A Few Fitness Tidbits

Looking over the many journals and fitness periodicals I receive, I wanted to share a few of these important tidbits with you:

– Most of us know that Omega 3 Fatty Acids are very important to reduce cardiovascular disease risk and high cholesterol, and we know to use unsaturated fats and oils to prevent these diseases as well. But have you heard of Omega 6 Fatty Acids? Omega 6 Fatty Acids are essential fatty acids that our bodies do not produce, and hence we must ingest in our foods. But, they DO NOT produce the same positive cholesterol lowering effects as Omega 3’s. In fact, they raise cholesterol levels! SO- when choosing oils to cook with- choose olive oil for the Omega 3’s and avoid other oils such as corn, safflower and vegetable oils, as they have higher levels of Omega 6’s and do not produce a positive cardiovascular benefit. Other than olive oil, use canola oil, as this is the ONLY other oil that has the correct ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids.
-Recent research has shown that elliptical trainers DO NOT burn more calories than treadmill walking- as long as the treadmill walking is vigorous in speed. Elliptical manufacturers have claimed in the past that the trainers burn lots more calories- but this is not necessarily true! By the way- remember, calorie estimates for cardio machines are approximate only- as the machine does not know your bodyfat %, your metabolic rate- or whether you are a man or woman- all factors which affect calorie expenditure.
– A small research study has shown that chronic back pain reduces brain function by an amazing 11% a year, the equivalent of 10-20 years of normal aging. Typically, we lose about .5% brain function per year- so this is a significantly negative outcome. As I have always said- NO ONE should have to tolerate chronic pain- seek any and all therapies to help yourself.