Weight Gain and Cancer

Weight Gain and Cancer

I think most of us would assume it’s more likely you would experience weight loss with cancer and cancer treatment, but that might not always be the case. The feeling of fatigue associated with cancer can easily lead to a reduction in physical activity. This in turn can lead to weight gain. There is significant anecdotal evidence that weight gain has been the trigger for suspecting ovarian cancer. This has not been an all over weight gain, but specifically in the abdomen.

Cancer treatment may also lead to weight gain. Chemotherapy can cause water retention in the cells and tissues. The side effects of chemotherapy can lead to fatigue, food cravings, and reduced metabolism. Steroid medication is also used for cancer treatment. The side effects can be fatty tissue deposits around the abdomen and facial cheeks. This is likely to occur with long term use. Hormone therapy can result in an increase in body fat, and decreased metabolism. Unfortunately, all of the above can lead to an increase in weight.

Research suggests that colon cancer is associated with a high animal fat diet, and general poor nutrition. It goes without saying a healthy diet is essential to all of us. There should be a high number of fruit and vegetables, even more than the recommended 5 a day. Simple carbohydrates should be replaced by complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains. Plenty of clear fluids should be taken on a daily basis. Whenever you can replace frying with steaming, and taste the food not the fat.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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What is Tennis Elbow?

What is Tennis Elbow?

The elbow tendons join the muscles and bones together, they also control the muscles in the forearm. Tennis elbow is inflammation of the tendons and muscles, near the elbow, and is known as lateral epicondylitis. It is not necessarily caused by playing tennis, any form a strenuous use can cause it. Figures given by the NHS indicates one in every three people can be suffering from the condition at any one time. It is more common in 40 to 60 year olds, and it can affect as many men as women. Pain will be felt below the elbow bend, just outside the upper forearm. Pain felt on the inner aspect of the elbow is very often known as golfers elbow.

The symptoms of tennis elbow can include pain around the affect area, and made worse when squeezing objects, such as opening jars, using a knife, and shaking hands. Participating in certain sports can increase the likelihood of developing tennis elbow, however work activities can also play a part. Typing is known to increase the chance of suffering with the condition, as is gardening, knitting, and playing video games.

Diagnose can very often take place through examination and description of the pain. Further investigations may be required.

The aim of any treatment is to reduce the pain and improve the mobility of the arm. This can be achieved with the aid of exercise. Elbow bends and wrist turns preformed in repetitions of 10 each exercise will encourage controlled movements. Wrist flex and wrist lifts using a light weight in each hand will help to strengthen the arm muscles.

It can be difficult to prevent tennis elbow, however if you play a sport that involves repetitive movements ensure you warm up first. Equally important is to ensure you cool down afterwards. It helps to also spread the load to any larger muscle groups. Any work activity that involves repetitive movements why not treat it as preparation for a sport activity and warm up at the start and cool down at the end.

CONTENT SOURCES: Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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Tips to Exercising in the Heat

Tips to Exercising in the Heat

Who would believe after a very cold spring we would need this advice, but here we are enjoying the sunshine. Of course, it goes without saying there are certain precautions that need to be taken when exercising during the hot weather.

When possible exercise in the early morning or at the end of the day in the late evening, as it is usually cooler at those times. Plan your route to include areas that offer as much shade as possible. Ensure you take frequent breaks, you may need to consider revising your exercise plan. During very high temperatures why not visit an air conditioned gym or a swimming pool to vary your usual training routine. Maintaining your hydration level is crucial during the hot weather, it’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after your exercise activity. The colour and frequency of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration, if your urine is light in colour and the frequency is normal then that is a good sign. If your urine is dark, concentrated, and infrequent then that will be a sign you are dehydrated. Other signs of dehydration include thirst, weakness, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headache, chills, cramps, and irritability. Water is good for rehydration after short periods of exercise, but if you plan to exercise for long periods try a carbohydrate electrolyte drink to rebalance the body’s fluid levels.

The clothes you wear during exercise are also important, wear lightweight items that are light in colour and are loose fitting. A good quality sunscreen preparation should be at least a SPF 15, apply this prior to exercising outside and reapply at 2 hourly intervals.

CONTENT SOURCES: Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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What is Circuit Training?

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit training focuses on building strength and muscle endurance through high intensity workouts. It is a programme of exercises completed in turn for short periods before moving on to the next exercise in the programme. This is carried out in quick succession.

Circuit training originated in England in the 1950’s, it allowed people to train with others yet at their own intensity. A programme would be established to incorporate a number of exercises in aerobic and anaerobic disciplines. The body would be treated as a whole, to work all the muscle groups in turn. There are different categories of circuit training, and they are strength, cardio, and sport specific. Strength will consist of strength and weight bearing exercises, using free weights, machine weights, and body resistance exercises.

Cardio involves quick succession movements, such as jump squats, skipping rope, and jumping jacks. Cardio machines, such as treadmill, step mill, and stationary bike can be used for just 2 minutes on each piece of equipment to form part of a circuit. For a total body workout a combination of strength and cardio can burn a number of calories a minute. The programme would consist of alternating the two disciplines. Sports specific circuit training can be tailored to improve an athlete’s performance in their particular sport.

Circuit training has proven to be successful for people looking to lose weight. Research suggests we are more likely to stick to exercising if we join a group, it appears the social aspect is just as important as the exercise. The very nature that exercising is carried on a variety of pieces of equipment in quick succession reduces the likelihood of becoming bored.

CONTENT SOURCES: Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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Diabetes and Healthy Lifestyle

Diabetes and Healthy Lifestyle

Diabetes is where your blood sugar is too high, either because your body can’t use it up or the pancreas is unable to produce any or enough insulin. Blood sugar is known as glucose and it’s produced when you digest carbohydrates. Glucose is also produced by the liver. Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas. Insulin acts as a key to unlock the cells to allow glucose to enter. Glucose in the cells acts as fuel, which enables us to work, rest, and play. Without the insulin key glucose remains in the blood stream.

There are different types of diabetes, but we will concentrate on Type 1 and Type 2. Between 5% and 15% of all diabetics have been diagnosed with Type 1. In Type 1 diabetes the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin have been damaged beyond repair. This damage may be due to an infection or virus. Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas can produce some insulin but not enough for our daily needs, and the insulin producing cells may be just worn out. The difference between the two types is now much the insulin key is damaged. In Type 1 the key is absent, in Type 2 the key will only partially unlock the cells.

We’ve already said Type 1 diabetes can be the result of an infection or virus, but Type 2 is likely to be through lifestyle choices. However, these lifestyle choices can be changed from negative to positive choices. Research suggest that increasing your physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and elevate the problems associated with the condition.

FitFarms offers a Health and Wellbeing Assessment to support you through to a healthier lifestyle. The key is to understanding the condition and make the changes to your lifestyle, this can be achieved with FitFarms.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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What Type of Twitch are You?

What Type of Twitch are You?

What type of runner are you? Are you a sprinter or a distance runner? The difference could be the type of fibres in your muscles. Muscle bundles are broken up into myocytes; this is then divided into many myofibrils. Myofibrils are strands of proteins that have the action of grabbing and pulling. This action shortens the muscles and the muscle contracts.

The general belief is there are two types of muscle fibres, and they are slow twitch and fast twitch. Whether you are a slow twitch or a fast twitch runner seems to be influenced by how the muscles respond to training and any physical activity undertaken. On average the split between the slow twitch and the fast twitch tends to be 50%, however, there are genetic influences as to how that split in made up.

Slow twitch muscles tend to be more efficient at utilising oxygen for continuous movement, therefore helping athletes to run marathons and long distance bicycle races. Fast twitch muscles use anaerobic action to generate fuel, and therefore create short bursts of speed. Fatigue is more evident in fast twitch muscles; however, a sprinter only needs to generate a great deal of force in the short term.

The difference between the slow twitch and fast twitch runner can also be extended to the volume of blood vessels contained in the muscles. Slow twitch muscles need a rich supply of blood that has been oxygenated to produce energy. As fast twitch muscles use anaerobic action a rich blood supply is not need. The result is fast twitch muscles are lighter in colour than slow twitch muscles.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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Weightlifting for Exercise

Weightlifting for Exercise

Early man lifted stones to improve strength as a matter of survival of the fittest. This, eventually, moved on to lifting bells with the clappers removed giving raise the term dumbbells. The first occasion weightlifting appeared as an official sport in the Olympics was in 1896, but only became a regular event in 1920. The Olympics in 2000, in Sydney, saw the first women’s weightlifting classes.

Weight training uses gravity to build strength in muscles, with the aid of equipment such as gym equipment, barbells, and resistance bands. The major muscle groups are targeted.

Men tend to want to add bulk to their muscles whereas women want to go for the lean and toned look. There are three elements to building a lean toned look. They are diet, weight training, and equally important rest. The body needs protein to build and repair muscles, together with fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains. Maintaining your hydration is very important during exercise. Combine strength training with cardiovascular exercise to improve overall fitness, endurance, and weight maintenance. Rest is important to allow the body to repair the muscle groups. Target one area, such as the arms, legs, and abdominal region, one day and then the next session target the legs, and hips. There is a body-fat percentage calculation which can be applied for women, and that would be between 18 to 24 percent of body fat.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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Increasing Metabolic Rate

Increasing Metabolic Rate

The metabolic rate is the way humans, and in fact all animals, use energy to live. This can be anything from sleeping to climbing a mountain. The rate the metabolism works will vary depending on age, activity, and genetics. It is possible to have a slow metabolic rate, however the medical profession consider it rare, and it is not believed to be the cause of weight gain.

The body converts food and drink into the energy that is needed to get you through the day, this process is the metabolism. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories required to support the daily activities, such as breathing, and even cell repair. It is considered men have less body fat and more muscle mass, and therefore their BMR is likely to be faster. Age will effect muscle mass, and a decrease will reduce the rate calories are burned. The greater the weight or muscle mass the more calories are burned, therefore increasing the metabolic rate.

Unfortunately it’s not possible to control your metabolic rate, but it is possible to increase the calories you burn through physical activity. Aerobic exercise is an excellent way to burn calories, strength training is ideal to increase muscle mass, and therefore to lose weight and burn extra calories.

Some foods have been attributed with aiding and increasing the metabolic rate. Foods that contain capsaicin, such as peppers, and cayenne, will temporarily increase circulation and BMR. Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that stabilise the insulin levels, but at the same time speed up the BMR. Broccoli stands out against other vegetables as being high in vitamins A, K, and C. Research suggests that soups, green tea, citrus fruits, apples and pears are all excellent for increasing the BMR. Foods rich in calcium and omega 3 are not only beneficial to everyone, but also boost the metabolism.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fascia is the name given to the strong ligament which stretches from the middle foot bone back to the heel. Plantar Fasciitis refers to an inflammation of this region. Small, but repeated injuries to this area is likely to be the cause of plantar fasciitis.

Is it possible to avoid suffering from plantar fasciitis? There some actions you can take to minimise the chances of developing this condition. Gentle, regular exercise is good way to take care of your feet, as is maintaining a healthy weight. Before and after exercise perform warming up and cooling down exercises. Wear the correct footwear for your activity. Whenever possible rest with your feet elevated. Of course, these are sensible steps to take to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If you already suffer from plantar fasciitis then there a number of simple actions to relieve the problem. One is a stretching exercise, place the toes against the wall, keep the heel and arch flat, hold for 10. Repeat this four times a day, preforming each hold ten times. When the arch is sufficiently stretched roll a frozen bottle of water under the foot for ten minutes. Roll a small frozen ball, like a golf ball, starting from the front of the foot and work towards the back under the arch. Make sure to apply pressure in each area for about fifteen seconds at a time. Some of us have high arches and some low arches, this can be supported by the correct insole.

In time high arches can collapse, but support is required for high and low arches. Insoles designed to support arches can be inserted into closed heel shoes for maximum benefit. Shoes should always have firm heels, support along the length of the foot, flexibility in the toe area, and a secure closing system, such as laces or buckle.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

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Weight Loss Boot Camp Obstacle Course

Weight Loss Boot Camp Obstacle Course

FitFarms runs a fun hour session on a Sunday afternoon called the weight loss boot camp session.

It’s an obstacle course and has tyres and buckets plus bear nets. It’s great fun and the group bond together as it’s completed as a team.