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Health consequences of steroid abuse - by: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Scope of steroid use in the United States- by: National Institute of Health

NIDA Index for Anabolic steroid links -by: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Anabolic / Anticatabolic-by: The editors of Iron Man magazine

The Steroid Encyclopedia- by: The creatorss of The Sterodi Encyclopedia



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Puberty and Fat cells

Parents, take note. If you have a child who is overweightand if
that child is approaching pubertynow may be the right time to
encourage healthier behaviors, including diet and exercise.

Thats because puberty marks a critical point in the bodys
tendency toward obesity. Puberty is the last time that our fat
cells can increase significantly in NUMBER (in response to
overeating). Beyond puberty, our fat cells can increase or
decrease in SIZE, which is what happens when we gain or lose
weight. But having a much higher number of fat cells makes
lifelong obesity more probableand the battle to lose weight, all
the more difficult.

By building healthy eating and exercise habits early, our
children can help avoid weight-related health problems such as
heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes in adulthood.


Benefits of dried fruits-

Some dried fruits are packed with nutrients. Others are simply
packed with calories. Here's what different dried fruits have to

Dried fruits are not necessarily low-calorie; if you're trying to
lose weight, you'll want to watch your portion sizes, as with any
snack. But you can at least avoid those fruits that have calories
- Many dried fruits are sweetened with sugar.
- Banana chips are not only sweetened-but also fried in oil (just
like potato chips).

- Some fruits are excellent sources of fiber: Raisins, apples,
dates, prunes, figs, pineapples. These are also high in potassium
and practically fat-free.
- Dried apricots are loaded with beta carotene.
- Apricots and raisins contain a good amount of iron.


Fitness Tracking


One of the best things you can do is keep a fitness log. Nothing
elaborate or time-consuming, mind you just a simple, written
record of your workouts.

After each workout, simply jot down the bare facts. For cardio
exercise, record the amount of time and the intensity level. For
strength training, note the amount of weight and number of
repetitions for each exercise. By keeping track of your workouts,
youll see your progress more readily and find it easier to stick
to your fitness plan.



Here's a resolution I bet you never thought of...


It doesnt involve eating less or eating better. It doesnt call
for extra workouts. Yet it has a dramatic effect on how you feel
and function, both physically and emotionally.

This year, consider making a commitment to becoming more
flexible. Flexibility, the ability to move joints through their
full range of motion, is vastly underrated. Your level of
flexibility affects virtually every movement you make: from
getting out of your bed in the morning to lifting a carton to
playing with your kids. Limited flexibility means limited
movement and, in many cases, it leads to muscle strain or injury.

The good news: When it comes to flexibility, a little effort goes
a long way. By doing simple stretches before working out and
especially afterwards, you can go far in improving your
flexibility. And your quality of life.




If you can only remember 3 things about stretching


-let them be these:

1. WARM MUSCLES. If you stretch cold muscles, you risk muscle
tears. Before workouts, warm up first with light activity such as
jogging or walking, then stretch, and then proceed with your
workout. After working out, stretch immediately, when your
muscles will be warmest.

2. NO BOUNCING. Stretch as far as you comfortably can, then hold
that position.

3. 20 SECONDS. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat
each stretch 2 or 3 times.



Stretch Before, During, and After


You already know that its important to stretch both before and
after exercising. If your sport or workout typically entails a
few breaks in the action, consider using those moments as well to
fit in some extra stretching.

For example, you can stretch at halftime in a soccer match,
during period breaks in a basketball game, and between sets of a
tennis match. At the gym, you can get into the habit of
stretching during the transition from cardio circuit to weight
machines (or vice-versa).

Even when lower-intensity activities are interrupted youve
pulled your bike off the road to take in the scenery, or youve
paused on the walking trail to chat with an acquaintance you can
benefit from seizing the opportunity to stretch.


Beat Winter Boredom


Do you tend to get into an exercise rut in the winter? If so,
youre certainly not alone. When frigid temperatures and icy
streets force you to use the indoor gym, its understandable that
you might find yourself doing the same workout every time you go.

Problem is, theres more than your sanity at stake here. By doing
the same workouts for weeks on end, you could be risking
repetitive-motion injuries.

Here are some ways to overcome a wintertime rut and avoid the

injuries it can bring:

- VARY YOUR GYM ROUTINE. Take advantage of everything your club

has to offer: group exercise classes, different cardio machines,
yoga sessions, strength machines and hand weights, and so on.
- WARM UP AND STRETCH BEFOREHAND. Resist the get it over with
mentality when you enter the gym; spend a few minutes on warming
up and stretching.
- COOL DOWN AND STRETCH AFTERWARDS. Get your heart rate back to
normal, and enhance your flexibility by stretching when your
muscles are warm from your workout.



Is it safe to work out sick?


If your cold symptoms are primarily above-the-neck, sneezing,
sore throat, runny nose, its probably safe for you to exercise at
a low intensity.

But if your cold involves below-the-neck symptoms such as
fever, vomiting or diarrhea, muscle soreness, or general
weakness you should avoid exercise until your cold is better.
Allow the sickness to run its course and your body to regain its


Yesterdays tip:




It seems that theres a yoga style to suit every fitness level
and personality type. If youre eager to try yoga but dont know
where to start, look for a class based on the IYENGAR style of

Iyengar provides a solid foundation in the yoga poses. Emphasis
is on executing each pose with precision. The poses require
sustained concentration and are held longer than in the more
fluid and faster-moving yoga styles.

The Iyengar style, because it is gentler than some other yoga
styles, is also ideal for individuals recovering from an injury.



Eating at night...


For many people, eating at night (when were typically less
active) can lead to weight gain. If youd like to change your
nighttime eating patterns, here are a few suggestions:

- Eat several small meals throughout the day; this way, you will
not be ravenous in the evening.
- If your dinnertime routinely falls late in the evening, make
lunch your main meal and dinner more of a light healthy snack,
such as a small sandwich or a yogurt with fruit.
- Dont eat and watch TV at the same time. If youre feeling
hungry, eat in a room that has no television in it.
- Dont drink alcohol. It tends to increase appetite and diminish
ones resolve to eat sensibly. (It also packs its own calories!)



The basic formula for treating sprains is *RICE*: Rest, Ice,
Compression, and Elevation. Ice can be essential in reducing the
swelling that often comes with sprains. Here are a few pointers
on using ice effectively:

- A cold pack designed for treating injuries can be helpful, but
its by no means necessary. If you dont have one, try using bags
of frozen vegetables instead. Peas and corn are good bets: they
are light, and they can contour snugly around the injured body
partoften better than a bag of large ice cubes can.
- Apply ice for 20 minutes. Wait 40 minutes (or longer) before
applying again.
- Never apply ice or a cold pack directly onto the skin. (In some
cases, this can cause a form of frostbite.) Instead, place a
moist towel between the ice and your skin.>- Pay extra attention to skin exposure when using store-bought
cold packs. Some can reach colder temperatures than ice.

The RICE formula is usually recommended for the first 24 to 48
hours after injury. However, if you suspect your sprain is severe
or if your injury is not improving, consult a physician.



Do Memory Enhancing Supplements Work


By Veronica Holland


Experts and manufacturers disagree on whether memory-enhancing supplements work.

Ever have a "senior moment" and wonder if an herbal memory enhancer could help? Experts can't tell for sure if they will.

Popular "memory-boosting" supplements such as Focus Factor, Cognita with huperzine and Senior Moment part of a $140 million-a-year industry for such supplements all claim to promote more efficient memory, concentration and overall mental functioning.

But little scientific support for the claims emerged from an informal ABCNEWS survey of more than a dozen top experts on aging, Alzheimer's disease, drug safety and brain research.

"While there are reasons to believe that some of the ingredients might work, there is no convincing scientific evidence that they do work to improve or forestall normal age related memory losses," said Dr. Bruce Cohen, president and psychiatrist in chief at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. "There are studies under way of some of the ingredients, but it is too early to predict whether any will be safe and effective."

Small-Scale Evidence of Benefit

Experts agree there is some evidence of benefit for a few of the ingredients, such as choline, found in Focus Factor, which increases a key nervous system neurotransmitter in rats, but has yet to be proven in clinical trials to boost levels in humans.

Dr. Sid Gilman, professor and chair of the department of neurology at the University of Michigan, concurs. "There is no current evidence provided by rigorous double-blind placebo controlled clinical trials that any of these substances can improve memory in the aging brain," he said.

In statements to ABCNEWS, the companies that make the supplements defended their claims despite the lack of clinical trials. They cited previous studies conducted on specific ingredients.

ABCNEWS' Dr.Tim Johnson noted that the companies admit they have not studied their products in careful double-blind trials, but that they plan to start such studies in the near future.

"That seems to me like putting the cart before the hors e," said Johnson. "But we don't have actual studies of these products per se to say that they're going to do what they claim."

Firms Cite Benefits of Ingredients

According to Senior Moment's Nutramax Labs representative Paul Deblinger, the company evaluated literature on the supplements' two ingredients phospholipids and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA.

"We saw the merit in brain function by evaluating the published research, and then chose the identical ingredients purchased from the identical companies used in most of this research for inclusion in Senior Moment," he explained, adding: "Therefore, it is scientifically reasonable to bridge from the data on the individual ingredients to the combination in Senior Moment."

Deblinger said the company plans to follow the formal testing plan of both human and veterinary studies used in testing their popular osteoarthritis supplement, CosaminDS.

The maker of Focus Factor says it also looked at previous studies in developing their product. "The available scientific evidence provides ample support for the statements made regarding the dietary supplement Focus Factor," said the company's Rob Graham.

Focus Factor, produced by Vital Basics, is currently being tested in a double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial. The company expects the results in the spring of 2002.

Buyer Beware

A statement by General Nutrition Center, a national retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, said that the ingredients in Preventive Nutrition Cognita contains well-known ingredients backed by research. It also goes on to say is has "not made any claims to the consumer about this product that are based on that research and will not do so until the research is finalized and reviewed."

GNC's statement added that "GNC formulated Cognita is based on numerous published studies that have been conducted on the individual ingredients. It is not intended to diagnose, treat , cure or prevent any disease."

Still, "memory-boosting" supplements are on the market, despite the disagreement between some doctors and the supplement makers about their effectiveness. That's because Congress made these products exempt from Food and Drug Administration approval, said ABCNEWS' Johnson.

"These kinds of products, over-the-counter supplements, food supplements, don't have to be submitted to the FDA for evidence of either effectiveness or safety before they're marketed," said Johnson. "So, really it is a case of buyer beware."