Posts Tagged ‘Fitness’

‘Baywatch’ Stars Reveal Weight-Loss Contract Clause During Anniversary Reunion

Monday, October 7th, 2013

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At least that’s how it seems if you were a female cast member on the classic beach-set action soap, “Baywatch,” which believe it or not is celebrating its 25th anniversary next year.

“Entertainment Tonight” spoke with cast members including David Hasselhoff, Nicole Eggert, Traci Bingham, David Chokachi, and the stars revealed some behind-the-scenes tidbits, such as the strange clauses in their contracts — including one for the actresses that stated they couldn’t gain or lose more than five pounds of weight:

“If you did anything to gain or lose weight, etc. you were in trouble,” reveals Traci Bingham, who was on the series from 1996-1998. Nicole Eggert explained further: “[There] was a five pound fluctuation you couldn’t go up or down.”

Since hanging up their lifeguard suits some of the “Baywatch” stars have fallen out of the spotlight, while others have stayed in the headlines for better (like Pamela Anderson recently announcing she would run in the New York Marathon for Sean Penn’s Haitian Relief Fund) or worse.

Tune into “Entertainment Tonight” starting October 7, as they go inside the lifeguard stand for all the juicy gossip from the legendary series … but whatever the tidbits are they can’t be any scarier than “Baywatch Nights.” From huffingtonpost.

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Lack of sleep negatively affects weight loss

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

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Lack of sleep can disrupt plans to lose weight by increasing your appetite and signaling your body to retain more fat.

Our bodies are designed to receive roughly six to eight hours of quality sleep per night, and skimping on those hours cannot only negatively affect your mood, energy level and alertness, it can also negatively affect your weight-loss results.

While you sleep, your body works to repair muscles that were damaged during your workouts. Exercise, especially weight lifting, puts stress on the muscles, which causes the muscle fibers to tear.

Just like when broken bones heal, muscles becomes stronger than before, which is why you see improved strength over time. (They also heal more tightly and compactly, which is why stretching is important).

Workouts are when you damage your muscles; sleep is when they heal and become stronger.

During sleep, the body releases hormones that regulate major functions. When you do not get enough sleep, the secretion of these hormones is changed.

Lack of sleep increases the production of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, which is responsible for your “fight or flight” reaction to all stressors: mental, physical and emotional.

Since it is a survival hormone, cortisol stimulates glucose production and triggers a hunger response in the brain, while at the same time signaling cells to store as much fat as possible — a double whammy for weight loss.

Lack of sleep also lowers leptin levels, which control appetite. The less leptin in your system, the more revved your appetite will become.

When the body lacks sleep, it also has a difficult time metabolizing carbohydrates. This results in high blood-sugar levels, which then increases insulin production. That increase in insulin is a signal to your body to store unused energy as fat.

This increase in appetite at the very least can test your willpower, but most often it causes you to consume excess calories. These calories, combined with your hormones telling your body to store as much fat as possible, are a recipe for weight gain.

People in a state of sleep deprivation over long periods of time not only have a higher risk of obesity, they also have increased chances of diabetes, hypertension and memory loss.

While sleep helps improve the effectiveness of your workouts, the quality of your sleep is improved by the quality of your workouts.

Working out is great for reducing stress, which can cause you to lie awake with racing thoughts. Exercise also releases dopamine, which helps relax the body. According to research, exercise can actually increase the amount of time that you spend in the deepest stages of sleep, which is when your body grows, repairs muscles and tissues, and boosts your immune system.

For best results, don’t work out within three hours of going to sleep. Exercise produces an immediate endorphin rush that can keep you awake, if too close to bedtime. From seattletimes.

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Weight loss, breathing devices still best for treating obstructive sleep apnea

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

New guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP) emphasize lifestyle modifications—especially weight loss—for treating obstructive sleep apnea. Though the guidelines don’t offer any radical treatment updates, they do reinforce the effectiveness of tried and true therapies.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which the airway becomes blocked during sleep, interrupting breathing—sometimes dozens of times during a single night. Having obstructive sleep apnea puts you at risk for a number of other conditions, including high blood pressure and stroke.

After researchers from the ACP Clinical Guidelines Committee reviewed studies on the effects of various sleep apnea treatments, “their conclusion was that current therapies are effective and there wasn’t a lot of new evidence to suggest doing anything different,” says Dr. Lawrence Epstein, assistant medical director of clinical sleep medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The importance of weight loss

The ACP’s first recommendation centers on weight loss for people who are overweight and obese. The link between excess weight and sleep apnea is well established. People who are overweight have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can fall down over the airway and block the flow of air into the lungs while they sleep.

Though losing weight is easier said than done, it can yield real results. “If we can get people to lose weight, it would make both sleep apnea and other health problems [such as heart disease] go away,” says Dr. Epstein. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, losing a significant amount of weight can even cure the condition.

Other options

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A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine prevents sleep apnea by blowing air into a mask that covers the nose and mouth. The stream of air keeps the airways open.

The ACP also strongly recommends continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. This is typically the first-line treatment for people with sleep apnea, because weight loss can be so hard to achieve. CPAP is a mask or device that fits over the nose and mouth. It blows air into the airways to keep them open at night.

CPAP works well—but not everyone who needs it is willing to commit to wearing the clunky apparatus. Half or more of people who try CPAP don’t stick with the treatment, research has found. “It takes some getting used to,” Dr. Epstein acknowledges. The good news is, changes to the technology are making CPAP much easier to tolerate. “When CPAP therapy was introduced, it was one-size-fits-all. As we’re looking for more ways to improve patients’ ability to use it, there are a whole variety of mask styles being developed.”

Another alternative to CPAP is an oral appliance. These plastic inserts fit into the mouth and prevent the tongue and tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing over the airway during sleep.

CPAP and oral appliances work well, but they’re not cures for sleep apnea. The only sure way to rid yourself of the condition for good is to either lose weight or have surgery to remove excess tissue from the palate or throat. Surgery can have side effects, which is why it’s usually viewed as a last resort. But if you can’t tolerate CPAP or oral appliances and you’re struggling to lose weight, it is an option.

Treatment is personal

Before you can decide on a treatment, you first need to identify that you even have sleep apnea. Because the breathing pauses happen during sleep, most people with apnea have no idea they’ve got it.

Important clues are nighttime snoring and daytime sleepiness. Your doctor can do a sleep study, checking your breathing while you sleep in a laboratory or are attached to a monitoring device at home. “It’s important to get an objective measure like a sleep study, because the treatment you select will depend on how severe the sleep apnea is,” says Dr. Epstein.

Sleep apnea isn’t like pneumonia. You can’t try one treatment and expect your symptoms to disappear. Instead, treatment requires individualization. “When patients ask me which CPAP device is best, I tell them, ‘The one you’re going to use.’” says Dr. Epstein.

He recommends choosing a doctor who is experienced in treating sleep apnea—someone who can help you find the treatment you’re most likely to stick with, and teach you how to use it correctly. From health.harvard.edu

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