Fitness News & Views
A Publication of Graham Fitness
Sept. 15, 2016
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

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Here's This Month's Quiz
All the Answers Can Be Found in the Newsletter
  1. Of all the diets out there, which one has been shown to help you live longer, keep your brain sharp, and be good for the heart?
    • The Mediterranean Diet
    • The Atkins Diet
    • The Paleo Diet
    • The Cookie Diet
  2. Detoxing is a great way to rid your body of all impurities.
    • True
    • False
  3. Which floor surface transfers the least bacteria to food dropped on it?
    • Ceramic tile
    • Wood
    • Stainless steel
    • Carpet
  4. You should stretch before your workout, because:
    • It provides a good warmup.
    • It prevents pulled muscles during your workout.
    • It allows you to workout with more intensity.
    • You should not stretch before working out.
  5. The ethnic group in America with the highest percentage of obese adults is:
    • Whites
    • Blacks
    • Latinos
    • Asians

            Generally I'm not an advocate of dieting, but there is one diet that I can recommend. It will help you lose weight, but it also has many other benefits. This diet has been shown to help you live longer, to keep your brain sharp, and to be good for the heart. In fact, it can lower your cholesterol more effectively than statins. It's the Mediterranean Diet.
           The Mediterranean Diet consists of foods which are easy to find in any grocery store and that taste good, such as fish, chicken, lean meat, fruit, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables, even beer and wine in moderation of course. About the only things you have to give up are red meat, sugar, and most processed foods.
            It's not new. It's been around for years maybe since biblical days. After all, from what we know, Jesus probably ate a diet similar to what we now call the Mediterranean Diet. If you've tried other diets, this may be one you can stick with and actually enjoy as you get slimmer, leaner, and healthier.

          The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently listed five fitness trends which  it deemed more harmful than helpful. They are:
  • Mud runs and obstacle course races. I've participated in these and enjoyed them, but let's face it, they can be dangerous. In one mud run a few years ago, a lady in front of me broke her ankle climbing a muddy hill. Some people have drowned. Pick your events wisely and don't attempt more than you are capable of.
  • 10,000 steps a day. Generally walking is a good thing, but if you have a postural issue, a nagging injury, or pain that alters your walking pattern, you can unwittingly do more harm than good.
  • Cleanses, detoxes, and fruit diets. Our bodies rarely need help detoxifying themselves. Rather than detoxing, it's more sensible to quit toxing - drinking too much alcohol or eating too much junk food. And if you want fruit, eat it. Fruit is a food, not a beverage.
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) a bit too often. HIIT is effective when used sensibly, but it should not be done every day for the same reason you shouldn't strength train the same muscles every day. You need to build in recovery time. So if you are doing HIIT, cut back to three non-consecutive days a week.
  • Fasted cardio. This means doing cardio workouts in a fasted state. This has become trendy because it is assumed you will burn more fat than carbs. But the body responds to exercise better if you eat a light snack about 30 minutes before running or doing other cardio, and you'll still be utilizing fat as your energy source anyway.

      Now let me add one more to the list that they did not include - lifting heavy. In most gyms these days, you'll see young men and women lifting very heavy weights and doing power lifting exercises. Lifting heavy produces significant results, but at a very high price. Very few heavy lifters will escape injury down the road, and many of these injuries may cause trouble for years.


        A friend of mine emailed these to me, and they are so good, I had to pass them along. I hope you get a chuckle from them like I did:
  • My goal for 2016 was to lose 10 pounds. Only 15 to go.
  • Ate salad for dinner. Mostly croutons & tomatoes. Really just one big round crouton covered with tomato sauce. And cheese. FINE, it was a pizza. I ate a pizza.
  • How to prepare tofu: First, throw it in the trash. Then, grill some meat.
  • I just did a week's worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.
  • I don't mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
  • A recent study has found women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.

        When it comes to fitness, there are more myths that are ingrained than any other industry I'm aware of. Let's debunk a few of them:
  1. The myth: You can target your fat burn. The fact is you cannot spot reduce. You can reduce your overall body fat by exercising, but you cannot control where the fat will be lost.
  2. The myth: You should not work out on an empty stomach. According to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, your body burns more fat when you hit the gym before breakfast. But I've seen studies that say just the opposite as well, so eat or don't eat before working out. Just make sure you workout.
  3. The myth: You should stretch before you workout. Stretching prior to exercise actually diminishes your workout.       Plus stretching cold muscles is a good way to pull something.
  4. The myth: Lifting heavy weights bulks women up. The truth is lifting challenging weights and doing 8 to 12 reps produces more weight loss than 15 to 20 reps with lighter weights. Plus women don't have the testosterone that men have, so they are not genetically equipped to bulk up.
  5. The myth: Exercise machines are better than free weights. Exercise machines isolate specific muscles, but free weights bring more secondary and stabilizer muscles into play. There is a place for exercise machines in your workout, but they are not better than free weights.
  6. The myth: Running on a treadmill is as effective as running outside. Running outside burns about 10 percent more calories than running the same distance on a treadmill. Winds, hills, and uneven terrain are all factors.
  7. The myth: You should not work out when you are sick. Here's the rule of thumb: If you don't have a fever and the symptoms are in the head, you can work out. If the symptoms are in the chest, take a break.
  8. The myth: Sweating means you are out of shape. Sweating is your body's way of keeping you cool. Sweating means you are working hard enough to cause your core temperature to rise. Everybody sweats when they get hot, but some more than others.
  9. The myth: Running beats walking. Since walking and running target the same muscles, one is not better than the other. However, it takes twice as much time to get the same benefits when you walk as compared to running.

            Remember the five-second rule. You know, the one that says if you drop food on the floor and pick it up within five seconds, it's not contaminated. Turns out, it's not true.
            Researchers at Rutgers University tested the theory by dropping four different foods on four different floor surfaces to see how long it actually takes for bacteria to transfer from the floor to the food. The floor surfaces were stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood, and carpet, and the foods were watermelon, bread, bread and butter, and gummy candy. They checked results after contact times of less than one second, 30 seconds, and 5 minutes.
            Almost no bacteria transferred in less than one second, but beyond that, the longer the contact, the greater the bacterial transfer. As for the surfaces, carpet showed the smallest amount of bacterial transfer, hard surfaces the most. Watermelon had the most contamination, sweets the least, while both dry bread and bread and butter were about the same.
            One of the researchers admitted however that you can still use the five-second rule since so little bacteria was transferred after that period of time that it was unlikely to have any harmful effects, especially if you house is reasonably clean. As for outside surfaces, he said no way should you eat anything dropped on the ground or a sidewalk.
            As you probably know, obesity rates in the United States are staggering. Approximately 38 percent of Americans are obese which is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more. (If you don't know your BMI, Google "BMI calculator" and fill in the numbers asked for.) Here are some other facts about obesity which I find interesting and distressing:
  • 40.4% of women are obese.
  • 35% of men are obese.
  • 36.4% of white adults are obese.
  • 46.8% of black adults are obese.
  • 42.6% of Latino adults are obese.
  • 12.6% of Asian Americans are obese.
  • 33% of people who did not graduate from high school are obese while 21.5% of college or technical school graduates are.
  • 33% of people who earn $15,000 or less annually are obese but only 24.6% of those who earn $50,000 a year are.
           These numbers are counter-intuitive in many ways. You would think that the poorer you are, the less you would have to spend on food. However, in many cases, the cheaper foods are less expensive carbs like rice and potatoes. You are free to draw your own conclusions. One other thing to note, these are obesity numbers. The percentage of Americans who are overweight is almost 67 percent. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight.

                 There was an article in an American Council on Exercise publication last week entitled "What Do ACE Pros Eat for Breakfast?" The articles listed 10 different breakfasts such as a yam and yogurt parfait, a chocolate rocket fuel shake, a green smoothie, and coconut flour pancakes with pomegranate seeds. Personally, I think some of these trainers try way too hard to impress. For the record, here's what I have every day for breakfast: one hard-boiled egg, 5 almonds, a bowl of oatmeal with berries and honey, and a cup of coffee. It works for me.
Graham Fitness
Tim Graham
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Phone: 803-447-8557
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