This Month’s Health News…is dire

In a nutshell, here’s what’s new in health news this month so far:

(Apologies in advance: It has been a depressing month for the human body).

Too Many Painkillers Could be Harming Your Health?

Do you take Ibuprofen—Mortin or Advil—or Aspirin or Aleve or other NSAIDs on the regular?

Do you ignore recommended daily doses because you figure a bit more can’t hurt?

A new study published in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety says that 15 percent of adults do just this.

The result: They take too many non-steroidal, non-prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, to the point that we’re increasing our risk of side effects, such as internal bleeding and heart attacks.

Researchers suggest our overindulgence is generally because frequent over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and painkiller users start to get nonchalant to a certain degree

Meaning we start to choose our own doses and ignore label instructions

The assumption being they must be safe because we don’t need a prescription. According to this research, this is NOT a good approach.

The Flu Linked to Heart Attacks?

More bad news for our hearts!

According to a Canadian study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, having the flu can increase your risk of a heart attack, especially if you’re older than 65.

Specifically, you’re six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after you have the flu, the research says.

Reason for a flu shot next year?

The Human Body has hit a Plateau?

Ironic timing with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in process, but recent research published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology says both men and women have essentially reached a plateau when it comes to human performance. Or at least, we’re slowing down dramatically.

To discover these findings, researchers analyzed human performance data going back to the beginning of the 20th century.

After 70-plus years of major improvements in various sports, performance began leveling off in the 1980s, they said.

In other words, our bodies have peaked! World Records are fewer and further between, and there’s a good chance this trend will continue.

Heres to hoping the start of spring will bring better news!


How to pick the best gym in your city

Gyms aren’t like McDonald’s, where a Big Mac tastes almost the same in Seattle and New York as it does in London or Beijing.

Gyms aren’t created equal, meaning the products, services and coaching they offer vary from state to state, city to city, and box to box.

So how do you know how to find a good gym?

Here are 7 things to look for when selecting the right gym:

  1. “What is your fundamentals program?”

One of the biggest differences between gyms is how they bring new athletes into their community.

Some throw you right into group classes on Day 1, others put you through two or three group OnRamp sessions and then release you to classes, and others still require you to go through one-on-one personal training before they graduate you to the group atmosphere.

When it comes to fundamentals programs—unless you have had a lot of experience in the sport of gymnastics AND Olympic weightlifting—the MORE one-on-one attention you get before group classes, the better!

If you find a gym that makes you do 15 personal training sessions with the same coach, you know you’re going to be taken care of and kept injury-free. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s your health and you’re worth the investment.

On the other side of the fence, if a gym lets you do a free class with other experienced athletes on your first day, steer clear and keep shopping around!

  1. Personal Coach

Lifting weights, gymnastics, rowing etc…is technical, and your strengths and weaknesses are personal to you. Select a gym that teams you up with a personal coach, someone consistently in your corner, who can get to know your specific limitations and work with you for years on improving your health and fitness. A relationship with a personal coach will make all the difference in your long-term development.

  1. Coach Retention

Ask around. How long have the gym’s coaches been around? If every coach is in his first year there, chances are the gym’s coach retention isn’t great (unless the gym just opened).

Gyms with high coach retention are doing something right (not to mention, you’ll get more experienced advice). If the gym has five coaches who have been there for 5-plus years, you’re in the right place.

  1. Cleanliness

Lots of fitness facilities look rough around the edges. BUT, bathrooms and floors, for example, should be clean. If the gym is sloppy and careless with cleaning bathrooms and floors then chances are this sloppiness extends to the rest of the business.

  1. Other Services

If the only service the gym offers is “group classes,” move along. Find a gym that offers a broad range of services to meet everyone’s needs, such as personal training, nutrition counseling, individual programming, and other classes, such as weightlifting, mobility, or gymnastics classes.

  1. Demographics

This one is specific to you, but some gyms cater to older folks, while others pride themselves on being competitive in the CrossFit scene, for example.

Find out what the average age is of the people at the gym, and choose one where you think you’ll be fit in and feel comfortable. After all, it’s the people who are going to keep you around the gym for years, so choose a place where you think you’ll be able to forge strong connections.

  1. Coach Education

Don’t assume the coaches are educated. Ask, ask, ask about their credentials. Do they have a weekend certification and nothing else, or are they into continued education to constantly improve their knowledge?

On a similar note, ask about the programming. What are the principles behind the training program you’ll be following? You’re there to see results, so you might as well select a gym whose programming has some thought, and some science, behind it.

There are tons of good gyms out there, but you might as well select the best one for your needs and goals so take the time to search around, and be willing to spend a little more money to become as healthy and fit as youve always dreamed of.



3 Mobility Tests Everyone Should Strive To Pass

3. Sit-to-stand test

Remember when you were a baby? Well, you probably don’t remember, but the next time you see a toddler watch him sit down and stand up. He probably does it with ease, without any help from his hands.

That’s the way we were made, yet by the time most of us reach adulthood, we discover we have lost much of our natural flexibility, mobility, and strength.

Here’s a test for you: Cross your legs, sit down without using your hands, and then stand back up again. If you can do that without using your arms, you score a 10 out of 10. If you have to use one arm to help you up, you get a 9 out of 10, and if you need an arm both on the way down and the way up, you get an 8.


Here’s a video, can you score at least an 8 out of 10?

Why should you care about this?

Truth: Flexibility, balance, and strength are key indicators of how long you’re going to live.

In fact, a study published in 2012 in the European Journal of Cardiology studied more than 2,000 people aged 51 to 80. According to the research, those who scored less than 8 out of 10, are twice as likely to die within the next six years than those who scored 8 or above. Those who couldn’t do it at all, even with the help of one arm, were even more likely to die in the next five years. Yikes.

2. Arms overhead test

It goes without saying, you should be able to safely put your arms over your head in life—meaning you can lock your elbows out and put both arms overhead behind your ears while keeping a neutral spine. That being said, you’d be surprised how tough this is for most people.

Mobility test 2

A pass means you have the shoulder and upper-back mobility to safely do movements that involve putting your arms overhead, such as a shoulder press, push press, jerk or snatch. A fail—if your elbows flare out, your shoulders roll forward, or your back extends—means you’re more likely to get injured doing movements involving putting your arms overhead. Even simple movements like putting something into a cupboard could potentially lead to injury.

1. Lunge test

Lunges are but a big step. But many people can’t lunge properly.

A perfect, safe lunge means your back knee (the one on the ground) stays behind your hip, while your back ankle sits at 70 to 90 degrees of flexion. Meanwhile, your front knee is in line with your front foot, and your front shin is pretty much vertical.

A pass means you’re going to be much better doing things like running, sprinting and jumping, not to mention Olympic weightlifting movements. It also means your hips, knees, and ankles are less likely to get injured from simple day-to-day life things like walking up stairs. A fail—if your knee has to jut out way in front of your toes, or your knee caves in, or your back knee falls in front of your hip, or you can’t keep your back toes on the floor—then you’re seriously lacking hip mobility.

Try all three and report back: Can you pass all three tests with flying colors? If you can’t, talk to one of our coaches about how we can help.