Overtraining: A Simple Test Through Your Heart Rate

We know that we must train hard in order to achieve our goals, but how hard is too hard? We provide you this week with a very simple test to see if you are overtraining. This test is known as the Orthostatic Heart Rate Test, and it involves calculating your heart rate, then calculating it again after a very small effort.

To begin, you will need a stopwatch so you can measure your heart rate. In order to measure your heart rate, find a place on your body (just to the side of your Adam’s apple, or on your wrist), and calculate the number of pulses in 10 seconds. Then multiply that number by 6 and you have your heart rate in beats per minute.

Now, follow these simple instructions:

1) Lay down and rest for at least 15 minutes

2) Record your heart rate – we will call this R1

3) Stand Up <-small effort!

4) Record your heart rate again – call this R2

5) Record the difference between R2 and R1.

If this difference is greater than 15-20 beats, then you are probably overtraining. You have not fully recovered from the previous day’s workout and you should consider adjusting your workout routine.

info from (Swaim, Saviano, Edwards, 2002)

Edmund S. Crelin, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy at the Yale University School of Medicine, served as an expert witness in the case and supplied detailed analyses of various claims. With respect to the above, he stated:

Nerves do not give off a flow of nerve energy. Nerves are gland cells. They produce and release a hormone that causes the inhibition or the contraction of muscle cells and the inhibition or enhancement of secretion by a gland cell that includes another nerve cell. That is all they do, no more, no less. They do not actually conduct electricity or any other form of energy.

When a nerve cell undergoes its function of secreting a hormone, changes occur in its outer cell membrane that allow electrically-charged ions to move in and out of the cell in a step-wise fashion along the full extent of the nerve. This is what really occurs when a nerve is described as “conducting an impulse” or “firing.” A spinal nerve at the intervertebral opening is actually a thin tube of connective tissue containing the extensions of millions of nerve cells. These extensions are the axons that are also described as “fibers.” This latter term is misleading because it connotes a certain firmness such as fine wires would have. Nothing could be more incorrect. The axons are delicate, flimsy structures. Since they are merely elongated or drawn out parts of cells they need nourishment along with the cells that make up their sheaths. Therefore, delicate blood vessels are contained in what is called a nerve at the visible level. If compression of a nerve does not directly kill the axons, the axons may die because the compression cuts off the flow of blood in the vessels of the nerve. Compression of a nerve cell anywhere along its extent can cause it to secrete its hormone. If it is a sensory nerve cell, it can cause the brain to experience pain. If it is a motor nerve cell, the hormone can cause a muscle cell to contract.

If the motor nerve cells to a skeletal (voluntary) muscle die, the muscle will be paralyzed and also die. This is because the motor nerve cells continuously supply skeletal muscle cells with substances needed for their survival, above and beyond the hormone the nerve cells secrete to make the muscle contract. This is not the case with the motor nerve cells to glands, heart muscle, or smooth (involuntary) muscle. Complete severance of the motor nerves from the spinal nerves to the heart, glands (salivary, thyroid, liver, pancreas, etc.), and smooth muscle of the lungs, esophagus, stomach, gall bladder, intestines, etc., has only transient effects. The gland cells and smooth and cardiac muscle cells not only survive, but function normally. They surely do not become diseased.


Stop These Top Food Sensitivities for Beginners

As the age old adage goes, you are what you eat.  Many individuals simply do not realize, however, how true this saying really is.

Each of us has unique body characteristics. We each use our bodies in different ways. Some of us exercise regularly; some of us never do. Genetics and age also plays a part in overall health. Therefore, a food that might cause side effects in your neighbor may not affect you at all. On the other hand, ‘something you ate’ may be the cause of that nagging problem that has been hindering your workout or your overall well-being.

So, Stop These Top Food Sensitivities for Beginners and let’s discuss 10 food side effects that may surprise you

  1. Stress

Many of us turn to so-called comfort foods during times of stress. However, the experts suggest doing otherwise, and for reasons more so than just maintaining a good figure.  The majority of common comfort foods include caffeine, sugar, processed foods, saturated fats, refined sugars, salts, alcohol, and tobacco, all known to create further stress in the human body.  These foods enact a stimulant-like effect in an already overloaded system, furthering the physical symptoms of stress.  Known as sympathomimetics or pseudo stressors, these foods may bring psychological comfort momentarily, but in the long run, these foods stress the body’s processing abilities and cause the individual to consume more of these types of foods, creating a cycle of poor nutrition and a stressed system.

  1. Insomnia

The inability to sleep at night, while sometimes caused by external factors, may be intricately linked to your diet.  Diet experts list certain food ingredients that often interfere with the ability to sleep, including:

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Common food additives such as MSG and other artificial flavorings

By cutting down on these items, especially prior to sleep, individuals may find a full night’s rest much easier to come by in the future.

  1. Sleepiness

Other foods are known to induce sleepiness.  For some individuals, eating these foods at work or the office can make the rest of the day a living nightmare of lethargy and nodding off at your desk.  Many of us are familiar with the effects of Thanksgiving dinner. We stuff ourselves with turkey and all the trimmings, and then feel the urge to lay down for a quick nap. Aside from a full stomach creating a feeling of satiety, which can lead to the desire to sleep, turkey has high levels of tryptophan, an ingredient that causes sleepiness. Many other foods do as well, although not all foods that can induce sleepiness include tryptophan. Foods to watch out for include:

    • Cheese
    • Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Turkey/Poultry
    • Tofu
    • Honey
    • Almonds
    • Bananas
    • Rice
    • Beans
    • Oatmeal
    • Papaya
    • Hummus
  1. High Blood Pressure

The dangers associated with high blood pressure are well known. Food and food ingredients known to contribute to high blood pressure include:

  • Salts
  • Red meats
  • Foods high in fat
  • Foods high in sugar

It is interesting to note, however, that dark chocolate, although high in sugar, potentially lowers blood pressure, as reported by researchers in the Aug. 27, 2003 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

  1. Kidney Stones

Any individual that has experienced kidney stones can attest to the pain and discomfort this medical problem can cause.  If kidney stones are common in your family, or you simply want to do what you can to avoid them, watch out for:

  • Salt
  • Rhubarb
  • Fructose
  • Apple juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Peanuts
  • Soy foods
  • Beets
  • Spinach
  1. Memory Impairment

Over time, many individuals notice increasing memory difficulties. While much is yet to be learned about age-related memory loss, it has been reported that certain foods seem to exacerbate gradual memory loss and cognition impairment, including:

  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats
  • Shellfish
  • High cholesterol food
  • Organ meats (liver, kidneys, etc.)
  1. Tooth Staining

Believe it or not, very few people have truly white teeth. Genetics, aging, and certain medications can affect tooth color. Most of us have teeth in varying shades of yellow. However, a huge industry has grown up around teeth whitening, as many individuals desire what has come to be known as the ‘celebrity’ smile. Our teeth respond to excellent home oral care, but brushing and flossing alone may not be enough to achieve the pearly white appearance you desire.  Certain foods have long lasting staining properties that brushing along may not be able to erase, so if you want whiter teeth without visiting the dentist, be sure to take good care of your teeth at home and avoid:

  • Berries
  • Curry
  • Coffee
  • Cola
  • Teas
  • Red wine
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  1. Thirst

The truth is that few of us are adequately hydrated. Add the stress of our environment, pollution, poor nutrition, and poor lifestyle choices, and it’s easy to see how dehydration can occur. Certain foods as well are known to cause thirstiness, which can further dehydrate the body and cause headaches, low blood pressure and other much worse conditions.  Foods contributing to thirst include salty, fatty, spicy and sugary foods and drinks.  The best option for overcoming any form of thirst should always be water. Your internal organs, digestive system, skin and overall bodily functions will thank you.

  1. Nausea

Aside from alcohol, there are some relatively unknown foods that have the side effect of nausea in a large number of individuals.  Foods containing yeast, gluten products, and lactose may contribute to nausea, and a simple avoidance of these products is the best way to solve the problem. Yummly has great recipes of yeast free, gluten free, lactose free containing foods, obviously these are all carbs, because meats don’t contain the above.

  1. Water Retention, Bloating, or Swelling

After a large meal, many individuals will experience some form of bloating or feeling excessively full; however, certain foods, even in moderate intake, are known to cause extreme water retention and bloating in people.  These foods include:

  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • High sodium foods
  • Chocolate

How can you know which foods may be triggering your unwanted symptoms? Trial and error. Simply remove the suspected food from your diet and see if your symptoms improve or go away completely.  You can even skip the whole elimination process on your own, and go have testing done.  The tests are called Food and Environmental IgG & IgE Testing – An ELISA analysis to determine IgG and IgE antibody levels for specific food and environmental allergens.  If you are in Ottawa, I send all my clients to Ottawa Integrated Health Centre.

Eric Thomas The Truth Motivational Speech

Eric Thomas delivers a speech about the desire for success, and how many people do not fully realize the level of commitment it requires. The question is: if you want to succeed, just how far are you willing to go in order to attain it?

This is a great video for anyone to watch, but it also very much so applies to anyone wanting a healthier lifestyle. Do you really want success, or do you just sort of want it?

Eric Thomas The Truth Motivational Speech


How can breathing help me lose weight?

In terms of fat storage mechanism, your cells always have two choices – they either release energy or they form fat. By forming fat, cells can process food with less oxygen. It’s oxygen that provides the fuel to produce the energy. Unfortunately, if you’re not breathing properly, you’re not delivering enough oxygen to your cells and they’re forced (practically at gunpoint) to use the “low oxygen” or fat storing processing route. That’s why overweight people often feel tired. Their cells aren’t releasing enough energy. If you notice when you get stressed, you go to shallow breathing, again not getting enough oxygen.  Stress causes all sorts of problems in the body and mind, which are connected at all times.  Seriously, 99% of people don’t even know they are shallow breathers when they are stressed.  Relax, and open up your breathing. Breath deep and slow and you’ll LITERALLY STOP, the bad effects of oxygen deprivation in the body.

A study by a famous weight-loss facility shows that 73 percent of all people who need to lose weight have faulty metabolisms. Why? Quite simply, they don’t get enough oxygen. How could you possibly burn fat and other nutrients if you don’t have enough fuel?

As you learn to breathe properly, you begin to deliver the oxygen your cells need to process food. You stimulate the enzymes that burn fat, which naturally increases your metabolic rate and help the body recover.  Recovery in the NOW, helps you burn fat and keeps you strong and healthy.

Proper breathing changes your body’s chemistry.  Activities that trigger the best breathing patterns are Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Resistance training, Qi Gong, Deep Sleep. A true athlete trains his breathing along with his/her motion execution.  When you sleep, you breaths get deeper and slower, this is when the body recovers very well.

The Top 5 Training Myths


The Top 5 Training Myths

Myth No. 1:

I need exercises to work my ‘lower abs’ and melt off my pot
First of all, there’s no such thing as ‘lower abs.’
The six-pack you’re going for is really one long muscle, called the
rectus abdominis, that extends from below your chest to your pelvis.
To work your abs, you should do exercises to target all four muscles:
the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques and the
transverse abdominis. Second, doing crunches won’t help you get a
‘six-pack’ if you have a bed of fat across your abdominal area. In
order the see the muscles, you must bring down your body fat.

Myth No. 2:

Whenever I’m not tender the next day, I didn’t exercise tough
A lot of people apply muscle tenderness as a estimate
of how good their workout is. Nonetheless, muscle tenderness is
induced by small splits in the muscle fibers and, although some
tenderness is awaited if you regularly vary your program, being tender
for days after your workout most likely means you overdid it.
Whenever you’re tender after every workout, you’re not permitting your
body time to recoup, which is when you go through the most muscle
development. To prevent tenderness, you should warm up before your
workout and stretch out before and after. Whenever you experience
tenderness, rest for a day or so and then do the same exercises that
stimulated you to be sore in the beginning, only lower the intensity

Myth No. 3:

If I can’t workout often enough and hard enough, I might as
well not even do it.
The general rule for weight loss is to
do cardio 4-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes as well as weight
training 2-3 times a week. Some people simply don’t have the time to
plan out their schedule to prioritize training time and they think,
since they can’t do all of that, why do ANY of it? Remember: Any
exercise is better than no exercise, even if it’s only a 15-minute
walk. Being physically active is proven to reduce stress and make you
healthier. So, even if you can’t make it to the gym, you have no
excuse not to do something active each day.

Myth No. 4:

Strength training will make me “bulk up” Some women
avoid weight training because they don’t want to bulk up. However,
strength training is a critical phase to maintain a healthy state of
condition and will strengthen your body not just the muscular/skeletal
system but all systems will be improved. Strength training will also
create sustainable fat loss because muscle is so energy demanding and
melts fat off the body with the right nutrition to compliment your
training. There are many researched effects of weight training on
women and findings that “the average woman who strength trains two to
three times a week for eight weeks will gain lean muscle mass and
lose body fat. Women typically don’t gain size from strength
training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of
the hormones that cause bulking up.”

Myth No. 5:

If I eat more protein, I can build big muscles.
Building muscle mass involves two things: Using enough weight to
challenge muscles beyond their normal levels of resistance and eating
more calories than you burn. There are other training variables you
can incorporate to achieve intensity levels to build muscle, but safe
overload is the priority. Eating just higher amounts of protein is a
good start, but balanced nutrition including good fats and low
glycemic carbs is crucial for delivering the right nutrients to your
body to achieve the optimal results. Muscle building is also related
to hormone production. Testosterone, Growth Hormone, Insulin, IGF-1
are the most important to help you build lean muscle.

Poor Sleep and Binge Eating

imaiiikgesPoor Sleep and Binge Eating

Do you ever get tired and crave

Intense cravings throughout the day for carbs and sweets can be
a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. A hormone called
ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite, increases when you don’t get
enough sleep. So people with high levels of ghrelin often find it
difficult to resist temptations — think cookies, chocolate, and
other high-calorie foods. Instead of sugary snacks, try adding sweet
dreams to your nights.

Sleep affects many hormones. The hormone leptin signals your brain
when you’re full. If you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels
decrease. Therefore you are less likely to stop eating when you have
had enough to eat because your brain doesn’t “see” the red light. You
may find that you can regulate your appetite by regulating your

Both leptin and ghrelin are major influences in energy balance.
Leptin (long acting hormone) helps supress food intake. Over used
Leptin from long term caloric restrictions such as caloric BMR or
lower, can reduce the amounts of leptin produced therefore, can cause
muscle catabolism, not good for fat loss for many reasons other than
the obvious, which is muscle melts fat. Obese people are usually more
leptin resistant. If you produce large levels of Leptin, you can be
resistant to its actions.

Ghrenlin (fast acting hormone) stimulates food intake. This hormone
is time triggered too. Just like being consistent with your meals
throughout the day, when your starting a new meal plan, for at least 2
weeks will give you great results in making your getting the benefit
of this hormone. Ghrelin, secreted from the stomach, particularly
influences the metabolism of fat tissue by promoting its storage
during hard times. One glass of water before every meal may decrease
the amount you will eat and suppresses ghrelin. There’s also some
research that Ghrelin imbalance may cause IBS.

The majority of hormones can be trained to perform their actions, by
what habits you form on a consistent basis.

As you know, when one hormone is out of balance, the rest soon to
follow. Ghrelin induces other metabolic actions such as spikes in
blood sugar, called the hyperglycemic effect. Hyperglycemia
leads to insulin hormone resistance, which leads to diabetes or other
pancreatic malfunctions. Therefore modified fasting, which decreases
ghrelin secretion and increases leptin, may provide an effective
technique for treating obesity. Modified fasting is a fancy word for
watching your portions and staying in your caloric requirements for
the functions you need to perform on a daily basis.

The desire for food is controlled by complex interactions between
hunger/satiety and caloric or energy requirements. Sleep is a huge
part of the energy requirement function. By slowing down digestion
and increasing the length of time food stays in the stomach,
practicing good sleeping habits, it is possible to maintain
equilibrium between ghrelin and leptin. Through fasting and chewing
your food slowly you can suppress ghrelin and hunger at its origin.

A great tip for sleep is to have a calming tea, an hour before
bedtime. Italian Chamomile is one of my favorite