How To Control Cortisol To Keep Muscles (Part 2)

health

This is the second part of how to control cortisol to keep the muscle. I’m talking about health before tips to manage it with workout programs, food, and supplements. If you didn’t read the first part, click here.

Health

Have a high rate of cortisol influence health and mental health. It disturbs neurotransmitters. When it’s is high, it increase the adrenaline (epinephrine) level. Here the effects for health:

Reduction of noradrenaline

Noradrenaline fatigue makes you less focused and your blood pressure is low. And it can also lead to depression and anxiety.

Decline of dopamine

Dopamine creates noradrenaline. When you create to much adrenaline, you can damage the dopamine too. The consequences are Laziness, depression, lack of pleasure (anhedonia) and lack of motivation.

Deacrease the sensibility of beta-adrenergic receptors

Release a lot of adrenaline for a long time affects beta-adrenergic receptors. It’s not good to have a high rate of adrenaline all the time. It raises blood pressure to a high level and can damage the cardiovascular system.

The body to protect itself decreases the sensibility of the receptors. It does it to less react to its own adrenaline. The effects are depression, laziness, low self-esteem, and low energy.

How to control cortisol

boat control board

It’s time to know how to manage cortisol in a good way.

Workout

3 elements of workout can influence to not have an unnecessary high rate of cortisol.

Volume of workout

More you train, more you need energy. When you have a high need of energy, the cortisol will be more use to help to organize resources.

Effort demand

More you make effort, more you produce cortisol. For example, when you go to failure, you create more cortisol.

Mental strength

In the case where you do a stressful exercise, you create more cortisol. I mean when you try to bet your record on squat or deadlift, your body release more cortisol.

To make a comparison, there is a difference in cortisol production with exercises. With polyarticular exercises (squat or deadlift), you create more cortisol than others (curls).

All this information helps to decrease the damage of cortisol with a little plan:

  • When you do a big volume of workout => reduce your effort for each set (no failure).
  • When you do polyarticular movement => reduce the volume of training.
  • With polyarticular exercise avoid to go to failure.
  • When you do a real heavy training (92.5% + range) => reduce the workout volume.
  • In the situation where you add a new exercise => cut down the volume until you understand the new movement.

Food

Food

As said before, cortisol has also the function to stabilize the blood sugar rate. The body creates more cortisol when blood sugar rate is low. Eat carbs helps to reduce it and help to keep a normal blood sugar rate.

There is a lot of different type of low-carb diets. In my point of view, it’s a bad idea to use it if you have often a high rate of stress. This situation can drive to a constant creation of cortisol. Of course, you can produce glucose from amino acids to keep a normal rate of blood sugar. What I am saying is a keto diet doesn’t protect you at 100% of an excess of it. If you are a very active person, doesn’t eat carbs can have a result of a high level of cortisol.

In the meantime, a high-carb diet is not the solution. Eat around 30% of carbs in your caloric intake helps to have a low glycemic and have the cortisol under control.

Eat carbs at the diner helps to reduce cortisol to sleep well and have a better recovery.

Supplements

diet supplement

It’s also possible to use some supplements as tools to manage better cortisol.

Glycine

Glycine is an essential amino acid. One of its functions is to slow the nervous system when it’s too busy. In consequence, it reduces adrenaline and cortisol. Glycine boosts the distribution of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical called happy chemical because it’s a well-being neurotransmitter. Glycine also stimulates mTOR . mTOR improves protein synthesis from a workout session.

Magnesium

Eat magnesium after a training session and in the evening. As a result, it reduces the link between adrenaline and adrenergic receptors . This helps you to relax and at the same time protect the beta-adrenergic receptors.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola Rosea is a plant from mountainous areas of Europe, Asia and Arctic. This plant has several benefits. In this case, it improves the ability to handle stress. Less stress, less cortisol.

Training supplements

Carbs from workout supplements are easier to absorb while a training session. In the situation where you have already carbs, your body can create less cortisol. Remember it also organizes your resources (energy) for your body.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps in the process in the conversion of adrenaline to noradrenaline. This vitamin decreases the effect of cortisol in an indirect way. It blocks an excessive production of adrenaline.

This avoids to have:

  • a reduction of dopamine or noradrenaline.
  • adrenergic less sensitive.

Conclusion

The body doesn’t create cortisol to destroy itself. Cortisol is a hormone that helps to survive in dangerous situations. The problem is when it has a constant high rate, it becomes bad for health. Today, we have a lifestyle that makes easier to have a high level of stress. This is, for this reason, is important to know how to control it to have a better life.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Have Productive Hobbies

hobby, video, game, cook, music, soccer, fish, keyboard, medecine, astronomy, martial, art, paint, shopping, hike, bike, swim, sun, bath,

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video and I learned some good stuff.

There are people who are named « High Achiever ». They’re people who have extraordinary results in their field. What’s interesting is that they all have a common pattern, they have a lot of productive hobbies. That’s not to say that they don’t have hobbies like watching videos, playing video games or partying, but it’s in small quantities.

Take the exemple of Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin. During an interview, he said that the hobby that had changed his life was sport. For him, the sport is fundamenal to improve the lifestyle but it’s not the case for all successful entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs wasn’t an athlete and he was successful.

Hobby

hobby, list, productive, unproductive

The question is : « What hobby is unproductive that you can replace with a productive hobby and relax ? ». A productive hobby is a hobby that allows you to reach your goals, improve your lifestyle and relax at the same time.

Decreasing your unproductive hobby by productive hobby is a task to be done slowly and gradually as for sport. This is the cumulative effect. If instead of eating a piece of pizza, you eat a salad every day, after few months, you’ll have a huge difference in your weight, your energy and your well-being.

When I started to replace unproductive hobby with productive hobby, I put pressure on myself not to play video games, watch videos on internet or party with my friends. After a few months, I wanted to stop everything, I saturated with personal development information and I felt like I had no more fun living. So to decrompress, I party for 1 week.

This is where I realized that you always have to have a balance. « High Achiever » also have unproductive hobby, the difference is that they don’t spend 4-6 hours to watch videos.

Have fun and be productive

nature, forest, africa
musical, instrument, music

An unproductive hobby is something that relaxes you but doesn’t bring you anything compared to your goals. In addition to the satisfaction that this unproductive hobby brings you, you feel guilty. It makes you nervous or even more stressed. Because of this frustration, you continue to do unproductive hobbies and you fall into an infernal spiral.

On the other hand, a productive hobby like sport, meditation, to read books interesting, to be in contact with the nature are hobbies which relax you, improve your lifestyle and allow you to reach your objectives. Scientific studies show that the 2 most creative activities are walking in nature and playing a musical instrument.

Make a list of unproductive hobbies that you do and replace them with productive hobbies. The idea is to reduce your unproductive hobby and increase your productive activities to help you achieve your goals.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and why not your hobbies list.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Steroids

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

We regularly read in news articles, the use of anabolic steroids or performance enhancing drugs by elite athlete. But you should know that these dangerous drugs are more and more used by children in college, high-school and middle school.

What

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug

Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone. Steroids help to create new proteins to increase the size and strength of muscles. The body is already doing this process naturally but steroids increase the activity of this normal process. Find performance enhancing drugs in communities, gyms or internet is easy.

Steroids are consumed orally or by injection. Anabolic steroids in themselves aren’t effective. However, when they’re used at the same time with a strength training, they increase the strength in an impressive way.

Side effects

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect acne

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect acne

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect acne

Performance enhancing drugs allow an athlete to have bigger and more powerful muscles, but users may have deadly health problems. Performance enhancing drugs have several side effects that continue to work even after you stop using them. Users are also more likely to have risky behaviors such as having unsafe sex or taking illegal drugs.

Symptoms of use of anabolic steroids are :

  • Acne (often severe) visible on the face and back

  • Severe mood change such as extreme aggression or suicidal behavior

  • Premature balding, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), irreversible shrinking of testicles in boys.

  • Deeper voice, shrinking breast and clitoral enlargement in girls

  • Dangerous enlargement of the heart that can increase bad cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • Irreversible liver damage

  • In children, premature closure of the growth plates, stopping normal growth of bones.

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect gynecomastia

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect gynecomastia

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect gynecomastia

A reason to take anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids may be advisable for people who have lost testicular function like men with a testicular tumor. They’re also advised in some type of anemia to stimulate the bone morrow.

Prevent

The true is the problems of performance enhancing drugs aren’t solely related to elite athletes. Children are also exposed to this every day. Ask kids what they know about these drugs. Ask them if they know anyone in their school class who uses these drugs. Ask them if they know the dangers of these drugs. If you think that your children or children in your family might be experiencing these drugs, talk to your doctor.

It’s also important to talk to coaches and ask them if leagues or schools require annual physical exams for athletes. A physical examination by a doctor can detect the use of performance enhancing drugs in athletes (doping test). Ask coaches if any of their athletes have experienced performance enhancing drugs.

Stats

As many as four 4 American children and teens are using performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Improve Without Stress

stress

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

I think that’s already happened to you. Do you put so much pressure on yourself to reach a goal that you fail ? And that’s very frustrating when we do personal development. When we put too much pressure on ourselves, we have negative effects. The goal of personal development is to become a better version of ourselves by being happier throughout our lives.

There is a very instructive story between Buddha and one of his disciple. This disciple asks to Buddha this question : « When I meditate, sometimes I put to much pressure on myself and it doesn’t work, I’m too stressed. And sometimes when I don’t put this pressure on myself, I’m not focus enough and I’m almost sleeping. What should I do ? ». Here is Buddha’s answer : « To practice meditation, you have to be like a zither rope. So that the rope make the right note, it must be neither too tight nor too relaxed, it must be exactly in the right range. It’s the same for meditation, you have to be neither too tense nor too relaxed to meditate in the most efficient way ».

Middle

balance

It’s funny because it’s the same principle with the guided meditation of Headspace . In several guided meditations, at a certain point, the person leading the meditation says : « From now on, you can let your mind do what it wants ». This allows you to relax yourself , to decompress to better concentrate later. But be careful, as Buddha said, if you don’t put pressure on yourself at all, you fall into the opposite extreme of laziness, lack of attention, and etc.

The answer is balance. It’s not easy to find the balance, but it’s very exciting to explore and experiment with it. Because it’s part of this trip that makes us better people.

It’s up to you experiment between : I’m too relaxed and I’m too stress. Seek the moment you progress to reach your goals and also where you enjoy life. Whenever you find the perfect tension, you’ll produce the perfect note.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

MRSA Infections

mrsa infection anatomy

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. Aureaus), or MRSA, is a bacterium that creates skin infections and other types of infections. The first time that MRSA was seen in US hospitals during the 1970s. Recently, there is a new strain of MRSA know as Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or CA-MRSA, has left hospitals and began to spread in the community.

This is the strain that is prevalent among athletes. The difference between CA-MRSA and Healthcare-Associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) is in their effects. CA-MRSA usually creates skin infections while HA-MRSA causes bloodstream, urinary tract and surgical site infections. This make CA-MRSA less dangerous than HA-MRSA. Another difference is that CA-MRSA is more vulnerable to antimicrobial.

Symptoms

Signs of infections are :

  • Redness

  • Warmth, Swelling

  • Pus

  • Pain at sites where there are skin wounds

  • Abrasions or cuts

MRSA has the ability to spread to other organs in the body and when that happens, symptoms are more severe.

At this stage, symptoms are :

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Low blood pressure

  • Joint pain

  • Severe headaches

  • Shortness of breath

  • An extensive rash over the body

These more advanced systemic symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Treatment

The 1st choice for treating MRSA skin infection is to use an antibiotic that has been created to kill bacteria with mild side effects. Most early infections with no widespread symptoms can be treated with oral antibiotics. Because of the nature of this decease and antibiotic options, many patients think they’re « cured » after only a few doses and decide by themselves to stop taking the prescribed drugs. However, MRSA is able to re-infect the patient and become resistant to antibiotics used previously.

For moderate to severe infections, treatment may be with intravenous antibiotics.

These infections associated with deep abscesses or boils require open surgical drainage in addition to antibiotic therapy. Most infections resolve in 7-10 days with an adequate treatment despite the fact that a deep abscess can take up to 4 weeks to eradicate the infection by resolving the abscess cavity.

Early identification and treatment of MRSA infections decrease the amount of playing time lost and decrease the chance that the infection will become severe. Skin may be protected by protective clothing or gear designed to prevent skin abrasions or cuts.

Prevention

mrsa infection anatomy

It’s necessary that athletes have good personal hygiene but it must be added that athletes and visitors to athletes facilities must also keep their hands clean by washing them often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub. The minimum is to have clean hands before and after sports and activities. For example when we use weight training equipment that is shared by all gym members, it’s important to have clean hands after using toilette or when someone is injured taking care the wounds (including changing bandage).

Ordinary and antimicrobial soaps are effective for washing hands. It’s noted that liquid soap is a better option because it’s not possible to share this type of soap compared to bar soap. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contain at least 60% alcohol are the perfect choice.

Athletes should shower immediately after exercise and shouldn’t share soap and towels. Washing all uniforms and clothes after each use is important. Athlete should avoid sharing items that are in contact with the skin and avoid sharing personal items as they contact the skin. Fortunately, most surfaces don’t provoke a risk of spreading staph and MRSA.

Athletes who have had MRSA

Several high school, college and professional athletes have contracted MRSA infections. There have already been epidemics among athletes on the same team. A study published in « The New England Journal of Medicine » shows an infection MRSA among St. Louis Rams professional football franchise (USA) athletes. During a single season, MRSA infections were found among 5 of 58 Rams athletes (9 percents) that was tested. All infections developed on areas of the body that are common places for turf injury.

Stats

  • Today, MRSA accounts for about 50-70% of the S. Aureus infections that are present in healthcare facilities across the world.

  • Statistics fro the Kaiser foundation in 2007 indicated that approximately 1.2 million hospitalized patients contract MRSA infections.

  • Serious MRSA infection is still predominantly related to exposure in the healthcare setting, where approximately 85 percent of all serious MRSA infections occur.

  • Fortunately, in children under 18 years old, mortality rates are much lower (1%), even though the number of hospitalized children with MRSA has almost tripled since 2002.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Mature Athlete

mature athlete

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Physical exercises are for everyone, including the mature population. Exercises allow older people to keep a healthy body and maintain their independence. The main health problems of the mature population are arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, depression and hearing and sight loss. With the exception of hearing and sight loss, all these health problems can be serious decrease with an adequate workout program.

All mature athletes should have a complete medical and musculoskeletal assessment before starting any workout program. Having a complete medical examination, medical advice and a workout program helps to avoid serious injuries and health accidents. These 3 things should meet the needs of a mature athlete to avoid disease, increase endurance, strength, body image and competitiveness.

Exercises are beneficial

It’s important that a qualified personal trainer create a specific workout program to improve strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. If the workout program includes sports such as golf or tennis, the technical knowledge of the golf/tennis instructors is helpful to avoid injury and improve performance. For results, workout programs must be consistent for at least 30-45 minutes, 3-4 days a week.

If physical conditions require correction, a cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation program or physical therapy may be helpful before starting a workout program. These rehab programs should be taught to mature athletes at a fitness level where they could continue with their own workout program.

Exercise type for the workout program

physical exercise type

An athlete should use types of exercises based on his/her desire, pre-existing conditions and his/her ability to exercise without pain. For an athlete with lower extremity joint problems such as arthritis or instability, it’s recommended to avoid exercises with repetitive impacts like running. For athletes with an unstable shoulder, it’s recommended to avoid overhead exercises such as military press and pull-ups.

Using several types of exercise to improve strength, can allow better recovery of muscle and tendon tissue. If a mature athlete wants to make a sport that can aggravate a pre-existing problem on a muscle, tendon or bone, that athlete should be in a good condition before doing this sport. It’s recommended to decrease this sport’s frequency to reduce the painful symptoms.

What equipment to use

Having shoes that fit with the exercise and/or the sport is beneficial. If the person has a foot with significant deformity such as flat feet (fallen arches), using orthopedic shoes helps to reduce stress on the entire lower extremity. The symptoms of arthritis in the knee may be decrease by the use of specialized braces.

Prevent injury or discomfort during exercise

If there is discomfort during or after physical exercise, this should be analyzed to prevent it from starting again or getting worse. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory can be used in the short term if there is no interference with other medical conditions. It’s important to know that the use of ice, heat, massage and flexibility programs can decrease several symptoms caused by exercise.

There is more aggressive treatment with narcotic analgesic and/or cortisone injections but this should only be used to treat a specific lesion. This shouldn’t be used to allow an athlete to complete in the short term.

Summary

Creating a customized workout program with a medical professional and/or a qualified personal trainer helps a mature athlete to :

  • Keep independence

  • Increase physical abilities

  • Prevent injuries

  • Improve the quality of life

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know.. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food. Click here.

General Stretching Of The Upper Body

stretching upper body

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with your feet a little wider than your pelvis width and you back is straight :

  • Hold your ams vertically with your hands clasped and your fingers crossed. Your palms directed upwards :

  • Inhale to inflate your lungs to the maximum and stretch your intercostal muscles. Push your palms up keeping your back and head upright.

  • Exhale slowly by relaxing and starts again.

This stretching exercise stretches intercostal, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, teres major, triceps. When you incline your torso laterally, you stretch more your external oblique and internal oblique, quadratus lumborum and the internal and medium part of your erectors spinae.

stretching upper body lateral

Note

This stretch is great for relaxing the body after a training with heavyweights like leg press, squat, deadlift because the ribcage and spine have been compressed.

This movement may occasionally replace or supplement the stretching at the bar  to rebalance the pressure and tensions of the intervertebral joints.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph