Rockstar Health & Fitness – Episode 7 ft. Kim Glass

December 28, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

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

Skee.TV presents Rockstar Health & Fitness, a new original Web series hosted by music industry executive & KIIS-FM yoga instructor Lori Rischer. Rockstar H&F features celebrities sharing their health, diet, and fitness tips. In this episode Kim Glass shares some tips on how she’s preparing for the 2012 Olympics and shows us her recipe for her favorite “on the go” snack. The 9-episode Rockstar season’s all-star line up includes Kim Glass, Lala Romero, OneRepublic, Patrick Stump, Austin Brown among, others. Check out next week’s episode featuring OneRebublic’s Zach Filkins Created by Lori Rischer and Sera Roadnight. Produced By Skee.TV.

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

The Olympic diet: what do athletes eat?

August 21, 2008 by  

We all know that our diet is a key factor to being and keeping healthy. It is the food we eat that provides us the energy to perform our daily activities – it is what keeps our heart pumping. Now, we get to wonder, what do high performance athletes eat? What gives them the energy, the power to run, swim, jump or lift weights faster and better than non-athletic people like you and me?

Here are some examples of what Olympic athletes eat on a normal day.


Gymnastics is an example of anaerobic physical activity. The gymnasts need strong spurts of energy for short periods of time to jump, flip, swing and perform somersaults.

In this msnbc report, gymnasts like Stephen McCain go for the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet.

Most gymnasts try to get between 60 percent and 70 percent of their calories from proteins (like meats and cheeses), the rest from carbs (like whole-grain pasta, fruits, vegetables) and fats (like oils from peanuts).

Of course gymnastics is a special sports where weight is highly relevant to performance. Gymnasts have to closely watch their calorie intake to keep down their weight.

Other anaerobic sport sports such as weight lifting and shot put, put less emphasis on weight but more muscle growth and therefore have other dietary requirements. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), for example, recommends body builders to eat

…a pre-exercise snack that includes a combination of carbs (for energy) and protein (for muscle building): cereal with milk, yogurt and a banana, bagel with peanut butter, trail mix (nuts and dried fruit), or a turkey sandwich”.

In addition, ACSM warns of the danger of undereating, especially among female athletes who strictly control their weight. Undereating can lead to shortage of calories needed for strenuous exercise, resulting in amenorrhea (irregular menstrual cycle) and iron deficiency anemia


Now, how about eating a thousand calories every hour? Unthinkable? Well, that´s what Michael Phelps, winner of 8 gold medals in swimming require during rigorous training and competition, according to a report at WebMD. On a normal day, he can easily take in 6000 to 8000 calories in pizza and pasta.

Unlike gymnastics, swimming is an aerobic sports that requires prolonged energy output. High calorie, high carbohydrate diet is what endurance athletes like Phelps need. However, they need to make sure that calories intake is well-distributed all throughout the day and certainly no big intake immediately before a race. High calorie foods with small volume are especially recommended so that “granola with fruit and yogurt would be a better choice than flake cereal with milk.”

Nutritional requirements of athletes differ from those of “mere mortals” like us. For more information about good dietary habits, check out The Dietary Guidelines for Americans published jointly every 5 years by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA).


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July Olympic Resource Post: A tribute to athletes battling heart disease

August 13, 2008 by  

Many of us look to up to successful sports people and we can’t really imagine that some of them may also be fighting against heart disease like the rest of us. After all, physical exercise is supposedly the key to cardiovascular health.

Yet, there have been sudden deaths in past sports competition. According to Dr. Barry J. Maron of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, “about 125 athletes under 35 involved in organized sports die of sudden death in the United States each year…” The institute keeps a national registry of such fatalities and the majority of cases recorded were due to cardiac-related events.

Although researchers are scrambling to find the best preparticipation screening, it’s always a difficult decision between safeguarding an athlete’s life and killing his/her Olympic dream.

In this resource post, I would like to pay tribute to athletes who have succumbed to heart disease in their quest to be the best.

The fatalities

Reggie Lewis played for the Boston Celtics. He suffered from cardiac arrest on the court in the summer of 1993. Reggie had an overly enlarged and thickened heart. He was 27 years old.

Ryan Shay collapsed during the marathon Olympic trials in New York in November last year. Ryan was diagnosed with an enlarged heart at the age of 14. He died of the disease 14 years later.

Perhaps the most recent fatality is Gyorgy Kolonics, the two-time Hungarian gold medallist in canoeing. He died less than a month before the Olympics start during a training session last July 15. The probable cause of death was heart failure. It would have been the 36-year old’s 5th Olympic Games.

The survivors

There are others out there whose athletic careers have been cut short by heart disease but are lucky to survive and tell their stories.

In his blog, elite cyclist Craig Cook tells us his story. Craig was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia earlier this year.

This blog is about my condition, the things that might have led to it, and the course of treatment I am on. It is written as a resource for other endurance athletes who might have arrhythmias“,

writes Craig in his blog V-TACH where he continues to chronicle his battle against the monster of heart disease.

Greg Welch was a triathlete – triathlon is also known as the “Iron Man” competition – and he was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia in 1999. He experienced the attacks during the Hawaiian Iron Man competition but still managed to finish the race in 11th place. He had to retire from competitive sports and was joined his triathlete wife Sian in retirement shortly after.

John Morton is a biathlete who represented the US at the Winter Olympics in 1972 and 1976. In 2003, he was diagnosed with a 50% occlusion of the coronary artery. The 57-year old was shocked with the diagnosis.

“…although I might have worried that I’d someday be a candidate for knee or hip replacement surgery, I never for a moment questioned the durability of my heart. If exercise was the key to a healthy heart, I figured mine would still be beating long after the rest of me had collapsed in a heap.”

Read more about Tim’s subsequent cardiac surgery and successful rehabilitation in his article “The Heart of an Olympian.”

Other endurance athletes whose careers were cut short by arrhythmia or irregular heart rhythm include the Italian six-day cyclist Marco Villa who won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and Tour de France cyclist Bobbie Julich.

The causes

The most likely culprits for sports-related cardiac problems are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and ventricular tachycardia.

According to the Medline Medical Encyclopedia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is “a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick.” This thickening makes it harder for the heart to pump blood and reduces the efficiency of the valves as well. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a major cause of death among young athletes who seem perfectly healthy. In many cases, the condition is asymptomatic and the first signs of the disease can be acute – collapse and sudden death during physical exertion.

Recent studies show that sudden cardiac death is more common among black athletes especially those originating from West Africa or the Caribbean, compared to other ethic groups and this may be due to left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a form of asymmetrical cardiomyopathy. Black athletes have been observed to have thicker left ventricular walls compared to white athletes. LVH is reflected in abnormal ECG readings during preparticipation screening.

Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid heart beat initiated within the ventricles, characterized by 3 or more consecutive premature ventricular beats. While a normal heart beats 60 to 100 times every minute, this rate can go up to 160 or even over 200 in cases of ventricular tachycardia. This form of arrhythmia can be due to pre-existing heart conditions.

However, recent studies report about “acquired arrhythmia” among endurance athletes. It was not until very recently that athlete’s heart (dilatation, hypertrophy and enhanced vagal tone) was recognized as a possible risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation, establishing a link between excessive training and the presence of arrhythmias, according to an editorial in the European Heart Journal.

In subsequent posts, I will review recent studies that may clarify whether too much of a good thing such as physical exercise may be bad for the heart.

In the meantime, let’s cheer on our Olympians and hope for a cardiac event-free Olympics this year.

Olympics Special: Athletes screening using ECG

August 11, 2008 by  

The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing have just started. What better way to start this week than talk about athletes’ heart rates?

There are certain tests that professional athletes have to go through before they can complete. I am not only referring to those tests that detect the use of performance enhancing drugs. Athletes also have to go through tests to determine their health status. A major determining test in the preparticipation screening of athletes is the electrocardiogram or ECG which reads the heart’s electrical activity and look at the heart rate patterns. ECG measurements are usually done while at rest. Athletes who have abnormalities in their ECG are disqualified – for their own safety. Many cardiac events happen during sports competition.

Most professional sports and health bodies, including the International Olympic Committee and the European Society of Cardiology endorse the use of ECG in the preparticipation screening of athletes. However, the American Heart Association (AHA) finds that ECG screening has certain limitations including low sensitivity and high rate of false positive results. In addition, recent studies (see this previous post) have shown there are racial differences in ECG patterns of athletes that might complicate interpretation of the results.

Instead, AHA recommends a 12-step screening program that can help detect potential health problems. The screening program requires completion of a questionnaire covering the following:

Personal history

Family history

Physical examination

A recent study by Italian researchers indicate that exercise ECG, e.g. ECG measurements done during active exercise should be used because they tend to be more sensitive in detecting cardiac abnormalities than ECG measurement at rest. Looking at over 30,000 athletes, they observed discrepancies between the results of resting ECG and exercise or stress ECG. 1,812 or 6% of the participants showed resting ECG abnormalities, some of which turned out to be “innocent” changes. Only 1,459 (4.9%) of the participants showed abnormalities for exercise ECG. However, exercise ECG detected cardiac anomalies in 1,227 participants not detected by resting ECG. Furthermore, they only observed that these anomalies are more common in athletes older than 30 years old.

In the next days, this blog will feature more health news around the theme of competitive sports and athletics.

Photo credit: morguefile


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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.