EAT TO GROW

Ease Disease With Weight Training

Daniel Curtis

Bodybuilding helps fight chronic illnesses, including MS and diabetes

You’ve read in these pages how lifting weights can help those who have moderate kidney disease and moderate multiple sclerosis. Next is diabetes.

According to the March ’03 Prevention, “In a six-month study of 36 people, ages 60 to 80, with diabetes, Australian researchers found that those who ate a healthful diet and followed a weightlifting program had a three times greater decrease in average blood sugar levels than those who simply dieted. Such benefits were similar to those found with diabetic drugs. Plus, they lost moderate amounts of bodyfat.

“Muscles are major clearing sites for circulating blood sugar,” and since we lose muscle as we age, rebuilding muscle tissue with weight training is very important for older adults with diabetes. The subjects in the study performed nine exercises that covered all the major muscles in the upper and lower body. They did three sets of eight to 10 reps three days a week.

Strength training also promotes heart health, which is especially important for those with diabetes, as their risk of heart disease is double or quadruple that of nondiabetics.


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Get High On Exercise

Jerry Brainum

No doubt you’ve heard of exerciser’s high—a feeling of well-being that follows a training session. Scientists have discovered that exercise can alleviate both depression and anxiety. Some studies even show that it works faster and better than a few popular antidepressants.

Many people appear to be addicted to exercise. They work out with a religious fervor, and when they miss a session, they feel ill, severely anxious or depressed, much in the manner of drug addicts who experience withdrawal symptoms.

When Not to Do Your Cardio

Jerry Brainum

Aerobics is a useful addition to any bodybuilding program for a number of reasons. It positively affects several cardiovascular risk factors, including total cholesterol, high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and C-reactive protein. That last factor is a measure of body inflammation, which is now recognized as a primary symptom of cardiovascular disease. Aerobics also reduces elevated blood pressure and provides a relaxation effect in blood vessels through an increase in nitric oxide synthesis and secretion.

All-Over Bi’ Size

Jerry Brainum

All-Over Bi’ Size

Bodybuilding dogma has it that different exercises affect different parts of a muscle. That explains the reason for varying your exercises. Not everyone agrees with that concept, noting that muscles have distinct nerve connections and that making minor changes in angles or exercises does little or nothing to change the function of any particular muscle.

The Zit List

Jerry Brainum

The Zit List

In years past diet was thought to be a significant factor in the onset of acne, particularly in teenagers. As research continued, however, dietary factors were largely discounted. That was based on the discovery that acne formation involved two primary mechanisms: an excess level of sebum, a fatty secretion that both moisturizes the skin and clogs skin follicles, and a type of bacteria called P. acnes that feeds on the excess sebum. Sebum formation is promoted by androgens, such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and DHEA. The bacteria produce irritating by-products that lead to inflammation and subsequent blocking of the skin follicles.

Home-Gym MUSCLE

Steve Holman

Home-Gym MUSCLE

It was almost like slow motion. I vividly remember the time I nearly split open my head doing flyes in my home gym. I was clanging my adjustable dumbbells together at the top of each rep—I hadn’t discovered Arnold’s continuous-tension technique yet—when one of the collars came loose and sent a plate plummeting toward my cranium. Luckily, only the 2 1/2-pounder on the end slipped off with the collar. It left a small red-and-purple impression on my forehead, but no stitches were necessary. It also gave a whole new meaning to the term “drop set.”