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Monday, October 28, 2013

How to make Stress your friend

This is an amazing link. Stress and being compassionate have one similar trait. A hormone called Oxytocin. So we can actually transform stress into reaching out to others. Do spend some time watching.

When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage.
When you choose to connect others when under stress, you can create resilience.

Stress gives us access to our hearts.
The compassionate heart that find meaning and joy in other and yes the pounding of the heart gives us strength.

Friday, October 25, 2013


It's the new Vege!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lactic Acid, not a waste after all

In short, it does get used back in the body energy systems after all!! The 'bad guy' was actually the H+ ions that causes acidity in the body!

Have a read, if you're challenged enough :)

Lactic Acid: Friend or Foe?

It’s not uncommon to think of lactic acid as an enemy. For decades we’ve been conditioned by teachers, coaches and personal experience to think of it as some kind of useless waste product; the cause of that “burning” sensation when you run fast or pump iron to complete failure. Of course almost everyone associates lactic acid with next-day muscle soreness, fatigue and stiffness.
However, thanks to ongoing research in the field of nutritional biochemistry and exercise physiology, an entirely new perspective of lactic acid is now held. Instead of some kind of “evil Darth Vader”, scientists now recognize lactic acid as a major player in the way our bodies generate energy during exercise. Lactic acid is actually our friend.
The Benefits of Lactic Acid

Lactic acid fuels glucose and glycogen production in the liver, helps us to use dietary carbohydrates more efficiently and actually serves as a quick energy fuel preferred by the heart and muscles. Under anaerobic conditions, lactate even becomes a primary fuel for the brain. Lactic acid is enormously important to mechanisms involved with how we adapt to stress, and when correctly managed is possibly one of the most important keys to athletic success in high intensity sport.
Research with rats while swimming at high intensity has shown that lactate has a stimulatory effect on testosterone release. Lactic acid may also signal the release of human growth hormone from the pituitary. That’s good because both of theses hormones generally take a nosedive as people age. It’s not known yet whether it’s the lactate ion itself or the intense anaerobic exercise (which increases lactate ion concentration) that causes hGH to be released, but there is definitely a correlation.
The Real Cause of DOMS 

Lactic acid does not cause that dreaded burning sensation during intense exercise. When lactic acid is made it’s split into lactate ion (lactate) and hydrogen ion. Hydrogen ion is the bad guy, the acid in lactic acid that interferes with electrical signals in nerve and muscle tissue. And lactic acid is not responsible for any muscle soreness felt the next day or two after a hard workout. That is caused by muscle damage and post-exercise tissue inflammation.
Dr Fred Hatfield, author of “Hardcore Bodybuilding: A Scientific Approach”, associates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) with hydroxyproline damage, caused by the production of superoxide free radicals, hydroperoxides, hydroxyl radicals and ammonia. Hydroxyproline is a constituent of collagen and occurs throughout connective tissue.
In “Optimum Sports Nutrition”, Dr. Michael Colgan clearly describes how both muscle damage and DOMS are caused by the accumulation of ammonia, phosphate leakage from muscle into the blood, compression hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), reduction of cytochrome C and uncontrolled free radical pathology.
To offset this damage, which is potentially greater in large muscles such as the legs or back and rises with increased intensity, or in aerobic activity which forces a greater consumption of oxygen, athletes should take supplemental antioxidants before & after training, such as vitamin C & E, coenzyme Q10, n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), L-glutathione, grape seed extract, beta carotene, niacin, B5, zinc and selenium.
The Lactate Shuttle

Dr. George Brooks, PhD, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, claims that lactate can be shuttled between cells to supply additional energy for continued work. Lactate produced in fast-twitch (white) Type II explosive muscle fibers can be transported to slow-twitch (red) Type I endurance muscle fibers and throughout the entire vascular system to be used as fuel.
This is one of the reasons why I teach my clients to perform cardio AFTER the resistance exercise segment of their workout, not before. The other reasons relate to the way we oxidize fatty acids more efficiently after glycogen has been depleted and as a preparatory step for the next and final segment of my Five Step Exercise Program©, which includes a full body stretch inclusive to the combined techniques of yoga, martial arts and dance.
More on Lactic Acid 

Lactic acid is formed from the breakdown of glucose, our body’s main source of carbohydrate. Although this process is oxygen independent, lactic acid is also formed and maintained in muscles that have plenty of oxygen available. The key issue is elevation above threshold, because when the rate of lactic acid entry into the blood exceeds our ability to remove and/or control it effectively, then those pesky hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, which invariably interferes with how they contract and thus our ability to perform.
Thomas Fahey, PhD, professor of Exercise Science at Cal State, Chico, says the body uses lactic acid as a biochemical “middleman” for metabolizing carbohydrates. Most glucose from dietary carbohydrate bypasses the liver and enters the general circulation where it reaches muscle and converts into lactic acid. Lactic acid then goes back into the blood and returns to the liver where it’s used as a building block to make liver glycogen. This is called the “Glucose Paradox” and should remind us why it’s so important to have a healthy liver and active muscles.
Nutrients Which Improve Lactic Acid Metabolism 

The first one that comes to mind is creatine. In “Creatine, The Power Supplement”, Richard Kreider, PhD explains that increasing phosphocreatine [in the myocyte] through creatine supplementation may enhance performance by buffering acid [hydrogen ions], mitigating the formation of lactic acid and reducing the reliance on anaerobic glycolysis as a replenishment source of ATP.
HMB (ß-hydroxy-ß-methylbutyrate) is also a great asset. Steven Nissen PhD has shown that athletes taking HMB can exercise at a higher intensity and/or for a longer period of time when compared to a placebo. HMB seems to help the body burn intramuscular fatty acids preferentially over carbs. HMB improves VO2 peak, increases the time it takes to reach VO2 peak and increases lactic acid threshold. For more info and references, check out www.mettechinc.com.
Hydration is monumental to health & performance and it’s surprising how few people including athletes adequately hydrate themselves. A group of scientists in the United Kingdom examined the effects of ingesting a 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte solution on athletes (versus a placebo) during 90 minutes of intermittent high-intensity running. Serum insulin and blood glucose concentration was maintained for longer periods and blood lactate after 30 minutes of exercise was lower compared to water only (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, September 1999).
Sodium bicarbonate and phosphate both help beat the burn. So do carnosine and carnitine. Standardized panax ginseng extract spares glycogen and increases fatty acid oxidation. When you spare glycogen as a fuel source in exercise you can usually extend the time it takes to reach your tolerance to acid as it builds up. Of course the food you eat also contributes in a powerful way. Unlike the Canadian average (20%) at least sixty percent of your dietary profile should consist of alkaline food. But that’s another whole article in itself!

Fahey, T., PhD, Don’t “Dis” Lactic Acid, Sports Science, Volume 36, Number 9, Muscular Development (September 1999)
Boettger, C., MS, “The Lactate Shuttle”, Sports Research Update, Muscle & Fitness (February 2000)
Brooks, G.A., Mammalian fuel utilization during sustained exercise. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 120 (1): 89-107 (1998)
Gladden, L., Lactate uptake by skeletal muscle. Exercise Sport Science Review 17:115-155 (1989)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Learning to Love and Live When Life Gets Hard

For those of you who are in the rough, I feel you. I know what it is, and it's uplifting to have an article wrote to remind us where our strength lies.

Girl looking
“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.” ~Unknown
It’s when you’ve woken up with a full day ahead of you after only two hours of sleep.
It’s when there’s nothing for you to do but sit by your friends as they deal with tragedies and all the hard stuff life throws at us.
It’s when you don’t know how to handle the situations in your life that are anything but black and white.
It’s when you feel utterly helpless and powerless as you watch someone you care about aching with the deep soul wounds that only come from losing the person that comprised the other half of their heart.
It’s when your own heart feels as though it’s been crushed beyond recognition over and over again.
It’s when your path is entirely unclear and you don’t know if the next step is solid ground or off a cliff.
It’s when you’re not sure if the decisions you’ve made are the right ones.
It’s when sometimes you realize they weren’t.
It’s when it looks as though the world is irrevocably falling apart.
It’s when it seems like people are becoming more and more disconnected, lonely, and afraid.
It’s when you feel as though there’s no way you can even begin to help fix any of it.
It’s when you realize that, in spite of it all, you really are smart and strong enough to make it through step by agonizingly slow step.
It’s when you realize that just when you thought you had nothing left to give, you find you actually have everything left to give and more.
It’s when you want to give up on it all, but find that one thing that drives you to keep going.
It’s easy to love and give and feel happy and alive when things are going well, when we feel as though the world is our oyster. But what happens when life feels as though it’s caving in with a spirit crushing weight?
Over the course of 48 hours I found out a friend died, two of the people closest to me are supporting their moms as they contend with cancer, several friends are struggling with family issues, and all the while I’m attempting to balance out 14 hour work days as a counselor at a residential high school, but just wishing I was home to be with everyone.
It reminds me a lot of when I was working out and training for hours on end. There would come times when I felt exhausted, burnt out, and desperately wanted to quit. But then I remembered my goal.
I remembered that the pain and discomfort were temporary, and the strength, endurance, flexibility, and functionality I was gaining were invaluable.
While working out seems like an insignificant comparison to major life events, the psychological training is the same. What you tell yourself in moments that seem unimportant is what reemerge when things get hard. As the quote goes, “You don’t rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training.”
You don’t grow when things are easy and effortless. You grow when you’re being challenged—sometimes beyond what you think you’re capable of handling.
We carry ideas of what we think loving and living are until something comes along and redefines how we see it all. Sometimes it redefines it by making it appear as though it’s completely broken or entirely gone.
But you know what the beautiful part of it all is?
Just because we think something is broken doesn’t mean that it can’t be mended in some way.
And just because we think we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. The world around us reminds us of it all the time. Even the sun, moon, and stars silently show us that they exist even when there’s too much in the way to see them.
It’s not easy. It’s really, really hard. In fact, sometimes it looks nearly impossible. How are we supposed to gather our scattered bits of resolve to rebuild the will to keep moving forward when all we really want to do is curl up and hide from the world?
It’s those times we have to step aside and heal in whatever way we can, and in that time, remember (or find) what it is that keeps us going.
It’s when we think we have no reason left to love, and sometimes when we question our veryexistence, that we have to allow ourselves to find and create a whole new beauty from what may have felt like (and maybe was) an end.
As Cormac McCarthy wrote in All the Pretty Horses, “those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength.”
If we are open to the lessons from our hardships, misfortunes, and tragedies they will inevitably build within us an increasingly unshakable compassion, understanding, and love.
Losing so much of what I’ve loved and watching as friends contend with their own losses, I’ve learned that when it seems things couldn’t be any worse, that’s when it’s most important to gather every last bit of will and heart and forge the faith to keep believing that love and life are worth every single moment.
Even those that break our hearts.
It’s in those moments when we have to learn how to love and live again.
“It’s times like these you learn to live again. It’s times like these you give and give again. It’s times like these you learn to love again.” ~Foo Fighters
Photo by Harsha K R

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Life Tips from 18 of the World’s Wealthiest

They are indeed very useful tips!

Life Tips from 18 of the World’s Wealthiest

1,000 years of wisdom in an interactive flipbook

In this handy flipbook from eBay Deals, nearly 1,000 years of wisdom are condensed into a collection of life quotes from 18 of the world’s wealthiest people. Notable figures, from the late Henry Ford, to his modern-day counterpart in transportation innovation Elon Musk, give their best pieces of timeless advice. Also featured are entrepreneurs from many walks of life-- Oprah Winfrey and Michael Dellto Bill Gates and Mark Cuban give their thoughts on everything from relationships to frugality.
To view, use the arrow buttons below the flipbook to scroll through its pages.
- See more at: http://www.success.com/article/life-tips-from-18-of-the-world%E2%80%99s-wealthiest#sthash.mkX0LGYA.dpuf