Thursday, December 9, 2010

Science that Sculpts the Body

As we continue moving forward, each year brings new technology, new equipment, and new methods of accomplishing ‘things’ in life. For instance, we have the internet on our cell phones, GPS’s in our vehicles, computerized fish finders, and laser levels for home improvement. It seems we forever strive to do things easier, eliminating the hard work, and to simplify our daily routine.

Well… The Bentall Centre Athletic Club is no exception. We are pleased to announce that on December 23rd 2010 we will be installing 14 new pieces of Cybex VR3 resistance training equipment. Thanks to the efforts of our general manager Robin Russell, all of our old machines will be replaced with some of the finest quality strength training equipment available on the market today. Additionally we will be adding some new pieces like the Keiser Stretch Corners for those who occasionally have to fight for space on the mat, or do not want to get on the floor but need the flexibility training.

What makes the Cybex VR3 special is that it has converging/diverging movement patterns which mimic the way the human body moves and allows for a more complete range of motion. The consistent isokinetic torque around the joint reduces the stress and provides an exceptional training effect in a safe and controlled way. Not to mention it looks great, feels good, and has that new car smell.

So, what is to become of our old equipment? I’m proud to say that it has been contributed to the Kitsilano High School, where it will be utilized by the developing young athletes, and numerous members of the surrounding community. Talk about a win/win situation!

Unfortunately, one of the few things that isn’t going to get easier next year is the weight training itself. Even with the new technology available, the intensity of lifting and the consistency effort will always be required to stimulate muscles and to burn energy. No such luck in simplifying that one…

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oral Contraception: The Little Pills that can’t... Possibly be good for you.

A Guest blog by Kristin Davis - Florida, USA.

Despite the modern preoccupation with fitness, many individuals still ignore their inner health, which includes more than downing a protein shake or counting calories. Late night infomercials hock ridiculous exercise products that look more like party gags and researchers continually propose diets that involve food your dog wouldn’t look twice at. While today’s emphasis on appearance encourages weight management, this shallow aesthetic focus can also lead some to take misguided risk elsewhere.

One of those products that enable individuals to manage appearance while maintaining a specific lifestyle is oral contraception. While proponents of birth control pills quickly point out the independence and social empowerment women experienced after the drug’s introduction, opponents point out disturbing side effects that accompany them, like cardiovascular disease. One Yaz lawsuit involved a victim who developed blood clots in her lungs, a steep price. Nevertheless, over 100 million women use these pills worldwide.

With the profitability of these pills, manufacturers might be increasingly less willing to provide factual information. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration recently requested Bayer HealthCare remove misleading advertisements where they marketed their products as a treatment for several other health conditions like regulating hormone imbalances, acne, depression, and weight loss. It is the pharmaceutical equivalent of selling magic beans.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about the ability of oral contraceptives can lead to some dangerous physical consequences. Sexually transmitted infections are still fully communicable, and the clinical tests have shown that oral contraceptives are not effective in stopping unwanted pregnancy100% of the time… especially when they are not taken as regularly as every single day. As a result of these false perceptions, users of oral contraceptives might engage in unprotected sex, believing the use of condoms is still unnecessary.

The hormonal ingredients in these pills can also disrupt the psychological and physiological health of women. Users of these pills have seen side effects like migraines, mood swings and vomiting, as well as more serious consequences including heart attack and stroke. In addition, women seeking pregnancy-free sex might experience a decrease in libido from these pills, an ironic consequence.

Sure, they’re convenient and effective at preventing pregnancy, but many fail to recognize the compromise oral contraception involves. Instead, individuals truly serious about leading the healthiest life, both outwardly and within, choose natural forms of contraception. While natural family planning, including fertility awareness, are no doubt more time consuming and require sacrifice, the long-term benefits more than justify their use. Plus you can use the money that would have gone for birth control pills to get yourself the new Shake Weight that’s taking the fitness world by storm.