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The most dangerous fitness advice

Bernard Yang Kim never wanted to be a bodybuilder. The 31-year-old currency trader simply wanted to look chiseled—like an underwear model, he jokes—which is why he found it odd to be staring up at a 315-pound barbell.  He had never benched so much weight in his life; few men ever do. But his usual trainer was out, and his gym had set him up with a substitute—one who, as it turns out, was not only overzealous but also a terrible spotter.  “The bar crashed onto my chest, tearing my pectoral muscle,” said Kim, who ended up in the ER. “It was excruciating.” While extreme, Kim's experience is not uncommon. There are roughly 230,000 personal trainers in the United States, a number that has jumped 44 percent in the last decade. Indeed, personal training is one of the few professions to not only blossom during a recession but also grow afterward as people turn to it for a second job and even a second career. And it's easier than ever to get certified: You can go online, take a course, and start training clients within a month. “It's a buyer-beware market,” Mike Boyle, certified athletic trainer and owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Massachusetts, said. “Getting hurt might be rare, but you can easily waste your time with someone who is ineffective at best and dangerous at worst.” In short, knowing how to recognize bad advice is more critical than ever. Read on for six of the worst fitness tips we've ever heard (like these 4 Moves Smart Trainers Hate), and six ways to get back on track. (For an easy-to-follow workout you can do at home, check out our Speed Shred DVD series, which will help you incinerate fat and uncover your abs in just 82 days!) Bad advice: “Go big or go home.” “There's this idea that you have to train to failure to trigger growth,” Boyle said. “But 'go big or go home' is a slogan for a meathead's T-shirt and a prescription for injury, not an effective training strategy. The truth is precisely the opposite—'slow and steady wins the race.'”  Not convinced? Talk to Bernard Yang Kim. The key to success in the weight room is to make consistent, incremental gains that ultimately add up to the body you want. Better move: Train to technical failure.  ”You want to do as many reps as you can with perfect form,” Boyle said. “Once you can't do a perfect rep, the set is over—no negative reps, no spotter assistance, no using momentum to crank out one more.”  When you can complete your goal reps for every set—three sets of 10, for example—you're ready to move up in weight. “Throw another five pounds on the bar or grab the next heaviest pair of dumbbells,” Boyle said. “It might not sound like much, but think about it this way: Even if you only go up five pounds every two weeks, you'll still add 130 pounds to your lift after a year.” Bad advice: “Push through the pain.” A little bit of soreness isn't a bad thing. It just means you've pushed your body harder than usual, causing microtears in muscles that ultimately lead to gains in size and strength.  ”But there's a big difference between soreness and pain, and ignoring pain is a ticket to the disabled list,” Boyle said. “I regularly ask my clients, 'Does the exercise make any of your joints hurt?' I don't care if the pain diminishes after they warm up—if they answer yes, that's the end of the exercise.” (Know what symptoms warrant a trip to your doctor: Learn the 7 Pains You Shouldn’t Ignore.) Better move: Find a pain-free alternative that works the same muscles.  “Just because the barbell bench press causes you shoulder pain doesn't mean you have to stop working your chest,” Boyle said. “Try using dumbbells, do incline presses, or switch to pushups.”  Changing your grip, angle, or movement pattern alters the load and positioning of your joints, allowing you to build muscle without breaking your body. Bad advice: “Protect your spine with crunches and sit-ups.” There's no denying that crunches and sit-ups can help you sculpt a six-pack, but they come with an inherent flaw: repeated spinal flexion, which can increase your risk of developing a back problem and aggravate existing damage.  Bottom line: By recommending crunches and sit-ups, some trainers facilitate the very injuries they're trying to prevent, Tony Gentilcore, certified strength and conditioning specialist, a trainer at Cressey Performance in Massachusetts, said. Better move: Do stability exercises.  “Stability, or resisting unwanted motion, is the true function of your core, and exercises that reinforce that function protect your spine,” Gentilcore said.  Try the Swiss ball rollout: Sit on your knees in front of a Swiss ball and place your forearms and fists on the ball. Slowly roll the ball forward, straightening your arms and extending your body as far as you can without allowing your lower back to “collapse.” Use your abdominal muscles to pull the ball back to the starting position.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/09/most-dangerous-fitness-advice/

High doses of common painkillers increase heart attack risks

Long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is “equally hazardous” in terms of heart attack risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said on Thursday. Presenting the results of a large international study into a class of painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the researchers said high doses of them increase the risk of a major vascular event - a heart attack, stroke or dying from cardiovascular disease - by around a third. This means that for every 1,000 people with an average risk of heart disease who take high-dose diclofenac or ibuprofen for a year, about three extra would have an avoidable heart attack, of which one would be fatal, the researchers said. This puts the heart risks of generic NSAIDs on a par with a newer class of NSAIDs known as COX-2 inhibitors or coxibs, which includes Vioxx - a painkiller that U.S. drugmaker Merck pulled from sale in 2004 because of links to heart risks. Other drugs in the coxib class include cerecoxib, sold by Pfizer under the brand name Celebrex, and etoricoxib, sold by Merck under the brand name Arcoxia. “What we are saying is that they (coxibs, ibuprofen and diclofenac) have similar risks, but they also have similar benefits,” said Colin Baigent of the clinical trial service unit at Britain's Oxford University, who led the study published in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday. He stressed that the risks are mainly relevant to people who suffer chronic pain, such as patients with arthritis who need to take high doses of painkillers - such as 150mg of diclofenac or 2400mg of ibuprofen a day - for long periods. “A short course of lower dose tablets purchased without a prescription, for example, for a muscle sprain, is not likely to be hazardous,” he said. BALANCING RISKS AND BENEFITS The study team gathered data, including on admissions to hospital for cardiovascular or gastrointestinal disease, from all randomized trials that have previously tested NSAIDs. This allowed them to pool results of 639 randomized trials involving more than 300,000 people and re-analyze the data to establish the risks of NSAIDs in certain types of patients. In contrast to the findings on ibuprofen and diclofenac, the study found that high doses of naproxen, another NSAID, did not appear to increase the risk of heart attacks. The researchers said this may be because naproxen also has protective effects that balance out any extra heart risks. Baigent said it was important patients should not make hasty decisions or change their treatment without consulting a doctor. “For many arthritis patients, NSAIDs reduce joint pain and swelling effectively and help them to enjoy a reasonable quality of life,” he said. “We really must be careful about the way we present the risks of these drugs. “They do have risks, but they also have benefits, and patients should be presented with all those bits of information and allowed to make choices for themselves.” Donald Singer, a professor of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics at Britain's Warwick University, who was not involved in the study, said its findings “underscore a key point for patients and prescribers: powerful drugs may have serious harmful effects”. “It is therefore important for prescribers to take into account these risks and ensure patients are fully informed about the medicines they are taking,” he said in an emailed comment.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/30/high-doses-common-painkillers-increase-heart-attack-risks/

Genomic analysis lends insight to prostate cancer

"This is the first study to examine DNA alterations using next generation sequencing in adjacent Gleason patterns in the same tumor allowing us to correlate genomics with changes in pathology," says John Cheville, M.D., Mayo Clinic pathologist and one of the authors on the paper. The standard method of evaluating prostate cancer biopsy samples is a numerical scoring system called Gleason grading. A pathologist examines the tumor sample under the microscope, giving it a Gleason score based on the pattern of its cells…

Are you working out the wrong way? Common fitness myths debunked

We only have the best intentions when we work out, but sometimes it can be hard to know what exactly is best for our fitness. Luckily the American Council on Exercise debunked eight common workout myths for us so the next time you hit the pavement (or treadmill) you can start to see results. Related: 12 Reasons To Lose Weight Now Myth #1: Stretching before exercise reduces the risk of injury. False: The scientific literature of the past decade fails to support stretching before exercise as a successful strategy for injury prevention. However, research does support stretching at other times, including post-exercise, to reduce injury risk. Myth #2: Walking a mile burns as many calories as running a mile. In our dreams: While walking is a great physical activity, it does not require as much energy as running. Research has shown that running has a 40 percent greater energy cost compared to walking . That means you burn more calories when you run. Related: 15 Delicious Diet Breakfast Ideas Myth #3: Lactic acid causes acidosis and muscle fatigue during exercise.  False: The old myth linking lactate or lactic acid to fatigue is the result of a scientific misinterpretation that has prevailed through the years.  Lactate does not cause metabolic acidosis. Furthermore, it is useful in the performance of exercise at high intensities. Myth #4: Lower-intensity exercise puts you in the fat-burning zone, so it’s preferable to higher-intensity exercise.   Wrong: The “fat burning zone” at low intensities of exercise doesn’t even exist. To burn maximum calories in support of ongoing weight loss, progress to a moderate-intensity/higher-volume exercise program and include interval training. Related: Low-Calorie Desserts to Try Right Now Myth #5: Morning workouts increase metabolism better than workouts performed later in the day. Wishful thinking: The decision to exercise in the morning should be driven by personal preference rather than any false hopes that greater weight loss will be achieved by exercising before breakfast. Myth #6: Muscle weighs more than fat. Not true: Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. The difference is their density. As we lose fat and gain muscle, weight may change very little, while body volume decreases as we become leaner. Related: Cheap, Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love Myth #7: Women who want to avoid looking bulky should avoid resistance training. False: Resistance training does not cause women to get bulky. In fact, it is virtually impossible for women to get as big (i.e., bulky) as men due to physiological differences, such as lower levels of testosterone. Myth #8: Spot reduction really works, especially if you want six-pack abs. In our dreams: Research shows that if a vigorous, high-volume, core-training program is performed, fat will be reduced in the abdominal area, but not selectively. A lean midsection requires a program of core, resistance and aerobic exercise—not just a focus on the abs.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/16/are-working-out-wrong-way-8-common-fitness-myths-debunked/