Worried the Stair Climber Will Make Your Butt Bigger?

Or perhaps you want a larger behind and believe that spending time on the stair climber will yield this result.

As a certified personal trainer for a health club, and a user of the stair climber for my own workouts, I've had my clients use this machine – but not for changing the size of the butt.

The stair climber will not give you a bigger butt. In fact, the main buttocks muscle, the gluteus maximus, actually works less when you go up steps, than if you were running fast or walking a steep incline.

This is because hip extension is minimized when climbing steps, but more emphasized when sprinting or walking a steep grade.

The gluteus maximus’s function is hip extension—when the leg extends out behind you. The hip joint is responsible for this action, and the gluteus maximus moves the hip joint to allow this. 

Your next question might be if extending the leg out behind you, when using the stair climber, will make the butt bigger. Again, the answer is no. However, it will work more of the butt, due to this hip extension action.

Nevertheless, just because this taps into butt muscle, doesn’t mean this area will get bigger. It will get fitter and more toned if you do this enough, though this does not mean the gluteus maximus muscle will grow in size.

This is because using the stair climber with that extended leg after each step is an endurance-based activity that recruits only slow twitch muscle fiber.

Slow twitch is designed for long periods of activity. These fibers do not grow in size.
Find me one competitive sprinter who has a flat butt. Top sprinters have wonderfully developed glutes because their training is based on explosive, powerful movements—which recruit fast twitch muscle fiber, the kind that grows in size.

Hence, that area of their body shows the training well, though it’s also true that people who are genetically blessed with well-developed glute muscles are often naturally fast runners.

In summery, stair climber use, even with hip extension, will not give you a bigger butt.

Why You Need More than Mints to Have Fresh Breath for Valentine’s Day

4 Tips Straight from the Dentist’s Mouth

By Cyndi Blalock, DDS

The most important part of planning the perfect Valentine’s Day date is planning on having fresh breath.  This make-it-or-break-it step cannot be crammed in at the last minute, and believe it or not, using mints in the moment is simply not enough. 

There are four tips that every Valentine’s Day dater should know.  Whether it’s a first date or a 30th anniversary, everyone appreciates fresh breath.

1.  Clean Your Tongue
The surface of the tongue is similar to that of a fine brush.  The natural surface of the tongue can catch food debris and also bacteria.  This coating on the tongue can also catch coffee and other foul smelling irritants that can increase the mal-odor. 

By removing this with a tongue scraper, one can actually remove the foul smelling debris and bacteria and prevent the odor from returning.

2.  Watch What’s on Your Fork
Another way to decrease bad breath on a date is to watch what you eat.  Foods like garlic and onions can cause bad breath issues, as well as certain fish.  By eliminating these foods from a date night meal, you're going to greatly cut down on the risk of bad breath.

3.  Choosing the Right Mint
A good date may end in a goodnight kiss, and daters may want to have an extra dose of freshness before that happens.  But it is important to choose the right type of chewing gum or mints. 

These products that contain sugar should definitely be avoided, as they can cause dental cavities.  Sugar free or xylitol containing mints are a great choice in situations like this.

4.  See the Dentist
If it has been more than six months since the last professional dental cleaning, it is possible that there is odor-harboring buildup stuck on the teeth or below the gum lines.  No one but your dental professional can remove this buildup, so make sure to get a dental appointment before the big event.

About Cyndi Blalock, DDS: Dr. Blalock is a general dentist who owns her practice, Cardinal Dental, in St. Peters, MO.  She is a writer and her work has appeared in dental magazines, blogs and print media.  She is available for media appearances and is known for her positive attitude and  approachability.  www.cardinaldentist.com   

Avoiding ER Visit Due to CT Scan Radiation Fear?

A new investigation reveals that radiation from CAT scans isn’t as bad as once thought, so if you’re reluctant to head to the ER because you think a CT scan will be ordered…keep reading.

Radiation from X-rays is also on this fear list. But a recent report in American Journal of Clinical Oncology has some interesting findings.

The risk of cancer from CT scans and X-rays is estimated by a model called the linear no-threshold (LNT). These risk estimates, however, “have never been conclusively demonstrated by empirical evidence,” notes James Welsh, MD, a radiation oncologist with the Department of Radiation Oncology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Dr. Welsh’s research shows that the LNT model assumes there does not exist a safe dose of radiation. The LNT model is based on studies of many decades ago on fruit flies, when researchers believed there was no safe level of radiation. Their experiments did not use low enough doses, believes Dr. Welsh.

That’s not to say that radiation isn’t as dangerous as it can be. Obviously, the evidence of its dangers are quite clear in nuclear bomb survivors and in cancer patients receiving radiation treatment that damages their body.

But Dr. Welsh’s investigation considered the radiation only from CT scans and X-rays, which occur at lower doses. We can’t look at a Hiroshima survivor and deduce from that, that CT scan radiation can cause cancer.

Dr. Welsh says that skeptics about CT scan radiation should vigorously challenge danger claims, as they serve “to alarm and perhaps harm, rather than educate,” he says. He wants the LNT model to be abandoned.

If you need to visit the ER and anticipate an order for a CT scan, find out why the order is being placed. Ask how it can help guide your diagnosis. Ask what the worst case scenario might be if you refuse the CT scan (or X-ray).

Source: sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160203134456.htm

Faintness Post-Exercise: Causes, Solutions by Doctor

The feeling or sensation of being just about to pass out during your workout can come in the form of dizziness or lightheadedness.

"Dizziness and/or feeling lightheaded during exercise can be related to several issues," says Teresa Caulin-Glaser, MD, Executive Director at McConnell Heart Health Center/Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine/Division of Cardiology at Ohio State University.

"The most common two causes are dehydration and low glucose (blood sugar) levels. Oftentimes individuals exercise on an empty stomach, and the glucose levels fall. This results in lightheadedness and sometimes confusion. Having a small snack can eliminate this problem."

Gym Sessions
Thin is not always healthy if the person is malnourished, and if an out-of-shape, undernourished person decides to push hard in a gym, that person could be at risk for passing out.

Dr. Caulin-Glaser continues: "Dehydration is commonly seen in individuals exercising. Drinking fluids when you are exercising is important for a few reasons. There will be insensible loss of fluids from the body with exercising due to sweating. Also, blood vessels dilate with exercise and as a result blood pressure drops. The drop in blood pressure can last for several hours after exercise. The result can be lightheadedness."

Additionally, feeling like you're going to pass out while exercising is also a function of how physically fit you are in the first place. A person may be under-exercised; not used to good hard workouts. People in top physical condition can almost always hammer away at a workout session on an empty stomach without feeling ready to pass out.

Dr. Caulin-Glaser adds: "It is important to know that there can be cardiovascular reasons for lightheadedness and these need to be evaluated. The problems may be related to abnormal heart rhythms and/or structural heart problems. It is always important to speak to your physician about any new symptoms, I recommend regular evaluations with your primary care physician, especially if you are initiating a new vigorous exercise program. Your doctor may refer you for a cardiac evaluation based on your history and exam."

If you've been cleared for any medical problems, but are still feeling like you're on the verge of passing out during exercise, re-evaluate your eating and hydration habits.

Feel Dizzy After Exercise? Doctor Gives Causes, Solutions

A doctor gives an explanation for feeling dizzy after exercise and how to manage this problem.

People do complain of dizziness during exercise and often are not in the best of condition--not used to exertion beyond what would be a moderate level for them.  

"Exercise can trigger dizziness for number of reasons," says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD (internist), author of Beat Sugar Addiction NOW!  "These include, most often, dehydration and salt depletion."

A person who's out of shape or not accustomed to intense exercise may get dizzy simply because their body is not used to the training stimulus of rigorous exercise. Often, people do not adequately hydrate themselves, and/or eat poorly in the hours prior to the workout, if at all.

They may then exercise harder than what they are used to, and if they did not have adequate nourishment all day long preceding the workout, it would be no surprise that they'd get dizzy at some point during the exercise session.

Another possible cause of dizziness during exercise is the motion during the exercise, such as doing pivoting movements in a step class - these involve half-turns and can cause some head spinning. Some group fitness classes involve 360 degree turns, and these will cause an inexperienced person's head to spin.

Another potential cause of dizziness from working out is doing something that requires balancing, like walking on a treadmill without holding onto the rails. There are people who report that letting go makes them dizzy.

The cure for this is to let go but walk very slowly, so that the body doesn't readily sense anything different. As the body adjusts, you increase the speed while still keeping your hands at your sides and swinging naturally.

"Less common and more worrisome causes include abnormal heart rhythms and angina," says Dr. Teitelbaum. Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) can also cause fatigue and fainting.

Angina is diminished oxygen flow to the heart due to narrowing of coronary arteries. Other symptoms of angina are shortness of breath and chest pain brought on by only light exercise (stable angina), or spontaneously during rest (unstable angina).

"Problems missed most often by physicians includes autonomic dysfunction such as neurally mediated hypotension (NMH) or POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). These latter two are often associated with chronic fatigue syndrome."

Neurally mediated hypotension involves low blood pressure, and POTS is when a change in body position causes a drop in blood pressure, and fast pulse. These not only may cause dizziness, but passing out.

Other possible causes of dizziness while hitting the gym: Meniere's disease, pregnancy, PMS and side effects of medications.

If you get dizzy during physical activity and it isn't remedied with adequate hydration and food intake, as well as avoiding specific motions that trigger dizziness like spinning around in a hip hop class or doing headstands, an evaluation by a doctor would be a smart idea.