Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is a repetitive exercise that accelerates the heart rate, and increases the oxygen being delivered to the muscles.  This type of exercise is good for your cardiovascular system which means that the exercise strengthens the heart and lungs.  Aerobic exercise definitely helps with weight loss, but it also helps in preventing/controlling type II diabetes mellitus, decreasing cholesterol, and decreasing blood pressure.  Interestingly, aerobic exercise also helps with depression.  It is important, however, to perform the aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes in order to help with depression.  Exercising less than 30 minutes will not help with depression.  There is even the possibility that aerobic exercise helps in the prevention and/or spread of certain types of cancer.  For instance, an ongoing study at UCSF (2017) is looking to see if walking helps to slow the progression of cancer of the prostate.

Other benefits of aerobic exercise include possible prevention of Alzheimer’s, slowing the aging process, boosting the immune system, and decreasing inflammation.

Examples of aerobic exercise include running, walking, swimming, hiking, and bicycle riding to name a few.

The other form of exercise is anaerobic exercise.  This is the type of exercise where the individual gets out of breath quickly, and has fewer movements than aerobic exercise.  An example of anaerobic exercise is weight training.  Weight training is also helpful, but weight training is discussed elsewhere.

One of the attractions of aerobic exercise is you don’t need special equipment to do these exercises.  Just put on a pair of sneakers and you’re ready to go.

Sometimes, daily activities or hobbies will suffice for exercise.  Dancing, for example, will burn about 160 calories in 30 minutes in an individual weighing 130 lbs.  An individual weighing 230 lbs will burn almost 300 calories in that same 30 minutes.  Mowing the lawn or using the stairs instead of the elevator will also qualify as aerobic exercise.  Playing a sport like basketball, golf (but don’t rent a golf cart) or water polo is also aerobic exercise.  Remember that the faster the pace of the exercise, the more calories that will be burned.

Exercising three times a week for 30 minutes at a time is quite reasonable.  Be consistent with the workouts, and you will see results over time.

There are gym programs you can join if you are the type of person who does better exercising with a group in a structured environment as opposed to exercising on your own.  The gym has classes ranging from yoga to intense calisthenics.  If you are on Medicare, you may be able to get into these classes free of charge under a program known as Silver Sneakers.

One important thing to recognize is that there is no one aerobic exercise that is better than another.  My suggestion would be to rotate exercises in order to stave off boredom.  Also, by rotating exercises, you will be using different muscle groups every time you rotate.

Remember to get a clearance from your doctor before you start an exercise program.  If you have not exercised in some time, you should start your exercise program gradually and build your endurance until you are able to exercise for 30 minutes at a time.  Be mindful of aches and pains as your body may be warning you that you are overexercising or performing an exercise move that your body does not like.  Wear the right attire, and drink plenty of water especially if you are exercising in hot weather.

Choose the proper environment.  For example, running on a soft surface like dirt is easier on your joints compared to running on a hard surface like asphalt.  If you are bicycling, be aware of the traffic around you and wear protective gear.

If you are exercising, please let me know how you are doing by leaving a comment on




Benefits of Weight Training

There are two types of resistance training.  One is called isometric resistance training.  This is where you contract your muscles against a non moving object.  An example of isometric exercise is pushups.  The floor is not moving, but you are.  The other form of resistance training is called isotonic.  This type of exercise deals with contracting the muscles through a full range of motion.  Weight training is an example of isotonic training.  I will discuss isotonic training in this blog.

The ideal weight training regimen recommends training three times a week for 30 minutes.  Sometimes, people feel that training more than three times a week will give them faster results.  This is not necessarily the case as the body needs time to recuperate from the muscle breakdown.

Weight training will obviously burn calories while you are exercising, but what some people don’t know is that a regular regimen of weight training will cause your metabolism to accelerate so that your body is burning calories even when you’re not exercising.  This is because weight training will increase your muscle mass.  As your muscle mass increases, the amount of calories expended by your body will increase as muscle burns more calories than fat.  And this expenditure of calories will occur even if you’re just watching television.

Losing weight will also reduce your chances of developing type II diabetes mellitus or what some people refer to as Adult Onset Diabetes.  I would recommend that you consult your physician about getting a Hemoglobin A1C which is a measure of your glucose metabolism over the previous few weeks.  You would be surprised to see how many people are in a prediabetic state, and are completely unaware.

Weight training helps with depression.  Part of the reason why depression is improved is the release of endorphins which are naturally occurring opioid type chemicals in our bodies.  Endorphins make us feel good naturally.

For those of us with osteoporosis (thinning bones) issues, weight training definitely helps increase bone density.  This should diminish the chances of bone fractures from trauma like a fall.

Weight training will also improve your body mechanics.  Your posture will improve and you will walk straighter and your legs will be stronger.

Therefore, I recommend weight training for all of the above reasons.  As always, please consult  your physician before starting an exercise regimen.  Wishing you the best in your weight loss and weight maintenance endeavors.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.  Pablo

Tapeworm Diet

I’m going to be up front with you.  I absolutely do not recommend the tapeworm diet.

You may have seen the tapeworm diet mentioned in a Tyra Banks show years ago where the diet was discussed as a means of losing weight.  To Tyra’s credit, she was actually speaking against using this diet.  More recently, Khloe Kardashian made a statement in one of her shows that she was considering ingesting a tapeworm to lose weight.  Not cool!

The beef tapeworm, Taenia saginata, is the tapeworm that has been publicized and used for weight loss.  There are other types of tapeworms present in pork and fish, but these are not the tapeworms that are used in the quest for weight loss.

A human will acquire the infection by ingesting tapeworms eggs present in contaminated, under cooked meat.  The eggs will enter the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and hatch producing larvae which eventually mature to the adult form.  The tapeworm will attach itself to the GI tract with a scolex which is a spiky appendage on top of the tapeworm’s head.  It then begins to feed from the food that you are eating.

The tapeworm not only consumes some of the caloric intake, but also leeches vitamins and minerals from the intestinal tract.  This can result in anemia and fatigue.

Other potential side effects include nausea, weakness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and ascites (fluid in the abdominal cavity).  There is also the possibility that the tapeworm will reproduce so prolifically that an intestinal blockage may result.  And, yes, one of the byproducts is weight loss.  But is the weight loss worth ingesting the tapeworm?  Absolutely not.

The only way to get rid of the parasite once you are infected is to take Praziquantel which is an antiparasitic medication.  You then pass the dead tapeworm(s) in the feces.

The diagnosis of tapeworm is done by examining the stool or by performing an imaging study such as a CAT scan or an MRI.

Selling tapeworm eggs is against the law in the United States.  Apparently, tapeworm eggs can be bought in other countries like Mexico and Russia.  Buyer beware!

The only way to lose weight in a consistent, healthy manner is to monitor your diet and exercise.  This is not a secret, but we often pursue the easy and fast results.  There are a lot of crazy diets out there, but this is more than just crazy.  This is dangerous.

Wishing you success in your weight loss and maintenance, Pablo.

Turmeric For Weight Loss

You probably have heard quite a bit about using turmeric as a weight loss supplement lately.  It is yet another quick fix to the overweight problem.  The current literature seems to support the claims of weight loss with turmeric.  Remember, however, that there aren’t fast solutions to weight management.  Like other supplements and diets, the turmeric may work for as long as you use it, but the weight will return after you stop the turmeric if you don’t change your lifestyle.

Turmeric is a naturally occurring spice that has been used for multiple medical conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to fatigue.  There is some evidence that turmeric may help osteoarthritis and increased cholesterol.

There are, however, potential side effects to this supplement.

Turmeric acts like an estrogen so there is the possibility of encouraging uterine fibroid growth if you have fibroids.  Also, be careful if you have a gynecologic malignancy like endometrial cancer as turmeric may worsen the condition.  It’s also a good idea to avoid turmeric if you have or have had breast cancer with positive estrogen receptors.

Ironically, turmeric is recommended for stomach disorders like indigestion, but the turmeric may evoke stomach upset and nausea along with dizziness.

People with gallbladder problems like stones should avoid the turmeric as the turmeric will worsen the gallbladder symptoms.

Users of turmeric should cease taking the supplement if they are facing surgery as the turmeric will slow blood clotting.

As with all supplements, you should tell your medical provider what you are taking.

I hope that this has helped answer questions that you have on this supplement.  Wishing you continued success with your weight loss and management.  Pablo