Do You Know Your Body Type?

Can’t lose that stubborn fat? Having trouble building some serious muscle?

You may be training for the wrong Body Type. You could be wasting your time in the gym doing the wrong type of training…and you could be making some serious mistakes in the kitchen preparing the wrong foods for your Body Type.

What’s the solution? Read on to find out about your Body Type and the right approach for you to lose fatt and build muscle at

There are three basic Body Types, each with its own specific characteristics. These are

  • Ectomorphs,
  • Mesomorphs and
  • Endomorphs

Once you are able to identify your natural body type, you can specifically target your training to improve your physique. You will be able to add muscle, lose fat, and/or improve your cardio capacity.

Everybody – regardless of gender, race, colour, or creed – falls in one of the categories. Building more muscle and losing fat can indeed be achieved by various training programs, but you can’t, believe me, you cannot directly change the way you look and feel without a proper nutritional plan or more commonly referred to as “diet”.

A Six Pack is earned in the kitchen – not the Gym!

You can roughly split your efforts into one part training, one part rest and one part nutrition. What you eat and drink is just as important as your training sessions, so are genetics, time, rest and psychology.

If you have a good understanding of the three basic human body types together with some basic knowledge of nutrition and diet, you can design your training around that and achieve great results in transforming your body.

Let’s have a look at the 3 Body Dypes in detail:

Ectomorphs

Ectomorphs are generally the skinny, lean body typed guys. Their body burns or processes any foods consumed very fast. They have high thyroid function and hormonal output. Ectomorphs have very low body fat percentages and carry relatively little muscle. Many men who are ectomorphs consider themselves to be “hard gainers” and are often confused on the correct approach for adding muscle-mass or size.

Set out your weight training with compound exercises such as the bench press, squat and deadlift, using a scheme of about 5-8 repetitions every set. Consume high carbs because of your naturally fast metabolism.

To gain significant muscle mass Ectomorphs should:

  • Incorporate: compound movements and heavy lifting but lesser in frequency.
  • Keep: repeat count low, preferably 5- 8 reps.
  • Rests: can be longer between sets but keep workouts short.
  • Cardio: should not be a priority but done mostly once or twice a week to keep up with stamina.
  • Never: Use caffeine especially as a pre workout stimulant.

Mesomorphs

Mesomorphs have normal thyroid function, fairly high anabolic drive, which means their bodies are testosterone and growth hormone dominating and they have efficient and balanced appetites. Monomorphic guys are blessed with enviable genetic foundation for building muscle and staying lean. If you have this body type you have an efficient metabolism and your body responds well to muscle stimulation and building from weight training.

You fall in as balanced oxidiser, that is your body utilises foods at a pace not allowing too much fat storage or over use of calories leaving you with no fuel for recovery or muscle building.

A Mesomorph’s primary goal is to:

  • Perform cardio workouts regularly but no more than three times a week.
  • Incorporate intensity techniques like drop sets, pyramiding and forced reps to kick up growth hormones.
  • Do selections of compound and single joint movements to hit each muscle group from a variety of angles.
  • Don’t over-train. It will weaken your immune system.
  • Don’t neglect the importance of rest as a means of recovery from training. It helps to reset and effectively maintain your efficient metabolism.

Endomorphs

Endomorphs have a reduced metabolic rate, but there are ways to jump start it into action. Your main goal should be to speed up your metabolism if you fall in this somatotype and want to improve your physique. You may even have fairly dense muscles but cannot see them because of all the fat covering them.

Endomorph’s primary goal is to lose body fat while preserving mature muscle:

  • Keep your metabolism high by eating five to seven protein-rich-meals a day.
  • Do cardio four or five days a week. Before breakfast on an empty stomach is an excellent time to mobilise and burn up stored fat (you can also try having coffee prior to training to help burn fat).
  • Do your workouts at a faster pace, taking shorter rest breaks between sets no more than 60-90 seconds).
  • Don’t place too much emphasis on massive strength training. Instead keep repetition range between 10 to 15 times. These increases volume and will help take off the fat.

We all want results – gaining muscle while losing fat. Speed up your results faster by first understanding your body type, then adapting a routine that works best based on your metabolism, hormones and Body Type.

You will be surprised how fast you can transform yourself!

 

9 Tips To Beat Procrastination

procrastination1Is Procrastination Killing Your Dreams?

Today is September 6th – and it is officially “World Fight Procrastination Day” – yes – they named a day after it!

Procrastination can hold you back, whether you’re putting off mundane tasks, reaching for those health and fitness goals, or delaying things due to your perfectionist nature. And September 6th is the day you’re encouraged to reflect on and make changes to those habits.

Most of us procrastinate – some more than others. When procrastination is only done a little bit it can work for you, because it may help you think things through and be prepared.

But for the most part, though, procrastination is something you must fight because in the long run, avoiding things never works for you: it just creates fear.

procrastination2

WHY DO WE REALLY PROCRASTINATE?

Let me make it perfectly clear: I don’t believe procrastination is the same as laziness, and it happens for a number of reasons.

  • Reason No. 1 is values-based, because when we procrastinate, we’re valuing what we’re doing right now higher than what we need and should be doing instead. This means that we avoid the activity we don’t value and gain pleasure from what we want to do instead.
  • Reason No. 2 is Perfectionism. Perfectionists are always procrastinators, because they put things off for fear of them being less than perfect. If you are a Perfectionist, you won’t try things if you don’t think you’ll do it well or can succeed with it. The fear “I’m not good enough” is the main driving force behind procrastination for Perfectionists.
  • Reason No. 3 is the perception that the task or activity is incredibly boring. Imagine you need to write a report or do your budget – immediately you can think of a million things you’d rather be doing. Our brains are hard-wired wired to move towards pleasure and avoid pain. Because of this desire to avoid unpleasantness and discomfort you will do something else instead that’s instantly gratifying – if you perceive a task to be boring to start with.

The most stupid thing about procrastination is it doesn’t avoid the pain at all. Putting something off actually causes more pain, because the task becomes a dark, threatening cloud hanging over your head – until it’s done. So what can we do about it?

9 TIPS TO HELP YOU STOP PROCRASTINATING

  1. Start now! Why wait until Fight Procrastination Day comes around again next year? Fight it now rather than putting it off.
  2. Notice that you do it. Be mindful and observe yourself, because the moment you are aware that you’re a procrastinator you can start doing something about it.
  3. Find your patterns. Observe closely which areas of your life you procrastinate in – it might be specific to your health and fitness, maybe to your work. Being aware which areas you need to address allows you to find the things you need to change.
  4. Completing a task and get pleasure from it. Ticking something off your list is a joy and pushing through the discomfort to get to the pleasure of a finished task is very rewarding.
  5. Break down big jobs. Give yourself one small task at a time, because that will be less overwhelming than tackling a huge job head-on.
  6. “Swallow the ugly frog” first. Attack the hardest thing first – get it over and done with at the start of the day so you can get on with more enjoyable things. For example – If you find training and exercise hard to start with – get it done first thing in the day, you feel more energized, too!
  7. Reward yourself. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of bribery because it can go a long way – after you get that task done then you can do something you enjoy. For example – read your favourite magazine, watch an episode of your favourite show.
  8. Have a change of scenery. If you’re doing something un-pleasurable, do it somewhere pleasurable for example – think going to a café, or working in your comfy bed to do that report you dread doing. Or join a friendly gym to get your fitness plan going.
  9. Be around Non-Procrastinators. You may have heard the old saying: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with…”, so if you’re around people who are Doers and Achievers they will be accountability buddies, because they can help you stay on track and encourage you.

Procrastination is not a life-sentence. It’s a habit, and like any habit, you can change it – if you want to.

Make a conscious decision to start being a Doer and Achiever now. There is no time like today to get started on your health and fitness journey. You won’t regret it.procrastination3

Can I Exercise After Drinking Alcohol?

boozeandworkouts

It easily happens once a week: you want to exercise after work. But then your colleagues persuade you into a happy hour drink (or two). You could still make it to the gym, but you’re not sure that’s such a good idea.

And you’d be right. At least when it comes to the muscle-building benefits of exercise, alcohol is an unhelpful workout partner.

  • In a study published in 2014 it was concluded that athletes who knocked back a few drinks after working out had lower rates of protein synthesis—which increases muscle size and also aids muscle repair, both of which are essential if you want to build strength or stamina through exercise—compared to athletes who didn’t drink after working out. The same can be expected for alcohol intake before exercise.
  • A similar study from New Zealand found that an alcoholic drink could also limit your muscles’ ability to take up and utilize glucose. Since your muscles rely on glucose for energy, your performance on endurance-related tasks would almost certainly take a hit, the study suggests. You’d also burn less calories.
  • In addition – the quality and intensity of your workouts will suffer if you’re a little tipsy. Impaired motor skill and athletic performance as two likely side effects of alcohol. And while a wobbly warrior pose isn’t the end of the world, weightlifting could be risky. As form breaks down you are prone to pulled muscles, damaged tendons, or worse dropping a weight on your foot or injuring another gym-goer.
  • You’ll also find you’ll be less motivated during your workout. Assuming you find the willpower to hit the gym even after a drink, pushing yourself through that final set or steep hill-climb may prove tougher if you’ve been drinking. Just smelling alcohol is enough to weaken your willpower.

All of this may seem like a bummer if you’re fond of both alcohol and exercise. And that’s many of us: guys who work out regularly are also more likely to drink regularly, compared to their less-active buddies, research from Pennsylvania State University suggests.bicepcurl

Both alcohol and exercise cause the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain – it’s common for people who enjoy alcohol to engage in exercise.

So make a decision for one or the other – time out with your friends and a few drinks, or going to the gym. Don’t risk a serious injury training under the influence. The workout will be a waste of your energy anyway as the above points clearly prove.

Hit the gym fresh and sober the next day and give it 100% again.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Training?

whyalcoholkillsyourworkout

You know that too much alcohol is bad for the human body, no doubt about that.

But even moderate amounts can screw up any attempts to lose fat and build muscle. Let’s find out why.

 

  1. ALCOHOL MAKES YOU GAIN WEIGHT

If you want to start losing weight, you got to drop the alcohol, because you’re cutting out empty calories altogether. Alcohol serves no nutritional purpose: It doesn’t give you any energy whatsoever, like carbohydrates or protein which would feed your muscles. When you cut it out, you cut out hundreds of empty useless calories per day that aren’t giving you any nutrition anyway.

  1. YOUR METABOLISM SLOWS DOWNalcoholslowsdownmetabolism

If you are a medium to heavy drinker (above 2 glasses of wine or beer a day) your metabolisms slows down significantly. That means you’re not burning calories fast enough, and are piling on pounds of fat quickly. If you stop the drinks you will see your metabolism speed up and make you burn energy more efficiently.

  1. YOU’LL BUILD LESS MUSCLE

Why do Bodybuilders usually don’t drink alcohol? Because they know that alcohol prevents workout protein consumption into your muscles, slowing down the repair of muscles. Massey University (NZ) research recently revealed that drinking alcohol worsens muscle soreness after weightlifting workouts.

So you get hit with a double-whammy -not only does alcohol make your workouts less effective, it makes your muscles hurt much more afterwards, too.

  1. BOOZE MAKES YOU SLEEP WORSE

Although some guys swear a few glasses each night makes them fall asleep easier, the quality of sleep you’re getting is likely to be poor. A recent scientific review of 27 different studies found that drinking alcohol will make you fall asleep quicker.

alcoholkillsworkouts1However, because it affects the alpha wave patterns in your brain you end up tossing, turning and waking up more often than usual throughout the night. If you manage to cut out the booze completely you may find that you have longer, deeper sleeps every night.

Why is that so important to get a good night’s sleep? Because at night the body repairs your muscles, and that makes your muscles grow. It also regulates the hormones you need to naturally burn fat at night, and keep your metabolism powering along nicely. Bad sleep has been established as a major contributor to obesity. Cutting out the booze lets you sleep better, build muscle faster and burn fat more efficiently.

8 Tips For Fast Muscle Growth

Building Muscle is something all men over 50 should seriously consider doing, because for the first 25 years of our lives the human body is primed to build muscle easily as long as the correct exercises are done.

However, after that age the muscles will start to waste away if they are not used, and this can also lead to bone density loss. Although it is important to exercise throughout our lives to remain healthy and boost the immune system, the older we get the more important it becomes. Once we reach middle age, one of the worst diseases that can start to set in is osteoporosis due to bone density loss. The best way to counteract this is to start building quality muscle.

Muscle Builidng Over 50 - Michael's Bodybuilding Biceps

Muscle Builidng Over 50 – Michael’s Bodybuilding Biceps Pose

When starting out it is essential not to overdo it for the first couple of months, especially if it is the first exercise that has been done in years. This is because the ligaments and muscles that have not been used need to be strained and loosened up. Starting too fast can result in the buildup of toxins in the muscles and this is what causes the pain associated with exercise. Although this is a good sign that the exercise is working, it can put many people off continuing. By slowly building up over time this effect is reduced.

Once you are over 50 it is a lot more difficult to build up new muscle, but science has shown that it is still possible. In fact, new muscle cells have been found in people exercising at the ages of 80 and 90. Not only is the muscle mass increased, but the function and strength of the muscle will also improve at any age.

Below are a number of tips for those looking to start out building muscle.

1. Begin with only light weights. The main aim in the first week or two is to loosen everything up.

2. Exercising with weights should only be done 3 times a week at the beginning. On the off days mild exercise can still be done, but not with weights. Try stretching, or do light cardio workouts like a brisk walk, or a light jog, maybe some biking.

3. Use mainly machines, not free weights. Weightlifting machines have been shown to work better and are much safer to use than free weights, especially in the beginning.

4. Eat light before you lift- The biggest meal of the day should never be consumed around 30 to 60 minutes prior to exercising. You would force all your blood to go to the stomach and intestines for digestion, and have little energy left for a workout. You could potentially get very light-headed and dizzy, even faint or vomit. Leave enough time, at least 2 hours, after a heavy meal. Preferably – just have a light protein shake for energy to ensure maximum fuel levels are available for your workout.

5. Slow and steady lifts and pushes are what improves the strength and mass of most muscles. Avoid fast, jerking movements, do each exercise with full concentration making the muscles work properly.

One arm Push-Ups Muscle Building Over 50

One arm Push-Ups
Muscle Building Over 50

6. Slight soreness in the muscles is a good sign after a workout, but stop immediately if it happens during one.

7. Be patient. It can take 3 to 4 weeks before any difference in the muscles can be noticed, although better flexibility will happen before then.

8. Sore muscles after a workout care a sign of muscle fibers that have been torn and stretched. This is what is supposed to happen, and the body will automatically replace the damaged fibers with new ones during your sleep. At least 7-8 hours sleep at night and a protein-rich diet are essential for muscle growth to happen. This is how strong, lean muscle mass is built.

Solid gains are not as easy to make as you get older, and keeping those gains can be even more challenging as well. But it CAN be done. You CAN do it, because I did! By starting slowly and being patient, positive results can clearly be seen after a few months. See below – this was achieved in 45 days, over the Christmas period…

Muscle Building for Men over 50 - Michael before Burn The Fat Challenge image

Muscle Building for
Men over 50 –
Michael before

Muscle Building for Men over 50 - Michael after Burn The Fat Challenge image

Muscle Building for
Men over 50 –
Michael after

Testosterone Therapy = Increased Heart Attack Risk?

 TestosteronevsHeartAttackimageWith more and more men over 50 considering Testosterone Replacement Therapy, the question about side effects or risks has to be asked.

The FDA has previously put warning labels on testosterone therapies as they could raise the risk of heart attack. But the new study could help push for different labels to appear instead.

Here is some welcome news for guys over 50 who are worried about the risk of Testosterone Therapy.

As a recent study revealed – generally healthy men who undergo testosterone replacement therapy do NOT become more prone to getting a heart attack or stroke.

These findings come from researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City.

They tested 1,472 men between age 52 and 63 with low testosterone levels who had no history of heart disease. The scientists found that healthy men who gained normal testosterone levels through testosterone therapy did NOT have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, or death.EffectsOfTestosteroneimage

The researchers found no increase in risk.

On the contrary –  testosterone therapy for this men showed a reduction in the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death compared to a group of men who didn’t get any testosterone therapy.

One of the lead researchers of the study, Dr. Muhlestein, is quoted as saying “This particular study provides assurances to physicians and patients that using testosterone replacement therapy in a generally healthy population of men over the age of 50 to normalize levels doesn’t increase a patient’s risk of a heart attack or stroke, and actually shows a reduction in those risks.”

As I report in great detail in the section on Hormones, Drugs and Steroids in the video-course “FIT MAN OVER 50” – a previous study last year also found that testosterone therapy does not increase the risk of heart attack in men. In that study over 25,000 mature men on testosterone therapy were examined.

This was done at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

25,420 mature men were treated with testosterone therapy for up to eight years. Lead author Jacques Baillargeon said, “This is a rigorous analysis of a large number of patients. Our findings did not show an increased risk of heart attack associated with testosterone use in mature men.”

TestsosteroneAndAgeimageIn addition, the study also showed that even men with a higher chance of cardiovascular disease also experienced a lower risk of heart attack in comparison to men of same age not using testosterone therapy.

An alternative study found that men receiving testosterone therapy to treat low testosterone also saw a reduction in risk of stroke, heart attack, and all-cause mortality. This analysis is based on research data from 83,000 veterans.

The researchers split the men into three groups:

  • Group 1 was treated with testosterone until levels normalized,
  • Group 2 was treated with testosterone but the levels did not normalize,
  • Group 3 did not receive testosterone and thus levels remained low.

The scientists found out that the men of group 1 had a 56 percent reduction of mortality during the follow-up period, 24 percent reduction of a heart attack risk, and 36 percent lower chance of a stroke, compared to those who did not receive any treatment.

So where does that leave you?TestsosteroneVialimage

First – check if it is legal to undergo hormone-replacement-therapy in your jurisdiction. In some countries and states, it is illegal and hormones are considered banned substances.

It is prudent to meet with your doctor or medical specialist if you are considering Testosterone Therapy.  Consult with your doctor and go through a proper patient evaluation, have regular follow-ups, and dosing considerations.

NEVER buy or use illegally obtained drugs, steroids or hormones. Never buy any drugs or steroids from the internet or a “friend of a friend“ at the gym. Be safe, not stupid.

Talk to your doctor. He will advise you of the safest way to normalize your testosterone levels.

 

Wanna Get Toned?

WannaGetTonedimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often get asked – how can I get toned? And I always ask – Why do you want to get toned?

The answer is usually something along the lines of “I don’t want to build big bulging muscles, I just want to look toned and fit.”

I know the “toned’ look is quite the fad at the moment, but what does it actually mean? Most guys will equate the toned look with being lean, muscular, fit – looking strong and confident.

News Flash: Guess what you will have to build if you want to look toned? Muscles, pure and simple.

There are a lot of products being promoted out there to give you the toned physique, usually with short time frames, like “ the 30 day squat workout to a toned body. 2 weeks to a toned beach body doing just 10 minutes a day” …

Yeah Right! What a load of bull.

Abs Pose Half Twist closeupIf you want that toned look, you got to build lean muscle.

And that’s not done in 30 days, and not done with high repetitions and light weights either.

No matter how you twist it, the simple honest truth is: The only way to build lean muscle fast is by 10 to 12 reps of 3 sets with heavy weights. If you are not worn out and exhausted at the end of that workout – to the point that you can’t lift any more – your muscles won’t grow. Period.

Add to that some regular low intensity cardio, at least 20 minutes each time, and you are on your way.

And don’t forget diet. If you are carrying extra pounds (and let’s face it which of us guys over 50 isn’t???) then you need to work within a calorie deficit every day so you burn more calories than you are eating. That’s how you torch fat AND build lean muscle at the same time.

Forearm__underarm_curls__position_2Will you get big bulky muscles if you train like this? Only – if you do it for years and you keep upping the weights and add a lot of protein in the mix.

However if that is not your desire, keep training with moderately heavy weights to keep your existing muscle mass challenged enough so you don’t lose it again.

It’s not just about getting that toned look. Once you have it, you gotta work on keeping it.

Now go lift some weights and get lean!

 

What Is Cluster Training?

WhatIsClusterTrainingYou Can Use Cluster Training To Make Bigger Gains

It’s common knowledge that every man loves the RESULTS of pumping iron. But few guys enjoy the hard work of actually lifting.

Whether it’s the straining, the burn, the demand it puts on your breathing, or the injuries you occasionally sustain: The discomfort of hard weight training is one of the reasons guys quit. So the question needs to be asked: Is there a way to train that gets you the same or better results as a gut-busting workout – with half the effort? Sounds too good to be true? Let’s check it out.

The answer lies in a technique called cluster training.

It is a method where you use short rest periods during your sets. This way you achieve more reps than you normally could with a heavy weight.

For example, instead of performing a set of nine reps for an exercise, resting a few minutes, and repeating, you could do four “mini sets” of three reps with the same load, resting up to 20 seconds between each.

That way, you would do twelve reps with a load that would normally allow you only nine.

Because you get to rest so frequently and do fewer reps in between than you are capable of, the work feels easier. However – the total amount of work you perform is greater, and you stimulate your muscles to grow faster.

Cluster training has been very popular among competitive weight lifters for decades to help boost gains. Lately new research has found that it improves the enjoyment athletes get out of a workout with this technique as an added bonus.

In a study in the Journal of Sports Sciences cluster training was compared with traditional lifting, using a single-leg extension.

The actual work for both legs was the same, but the way it was performed was different. Both legs gained strength. However, the athletes rated the cluster sets as less physically draining.

Although clusters may seem a bit cushy, they’re not. Because of the heavy weight and the stress clusters put on your body, you should cycle clusters in three to four week blocks only.

I also recommend you do longer-lasting sets and that means – you still have to bust your gut in the gym sometimes. Sorry but there are no real shortcuts .

Get That Test Done!

GetColonCancertestdone

For most men over 50 your bowel’s health may be an uncomfortable subject to talk about, but it is something that you should not ignore. Hippocrates said – “Health begins in the gut” and this remains true to this day.

If you’ve been neglecting your gut, March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, is a good time to start paying attention.

Colorectal cancer, which is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum, remains the second leading cancer killer of men in Western societies.
Early colorectal cancer often has no symptoms, which is why screening is so important.

Polyps

Bowel cancer usually begins as a polyp. Polyps are bumps on the surface of the colon. They can be harmless bumps of normal colorectal lining that do not increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Although most colorectal polyps never become cancer, virtually all colon and rectal cancers start from benign growths. Polyps and colon cancer develop when there are mutations or errors in the genetic code that controls the growth and repair of the cells lining the colon.

coloncancerawarenessmonth

Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

While anyone can get bowel cancer, it is most common among people over the age of 50.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

• a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps;
• a diet high in red and processed meat and low in fiber;
• inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis;
• obesity;
• smoking;
• excessive consumption of alcohol;
• excessive inactivity
• a sedentary lifestyle.

sedentarylifestyle

Often we don’t realize that simply getting older can put us more at risk for developing colorectal cancer. Everyone aged 50 to 75 should be screened for colorectal cancer regularly.

Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented because screening allows doctors to find and remove hidden growths — polyps — before they become cancer. Screening can also detect colorectal cancer early, when treatment can be most effective.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. That’s what makes it so dangerous.

You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. This is why getting screened regularly for colorectal cancer is so important.

symptomsofcoloncancer

There are several possible symptoms of colorectal cancer, including:

-Bleeding from the rectum
-Blood in the stool or in the toilet after having a bowel movement
-Dark or black stools
-A change in the shape of the stool (usually more narrow than usual)
-An urge to have a bowel movement when the bowel is empty
-A significant change in bowel habits such as persistent constipation or diarrhoea lasting more than three weeks
-Decreased appetite
-Stomach pain, aches or cramps that don’t go away.
-Unintentional weight loss

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer, so the only way to know what is causing them is to see your doctor.

Colorectal cancer and death from this disease can be prevented thanks to numerous effective screening tools.

Many people do not realize that three tests:

—colonoscopy,
-highly sensitive stool tests (FOBT — fecal occult blood test, or FIT — fecal immunochemical test) and
-flexible sigmoidoscopy

are all effective at finding cancer early.

The best test, however, is the test that gets done.

Screening for colorectal cancer has been proven to save lives.

For more information on colorectal cancer screening, or if you think you are at a high risk for colorectal cancer, contact your medical professional now.

Original article appeared in Daily Journal Online. This is an abridged version of the article.

Promising Prostate Cancer Drug Approved For Clinical Trials

prostate image 1
The eureka moment for a British Columbia prostate cancer researcher came when she saw photos of drastically shrunken tumours in mice she’d treated with a promising new drug.

“I remember running around the building and showing everyone those photographs in sheer delight,” Marianne Sadar said about that day in 2006. “I could not sleep for two weeks I was just so wound up. It was such an exciting moment.”

Nearly a decade later, the B.C. Cancer Agency scientist has hit another monumental milestone.

That same drug – dubbed EPI-506 – has now been approved for clinical trials, an accomplishment that Dr. Sadar said is reached in only one out of every 1,000 drugs that show initial promise in a lab.

What’s most encouraging for Dr. Sadar is the unique way in which the new treatment works.

EPI-506 targets the back of a protein on prostate cancer cells to make them more vulnerable to hormones such as testosterone, she told a news conference at the B.C. Cancer Research Centre.

While the effectiveness of earlier trial drugs that focus on the protein’s front quickly waned as cells developed resistances , lab research suggests the new mechanism slows tumour growth past the early stages of treatment.

“This part that we’re directing our drug to is the Achilles heel,” Dr. Sadar said Wednesday. “It’s our hope and our expectation that this drug may actually work where all the other drugs are failing.”
prostate image 2
Sadar described EPI-506 as a first-in-class drug, meaning it isn’t a copy of a previously engineered substance.
She said it’s also the first of its kind to identify its target no matter what shape the protein takes to disguise itself.

The first phase of clinical trials began Wednesday at sites across North America, including at the B.C. Cancer Agency, under the direction of medical oncologist Dr. Kim Chi.

“This is a very exciting development,” Chi said. “This is a novel way of targeting prostate cancer. It hasn’t been done before.”

The initial stage will involve up to 50 participants to determine optimum dosage levels and preliminary effects, he said.
The second, larger phase would test the drug’s efficacy and whether it warrants expanding the test to a final, large-scale trial stage.

Chi noted that just as in any drug trial, volunteers face possible risks due to unknown side effects.

The drug could be available within five years if it’s approved, he said.

This article appeared in the Globe and Mail,
written by GEORDON OMAND
VANCOUVER — The Canadian Press
Original link: Click Here

Do You Suffer From Low Testosterone?

Are you suffering from low testosterone?

Testosterone gel can help some men get back a little of their loving feelings, and helps them feel better in general, according to a new study published Wednesday.
The effects are modest, and men didn’t objectively get any more vitality, although they felt like they did, the government-funded study found.
It’s the first study in years to show any benefit for testosterone therapy.
“This was the first time that a trial demonstrated that testosterone treatment of men over 65 who have low testosterone would benefit them in any way,” said Dr. Peter Snyder of the University of Pennsylvania, who helped lead the study team.
“The trial showed that testosterone treatment of these men improved their sexual function, their mood, and reduced depressive symptoms—and perhaps also improved walking.”
The FDA does not approve the use of testosterone to treat the effects of aging. But it’s already a $2 billion industry, with missions of men buying gel, pills or getting injections.
Experts stress that the results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, only apply to men over 65 who have medically diagnosed low testosterone. And it was a small trial, including fewer than 800 men, so it’s not clear if their heart risks went up.
A few men had heart attacks or were diagnosed with prostate cancer during the study, but the rate were about the same in men who got real hormone and in those who got placebo cream.
Researchers across the country gave testosterone gel or a placebo cream to men who had demonstrated loss of the “male” hormone. They got enough to return testosterone levels to the mid-normal range for men 19 to 40 years old.
“Men who received testosterone reported better sexual function, including activity, desire, and erectile function.”
“Men in the testosterone group were more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their sexual desire had improved since the beginning of the trial,” Snyder and colleagues wrote.
“Testosterone treatment showed no significant benefit over placebo with respect to vitality,” they added.
“Men who received testosterone reported better sexual function, including activity, desire, and erectile function, than those who received placebo. Although the effect sizes were low to moderate, men in the testosterone group were more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their sexual desire had improved.”
The effects on sexual performance were not as marked as erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, the researchers found.

“However, testosterone was associated with small but significant benefits with respect to mood and depressive symptoms. Men in the testosterone group were also more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their energy was better.”
As men age, their bodies make less testosterone. It’s not as sudden as when women lose estrogen, but the effects can be similar – loss of energy, sexual desire, depression and bone loss.
Dr. William Reilly, an orthopedic surgeon in Southlake, Texas, who now helps run a chain of testosterone treatment facilities called the Low T Centers, said it happened to him.
“My arms were starting to get smaller. My belly was getting bigger.”
“I hit a brick wall when I was about 62 years old,”said Reilly, who is now 68.
“All of a sudden my energy level just wasn’t the same. I’d wake up and I just felt tired and I’d be going to work and by the second case I’d be getting a little bit of brain fog,” Reilly told NBC News.
He started getting less out of his gym workouts. “My arms were starting to get smaller. My belly was getting bigger,” Reilly said.
Reilly said testosterone replacement therapy helped him feel better.
So did Ed Stevens of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
“At about age 55, which was about almost eight years ago, I was fatigued, I was getting depressed — which is not like me,” Steven said.
Stevens who at 63 would not be considered a candidate for the therapy according to the trial findings, said the hormone helped him feel better.
“I wouldn’t call it a huge difference,” he said. “I just saw over the months my body mass came back to where it was, my energy was better, libido was a little better.”
Results are expected later from four other related studies, which tested the hormone’s effects on mental function, bone density, heart function and anemia.

Can Coffee Add Years To Your Life?

CanCoffeeAddYearsToYourLife

This question has been hotly debated over the years. If you’re a little bit like me then you’ll be very happy to read that coffee can add years to your life.
Some days, coffee the best part of waking up. From the smell of the beans… to the sound of the brew… nothing else matters until you can take that very first sip of your morning coffee.

The great debate as to whether coffee is good or bad for your health has been soundly settled by research, proving that this favourite hot beverage can add years to your life. In fact, it has so many anti-ageing antioxidants, that many consider it to be a superfood.

Now, researchers in Denmark have investigated the healing powers of two chemical compounds in coffee — cafestol and caffeic acid, both of which help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

According to one new report, published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, both ingredients increased insulin production in the presence of glucose. Cafestol even increased glucose uptake in muscle cells so effectively, it matched the performance of diabetes drugs. Make sure you get its maximum effect by drinking unfiltered coffee drinks.

Of course, a regular coffee habit will protect you from more than diabetes. Caffeic acid may sound a bit scary, but it’s a natural compound found in ALL plants — and it has been shown to ward off cancer AND shield the body from inflammation.

Now, don’t use this as an excuse to order a Starbucks venti double chocolate chip frappuccino. You don’t want to offset the positive perks of coffee by loading up on sugar. But you can enjoy a moderate amount of black coffee — as much as three to five cups a day — and know that the natural and safe compounds you’re drinking are working all kinds of magic on your body.

As always, if you’re pregnant, or if you have anxiety, sleep problems, or a sensitive stomach, check with your doctor to find out how to safely enjoy the natural benefits of the coffee bean.

Original Source of article: MedicalNewSToday

Do You Know Early Warnings For Heart Attacks?

HeartAttackEarlyWarningSignsImageWhen a cardiac arrest hits, it hits fast and hard.

For every 60 seconds that tick by, your chances of surviving drop by 10 per cent.

So if the paramedics don’t get there in 10 minutes, your heart attack is likely to be fatal.

But a new study indicates that cardiac arrest may not necessarily be as unexpected as we thought. In fact, in the hours — and even WEEKS — before the attack, there are warning signs. And taking them seriously could save your life.

According to a report, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, about half of sudden cardiac arrest patients experienced their earliest warning signs as many as four weeks before the event. And then, the same signs reappeared in the 24 hours before their heart finally stopped.

At first the signs seem minor… a bout of chest pain… a little shortness of breath… a palpitation or two…. They’re so easy to dismiss as nothing serious… maybe you’re just getting older.

In fact, according to the study, most people — about four out of five — ignore the warnings and don’t call for emergency help. But some of them are even missing more serious signals that should be grabbing their attention like a set of roadside flares — including nausea, abdominal and back pain, and other ongoing flu-like symptoms.

Those that did call emergency services, the researchers discovered, had a 32 per cent chance of surviving, a vast improvement over the 6 per cent survival rate of those who didn’t seek emergency help.

Don’t ignore your body’s warnings. If you have any of these unexpected symptoms, see your doctor immediately — especially if you’re at high risk for coronary heart disease, which causes 70 per cent of cases of cardiac arrest.

The above article is an abbreviated version of material published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine of the American College of Physicians”, see the original references here: Click Here

Do You Need Prehabilitation?

If you know someone in your family or a friend who’s facing an upcoming operation feel free to share this article with them. It may encourage them to speak to their doctor about it – and improve their recovery speed as a consequence.

Prehabilitation

We’ve all heard of Rehabilitation or Rehab, which is the treatment you get AFTER an operation or medical procedure to speed up your recovery.

Because Prehabilitation was mentioned as improving recovery for prostate cancer patients significantly this piqued my interest and I did some research into it. Men over 50 particularly need to be conscious about the health of their prostate so anything that helps improve it is worthwhile investigating.

Prehabilitation is a relatively new field, and so far it has been mainly used to prepare people for orthopaedic surgery. Naturally, this makes perfect sense.
Just imagine this for a moment – you had pain in your knee for quite some time and your doctor tells you that you need an operation to fix it. It may even be a full reconstructive surgery, a major operation.

Rather than wait for the operation and then slowly work through the recovery phase afterwards – which is the traditional way – you prepare yourself for it.
When you start strengthening the muscles in your leg and exercise to improve the flexibility of your joints you are going to be much better prepared for the stress of the operation. Your recovery will be faster.

Because you are strengthening your body overall with weight and flexibility training you are less likely to have complications, your immune system is stronger and your outlook to full recovery is much improved.

So if you know that you have an operation coming up talk to your doctor and physiotherapist to design specific strength training for you to improve your chances for success and faster recovery.

An added benefit of a specific strength training program in preparation for an operation is the feeling of control it gives you.

Just sitting around for weeks or months concentrating on the pain, discomfort and worry about the operation isn’t going to do you any good. Because being actively involved in a daily workout program to strengthen your muscles and body forces you to concentrate on a positive activity, you see and feel real results and you go into the operation with a positive attitude.

It boosts your confidence in your own ability and motivates you even more.
You improve the success rate and recovery speed after operations because you have an expectation of success coupled with a positive attitude and less worry.

However – Prehabilitation does not stop there. More and more medical specialists are now suggesting it for patients awaiting cancer treatment. Patients who prepare with strength and endurance training handle the severe side-effects of chemotherapy much better. Their bodies don’t lose too much substance, and they suffer less from tiredness and exhaustion.

Some studies suggest the fitter you are the more natural resistance and immune cells you have to fight tumours. Positive results of Prehabilitation have been reported for breast, colon, leukaemia and prostate cancer, which seems to respond particularly well to more intense workouts.

If you are scheduled for an operation then I suggest you prepare yourself the best you can. Considering strength training to improve your chances of a speedy recovery makes perfect sense!

If you know someone in your family or a friend who’s facing an upcoming operation feel free to share this article with them. It may encourage them to speak to their doctor about it – and improve their recovery speed as a consequence.

For more information, check out these 2 scientific research reports below:

“The Role of Physical Activity in Cancer Prevention, Treatment, Recovery, and Survivorship”
“The effect of meeting physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors on quality of life following radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer”