When Weightlifting Belts Are Necessary, and When They’re for Show

Weightlifting belts can be fantastic and boost your performance, but they’re very commonly misunderstood, and often misused. Let’s break down what weightlifting belts do and when you’ll really benefit from wearing one.

Source: When Weightlifting Belts Are Necessary, and When They’re for Show

You don’t need to splurge on a $100+ belt, but please don’t go for the velcro belts and think you’re doing yourself any good. A leather belt should be extremely uncomfortable and stiff the first few times you use it, but after a month or so will be nicely broken in.

This Electric Fork Simulates a Salty Flavor By Shocking Your Tongue

Dousing every meal in salt might make food tastier, but all that extra sodium is eventually going to raise your blood pressure—giving you bigger problems than bland food. So researchers in Japan have built a prototype electric fork that uses electrical stimulation to simulate the taste of salt.

Source: This Electric Fork Simulates a Salty Flavor By Shocking Your Tongue

Does it have an MSG setting? 😉

According to most science, with some exceptions for people with a hypersensitivity, the salt & blood pressure thing isn’t true: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/its-time-to-end-the-war-on-salt/

The other thing to consider about table salt is the amount of iodine that’s in it, as a preventative measure against iodine deficiency and gout.  That’s why some recipes specifically call for other types of salt, but as you can see – table salt should not be avoided entirely.

Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

We already knew BMI isn’t a great measure of whether a person is fat or not, but now a study confirms that it’s not a good measure of health either.

Source: Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

It’s weird that BMI has stuck around so prominently. It’s a crude, blunt instrument that people think is precise. The only inputs in the equation are height and weight so it’s essentially meaningless.

Husband Saves Wife’s Life by Donating Kidney After Dieting and Exercising to get his Blood Pressure Low Enough for Surgery

In sickness and in health 🙂

A man has spent a year losing 70lbs so he could donate his kidney to his wife.

PJ Spraggins was delighted when he discovered he was a perfect match for wife Tracy, who was told her life-long battle with Lupus would kill her if she didn’t get a transplant. The waiting list is seven years long.

Source: Husband saves wife’s life by donating kidney after spending a year dieting and exercising to get his blood pressure low enough for surgery

Probably saved his life too.

Why Shouldn’t You Take Medicine with Grapefruit Juice?

The most fascinating part about this is that they only discovered it fairly recently, and by accident. They were doing tests to see if a drug interacted with alcohol, and sweetened the alcohol with grapefruit juice for the subject… I guess they somehow realized it wasn’t the alcohol that had the reaction with the medicine.

If that guy preferred cranberry juice, we may still not know.

Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

Take one look at someone in Scorpion Pose and you’ll know: yoga can build strength and balance. But how does it stack up to traditional strength training—and what can’t yoga do for your body?

Source: Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

What about hot yoga specifically?  Heat makes you feel like you’re working harder, but that’s not a benefit by itself. Compare to sitting in a hot room—you’re sweating [and miserable], but it doesn’t count as exercise.

If you do it often enough that you’re getting acclimated to the heat, that will help you exercise harder in the heat, like if you run a race on a hot day. There are some small benefits to exercising in the heat, but it doesn’t turn a non-cardio exercise into a cardio one.

Timing Your Blood Pressure Meds Right Might Prevent Diabetes

In surprising new research, experts report that the timing of taking your blood pressure medicine could have a big impact on whether or not you develop type 2 diabetes.

Specifically, the Spanish researchers found that taking blood pressure medications at bedtime rather than waiting until morning may cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half.

Source: Timing Your Blood Pressure Meds Right Might Prevent Diabetes

Controlling blood pressure is one of the main goals in the care of diabetics. The ultimate disease processes that kills people in diabetes is atherosclerosis which then leads to coronary artery and peripheral arterial disease. It also leads to chronic renal insufficiency (bad kidneys, basically – that’s why diabetics tend to end up on dialysis), retinopathy, and arguably contributes significantly to vascular dementia and stroke. Any number of those consequences of diabetes can be fatal.

So, then, if we can prevent atherosclerosis in the first place, we can prevent many of those downstream consequences. That’s why it’s important to control things like blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and activity level in patients with diabetes. Using that logic, it makes sense that this would be helpful to someone who already has diabetes as well (and for similar reasons).

That said, there is a link between nocturnal hypotension and ischemic optic neuropathy. So you may reduce your diabetes risk, but you may increase your risk of vision loss. The theory is the low blood pressure at night time leads to such low perfusion of the optic nerve that it is irreparably damaged. As a result, physicians may recommend the opposite of this study. I should point out this is anecdotal evidence from other doctors. Large scale studies proving this link have not been performed.  See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721361/

It’s also been found that taking your aspirin at bedtime is more effective.

A High-Protein Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure

A new study has found that eating high-levels of certain proteins found in meat and plant-based foods can lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness leading to better heart health. According to researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), eating foods rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, could be good for your heart.

Source: Load Up! A High-Protein Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure

The nice part is the next paragraph details that protein can be sourced from various places, not just meat.  There’s a very good reason to not source protein from red meat: Study: Large Red Meat Consumption Triggers Immune Response, Leading to Cancer.  Also, a good article on the 1 lb to 1 gram of protein myth with relation to exercise.