Wednesday, December 22, 2010

To Ice Or Not To Ice, That is The Question.

Back in July, I wrote a blog about ice vs. heat. Hopefully this will shed some light, on a long, on going debate.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine

Ice Delays Recovery from Injuries

November 14, 2010

More than 30 years ago I coined the term RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for the acute treatment of athletic injuries. Now a study from the Cleveland Clinic shows that one of these recommendations, applying ice to reduce swelling, actually delays healing by preventing the body from releasing IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1), a hormone that helps heal damaged tissue (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, November 2010).

When germs get into your body, your immunity sends cells and proteins into the infected area to kill the germs. When muscles and other tissues are damaged, your immunity sends the same inflammatory cells to the damaged tissue to promote healing. The response to both infection and tissue damage is the same. Certain cells called macrophages rush to the damaged tissue to release IGF-1 which helps heal muscles.

Healing is delayed by cortisone-type drugs, nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, applying cold packs or ice, and anything else that blocks the immune response to injury. Now the treatments for an acute injury include Rest (stop exercising), Compression and Elevation (to reduce swelling), but no ice.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

November’s Healthy Newsletter

November 2010 ,

The Reason for the Season is Not Excess

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE,, the average Thanksgiving dinner is 3,000 calories, with 229 calories from fat.

As we approach the holidays, I don’t expect anyone to act like Charles Barkley – who, when asked how he managed to lose so much weight, responded, “I spit out everything that tasted good.” However, we need to be mindful of portion control, especially during the holidays.

New Studies of Metabolic Syndrome

Disagree with Workout Protocols

Metabolic syndrome is a disease that is indicated by a group of risk factors, including high body fat percentage, isulin resistance, high blood pressure and lipididemia, better known as high cholesterol.

Candidates for this disease generally live sedentary lifestyles. New studies indicate our previous expectations regarding exercise are not sufficient. Experts are beginning to suspect that the old axiom doesn’t quite measure up to fitness: 30 minutes a day, five days a week of exercise is not enough to combat metabolic syndrome for those sitting at a desk eight hours daily.

Here are some tips to help get you moving during the course of the workday:

· Replace your desk chair with a stability ball.

· If there are stairs in the building, take a stair break.

· Walk one or two laps around the office.

From The Independent (

A great answer to a great question

Why Hydrate During Winter?

by Phil Wagner, MD, SPARTA Performance Science director

for The Daily News

Drinking water to stay hydrated usually is associated with images of sweltering heat and long bouts of endurance. However, as the rain signals the beginning of fall and the upcoming winter storms, athletes need to stay hydrated to optimize their strength, not just their endurance.

A 2008 study out of the University of Connecticut's Human Performance Laboratory examined healthy, resistance-trained males in three states; hydrated, slightly dehydrated (signaled by a loss of 2.5 percent body weight in water), and dehydrated (loss of 5 percent). The study found that the dehydrated individuals had higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that is a marker for stress, and lower levels of testosterone, a hormone responsible for much of the growth in strength and muscle size after exercise. Such detriments were even greater among individuals in the more dehydrated state.

So these trained males' response to lifting weights was normal: an increase in stress hormones, particularly cortisol. This catabolic environment from the stress of exercise is normally balanced by an increase in testosterone, a marker of the anabolic process that allows the body to respond to the stimulus of resistance training. These normal responses were both negatively affected by even a slightly dehydrated condition.

For you power athletes, such as anyone not involved in cross country, you do not need to be drinking water for endurance or cramping. But water will help you reap more benefits from a set of sprints or lifting.

Go ahead: tip your glass of water more often, about half an ounce for every pound of body weight. It is one of the cheapest ways to improve hormone levels without testing positive. For more information, visit

November is Here: And So Is
the 2010 Winter Biggest Loser Contest

This year, the competition is going to be slightly different: I am joining the contest, and the winner has to lose more weight than I do to claim the prize money.

Entry fee is $10, and winner takes all.

The winner will be chosen by greatest percentage of body weight lost. However, if I win, the money, the kitty will be held over to our next contest (which will be next summer).

Beginning weigh-ins will be held Monday, November 8 and Tuesday, November 9. Ending weigh-ins will be Monday, December 20 and Tuesday, December 21.

Contact me for more information.

David Cohen , ACE Certified Personal Trainer & ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist ,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tai Chi Demo

Here are two videos for my class that had to absorb the entire Tai Chi form in six weeks. The first video is narrated and shows the movements at a faster speed. The second video shows the movements at regular speed.
I hope these dedicated students continue to practice — and if there are any questions, feel free to contact me.
Here are a few tips as you watch the video:
  • Shoulders down, elbows down, knees slightly bent.
  • Do not tuck, or lift the chin.
  • Breath through your dan tien.
  • If you get hung up: relax, focus on your breathing, then continue.
Faster speed, with narration: