Eccentric Exercise

Every muscle undergoes three different movements when it is exercised - isometric (no movement), concentric (contracting) and eccentric (extracting). Eccentric exercises are usually recommended for athletes or the elderly patients looking to condition certain muscles of their body. These exercises are based on a simple principle, the muscles increase as they gain tension and regular practice of such exercises boosts muscle strength and performance..

Exercises for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, affects about 3% of the population in the United States. Originating in the wrist muscles, it is generally perceived as an over use injury. Tennis elbow is common in people indulging in excess physical activities and sports that includes a continuous wrist movement or a power grip. The physical activities associated with tennis elbow are meat cutting, plumbing, working in automobile repair shops and playing tennis for long hours.

Resistance Band

  • Get a resistance band and secure one end of the band under your foot and hold the opposite end with your injured hand.
  • Extend your injured hand out straight, lock your elbow with your wrist facing the floor. Make use of your free hand to support your injured wrist to pull the wrist back towards you, stretching the band with it.
  • Your free hand should do 98% of the work while bringing your injured wrist back. Let go the free hand and slowly let the band pull your injured wrist down towards the floor.
  • Do this exercise 3 sets of 15 reps each.

Flex Bar

  • Recent studies have proved that eccentric exercises can heal tennis elbow very easily.
  • Hold one end of the flex bar with the injured hand and hold the other end with the functional hand.
  • Twist the flex bar by flexing the wrist of the functional hand. Now bring both the arms in front of the body while maintaining the twist in the flex bar.
  • Repeat this exercise for three sets of 15 repetitions each.

Exercises for Knees

Eccentric exercises for knee are often used to treat jumper's knee (also known as patellar tendinitis). Patellar tendinitis begins as a chronic pain in the knee and can later result in tearing of the patellar tendon. This condition is common in sports personalities because of the overuse of their knee muscles.

Eccentric Squat

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart next to a wall or table for balance. Carefully bend your knees as if you're simulating a sitting position.
  • Lower your torso until your thighs are parallel to the floor. When you get into the position, hold it for about 10 seconds.
  • Put more tension on the non-injured leg and return to your standing position using your hamstring muscles.
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps each. Always perform this exercise on a flat surface.

Hamstring Exercise with Bands

  • Coil an exercise band to the ankle of the right foot.
  • Tie the opposite end to a door or to a heavy object that doesn't move.
  • Bend your right knee till the shin is parallel to the floor and the heel of the right leg comes closer to the buttocks.
  • Carefully move the foot back to the floor. Repeat 4 sets of 5 reps of this exercise to ensure a smooth recovery.

Step Up

  • Stand with your injured foot on a step, with the other foot on a flat surface. Gradually shift your weight onto the injured foot, as you raise the other foot off the floor.
  • Straighten the knee of the injured foot and then slowly lower the other foot back to the floor. Repeat 4 sets of 6 reps each.
  • Increase the tension by increasing the height of the step with regular practice session. Step ups is a great eccentric exercise for calf muscles, but people should remember to do these exercises on a moderate pace to gain maximum benefits.

Eccentric exercises don't guarantee permanent relief from muscle problems but they do subside the pain and also improve muscle condition. Medical reports claim that people who practice these exercises regularly have seen outstanding success in their condition and have completely stopped taking medication.



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How Can Teenagers Lose Weight

We live in a culture inspired by movie stars and fashion magazines and there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to get in shape and losing weight the healthy way. If you want tips for that, you need to first set realistic targets and timeline for your weight loss plan.

Eating a healthy diet during one's teen years is extremely essential as the body is still in the growth phase. However, most teens, in their desire to have celebrity-like bodies and also, to some extent due to peer pressure, end up going on a diet! Using fast track diet programs will probably help one to lose weight quickly but can lead to several adverse consequences. The idea should be to lose 8 - 10 pounds over a 4-week period with diet and exercise. Parents and teachers should guide teenage children on losing weight in a planned and healthy manner.

Healthy Ways to Lose Weight for Teenagers

To lose weight in a healthy manner, teenagers must plan an exercise routine which includes weight training routines and cardiovascular exercises, jot down a week's meal plan and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. If you are a beginner, start with just ten minutes of exercise and then gradually increase the duration. Alternating between various kinds of cardiovascular exercises, for instance, performing aerobics one day, dancing the second day, cycling the third day, playing a sport on the fourth day, swimming on the fifth and so on ensures that there are lesser chances of getting bored and breaking the exercise routine. Diet and good lifestyle habits are also very important to achieve your goals, so make the necessary changes. Here are some tips for losing weight fast, with exercise, proper diet and healthy lifestyle changes.

Exercise

Cardio Routine
When doing cardiovascular exercises do them for at least 40 - 50 minutes and add variations to your routine to avoid boredom. In a gym you could alternate between a treadmill and cross trainer or stair stepper, adjust the intensity levels to support your weight loss regimen. You can also undertake exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, etc., to get a good workout. Mix and match your cardio routine to keep your interest levels up, for example one day you go swimming in the lake, another day you go cycling in the mountains. Cardio is one of the best exercises for weight loss.

Weight Training
Some of the places that show visible signs of weight gain are the arms, chest, hips and belly regions, you can target these specific areas with weight training. One workout plan that you could follow is - weight training 3 days a week and doing multiple body parts in one day. For example on day one you work the chest, shoulder and triceps, on day three, exercise the back and biceps and finally on day five do leg exercises. The most potent weight loss exercise tip is to do less repetitions with heavy weights rather than doing more repetitions with less weight.

Healthy Diet

Vegetables and Fruits
The diet should mainly comprise fresh fruits and vegetables. These are rich in essential nutrients and at the same time, low in calories. So, if one is serious about losing weight, at least half of the meal should comprise fruits and vegetables, especially those that are rich in fiber. High fiber foods such as broccoli, beans, prunes and papaya aid in digestion and keep the body full for a long time, thus reducing the overall calorie intake.

Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats
The diet for teens should have the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. However, to make sure that one does not gain weight, only complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole wheat rice and bread, muesli and whole grains should be taken. Include proteins like lean meats, eggs, beans, broccoli and fish, in your diet. Contrary to the popular belief, fats such as those found in olive oil, aid in weight loss and are very important to maintain a healthy body, so it should be taken daily too.

Five Small Meals
Instead of eating three big meals and snacking on high calorie chips or junk food in between them, one should take five small meals. This will keep the tendency to snack in check. Also, teens should aim for smaller food portions. Breakfast should be the heaviest meal of the day. Low sugar cereals in low fat milk, five almonds and a fruit is the ideal breakfast as it will keep one energetic throughout the day. Dinner should be light and should be taken at least two hours before going to bed.

Water
Do you know that drinking water can actually aid in weight loss? Surprised? Well, the reason behind this is that water helps in the elimination of fats and wastes from the body which would have otherwise led to fat accumulation in the body. So, one of the easiest weight loss tips for overweight teens is to drink at least two liters of water every day.

Foods to Avoid
Asking teens to completely give up on fast foods like pizzas and burgers is not realistic. However, they can certainly be asked to restrict their consumption, to just once a week. Pizzas with vegetable toppings should be preferably eaten rather than those with cheese and meat toppings. Intake of sugary foods such as cakes, donuts, pastries as well as fried foods, should be reduced, although, for losing weight, they need to be completely eliminated from the diet. Some other foods to be avoided are soft drinks, sugary fruit juices, ice creams and chocolates.

Lifestyle Changes

Following a healthy lifestyle is crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight. Our body needs rest to rejuvenate and so does the mind. Make sure you get enough sleep, follow the old adage 'early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise'. If your schedule permits you, take a power nap of 10 - 15 minutes in the afternoon, this will keep your energy levels high. A word of caution here is not to exceed your power naps, otherwise you will feel sleepy. Supplement your habit of drinking soda with fruit juices or better yet with water. Avoid processed and sugary snacks like candies, cookies, instead choose snacks that are high in fiber and important nutrients.

Maintaining tracking sheets of exercise and diet, scheduling your daily routine and enlisting your friends to help you with your weight loss program are some of the tips for teenagers that can be really effective. Remember, there is no shortcut to a healthy, fit and trim body. So, inculcate qualities like discipline, patience and perseverance as they are important for succeeding in your weight loss plan.



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Breast Development in Girls

The physical changes that girls undergo during puberty often give rise to mixed feelings about their body, appearance and social comfort level. Breast development in girls during puberty is the most visibly prominent metamorphosis undergone by us and the process of developing breasts is a physiologically complex one. Let us try and understand the various aspects of development of breasts in girls to find out how these physical appendages, that serve the most significant visual gender-distinction purpose, come into being.

Breast Development Stages in Girls

The age in which breasts start developing in girls can differ widely. However, on an average, the development of breast commences somewhere between the ages of 10-15. The first indication announcing the formation of breasts is a tender, yet firm lump under the areola of one or both breasts. This soft lump is known as Thelarche and this stage is called the Tanner Stage 2, Tanner Stage 1 being the absolutely undeveloped stage just preceding the formation of the Thelarche. Thelarche are also nicknamed as "breast buds" as they precede the full bloom of the female physical flora! The formation of the thelarche is a result of a rise in Estradiol levels in the female body during puberty. Estradiol is the most significant sex hormone in females and it's role is to regulate the growth of the reproductive organ tissues besides taking care of the vaginal lining, cervical glands, endometrium and the lining of the fallopian tubes.

Within six to twelve months of the formation of the thelarche, the area around both areolae begin swelling up, extending beyond their edges. This mound is soft to the touch and very sensitive in the beginning, sometimes hurting slightly. Within another twelve months, the breasts grow to their full size and you can see the areola and the mammary papillae forming a second, very small mound on the main breast mound. These secondary mounds are what we call nipples. The nipples and the surrounding areolar patch is distinguished by darker pigmentation than the rest of the breast. The nipples contain very small outlets for around 15-20 lactiferous ducts which carry milk that form inside the mammary glands during pregnancy. While breastfeeding, these tiny perforations in the nipples enable the milk from the mammary glands, carried by the lactiferous ducts, to reach the infant's suckling mouth.

Other Physical Changes During Puberty

During the onset of puberty, girls undergo many other visible physical changes such as a change in their body shape and body fat distribution. The hip and pelvic regions widen and the fat distribution in certain areas of the body such as breasts, hips, thighs, buttocks, upper arms, etc., increase to give the average female body that "curvy" shape. Also, during this period, girls develop hair on their armpits and pubic region. Increased estrogen levels at this stage leads to changes in the mucosal surface of the vagina and growth in the size of ovaries, uterus and ovular follicles. Young people between puberty and adulthood are called adolescents and this in-between-time is needed by the body to adjust to the drastic changes brought on by puberty.

Menstrual bleeding (what we commonly known as periods or "chums") typically starts about two years after the formation of the thelarche. This is the ovulation cycle and is necessary for female fertility. In the beginning the periods are pretty irregular as the body is still adjusting to the sudden changes. The first menstrual period is known as menarche.

As discussed before, the development of breasts is a whole new experience for young girls, rife with mixed feelings. It feels exciting to step into womanhood but at the same time, the sudden and radical physical metamorphosis can be perplexing and, sometimes, a little embarrassing. Puberty is that time of life when you rediscover yourself! It's like getting born again as you cease to identify with the person you were earlier. Puberty for girls is a mixed bag - it is exciting as well as perplexing. It is the cocoon stage from whence the clumsy, awkward caterpillar emerges as a gorgeous butterfly bathed in full glory of her new-found identity and colorful wings. Who you turn into after puberty is who you are going to be for a good part of your life! Hence, take the transition easy and enjoy the flight - the world awaits you!



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Diet Coke Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

When it comes to carbonated beverages, Diet Coke has always be the first choice among health-conscious consumers. The sugar content in Diet Coke is nil, making it a better alternative to regular Coke. Its lower calorie count too appears to make it a wiser pick. However, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners like aspartame has not gone down well with some health experts. The inclusion of chemical preservatives like phosphoric acid and potassium benzoate is also a cause for concern. No wonder the beverage is often referred to as a 'chemical cocktail'. Let's put all assumptions to rest, and check out the ingredients of Diet Coke, along with its nutrition and calorie content.

Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar is not added to elicit a 'sweet' flavor. The sweet taste of Diet Coke comes from aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Aspartame is so sweet (200 times sweeter than sugar) that infinitesimally tiny amounts is added to emulate the sweetness of sugar. However, it is this addition of aspartame that has courted lot of criticism among health experts. Although approved by the FDA, studies have linked long-term use of aspartame to increased risk of a wide range of medical conditions, including seizures, birth defects, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems.

Caffeine

A 330 ml serving of Diet Coke provides around 42 mg of caffeine. The increased alertness after drinking Diet Coke is due to the presence of this caffeine. This is slightly higher when compared to other beverage brands that are available in the same size. For instance, 354 ml Diet Pepsi contains around 32 mg of caffeine. However, in case you are sensitive to caffeine intake, you can always choose the caffeine-free formulation of Diet Coke.

Preservatives

Preservatives are added to protect the beverages from deterioration caused by micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi. In the case of Diet Coke, the preservatives that keep the beverage safe from microbial effects are phosphoric acid, citric acid, and potassium benzoate. However, this phosphoric acid can be damaging to bone health, as it draws out calcium from the bones, eventually making them weak and brittle.

Caramel Color

Upon closely observing the beverage, you would notice that it appears darker and visually appealing. This is due to the addition of caramel color that enhances the color of naturally occurring ingredients as well as the flavor and taste. It is this caramel color that makes the beverage more desirable.

Sodium

One doesn't have to really worry about the amount of salt added in Diet Coke, as it is negligible. A half-liter can of Diet Coke contains around 20 mg of salt. As most people normally prefer the 330 ml can, the salt intake is further reduced to around 10 mg. Considering the daily recommended intake of sodium, which is around 2,000 mg, the sodium in Diet Coke is far from being a cause for concern.

Nutrition

Nutrition depends on which formulation of Diet Coke you are consuming. The regular Diet Coke is a nutritional failure, as it does not contain any vitamins or minerals. So, having a can of regular Diet Coke is like filling your stomach with empty calories. However, in case you opt for the new formulation, known as 'Diet Coca-Cola Plus' or Coca-Cola Light Plus, you won't be disappointed. This new formulation of Diet Coke launched in 2007 is added with vitamins B3, B12, and C. Another variant of Diet Coke Plus is fortified with different ingredients, namely antioxidants, green tea, and vitamin C.

Calories

The calories in Diet Coke are substantially less as compared to regular Coke. For instance, a 150 ml can contains around 0.5 calories (2.092 kilojoules). Whereas, the same amount of regular Coke contains a whopping 63 calories (263.592 kilojoules). This is the reason why it has become so popular among weight watchers.



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Know the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

You can give a massive turnaround to your health by regularly having a deep tissue massage. After a long tiring day at work, instead of popping painkillers, this would be the best way to rejuvenate and experience overall improvement in health. In short, this type of massage can help you stay healthy. The following discusses the various benefits of deep tissue massage.

Relieves Chronic Pain
Constant, nagging pain arising from musculoskeletal problems can be tough to deal with. However, this type of massage that targets soreness deep within the muscle tissue can assist in managing such medical conditions. Chronic pain is never confined to the superficial layer of the skin, and often arises from the deep tissues within the body. Hence, as this massage manipulates the deeper painful layer of muscle tissue of the neck, shoulders, back, and other areas of the body, it works to relieve chronic discomfort.

Removes Toxins
Regularly having a deep tissue massage can also help get rid of accumulated toxins in the body. Aching muscles are often the result of toxin overload in the muscle tissues. The massage facilitates blood flow throughout the body, which helps remove toxins trapped in the muscle tissues. After attending a massage session, it is often recommended to have adequate water in order to flush off the toxins released from the muscle tissues.

Alleviates High Blood Pressure
This is a natural way to manage chronic conditions like hypertension. This type of massage tends to lower stress, which works to prevent spikes in blood pressure. People who face a lot of stress on a daily basis and have an increased risk of hypertension should undergo these sessions to cope up with stress. One study that evaluated the impact of deep tissue massage on blood pressure, noted a reduction in average systolic pressure by 10.4 mm Hg, and a decrease in diastolic pressure of 5.3 mm Hg.

Eliminates Scar Tissue
It provides a natural way to get rid of scar tissue. Scar tissues that occur after a wound heals lie deep in the inner layers of the skin. As the massage targets deeper tissue structures, the increased blood circulation that boosts nutrient transport in these deep sections of the muscles helps eliminate scar tissues.

Aids Muscle Healing
Sports-related injuries often damage the deep tissues of the body. As this type of massage puts pressure on the deeper layers of muscle tissue, it can help heal damaged muscles. The slow deliberate strokes that work on deeper layers of connective tissue help release tension of the injured muscles.

Improves Mobility
People who have been recently injured and have undergone surgery often suffer from muscle stiffness. In such circumstances, deep tissue massage can help improve the range of motion. Apart from increasing blood circulation, it stimulates drainage of waste products from the lymphatic system, which assists in improving flexibility.

Relieves Arthritis Symptoms
The massage is found to enhance blood circulation, which boosts flow of oxygen and nutrients, as well as encourages toxin removal from the tissues close to the affected joints. This can help in mitigating the symptoms of arthritis effectively. For instance, a deep tissue hand massage was found to improve joint mobility, thereby making it easier to move the hands. However, it should be avoided when the arthritis symptoms have flared up. It has to be done when the arthritis has subsided, which works to prevent inflammation of the joints.

On the whole, better blood flow associated with deep tissue massage can work wonders to get rid of toxic waste, enhance functioning of the internal organs, and promote overall well-being.



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