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Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Latest Studies About Static Stretching

I often tell people that what I say today may not hold true tomorrow. As science and research evolves the things once believed to be true lose their validity. It is always important to consult with professionals in the specific industry of your concern to make sure that what you know today is still true. It may also be true that all though it was a know fact today may not be true tomorrow. The important thing is that you remain aware.

I've written several articles on Stretching and those articles conflicted with old traditional beliefs about Static type stretching. In the days of my father's high school years, static stretching was always encouraged and promoted by coaches and phys ed school staff. In my college years this belief changed and has been disputed for over 20 years. Who do you think was right? Well it really depends on the argument being made. So here is the argument being disputed in which I am referring too. Before the 80's it was always a common practice to promote static stretching both before and after exercise. After that period things began to change. The new belief which was being promoted is that static stretching should only be performed after physical activity and that a more active type dynamic stretch be performed prior to exercise. The reasoning for arguing in favor of dynamic stretching was that static stretching could lead to injury and that it would have negative impact on performance in strength, power and speed. It was also believed that cold muscles did not like to be stretched and thus you could pull a muscle. What was being encouraged is a brisk walk or light warm-up activity like cycling which was to be followed by an active type stretch taking muscles through various ranges of motion in a continuous moving fashion. This was believed to be the best way to prepare muscles for movement. Well that latest research according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine's finding has some flaws. Read today's latest research by following this link: Static Stretching Pro's and Con's

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I get this question asked a lot by people who have either heard of it or have tried it. I won't name the fitness company that promotes it a lot but I definitely understand why they promote it so much. An awesome movie which I watched called 'Forks Over Knives' and their group of experts would disagree with Paleo Diet self-promoted experts. The primary disagreement is on living off of a primarily animal-based diet rather than a primarily plant-based diet. A good read like 'The China Study' would also make you disagree with the claims made by Paleo Diet enthusiast. I have seen more studies which promote the benefits of a highly plant-based diet and the risks of a high animal based diet than I can count. If you think about how little saturated fat you get from a plant based diet in comparison to an animal based diet you too can come to the easy conclusion that a Paleo type diet may increase the risks of stroke, cancer, heart attack, arteriosclerosis and many more diseases. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. 
Dr. Ben-Zur of 'The Cardiovascular Institute' in Encino would also disagree with the Paleo Diet. In a conversation I had with Dr. Ben-Zur - who shared with me his many years of expertise in heart health - he pointed out that a primarily animal based diet causes undue excess stress on the kidneys which in turn  directly affects the condition of the heart and the rest of the body. In Chinese Medicine this belief system can also be seen in the 'Five Element Theory' which is used for diagnosis of patients. The Heart is said to be associated with Fire while the Kidney is associated with Water. When in harmony the Kidney it is said to control the Heart or Water controls Fire. Makes sense if you think of using water to control a fire and this is called the Inter-Acting Cycle. In disharmony the Kidney over acts on the Heart this is called the Over-Acting Cycle and thus can be seen as Water putting out a Fire or consuming the fire. If the Heart rebels on the Kidney, it is called the Counter-Acting Cycle which is another stage of disharmony in the body. This can be thus described as Fire scorching out the water. In a wild fire this would be a very undesirable outcome. 
You don't have to agree with me but many years of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a primitive knowledge of the body have stood the test of time as has the pyramids of Egypt to which this day have not been rebuilt by man. The Earth has provided us with many foods to consume and one may argue that our ancestors also ate animals. That is true, but they also didn't eat animals plagued with antibiotics, hormones and pesticides. So if you chose to follow the Paleo Diet, please be more conscious of the meats, fish and poultry you chose to eat and stick to sources which have come from farmers who have chosen to provide a better standard of living for their animals. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to post :D

Learn more from these sources: Forks Over Knives and WebMD - The Paleo Diet