lower back including back aches are can be dangerous. These movements place excessive strain on your lower back and can be potentially dangerous, especially when performed in a bouncing manner. Although ensuring regular extension of the lower back is very important, strengthening and stretching should be done in a slow and controlled (passive) manner.
2. Straight leg sit ups
This exercise is associated with several potential risks. By keeping your legs straight, you exercise the abdominals as well as the hip flexors. When hip flexors contract, they cause a forward tilt of your pelvis and hyper-extension of the lower back. Therefore, straight leg sit ups strengthen the hip flexors but the abdominals will remain relatively weak. On the other hand, this exercise strains the lower back.
A great alternative for this exercise is the curl-up which is performed as a partial sit up with the knees bent. Therefore, curl-ups can exercise the abdominals efficiently and safely. Strengthening your abdominal muscles is a great way of relieving low back pain.
3. Seated knee extensions
This is a popular exercise that mainly targets the quadriceps (muscles on the front to the thighs). Seated knee extensions pose major risks to your knees when the knees are fully extended and the weight is heavy. If you use too much resistance when performing the exercise you can easily run into trouble because the resistance against fully straightened legs puts extreme stress on knee joints. This can easily strain the tendons and compress the knee cartilage.
Some of the great alternatives to this exercise include lunges and squats with or without any added weight. This works thigh muscles safely, naturally and effectively.
4. Upright rows
When performing upright rows, you stand holding a weight or barbell in the center, with the hands close together and bring your hands up just under your chin. This exercise is controversial because it cause the humerus (upper arm bone) to bang up against the acroimon process joint. This can damage the cartilage in the acroimon process (AC) joint and compress nerves in the shoulder area which leads to arthritis. The main purpose of upright rows is to work out the upper traps and the shoulders (deltoids). Therefore, instead of standing to perform this exercise, you can try bent over rows. Bend forward 90 degrees at your hips, holding the weights down beneath the shoulders and hands shoulder width apart, lift the weights up towards your chest until the shoulders and elbows form a straight line. On the other hand, you can try lateral or front shoulder raises using modest weights in order to avoid using momentum or leaning back for assistance. These variations keeps the upper arm bone moving behind the acromion process joint but still targets the same muscles.
5. Hovering leg lifts
To perform this common move, you simply lie on your back with your shoulders and legs either crunched up or down on the ground, and lift your legs up off the ground so they hover a few inches from the ground in order to work the abs.
Although it surely engages the abs, the main problem about hovering leg lifts is associated with lifting the extended legs off the ground which can easily cause injury because it exerts an excessive amount of pressure on the lower back. However, there are numerous ways of working the abs without such high risks.
For instance, you can work your abdominals without straining the lower back by simply starting with the legs up in the air in line with the hips rather than straining to lift them off the ground. Then lower the straight legs to about 45 degrees without arching or flattening your back. This movement can be made safer by doing it with slightly bent knees or work your abdominals doing standard plank or bicycle exercises.
6. Hurdler’s stretch
Hurdler’s stretch is performed sitting on the ground with your legs apart and tucking one leg behind while reaching forward to touch the toes of your extended leg. The exercise places immense stress on ligaments in the bent leg’s knee joint.
Hurdler’s stretch can be performed on the side of a firm bed, couch or on a raised bench. This ensures that your leg remains in a comfortable, neutral position. Moreover, you can bend forward from low in your back and not from your mid back in order to maximize the stretch on your hamstring.
7. Full squat
The full squat which is also known as the duck walk also places tremendous pressure on your knees. Besides being an ineffective exercise, it places your knee ligaments and cartilage in a very vulnerable and risky position.
You can perform partial squats instead to give the required stretch in the muscle without outing excessive stress on the knee cartilage and ligaments.
Exercising safely means choosing appropriate exercises based on your level of fitness and avoiding potentially dangerous exercises. Using proper techniques is very critical and you should generally start your exercises at an appropriately slow pace without increasing the level of intensity or difficulty too rapidly. On the other hand, it is vital to understand that some exercises are potentially risky for people with knee problems and others with back problems. Therefore, you should always examine your exercise routine in order to determine whether the potential risk of doing a particular exercise outweighs the expected benefit.
~Thanks to

Hydrogen Peroxide & Its Widespread Usefulness Throughout Your Home

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the world’s safest all-natural sanitizers in your home. You’ve probably got it under the bathroom sink, in your linen closet or tucked away somewhere near your first aid kit. It’s time to pull it out and use it for cleaning, disinfecting and more.

Chemically called H202 — a mix of water and oxygen — hydrogen peroxide kills disease and microorganisms by oxidation, which is something like a controlled burning process. That’s why you’ll see it bubble away many of your household troubles.
Typically, a three percent mix of hydrogen peroxide is enough to work wonders for health, beauty and cleaning your kitchen and bath, and can be purchased for about a dollar. There are potentially hundreds of uses for hydrogen peroxide, but for a start, here are 30 ways to use it in your home.

Health and beauty
1. Clean makeup brushes. Makeup brushes can be a pain to clean — but not with peroxide. Use one part water with one part hydrogen peroxide in a container, soak synthetic brushes for about five minutes and rinse. Dermatologist Dr. Debra Luftman suggests repeating this process at least once each week for clean, bacteria-free brushes.
2. Douche. Add two capfuls of hydrogen peroxide into warm distilled water once or twice a week to get rid of bacterial infections or even chronic yeast infections. (While some people swear by it, your doctor may not agree with this method, so it’s best to discuss treatment with her or him beforehand.)
3. Treat sinus infections. Use a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in one cup of chlorine-free water as a nasal spray. Adjust the amount of peroxide depending on the severity of the infection.
4. Relieve toothaches. It’s not a painkiller, but peroxide is an antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agent, so it’s great for treating the pathogen causing an infection. For a toothache, rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide several times a day. You also can rinse with coconut oil once per day, and your discomfort should vanish quickly.
5. Whiten teeth. Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a homemade tooth whitener. When used daily, it can remove stains from teeth.
6. Disinfect small wounds. A natural antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide is effective for cleaning wounds to prevent an infection from setting in.
7. Mouth rinse. Use a capful of hydrogen peroxide as an antiseptic mouth rinse to help whiten teeth and kill germs that cause halitosis.
8. Disinfect toothbrushes. Soak toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide to kill staph bacteria and other germs.

9. Highlight hair. Get a sun-streaked look by spraying peroxide on damp hair and allowing it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing.
10. Whiten nails. Soak your fingertips and toes in peroxide to naturally whiten your nails.
11. Clear complexion. Use peroxide as a facial rinse to kill the bacteria that leads to acne, get rid of pimples fast and clear up your complexion.
12. Soften corns and calluses. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water to make a foot soak that will naturally soften corns and calluses.
13. Stop swimmer’s ear. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in a small dropper bottle. Put several drops in each ear after swimming to prevent infection.
14. Relieve ear infections. Put six to eight drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear to alleviate symptoms and help clear up an ear infection.
15. Treat foot fungus. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a dark-colored spray bottle (light exposure weakens hydrogen peroxide) and spray on feet nightly to stop fungal growth. Allow feet to dry and keep them uncovered so they get air.
For the kitchen, laundry and bath
16. Clean the refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, hydrogen peroxide is a wonderful cleaner anywhere you store food and dishes. Simply spray the appliance outside and in, let the solution sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean.
17. Clean sponges. Soak sponges in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish for about 10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse the germ-free sponges and allow to air dry.
18. Remove crud from pots and pans. Mix hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Return with a scrubber sponge, apply warm water and the cooked-on crud will rub right off without scratching or scraping.
19. Clean cutting boards. Kill bacteria that can live on produce with mild hydrogen peroxide and household vinegar. Spray with hydrogen peroxide, then with white vinegar and rinse well. A test performed by a food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found that the combination of the two solutions killed bacteria like E. coli, listeria and salmonella better than peroxide or vinegar alone. It kills every microbe, so you won’t spread nasty germs to your countertops.  This solution also won’t leave behind any lingering odors or taste.
20. Clean tile. Spray hydrogen peroxide directly onto tile to easily wipe away scum, dirt and stains.
21. Whiten grout. If your tub and tile grout looks grubby, spray on peroxide, let it sit for a while and then scrub with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat this process a few times. You also can mix hydrogen peroxide with white flour or baking soda to create a thick paste, then apply to grout and let it sit for a few hours. It will look nearly new when you rinse it off.
22. Clean toilet bowls. Pour about half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into toilet bowls and let it soak for at least 30 minutes to clean and remove stains.
23. Remove tub and shower scum. Spray hydrogen peroxide on soap scum, dirt and stains in the bathtub. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then rinse to loosen grime and make cleaning easier.
24. Control mold and mildew. Spray hydrogen peroxide on areas where mold and mildew are present to stop fungal growth and remove discoloration.
25. Clean glass surfaces. Spray hydrogen peroxide on dirty mirrors and other glass surfaces to loosen dirt and grime. Wipe away with a clean, lint-free cloth.
26. Disinfect countertops. Spray hydrogen peroxide on kitchen and bathroom countertops to clean and disinfect.
27. Whiten and brighten laundry. Ditch the expensive non-bleach whiteners by adding about a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your wash water and soak fabrics for 15 to 30 minutes to revitalize dingy or yellowed whites or to brighten colors.
28. Remove organic stains. Mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part dish detergent and apply to organic stains (coffee, wine, blood, sweat, etc.) to remove them. Remember, hydrogen peroxide will bleach darker fabrics, so use this technique with caution.
29. Deodorize musty fabrics. Mix hydrogen peroxide with white vinegar and soak musty fabrics to remove unwanted odors.
30. Clean rugs and carpets. Spray hydrogen peroxide onto light-colored carpets and rugs to remove stains from mud, food, etc. Just remember that hydrogen peroxide will bleach some fabrics, so it’s best to test this technique on an inconspicuous area first.
~Thanks to Health Freedoms

Friday, July 15, 2016

Revisiting Pineapple!


With the exploding popularity of low-carb and ketogenic diets, fruit has been getting a bad rap. And tropical fruits, in particular, have been getting a really bad rap. While the low glycemic load of berries makes them the go-to choice for individuals who still want to enjoy fruit occasionally on these types of diets, bananas, mangoes, papaya, and pineapple have acquired the unfortunate stigma of being “too high in sugar” for regular consumption. And indeed, it may be that patients with severe insulin resistance or blood sugar imbalances may be best served by avoiding tropical fruit entirely, this category of delicious and nutritious food need not be off the menu for everyone. Pineapple, in particular, has some properties that may justify bringing it back to the table or school lunch box.

Pineapples are sweet, but also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganeseand a 100-gram serving of pineapple (approximately 3.5 ounces) provides just 12 grams of carbohydrate, with an overall very low glycemic load. Plus, the sugar in pineapple comes along with small amounts of thiamin, B6, and other nutrients, so even with their sugar content, pineapples are a far cry from the empty calories of snack cakes, soft drinks, and other sources of nutritionally void concentrated sugar. Pineapple is best consumed either fresh or frozen - with no added sugar in the frozen variety!

Pineapples are off-the-charts refreshing in summer. A spicy pineapple salsa can jazz up any gathering, and you can even add pineapple to guacamole for an interesting twist. Grilled balsamic pineapple makes a delicious treat for outdoor grilling, and using pineapple can be as simple as topping a burger with a slice. For other savory dishes, consider chicken pineapple stir-fry or pineapple pork. Pineapple pairs nicely with protein, because pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps aid in the digestion of proteins. (For this reason, bromelain is sometimes included in plant-sourced digestive enzyme supplements, along with papain from papaya.) To indulge a sweet tooth, there’s coconut pineapple popsiclescarrot pineapple muffins, and even pineapple upside-down cakeall gluten and dairy free! 

The benefits of bromelain don’t stop at breaking down protein. Bromelain has been shown to be helpful in boosting the immune system, particularly when it comes to illnesses of the respiratory tract. Through reducing inflammation of the airway, it may be beneficial in fighting bronchitis, sinusitis, and pulmonary edema. Additionally, pineapple juice—likely via the effects of bromelain—has been shown to be effective for dissolving lung mucus buildup in tuberculosis. These respiratory supporting properties also make pineapple juice natural cough remedy, particularly when combined with raw honey and ginger, to soothe the throat. 

Bromelain is anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and fibrinolytic. For these reasons, it may be a helpful adjunct in acute injuriesResearch indicates that the “pharmacological properties depend on the proteolytic activity only partly, suggesting the presence of nonprotein factors in bromelain.” As the natural source of bromelain, the same is likely true for pineapple fruit and juice, as well. There may be synergistic effects among multiple compounds in pineapple that go beyond the properties of isolated bromelain.
And lest you think the skin of a pineapple has only one of two fates—either the garbage can or the compost bin—unpeeled pineapple chunks can be used to make homemade pineapple vinegar, a delicious south-of-the-border tradition that shares many of the same health-boosting effects as other types of vinegar.

For these reasons and more, pineapple need not be banned from the kitchen. It’s delicious, nutritious, and can be enjoyed year-round if used frozen or canned (in natural juice). No luau required!

~Thanks to Dr. Michael Jurgelwicz

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