Monthly Archives: May 2010

Working Overtime May Be Killing You

Nobody enjoys working overtime, and here is the new best excuse not to: Working overtime linked to higher risk of heart disease.

The European Heart Journal studied 6000 British civil servants and followed them for 11 years.  They found that working an extra 3-4 hours a day is associated with increased coronary heart disease.  The researchers controlled and adjusted for lifestyle, cardiac risk factors and other factors that would skew the results and still found that people who worked 3-4 extra hours a day had a 60% increase in risk for heart disease.

These results were for both women and men (ages 39-61). Other risk factors like smoking, elevated lipids, diabetes made no difference in the results.

(Found at http://everythinghealth.net/, posted by Dr. Toni Brayer)

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Most Workout in the Least Amount of Time? – Jump Around

This is Buddy Lee, Crazy pants owner and founder of the Jump Rope institute

Guess House of Pain had it right. (That’s right. I went there.)

Jump up and down for 20 minutes in the morning and you are set for the day. It can: up your metabolism, get your heart pumping, your lungs in shape, your brain working better, and it doesn’t take hours.

According to research The Jump Rope Institute a minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness and when you build to ten minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 RPMs it can provide the same benefits as the following:

  • 30 minutes of jogging
  • 2 sets of tennis singles
  • 30 minutes of racquet and handball playing
  • 720 yards of swimming
  • 18 holes of golf

Pretty impressive huh?

According to various sources, jumping rope is pretty darn safe, if not extremely challenging. (After trying to jump for 2 minutes straight I began to wonder how kids can do this for hours) It’s less impact on the knees than running…since both knees can land at the same time. You can also control the amount of impact by jumping low, lifting with the core, and staying forward on the balls of the feet.

But what if jumping rope is simply not an option for you? No way. No how.

It’s true. There is no perfect exercise for everyone. Jump rope prep exercises can get your body moving and accustomed to the bouncing movement. Put on your favorite music and try bouncing on a mini trampoline (a rebounder) or even bouncing around and playing with your balance on a large stability ball.

Maybe not like this...

And definitely not like this...

While these options are not nearly as intense they are still great cardio options that can be fun, and really that is what is most important.

This is more like it. He's "king of the world"...

Putting the moves on while at the airport lounge


This is what I’m talking about.

We sit all day. In the car, at work and home, and for hours at the airport and then onto the plane. We take the brunt of demands, sitting down.  We get agitated, crabby and stressed, but do we really do anything about it? Take some action? No.

I, for one, am not going to take this siting down anymore, and I ‘m starting at the airport.

And why not? More and more people exercise at the airport. While you might be the lone spectacle at first, others will soon get brave and follow suit. A call to action takes time.  It’s kind of amazing long we ignore the instinct to move around and stretch.

Here is a New York Times article from this week about exercise at the airport and suggestions for seated stretches.

Below are my recommendations when you are hanging around the airport lounge:

1. Modified Arching

Extension with arm push

don't do this

This is the antithesis of sitting all day and is very important for spine flexibility.

Lying on your belly. YES. In the airport. Arms are out to the sides and bend your elbows. Palms are flat and all 5 fingers are touch floor. Press Up. Sense the force of the push traveling up your arms, into your back and down your spine. Continue to push your arms down and out into the floor and raise your head and chest off the floor. Keep the back of your neck long. Let your chest feel broad, your neck free, and your spine feel long. The shoulder blades should be drawn together behind you. The arms stay straight. Hold and take deep breaths. If you feel pain in your back, walk your hands out in front of you further, or prop your belly with your jacket. If you feel pain in gluts or legs. Stop.

2. Cat and Cow

On all fours (hands and knees), draw your nose towards the knees, round the spine and drawing the belly in. Next, extend your neck and tailbone up towards the sky, allowing the spine to sink towards the ground. Take deep breaths and move back and forth through these two positions, rounding and arching the back.

3. Roll Downs against the Wall

These feel great and provide a much needed spine stretch. Keep your tailbone fixed to the wall and follow the pictures and images below:

drape and reax the neck. Tailbone stays fixed!

drape and reax the neck. Tailbone stays fixed!

Roll up by lifting each bone away from the next as it presses into the wall. Create space between vertebre.

Roll up by lifting each bone away from the next as it presses into  the wall. Create space between vertebre.

Arms can remain by your sides as well. Let the spine slide upwards against the wall, stretcing towards the ceiling. Enjoy taller posture!

Arms can remain by your sides as well. Let the spine slide upwards  against the wall, stretcing towards the ceiling. Enjoy taller posture!

Don’t be shy. It’s for your own mind and body. Join in the movement revolution and I’ll see you at the airport. We can exchange knowing glances as we lay on the airport floor…


Lindsey Lohan’s Health Is More Important Than Yours

Google you own name and chances are the paparrazi are not following your every misstep out of a nightclub.

Half of you stumble upon this blog by way of seeking out celeb gossip. One Pilates Studio I worked at in West Hollywood always had the latest spread of gossip mags, and most everyone, whether they themselves were celebrities or not, would sit down and read them. It’s fascinating and confounding.

Celebrity – love it or hate it – is inherently part of our human make-up. To aspire to, associate with, and to condemn. Stars summon our most human yearnings: to love, admire, copy and, of course, to gossip and to jeer.

Like Greek gods and goddesses with their individual powers and faults (Joseph Campbell would agree) celebrities are larger than life versions of us…reflections of ourselves in mythic proportions.

Leo Braudy, author of The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and its History, suggests that celebrities are more like Christian calendar saints “Celebrities have their aura—a debased version of charisma” that stems from their all-powerful captivating presence, Braudy says.

Lately the gossip spotlight falls often upon Lindsay Lohan – Patron saint of the rising star, burning out. A beautiful young starlet with the world at her feet only to be brought down by lack of boundaries, dysfunctional family, alcoholism, drugs, relationship problems, financial ups and downs…any of it sound familiar? Sure. It’s a little bit of all of us, just magnified.

Lindsay’s drama is a cautionary tale of the times, one parents can tell to their children, kind of like something from Heinrich Hoffmann’s Struwwelpeter of what happens when there are no limits and one slowly spirals out of control…a good girl gone bad.

I would never suggest to stop reading gossip mags. How could we? Celebrity fascination is part of what makes us human. It’s a mirror into our own humanity.

However, if you find that you’ve been searching the internet for well over an hour to find the latest news on Lindsay Lohan and you ended up here…Take this as your cue from the universe to get up, walk away from your computer, and do something for yourself.

Your health is more important.