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Fast-Track Your Summer Fitness Journey: 7 Effective Tips to Get Summer Fit

Are you ready to take your fitness game to the next level and achieve your summer body goals? It’s time to get summer fit fast and embrace the confidence that comes with a beach-ready physique. With these 7 effective fitness tips, you’ll be well on your way to rocking your best self this summer.

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define your specific fitness goals for the summer. Whether it’s shedding excess weight, toning specific muscle groups, or improving overall stamina, setting clear objectives will help you stay focused and motivated throughout your journey.
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Incorporate HIIT workouts into your routine. These short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods are highly efficient and effective for burning calories, boosting metabolism, and improving cardiovascular fitness.
  3. Mix Up Your Workouts: Avoid workout plateaus by adding variety to your fitness routine. Incorporate different types of exercises such as strength training, cardio, yoga, or outdoor activities like hiking or swimming. Keep your body challenged and engaged for maximum results.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Hydration is key to overall health and fitness. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated, aid digestion, and support muscle recovery. Additionally, staying hydrated can help curb unnecessary cravings and keep you energized during workouts.
  5. Fuel Your Body with Nutritious Foods: Maintain a balanced diet consisting of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Opt for nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals, supporting your fitness goals and overall well-being.
  6. Get Adequate Rest and Recovery: Allow your body enough time to rest and recover between workouts. This helps prevent injuries and muscle fatigue while allowing your body to repair and strengthen. Incorporate stretching and relaxation techniques into your routine to promote flexibility and reduce stress.
  7. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key to achieving long-term fitness results. Stick to your workout schedule and make fitness a priority in your daily routine. Even small, consistent efforts can yield significant changes over time.

So, are you ready to get summer fit fast? With these powerful fitness tips, you have the tools to make this summer your fittest one yet. Embrace the challenge, stay committed, and watch as your hard work pays off, leading you towards a beach-ready physique that you’ll be proud to flaunt.

Get started on your summer fitness journey today and let your confidence shine as you rock your best self all season long.

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Not just the “what” but also the “how much” you eat matters

In the age of intermittent fasting, plant-based diets and Whole30, fad diets boast about their long-term health benefits, while simultaneously overcomplicating what it means to have a healthy lifestyle. The reality is, it’s hard to precisely measure the accuracy of these claims, let alone, keep even the most devout ketotarian from reaching for that pasta or chocolate cake long enough to be able to quantify long-term effects on chronic disease and lifespan. Fortunately, we likely don’t need some restrictive diet to experience healthful benefits and many of these can be achieved through maintaining a simple energy balance, where energy in equals energy out. In other words, energy balance is achieved when energy consumed through foods and beverages (energy in) is equal to the energy burned through basal metabolic functions and physical activity (energy out). Extensive literature has shown energy balance is important for overall health and disease prevention, however there is still a lot more to understand about this in relation to chronic disease risk factors. The Nutrition and Physical Activity Assessment (NPAAS) Group from the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch- which includes Drs. Ross Prentice, Johanna Lampe and Marian Neuhouser- is substantially interested in understanding energy intake through diet and its relationship to mortality and other clinical outcomes. In their recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Prentice et al. investigated the total energy expenditure (TEE) for a cohort of postmenopausal women and asked how it related to mortality risk over a 19-year period. The NPAAS group explained that the motivation for this study was to “provide a fresh look at the association between energy intake in relation to chronic disease risk, including cancer. Energy intake is poorly measured by self-reported diet and accordingly has been substantially overlooked in nutritional epidemiology research.” In this recently published work, the researchers uncovered an interesting age-dependent association between TEE and all-cause mortality that may prompt revision to the saying “you are what you eat”, as this research shows that how much you eat, might be just as important.

To evaluate how a person’s energy intake and expenditure might relate to mortality, the researchers measured total energy expenditure (TEE) as “the number of calories a person expends (or uses). It is the energy used, in a resting state, to support basic metabolic processes, plus that used during physical activity,” the research team stated. For a person in ‘energy balance’, the amount of energy they expend (TEE) will be equal to the amount of energy they take in through consuming food and beverages. As you might expect, “long term energy intake in excess of TEE can lead to overweight and obesity, which are linked to over 15 types of cancer,” the NPAAS team explained. To precisely and accurately measure TEE, the researchers used a chemical tool called doubly labeled water (DLW). This water is like “normal everyday water labeled with two stable isotopes: deuterium and oxygen18,” the researchers noted. The “heavy” oxygen18 and hydrogen-mimic deuterium isotopes allowed the researchers to trace these molecules through urine samples, which take about two weeks to be completely excreted. “The excreted isotope concentrations in the urine are measured by mass spectrometry and the results give a reliable estimate of carbon dioxide production and water (H2O or in this case D2O18) excretion over the prior two weeks. Since CO2 and H2O are the end products of metabolism, the results give a reliable, quantitative measure of the number of kcals used (e.g., energy expenditure) over the two-week period. In weight stable people, energy expenditure is approximately equivalent to energy intake. This is why we can use this doubly labeled water test to determine the number of kcals a person ingests over a short time frame,” explained the NPAAS group.

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Workout Tips: 5 workouts for a toned back

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Last updated on – Jun 13, 2023, 07:00 IST

​Build a strong and toned back with these workouts

Although the back is a region that is frequently overlooked, strengthening the back muscles can help you maintain excellent posture and avoid back pain. Don’t forget to add back exercises when creating a fitness schedule to condition and tone your body. Some of the best exercises are listed below:

​​Cat cow pose​

This common yoga pose doesn’t build your back, but it is a crucial practice to help you be ready for the rest of your workout. The idea is to flex and extend your spine to its maximum range of motion. Even if you’re not intending to use it as a warmup, incorporating it into your regular routine will help you move more fluidly and with better posture.

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​​Pull ups​

Do pullups and chin ups if you desire a V-shaped torso. Because they focus on the bulky back muscles that wrap along the sides of your upper torso just behind the arms, they help you gain width. These muscles can make you appear thinner even if you haven’t dropped any weight around your stomach since they offer the torso a wider, flared form.

​​Plank​

Planks are a terrific bodyweight exercise that can be scaled to the knees if necessary. They improve your back, core, and glutes among other muscles.

​​Kettlebell swings​

Kettlebell swings exercise the front of your core as well as the posterior chain of your back. Start off light to fully perfect your form, then progress to larger weights to build explosive power and body control.

​​Pushups​

Scapular pushups are a wonderful alternative for both inexperienced and seasoned athletes, even if you can’t perform a full push up because they just call for a tiny range of motion. This exercise will help to warm up and activate your back muscles at the start of your upper body workout.

Also Read: 5 workouts to reduce stubborn belly fat

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6 Fascinating Insights into the Ketogenic Diet

Unleashing a revolution in the world of health and nutrition, the ketogenic diet has garnered significant attention for its potential benefits. By altering our dietary approach, this low-carb, high-fat eating plan has sparked curiosity and debate alike. In this article, we delve into six captivating facts that shed light on the intriguing world of the keto diet.

During ketosis, the liver produces ketones from fats, which serve as an alternative energy source. This metabolic switch enables efficient fat burning, aiding weight loss and supporting overall well-being. However, the benefits of the keto diet extend far beyond weight loss alone.

From improved cognitive function and enhanced energy levels to the potential for reducing inflammation and managing certain health conditions, the keto diet has captivated researchers, health professionals, and individuals seeking a new path to wellness. Join us as we explore the lesser-known aspects of this popular dietary approach and uncover the fascinating insights that make the keto diet an intriguing avenue to explore for optimal health and vitality.

Ketogenic Diet (Image source/ Pexels)

Unveiling the Power of Ketogenic Diet

There are several benefits of this diet. Check out a few below:

Metabolic Transformation

Metabolism booster (Image source/ Pexels)

Unlocking the body’s metabolic potential, the ketogenic diet triggers a unique transformation. By restricting carbohydrate intake to approximately 20-50 grams per day and increasing healthy fat consumption, the body transitions into a state of .

During ketosis, the liver produces ketones from fats, which serve as an alternative energy source. This metabolic switch enables efficient fat burning, aiding weight loss and supporting overall well-being.


Beyond Weight Loss

Weight Loss (Image source/ Pexels)

While the keto diet is renowned for its weight loss benefits, its positive effects extend far beyond shedding pounds. Research suggests that this dietary approach may improve several health markers, including blood sugar control, , and HDL (good) cholesterol.

Studies have shown that ketogenic diets can be particularly effective in reducing visceral fat, which is the harmful fat that accumulates around internal organs. Additionally, adopting a ketogenic lifestyle may assist in managing conditions such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.


Enhanced Cognitive Function

Boost Cognitive Function (Image source/ Pexels)

Emerging evidence highlights the potential cognitive benefits of the ketogenic diet. The brain thrives on ketones produced during ketosis, providing a steady and efficient energy source. Some studies suggest that a ketogenic diet may improve cognitive function, memory, and focus.

Additionally, the diet’s ability to stabilize blood sugar levels may contribute to reducing brain fog and increasing mental clarity. Furthermore, this eating plan shows promise in supporting neurological conditions like and .


Curbing Inflammation

Reduces Inflammation (Image source/ Pexels)

is implicated in various health issues, from cardiovascular diseases to autoimmune disorders. Interestingly, the ketogenic diet exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing carbohydrate intake, this dietary approach may lower inflammatory markers in the body. Ketones produced during ketosis have been shown to inhibit inflammatory pathways.

It may also help alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like arthritis and provide a foundation for overall inflammation reduction. Some studies even suggest that a ketogenic diet may help reduce markers of systemic inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP).


Increased Energy Levels

Steady Sugar Levels (Image source/ Pexels)

Many individuals report experiencing heightened energy levels when following the ketogenic diet. By relying on fat as the primary energy source, the body can tap into an abundant fuel reserve. Steady blood sugar levels and reduced contribute to sustained energy throughout the day.

Meanwhile, the elimination of processed carbohydrates and the stable supply of ketones provide a consistent source of energy, preventing the energy crashes often associated with high-carbohydrate diets. Additionally, ketones are a more efficient fuel source for the body, leading to increased endurance and improved physical performance.


Navigating the Challenges

While the keto diet offers numerous benefits, it does present some challenges. Adopting and adhering to this eating plan requires careful planning and attention. Potential side effects, such as the “keto flu,” may arise during the initial adaptation phase as the body adjusts to using ketones as its primary fuel source.

It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure a well-balanced approach and mitigate any potential risks. Additionally, maintaining adequate nutrient intake, monitoring electrolyte levels, and addressing potential nutrient deficiencies are essential aspects of successfully navigating the challenges of the keto diet.


Conclusion

Diving into the depths of the ketogenic diet, we have unearthed six captivating facts that illuminate its potential benefits. From metabolic transformations and cognitive enhancements to inflammation reduction and increased energy levels, the keto diet continues to captivate the health and nutrition realm.

As with any dietary change, it is essential to approach the keto diet with awareness and guidance. By embracing these insights, individuals can embark on a well-informed journey toward a healthier and more vibrant life.

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Six wellness tips for a happier and healthier you

Healthy vs unhealthy food vector flat illustration. Woman thinking over junk food and organic snack.

Making time to prioritise your health and wellness can make all the difference in achieving lasting physical and mental balance in life – here are six wellness tips for a healthy lifestyle.

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on The Art of Healthy Living

Neglecting your wellness due to a shortage of time can result in several health issues. Self-care encompasses more than just maintaining physical health and losing weight.

It entails feeling good both internally and externally. Here are six wellness tips to achieve a healthier and happier you.

Find an exercise routine that works for you

Physical activity helps blood circulation, improves the immune system, and stabilises mental health. Not every exercise routine works for everybody, so make sure you choose something that you enjoy, whether it’s running, weightlifting, yoga, dancing, or group workouts.

Incorporate physical activity into your daily schedule and make it a habit. If you struggle to maintain a consistent fitness routine, consider joining a fitness group or utilising a mobile fitness app.

Practice good sleep habits

It is crucial for the body to repair itself physically and mentally, and getting regular and restful sleep plays a critical role in achieving this.

Start by creating a relaxing environment in your bedroom by eliminating distractions such as electronics and noise. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and stick to it even on weekends to regulate your body’s internal clock.

By prioritising good sleep habits, you’ll feel refreshed and energized daily and be one step closer to a healthier you.

Schedule regular checkups

Visit your healthcare provider regularly, even when you feel healthy. They will evaluate your physical and mental health, assess any illness symptoms and identify potential risks during your visits.

Additionally, if you are struggling with persistent health issues, scheduling a consultation with your GP is essential.

Eat well

When grocery shopping, purchase fresh produce, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Be sure to avoid processed and sugary snacks. Instead, choose healthier alternatives like fruits, yoghurt, oatmeal, or nuts.

Eating meals regularly throughout the day will also help your body maintain a higher metabolic rate while keeping cravings in check.

Take time for self-care

Prioritising your mental health is essential, especially when life feels overwhelming. Taking time for yourself and practising self-care can help reduce mental and physical stress.

Engaging in mindfulness activities such as yoga or meditation can help you unwind and feel more energised, increasing productivity during the weekdays.

Rather than resorting to harmful coping mechanisms like drinking or smoking, consider practising yoga to enhance your overall wellness and reduce stress and anxiety.

Maintain A healthy gut

Adding probiotics to your diet can assist in achieving this goal. To ensure optimal gut health and minimise the chances of infections, include probiotics in your diet. Probiotics are live bacteria that promote a balanced microbiota in the gut, enhancing the digestive process.

Committing to a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. However, incorporating these wellness tips lets you start your journey toward a healthy body and mind. Remember, obtaining optimal wellness is a journey that requires patience, dedication, and self-care.

Treat your body like a temple, nurture it with goodness, and you will benefit over time. Start small, adopt healthy habits, and experience gradual progress.

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Quantitative Research On Ketogenic Diet Market 2023-2030 – Nestle, DANONE, Abbott, Pruvit Ventures, Bulletproof 360, Ajinomoto – Reedley Exponent

Ensuring steady expansion and instilling confidence within the Ketogenic Diet sector is crucial for businesses to effectively adapt to the future. Nevertheless, companies in this market encounter rapid shifts in technology, consumer preferences, macroeconomic conditions, and various other market factors. Consequently, there is mounting pressure on market participants to revamp their strategies, restructure their organizations, and gain comprehensive market understanding. This comprehensive report on the global Ketogenic Diet market offers valuable insights for industry leaders, primarily focusing on industry dynamics, financial data, and providing quantitative predictions for the industrys future. Furthermore, it uncovers key concerns and priorities in this markets outlook.

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Furthermore, the report sheds light on the most influential companies, providing an analysis of their economic and business landscape, as well as their strategies to navigate through the economic downturn and remain competitive in the Ketogenic Diet market. The report specifically examines companies that hold significant market share or generate annual revenues exceeding million dollors. Moreover, the report presents valuable insights from key markets, including the North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. It outlines the primary challenges and opportunities that will drive business growth in these markets over the coming years.

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Prominent participants in the Ketogenic Diet market encompass:

  • Nestle
  • DANONE
  • Abbott
  • Pruvit Ventures
  • Bulletproof 360
  • Ajinomoto
  • Love Good Fats
  • Ketogenic
  • OnKeto
  • Zeneca
  • Quest Nutrition
  • Altas Bar
  • Natures Plus
  • Perfect Keto
  • Solace Nutrition
  • Ample Foods
  • Keto And Company
  • Zenwise Health
  • Know Brainer Foods

The market segmentation by product type can be categorized into:

  • Supplements
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Others

The market segmentation by application type can be categorized into:

  • Supermarket/Hypermarket
  • Specialist Retailers
  • Online Retailers
  • Others

The Ketogenic Diet market is fragmented across different regions, and the territorial analysis encompasses:

  • North America (United States, Canada and Mexico)
  • Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia and Spain etc.)
  • Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and Southeast Asia etc.)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina and Colombia etc.)
  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, UAE and Saudi Arabia etc.)

As businesses in the market adapt to the new reality and recover from the impact of the pandemic & russia-ukrain war, this report continues to serve as an essential and supportive resource. Through an extensive study, this report examines the transformations in the global Ketogenic Diet market since the previous year, providing insights into its future outlook based on current and historical data. The report comprehensively presents the markets developments and changes, identifies risks, and unveils growth opportunities for the Ketogenic Diet industry. Moreover, it identifies the most significant risks that pose a threat to your business in the coming years.

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Swimmer’s Shoulder: Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention tips by experts | Health

Swimmer’s Shoulder, also known as shoulder impingement, is a prevalent health condition that affects swimmers of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced and is characterised by inflammation in the shoulder joint, primarily caused by repetitive shoulder movements associated with swimming. Swimming is a sport, which requires repetitive shoulder movements involving various types of strokes predisposing the joint to injuries thus, the term Swimmer’s Shoulder can represent a wide variety of conditions.

Swimmer’s Shoulder: Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention tips for shoulder impingement (Photo by 𝙂𝙧𝙚𝙜𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙂𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙜𝙤𝙨 on Unsplash)

An important thing to note is that the condition is not restricted to only swimmers but also in sports like baseball, volleyball and even in occupation demanding repeated overhead activity like construction workers and electricians. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Harishchandran, Senior Consultant – Sports Medicine (Shoulder Surgery) at Cosmopolitan Hospital in Trivandrum, said, “Swimmers have significant susceptibility for shoulder injuries due to the involvement of the shoulders required for various strokes and the high volume of repetitions required during training. Impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tendinitis, labral injuries, ligamentous laxity or muscle imbalance causing instability, muscular dysfunction and neuropathy from nerve entrapment are the common problems.”

He revealed, “Plain radiographs are obtained initially to rule out any abnormal anatomic variations. MRI may be ordered to better identify pathology in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage or to exclude other structural causes, such as labral cysts. An MRI arthrogram can be considered when a labral or tendon tear is suspected. Stretches that focus on the posterior capsule are important for preventing and reversing impingement. Rotator cuff strengthening will lead to muscular balance restoration and surgery is appropriate for structural pathologies. For swimmers with persistent multidirectional instability, a capsular plication or inferior capsular shift procedure should be considered. Sub acromial exploration and removal of the hypertrophied, inflamed, and scarred tissue (thereby maintaining the structural integrity of the shoulder) is an option for athletes who obtain only limited relief from physical therapy.”

Causes and symptoms:

Dr Ayyappan V Nair, Consultant – Shoulder Surgery, Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at Manipal Hospital in Bangalore’s Whitefield, Sarjapur and Jayanagar, explained, “Swimming demands a heavy work load from the shoulder where 90% of body’s propulsive force is generated by shoulder. The chief muscles helping in producing such massive force are latissimus dorsi and the pectoralis major. The subscapularis and serratus anterior also play a major role in freestyle strokes. To provide such a massive propulsive force repeatedly a properly balanced muscle is required.”

He elaborated, “A sudden increase in training or poor techniques can lead to a wide variety of Injury to the shoulder. Repeated over the head activities such as swimming strokes and spiking in volleyball can lead to this condition. The repeated activity induce strains in muscle and tendons around shoulder leading to inflammation, micro tears which can end up in scars tissue formation, thereby leading to abnormal mechanics and muscle imbalance damaging further tissues. You might be suffering from swimmers shoulder if you have deep shoulder pain radiating along the back of your shoulder, which gets worse after swimming or any repetitive overhead activity. It can also present as reduced movement in one shoulder compared to other, loss of strength, pain during overhead activity, difficulty in reaching behind you back or if your stroke pattern has changed (lazy elbow).”

According to Kunwar Vishwajeet Singh, Sustainable Fitness Lifestyle Coach and Founder of Body Architects in Dehradun, “The main cause of Swimmer’s Shoulder is the repetitive nature of swimming, particularly movements that involve overhead arm rotations combined with high force and frequency. This constant strain on the shoulder joint can lead to inflammation and pain. However, several other factors contribute to the development of this condition. Weakness or imbalance in the muscles surrounding the shoulder, especially the rotator cuff muscles, can increase the risk of Swimmer’s shoulder.”

He emphasised, “When these muscles are not adequately conditioned or are imbalanced, they fail to provide proper stability and support to the shoulder joint during swimming. Incorrect swimming techniques can also lead to excessive strain on the shoulder joint, contributing to the development of Swimmer’s Shoulder. Poor body positioning and improper arm movements increase the stress placed on the shoulder, making it more susceptible to injury. Additionally, inadequate warm-up routines before swimming and insufficient cool down exercises after training can contribute to the occurrence of Swimmer’s shoulder. Failing to prepare the muscles and joints adequately before activity or neglecting to promote proper muscle recovery afterward can increase the likelihood of shoulder issues.”

Treatment and Prevention:

Dr Ayyappan V Nair shared, “It is recommended to consult a medical professional especially a sports physician or surgeon if you are suffering from the condition even after giving rest to the joint for at least a period of 1 to 3 weeks following an episode of pain or discomfort. Your medical professional will take detailed history of your complaints from the onset or the time you noticed the symptoms first and will conduct a series of physical examination to come to a provisional diagnosis. Tests can vary from basic blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound or even MRI.”

He added, “Majority of conditions encompassing Swimmer’s Shoulder is treated conservatively with rest, anti-inflammatories and physiotherapy. In fact, physiotherapy is the main stay in prevention as well as cure for this condition where you will be undergoing various stretches and strengthening of different muscle groups depending on the site and pathology diagnosed. Other recommendations include ergonomic adjustments and steroid shot. Surgery is usually recommended in patients who are not responding to 3 to 6 months of physical therapy or where the injuries are not expected to heal by itself like high grade rotator cuff tear, those with multidirectional instability, or even sub acromial decompression and in cases where bursitis is not responding to long term anti-inflammatory medication, rest and physical therapy.”

To prevent Swimmer’s Shoulder and promote shoulder health among swimmers, Kunwar Vishwajeet Singh recommended the following measures –

  • Focus on proper swimming techniques: Swimmers should pay attention to maintaining correct body positioning and arm movements to minimize stress on the shoulder joint. Coaches and trainers can provide guidance on proper technique and form.
  • Incorporate strength and mobility exercises: Regularly performing exercises that target the shoulder muscles, particularly the rotator cuff muscles, can enhance overall shoulder stability and reduce the risk of injury. Working with a qualified fitness professional or physical therapist can help develop an appropriate exercise program.
  • Prioritise warm-up and cool-down routines: Before swimming, engaging in a dynamic warm-up routine helps prepare the muscles and joints for the activity, increasing blood flow and flexibility. After swimming, a proper cool down routine should be followed, including stretching exercises to improve muscle recovery.
  • Avoid overtraining and prioritise recovery: Overtraining can lead to increased stress on the shoulders and heightened risk of injury. Swimmers should allow their bodies’ adequate time to rest and recover between sessions. Incorporating rest days into the training schedule and listening to the body’s signals are essential for injury prevention.
  • If swimmers experience any discomfort, pain, or recurring issues in their shoulders, it is crucial to seek medical attention or consult with a physiotherapist promptly. Early intervention and proper care are vital to effectively manage and prevent the progression of Swimmer’s Shoulder or any other shoulder-related conditions.

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Doctor’s Tip: How to find accurate nutrition information

Dr. Greg Feinsinger

There is a lot of misinformation about nutrition in books and on the internet. Unfortunately, some of that misinformation comes from unscrupulous physicians. Last week’s column was about one of these physicians — Dr. Gundry, who promoted the baseless theory that lectin-containing foods such as grains and legumes are bad for us, and who sold lectin-fighting supplements on the internet.

When looking for reliable information on nutrition, beware of the following: 1) physicians or other health care providers who are selling products such as supplements (how can they be unbiased?); 2) providers who claim they have found the one thing that causes all or most health problems; 3) providers who claim they have found the one ingredient that will make you healthy and/or feel better — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t; 4) providers who have ties to the food or pharmaceutical industries (it’s often difficult to tell). Furthermore, be skeptical of nutrition advice in the media — often the authors don’t have the scientific sophistication to determine whether studies are valid, or if they’re influenced by Big Food or Big Pharma.

Following are the giants in the nutrition field, who are true men of science and medicine and pursuers of the truth:



· MICHAEL GREGER, M.D has devoted his life to searching for the truth about nutrition. He has a nonprofit, with no ties to Big Food, Big Pharma, or Big Supplement. He and his staff analyze the tens of thousands of English-language scientific papers that come out on nutrition every year, and provide the valid and useful information to the public through books and his website nutritionfacts.org, on which you can search various topics. His most famous book is “How Not to Die,” and he’s unusually altruistic in that profits from his books are donated to other nonprofits. The last 132 pages are references — so it’s not as long as it looks and is evidence-based. If you subscribe to his website (free, although he’d appreciate a donation to his non-profit) you will get a short daily blog or video about a nutrition topic, and he explains the studies on which this information is based.

· DEAN ORNISH, M.D., is affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco. From the 1970s to the 1990s he conducted research proving that heart disease can be reversed with a plant-based whole food diet plus exercise and stress reduction. He subsequently proved that early, biopsy-proven prostate cancer can be reversed with the same diet. The Ornish Program is now covered by private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. He has written numerous books, including “Reversing Heart Disease,” “The Spectrum,” “Eat More, Weigh Less,” and “UnDo It.”



· CALDWELL ESSELSTYN, M.D., now 90 years old and still going strong, was a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, and years ago became interested in the preventative and healing power of food. He proved in two studies that heart disease can be reversed with a plant-based, whole food diet with no salt, sugar or added oil. He wrote “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” and is featured in the documentary Forks Over Knives.

· T. COLIN CAMPBELL, PHD, at Cornell, is also 90 and is also featured in Forks Over Knives. He has been on the cutting edge of nutrition research for decades. He was the lead scientist in the China Study, the largest epidemiologic study ever done (a study that looks at a large group of people, what they eat, what diseases they get, and what they die from). He wrote a book called “The China Study,” plus others, including “Whole” and “The Low-Carb Fraud.” He and his son. Thomas M. Campbell, M.D. run the T. Colin Campbell Center For Nutritional Studies.

· NEAL BARNARD, M.D., is affiliated with the George Washington University School of Medicine, where he and his staff see patients and conduct nutrition research. In 1985 he founded PCRM — Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine — because he wanted to promote preventative medicine and also because of a concern about ethical treatment of animals. He has published 14 books, including “Power Foods for the Brain,” “Eat Right, Live Longer,” and “The Power of Your Plate.”

· OTHERS: There are other trustworthy nutrition experts as well, such as Joel Fuhrman, M.D., who has written several books including “Eat to Live;” William Li, M.D., who wrote “Eat to Beat Disease;” David Katz, M.D., who with Mark Bittman wrote “How to Eat;” David Kessler, M.D., who wrote “Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs;” Will Bulsiewicz,M.D., who wrote “Fiber Fueled;” David Kessler, M.D., who wrote “Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs;” Reshma Shah, M.D., M.P.H., and Brenda Davis, R.D., who wrote “Nourish, The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families;” and Joseph Speidel, M.D., M.P.H., who wrote “The Building Blocks of Health.”

Dr. Feinsinger is a retired family physician with special interest in disease prevention and reversal through nutrition. Free services through Center For Prevention and The People’s Clinic include: one-hour consultations, shop-with-a-doc at Carbondale City Market and cooking classes. Call 970-379-5718 for appointment, or email gfeinsinger@comcast.net.



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Lifestyle and diet tips to keep this powerhouse organ healthy

Your liver’s health is synonymous with your life’s vitality. Hence it is important to make sure you take proactive steps to keep it fit and functioning. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing liver diseases and ensure your liver continues to function efficiently.

Liver health benefits: Your liver is an unsung hero, quietly carrying out over 500 crucial functions that keep your body running smoothly. From metabolising everything you ingest to regulating glucose and cholesterol levels, to detoxifying your system, this powerhouse organ doesn’t rest.

Your liver can function efficiently, even if it suffers significant damage. But the same resilience can act as a double-edged sword because many individuals with liver diseases remain oblivious until the condition has progressed considerably. Because of this, being proactive about maintaining a healthy liver is crucial.

Debunking misconceptions related to liver disease

Contrary to popular belief, liver disease isn’t necessarily a consequence of excessive alcohol consumption. Liver diseases can be congenital, resulting from poor dietary habits, viral infections, or prolonged exposure to toxins. Chronic liver diseases (CLD) cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the United States, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), associated with obesity and diabetes, is the most common form of chronic liver disease; while in India, hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most common cause, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

The role of lifestyle in liver health

Your daily choices significantly impact your liver’s health. Here are five key lifestyle modifications that you can make to ensure your liver stays in top-notch condition:

Achieving and sustaining a healthy weight: There’s no denying that maintaining a healthy weight benefits your overall well-being, including your liver. Overweight and obese individuals run a higher risk of developing NAFLD, which can rapidly progress into advanced liver disease. Even a weight loss of 5 percent to 10 percent can significantly reduce liver fat and help reverse NAFLD.

Managing chronic health conditions: Weight isn’t the only risk factor for NAFLD. Chronic health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia are also significant risk factors. These health conditions can be managed or even reversed by staying active, following a healthy diet, adhering to prescribed medication, and undergoing regular health check-ups.

Prioritising regular exercise: Engaging in moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week makes your body more efficient at burning excess fat, including triglycerides, for fuel. Regular physical activity not only helps you shed weight and maintain it, but it also reduces liver fat. In the long run, this can lead to a fitter body and a healthier liver.

Limiting alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on your health, particularly on your liver, which metabolises every drop you drink. Overindulgence in alcohol can lead to liver cell destruction, unhealthy fat accumulation, liver inflammation, scarring, and even liver cancer.

Being mindful of medication use: Over-the-counter pain relievers and most drugs are processed by your liver. Overuse or prolonged usage of these medications can cause serious liver damage. Hence, it’s crucial to use medications judiciously.

Additionally, there are extra measures you can take to keep your liver healthy, such as getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, taking preventive measures against contracting hepatitis C, and avoiding toxins, including cigarette smoke.


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Research reveals devastating impact of Western diet on human health

In a recent study published in the journal Nutrients, researchers discuss the impact of the Western diet on various aspects of human health including metabolism, the gut microbiome, inflammation, cardiovascular health, mitochondrial fitness, cancer, and mental health.

Study: Global Impacts of Western Diet and Its Effects on Metabolism and Health: A Narrative Review. Image Credit: Ekaterina Markelova / Shutterstock.com Study: Global Impacts of Western Diet and Its Effects on Metabolism and Health: A Narrative Review. Image Credit: Ekaterina Markelova / Shutterstock.com

The evolution of the human diet

The industrial revolution and subsequent advancements in animal husbandry and agriculture have changed our diets and the nutritional content of our foods. Improvements food processing technologies have also allowed humans to combine food types and nutrients in novel ways.

Preagricultural diets of humans were completely devoid of foods such as dairy products, alcohol, refined oils and sugars, and cereals, that are now the major component of Western diets. Additionally, modern Western diets often include large amounts of processed foods such as baked goods rich in sugar, snacks, and breakfast cereals.

The shift in dietary patterns throughout history has been accompanied by a rise in epidemiological problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and diabetes, all of which have significantly increased the public health burden. Likewise, unhealthy diets increase the risk of osteoporosis among postmenopausal women and cancer-related mortality.

Understanding the impact of unhealthy dietary patterns on the various aspects of human health is essential for encouraging changes at both the individual and federal levels.

What constitutes the Western diet?

The Western diet primarily consists of processed foods, soft drinks, and fast food products that are nutrient-poor and energy dense. This diet also comprises large amounts of red and processed meat, which have been linked to an increased risk of CVD and colorectal cancer.

Another key feature of the Western diet is the high sugar content of many food products, the consumption of which has been directly related to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and CVD. Likewise, the Western diet often includes food products that are high in saturated and trans fats, which also increase the risk of CVD.  

The composition of the Western diet differs significantly from that of the Mediterranean diet, which has been widely studied for its beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. As compared to the highly processed foods that are often found in Western diets, the Mediterranean diet comprises fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts.

The proportion of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains is very low or even absent in the Western diet. These foods are essential sources of vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients and, as a result, the low intake of these foods in Western diets has been linked to the prevalence of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, CVD, cancer, and various inflammatory and metabolic problems.

Key mechanisms that increase disease susceptibility

The Western diet has been shown to alter epigenetics and gene expression due to changes in nutrient availability, hormonal levels, supply of cofactors for gene expression, transcription factors, cellular signaling pathways, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation, as well as inter- and transgenerational effects. The Western diet also modifies the gut microbiome, which induces changes in microbiome gene expression, subsequently affecting immune and inflammatory responses.

In addition to the lack of antioxidants present within Western dietary food products, this diet is often high in pro-oxidant compounds that increase the production of free radicals and, as a result, increase oxidative stress throughout the body. The widespread circulation of free radicals like reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) can directly damage DNA, proteins, and lipids, subsequently leading to cell dysfunction and death.

The frequent consumption of saturated fats, processed foods, and refined sugars, all of which are major components of the Western diet, has been associated with persistent low-grade inflammation. To this end, the Western diet has been shown to increase inflammatory biomarker levels, some of which include C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). In addition to the direct damage elicited by increased oxidative stress, the aforementioned imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants also facilitates the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

High-fat diets such as the Western diet result in unfavorable lipid profiles with an increase in the low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) levels and a decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, thereby leading to endothelial dysfunction. Altered endothelial function can subsequently promote inflammatory processes, as well as increase the risk of various pathological processes, including emboli development, calcifications, stenosis, and hemorrhage.

Challenges to improving Western diets

By replacing the high-fat and sugar products often found within the Western diet with fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains may reduce low-grade inflammation and, as a result, prevent the development of CVD. Despite the seemingly straightforward resolution to this issue, there are many socioeconomic factors that prevent many individuals from consuming a healthier diet.

Income and education levels can be directly correlated to Western diet adherence, with those of a lower income more likely to have poor dietary habits and, as a result, be at an increased risk of chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and CVD.

The surrounding food environment is also crucial in determining dietary choices, as individuals residing in food deserts with limited access to fruits and vegetables are also at an increased risk of poor health outcomes as compared to those living in areas with more access to healthy food options.  

Journal reference:

  • ClementeSuárez, V. J., BeltránVelasco, A. I., RedondoFlórez, L., et al. (2023). Global Impacts of Western Diet and Its Effects on Metabolism and Health: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 15(12). doi:10.3390/nu15122749

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