Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is BMI Obsolete?

Hello, faithful readers!

This may be our most important post of the last year -- especially for those of you with an unhealthy body composition.  We encourage you to read this posting and respond with questions or comments, as the information below may help revolutionize the medical approach to weight management.

Since PPT's inception, we've declared that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is an inaccurate method of evaluating one's risk for fat-related disease.  Our reasoning?  BMI does not determine any difference between a person's fat weight and lean tissue.  This means that if you were to gain ten pounds of hard-earned muscle while losing ten pounds of excess fat, your BMI would stay the exact same, and your doctor would likely tell you that your exercise efforts were not paying off in terms of fat loss.  Imagine that... You lose fat, gain muscle, and then hear that your BMI hasn't improved.  You'd be making tremendous progress, but you'd be likely to become discouraged from a lack of understanding.  Unlike our methods of body composition assessment (also called body fat percentage assessment), The BMI is a simple system that looks at fat, bone, water and muscle as all falling into one category:  weight.

The medical community has continued to rely on the BMI because of it's simplicity and ease.  And, for non-exercisers, it has some merit (until they begin exercising and gaining muscle, at which point it becomes misleading).  From its inception the Body Mass Index has been questioned for its numerous flaws, and other quick and easy means have been evaluated.  But finally, researchers from the University of Michigan seem to have something on the horizon that is just as simple, but that illustrates a more accurate assessment of health risk.
After assessing anthropometrics, or body circumferences in more than 1100 children ages 6 to 18, correlations were found between neck circumference and risk for later diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, or high blood pressure.  Whereas abdominal obesity is not taken into account with the BMI scale, it does seem to correlate quite well to these neck circumference measurements, thereby leading the researchers to feel that neck measurement would present a more meaningful value to patients than the BMI.

Neck circumference and risk stratification charts are not currently available, but should become so in the near future. In the meantime, rely on direct measurements of body fat (body composition) with your Perfect Personal Trainer, along with anthropometric measurements to predict risks to health and to assess proper lifestyle modification.

Learn more about your risk factors and the best ways to reduce them!  Call (877)698-DO-IT (3648) to speak with a Perfect Personal Trainer.  We're even happy to schedule a free consultation, right in your home or office, and to evaluate your risk factors for you and your family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Shocking Truth About Sit-Ups

What you don't know sure can hurt you!

Are you still doing sit-ups during your workouts?  Please think again!  More and more scientific research is stacking up against this long-time fitness staple.

Stuart McGill, PhD, studied the effects of varying exercises on the lower back. Sit-ups, crunches, varying plank and stabilization exercises, and many others were involved and analyzed.  What was found is that a sit-up generates approximately 3500 Newtons of pressure (roughly 786 pounds of force). According to Dr. McGill and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), pressures above 3300 Newtons are more associated with lower back injury or pain.

Aside from this heavy pressure, sit-ups also involve spinal flexion, which has it's benefits but is also associated with herniated discs.  This little fact makes this exercise even more controversial -- especially for those with any predisposition to spinal disorders or a loss of bone mineral density.

Additionally, prolonged sit-ups tend to lead to aggressive, uncontrolled lowering of the spine back onto the floor or mat, adding even more risk for injury and pain.  To play your core training more safe, we recommend varying forms of planks and other core stabilizing exercises, lateral flexion exercises, and of course, static flexibility training.  Remember -- any exercise can easily do more harm than good if the selection, intensity, or frequency is inappropriate for you.
RESVERATROL:  Buy one high-quality bottle, GET TWO MORE FREE (ends July 30th)

Thanks for reading, everyone.  Please comment below with any follow-up questions or thoughts!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back To Reality - The Holiday Is Over

Hello, faithful readers!

Yes, it's "back to reality" week as many of us have returned to work, returned home, and returned to our exercise regimen that was either abandoned or minimized during the long Independence Day weekend.

Many of you have emailed recently to say that your motivation was low. After all, we've just had two long weekends in the passed month, the kids are out of school, and we're enduring an exceptionally hot summer. And, for those whose goals included looking their best by summertime, the summertime is now here in full force, so those goals are no longer motivating or driving us like they were during the spring.

So, what's the solution? How do you find motivation for exercise and wellness during a scorching summer of vacations from work, and family trips?

First, we need to remember that what we're all doing with exercise goes far beyond your looks and confidence. If your level of sex appeal is your only motivator, then you're losing track of the other incredible benefits of well-programmed, personalized PPT exercise:

  • Stronger bones, so you're less likely to experience a fracture in your lifetime
  • Healthy, freely-moving joints, so you prevent or minimize osteoarthritis (yes, no matter how young you are, what you do today will greatly influence what happens down the road)
  • A strong, fully-functioning heart -- statistics show that without 20-60 minutes of cardiovascular training on most days of the week, one's chance of heart disease is very significantly higher
  • Improved cognitive function - have a look through our recent blogposts here for other related articles
  • De-stresser -- all forms of exercise help to battle the effects of stress as well as depression, thereby improving quality of life, the health of your skin (slow down those wrinkles!), sleep quality, and more
  • Longer life -- a maximally healthy lifestyle has been shown to outlive a minimally healthy one by two to three decades! That's more time with friends and family and a longer, more peaceful retirement!
  • And finally, you gain ENERGY through all forms of exercise... Loosen tight muscles and joints, improve circulation, and wake yourself up through safe, prioritized exercise... Why really on coffee and herbal stimulants when a simple calorie-burning workout can do so much more?
In short, if you want to grow older gracefully and with minimal time spent at your doctor's office, then your exercise needs to be consistent. Aside from the fat loss and muscle gains, you're doing your body a world of good by remaining on track with your exercise and nutrition regimen, regardless of the weather or your vacation time.  And, let's keep one more important fact in mind:  Each day away from well-designed exercise is a step backwards for your physical health.  We don't maintain our health by standing still, we slowly move backwards.
Need coaching? Call Perfect Personal Training, even if you're not a client, and one of our fat loss and Wellness experts will be happy to talk with you. With proper goal setting and slow and steady steps, there is nothing that you cannot do (and even enjoy!)