The Global Network of Fitness Professionals. Visit the NHE homepage to learn more. NHE - The Global Network of Fitness Professionals Our service providers have applied their knowledge, training and dedication in pulmonary physiology, health promotion and exercise science to generate healthier lifestyles for their patients, students and clients.

Working in a wide range of fitness specialties, NHE associates are committed to the treatment and prevention of obesity and the advancement of exercise science, nutrition and wellness. NHE service providers are among the most competent, knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the fitness industry.

Mission: NHE provides educational services in the fields of scientific principles of exercise physiology, nutritional consultation, weight management, exercise program development, rehabilitation procedures, fitness appraisal and evaluation techniques, functional anatomy and kinesiology, and risk-factor identification. Specializing in fitness and wellness services, NHE provides qualified service providers trained in the fields of directing, administering, and conducting preventative and rehabilitative wellness programs. Working in a wide range of fitness specialties, our members are committed to the treatment and prevention of obesity and the advancement of exercise science, nutrition and wellness.

Operating as usual

Know the three (3) types of Angina.

Variant angina is the least common form of angina. In most cases, it is experienced at rest. The pain is often severe and typically occurs late at night or during the early morning hours. Medication can help alleviate the symptoms.

Stable angina is the most common form of angina. It occurs when the heart is required to pump harder than normal. Stable angina typically has a regular pattern, which after several episodes can be identified. Reoccurrence is how many people are able to predict and identify it. The symptoms typically subside after a 3 to 10-minute rest or after taking prescribed angina medicine. Stable angina is not considered a heart attack, however, stable angina does make a future heart attack more likely to occur.

Unstable angina is the third and final type of angina. It is also the most dangerous condition that requires immediate medical treatment. Unstable angina may be a sign that the sufferer will soon experience a heart attack. Unlike stable angina, unstable angina does not follow a pattern, hence the name 'unstable'. It can occur without physical exertion and is not relieved by resting the body. Blood thinners (antiplatelet drugs) are commonly used to treat and prevent unstable angina.

Not all chest pain or discomfort is angina. Chest pain or discomfort can be caused by a heart attack, lung problem (such as an infection or a blood clot), heartburn, or a panic attack.

Low Back Pain Revisited (part 5).

Spinal manipulation is literally a "hands-on" approach in which professionally licensed specialists (doctors of chiropractic care) use leverage and a series of exercises to adjust spinal structures and restore back mobility. When back pain does not respond to more conventional approaches, patients may consider the following options:

Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles the width of a human hair along precise points throughout the body. Practitioners believe this process triggers the release of naturally occurring painkilling molecules called peptides and keeps the body’s normal flow of energy unblocked. Clinical studies are measuring the effectiveness of acupuncture in comparison to more conventional procedures in the treatment of acute low back pain. The results are positive, proving why this treatment method has existed for thousands of years.

Biofeedback is used to treat many acute pain problems, most notably back pain and headache. Using a special electronic machine, the patient is trained to become aware of, to follow, and to gain control over certain bodily functions, including muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature (by controlling local blood flow patterns). The patient can then learn to effect a change in his or her response to pain, for example, by using relaxation techniques. Biofeedback is often used in combination with other treatment methods, generally without side effects.

More treatment options to follow in (part 6).

NHE Fitness Funnies Files: File #89

The Amino File Continued: Let's highlight 3 non-essentials...

Glycine is manufactured in the body from serine and folate. Its most important role is as a precursor to numerous vital substances the body needs for proper function. Substances include (but not limited to) proteins, DNA, phospholipids and creatine. Glycine’s role in creatine production is very important, as well as its role in the prevention of muscle breakdown (catabolism). In this regard, it is a valuable amino acid to bodybuilders and athletes. Glycine is involved in liver detoxification by helping eliminate phenols. It is also essential in the proper functioning of the central nervous system. It can act as a neurotransmitter with an inhibitory response.

Proline is synthesized within the body from ornithine or glutamic acid. It is most known for its role in collagen, where it is found in very high concentrations in the form of hydroproline. Hydroproline is formed from proline. It aids the body in the healing of collagen and cartilage. It is believed to strengthen joints, tendons and the heart.

Serine is found in proteins and derived from glycine. Like glycine, it is a precursor to many substances that the body uses, such as choline and phospholipids. Serine is needed for the metabolism of fats and fatty acids. It aids in muscle growth and it helps promote a healthy immune system. It also aids in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies.

Low Back Pain Revisited (part 4).

Anticonvulsants (drugs primarily used to treat seizures) may be useful in treating certain types of nerve pain and may also be prescribed with analgesics. Some antidepressants, particularly tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and desipramine, have been shown to relieve pain (independent of their effect on depression) and assist with sleep. Antidepressants alter levels of brain chemicals to elevate mood and dull pain signals. Many of the new antidepressants, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are being studied for their effectiveness in pain relief.

Opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine are often prescribed to manage severe acute and chronic back pain but should be used only for a short period of time and under a physician’s supervision. Side effects can include drowsiness, decreased reaction time, impaired judgment, and high potential for addiction. Many specialists are convinced that chronic use of these drugs is detrimental to the back pain patient, adding to depression and even increasing pain.

NHE Anatomy File: #44 [Lungs]

The lungs enable our bodies to receive oxygen through inhalation, removing toxic carbon dioxide from our bodies through exhalation. Each day, an individual will take 25,000 breaths. The air we breathe contains several gases, including oxygen which is needed for proper cell function.

Fresh air contains:
Nitrogen: 78% (78 parts out of a hundred).
Oxygen: 21% (21 parts out of a hundred).
Carbon Dioxide: 0.03% (3 parts out of a thousand).
Noble Gases (Helium, Argon, Krypton, Neon, Xenon and Radon together make up 0.97%).
Water Vapor.

With each breath, lungs add fresh oxygen to the blood, which then carries it to the cells. Oxygen enters the lungs via the trachea, which branches into two main tubes supplying the right and left lung. These tubes progressively branch 22 additional times to form more than 100,000 smaller tubes (bronchi, bronchioles) and more than 300 million alveoli (air sacs).

The lungs also play an important role in the body's defense against infection and other harmful environmental factors. Mucus, a sticky fluid produced in the lungs, can trap inhaled agents and aid white blood cells in destroying harmful bacteria (white blood cells are part of the body's immune system, involved in defending the body against infectious disease and foreign substances.). The lung has a spongy texture. The lung is relatively light in weight and can float in water. It is also highly elastic, which enables it to expand and contract efficiently. The lungs are located in two cavities, on either side of the heart. Though similar in appearance, they are not identical. The environment of the lung is very moist, which attracts bacteria. Many respiratory illnesses are the result of bacterial or viral infection of the lungs. Inflammation of the lungs is known as pneumonia and inflammation of the pleura surrounding the lungs is known as pleurisy.

Low Back Pain Revisited (part 3).

Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Patients should always check with a medical doctor before taking drugs for pain relief. Certain medicines, even those sold over the counter, are unsafe during pregnancy, may conflict with other medications, may cause unwanted side effects including drowsiness, or may lead to liver damage. Over-the-counter analgesics, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen), are taken orally to reduce stiffness, swelling, inflammation and to ease mild to moderate low back pain. Counter-irritants applied topically to the skin as a cream or spray stimulate the nerve endings in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold and dull pain. Topical analgesics can also reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow. Many of these compounds contain salicylates, the same ingredient found in oral pain medications containing aspirin.

NHE Fitness Funnies Files: File #140

Low Back Pain Revisited (part 2).

Bed rest should be 1–2 days at most. Some studies suggest that persons who continued their activities without bed rest following onset of low back pain appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. Other studies suggest that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs. Patients should resume activities as soon as possible. At night or during rest, patients should lie on one side, with a pillow between the knees (some doctors suggest resting on the back and putting a pillow beneath the knees).

Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain and help strengthen back and abdominal muscles. Maintaining and building muscle strength is particularly important for people with skeletal irregularities. Doctors and physical therapists can provide a list of smart exercises that may help keep muscles moving and speed the recovery process. A routine of healthy activities may include stretching exercises, swimming, walking, and movement therapy to improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance. Yoga is another way to gently stretch muscles and ease pain. Any mild discomfort felt at the start of these exercises should disappear as muscles become stronger. But if pain is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, patients should stop exercising and reassess their exercise plan with a professional.

The Importance of Zinc!

Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in almost every cell and is required to sustain life. It stimulates activity of many enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions within the body. Red meats (especially beef, lamb and liver) have some of the highest concentrations of zinc. Zinc helps support a healthy immune system. It is needed for wound healing, helps maintain our sense of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.

Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods. Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain seafood, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals and dairy products. Zinc absorption is greater from a diet high in animal protein than a diet rich in plant proteins.

Food sources of Zinc:
Oysters (6 medium).
Beef shanks, cooked, 3 ounces.
Crab, cooked, 3 ounces.
Pork shoulder, cooked, 3 ounces.
Chicken leg, roasted, 1 leg.
Pork tenderloin, cooked, 3 ounces.
Lobster, cooked, 3 ounces.
Baked beans, canned, ½ cup.
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce.
Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 1 cup.
Raisin bran, ¾ cup.
Chickpeas, ½ cup.
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce.
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce.

NHE Exercise Science/Physiology File: #73 [Heel–toe running: A look at the influence of foot strike pattern on impact force.]

For runners, it is important to understand the variables which influence the impact force experienced during endurance running. The impact forces are the primary cause of most runner injuries.

The primary purpose of this particular case study was to better understand the different impact forces experienced during running and how those forces relate to different foot strike patterns. The different foot strike patterns used were: obvious heel strike (Obvious-HS), subtle heel strike (Subtle-HS), midfoot strike (Mid-FS), and fore foot strike (Fore-FS) patterns.

It has long been considered that one of the biggest concerns with regular running is overtraining. ‘Overuse’ injuries are associated with the repetitive impact forces created by varying foot strikes. This fact has spawned a billion dollar running shoe market and foot strike research by major shoe manufacturers. Despite these major investments, there has yet to be a definitive answer as to which shoe design and construction prevents running injuries. It is therefore advisable that an individual approach as to which shoes feel most comfortable at time of purchase be the deciding factor. More importantly, how comfortable that pair feels after 10, 20 and 30 miles or running.

Low Back Pain Revisited. (Part 1)

Most low back pain can be treated without surgery. Treatment involves using analgesics, reducing inflammation, restoring proper function and strength to the back, and preventing recurrence of the injury. Most patients with back pain recover without residual functional loss. Patients should contact a doctor if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and inflammation after 72 hours of self-treatment.

Although ice and heat (the use of cold and hot compresses) have never been scientifically proven to quickly resolve low back injury, compresses may help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility for some individuals. As soon as possible following trauma, patients should apply a cold pack or a cold compress (such as a bag of ice or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) to the tender spot several times a day for up to 20 minutes. After 2 to 3 days of cold treatment, they should then apply heat (such as a heating lamp or hot pad) for brief periods to relax muscles and increase blood flow. Warm baths may also help relax muscles. Patients should avoid sleeping on a heating pad, which can cause burns and lead to additional tissue damage.

NHE Fitness Myths File: #09 [Myth: Crunches are the key to flat abs.]

Fact: Crunches are the most popular abdominal exercise, but performing hundreds of crunches a week is not the solution for reducing midsection fat. The act of performing abdominal crunches is relatively easy. Very few calories are burned per 500 crunches. Although it is true that crunches help develop the abdominal wall, particularly if performed with strict form and technique, a well-developed abdominal wall can be ‘hidden’ be midsection fat. If your diet is not dialed in, there will be an insignificant reduction to the size of your midsection. You have to reduce your caloric consumption, salt intake and significantly reduce your fat and carb consumption to ‘tone’ the abs.

NHE Exercise Physiology File: #52 [Hormones]

The endocrine glands (Pituitary, Hypothalmus, Thymus, Thyroid, Adrenal, Parathyroid and Pancreas) are responsible for hormone production. Some hormones are created for specific physiological purposes throughout the body, while other hormones are produced to activate a response or series of responses from a specific area of the body. Hormones can bond with receptors on targeted cells, which then stimulate specific responses for a particular physiological need. These responses may involve an increase in hormone production or they may inhibit the production of that particular hormone. Most hormones are transported to their target organs via the bloodstream.

A closer look at the ‘ACL’…

The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is one of four knee ligaments (the others: Medial Collateral Ligament-MCL, Lateral Collateral Ligament -LCL, and Posterior Cruciate Ligament-PCL). The ACL connects from the posterio-lateral section of the femur (lower part of the femur bone) to an anterio-medial section of the tibia bone (upper part of the tibia bone). This important knee ligament enables the knee to resist a substantial force, one that can push the tibia forward, relative to the femur. In addition, the ACL is attached to the depression (downward and inward displacement) of the intercondyloid eminence (spine of the tibia bone), being blended with the anterior (front) extremity of the lateral meniscus (external semilunar fibrocartilage).

Kyphosis (Dowager’s hump): Why do some elderly people walk ‘humped over’?

Advanced cases of osteoporosis can manifest as kyphosis (dowager’s hump). The progressive loss of bone density can cause one or more of the vertebrae to compress, causing the forward curvature of the spine to be exaggerated, creating the stooped posture of Dowager’s hump.

Age brings with it many diseases and disorders most often brought about by the declining efficiency of the body systems and major organs. All of the systems can be affected to some degree, each condition bringing with it its own set of problems, symptoms and treatments.

NHE Nutrition File: #17 [Essential Amino Acids]

The human body has the capability to produce only 10 of the 20 amino acids found in proteins. The remaining 10 amino acids must be ingested (essential). Each essential amino acid must be present in the diet and is necessary to avoid any degradation of the body’s proteins. If one amino acid is absent, the body must compensate by cannibalizing its own muscle to produce that particular amino acid. Unlike fat or starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use. Therefore, essential amino acids must be consumed on a daily basis.

Arginine is an essential amino acid.
The most prudent role of arginine is in its ability to stimulate the release of growth hormone. It has been found that an increased level of GH can assist the body in fat reduction, increase muscle mass and improve recovery and healing. Arginine also plays an important role in creatine synthesis. In that role, arginine acts as a precursor to creatine. Creatine is valuable in its energy role during anaerobic activities, such as weight lifting and sprinting.

Lastly, arginine aids the body in liver detoxification. It functions as an enzyme in the urea cycle, by which it converts ammonia to urea to be excreted in urine. Because ammonia is toxic, the more one exercises, the more ammonia becomes an issue because exercise increases ammonia levels within the body.

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