Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fight Common Male Cancers With These Foods
Cancer diagnoses are all too common. Most men know someone who’s been personally affected by the disease. According to, roughly 45 per cent of men will develop it in their lifetime and cancer has already surpassed diseases of the heart as the main cause of death among Canadians in 2007.

But there are a number of foods packed with nutrients known to fight cancer. A look at some of the most common cancers among men and the best eats to arm your self against the life-threatening illness:
For the prostate: Go for garlic
According to research by, the most common cancer among men (apart from non-melanoma skin cancer) is prostate cancer. Though it might not help your breath, garlic is thought to help prevent the disorder. Men’s Health UK highlighted a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that made the case for eating about three cloves a day. They found that men that did had a 50 per cent lower risk of prostate cancer than those who chowed down on less than 2 grams.

For the lungs: Something fishy
Though lung cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among both men and women, rates are higher among guys. Carnivores with a weakness for cigarettes should take note of research cite in Reader’s Digest: the combination of smoking and animal fats appears to promote lung cancer. However, the omega-3 fatty acids prevalent in foods like salmon, sardines and mackerel “appears to minimize the effect.” Better yet, just ditch the tobacco habit altogether.

For the colon: Fiber’s your friend
In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has listed colon and rectum cancer the third most prevalent cancer among men. Sure, it may be located in an embarrassing part of your body, but the Center believes rates could be “cut by as much as 60% if all people aged 50 years or older received regular screening tests.” Fiber has long been touted as one of the best ways to keep digestive health in check, but it need not be limited to bland breakfast cereals. suggests eating more Mexican-inspired dishes: high-fibre foods like beans and brown rice can help fend off colon polyps which can lead to colon cancer.

For the bladder: Tomato power
Next on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention list of most common cancers among men is cancer of the bladder. Fortunately, tomatoes are one of the best foods you can eat to prevent both bladder and prostrate cancer. points out that the it is one of the few foods stocked with the antioxidant lycopene, which is thought to reduce the risk of bladder cancer. Though fresh tomatoes contain more of the antioxidant, we can’t help but think a garlicky tomato sauce on top on high-fibre pasta would make for an excellent, cancer-fighting entrĂ©e.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lab Rat - Hands on Your Heads
By Dr. Sean Delanghe, DC

Want to run more efficiently? Peter Grinbergs, head coach of Wilfrid Laurier University’s cross-country team, has a suggestion: Put your hands on your head. Grinbergs’s Hands on Head (HOH) system, developed after 30 years of coaching, involves a series of drills that focuses on diagnosing and correcting stride inefficiencies. His athletes will follow up hard workouts with light strides, walking high knees and barefoot drills - all with their hands firmly placed on their heads.
“If you take [the arms and shoes] away, it forces the athletes to learn what their deficiencies are,” says Grinbergs, who has coached six Olympic athletes using variations of this system. “Through practice, a corrective process occurs,” he says, adding that arms and shoes can sometimes hide flaws in running form. During an HOH session, he tells athletes to keep their upper body still. Grinbergs says this helps to establish a balanced core, decreases unnecessary arm motion, and prevents the body from moving side-to-side or up and down while running. The HOH walking high knees helps to identify key issues, such as tight hamstrings or weak hip flexors, which shortens our stride.
While the HOH system is not scientifically proven, much of what Grinbergs has implemented draws parallels to what scientists in the field have discovered. For instance, a group of Australian researchers summarized the factors that we know contribute to running economy. One of the key areas is running kinematics, or how a runner moves. The research has shown that running economy improves when you keep your motion moving forward, as opposed to upward, while also keeping arm and core movements to a minimum. In other words, if you bounce less, stop swinging your arms so much, and stay centred, you will go faster without exerting any extra energy. These are all factors the HOH system is designed to identify and correct.
Researchers have also shown that flexibility plays a crucial role in running economy. A runner who is too flexible will lack the free, spring-like energy a stiff muscle and tendon can provide, making them less economical. By contrast, a number of studies have also shown that runners who lack flexibility will be equally inefficient. Once again, the HOH system seems to be in line with this research as it encourages runners to develop an appropriate stride length in a functional way. Although the HOH system may parallel what the science is showing, it isn’t a miracle drill. Grinbergs says the system is not a quick fix and doesn’t work for everybody. It’s also evident that these drills are by no means a replacement for other key components to your training. You still have to do your intervals, and there is no substitute for mileage and consistency.
Grinbergs’s method, when implemented as a supplement to consistent training, is paying off for many of his athletes. “Ever since I have been using HOH, my upper body movement has become much more efficient while running,” says Ben Flanagan, who represented Canada at the 2011 Youth World Championships. Flanagan’s 1500m PB has dropped by 16 seconds to 3:52.46 since implementing the HOH technique. The system is also great for beginners and recreational runners. After a hard workout, try taking your shoes off, putting your hands on your head, and walking with high knees for 50m and then running for 50m. Be sure to keep your upper body still. Follow this up with a 100m jog recovery and repeat 6 times. Stick to the plan for a few months, and you should see some positive changes in your stride.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Basic Characteristics of Exercise
By:  Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Regular exercise has long been identified as an essential element of good health.  Below is a brief summary regarding some of the basic characteristics of a balanced exercise program.

Aerobic or endurance exercise improves the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to working muscles and organs.  Swimming, cycling, jogging, and power walking are a few examples.  It is recommended that an individual engage in a minimum of 30 minutes of endurance exercise at least three times per week.  Aerobic and endurance exercise benefits the cardiovascular system.  It is also a great way to help lose weight and control blood sugar levels.

Resistance or strengthening exercise enhances a muscle’s ability to contract and do work.  Strengthening exercises can vary from using fitness machines, simple dumbbells at home, rubber bands, or your own body weight.  Improving or maintaining strength is important for preserving and building bone density.  This can assist in preventing osteoporosis and the risk of fracture from falls.  Strengthening exercises can also boost metabolism and help keep a healthy body weight.

Flexibility exercises help maintain a joint’s complete movement or range of motion.  Stretching is the most familiar form of this type of exercise but it can also include activities such as Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga.  Holding a sustained stretch for 15 to 30 seconds can provide modest flexibility gains.  This type of exercise becomes especially important when preparing the body for any physical activity to help minimize the risk of injury.  Individuals with arthritic conditions can find this type of exercise extremely beneficial in helping them cope with stiff and painful joints.

The exercise components of intensity, duration, and frequency will influence how one progresses through an exercise program.  For example, someone performing the endurance portion of their exercise program of walking will find that after a short while they are able to walk quicker (intensity), longer (duration), and 5 days a week instead of 3 (frequency).  This same person also finds that they are progressing in their resistance program because they can now lift a heavier dumbbell (intensity), 8 times instead of 5 (duration), and 4 times a week instead of 2 (frequency).  A simple explanation for all of this is that your body is learning through exercise how to adapt to these positive stresses being placed upon it.  In order to keep progressing, the body must have a new stimulus placed on it every once in a while.  Of course there are limits to this, and sometimes switching the nature of the exercise you perform can be an adequate change in stimulus, resulting in continued health benefits from exercise.

A lifetime of regular aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercise is ideal, but it is never too late to start!  If you are over 35, have been sedentary for some time, or have a specific health condition or limitation, consult with a knowledgeable personal trainer or health care provider before beginning any new exercise program.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

10 Ways to Lose 20 Pounds

Slim down with simple tweaks to your diet and fitness routines
By: The Editors of  

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Snooze—and Lose

In a 16-year study at Harvard, scientists found that people who slept for 5 hours or less a night were 32 percent more likely to pack on major pounds than those who dozed a full 7 hours. Although "major" was defined as 33 pounds, the average increase was 2 pounds a year, a gain that's easy to miss from month to month. "Due to accumulating fatigue, those who get the least shuteye may also move around the least during the day," says study author Sanjay Patel, M.D.

Trouble hitting the sack? Here’s How to Snooze Like a Baby—No Matter Your Age.

Don't Believe Your Eyes

Warning: Your breakfast may be larger than it appears. Cornell University scientists found that people ate more cereal from bigger bowls than from smaller ones, even though they thought the opposite to be true. "It's called the size-contrast illusion," says researcher Brian Wansink, Ph.D. "Because food takes up a smaller percentage of space in larger dishes, it seems like you're eating less." Use a measuring cup to portion out your cereal; in a few days, you'll be able to eyeball servings accurately.

Plus: Lose fat faster, build bigger muscle, and last longer in bed!

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Make Time for a Quickie

An 11-minute workout can help you burn more fat all day long, say researchers from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. In the study, people who lifted weights for that duration three times a week increased their metabolic rate even as they slept. "The process of breaking down and repairing your muscles increases your metabolism," says study author Erik Kirk, Ph. D. What's more, the participants were able to fit their workouts into their schedules 96 percent of the time.

Transform your body into a fat-burning machine with these 5 Easy Ways to Rev Your Metabolism.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Don't Neglect Your Legs

To take inches off your waist, work the muscles below your belt. In a new Syracuse University study, people burned more calories the day after they did lower-body resistance training than the day after they worked their upper body. "Leg muscles like your quads and glutes generally have more mass than the muscles in your chest and arms," says study author Kyle Hackney, Ph. D.(c). "Work more muscle, and your body uses more energy to repair and upgrade it later." The best approach? Hit every muscle each workout.

Need a plan? Try: The Incredible 82-Day Speed Shred.

Clock in at the Gym

A stressful job may make you fat, suggest Harvard researchers who followed 1,355 Americans for 9 years. They found that overweight men with little authority at work gained more weight than men with more authority did. Not being able to make decisions is linked to stress. Eating can be calming because it releases mood-improving endorphins, says study author Jason Block, M.D. The best stress-busting fat burner? Exercise.
Video: Just getting into yoga? Start with The Best Yoga Poses for Guys.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Whey to Lose

To drop weight, you need to cut back on certain foods—but not dairy. Milk and other dairy products can help dieters slim down and beef up, say Canadian researchers. Their study found that heavy people who exercised every day and followed a high-protein, high-dairy (and calorie-restricted) diet for 16 weeks lost about 10 pounds of fat and gained 1 1/2 pounds of muscle. (Those who ate less dairy and protein still lost weight, but they also lost muscle.) The reasons: Milk may help regulate appetite, and whey protein can activate muscle growth.

(For healthy five-star snacks you can make in your own kitchen, sign up for the all-new Men’s Health Guy Gourmet newsletter!)

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Go Ahead. Live a Little

Eating frequent, low-sugar desserts can help keep the weight off. Dieters in a Greek study who ate a low-sugar dessert four times a week lost 9 more pounds after 12 weeks than those who ate any dessert they wanted just once a week. (Search: Healthiest Desserts) Eating dessert more frequently can keep you from feeling deprived, the researchers say. But limit desserts to around 10 percent of your daily calories.

Want  great desserts that won’t tip the scale? Check out these 15 Dessert Swaps for Weight Loss.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Cut the Carbs

A worldwide consensus has formed: Eating a diet that's low in carbs, not fats, is the best way to lose weight. In a recent United Arab Emirates study, people who followed a low-carb diet had lower body weights, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels than those who went with a low-fat diet. And a European study that tracked nearly 90,000 people for several years found that participants with a low fat intake had the same risk of being overweight as those who ate higher amounts of fat. Still, if you boost your fat intake, make sure you adjust your calories and physical activity accordingly.

Related: 12 Tasty Substitutions When Cutting Carbs

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Don't Go Soft

Turns out, soft drinks really are just empty calories. Penn State University researchers fed men lunch once a week for 6 weeks, along with either a 12 or 18-ounce regular soda, diet soda, or water. The result: The men ate the same amount of food no matter the size or type of beverage served. Which means they consumed far fewer total calories when they drank water or diet soda compared with the sugar-laden stuff. What's more, the participants' ratings of satiety and hunger were identical after each lunch, showing that the extra calories in the regular soda had no benefit.

Sugar doesn’t just come in the form of cookies and candy. Discover the insidious ways it can creep into your diet with 9 Sneaky Sources of Sugar.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Four ways to stop a cold or flu in its tracks

Have you caught the dreaded change-of-season cold?  These four tips can help you shorten the duration of a cold and alleviate symptoms.

Perhaps it was the person at the office who sneezed a little too close to you. Or maybe it happened on the crowded bus, where you were surrounded by a symphony of coughs and sniffles. Either way, now you’ve woken up with a change-of-season cold, and you’re not alone.
It may be too late for you to keep yourself from getting sick in the first place, but the good news is that there is plenty you can do to shorten the duration of a cold or flu and alleviate the symptoms while you’re waiting to recover. Here are my top four tips for sending the sniffles packing.
1. Triple your vitamin D for three days
Low vitamin D is common in people who live in northern climates. When we start heading indoors to get away from the cooler temperatures, the subsequent decrease in vitamin D — which our body produces when sunshine hits our skin — leaves us more susceptible to viruses.
The immune system’s front-line soldiers are the T-cells, which are dormant until they are activated to detect and kill infections from viruses and bacteria. A Danish study found that the first stage of T-cell activation involves vitamin D — when a T-cell is exposed to a virus or bacteria, it sends a signal to search for vitamin D in the blood. Without vitamin D, T-cell activation is stopped in its tracks.
At the first sign of a cold or flu I recommend taking 25,000 to 30,000 IU of vitamin D a day for three consecutive days only. After that, drop your dose down to 4,000 to 5,000 IU, taken daily for long-term health. Children may take 1000IU for three days, then decrease to 200 to 400IU per day. As always, discuss new supplement use with your health practitioner.
2. Top up your vitamin C
When it comes to stifling the symptoms of your cold, much like with vitamin D, you need vitamin C to boost your defences. Vitamin C influences your ability to fight off infections by stimulating white blood cells and increasing the rate at which they travel to the site of infection. Scientists from the University of Texas Health Science Center studied the white blood cells of 12 patients before and after each patient took one gram of vitamin C daily for two weeks and found that their disease-killing white blood cells became much more active with the increase in vitamin C supplementation.
I recommend taking four to 12 grams of vitamin C, spread throughout the day, at the first sign of a cold. If you develop loose stools, then simply reduce the dose.

3. Put on wet socks and hit snooze
It may not sound appealing, but this natural remedy can stop a cold, flu, or fever in its tracks by stimulating the immune system and improving circulation. Best of all, you only need a few simple ingredients: a pair of cotton socks, thick wool socks, and a towel.
First, soak the cotton socks in cold water. Wring them out slightly and place them on your feet. Then take a pair of thick dry wool socks and put them over the wet socks. If desired, you can set a towel under your feet — then immediately go to sleep. Do this for two or three nights, or until you feel your illness has passed.
4. Pump up the probiotics
Everyone can benefit from the use of probiotics for healthy digestion, regular bowel function and immunity. When your immune system is under attack, however, you need to increase the dosage. Clinical trials show that probiotics may decrease the incidence of respiratory tract infections and that antibiotics may turn the immune system “off” while probiotics turns it back on “idle,” possibly leaving your body more able to quickly react to new infections.
Look for a supplement with 10 to 15 billion cells per capsule. Take two upon rising and before bed, on an empty stomach. For maintenance, drop to one or two pills each morning.
Natasha Turner, N.D. is a naturopathic doctor, Chatelaine magazine columnist, and author of the bestselling books The Hormone Diet and her newest release, The Supercharged Hormone Diet, now available across Canada. She is also the founder of the Toronto-based Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting An Exercise Program And Sticking To It
By:  Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

A new year means a fresh start!  Starting an exercise program is an excellent health conscious choice on many people's New Year's resolution lists.  Below are some helpful tips to help you stick with an exercise program.

Make Exercise Safe:  An exercise that may be considered safe for one individual may not be safe for another due to age, physical limitations, and other health concerns.  If you are not sure where to start, consult with an experienced and knowledgeable individual such as a personal trainer or health care provider who can assist in choosing activities that are appropriate for you.  If you have been inactive for a period of time, gradually ease into activity and take it slow.
Make Exercise Feel Good:  Not only does exercise make you physically stronger; it also has the benefits of releasing excess tension, building self-esteem, and stimulating the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals called endorphins.  Although there may be some initial physical discomfort when beginning a new exercise program, this may be your body’s normal response when starting a new activity and should not last more than one to two weeks.  If discomfort or pain persists beyond this point, consult with an experienced individual to make sure the exercise you are performing is appropriate and being done correctly.

Make Exercise Convenient:  Although incorporating regular exercise into a busy life necessitates some planning and sacrifice, the health benefits can be significant.  Regular exercise must be prioritized.  This may require scheduling exercise into everyday routines and/or making regular exercise as convenient as possible, thereby increasing the likelihood that it remains a priority.  Exercise does not need to be time consuming.  Regular bouts of exercise for as little as 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on health.

Make Exercise Fun:  Individuals should choose a range of exercise activities that they enjoy.  Performing these activities with a workout buddy, friend, or family member also results in the exercise being more pleasurable.  Those individuals who choose fitness and recreational activities they enjoy are more likely to be consistent with those activities.  Having another individual to share this with will also increase the likelihood that you will stay with the exercise activity.

Individuals beginning an exercise program need to have realistic expectations about the amount of time they can invest, the activities they will enjoy engaging in, and the physical and psychological benefits they expect to experience.  Exercise leads to tremendous health benefits that can be initiated by individuals of any age or shape.  Hopefully we have inspired you to invest in the health of your future.  From all of us at the New Hamburg Wellness Centre, good luck and Seasons Greetings!

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.