Fitness & Exercise Tips : Exercises for Men to Perform to Flatten Lower Stomach

March 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

In order for men to flatten their lower stomach, it’s important to start with diet and exercise, meaning eating right and doing cardiovascular exercises. Learn about planks, triangle poses and exercise balls with help from a certified personal trainer in this free video on exercises to flatten the lower stomach. Expert: Tanya Batts Bio: Tanya Batts has been a certified personal fitness trainer for more than 11 years. She specializes in Pilates, yoga, combat cardio, aerobics, core conditioning and overall strength training. Filmmaker: Reel Media LLC

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The health hazards of head banging

February 22, 2011 by  
Filed under BRAIN

Head banging is mainstay feature of rock concerts. Performers and spectators alike can do head banging which come in many different styles. Seems like harmless fun. Or is it?

Head banging supposedly started in 1968 at a Led Zepellin concert. Since then it has “developed into a collection of distinctive styles including the up-down, the circular swing, the full body and the side-to-side.”

However, there have been reports in recent years that linked head banging to health hazards that include brain trauma, hearing loss, stroke and trauma to the neck.

So researchers head over to rock concerts and see what it’s all about. Here is what they found.

  • The up-down style was the most common head banging technique, the style one encounters in hard rock and heavy metal concerts of the likes of Motörhead, Ozzy Osbourne and Skid Row.
  • The average head banging song has a tempo of about 146 beats per minute.

They then constructed a head model that simulated the head banging and found that injury risk is also increased at tempos of 130 beats per minute with a certain range of motion. When the range of movement of the head and neck is more than 75º, headaches and dizziness could occur. Increasing the tempo and the ranges of motion increases the risk for neck injury.

Of course extreme head banging such as done in the original Led Zepellin concert – fans banging their heads against the stage – even increases the injury risk to the head even more. And hitting against other solid objects, including heads of other fans – well, that should well be avoided.

And what of two of the most famous head bangers, Beavis and Butt-head? When head banging at a tempo of 164 beats per minute to “I Wanna be Sedated” the range of motion of Beavis’ head and neck is about 45º, say the authors, so he would be unlikely to sustain any injury. But the news for Butt-head may not be so rosy. Preferring to head bang at a range of motion of 75º, he may well experience symptoms of headaches and dizziness.

Fortunately, there are sensible musicians out there who include warning against head banging on their album covers and packaging. But if you are really into head banging and can’t do without it, try wearing a helmet and neck braces to the concert!

Fitness & Exercise Tips : How to Get Abs With Resistance Bands

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Resistance bands can be helpful tools for building abdominal muscles, specifically through reverse curls that are done by stretching the bands over the feet while the legs point up to the ceiling. Discover how to choke up on a resistance band to work the core with help from a certified personal trainer in this free video on using resistance bands to work out the abs. Expert: Tanya Batts Bio: Tanya Batts has been a certified personal fitness trainer for more than 11 years. She specializes in Pilates, yoga, combat cardio, aerobics, core conditioning and overall strength training. Filmmaker: Reel Media LLC

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Operating room injuries: doctors get hurt, too

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

They play God in the operating rooms. After all, they are holding the scalpel and most often, the patient’s life in their hands. But what we probably don’t know is that surgeons get cut, too, and the operating table is not necessary the most comfortable of all working places. Although most of these are non-serious injuries, they can have some long-term consequences on the surgeon’s health and their ability to practice their profession.

Nowadays, it is standard to use the least invasive procedures when performing a surgery and one of the most commonly used is laparoscopy or popularly known as keyhole surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is used for a wide range of health problems from a simple appendectomy to a radical prostatectomy to remove localized prostate cancer. It has the benefits of increased safety, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays and cosmetic advantages compared to open surgery techniques. However, these benefits are all on the side of the patient. A large survey of surgeons revealed that about 87% of laparoscopic surgeons are suffering from pain and discomfort when performing these operations, physical symptoms that amount to occupational hazard. It is because performing laparoscopic procedures is less ergonomic than performing an open surgery.

According to lead author Dr. Adrian Park

“In laparoscopic surgery, we are very limited in our degrees of movement, but in open surgery we have a big incision, we put our hands in, we’re directly connected with the target anatomy. With laparoscopic surgery, we operate by looking at a video screen, often keeping our neck and posture in an awkward position for hours. Also, we’re standing for extended periods of time with our shoulders up and our arms out, holding and maneuvering long instruments through tiny, fixed ports.”

Aside from the physical discomfort, laparoscopic surgeons tend to have higher case loads. The resulting physical symptoms include discomfort in the neck, hand, and legs that can result, in the long-term, shortened career longevity.

According to Dr. E. Albert Reece, dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“The patient has always been the main focus of medicine, as caregivers and researchers grapple with disease treatment and prevention, enhanced patient safety and comfort and the extension of care to more people. At a time when minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques are expanding, Dr. Park’s research raises new questions that may affect patient care in the future. It is my hope that further research will provide answers, and will help stem what may indeed be an impending epidemic among surgeons.”

Beware of the New Year Hazards

December 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, HEALTHCARE

Sorry, I don’t want to be such a spoilsports and dampen your holiday spirit. But studies have shown that a lot of accidents happens at certain time of the year, especially around the 4th of July in the US and during the holiday season. Here are the reasons why


Drinking alcohol is all part of the New Year’s celebrations. And we all know that drinking and driving do not mix. According to Dr. Thomas J. Esposito, a trauma surgeon at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., as interviewed by the New York Times:

“Any degree of alcohol increases the chances your judgment or coordination can be impaired, whether on New Year’s Eve or any other day. Alcohol is associated with 50 percent of the injuries we see in the emergency rooms.”

However, it is not only the drivers who should pay attention to their blood alcohol levels. The NYT report continues to point out that pedestrians should take care as well. In fact, a study have shown that

“January 1 (New Year’s Day) has more pedestrian crash deaths on average, plus it has the fifth largest number of deaths per day overall, also due to alcohol impairment.”

The NYT report gives the following safety advice to inebriated pedestrians on New Year’s Day:

  • Stay and drink in one place. Avoid moving from one place to another.
  • Call a cab or get a ride with a “sober” driver.
  • Walk with a “sober” buddy.
  • Walk in a large group.
  • Wear lightly colored clothes to make you visible to drivers. Reflectors are especially useful.


If you are celebrating in the northern hemisphere, you know how the weather is at this time of the year. Even a sober driver can have problems with icy streets and snowstorms. For pedestrians, icy streets are fall hazards. Combined with alcohol, it can be fatal.

Now, if you are celebrating in the tropics or in the southern hemisphere, you have to deal with other climate hazards. In Australia, barbecue parties are very popular during the holidays but the risk of bush fires is rather high at this time of the year.

In addition, alcohol and heat can be a fatal combination that lead to drowning, heatstroke, as well medical conditions such as cardiovascular events.


We eat more than we are supposed to at this time of the year. It is only expected that some adverse effects can come with it.

We’ve tackled this topic many times on this site so I don’t want to say much more. Too much fat, too much calories, and too much sugar can wreak havoc with our body. However, aside from these usual culprits, foodborne outbreaks caused by such nasty bugs like Salmonella and Campylobacter have been reported during celebrations with severe and sometimes fatal consequences.

In addition, a high incidence of food allergies also needs to be reckoned with at this time of the year.


In many countries, fireworks are part of the New Year’s celebrations. However, fireworks can be very dangerous if not handled correctly. Injuries due to fireworks are widely reported the world over, with the highest in the age group 5 to 14 years of age in India. Injuries were serious, even fatal. In the US,  a study released in 2006 reported the following:

“An estimated 85800 pediatric fireworks-related injuries were treated in US emergency departments during the 14-year study period. Injured children had a mean age of 10.8 years, and 77.9% were male. Fireworks users accounted for 49.5% of the injuries, whereas 22.2% of the injuries were to bystanders; however, user status could not be determined in 28.3% of cases. The overall fireworks-related injury rate decreased significantly during the study period, but subgroup analysis did not indicate consistent declines among all ages and types of fireworks. Injuries were most commonly caused by firecrackers (29.6%), sparklers/novelty devices (20.5%), and aerial devices (17.6%). The most commonly injured body sites were the eyeball (20.8%), face (20.0%), and hands (19.8%), and the most common injury type was burns (60.3%). Approximately 91.6% of all children with fireworks-related injuries were treated and released from hospital emergency departments, 5.3% were admitted, and 2.3% were transferred to another institution. Bystanders accounted for 13.3% of admitted cases and 20.6% of transferred cases.”

Despite all these warnings, I wish you all a Happy New Year and as the Germans say ” a safe and smooth slide” into the New Year.

Photo credit: stiock.xchng

Avoid Workout Injuries

November 22, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

From some trainers ‘No pain, no gain’ really means ‘you should feel some pain’. While mild discomfort is to be expected, especially for those just beginning a new fitness routine, pain is a natural warning sign. Pay attention to it.

A good workout routine will test you, but shouldn’t damage you. As muscles get used, especially somewhat beyond their usual range, lactic acid, micro-tears and other physiological changes occur that result in muscles being built up stronger than before.

But if you are experiencing back pain, neck aches, knee joint soreness and other symptoms, you should consult with an expert. Your technique may be wrong, you may be trying to do too much, too soon, or you may have a medical problem that should be addressed.

Work up to any vigorous routine slowly. How slowly will vary from person to person, depending on age, experience, prior exercise routines and overall fitness. Get muscles warm and limber before cranking it up. Most strains and rips result from being too cold and not stretching, or extending more than you’re ready for.

Warm-ups should take at least 15 minutes and include very gentle jogging in place or jumping jacks to get the cardio and lung systems working well. They should include some slow, gradual stretching to get joints lubricated and muscles relaxed and gently lengthened. Warm-ups that are too short can easily lead to stretched or torn cartilage that takes a long time to heal.

Don’t let inexperienced trainers, or so-called ‘friends’ embarrass you into believing you have to get out and run five miles two weeks after an injury, surgery or other debilitating condition. Physical therapy and exercise sometimes requires that you work against discomfort, but you don’t leap over tall buildings the first day out.

Every person committed to fitness will want to push him or herself to achieve excellence. But an attitude that leads to overdoing it is counter-productive to your goal. You’re working to improve or maximize health and overall body tone and strength – not proving you are ‘mentally tough’.

Before you begin a new routine that involves activities that are unfamiliar, get guidance from an expert. Next to bad warm-ups or overdoing it, incorrect technique is the leading cause of injury. If you don’t know how to use a station at the weight machine correctly, don’t be embarrassed to ask. No one is born with this knowledge. Anyone who mocks you for ignorance, isn’t someone whose opinions you have reason to heed.

Be aware of your environment while you go through your routine. It’s easy to get into a rhythm, get concentrated on your workout and end up crashing into a wall or a nearby person. Jogging especially requires that you pay attention to the surface you run on and the people and cars around you. No shoe in existence will keep you from slipping on a muddy patch. Only awareness and good reflexes can help.

Stay within your comfort zone as you gradually expand it. One of the foremost reasons people give up on workouts is injuries produced by working beyond their capacity. That makes working out no longer fun. Building up, while you build out, to increase your ability to do more, faster will keep you going for years to come.

Your health will thank you for exercising common sense, while you exercise your body.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.