Fitness News & Views

A Publication of Graham Fitness

March 15, 2015

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20


Do You Suffer from Back Pain?

Do You Want Relief?


Do you suffer with lower back pain? Would you spend $499 to get permanent relief? In one week, you will begin getting relief. In five weeks, you will be pain free.


I guarantee this simple exercise program will work for you, or I will refund every penny of your money. Who else offers a money-back guarantee? Have you been to doctors, chiropractors, or massage therapists and spent tons of money with little or no relief? Have they refunded any of your money? I guarantee results, but I have never yet had to refund a dime, because this program works.


The program consists of 3 simple relaxing exercises you do on your own every day for a month. In addition you will work with me two days a week for five weeks - 10 sessions in all. After that, if you continue doing the 3 simple exercises three days a week on your own, you will not experience any more back pain. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, give me a call at 803-447-8557 or email me at





           Inflammation is a cause of everything from arthritis to various types of cancer. There are many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the market, including ibuprofens like Aleve and Advil. These products can reduce inflammation, but they are not recommended for long term use, because they are filtered through the kidneys and over time can cause kidney damage.

            Many common foods also fight inflammation, and they may help ease symptoms or even better, prevent symptoms from ever occurring. Let's look at several foods which are especially good at battling inflammation.

            The probiotics in yogurt replace good bacteria in the digestive tract and help reduce inflammation. Raw honey also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, so adding some honey to a cup of plain yogurt makes a great start to the day or snack during the day.

            Tart cherries relieve pain as effectively as NSAIDs according to research done at Michigan State University. You might try drinking tart cherry juice which can be found in most health food stores.

            Sweet bell peppers and spicy chili peppers are full of capsaicin which is a well-known anti-inflammatory. Add them to your salads.

            Garlic can be used in cooking and its curative benefits have long been touted.

            Oily fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies, and tuna are full of omega-3 fatty acids which are highly effective against inflammation in the body.

            Ginger is another very good anti-inflammatory food. It's even mentioned in some reports as a cancer preventative. So you might want to find ways to work it into your diet.

            The antioxidants and vitamin C in citrus fruits may also reduce inflammation. Lemons are perhaps the best of the bunch. Try adding lemon juice to the water you drink during the day.

            Berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries all have powerful antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation. Add a handful of berries to your morning oatmeal or eat them as a snack.

            Avocados have been used by runners to relieve inflammation in the knees and joints caused by the impact of pounding the pavement. They are an especially good source of beneficial fats.

         Everybody wants nice firm abs, but which abdominal exercise is best? The American Council on Exercise (ACE) decided to tackle this question with an in-depth study. The study was done by experts in the Clinical Exercise Physiology program at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse. Researchers compared popular equipment including the Ab Circle Pro, Ab Roller, Ab Lounge, Perfect Sit-Up, Ab Coaster, Ab Rocket, Ab Wheel, and Ab Straps, as well as ab exercises such as the stability ball crunch, the incline bench curl-up, captain's chair crunch, bicycle crunch, and both side and front planks.

            When all was said and done, the conclusion was that the basic crunch when done correctly outperforms every other abdominal exercise or gadget in producing results. But, according to the study leader Dr. John Porcari, the best approach is to work the abs with different exercises. In other words, incorporate any of these machines or other body weight exercises into your abs workout. Don't get stuck on doing just one thing, but don't get enamored with the newest gimmick either, because the basic crunch should remain your default exercise for the abs.




             When a person loses weight, have you ever wondered where the fat goes? The British Medical Journal conducted a survey of 50 family doctors and asked them that question. Turns out, they were all wrong. Most of the doctors said they thought the fat converts to energy or heat. Others suggested that fat becomes muscle or is eliminated from the body by feces. All wrong.

            According to scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia, it turns out that most of the fat converts to carbon dioxide and exits the body by breathing. What remains becomes water and is excreted through urine, sweat, and other bodily fluids. So to lose weight, you need to eat right, exercise, and exhale the fat away. Who would have ever thought it?

           If you are a runner, March and April are the transition months. During the winter months, perhaps you've been doing most of your training indoors on a treadmill, but you plan to take it outside when the temperatures warm up. If so, now is the time. During March and April, the weather in South Caroline is just about perfect for outdoor exercise. By running outside now, your body will gradually adapt to the warmer temperatures, so that by the heat of the summer, you will still be able to run outside on most days. Of course, you'll have to be sensible about it, and we'll discuss hot weather running in another newsletter, but there is no excuse for not getting out into the fresh air now. I've never understood why anyone would run on a treadmill in the spring unless it's raining, and even a run on a rainy spring day can be fun.

            Columbia offers some great places to run. I like to run at Saluda Shoals Park, the Lake Murray dam, Riverfront Park, Riverwalk Park, and in Shandon, but there are probably 20 or 30 other places that are also great. One note of caution: When running on roads you have to share with cars, always run on the left facing the traffic and don't wear headphones.

            Now get out there and enjoy the beautiful Carolina spring!


            I ran across an interesting article in the February issue of the ACE Fitness Journal entitled "Food Fight: Clash of the Nutrition Titans." Basically, it compared food in different categories to see which is better. Here are a few examples:

  • Bison vs. Beef. Bison wins because it has less saturated fat and more omega-3 fat.
  • Apples vs. Pears. Pears are the champs here. They have more fiber than apples and more Vitamin K.
  • Almonds vs. Walnuts. Almonds come out on top. They have more protein, fiber, Vitamin E, riboflavin, and magnesium - all good things.
  • Canned Salmon vs. Canned Tuna. Sorry Charlie, but canned salmon wins with more omega-3s and Vitamin D. In addition, the softened bones in canned salmon provide about 20 times more bone-strengthening calcium than you get in canned tuna.
  • Whole-Wheat Bread vs. Sprouted Bread. Sprouted Bread is better for a host of reasons, including more fiber and protein. Plus they are easier to digest.
  • Turkey Breast vs. Chicken Breast. The champ is turkey breast with more protein, zinc, selenium, and iron.
  • Cheddar Cheese vs. Swiss Cheese. Swiss wins with more calcium and phosphorus and about a third less sodium.
  • Tilapia vs. Halibut. Halibut is the champ with twice as much omega-3 fats as well as more niacin, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
  • Kidney Beans vs. Black Beans. Kidney beans have 75% more fiber and twice as much iron. Kidney beans win.


         As you know, every subculture has its own terms which may or may not be familiar to laymen. The same is true of the fitness culture. If you've spent any time in a gym, you know some of them, such as sets and reps. But you may get lost in some of the language, so let's look at some terms that are in vogue in today's fitness centers:


        Burning This has been around a while. You may remember the old Jane Fonda videos where she would tell you to "feel the burn." Moderate to high-intensity exercise creates a condition called acidosis, which is a change in the body's acidity levels, specifically elevated levels of lactic acid and hydrogen ions. It is this condition which caused the burn.

      Cardio means cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory exercise. Cardio means the heart so cardio exercises are those that elevate the heart rate. Generally these include running, the elliptical, rowing, bicycling, etc. But working with weights can be cardio exercise too if you don't take prolonged breaks between sets. You may hear cardio exercise also called aerobic exercise.

       Core training refers to exercises that engage the muscles of the mid-section such as the abs, obliques, and erector spinae in the lower back.   The core muscles are essential to almost every movement we make from standing up straight to walking to picking something up off the ground.

      High-intensity interval training (HIIT). These are exercises that incorporate intervals of high intensity training with intervals of recovery. In running, this might mean running a lap at race speed followed by one at a slow jog and repeating this sequence several times.

      Toning is an over-used term. When you ask most people what they want to accomplish by weight lifting, they'll say they want to tone-up. Generally being toned means having well-defined muscles. Exercising a muscle repeatedly leaves that muscle in a semi-contracted state which creates the desired definition.

    Plyometrics uses explosive movements such as jumping or medicine ball throws. Plyometrics should be used with caution, because these exercises can cause injuries more easily than more basic exercises, especially if your form is not correct.

      This time next month, we'll be two weeks into the baseball season - the greatest time of the year! I'm full of anticipation for the Pittsburgh Pirates, my team since I was 11 years old. Could this be the year they win their first World Series since 1979, the year of Stargell's Stars and "We Are Family"? As Tommy Lasorda once said, "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are, you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." Go Bucs!

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Harbison Recreation Center
106 Hillpine Road
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: 781-2281

The Harbison Rec Center offers more facilities for less money than anywhere else in town These are just some of the features: a new weight room with all new machines, free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes; a 25 meter junior Olympic size indoor heated swimming pool; sauna; whirlpool; racquet ball and tennis courts; a basketball gym; and miles of traffic-free trails for walking or jogging. There are classes for seniors as well as summer camp and after school programs for kids. Also newly remodeled locker rooms and an all-purpose room for large gatherings. All for only $315 a year for singles or $600 a year for families Check out their website:

Wolf's Fitness Center
5432 August Road
Lexington, SC 29072
Phone: 356-6400

Wolf's is a total fitness facility offering some great amenities. There's a huge weight room featuring free weights and machines. There is a cardio area with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair steppers, and the cardio theater. Other amenities include an indoor walking/running track, sauna, child care facilities with an attendant, tanning beds, clean locker rooms and showers, and sports supplements. Prices are very reasonable and there are no enrollment fees ever. Wolf's also offers a full slate of fitness classes including kickboxing and pilates, as well as spinning classes. Check out their website, for rates and specials.



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