Did You Know… with Mike Furci

furci_2

A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

…agriculture is trashing our environment. The Telegraph discusses what decades of agriculture has done to the life of our soil.

“American scientists have made an unsettling discovery. Crop farming across the Prairies since the late 19th Century has caused a collapse of the soil microbia that holds the ecosystem together.

A team at the University of Colorado under Noah Fierer used DNA gene technology to test the ‘verrucomicrobia’ in Prairie soil, contrasting tilled land with the rare pockets of ancient tallgrass found in cemeteries and reservations. The paper published in the US journal Science found that crop agriculture has “drastically altered” the biology of the land. “The soils currently found throughout the region bear little resemblance to their pre-agricultural state,” it concluded.”
(The Telegraph Nov 27, 2013)

It’s obvious what big agriculture and the government has done to our environment and food supply. It’s time to start supporting local farming.

…in the 1970s, researchers who believed our deteriorating diet had a profound effect on crime, tried to reduce crime through diet. “Research by Hippchen, Schoenthaler, Schauss, and others concluded that hypoglycemia, caused by a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, could account for most of anti-social behavior, they found that hypoglycemia causes the brain to secrete glutamate, a neurotoxin, which leads to agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and violent behavior.”

It’s becoming more apparent that our deteriorating diet in the U.S. is cause for alarm. The meteoric increase in many disorders and diseases (i.e., autism, depression, cancer and diabetes) has a linear relationship to denatured and devitalized modern foods.
((2013). Wise Traditions, 14(1), 19-35.)

…many trainers and coaches still espouse to pre-exercise warm-up that includes stretching. The objective of a study conducted by Brazilian researchers from the University of Sao Paulo was to compare the effects of static stretching, ballistic stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation on maximal strength, number of repetitions at a sub-maximal load (endurance) and total volume. All 12 participants completed eight weight training sessions. Four were designed to stretch prior to weight training. Researchers found that all stretching protocols significantly improved range of motion, but significantly reduce leg press one leg maximum, number of repetitions at a sub-maximal load and total volume. (J Strength Cond Res 26(9): 2432–2437, 2012)

…the barbell back squat (BBS) is widely regarded as the king of all exercises. It is without question. No other exercise works as many major muscle groups as thoroughly or as intensely as the squat. It is also a highly functional and safe exercise, and is used as a key component of many strength training programs including Olympic lifting. The BBS is also a mainstay in bodybuilding routines given its record for overall leg development. Because of its efficacy and versatility, the squat has been studied repeatedly for many different purposes. A review published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined studies that investigated muscle activation during the BBS to clarify how the exercise can be appropriately applied for different goals. The following are some highlights of this review:

• Increasing the stance width increases the activation of the adductors and gluteus maximus, but not the quadriceps or hamstrings.
• Activation of the muscles of the legs and trunk increase as a consequence of the increase in external load not stance width.
• Free BBS elicits and higher overall EMG (muscle activation) than squats in a smith machine, leg press and leg extension.
• The squat at moderate loads is a more effective method of activating the trunk stabilizers compared with other instability trunk exercises.
• Muscle activation is not influenced by the use of a weight belt.
(The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26(4):1169-1178, 2012)

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

Two Ways to Improve Your Health in the New Year

Just like every other year, 2014 began with people all over the world making bold resolutions, and many of them probably involved their health. While some just want to lose weight or get more exercise, others are interested in improving their overall lifestyle. This has become huge business for the health industry, and as a result, there’s an almost intimidating amount of products on the market these days. Though I don’t pretend to be an expert on the matter, I recently tested out two new health-related products that could be exactly what you need to ensure you actually follow through on that New Year’s resolution.

BASIS B1 FITNESS TRACKER

Fitness trackers were all the rage in 2013, but the Basis B1 is unique in that it not only measures things like steps walked and calories burned, but also tries to help you form new habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle. Using advanced sensors on the back of the watch that track your heart rate, motion and physiological materials like perspiration, the Basis B1 can uncover bad sleep patterns and levels of stress that you may not even be aware of. Yep, in addition to automatically recognizing activities like walking, running and biking, it also tracks your sleep, including how many hours of rest you get each night and when you go to bed and wake up. It then crunches all that data into an easy to read graph that shows when you’re most active, what time of day your heart rate is most elevated, how much you sweat and more.

basis

The Basis B1 has flaws just like any other fitness tracker (the Bluetooth syncing is particularly slow and it doesn’t account for things like stationary bike riding), but for those that want to know more than just how many calories they burned in a given day, it’s a great way to learn about your habits and even provides you with achievement-based goals towards becoming a better, healthier you. The Basis B1 also functions as a watch, and it boasts such a simple and clean design that it’s the kind of accessory you can wear without looking like you just came from the gym.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Did You Know… with Mike Furci: The Flu and Cold Edition

flu_1

A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

…you should exercise with a cold? Dr. Kaminsky and other researchers at Ball State encourage people to exercise when they have colds as long as the symptoms are above the neck. It’s the types of colds that produce symptoms below the neck like chest congestion and muscle aches that they’re more cautious with.

Two studies were performed over a decade ago in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports Medicine and showed surprising results. The researchers found no difference in symptoms between those who exercised and those who didn’t; there was no difference between maximum exercise performance between the groups, and there was no difference in recovery time from colds. (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997, Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998)

…that a fever is a natural beneficial function of your body to fight off invading organisms when the primary lines of defense, your immune system, fail? So many people misunderstand fever, and believe it to be dangerous. This is primarily due to our “take a pill for everything society” created by physicians and big pharma. Your body raises its temperature because most infectious organisms cannot survive this environment; the ideal temperature for fighting infections is between 102 and 103 degrees F. The problem is, just as our bodies are doing what’s needed to eradicate the infection, we self medicate with, or worse yet, give our children, anti-pyretic drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin by themselves or in combination.

It’s very important to think of a fever as a healing response. And contrary to popular belief, the best action is almost always little or no action. Rather than trying to lower a fever through medication, try to work through it and allow it to run its course. To support a fever, Colleen Huber and other naturopathic physicians recommend consuming liquids such as broths and water until the fever breaks. The body slows down the movement of food in the gut (peristalsis), so avoid solid food. Another and perhaps most important recommendation to support a fever is rest. Activity uses the body’s essential energy needed to fight invading organisms, and hinders the immune function.

The benefits of a fever:

• Directly kills invading organisms through heat.
• Stimulates antibody production more specific to the infection than any antibiotic.
• More interferon is produced to block the spread of viruses to healthy cells.
• Stimulates production white blood cells which mobilize and attack invaders.

When to seek medical attention for a fever:

• Anyone with a temperature above 104.5 degrees F.
• Infants 100.4 degrees F. Seek care right away.
• Infants from 1 month to 3 months old, with a temperature >100.4 degrees F, if they appear ill.
• Children between 3 months and 36 months, with a temperature above 102.2 degrees F, if they appear ill

For anyone not in the above categories, employ rest and fluids to support the fever and allow it to do its job. (Naturopathyworks.com, Mercola.com)

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Interview with Kickboxer Wayne Barrett on the middleweight title and rise of GLORY

Wayne-Barrett

GLORY is the premiere kickboxing organization in the world. And even if you aren’t familiar with it yet, Spike TV is betting it will take off. Similar to the way Spike popularized the UFC with an unprecedented TV deal in 2005, the network is betting on the crossover appeal of kickboxing, featuring GLORY kickboxing events on a monthly basis.

“We really like this sport,” said Jon Slusser, Spike’s senior Vice President of Sports. “If you talk to people who like MMA, they love kickboxing. With the growth of MMA and the growth of combat sports over the last decade, a reintroduction of the sport is what we think will give this sport the boost it needs to really climb into the spotlight,” says Slusser.

Middleweight Wayne Barrett finds himself in the perfect place at the perfect time. On the mat is where his opponents have found themselves since the former Golden Gloves boxing champ turned pro.

As an amateur, Barrett compiled a 19-1 kickboxing and Muay Thai record. Barrett’s GLORY debut came in a September when he knocked out Robby Plotkin in the first round. In his second GLORY fight, he toyed with and then knocked out previously undefeated Mike Lemaire in round two. In a total of 23 fights, he has amassed 18 knockouts.

“I’ve never seen anything moving so fast,” said Barrett about his career coinciding with the rise of GLORY as an organization.

“Everything behind the scenes is being done so well, that at this time next year we will be really relevant. GLORY has done their homework and is doing it the right way, not trying to do it all overnight. As a result, I think you’ll see a lot of crossover; guys leaving MMA for kickboxing. There’s going to be even more money in this sport because there already is. Like Joe’s check for $150,000 for winning the middleweight tournament. That is the most money a kickboxer has ever made in the United States.”

The “Joe” Barrett referred to is fellow middleweight Joe Schilling, who back in September won the four-man, one-night GLORY Middleweight Tournament and a purse of $150,000.

Saturday November 23rd on Spike TV, Barrett faces Schilling at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the inaugural GLORY Middleweight Championship.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Product Review: Titan Post Battle Products

Titan-Post-Battle-Products

MRSA – what the hell is that? MRSA is the bacteria that causes Staph infections and is a lot easier to say than its given name of “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.” It may sound like a character off of “Sesame Street,” but it is no joke. Staph infections can mutate into a flesh eating “Necrotizing fasciitis” which can devour human flesh, and sometimes, entire NFL franchises, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

One of many problems the Buccaneers have faced during a brutal 2013 season is an outbreak of MRSA, which has sidelined a total of three players, one as recent as the end of last month.

Some Bucs (and potentially former quarterback Josh Feeeman) fans would argue that head coach Greg Schiano is a form of bacteria that can’t be stopped. But a quick dose of Titan Protective Cleansers would go a long way.

MRSA is a bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics but can be prevented by simply maintaining good hygiene, and that’s where Titan’s Post Battle products have done all the work for you.

Titan’s bacteria fighting repertoire is two-pronged. First, it cleans your body with a Hair & Body Wash containing a proprietary blend that fights bacteria and fungus on your body. Then, a different blend of antibacterial agents is employed in Titan’s Equipment Spray that will make that dingy Olympic bench press in your basement clean enough to eat off of.

The Hair & Body Wash from Titan is simple and straightforward in its application and ingredients, just like UFC spokesman Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez.

The primary ingredient is a combination of quats, which are specially formulated and active against a wide variety of microorganisms. Quats are commonly used in water dilution and create a highly effective sanitizing solution.

The remaining ingredients are an organic blend of coconut oil, olive oil and tea tree oil. You don’t have to be a scientist to deduce the effect; whatever “clean” is to you is what the body wash from Titan feels like. The hair and body wash have an odorless mix that will leave you feeling clean and refreshed. There is no residue that you can feel on your body after use.

Bermudez is known for his aggressive wrestling style that transitions to some of the best “ground and pound” in MMA. The Hair & Body Wash from Titan is old school and aggressive; it straight up gets the job done and leaves you feeling reinvigorated. While high on effectiveness, it’s low on frills and costs ($7.99 a bottle).

Even if you just have basic workout equipment in your basement, it needs to be cleaned. In the same manner that the Hair & Body Wash protects your flesh from MRSA, Titan’s Equipment Spray is antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial.

To defend yourself against harmful microorganisms, bacteria and fungus, check out the full line of cleaners from Titan at www.toughestbodywash.com.

The all-natural formula will help shield you from potentially dangerous environments and women. Follow Titan on their Facebook page and Twitter.

  

Related Posts