Published On: Fri, Jul 20th, 2012

Healthy Living

By: Marcia Perretto Medina

Muscle strengthtening

This type of physical exercise, also known as weight lifting, promotes increased muscle endurance. Muscles allow us to carry packages from our cars into the house, pick up our kids and grandkids up and lift and push objects around. Strong muscles lead to an increase in the body metabolism, which leads to more calories burned. The muscle tissue is highly active and requires a lot of calories to to maintain its basic functions. One pound of muscle burns in average 35 to 50 calories daily even at rest. The more muscle mass you have, the more food you may ingest without gaining weight.

However, exercises designed to tone specific muscle groups may not cause fat burn in the same specific areas. The energy is taken from the fat cells to the body to supply the energetic muscle needs. On the other hand, the more toned the muscles become, the leaner and firmer the body figure will be. The increased muscle strength also leads to improved muscle coordination and helps to prevent injuries.

How to control your carb portions

– Pay attention to the size of your portions: become familiar with the correct size for each portion. A portion of fruits should be the size of you hand closed in a fist. For the complex carbs (broccoli, zucchini, etc.) one cup is just right. For grains and simple carbs like potatoes a half cup is enough.
– Eat more: fibers by not removing the skin of the fruits and vegetables.
– Hydrate: many times thirst is mistaken by hunger. Drink plenty water, the Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. At night give preference to herbal teas.
-Plan your meals ahead: make sure in every meal you include complex and simple carbs (80%/20%), a form of protein, grains, and healthy fats.
– Barley: Modern scientific confirms the possible health benefits of barley in helping prevent or even reverse diabetes. In 2009, Japanese researchers at the University of Tokushima reported that study subjects had lower blood glucose levels if they switched from eating rice to eating barley.

Occupational Health: Back Pain

Many times at work we are required to lift heavy objects, repeat the same movement for long periods of time, or sit behind a desk for hours without getting up. All those lead to an overuse of the muscles and joints of the spine. Just a smal  discomfort or a sharp pain to the back may take away your ability to concentrate in our work. Unfortunately, several occupations may cause overload to the spine.

Even upon the traditional office work you may experience an overload to the area.
It is very important to understand the causes of back pain and what to do to prevent them. Several factors may contribute to occupational back pain:

– Effort: the repetitive lifting of heavy loads may lead to cumulative injuries to ligaments, disc, joints and muscles.
-Posture: aa slouch posture when seated exaggerates the natural lumbar curve, leading to postural muscle fatigue and injuries.
-Repetition: the constant repetition of a motion for long periods of time lead to muscle fatigue and injuries, more so if the movement requires a stretch (reaching) motion or an odd body position.
-Stress: the emotional stress place with the daily tasks may increase the stress level leading to increased muscle tension, which may contribute to an increase in pain.

What to do to prevent back pain

Include daily exercises to your daily routine. Maintain a healthy body weight to decrease overload to the spine. Pay attention to your posture, and if your job requires long periods of standing, alternate the rest of an extremity over a small step stool to decrease de overload to your back. When sitting or standing hold reading material at eye level. To improve your posture when seated, choose a chair that allows your feet to rest on the floor, and to maintain your knees leveled with your hips. Make sure your lower back is supported even if you need to add a small pillow behind. Remove the wallet or cell phone from your back pocket when seated. When lifting use proper body mechanics, bending your knees and tightening the abdominal muscles. Maintain the object close to your body, and if lifting a heavy load call for help. Avoid repetitive movements for long periods of time whenever possible.

But the most important: listen to your body, pain is an alarm signal, it means damage has occurred, and if you persist the injury it will aggravate.

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