Do Blacks with Freckles Have Higher Melanoma Risk?

Do freckles raise the risk of melanoma in a black person?

Maybe you already know that melanoma risk in blacks, overall, is far lower than in whites or Hispanics, and perhaps you already know that having freckles is one of many increased risk factors for melanoma.

But what about black people who have freckles? After all, people with freckles are overwhelmingly of the Caucasian race. Blacks do get freckles, and being black does not insure against developing melanoma.

I consulted with a leading authority in the field of dermatology, Joshua L. Fox, MD, founder and director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C., of New York and New Jersey. My question was: Do freckles in blacks raise their risk of melanoma?

Dr. Fox says: “Yes.  Overall assessment of one developing a melanoma does not depend on a single factor.  It depends on various factors such as skin type, personal or family history of melanoma, life-time accumulative UV exposure, etc. Thus, we can attribute one’s risk based on one or two physical differences.  I have diagnosed melanoma in blacks.  Their high risk areas (different than that for Caucasian) are palms, soles, mouth and under the nails.”

People with dark skin are 20 times less likely to get melanoma than Caucasians (who have no family history of this disease), but this doesn’t mean they can’t develop it. However, blacks are more likely than whites to develop a certain kind of melanoma, called acral lentiginous (ALM).

ALM accounts for half of the melanomas that occur in dark skin. What’s even more troublesome about ALM is that it develops in locations that you wouldn’t think are at risk for skin cancer: soles of the feet; palms of the hands; beneath fingernails; and even on mucous membranes that line the nose, mouth and anus.

ALM may appear as a bruise, or a streak in the nail. Benign nail streaks are common, but the hallmark feature of an ALM nail streak is that it originates at the base of the nail bed, whereas a benign nail streak usually sits in the middle of the nail bed. However, this doesn’t mean that a nail streak that connects to the base of the nail bed is necessarily a melanoma.

These indefinites are why all people, including blacks and even dark-skinned blacks, should examine their skin monthly and have annual screenings for melanoma by a dermatologist.

Since blacks with freckles do have that increased risk of melanoma, is this heightened risk just in the freckled areas of their body (most prominently the face), or does this higher risk of melanoma apply to any part of their body?

Dr. Fox explains: “Once a person is at higher risk, the risk is not only in the area of freckling, but in all body areas, particularly in areas of high risk for African Americans. These are the palms, soles, nails, mouth and other mucous membranes.”

Source: skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/who_is_most.html

Why Can GERD Cause a Stomach "Hiccup"?

Have you been experiencing something like an occasional hiccup, that your doctor has said is the result of acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)?

This isn’t in reference to what we all know are “the hiccups.” When it comes to GERD, this hiccup-like sensation is different, kind of like a spasm.

“Hiccups can be associated with GERD,” says Dr. Maxwell Chait, MD, gastroenterologist at ColumbiaDoctors Medical Group in Westchester County, NY.

“It can be due to irritation of the diaphragm or the vagus nerve because of severe reflux, ulcer of the esophagus or even a tumor invading these structures. Also, severe distention of the stomach pushing up on the diaphragm can cause this, such as in gastroparesis, which is a motility disorder that can be seen in such diseases as diabetes.”

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Crazy Symptoms, Questions Answered

If you have questions about IBS symptoms, you’ll probably find the answers right here.
Below are links to numerous articles on IBS. For just about every one of these articles, I consulted with a gastroenterologist to get answers and explanations about symptoms—straight from the expert’s mouth. This way, you won’t have to scratch your head wondering what some recycled, generic information on some other website means.

What questions do you have about your IBS symptoms?

Kids with Obese Mothers Have Higher Adult Cardiac Death Risk

If you’re obese and have children, your kids have a higher risk of death in early adulthood of cardiovascular origin.

We now have yet another reason why obese mothers should lose weight: Research finds that children who have obese, and even overweight, mothers have a greater risk of early cardiovascular death in adulthood.
Several Pregnancies Are Often Blamed for a Mom’s Weight Problem
How often have you heard a woman say, “I’m fat because I’ve had four kids”? The weight gain is often traced to the increased amount of junk food in the house for those four kids.

I’m a certified personal trainer and have worked with many obese and overweight female clients who had several kids. Pregnancies, especially those that occurred years ago, do not cause a woman’s metabolism to shut down and make her fat.

Loose skin is not the same as fat; I’ve had clients who had plenty of lose abdominal skin, but had a body fat percentage in the normal range.

In fact, obesity in mothers has risen sharply in just the past two decades; this is linked to lifestyle. This latest study points out that in America, about 64 percent of childbearing-age women are overweight and 35 percent of them are obese.

Researchers from Scotland analyzed data of over 28,500 women and their over 37,700 children (beginning from 1950), using BMI: body mass index.

-Underweight: BMI 18.5 or less
-Normal: BMI 18-5 to 24.9
-Overweight: BMI 25 to 29.9
-Obese: BMI at least 30

Other variables were considered such as number of prior pregnancies, social class, infant gender and birth weight. Various factors were adjusted for to reach the final results:

When compared to offspring of women with a normal BMI, there was a 35 percent greater risk of premature death in the adult offspring of obese mothers; there was a 29 percent increased risk of admission to hospitals for a cardiovascular event in adult children of obese mothers. Finally, grown kids of obese women had a higher risk of adverse health events later on in life.

What explains this strong association?
One theory, proposed by the researchers, is that being overweight during pregnancy can cause permanent changes to the offspring’s appetite control and metabolism.

A more common theory is that obese women pass their unhealthy lifestyle habits onto their children, who grow up sticking to unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.

How often have you seen a TV program about obesity, and a very heavy person describes growing up in a house where high calorie foods abounded and were given to their child by their mother as a comforting tool or to combat boredom? The very overweight person adds that exercise was never encouraged. The TV was often their primary playmate.

Though many individuals with obese mothers break the cycle of inertia and overeating that they grew up in, growing up in such an environment can make it very difficult for plenty of adults to stick to healthy eating and adequate exercise. As a result, they are at higher risk of cardiovascular events and premature death.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814125043.htm

How Much Weight Gain Raises LDL Bad Cholesterol?

You’ll be amazed at the effect of just a small weight gain can have on LDL or bad cholesterol.

Less of a weight gain than you probably think can raise HDL, the “bad” cholesterol. “Interestingly, a 10 percent weight loss has been shown to significantly decrease a broad variety of health risk parameters,” says Dr. Richard Kelley, MD, a bariatric physician, author of “The Fitness Response” and “The Three-Hour Appetite.” I interviewed Dr. Kelley specifically for this article. A bariatric physician treats obesity.

“For example, a woman who is 5 ft. 2 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, would be at a much healthier weight, at 120 pounds, by body mass index,” says Dr. Kelley.  

“However, it is evident through research and clinical experience, that if this woman even lost 17 pounds (10%) off of her starting weight, a variety of physical parameters tend to improve.  With a 10 % weight loss, we often see blood pressure improve, blood glucose levels decrease, asthma may improve, as well as decreases in cholesterol levels, including LDL level.”
As a personal trainer, I once had a new client who wanted to lose 15 pounds. She had gained about 13 or 14 pounds of pure fat from junk food bingeing that resulted from stress. The year prior her LDL or bad cholesterol was in the 80s. 

Shortly before seeing me, she had a lipid test and this time the LDL bad cholesterol was in the 130s. She was floored because she had started eating healthier and less just a few months prior, and had even begun losing a little weight. 

I said that the LDL increase was from the 14-pound weight gain, and that had she taken the test eight weeks prior, the bad cholesterol probably would have been even higher.

Dr. Kelley explains, in reference to the 5-2 woman, “Conversely, this same woman might see elevation of her LDL and total cholesterol even with a 5 to 10 pound weight gain, over a fairly short period of time.”

Dr. Kelley stresses that genetics influence LDL response to weight gain and food. “I have seen many individuals who were well over 100 pounds overweight who had completely normal range LDL and cholesterol panels.  By the same token, most physicians have seen patients who are rail-thin who have total cholesterol and LDL levels which were off the charts.”

Dr. Kelley adds that he’s been surprised at how much of an improvement some patients experience with their lipid/cholesterol panels with just a 5-10 pound weight loss. 

He also explains, "I don’t know that there is any data that shows a direct and specific, linear correlation of increases in cholesterol with specific number of pounds of weight gained; meaning, it is unlikely you will see that a 10 pound weight gain in a susceptible individual, necessarily means that there will be a corresponding, linear increase in cholesterol levels by a particular factor of X.”

Dr. Kelley states that it’s common for doctors to observe increases in total cholesterol including LDL that cannot be attributed to just an increase in a patient’s weight.

Bench Dips with Several Plates: How to Do By Yourself

Why do I never see men doing bench dips with several weight plates? I’m a certified personal trainer, and I think I found the answer. 
It’s because they don’t know (according to a fitness site thread) how to get into position to perform bench dips with several weight plates on their lap, and they have no idea how to exit from this once the set is completed.

Only once have I seen a pair of men doing weighted bench dips with plates … but one of them would stack the weights on the other’s lap and then remove them at the end of the set. 

This kind of workout, however, can be done without a partner. I speak from my own experience. I don’t have a workout partner and thus, am forced to figure out how to do things on my own.

I perform bench dips for reps with up to four 35-pound plates on my lap, while my heels are on a stool, legs almost straight (never lock out your knees when doing dips). Feet are turned out somewhat. I get into this position with no help, and I exit with no help.

First of all, don’t use 45 pound plates. They are too big, and unless you have a thick towel on your lap, they will be uncomfortable pressing against your kneecaps. The 35-pounders will clear the kneecaps.

Set a plate on one side of the bench you’ll be sitting on. Set a stool (or second bench) at the appropriate distance from the bench you’ll be sitting on. Warm up with bodyweight-only dips.

Place feet back on floor and remove plate that’s beside you on the bench and set it on your lap. Position hands for dipping. Place one heel on the stool, then lift the other leg up and place other heel on stool. 
I do seated dips with heels on the stool, rather than the soles of my feet against the edge of the stool. Heels on stool allow me to keep my legs nearly straight.

If you’re using one 35-pounder, getting into position will be easy. After the set, while in the up position of the dip, touch butt to edge of bench, bring one foot to floor, then the other, then get your butt fully back onto the bench.

This is the technique that works for me, and it’s the same technique I use all the way up to four plates.

For doing multi-plate bench dips, I set all the weights out after doing my bodyweight-only warm-up dip. This way, I’m sitting the entire time at the bench through several sets. I’ll have two plates stacked, on either end of the bench, easily within my reach.

You need not remove the single plate off your lap after your first weighted set. Keep it there, rest, then remove a plate from the end of the bench and place atop the one on your lap. Handling the weights this way will engage the core.

With two plates on your lap, you will notice that when that first foot goes up onto the stool, while the second foot is coming up, the hamstring of the first leg will be isometrically engaged.

About that hamstring: If you have, say, 100 pounds on your lap, that support-hamstring’s going to get hit good. When it’s time for me to dip with the fourth weight plate on, I assist with this entry by pressing my lower back into the bench as I lift up the second leg.

This will be a very stiff maneuver, even if you can hamstring curl the entire weight stack of a hamstring curl machine.

With two plates on your lap, repeat the procedure I described for the single-plate dip. The procedure is the same regardless of how much weight you have on your lap, but with more weight, the technique gets more difficult.

Perform the dips before a mirror to make sure you are doing full range of dipping motion. I dip down to 90-100 degrees elbow flexion. Several times I have been unable to get up on the last rep of a set with 140 pounds on my lap (6-9 reps). 

However, I do not crash to the floor. I simply rest my mid-back against the bench, and elbows on it, heels still on the stool, and take a breather; then I remove my feet from the stool while in this resting position, then get my butt back on the seat. Removing the feet under these conditions, without spilling the weights to the floor, can be done. Bench dips with several plates, indeed, can be performed without a partner.

Lifting Weights with High Blood Pressure: Build Mass Safely

Here are weight lifting techniques for building mass that will not spike your blood pressure.

High blood pressure doesn’t mean that you can’t lift weights for building mass. I’m a certified personal trainer, and I cite a recent study out of McMaster University.

This study showed that lifting lighter weights to muscle failure is sufficient to build mass – however, this article will describe to you how to maximize this process. “Lift lighter weights to failure” is rather ambiguous.

First of all, "Rather than grunting and straining to lift heavy weights, you can grab something much lighter but you have to lift it until you can't lift it anymore," says associate professor of kinesiology at MU, Stuart Phillips.

“Muscle failure” is exactly that: You cannot lift the weight anymore. The limitation isn’t the perception that the weight has become too heavy to mechanically handle. The limitation is the intense “burning” in your muscles, the “pain” or “hurting” in the muscles. This can occur even with very light weight.
To maximize the light weight protocol, I strongly recommend drop sets with relatively short rests in between. The muscle burn will be significant after several cycles of drop sets. As for what constitutes “light” or “lighter” weights, this depends on the person doing the lifting. One person’s “light” weight is another person’s heavy weight for lifting.

Here is an example of the protocol, using the shoulder press machine in which you insert a pin into a stack of weights. This concept, however, can be applied to any lifting venue, such as pulleys, dumbbells and compound moves with barbells.

Find the load that is heavy enough to challenge you for eight reps, but that is not  --  I repeat  --  is not an 8-rep max. An 8-rep max requires straining, which one with high blood pressure will not want to do. 

So find the load that challenges you at eight reps, yet makes you feel that you can do several more reps, even five more reps. But stop at eight. This will avoid a spike in blood pressure.

Immediately lower the load by one plate worth (which on some machines is 10 pounds; other machines it’s 15 pounds). Then quickly resume lifting. 

By quickly resuming, you are keeping the muscles activated and firing, yet you are also avoiding the straining zone, since the resistance is now lowered by 10-15 pounds.

Because this load is much lighter, you may be able to achieve muscle failure without straining and spiking blood pressure.

This depends on the routine, but the more it isolates muscles (as opposed to routines like deadlifts or free barbell squats), the easier it is to achieve muscle failure without straining and spiking blood pressure.

In other words, you will most likely reach a point where you cannot do another repetition, even though you are not straining, grunting or breaking form.

When you cannot lift any more, repeat the drop set with the next lightest weight increment. Go to failure. At such a light weight, again, this should be achievable (an intense, nasty burn), well-before you reach the straining/grunting zone – avoiding a blood pressure spike.

Now, at this point, you can stop for a rest; or, you can do yet another drop set. So it may be a three- or four-drop-set routine. The higher the weight that you start out with, the more descending sets that you can do, which means a greater potential for taxing muscle fibers without significantly raising blood pressure.

Take only 60 seconds in between cycles, and do six cycles. The burning in your muscles will be significant, and you will walk away from this regimen feeling worked over.

Another tip for avoiding spikes in blood pressure, while performing this regimen, is to lift the weights fairly fast, but complete the range of motion for each repetition. Slower movements will raise blood pressure more.

"We're convinced that growing muscle means stimulating your muscle to make new muscle proteins, a process in the body that over time accumulates into bigger muscles," states Phillips. This is doable with the regimen just described, while preserving reasonable blood pressure readings.

Mix Intense Cardio with Strength Training to Burn Most Fat

Mixing short intense cardio into a strength training session will burn more fat than doing either type of exercise just by itself.
Integrating brief intense cardio in between weight lifting sets burns more fat than a session of strength training followed by cardiovascular exercise. I’m a certified personal trainer, and following are guidelines for major fat burning.

The design is as follows: Insert brief bursts of intense cardio in a strength training workout by doing the cardio immediately after each or most weight lifting sets.

The cardio segments last 30-60 seconds, and simply performing aerobics for this time period isn’t enough to incite the major fat burning. These 30-60 seconds must be intense.

The reason this burns so much fat is because a taxing of the cardiorespiratory system immediately follows a taxing of the musculoskeletal system; a lot of heavy metabolic work slamming the body all at once. The cardio segment is conducted while the body is still trying to recover from the weight lifting set.

This modality, called integrated concurrent exercise, was studied by W. Jackson Davis and colleagues (University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of California at Berkley).

Two groups were compared. One group did a strength training workout followed by a treadmill workout. The other group performed the exact same strength training workout, including same volume, and did the same quantity of exercise on the treadmill – except that the cardio on the treadmill was done right after the strength training sets.

How much of a difference in fat burning did this create after 11 weeks? It produced 991.8 percent more fat burned, when compared to the first group.

The weight lifting sets need to be intense; we’re not talking simply moving around resistance just to get through the set. The rep range should be 8-12, and the weights should be medium to heavy, so that getting through 8-12 reps is difficult.

The cardio component should get you very winded; this means 10 mph on the treadmill, not 5 mph. This principle can be applied to the stationary bike and elliptical machine; use the equivalent intensity. Fast box jumping can be substituted for running and pedaling.

Inserting short intense cardio intermittently in a strength training session will burn up a ton of fat.

Obesity Not Healthy: Increases Surgery Time for Herniated Disc

How can you have health at every size when obesity increases surgical time and hospital stay for a herniated disc?
Once again, yet another report is out slamming obesity, while “size acceptance” proponents continue to push the idea that you can enjoy health at every size. The latest report is in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Jan. 2013)\, and pertains to obesity’s negative impact on surgery for a herniated disc (lumbar).

No “health at every size” when it comes to the spine.
When compared to non-obese patients, obese patients experienced more surgical time, more blood loss and a longer hospital stay. Obese people had poorer outcomes not only from surgical treatment of disc herniation, but also from conservative treatments.

Interestingly, Jeffrey Rihn, MD, states that “this study does not specifically address whether weight loss in obese patients would affect their clinical outcome with nonsurgical or surgical treatment."

The study yielded other interesting findings. Obesity did not increase the rate of infection, complications during surgery or the need to reoperate.

And though obese patients reported no noteworthy difference in self-rated overall satisfaction and improvement regarding sciatica, they actually experienced significantly less improvement in this area, as identified by the Sciatica Bothersomeness Index and Low Back Pain Bothersomeness Index.

Another key finding was that body mass index did not affect the benefit of surgery vs. conservative treatment for a herniated disc.

Finally, recurrence of a herniated disc, plus need for more surgery was not differ substantially between obese and non-obese patients. This final finding contradicts previous studies that have been done on this topic, says the paper. Dr. Rihn explains that these study results may be helpful in directing patients about which treatment options they should undertake for a herniated disc.

“Health at every size” doesn’t apply to the spine’s shock absorbers.
“Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back,” says Mayoclinic.com. T

his doesn’t mean that thin people are at low risk for a disc herniation. Two relatives of mine, both lean athletes, were diagnosed with a herniated disc. Nevertheless, one must wonder how much obesity would have interfered with their treatment, which was conservative. If obesity has got you down, check out these articles:


Are Celebrity Personal Trainers Better than Small-town Trainers?

Ever wonder about that? Are “trainers to the stars” better at their job, than are trainers to everyday, ordinary Janes and Joes?
Celebrity trainers charge a minimum of $100 per hour  --  actually, that’s on the very low side; I’m sure they charge hundreds of dollars per hour  --  they get paid a lot more than if they were working at Bally Total Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness, the local recreation center, or some other health club or gym.

All a trainer needs is just one celebrity client to start the ball rolling, because that client will then tell all his celebrity friends of how great the trainer is. And before the trainer knows it, he or she will have celebrities lining up for sessions. Movie and TV stars will do whatever it takes to keep their bodies looking good, and they certainly have the money for it. Thus, celebrities often stay as long-term clients, or recurring clients.

Trainers to the stars then start raking in some serious dough  --  enough to finance all sorts of training videos, DVDs and market books. In fact, many end up doing infomercials.

So this then creates the illusion that they have superior skills to some trainer who is employed by a chain health club or some independently-owned gym, or to a trainer who has a private business that caters to your average housewife, banker and manicurist.

But let’s use our heads here. The celebrity trainer doesn’t quite have the experience working with obese people as the average-Joe or average-Jane trainer! 

Look at the clientele of a trainer to the stars: People who don’t really have a lot of weight to lose, if any! In fact, many times, all the trainer is hired for is to get an already-svelte movie star looking a little more toned, or some already-athletically built male TV star appearing a bit more buff. How hard can that be?

Whereas, the trainer at Bally’s or some private gym near the local Wal-Mart ends up working with quite a few really out-of-shape people, complete with thunder thighs, spare tires, saddlebags, apple shaped bodies, the whole works.

So if you want to lose 80 pounds, whom do you think is more likely to be able to help you get there: the celebrity trainer whose most overweight client had to lose only 12 pounds? Or Jane from the recreation center who has helped dozens of morbidly-obese people lose weight?

Suppose you’re built like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and you want to look like an Olympic swimmer. Who’s more likely to get you there? The trainer to hot male movie stars who really doesn’t have a whole lot of work cut out for him, or the trainer who has transformed doughy men from some small town into Greek statues?

Just because someone has trained Renee Zellweger and Beyonce and Tom Cruise doesn’t mean he or she is any better than the trainer whose clientele is limited to people who do their shopping at Wal-Mart.

Lose 15 Pounds of Fat by Spring Break without Dieting

Safe, effective way to lose 15 pounds by spring break without eating less, no dieting.

This plan works for losing 15 pounds by spring break without dieting or eating less. I’m a certified personal trainer. This article is geared towards people whose eating habits are not out of control, yet at the same time, have 15 or so pounds to lose by spring break.

You can lose the 15 pounds by spring break simply by changing your exercise habits. If you haven’t been exercising, that’s fine. If you’ve already been exercising and can’t seem to lose weight, this plan will kick-start your metabolism and force weight loss.

Do you have access to cardio equipment? 
If so, use your favorite machine and do what’s known as high intensity interval training (HIIT). Say you normally spend 45 minutes on the elliptical machine or treadmill, pedaling, walking or jogging the same, fixed pace (give or take minor changes in the settings).

Change this protocol to HIIT: After warming up, pedal as fast as possible for 30 seconds. Use a higher pedal resistance as well. Really blast it out. Then pedal easily for a few minutes. 

Switch back and forth this way for 30 minutes. Each 30-second blast should have you huffing and puffing super hard, completely winded.

Apply this concept to the treadmill. Adjust the settings every few minutes so that for 30 seconds, you are running your fastest, or walking your fastest at the highest incline, or whatever it takes to make more than 30 seconds impossible.

Then walk easily for a few minutes in between, and switch back and forth for 30 seconds. Arms are always swinging at your sides, by the way.

Do HIIT three times a week and the weight will come off in time for spring break; depending on when you begin this program, you may lose 15 pounds by the time you arrive at your spring break destination.

In addition to HIIT, do deadlifts and squats twice a week for several sets each. If you’ve been doing abdominal routines, limit these to a few times a week for no more than 10 minutes.
Yes, you read that right. Spend most of your time hitting large muscle groups. Abdominal muscles are tiny muscles that don’t require much fuel (body fat, calories) to be exercised!

Focus on large muscle groups (buttocks, legs, back, chest), as these have much greater energy requirements (body fat, calories) than do small muscles like abs and biceps!

If you haven’t been lifting weights, then start, even if you’re a woman. You’ll lose weight, not bulk up. Focus on movements that work several joints at once, like deadlifts, squats, leg presses, bench pressing and lunges (with dumbbells). Stick to HIIT three times a week. This plan will knock off 15 pounds by spring break, all without dieting.

How Many Years Does Bullying’s Effects Last?

It should be no surprise that the effects of bullying last decades.
Nobody seems to question the lasting effect that psychological abuse from one’s parents has, so why should the effects of childhood bullying be any different as far as how many years it haunts its victims into adulthood?

The results of the first study (conducted by King’s College London) to examine the effects of bullying beyond young adulthood are in: The effects of bullying last at least 40 years. Over 7,700 kids who were bullied between the ages of seven and 11 were followed up until age 50.

"Our study shows that the effects of bullying are still visible nearly four decades later,” says lead author Dr. Ryu Takizawa.

After all those years of bullying, the victims were more likely to have poorer mental and physical health at age 50. The risk of anxiety disorders, depression and suicide went up with the frequency of childhood bullying.

Another long-term impact of bullying is that it was associated with lower education level. Men who had been harassed as kids were more likely to be out of a job and had lower earning power.

Victims were less likely to be involved in relationships and less likely to have a good social support network.

Bullying should not be cast off as just a normal, inescapable part of growing up, says Professor Louise Arseneault, the study’s senior author. It “can have long-term repercussions,” she says.

How can bullying not leave a long-lasting, cruel mark on a person? Imagine being surrounded all day long by kids who make you feel unwanted and of no value, and this is occurring while your mind is developing. “What’s wrong with me?” will be the inevitable question the victim asks themselves, over and over for years. This kind of questioning helps shape what kind of adult a child becomes.

The study adjusted for parents’ socioeconomic status, the victims’ IQ, behavioral problems in the victims and low parental involvement, and yet, the negative effect of bullying remained.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417212510.htm

Obesity in Women Linked to All Breast Cancer Types

Women can’t accept a bigger size when they learn that obesity is linked to all types of breast cancer.

According to a study, women who gain weight in adulthood face a higher lifetime risk of all types of breast cancer even if they do not take hormone replacement therapy after menopause.

Published in the July 1, 2006 issue of CANCER, the study reveals that the greater the weight gain as an adult, the greater the risk for all histological types, tumor stages and grades of breast cancer, particularly advanced malignancies.

The most extremely obese women were up to three times more likely to have regional or distant metastases than those with less weight gain.

The study is the first to investigate the relationship between weight gain and type of breast cancer.
Breast cancer risk is linked to increased lifetime levels of circulating estrogen. Fat tissue increases circulating estrogen, thereby adding to the risk. Previous studies have shown, though, that the risk can be affected by other factors.

Postmenopausal women who take hormone replacement therapy actually mitigate the effects of obesity on cancer risk. Moreover, current weight as defined by body mass index is not as important as a woman’s weight gain from the age of 18.
While there is much literature on the risk of obesity and breast cancer, there is no data on whether that risk is specific for the type of breast cancer.

Led by Heather Spencer Feigelson, Ph.D., M.P.H of the American Cancer Society, researchers investigated the risk between weight gain and type of invasive breast cancer among 44,161 postmenopausal women who were not taking hormone therapy.
The researchers found that the greater the weight gain, the greater the risk for all types, stages, and grades of breast cancer. Compared to women who gained 20 pounds or less during adulthood, women who gained over 60 pounds were almost twice as likely to have ductal type tumors and more than 1.5 times more likely to have lobular type cancers.

The risk for metastatic disease increased for all women who gained weight, with the risk greater than three-fold for women who gained over 60 pounds. As expected, weight gain increased the risk of estrogen receptor positive tumors, but not of tumors that did not present estrogen receptors.

Dr. Feigelson and her colleagues conclude that “these data further illustrate the relationship between adult weight gain and breast cancer, and the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight throughout adulthood.”


Decline Leg Press: Mistakes to Avoid; How to Do

The decline leg press is one of the best weight lifting routines you can do for shaping and strengthening legs, as well as burning up fat. Depending on how you use the decline leg press machine, you can build significant muscle mass, if that is your goal.

I’m a certified personal trainer and I also use the decline leg press faithfully; however, as simple as this exercise sounds, there are some mistakes that often get made. The “horizontal” leg press machine is similar to the decline version, but this article will focus on the decline leg press because it’s more effective than the horizontal version.

However, most of the mistakes that I often see people commit on the decline leg press are the same that I see done with the horizontal.
The following are mistakes on the decline leg press:

#1: Locking out the knees at the end of the push-out of the platform. I’ve even seen legs actually hyperextended. Oddly, it’s always a woman who hyperextends the legs (knee lockout) with the decline leg press.

Locking out the knees can lead to cartilage damage. Plus, it’s a cheat move in that it momentarily takes tension off the thighs and butt, which is what you want to target with the decline leg press. Continuous muscle tension will produce far better results.

#2: Pushing off with the balls of your feet; lifting your heels from the platform. This makes it easier to push, but it takes some work away from your thighs and butt, and transfers it to your calves.

Do you want to shape and tone your butt/thighs, or your calves? If you want to work the calves, there are calf-raise machines. If you want to work the thighs and butt, keep your feet flat on the decline leg press platform.

#3: Allowing your butt to lift off the seat as you lower the weight towards you. It’s hard to avoid doing this if you want to go down deeply. But be more aware of it; this can strain the lower back. Do lower back stretching exercises to improve this area’s flexibility.

#4: Never doing deep lowering. If the resistance is heavy enough, you can’t lower the weight deeply with the decline leg press. A very heavy routine permits only a 90 degree leg bend.

However, you should also work the entire range of motion, a deep release of the weight. This will recruit different muscles, and in a different way, than from a 90 degree release. You’ll need to use lighter weights, of course.

Don’t go overboard with deep releases if your body is not used to them, or you might get a muscle pull. Use very light weights to start, to gradually introduce the muscles/tendons to this move.

Don’t make these mistakes with the decline leg press, and you’ll get results much faster as well as reduce risk of injury.

Housework Vs. Strength Training & Cardio Exercise

How does housework as exercise compare to strength training and cardio routines?

Bah housework! You’re fooling yourself if you think doing housework takes care of your daily exercise quota.
I’m a certified personal trainer. However, you don’t need advice, though, from a personal trainer or exercise physiologist to realize that housework cannot replace structured cardio and weight-bearing exercise.

That trim, strong, energetic, well-postured woman who can rearrange the furniture in the home with ease didn’t get that way from doing housework. 

She got that way from working out with weights and performing various cardio like jogging, power hiking and step classes. 
Who feels invigorated and energized after a session of housework?

If anything, housework is draining, because it involves haphazard, erratic motions, often placing undue stress on the lower back. Housework often is not done on a regular, structured basis, either. You cannot compare doing the laundry, vacuuming and changing the bed sheets with the rhyme and reason of using strength training machines and dumbbells.

Housework typically does not require repetitions, and repetitions are one of the key features of a successful exercise regimen.

For example, the deadlift routine involves bending over at the hips, keeping the lower back arched, legs a little bent, and picking a barbell off the floor, arms straight, and then straightening the body as you continue holding the barbell with straight arms.

You then set the barbell back down with a lower back arch, legs still bent, arms always straight. Then you pick it up again, and keep doing this for repetitions to get a training effect.

Picking up a basket of dirty laundry is similar to a deadlift motion. However, there are two problems here. First, you pick it up only once that day, because after you pick it up, you dump it in the washing machine. You just did one repetition only. Secondly, the weight of that laundry basket was negligible.

Essentially, you deadlifted for one rep only 4 or 5 pounds. Oh, I might add that the range of motion was compromised because the laundry basket handles are much higher off the floor than where you’d pick up a barbell.

After the house is clean, it may stay clean for a while. Exercise needs to be done almost daily, and ideally daily (as our ancient ancestors did to survive; this is how the human body evolved). However, don’t exercise the same muscle groups two days in a row when it comes to strength training.

With strength training, you can easily keep track of progress, because you can increase the weight, and increasing the weight further stimulates the body for improvement. How do you make progressions with housework?

The load of laundry for that 4-5 pound, one-rep deadlift never gets heavier than 5 pounds once the laundry reaches the brim of the basket. How do you increase the resistance of vacuuming, mopping or changing bed sheets? 

But you can increase the speed or incline on a treadmill. You can use a higher stepping height in a step aerobics class. You can use the 20 pound dumbbells instead of the 15 pounders.

America continues to get fatter and sicker, yet Americans have not been doing less housework. The medical industry makes billions of dollars a year on sick people. Connect the dots. A PhD in exercise physiology is not necessary to understand that housework should not count as exercise. Don’t confuse this, however, with doing deep lunges while vacuuming. This isn’t the same thing.

Incorporating deep lunges while vacuuming is not “housework” per se. It is instead adding vacuuming to your lunge workout! Bunny hopping from one room to the next as you collect errant toys and dirty clothes is not housework per se. It is adding housework to your plyometric/aerobic session!

But when people claim that housework is good exercise, this incorporating technique is not what they mean. They actually mean regular housework, the same activity that people have been doing for years. 

Housework suddenly doesn’t count as effective exercise just because someone one day decided to calculate the hourly calorie-burn of vacuuming and mopping.

Dumbbell Curls Vs. Barbell Curls: Pros and Cons

Dumbbell curls vs. barbell curls: Which is better, and what are the pros and cons?
Many of the great bodybuilding champs swear by barbell curls, yet many other bodybuilding legends swear by dumbbell curls.

I'm a certified personal trainer, and it's interesting to say which is better when comparing barbell curls to dumbbell curls, especially since it depends on your goals. 

But let's look at it this way: Which routine  –  dumbbell curls or barbell  –  will better prepare you to have the strength to scoop your arms under a family member who just fainted and pick him or her up?

Dumbbells will better prepare you for this event because they allow subtle shifts in hand/wrist and even forearm position while lifting, and this is what would occur if you were lifting a person.

Of course, you need more than strong biceps to scoop something heavy off the floor; you also need stability and strength in your lower back, plus legs (“Lift with your legs”).

Barbell curls vs. dumbbell curls: Both routines have their virtues, and you should not replace one with the other, even though it's okay to stick to just one mode for a while when you get tired of the other.

With dumbbells, you have greater range of motion, since you can bring your arms back further. A barbell will get in the way as it makes contact with your front, thus limiting range of motion. Many people don't like this.

With dumbbells, you can include wrist movements during the routine. A barbell, which fixes the wrists in place, prevents this. Dumbbell biceps routines more closely mimic real-life lifting, because in real-life lifting, your wrists are rarely in a fixed position, but rather, in a variable position, sometimes continuously shifting angles.

A barbell also has limitations if all you have is a standard straight bar, because the straight bar has a tendency to strain the wrists during biceps routines. You can counteract this strain by using dumbbells and rotating your palms inward a bit.

In addition to a standard straight bar is the “E-Z” bar, which is very popular for biceps routines, because the bent nature of the middle portions of the bar allow you to use it with inward palms, eliminating wrist strain. But if you don't have access to an E-Z bar, you're stuck with the straight bar.

Dumbbells allow you to do hammer curls, and are also far more convenient to use while in a seated position, expecially a declined position. Try doing barbell biceps routines in a seated declined position.

However, there's nothing like doing biceps routines with a loaded Olympic bar. The length of this bar adds a new dimension to the resistance, and many women struggle with an unloaded bar because it's long and weighs 45 pounds.

Imagine curling one of these with a 25 pound plate on each end.

I myself use both dumbbells and barbells, but if I had to choose just one type of equipment, it would be the dumbbells.

Leg Muscles Vs. Back Muscles: Which Burns More Fat?

When it comes to burning fat, do back muscles win over legs, or vice versa? Well, it all depends…

When leg muscles are compared to those of the back, which burns more fat? I’m a certified personal trainer.

When it comes to leg muscles vs. back in terms of burning the most fat, the answer is based on potential, because it depends on the exercise routine and how it’s carried out.

Leg muscles have the potential to burn more fat than those in the back. But the reverse is also true. 

However, suppose the back muscles are subjected to the most vicious weight lifting routine imaginable for this part of the body, and likewise, the legs are stressed with the most wicked weight workout conceivable.

With that being said, which muscle group would burn the most fat: legs, or back? It is legs! There is simply more muscle fiber packed into the body from the hips down, and this includes the muscle group that enables the legs to perform vital movements: the buttocks muscles.
Which lower body routines, when done intensely and with heavy weight, burns the most energy? Squats with a free barbell. Other major calorie burners are Smith squats, hack squats, deadlifts and leg presses (full range of motion).

Which back routines, when done intensely and with heavy resistance, burn the most fat? Pull-ups, chin-ups, lat pull-downs and bent-over dumbbell rows.

The way a routine is performed also influences how many calories are burned. Squats with light resistance will not burn as much fat as chin-ups to failure. This would be an example in which the back muscles burn more fat than those in the quads, hamstrings and glutes. Heavy lat pull-downs to failure will burn much more fat than will deadlifts with a 50 pound barbell.

Calories burned is also influenced by the rep max. A 10-rep max (and I mean a true, exhausting 10-rep max with your heaviest weight) will burn more fat than doing 15 reps and then stopping even though you could go to 20.

If rest time in between sets is too long, fat-burning potential is compromised. If rest time is too short, it’s compromised simply because you will not be recovered enough to exert significant effort for the next set.

Range of motion is also a factor. Performing decline leg presses with tons of weight piled on the machine, but lowering the sled only five inches, won’t use that many calories.

Lighten the weight load and bring your legs down all the way so that your knees go past your chest on either side. This will recruit much more muscle fiber. Find your 12 rep max and do the pressing in this way, with 45 seconds in between sets, for five sets, for a blistering fat burning workout.

When considering maximal intensity and the best compound routines, leg muscles burn more fat than those in the back.

Gym Workout Tips to Get Hardbody, Burn Fat

Pay attention o these gym workout tips if you want a fat-burning hardbody.

Below are some tips to expedite your progress towards a hardbody and burning fat. I’m a certified personal trainer. Many of my clients want a “hard body,” including women.

5 ways to increase intensity of kettlebell swings
#1. Use a heavier kettlebell. Treat kettlebell swings as you would any other weight lifting movement. 

For example, when bench pressing, instead of doing reps for one minute straight or doing 30 reps, you’d typically set the weight heavy enough so that anywhere from eight to 12 or even 15 reps would be very challenging.
For the KB swing, apply a similar principle. Use a kettlebell that makes 12 to 15 reps difficult, yet allows you to maintain good form.

#2. Go deeper on the squat. Make sure you’re not merely hinging at the hips. Keep back as upright as possible and squat deeper.

#3. Swing the KB deeper between your legs. This will require more leaning forward, but at least aim to keep an arch in your lower back; do not round the back.
 #4. Hold the KB at the top of the movement for a one- or two-count.

#5. Lower the kettlebell more slowly; don’t let it drop down. Many people don’t lower it with control, thereby cheating themselves out of this “negative” segment of the movement. Implement these moves to increase fat-burning.

Killer wall ball squats
Stand with a stability ball between your back and a wall, holding a 10 or 15 pound dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging straight at sides, feet shoulder width or a little wider apart.
Keeping back securely against the ball (don’t let it part from the ball), sink down as low as possible, meaning, your thighs are going way past parallel to the floor. You are nearly “ATG.”
Keeping back against the ball, power back up. Do not lock your knees at the top; keep a soft bend. Do eight to 12 reps. Rest 90 seconds and repeat. 

Remember to maintain an arch in the lower back, keeping the back against the ball, chest proud, throughout the entire set. This exercise is a great fat-burner.

Whom do you work out near?
If you want to get rich, would you hang out around poor people and copy what they were doing? Of course not; you’d hang with the rich folks and find out what they’ve been doing that got them rich.
Likewise, if you want a fat-burning hardbody, it makes sense to work out where most of the hardbodies are in the gym.
The free weight area. Yes, you know that’s where most of the hardbodies are. Maybe they’re on to something. Instead of confining your workouts to the cardio equipment area and weight machines, spend more time in the free weight area so you can figure out what the hardbodies are doing that you’re not.
What’s different about the way the free weight men and women exercise? We’ll let you in on a secret: The hardbodies, including women, tend to do “big” exercises like the barbell squat, barbell lunge, deadlift, bench press, heavy rows and heavy dumbbell press.

Follow these workout tips and you’ll be closer to getting a fat-burning hardbody.