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kettle bells in a line

Quicker Weight Lifting Could Mean Longer Life

The weight lifting industry views muscle strength as more important than muscle power.  However, a new study has found that muscle power may be the best indicator of life expectancy. Muscle power is essentially the ability to produce force and velocity while also coordinating movement. They best way to increase muscle power is weight lifting, but a specific weight lifting method must be used.   

kettle bells on a glass surface

Heavy weight may be beneficial, but more weight usually means slower repetitions. In most cases, a slow repetition equals low power. Muscle power comes from an increase of speed during a lift. First, pick an appropriate weight. The weight should not be easy to lift but also not too heavy that you can barely lift it. Then, do multiple repetitions lifting the weight as fast as possible. During the lift, make sure the movement is smooth and coordinated. It is important to remember that even though muscle power is important, it is necessary to remain in proper form during any weight lifting exercise.

Of 3,878 study participants, the 3rd and 4th lowest quartile of muscle power had a 4-to-5 and 10-to-13 times higher risk of dying than those with maximal power. That’s such a large discrepancy. Additionally, these participants are non-athletes. Muscle power is attainable for everyone. More research needs to be done to assess the connection between muscle power increases and health to determine the full benefit.

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Smoothie with a straw

Too Much Protein? Optimize Diet and Function

Protein is vital for optimal performance and health maintenance. The main sources of protein in our diet are meat and dairy. As a result, many companies have even started to highlight the amount of protein in their products. However, with these high-protein optional available, how much protein is too much?

Strawberry Smoothie in a glass diet

Excess Protein In Diet

Research shows that excess amounts of protein, specifically branched chain amino acids, may be harmful. Furthermore, excess branched chain amino acids decreases the amount of serotonin levels in the blood. Serotonin is important for sleep and a positive mood. It’s commonly referred as the ‘happy’ hormone. Serotonin is decreased when excess branched chain amino acids block tryptophan. Tryptophan stimulates serotonin production.

Vary Your Sources

Based on these findings, it is important to vary your protein sources to make sure you are not getting excess branched chain amino acids. Soy, lentils, edamame, chickpeas, nuts, quinoa, and chia seeds are great sources of plant-based protein. Even more so, a balanced diet of vegetables and fruits is of equal importance.

Are You Active?

It is important to remember; the amount of daily protein required varies in everyone. Consequently, an active individual will need more protein than a sedentary person. The recommended baseline without variables amounts to .36 grams of protein per pound.  One egg is 6 grams of protein while 1 cup of chicken is 38 grams of protein. Most of all, it’s important to vary your sources of protein for optimum health.

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swimming in a pool

Exercise or Diet to Maintain Weight?

Diet or exercise. Which one is better at maintaining weight loss? There is much in question about which is best to keep weight off. Studies show it’s more important to stay active than count calories. This according to a new study. 

Physcial Activity and Weight

Certainly, diet is always important for health and optimal weight. There is no debate. This study stresses the importance of physical activity after weight loss. There is nothing more frustrating than losing weight only to gain it back. Similar results are correlated in the ‘Biggest Loser’ study, the hit television show.

Steps Matter In Weight Control

Successful participants maintained a reduced body weight of 30 pounds or more over one year. That is a lot of weight. Interestingly, weight-loss maintainers burned more calories than normal body weight controls. Also, weight-loss maintainers’ step count is significantly higher than overweight/obesity and normal weight participants. 12,000 steps compared to 9,000 and 6,500 respectively.

Exercise Over Calories

Weight-loss maintainers consume an equal amount of calories to overweight/obese participants, but activity levels remain higher. The study includes an interesting way to measure energy expenditure as well. The hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the water were ‘labeled.’ This is the gold standard of energy expenditure measure. Lastly, don’t ask me how they ‘label’ the water.

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4 supplement pills

Improve Lean Body Mass Of Child Before Birth

There are thousands of supplements on the market. There are only a few I vehemently recommend. One of those being omega-3 fish oil. There is an abundance of research that shows the undeniable benefits. The pro research far outweighs the negative. In addition, the American Heart Association recommends 2 3.5 servings of fish a week. Simply, omega-3 is fish in a pill form. Why do I recommend omega-3? Studies show omega-3 taken during late stages of pregnancy increases lean and total body mass. These effects were seen through age 6. Link here.

four supplement pills with reflection

Omega-3 & Lean Body Mass

This is an important finding because birth weight is an important measure in the health of a newborn. When compared to consuming olive oil, omega-3 fish oil shows children with higher measures of lean mass, bone mass, and fat mass. Now, you may be raising an eyebrow at increase fat mass? Interestingly, with an increase in fat mass the percentage of fat did not increase. As you know, percentage takes into account other measures like muscle and bone mass. An increase in fat mass is normal with high muscle and bone mass.

What To Look For In Omega-3 Supplement

Not all omega-3 supplements are the same. Therefore high and low quality exist. No different than a grade of beef. Prime vs choice. I prefer to not get supplements from major grocery store brands or chains. If the supplement is a “deal” you may want to think twice. Most importantly, check to see if the omega-3 is molecularly distilled. Molecular distillation will remove metals and unwanted byproducts. Also, look for an omega-3 with at least one-thousand IU.

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mixed nuts and dried fruit

Nuts Improve Quality and Function of Sperm

Male fertility is not often discussed. As we all know, it takes two to tango, so it’s a vital part of the process. Optimizing health helps increase chances of fertilization. Recently researchers found a diet rich in nuts can improve sperm DNA as well as sperm motility, count, and shape. Link here.

healthy diet plus exercise optimizes weight loss. With that in mind, it’s reasonable to suggest that improving health can optimize sperm. The more healthy routines added the better. Thus, a diet rich in nuts is very doable. 4 parameters exist for sperm which are count, shape, vitality, and motility. The study includes 119 healthy men (18-35). The only difference in diet is the addition of hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds. Not only did the parameters improve, but sperm DNA damage was less likely.

Other studies show that omega-3, antioxidants, and folate improve the sperm parameters. Small dietary changes over a long period of time make big changes. It’s reasonable to suggest that exercise or less of a dietary guilty pleasure will improve chances of fertility. Improvements in health do take time. The first study took 14 weeks total. Thus, an increase consumption of nuts a week before conception will not help as much.

More information about Structural Chiropractic in Birmingham, Alabama, click here.

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