Monday, December 31, 2012

Article # 175. Guru Fitness Planet Wishes Happy New Year 2013

I wish your Health…
So you may enjoy each day in comfort.

I wish you the Love of friends and family…
And Peace within your heart.

I wish you the Beauty of nature…
That you may enjoy the work of God.

I wish you Wisdom to choose priorities…
For those things’ that really matter in life.

I wish you Generosity so you may share…
All good things that come to you.

I wish you Happiness and Joy…
And Blessings for the New Year.

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"I am passionate about fitness and helping others becomes as passionate. My focus is always on helping others to understand how to adopt health, fitness and a nutrient-rich clean eating diet as a lifestyle rather than a quick fix”. Always remember “HEALTH IS WEALTH”

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Article # 174. How to test a Muscle tear

How to test a Muscle tear
A muscle tear, as defined by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, is a medical condition that is graded according to its severity. When you push yourself further than your body is accustomed to, you may feel your muscles protest as it pulls away from your tendons. A muscle tear can be very painful; a grade 3 strain, for example, may cause discomfort for months. Testing for a muscle strain includes a physical examination as well as diagnostic testing.

Step 1

Schedule a physical exam so that your doctor can examine the muscle you think you have torn. You may remember hearing a popping or snapping sound or feeling during your injury, which is not uncommon for muscle tears, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Report this to your doctor, as it can help determine if you have a muscle tear. Other symptoms include acute pain immediately following the injury, and possible bruising.

Step 2

Allow your doctor to manipulate the area in which you have the muscle strain. A muscle tear can cause swelling, and lead to a limited range of motion, explains the National Institutes of Health Patient Education Center. Examination of this kind can help test for and diagnose a muscle tear.

Step 3

Use imaging technology to test for a muscle tear. X-rays can show if you have fractured a bone in addition to straining or tearing muscles or tendons. Research reported in a 1998 issue of "The Iowa Orthopedic Journal" explains that MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is effective in diagnosing soft tissue damage. Though this research is more than a decade old, MRI is still a technique used to test for muscle tears and other forms of muscle damage.
Things You'll Need
  • X-ray
  • MRI

Article # 173. Balance Excercises Part 1

Balance Excerises (How to improve your Balance)
Balance is an essential part of sports performance. It is one part of proprioception, and it helps to keep your muscles working efficiently, and to improve your strength, power, and endurance.
How It Works
Balancing is often referred to as proprioception in the rehab environment. This is not exactly true. Proprioception is a combination of joint position sense, body awareness, and neuromuscular control. Balancing is part of proprioception, and is the easiest way to improve this important function.
When you have an injury, the proprioceptors in the joints are disrupted. In order to improve their communication with the muscles, you must challenge them to adapt to specific stresses. This is where the balancing exercises come in.

There are infinite variations of the single leg stand. Here are some ideas to get you started. The Tree Pose (left) is a personal favourite! It's easy to incorporate balance exercises into your everyday activities. Balance on one leg while talking on the phone, brushing your teeth, or standing in line at the post office.
The simplest of balancing exercises is the single leg stance. It is exactly as it simply stand on one foot for a certain amount of time. I have my patients start out with 20 seconds, and then progress all the way up to 1 minute as they become more comfortable.

The single leg stance is a great way to start working on your proprioception and balance after an injury, especially an ankle, foot, or knee injury. Once you master this exercise, it is time to challenge the body and joints even more.

Single Leg Stand, unassisted

Try moving your free leg forward, to the side, then back, while balancing on your standing leg, or try swinging your free leg front and back. At first you may need to hold on to the back of a chair or other stable surface, but work towards the goal of balancing on one leg without holding on to anything (including your breath -- remember to breathe while balancing!).

Single Leg Balance, using bench for assistance

Single Leg Stand with Knee Bend and Arm Reach

It is also important to work on maintaining your balance while moving through changes in body position (e.g., when you're walking) and when moving over unstable surfaces (grass, cobblestone).
Pictured at left is what I call the "Rolling Stride." Focus on a natural stride where the heel hits first and you push off with your toes. Concentrate on lifting your toes as your heel makes contact with the ground. No shuffling!




Walking on Balance Disks

This exercise is quite advanced. Try it with pillows if you don't have balance discs on hand (and let's face it: who else but a fitness instructor would have those around the house?). Start by holding on to a counter or other stable surface until you feel confident enough about your balance to go 'hands-free'.



Article # 172. Treadmill VS. Eliptical

Treadmill VS. Eliptical

A daily workout is necessary if you want to reduce and burn body fat while maintaining your health and nutrition. What will be the best exercise machine for this type of workout? Is it an elliptical or treadmill?
There are many differences between the two machines.  Both of these workout machines will give you an aerobic workout, but the elliptical trainer works on more muscles than a treadmill. Both are excellent in terms of performance and they both have distinct characteristics. Once you compare both machines you will be able to decide which will be the best option for you.

When using the elliptical you will notice that it is low-impact. This low-impact motion is ideal for people who have joint, knee, or hip problems. The elliptical will work simultaneously in your upper and lower body parts. It will also increase your heart rate and is the best workout machine for your back, legs, shoulders, chest, and arms. One of its great features is that you can include a lot of pedaling –specifically in a backwards motion, which will target your quadriceps muscles.

A Treadmill will definitely give you excellent workout. This is a smart choice for people who just want to walk, run, or jog as their exercise option. It is ideal for beginners who want to lose weight. They have various intensity levels which will increase your stamina on a daily basis. You will also be able to run, walk, or jog on an incline while keeping a steady pace.

Treadmills remain the number one fitness equipment; however, elliptical trainers are quickly becoming more popular. Both workouts burn fat, build bone density, and promote cardiovascular health. The important thing here is that you are easily able to find the right machine for your ideal workout.
If you want to purchase either, you have to know what to expect with the machines so you will get the best workout for you. Thoroughly research the product of your choosing, so you will not regret your decision.

Whether you choose an elliptical or treadmill for your workout, it should be the machine that you feel best fits your fitness goals.

How to Decide Which One Perfect for You

There has been much controversy over treadmill vs. elliptical as workouts. Some claim treadmill workouts are best, and some say elliptical is best. Part of the controversy is due to different expectations, as each workout targets different things. The comparison has to be selected based on what aspect of fitness is to be targeted.

Elliptical machines have two motions, stair-stepping and striding. Treadmills allow walking, running, and jogging. These differing motions mean different workouts. It is hard to compare the type workout, since they are so different. However, calories burned and aerobic workouts can be compared, as both allow for that.

Due to the fact that the elliptical machine supports some of the weight, more calories are burned with the treadmill, and a higher level of aerobic workout is obtained. This is good for seasoned trainers, or those training for marathons or such. However, for those who are new to exercise and who want to start off easier, the elliptical is preferable.

In addition to some support, which makes a lower impact workout, the elliptical also allows upper body workout, which treadmills don’t offer. The elliptical has a choice. If you choose, you can omit the upper body part of the workout, but it is available if you choose to do it. With the treadmill, there is not that option. You only get the lower body workout of walking, running, or jogging.

Calorie burn for both workouts is pretty comparable. The calorie burn for an elliptical without arm poles is basically the same as the calorie burn for a treadmill with incline. Adding arm poles increases the number of calories burned, as does adding an incline to the treadmill. Again, calories burned are pretty much equal.

Some advantages to the elliptical over the treadmill is in the options for beginning exercisers. It is possible to adjust resistance to a very low level that is more manageable, and since weight is partially supported, the impact on joints is minimal. Resistance can be gradually increased as ability increases. Another advantage is the ability to vary the workout so there is less boredom and burnout. Arm poles can be used or not, and resistance can simulate different types of skiing.

For the serious trainer, such as those training for marathons, the treadmill will give the more intense workout of the lower body. Intensity can be obtained quickly, since there is no extra support. Increases in inclines can quickly increase calorie burn, and intensity of workout.  However, the disadvantage to this intense workout is the increased danger of injuries during workouts.

Each machine has its own advantages and disadvantages. The elliptical is excellent for those just starting exercise, and for those recovering from running injuries and such. It can give an intense workout, but since the weight is partially supported, it doesn’t get as intense as soon. Thus, most seasoned trainers suggest using both machines, in a cross-training situation. Many alternate machines to avoid knee injuries. This allows for maximum training without injury or unnecessary relapse in intensity.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Article # 171. What part of the body does Elliptical target?

What part of the body does Elliptical target?
The elliptical trainer is a cardiovascular machine that has two poles with handles and two foot pedals. To operate the machine, you move the handles back and forth while you move the foot pedals in an arc, or elliptical, motion. Not only does the elliptical improve your aerobic capacity, but it also targets multiple muscles.



Conventional cardio exercises like running, walking and biking all have the same effect on the body as elliptical training from an aerobic standpoint. The biggest difference is how they target the body. When you run or walk, your lower body is primarily at work. Elliptical training not only works the lower body, but it also works the upper body.

Specific Muscle Targeted

The lower body muscles targeted with elliptical training are the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and anterior tibialis. The glutes are the butt muscles and the hamstrings are found right below them. Both of these muscles get activated with hip extension. This takes place when your thigh moves backward during the gliding motion. The quadriceps are on the front side of the thighs and they get worked when your knee extends your lower leg. This takes place when your leg is moving forward. The calves are on the back part of the lower legs and the tibialis anterior runs down the front of the shins. Both of these muscle groups contract throughout an elliptical workout to stabilize the lower legs. The rectus abdominis and obliques are core muscles that contract to keep the body balanced and in proper alignment.

The upper body muscles that get targeted are the latissimus dorsi, or "lats," pectorals, triceps and biceps. The lats are the muscles that form a "V" shape on your back, and they get worked every time you pull the handles toward your body. This is also the motion that recruits the biceps. The triceps, which are on the back of the upper arms, get worked in unison with the pectorals as you push the handles forward. The "pecs" are the chest muscles.


Elliptical machines come with handles in the center of the machine underneath the console. By taking your hands off the movable poles and placing them on these handles, you can eliminate the upper body from the movement. This places more emphasis on your glutes, hamstrings and quads if you are trying to specifically target these areas and not your upper body. You can also change the direction of the elliptical and glide backwards to target your muscles differently. To challenge your balance and place more emphasis on one side of your body, glide with one foot in the air behind you. This takes a lot more core recruitment.

Muscular Endurance

Muscular strength is built by lifting heavy weights with low reps. Muscular endurance is built by doing high reps with light resistance. Being that elliptical exercise is done for long periods of time with light resistance, it builds muscular endurance. This means you will not be able to increase muscle size by doing elliptical training.


Two major benefits exist with elliptical training. First of all, they work out well if you have a busy schedule. Lack of time is a common excuse for people not exercising. Being that you work your upper and lower body muscles simultaneously on the elliptical, you can easily get a full body workout in a matter of 30 minutes. Another major benefit of the elliptical is that it is low-impact. According to, using an elliptical machine is less stressful on your knees, hips and back than is running on a treadmill. This makes it possible for people with joint conditions to not only burn calories, but also strengthen their muscles without compromising the health of their bones and joints.

Article 170. What Are The Health Benefits Of An Elliptical Machine?

Health Benfits of Elipticals:

There are plenty of benefits that you can enjoy from working out on an elliptical machine. However, the health benefits seem to be on top of the list. Here are the various ways wherein this machine can benefit your health.

Low Impact Workout

The most obvious benefit offered by elliptical trainers is its ability to provide a low impact workout. Thus, you can experience the same health benefits offered by jogging but without the same amount of stress or work on your joints. A totally impact-free workout is beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels so you can simply focus on obtaining the benefits. In fact, fitness experts recommend this type of workout equipment for individuals suffering from physical ailments.

Cardio Benefits

At a health standpoint, an elliptical machine is your secret to an efficient workout. It is very effective for building your upper body muscles, along with other major muscle groups in the body. You can therefore experience more cardio benefits to using this machine than you would if you spend more time in a treadmill.

Build Bone Density

Elliptical trainers are also recommended if you want to build bone density. Unlike weight machines, it relies on your own weight in order to workout the key muscles of the body. As a result, you are also developing higher bone density. This is a beneficial impact offered by elliptical machines, especially for older individuals, and is something that no other workout equipment can offer.

Targets Upper and Lower Body

If you are trying to lose weight and be on your way to live healthier, an elliptical machine is also a great machine to use! This machine offers a wide range of movement that involves both the upper and lower body muscles. This helps to facilitate in a faster calorie burning process as opposed to using an exercise bike or running on the treadmill. And the best part about using this machine is that you need not worry about the weather because you can do the workout right at your own home.

Advanced Technological Features

Most modern elliptical trainer models are equipped with adjustable settings and other advanced technological features that allow you to maximize its health benefits. Hence, you can experience major impact on your health without causing risk to your health. There are various settings that you can adjust, such as the speed, resistance, or the ramp. This will enable you to determine the right settings that would fit your fitness level and goals to avoid stress on your body.

Decrease Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain causes Americans to miss approximately 100 million workdays each year, according to the Wellness Council of America. This costs employers an estimated $20 billion annually. Excess weight and weak back muscles lead to back pain, according to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The NINDS recommends exercise as the most effective treatment for back pain. Using an elliptical for regular aerobic workouts can help you lose weight and gently work back muscles.

Improve Sports Performance

Many sports such as basketball, football, tennis, volleyball and soccer rely on your body's anaerobic energy system. These sports are played at very high levels of intensity in short bursts of activity, usually in the form of points or plays that last less than 30 seconds. In order to recover from fast breaks, serve-and-volley points and similar bouts of physical activity, you need to use sprint, or interval, training. An elliptical allows you to create sprints so you can work at a high intensity for 30 to 90 seconds, then recover. Changing resistance levels and stride lengths help you do this.
Easy Exercise Entry

If you are just beginning an exercise or weight-loss program or are obese enough that workouts such as jogging or aerobics aren't possible, an elliptical allows you to create low-impact, moderately intense exercise routines. The AHA recommends this type of exercise five times per week for 30 minutes as one way to improve and maintain heart health. You can exercise on an elliptical at a pace that simulates a brisk walk, while you keep both feet on the machine the entire time.

Article # 169. Benefits of Indoor Cycling

Benefits of Indoor Cycling
The benefits of indoor cycling, both physical and mental, can be enjoyed by almost anyone, regardless of age or fitness level.  Perhaps this is why indoor cycling workouts were the most significant new fitness trend of the 1990s, and continue to gain in popularity today.  And, while the many benefits may be enough to convince you to try this form of exercise, another equally enticing quality of indoor cycling is that it’s fun!  Participants report that time spent during indoor cycling workouts seem to fly by, as opposed to other forms of cardio, and that they gain a real sense of accomplishment after completing a “ride.”
Physical benefits of indoor cycling:
·         Weight loss
·         Increased energy levels
·         Stronger heart and lungs
·         Decreased risk for heart disease
·         Increased bone density
·         Better sleep
·         Improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Getting the most from your indoor cycling workouts:
To reap the most benefits of indoor cycling possible, you need to be sure that you are exercising in the right “zone.”  This is determined by measuring how hard your body is working at any given point during your workout, and can be done by two methods:
·         Heart Rate.  To find the correct zone using your heart rate, take the number 220 and subtract your age; multiply this number by 70% -- this number is your targeted zone to gain the maximum benefit from your workout.  To see where your heart rate is during a workout, simply find your pulse and count for six seconds, and then add a zero.  (Or, to take the math out of it, purchase a heart rate monitor that will tell you your heart rate at a glance.)
·         The Talk Test.  This is the simplest way to determine how hard you are working.  During your workout, say a full sentence.  If you can’t finish your sentence, you are probably exercising too hard; on the contrary, if the full sentence is very easy to say and you are not winded at all, you should pick up the pace for more calorie burn and benefits!

Mental & emotional benefits of indoor cycling
The benefits of indoor cycling are not limited to physical aspects; cycling bike workouts can do wonders for your mind, as well:

·         Relief from stress and anxiety
·         Eases symptoms of depression
·         Increased confidence about appearance
·         Improved ability to visualize and focus on a goal
·         The great variety of indoor cycling workouts
For many people who want to get in shape, cardio is something that simply must be tolerated to reach a goal – but with indoor cycling workouts, cardio is something to look forward to!  The varieties of different workouts that are possible on a cycling bike are limited only by the imagination.

Other important benefits are:
Cycling overall is a great exercise. But one of the main obvious reasons why I prefer indoor cycling is that “it lets you stay indoor” and still you can get all the benefits of cycling. One of the cycling exercise benefits is, Cycling increases the density of human bones. That’s why it is very helpful for the kids as well as the elder people to ride cycles.
Build Leg Strength
The program is also an effective exercise for building and toning lower body strength, particularly in the calves, buttocks and quadriceps, and the muscle tendons, according to Alive. It's especially beneficial if you want a cardiovascular workout that will improve your legs without any type of weight bearing exercise.

Minimizes the risk of heart disease
Another important benefit of indoor cycling is the decreased rate of heart disease. So those who are suffering from heart related diseases can consult with their doctors. Doctors sometimes suggest doing indoor cycling regularly. A survey by the American College of Sports Medicine proved that the people who regularly practice or perform indoor cycling are in less danger of being attacked by heart diseases than the usual people.

Long term well being

Regular indoor cycling can make ones’ heart and lungs stronger. As cycling ease the blood circulation process of human body, it makes heart and lungs stronger than usual. So, start indoor cycling from now on, without any confusion. Benefits of biking exercise are really very good for human health from every side.

Article # 168. Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia remains an elusive disease. It is really a syndrome, or a collection of problems that share pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, and trouble concentrating. Others experienced list of other problems, but everybody shares the common experience of lost quality of life. 
Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.
Fibromyalgia does share a common source of trouble, and that most likely is related to problems in the central nervous system. Alterations in chemicals that turn on and turned off parts of the brain and spinal cord probably play and important role in understanding and finding treatments for fibromyalgia. Hormonal disturbances, trauma, anxiety and depression, have also been implicated. Some believe there is a genetic link, or a situational origin that may have resulted from experiences dating back to a much younger age.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause is unknown. Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include:
·         Physical or emotional trauma
·         Abnormal pain response - areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react differently in fibromyalgia patients
·         Sleep disturbances
·         Infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified
Fibromyalgia is most common among women aged 20 to 50.
The following conditions may be seen with fibromyalgia or mimic its symptoms:
·         Chronic neck or back pain
·         Chronic fatigue syndrome
·         Depression
·         Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
·         Lyme disease
·         Sleep disorders

Pain in the main symptom of fibromyalgia. It may be mild to severe.
  • Painful areas are called tender points. Tender points are found in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, and knees. The pain then spreads out from these areas.
  • The pain may feel like a deep ache, or a shooting, burning pain.
  • The joints are not affected, although the pain may feel like it is coming from the joints.
People with fibromyalgia tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness. For some patients, pain improves during the day and gets worse at night. Some patients have pain all day long.
Pain may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress.
Fatigue, depressed mood, and sleep problems are seen in almost all patients with fibromyalgia. Many say that they can't get to sleep or stay asleep, and they feel tired when they wake up.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia may include:
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Tension or migraine headaches

Signs and tests

To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must have had at least 3 months of widespread pain, and pain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 areas, including
·         Arms (elbows)
·         Buttocks
·         Chest
·         Knees
·         Lower back
·         Neck
·         Rib cage
·         Shoulders
·         Thighs
Blood and urine tests are usually normal. However, tests may be done to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms.


The goal of treatment is to help relieve pain and other symptoms, and to help a person cope with the symptoms.

The first type of treatment may involve:

·         Physical therapy
·         Exercise and fitness program
·         Stress-relief methods, including light massage and relaxation techniques

If these treatments do not work, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant or muscle relaxant. The goal of medication is to improve sleep and pain tolerance. Medicine should be used along with exercise and behavior therapy. Duloxetine (Cymbalta), pregabalin (Lyrica), and milnacipran (Savella) are medications that are approved specifically for treating fibromyalgia.

However, many other drugs are also used to treat the condition, including:

·         Anti-seizure drugs
·         Other antidepressants
·         Muscle relaxants
·         Pain relievers
·         Sleeping aids

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an important part of treatment. This therapy helps you learn how to:

·         Deal with negative thoughts
·         Keep a diary of pain and symptoms
·         Recognize what makes your symptoms worse
·         Seek out enjoyable activities
·         Set limits

Support groups may also be helpful.

Other recommendations include:

·         Eat a well-balanced diet
·         Avoid caffeine
·         Practice good sleep routines to improve quality of sleep
·         Acupressure and acunpuncture

Severe cases of fibromyalgia may require a referral to a pain clinic.