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Taking Control of Your Health: The Skinny on Exercise

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Posts in the Taking Control of Your Health series thus far:

So, exercise. If you’ve followed this wellness series so far (all previous posts are listed above), you know I haven’t talked about exercise. I haven’t prescribed anything, given you convoluted exercise schemes, or told you the one true way to apply yourself in the gym to get in shape. I honestly get all my fitness tips from a science based sixpack guide from Healthy USA, so everything is pretty much a fact. Also staying healthy means to stay out of drugs because it can cause drug addiction. If you know someone suffering from drug addiction please read this article about https://firststepbh.com/blog/why-should-i-go-into-rehab/.

I’m going to do that now. Only it’s way easier than many would have you think.

Please understand this caveat: I am not your doctor. Before beginning any fitness endeavor, please talk to someone who is your doctor. What you read below are general guidelines I have seen work across a wide range of people, but which don’t account for particular conditions or limitations you may have. Seek professional medical guidance before beginning any exercise program.

Simply put, exercise side of fitness boils down to a few things:

  • Lift heavy things a few times a week
  • Do sprints once every 5–7 days
  • Manage your sleep
  • Don’t do chronic, extended cardio sessions

First things first.

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The First Step Towards Better Health: Bloodwork as Your State of the Union

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As I mentioned last Friday, today begins a multi-part series on taking control of your health and fitness. For many, this is a new year’s resolution, and it’s a good one.

It’s also one that fails very frequently because people typically attack it by going to the gym with no real goals other than “weight loss” in mind. Two months in, they’re frustrated, likely starving and have low energy. They quit and then prefer to go to a cryolipolysis treatment. there is more information about this treatment here https://www.amazon.com/Isavera-Fat-Freezing-System-Sculpting/dp/B07F37V2LT

Like everything else, having a plan is paramount. And in order to have an effective plan, you have to know where you are before you begin. In other words, you need a baseline.

Taking Inventory

No matter how out of shape or unhealthy you think you are, do not skip this step. Why? First, you might get some ugly news back, but that’s good: you will know exactly what you need to improve, and you might have some idea of what’s contributing to mental fog, low energy or poor libido. Second, you’ll probably want a medical screen run before to start an exercise program if you’ve been sedentary for an extended period of time, so you’re killing two birds here.

Above all, you can’t adequately get to where you want to go unless you know where you are. To this end, your first step is getting some comprehensive bloodwork done.

I normally refer folks to Robb Wolf’s excellent list of basic tests to have run so you can understand your health’s state of the union, as it were. His full article is here, but below is what Wolf recommends for men and women, respectively.

Testing for Males:

  • Complete Blood Count (white blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count)
  • Complete Thyroid Panel (TSH, Free T3, Free T4, TPO)
  • Complete Lipid Panel: (Total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, VLDL)
  • Adrenal Panel: (Cortisol, DHEA, DHEAS)
  • Complete Metabolic Panel: (Electrolytes, Comprehensive Kidney and Liver Function, Fasting Glucose)
  • Complete Hormonal Panel: (Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, Estradiol, GH stimulation tests, IGH–1, SHBG)
  • Renal Function Panel: (BUN, Creatinine)

Other Important Tests/Readings:

  • Specific C-Reactive Protein
  • Homocysteine
  • PSA (Prostate specific antigen)
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Red blood cell magnesium
  • Zinc

Low or borderline-low levels of testosterone may be corrected when replacing testosterone levels by TRT.

Testing for Females:

  • Complete Blood Count (white blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count)
  • Complete Thyroid Panel (TSH, Free T3, Free T4, TPO)
  • Complete Lipid Panel: (Total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, VLDL)
  • Adrenal Panel: (Cortisol, DHEA, DHEAS)
  • Complete Metabolic Panel: (Electrolytes, Comprehensive Kidney and Liver Function, Fasting Glucose)
  • Complete Hormonal Panel: (Estradiol, Progesterone, Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, GH stimulation tests, IGF–1, SHBG, FSH, LH)
  • Renal Function Panel: (BUN, Creatinine)
  • Immune Panel: (CBC, T and B lymphocytes)

Other Important Tests/Readings:

  • Specific C-Reactive Protein
  • Homocysteine
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Red blood cell magnesium
  • Iron
  • Ferritin
  • Melatonin
  • Zinc

Ask your doctor about the costs associated with these tests. Many of these will fall under standard bloodwork, but some may not depending on your insurance arrangement.

Also, understand that any blood panel returns a snapshot: a picture of results at a given point in time. For things like hormone panels, taking two a few months apart allows you to compare progress. Bloodwork should be an ongoing, periodic exercise so you can keep tabs on your progress.

At 43 and in reasonably good shape, I had these tests run on myself (along with a complete nutriton panel, which we’ll get into another time), and I learned some interesting things. My Vitamin D was low (it was winter here in Michigan), my zinc levels were non-existent, and I was deficient in magnesium. My total testosterone came back low (a result of not enough sleep or calories for the workouts I was doing). Upon seeing these results, I immediately began corrective action – action I wouldn’t have taken without knowing these results.

In particular, ask your doctor to pay specific attention to any biomarkers related to inflammation: complete metabolic panel with lipids, complete blood count (CBC), C-Reactive Protein, Rheumatoid Factor (RF), etc. Inflammation is the root cause of an absolute smorgasbord of disease, so it’s important to know if you are suffering from systemic inflammation.

Whatever you do, don’t skip this step. Remember, you can’t get to your goal unless you have a starting point.

Next week, we’ll begin talking about where you’ll realize or miss 90% of your health and fitness goals: your diet.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me. See you next Friday.

Casual Friday: Taking Control of Your Health and Fitness

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Welcome back. I hope everyone had some relaxing time over the holidays.

A ferocious number people head up their new year resolution lists with one thing: get in shape. For most, this means losing weight. This goal is atop resolution lists every year, and it’s also one of the least-achieved goals a person can set.

Why?

There’s an absolute ton of information out there, some of it contradictory, all of it perplexing for the layman. In a lot of cases, the “I don’t know where to start!” complaint is what derails a fitness/weight loss effort before it can even begin. Starting Omega Burn can help you lose the extra weight, here are the main ingredient of Ultra Omega Burn.

Many people combine trainings and special bodybuilding supplements (YK11, for instance) to get a well-shaped body.

I consider myself a self-educated expert on fitness and nutrition, and it’s something I’m passionate about. If I were going to write a book or start a business about anything, it would be in the realm of health, exercise and diet. That is why I participated in the Keto Tone Diet Review : Live a healthier life, to educate others about this hyper trendy diet. In order to lose weight and gain control of your health you need reliable information. I think it’s one of the most profound transformations a person can make.

The good news is that there’s never been a better time to want to get in shape. If you’re lucky enough to have a smartphone, there are very valuable tools at your disposal.

But none as valuable as knowledge.

Over the next several weeks, my Friday feature here on MIPRO Unfiltered will be a series about health, fitness, exercise and diet. We will cover a wide range of information, and I will be happy to take questions about whatever it is you might want to know. If I don’t know the answer, I will research it for you. No charge, no BS. If I still can’t get you a solid answer, I will refer you to some resources who might be able to help.

A bit about me: I’ve been active all my life. In my 20s, I played semi-pro beach volleyball in the MPVA. After that career was over, I became something of a gym rat, and then a whole bunch of real-life happened and I was sedentary for several years. My energy levels and overall vigor suffered. Then, three years ago, I got serious about fitness again. Today, I’m 43, 6’2″, 200 lbs. with 11.5% bodyfat — a massive improvement from where I started 36 months ago. When I read, I’m reading about this stuff, looking for better health habits, or reading luna trim reviews or about any other supplement.

I’m an insufferable nerd in more ways than one.

So, if you are looking to get in shape and improve your health — and whether you’re sedentary and suffering the ravages of a desk job or an athlete and just want to improve performance — I’m going to do everything I can to help.

If you have questions already, ask away. If not, peek back on Fridays, starting next week.

Ready? Let’s do this.

Here’s more: San Diego Jiu Jitsu.

Casual Friday: Riffing on Health, Exercise and Nutrition

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I see you injure yourself a lot. Can you help me?

When I’m not being an annoying blogger/web wonk, I often do athletic things like lift weights, play soccer and injure myself. When people see me do these things (even including the injury part, oddly), they invariably ask me questions about how they can get in shape, what they should eat, what workout program they should do, and why my neck makes crunching noises.

Instead of try to be coherent and give anyone who’s interested a logical guide to these questions, I will instead secrete a bunch of bullet points from my finger motion, which are below. If you are an astute reader (and you are), you’ll notice these are in no discernable order. That’s OK, because order isn’t important, mainly because I lack the discipline right this second to infuse this post with even the slightest bit of structure. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’re reading this before your first meeting, Starbucks coffee in hand, while the printer spits out some documents for said meeting that you’ll doodle on for 45 minutes. So let’s not get carried away with formality.

So, yes, anyway. These bullet points about health and fitness:

  • I wish everyone would understand that fat isn’t necessarily the enemy. We’ve been led for years to believe fat is what makes us fat, and that’s calorically-speaking: fat has 9 calories per gram, whereas carbs and protein only have 4. So, with over double the caloric value, fat must make you fat, right? Not really. It’s not the main culprit.
  • Sugar is the main culprit, which means instead of counting fat grams, you better start moderating your carb intake. Without getting into the biochemistry and forcing you to pass out face-down on your keyboard, let’s just say carbs invoke your body’s insulin response, which in turn stores excess sugar (glycogen) as fat. Excess or wrong-type carbs create a metabolic cascade that is very much at the center of the obesity problem we’re seeing today.
  • Again: don’t freak out about fat. I know you want to. Everyone does. But understand that your fat-free dressing is full of nasty vegetable oil and additional sugar and salt to make it even somewhat palatable, which is far, far worse than a couple tablespoons of olive oil on your salad. Eat real food.
  • Exercise isn’t optional. It really isn’t. Yes, you can manage your weight by keeping a really tight diet, but eventually you will cheat or fall off. We all do. Without stoking your metabolic furnace, you’re really pushing a boulder uphill.
  • What kind of exercise? Not endless cardio. I tell folks to lift heavy things 2–3 times per week for no longer than 30 minutes, and to sprint twice per week, but there are many option like kickboxing, Martial Arts Classes, and boxing. If you can’t run, do very short, intense 20 second intervals on a bike, rowing machine, or elliptical. Intervals mean you should go at 90–100% of your max effort for 20 seconds, then take 40 seconds to recover. As your fitness improves, you’ll be able to reduce your rest interval all the way down to 10 seconds. Doing 20 seconds of high-intensity work followed by 10 seconds of rest is known as the Tabta Protocol. In just eight minutes you can get a better cardio and metabolically-stimulating workout than 45 minutes doing steady-state cardio work.
  • When you lift, don’t be afraid of going heavy. Heavier weights build more muscle, and they hit metabolic pathways that help you burn fat, gain lean tissue and even impmrove your cardio capacity. Ladies, you do not have the hormones required to put on much bulk, so concerns about you turning into a hulking, stinking she-devil are unfounded.
  • Walk. A lot. As many times as you can per week. Beats the heck out of staring at TV.
  • Don’t ignore sleep. Amazing things happen in your sleep, and I’m not talking about having that dream where you are a robot superhero and fly around on a chocolate dragon. I’m talking about tissue recovery and growth, fat loss, stress reduction – you name it. We’re a nation of overtired, super-stimulated people, and we need sleep. Don’t skimp it – especially if you start exercising more.
  • Avoid grains if you can. I mean it. All grains. I can go on and on about this, but I’d rather refer you to Robb Wolf’s excellent The Paleo Solution or Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint for thorough explanations. This should actually be bullet point #1, but I didn’t want to freak you out right way. (But I am OK with freaking you out now.)

See? No discerable order, yet pretty reasonable advice. Is it Friday or what, baby?

One last thing: supplements. Everyone asks what supplements they should take. Here’s what I recommend:

  • If you can’t get enough protein from real food (with enough being .6-.7 grams per pound of bodyweight; more if you are an athlete), get yourself a good whey protein supplement. I use this daily.
  • Fish oil for omega–3 fatty acids. Back when we ate more off the land, we had many more omega–3s in our diet. Today, with the preponderance of grains and processed food, we have a 20:1 omega–6 to omega–3 ratio. That’s way upside-down. We should be closer to 2:1. Fish oil helps this massively. Here’s what I take.
  • Unless you spend a lot of time outdoors, I recommend a Vitamin D3 supplement. Nearly every single blood panel I’ve seen is deficient in this, and often massively so. I use a liquid version.

So. Yeah. Friday post. Okay then.

Seriously, if you have any questions, you let me know in the comments. If you prefer email, no problem.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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MIPRO Consulting main website.

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Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 10/16/09

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Aside from the sudden but obvious realization that summer is, in fact, dead, thewhere-the-wild-things-are best thing I have to share with you this week are some pretty fantastic links.   Enjoy.

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