Category: Articles

New Articles

Read all the new articles and Mathias Method Strength Blog Posts! Learn everything you need to know about how to get stronger in training and life!

All articles cover subjects such as strength training, diet and nutrition, health and wellness, motivation and inspiration and so much more!

All Articles >>

Search All Articles

Generic selectors
Exact Matches Only
Search Content Titles
Search All Content
Search Blog Posts
Search All Pages
Search Blog Categories
Articles
Diet and Nutrition
Guest Articles
Gym Fail Stories
Health and Wellness
Motivation and Inspiration
Strength Training

Follow the Strength Blog!

Join 3,900+ other followers!


All New Articles and Blog Posts


RECOVERY: The Most Important Part Of Every Workout

RECOVERY

The Most Important Part Of Every Workout

Are you always tired, sore and lacking progress in the gym? If so, then you are likely not overtraining, but rather under-recovering! Because the biggest difference between overtraining and progress is how well you recover from your workouts. So here are the best post-workout muscle recovery tips for athletes and lifters that love to push it to the limit!

Check out our awesome Workout Programs >>

“It doesn’t matter what you can do in the gym, if you can’t recover from it.”

First, if you fail to recover properly after your workouts, then over time this can lead to overuse injuries, like tendonitis. These types of injuries can hold you back from progress in the gym and on the field. So, if you have an overuse injury, make sure you know how to recover from injuries properly.

In This Article:


How To Recover Properly From A Workout

Recovery is the most important part of every workout plan. Without proper recovery, all you are doing is breaking your body down. Recovery is where you build it back up.

So, to continuously get stronger and make progress, you need to not only work hard but recover hard too. And that all begins with knowing how to recover properly from your workouts.

Even with the best workout program, you will make little to no progress if you don’t recover properly. So, no workout is complete until you have recovered from it.

“No workout is complete until you have recovered from it.”


post-workout stretch

Post-Workout Stretch

First, proper workout recovery starts as soon as the workout is complete. And the first step is finishing your workout with some mobility work. As in stretching and/or foam rolling for at least 10 minutes to help keep your muscle and joints healthy, while preventing injury. Remember, a healthy muscle is both strong and flexible, so don’t skip out on this part.

Check out our Stretching Exercises >>


post-workout muscle recovery tips

Get Enough Sleep

Next, and most important, is sleep. Without proper sleep, your body cannot function properly. Let alone rebuild and grow after a hard workout.

Your body grows, and recovers, when you’re asleep, not when you are awake. You can refill your depleted fat and glycogen stores (muscle fuel) while you’re awake, but you can only grow and repair your muscles while you are asleep.

And how much sleep you need depends on many factors. Everyone is different and requires a different amount of sleep to recover from everyday life or the additional stress of exercise. However, we can set some general standards that fit most individuals in given categories and you can adjust from there. 

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

  • Kids and Teens: Most kids and teens require between 8-10 hours of sleep while growing. They have the largest range of sleep time because everyone grows at a different rate. You can assume those that grow faster or do the most activity need more sleep than those that are less active and slow to grow.
  • Adults: The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep just to perform normally without additional activity or exercise. Women require a little less sleep than men, which may be due to men generally being larger in size.
  • If you workout: Those that workout regularly will need an additional 30-60 minutes of sleep after every training day, depending upon the overall intensity or work volume.
  • Athletes: Athletes require 9-10 hours of sleep for full recovery due to their large workloads and intense training which places a lot of stress on their bodies. 

These are general guidelines for sleep which can be adjusted depending upon how you feel. If you are still tired you (may need to go to sleep earlier, to get more quality sleep, or you) may need to increase your sleep time by 30 minutes.

Overall, sleep is the most important aspect of recovery as that is when your body rebuilds itself.

Learn more about proper sleep >>


eat enough food for recovery

Eat Enough Food For Recovery

Next, nutrition is also a vital part of proper workout recovery. You need to eat enough food and get enough calories for your body to rebuild what it has lost during your workout. If you don’t, then you cannot recover fully, even with proper sleep.

For most people, eating a normal and balanced diet is enough to recover from a few weekly workouts. However, if you are an athlete or do any form of intense training, then you may need more nutrients for proper recovery. This may be as simple as an additional meal on workout days or larger meal portions throughout the day.

It all depends on if you want to build muscle or lose weight.

Supplements For Recovery

Now, many people believe that they need to take supplements in order to recover from any light to intense workout. This is not the case. Supplements can be helpful, but it is best to get your nutrients from food, rather than taking a bunch of supplements. Learn more >>


whole food vs protein powders

The Protein Myth

Myth: You need to get in at least 20-30g of protein within 30 minutes post-workout for proper recovery.

This is absolutely NOT TRUE and doesn’t even make sense. Remember, your body can only grow while you are asleep. And if you are taking protein immediately post-workout, it is going to be used as energy by the time you get to sleep. So, as long as you get enough protein, and other nutrients, throughout the day, you are set. Timing doesn’t matter that much. Also, it is always best to eat real food instead of taking supplements.

Learn the best time to take a protein supplement! >>


Protein

It is not only important that you get enough calories, but also the proper nutrients for your body to have the supplies needed for recovery. The main piece of this is protein. Though we do not need as much as many people believe.

Protein is the main building block for rebuilding and growing broken down tissue. Knowing this, those that break down tissue often, through exercise and other various activities, should consume slightly more protein than those that do not exercise regularly.

The average person needs 0.4-0.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight daily just to replace tissues lost during normal daily activity.

Those that exercise need more to replace and rebuild their tissues. Usually, that is 0.5-0.7g per pound of bodyweight daily. This may seem too low to what many people believe, but remember that this is just the bare minimum that you need for tissue replacement and recovery.

It is recommended that athletes and those that do strength training regularly, consume about 1g per pound of bodyweight daily. However, it is recommended that you do not exceed 1.5g per pound of bodyweight daily as this can place a lot of unnecessary stress on your body’s digestive system to metabolize it. Plus, protein makes for a bad energy source.

Realize, that your body can only build so much muscle mass per day. So, consuming excess protein will just add to your total calories for the day. Then it will either be used as a low energy source or stored as fat.

So, it is best to use carbohydrates (fast energy) and fats (slow long-lasting energy) as your fuel sources while using protein for its purpose of building. 

Carbs and Fats

Carbs and fats are your body’s energy sources. However, they are both important for proper recovery.

Carbs help with hydration and give your body the energy it needs to both recover and perform. Fats help transport and store vital vitamins and minerals. Plus, they are a long-lasting energy source for endurance. So, you need a reasonable amount of each for the best results. 

Active individuals should have 2-4g of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight daily. And at least 0.25-0.5g per pound of bodyweight of fats to fill out your total caloric intake needs.

Most of your carbohydrate intake should be 1-2 hours before, during and after your workout for the day. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Though your macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) are important for recovery, it is also vital that you get enough vitamins and minerals. These can be obtained through a healthy diet consisting of many fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products. If you are lacking one of these categories of food, you need to find a way to include them more or replace the nutrients you are lacking through supplementation.

To help, you can take a daily multivitamin as a base amount of nutrients to give your body daily, but you should also be conscious of what you are eating and what nutrients you need more of.

Electrolytes

  • Calcium + Magnesium
  • Sodium + Potassium

Calcium is important because you use it in every muscle contraction. Without calcium, your muscles, including your heart, would not be able to contract. Of course, it also helps increase bone density along with the added stresses of strength training.

Magnesium works with calcium, as a vital building block for our tissues and helps with muscular function.

Sodium and Potassium are two other vital electrolytes for workout recovery and performance. These electrolytes work together to regulate water in and out of cells and perform many other important functions within the body. 

Learn more about Electrolytes >>


workout hydration for recovery

Hydrate

Part of getting enough nutrients for full recovery is hydrating. Without proper hydration, you are slowing down your recovery process and making it hard to absorb and transport the nutrients you need.

Also, you need to drink enough fluids to not only replace what you’ve lost but also excrete the waste. This is because every time you workout, you are breaking down tissue. And that tissue needs to be disposed of in some way. Most of it is excreted in your urine. Which is why it is so yellow post-workout.

If you only drink minimal amounts of fluid, then your body will use most of it to excrete the waste instead of rehydrating you.

To counter this, drink at least 0.7 times your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. And an additional 16 ounces for every 30 minutes you workout.

Learn more about proper Hydration >>


The Importance Of Workout Recovery

With proper sleep and nutrition, you can recover from all the stresses you place on your body and continue to progress in your training. Just make sure to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every day, stay hydrated, eat enough calories, consume 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, and get in all of your vitamins and minerals so that you can be recovered as much as possible before your next workout. This will ensure the best conditions for you to progress in your training.

You can also use some active recovery techniques such as walking throughout the day or doing light activities that stimulate blood flow but do not tax your body with too much stress.

Now that you know how to recover properly from your workouts, I wish you a full recovery! Keep getting stronger my friends!

Check out our Strength Training Programs HERE!

How To Commit to Your New Year’s Resolution Fitness Goals

How To Commit to Your New Year’s Resolution Fitness Goals

New Year = New Goals

Do you, or someone you know, need to find a way to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions and Fitness GoalsWell, I have your solution! And it all starts with committing to yourself and your goals!

Take the 30 Day Fitness Challenge >>

First, let me tell you how I did it…

On Christmas Day 2015 I made the biggest decision of my life. It was the decision to invest in myself and pursue my dreams of creating my own success, my way.

It all started with a commitment to myself, and over 4 years later that commitment has never faltered. Not even for one single day!

That’s over 4 years of Commitment to my own strength, health, and fitness every…single…day.

And that commitment all began with The Daily 30A simple fitness routine that has helped me in more ways than I can list! And I know it will help you too!

Take the 30 Day Fitness Challenge >>

Commit To Yourself and Your Goals

The main purpose of the Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine is to teach you to stay committed to your strength, health, and fitness goals by helping you to develop the self-discipline you need to succeed in training and in life.

Just ask yourself…when is the last time you did something every single day for over a year to work towards your goals? Most people will say never and that is why most people never succeed.

So, be different! Be the one that does succeed! Then tell others how easy it is just by developing a little self-discipline.

I have done the Daily 30 for 1,468+ days in a row now (at the time of this post) and I plan to do it every day for the rest of my life.

Whether I was healthy, sore, sick, tired, injured, or just didn’t feel like it, I stuck to my commitment and that is the base of all my success in training and in life.

Just by making that simple commitment to myself I remember to always keep my goals on track, no matter how hard things get.

That is why I made The Daily 30! To help people stay committed to their goals every day.

Plus, the exercises are so simple anyone can do them! And it takes less than 3 minutes to do, allowing no room for excuses.

So, whether it be you or if you know someone that needs something to stick to this coming year, The Daily 30 is exactly what they need!

Think of it as the first step in making a commitment to yourself for a better, stronger and healthier future.

Get started today by clicking the link below!

Start The Daily 30 Challenge Today!

Make sure to share this with your friends!

More Fitness Goals:

525 Squat = All I Ever Wanted

525 lb Squat

All I Ever Wanted

Hi, my name is Ryan Mathias and all I ever wanted was to Squat 525 pounds RAW. Now, to many people that may seem mediocre since many people can squat 500+ pounds. But to me, it wasn’t easy, and there’s a reason 525 means so much to me. This is why…

My 525 Story

I officially started weight training as a 16-year-old Junior in high school for one of my P.E. classes. And my favorite exercise was the squat. I loved it so much that it was basically all I did during our short 50-minute classes 4 days per week. 

As you can imagine, I progressed rapidly as a beginner that only squatted. So, after about 2 months I attempted my first max squat, and I got a pretty easy 355 lbs! Pretty great for a 180 lb kid with no guidance or help (the “coach” in there didn’t care what you did. As long as you didn’t run off or get hurt, he didn’t pay any attention to you.)!

Well, a short while later I was repping 315 for 4×10 and able to do 405 lbs. And that is when I had an idea…

The Record Board

Like every high school, we had a football team (coached by the weight training “teacher”). And in the weight room, they had a record board that recorded all the best lifts of the football players for that year. 

At the top of the record board, there were all-time school records for Squat, Bench Press, and Power Clean (should have been deadlift, I know). The records at the time (2009) were 505 Squat, 355 Bench Press, and 330 Power Clean (set by my older brother Tanner, that year!)

Well, the best squat for the current football players was only 315 lbs. Something that I could easily do! So, in the hopes of getting some recognition by my peers, I asked the coach if he would put my name on the board, as he just watched my squat 405 in front of him. 

Of course, he said, “No! That board is for players only!” 

Obviously, I was bothered by this. But it also truly infuriated me, because of the way he said it. His tone was like I didn’t deserve any recognition for my work. I was so upset that I went right to the squat rack and did 405×2. 

He didn’t say anything, of course.

My Goal

Well, I knew he was not going to put me on the board by choice. So I decided that I was going to break the school squat record so that he would be forced into putting my name on the record board! But I didn’t just want to break it by a few pounds. I wanted to annihilate it!

So I decided that 525 lbs was the goal!

I trained harder than before and was pushing for as much progress as I could! But, unfortunately, that lead to injury.

Again, I had no help with proper technique or rest and recovery. All I knew was that I needed to squat low and squat often. So I did, and my hips were not happy about it.

In fact, I did so many things wrong that I still have to fight the bad habits I grew over my first few years of lifting. 

Well, long story short, the most I ever squatted in high school was 435×2 with a belt and spotter assistance. 

Slow Progress

The next few years were waves of progress and regression. I would build a lot of strength, then get injured. Learn from it, and progress again. Over and over again. Always learning and growing.

All I can say is that I wish I found a website like this one back in those days to help me along!

I even broke my back in 2012 (unrelated to weight training) in which I was told to lay in bed for 5 weeks and never lift heavy again. That didn’t happen, but I did learn a lot from it!

My 525 lb Squat Redemption

Well, after all these years of learning through both education and experience, I have healed my body, corrected my mistakes and become ready for my redemption!

And here it is! My first, but not last, ever 525 lb squat!

What I am most proud of is my journey getting here. It was a long hard road, but I accomplished it on my own terms. I don’t take supplements or drugs and only use minimal support (my knee sleeves are there for looks, not so much support. They are too big and torn out on both sides so they slide down my legs as I walk.). I learned from my mistakes and only grew stronger from them. 

Thank you to everyone that has supported me along the way. Thank you to my dad for recording this life-changing event. And to me…

“Yo, Ryan…we did it!”


If you want to learn how to do it too, get my 12-Week Squat Program which I used to accomplish this feat of strength!

Ryan’s 500 lb 12-Week Squat Program >>


What’s Next

Now, of course, I am not stopping all lifting and moving onto other things. I will always be a powerlifter because I love the sport. I will continue to get stronger in all my lifts, but I am proud to have accomplished my main goal after only a mere 10 years!

Other Strength Goals:

Squat = ???

Bench Press = 405×3

Deadlift = 650

Tendonitis Treatment | How To Treat, Prevent and Cure Tendinitis Fast!

Tendonitis Treatment

How To Treat Tendonitis

Tendinitis sucks! Especially for those of us that love to workout and get stronger. And it doesn’t matter where the pain is (wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, etc.), it is going to slow you down and hold you back from what you want to do. So, this article will teach you the best and fastest ways to treat, prevent and cure tendonitis using a Voodoo Muscle Floss Band and Medical RICE Treatment; to decrease inflammation and pain, quickly.

Table Of Contents:


What is Tendonitis?

First, tendonitis, also known as tendinitis, is inflammation of a tendon. It is commonly caused by muscle overuse or repeated improper movement. And if not corrected and treated properly, it can lead to a tendon strain, or tear. Which will keep you out of action for months, or even years. So take this minor inflammation seriously.

What makes tendonitis such a hard injury to treat is your tendons themselves. Tendons are a connection between muscle and bone. And they hold similar properties to both. For example, they are slightly stretchable like a muscle but dense like bone. And they take a lot longer to heal than muscle because they are not vascular (do not have veins).

Muscles are quick to heal because they are vascular and have a lot of blood flow. But tendons are not so the healing process takes a lot longer. Plus, they are in constant motion just like your muscles but take longer to strengthen. Which means they need to avoid being broken down more than they are built up. As that is how this all occurred in the first place.

With that being said, let’s get into how to treat tendonitis and prevent it from occurring again. 


RICE Treatment Method

Best Treatments for Tendonitis

Whether you have acute (short term) or chronic (long term) tendonitis, the treatment is the same. It will just take longer to fix the longer you put it off. 

You need to increase blood flow, while decreasing inflammation.

To treat tendonitis or any inflammation, you need to both increase blood flow and decrease inflammation. The greater the blood flow, the faster the healing. However, the greater the blood flow, the more chance of building up inflammation. And, though it is your body’s healing mechanism, inflammation causes pain.

So, the goal is to allow enough inflammation for healing to occur, while decreasing pain as much as possible. With all this in mind, doctors came up with the RICE Method Treatment.

RICE Method – Tendonitis and Inflammation Treatment

The best protocol for treating any inflammation is known as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

Rest

Rest the tendon and affected muscle group as much as you can. This means you need to take some time off from all activity. And decreasing the intensity or taking it light will not work, because the problem is not the intensity of the movement. It is the movement itself. 

For acute tendonitis, you can likely take 10-14 days off from all activity and be back to 100%, if you follow the entire RICE Treatment daily during your time off. 

For chronic tendinitis inflammation, it depends on how long you have put off treatment. But you will likely need to avoid as much activity as you can for at least 1+ months. 

Ice

Ice the inflamed area for 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off, as often as you can. This means all day, every day. 

It is best to use actual crushed ice in a thin plastic bag applied directly to the area. Do not put a towel or even paper towel between when using real ice because you need the cold to get deep into the tissue.

However, if using an ice pack, you MUST put a thin towel or a few paper towels between your skin and the pack. This is because your skin freezes as 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and ice packs can get colder than that. But ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit so your skin will never freeze from normal crushed ice.

For even faster results, apply heat to the affected area during your 40-minute bouts off cold. However, always finish your sessions with cold.

This is because cold decreases blood flow and decreases inflammation. While heat increases blood flow but also increases inflammation. We want your body to have better blood flow to help repair your tissue, but it is more important to decrease the built-up inflammation.

So always finish with cold, before taking a break from the regiment.

The 5 Stages Of Cold

While icing, you should feel the affected area go through the 5 Stages Of Cold. That is how you determine if your icing is effective or not. These 5 stages are:

Stage 1 – Cold

Stage 2 – Burning

Stage 3 – Tingling

Stage 4 – Aching

Stage 5 – Numb

It normally takes about 5 minutes to go through the first 4 stages. But if you can get through it, then you will be numb and can go for as long as is needed.

Plus, the more you do it the more your body will get used to the sensations and eventually it will learn to go straight from cold to numb. 

Compression & Elevation

Compression and elevation both help to decrease inflammation by decreasing blood flow and draining the area of inflamed fluid. Compressing the affected area prevents it from filling up with inflamed fluid. And the higher you elevate the area above your heart the easier it is to drain out any bad fluid. 

Realize that sitting in a recliner with your feet up does not count as elevation. The affected area needs to be at least 12 inches above your heart. And the higher the better for drainage.

Unless there is major swelling, you do not need to focus a lot on these with tendonitis, but they can help while icing.

Voodoo Muscle Floss BandVoodoo Muscle Floss Band for Tendonitis

The Voodoo Muscle Floss Band, originally created by The Ready State (formerly known as MobilityWOD), was designed to treat and cure Tendonitis in athletes. And it works REALLY WELL! Most people are 75-100% cured after just one 2-5 minute treatment!

VIDEO: Watch the Voodoo Muscle Floss Band in action >>

WARNING: Though the Voodoo Muscle Floss Band works very well, it is EXTREMELY PAINFUL! If I was to describe it, most people think it feels as if their skin is being peeled off for 2-5 minutes. And almost everyone cries (even grown men that think they are tough).

But if you can get past the pain, you will almost instantly be cured!

So the way that I think of it is this…you can either feel a little bit of pain over a long period of time. Or feel a lot of pain over a short period to be healed. Your choice.

Get your Voodoo Muscle Floss Band >>

Other Inflammation Treatments

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help with some pain relief. However, by decreasing inflammation, they slow down the healing process. So only use them if absolutely needed, and do not think that they are healing the injury.

Massage

Foam Rolling and Deep Tissue Massages can help to relax your tight muscles pulling on the inflamed tendon, and therefore help to relieve pain. This is preferred over stretching the surrounding muscle groups because stretching increases the stress placed on the tendon.

So, do not stretch the tendon until all pain has gone away for at least 7 days. And focus the massage on your muscles, not the inflamed tendon.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help by increasing blood flow to the affected area and therefore helps your body heal itself, only faster.

ICY HOT

IcyHot Patches and creams, or other related topicals, do help you feel good through different skin sensations. However, on the deep tissue level, where the actual problem is, they have no effect.

If you are an athlete and need something to help you “play through it”, then give them a shot. But it is not recommended as the more activity you do the longer the healing process will take. 


Tendonitis Prevention

Now that you know how to treat your tendonitis symptoms, let’s go over how to prevent and cure it from happening again. 

Here is how to prevent tendonitis from ever holding you back:

  • Learn how to move properly
  • Increase Your Mobility
  • Build Strength and Endurance

Move Properly

Again, one of the most common ways to develop tendonitis is through improper movements. If you move in a way that your body was not designed to move, then you are placing extra stress on your muscles, joints, and tendons. Your tendons are the weakest of the 3 and are therefore the most common to show warning signs and/or tear. 

How to move properly for you depends on the activities you do and the sports you play. But if you can do most bodyweight exercises perfectly, you are off to a great start.

Perfect your bodyweight movements with the Daily 30 >>

Strength Training Exercise Guide >>

Stretch

We know, stretching is boring and painful. But it is one of the best ways to help prevent injury in any activity that you do. Movement just simply isn’t enough. You need to force your muscles, joints, and tendons to work properly. And the more you neglect them, the harder it will become.

Again, DO NOT STRETCH YOUR INFLAMED TENDONS! If you do, you risk tearing them! Wait until the pain has gone away for at least 7 days. Then start back with light stretching and slowly increase over time. 

In the meantime, massage the surrounding area instead.

How To Warm-Up Properly before a Workout >>

Mobility Stretching Exercises >>

How To Foam Roll Properly >>

Build Strength

Fact: The stronger you are, the less likely you are to injury your muscles and tendons. It is the weakest muscle/tendon in a chain of movements that gets overworked and fatigues the fastest, leading to an overuse injury in the form of tendonitis. So work your weaknesses and don’t neglect any area. 

Remember, the tendon that is inflamed with tendonitis usually attaches to the weak muscle that needs to be built up.

Most Common Examples:

  • Patellar Knee Tendonitis = Weak Quads
  • Bicep Tendonitis = Weak Biceps
  • Tricep Tendonitis = Weak Triceps

Of course, the opposing muscle does play a huge role in this as well. For example, with patellar knee tendonitis, those with weak quads usually have really strong hips and hamstrings that put more stress on the knee-tendon.

And improper movement is another factor, but if the muscle is strong, it is still less likely to develop tendonitis.

Strength Programs >>


Tendinitis Treatment in Conclusion

Overall, tendonitis inflammation can instantly hold you back from your sport, training or other activities. But if you use the RICE treatment to decrease inflammation while increasing blood flow, you will be back to action in no time! Then make sure you always follow our tendonitis prevention tips so that you can be cured for life! 

Learn more about how to decrease muscle and joint pain >>

More Articles >>

Stronger Than Cancer

Stronger Than Cancer

Prevention As A Cure

What is Cancer? What are the Signs and Symptoms? Am I at Risk for getting Cancer? And how can I prevent it? These are some very common and important questions to ask about this terrible disease known as Cancer. This article will tell all and even teach you about using prevention as a cure for cancer! 

Plus, join the fight, and help cancer victims when you buy a shirt today!

Stronger Than Cancer Awareness Ribbon Pink

Table Of Contents:

Introduction

First, I want to begin by stating that, to date, there has not yet been found a cure for cancer. Cancer is a disease that the best doctors and scientists in the world are still trying to truly understand; to better help care for those with it.

This article is not meant to give false hope that a new discovery has been found. Or to argue against qualified medical professionals on how to treat cancer of any kind.

This is merely a helpful guide, for both those with and without cancer, to better understand how to decrease its negative effects. And how to prevent it from ever occurring to you.

With that being said, let’s begin…


What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease where your body’s affected cells grow rapidly, randomly, and without control; blocking normal cell growth. This continuous growth forms into what is known as a tumor, or group of continuously growing cells. These cells can break off of the tumor and spread to other areas of the body, adding to the damage created by this unforgiving disease.

Tumors are also dangerous because they affect the cells around them, and start to modify the functions within the body’s systems to where the systems can no longer do their job properly. And if the cells within a system cannot perform their job, then the system breaks down and that body part no longer functions.

Imagine if that was your lungs, bones, or digestive system (colon). If any of those systems no longer function properly, then we will soon be brought to the harsh reality of cancer. 

We Are All Born With Cancer

Cancer Cells

The truth is, we all already have cancer.

We are all born with cancerous cells within our bodies. If we did not, we would not be alive. Cancer is just a continuous growth of cells that can get out of control if triggered. That is why we see cancer occur at all stages of life. Even in children.

We all have cancer cells. Though many of us will live a long healthy life without ever experiencing its devastation at work.

Why is simply unknown. But we can speculate that it is due to the cancerous cells being triggered by a combination of unhealthy living, heredity, and old age. And the more triggers you send to your cells, the more likely you are to start having them grow rapidly.

If un-triggered, then you will likely never get a tumor. So the best way to prevent cancer is through healthy living. 


Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

Before continuing, here are some common signs and symptoms that may help you determine if someone has cancer. 

  • Unexpected Weight Loss
  • Prolonged Fever
  • Fatigue – felt often
  • Pains – that are reoccurring or in specific common cancer sites
  • Skin Changes
  • Change in Bowel Habits or Bladder Function
  • Sores that Don’t Heal
  • Lumps or Thickening of Skin
  • Prolonged Illness

Reference: *Cancer Basics 2019 http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/signs-and-symptoms-of-cancer.html

Often times, many of these signs and symptoms need to be felt to indicate the possibility of increased cancer activity. However, there is no guarantee.

So, if you are ever concerned that you may have cancer it is imperative that you see your doctor right away and thoroughly explain your reasons for speculation. 

For more information on Cancer signs and symptoms go to: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/


Cancer Risk

The risk of getting cancer among US citizens is relatively high, but there is still hopeful news.

In the US, the risk of getting cancer for males is 42% and 37.5% for females.

Of those with cancer, 86% are over the age of 50. And of those with cancer, ~70% survive and are able to live complete lives.

Also, it is estimated that 1.7 million people in the US will get cancer in 2019 (Cancer Basics 2019). And though these numbers can be scary, they can also be improved.

This is because the best treatment for cancer is PREVENTION through living a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.

Do our complete Risk Assessment >>


Cancer Prevention

Prevention is the best treatment for cancer. And healthy living is the best way to prevent cancer and other illnesses.

Cancer Prevention Tips

Again, we are all born with cancerous cells within our body. And the more triggers, or “bad habits”, we give these cancerous cells, the more likely they are to become destructive.

So by avoiding a number of bad habits, we can greatly decrease our chances of ever triggering these cancer cells from growing out of control.

Here are some ways to prevent “triggering” cancer:

These are some basic ways found to help prevent cancer as well as many other forms of illness; including diabetes, internal organ failures, or common sicknesses.

Of course though, to be healthy enough to prevent illnesses you must have a combination of exercise, a good diet, and the avoidance of “bad habits” such as those listed above. 

Maintaining a Healthy Body

We know that we need to be healthy, but how do we know if we are healthy or not? The answer to that question varies because it is very individualistic.

“Healthy” is an opinioned term. This means that something may seem “healthy” to one individual and “unhealthy” to another. But the official definition is unclear.

However, a health assessment can be very beneficial in determining your risk level. And give you valuable insight into cancer prevention.

Take Your Health Assessment >>

Next, here are some physical guidelines that can help you better determine if you have a “healthy” amount of exercise and body composition to help prevent cancer:

Weekly Exercise Minimums

Breast Cancer Awareness Run

Below is a chart stating the minimum amount of weekly exercise you need to do in order to maintain a healthy body and prevent cancer. But realize that these are only minimums. And if you truly want to be healthy, you should do at least twice as much exercise, if not more. 

Intensity

% VO2 Max

Minutes / Day

Days / Week

Moderate 40-60% 30 min. ≥ 5

or

Vigorous 60-85% 20 min. ≥ 3

or

A Combination of these 2 Intensities

Reference: Williams, L., Wilkins. (2019). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Tenth Edition. [Text]

Note: These are the weekly physical activity minimums as stated by the American College of Sports Medicine for an individual to obtain the physiological benefits of exercise required to not be considered sedentary, or without exercise.

Start Exercising! >>

Exercise Intensity

First of all, I know that most people do not know their VO2 Max. Also known as, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use at one time during exercise. So let me simplify it for you.

Moderate-intensity is a pace that you can maintain for an extended period of time. And is intense enough that you cannot maintain a conversation during the activity. Think of it as between a 4-6 difficulty on a 1-10 scale. 10 being the hardest thing you have ever done and 1 being just above rest, such as standing.

Vigorous-intensity is a near-maximal intensity where you are working at a rate in which you may need to stop and do multiple bouts within the given time. Usually, this exercise lasts only 3-7 minutes per bout and is between a 6-8.5 on a scale of 1-10. 

Why Do We Care?

Now, why do we care about VO2 Max and meeting the exercise minimums, suggested by ACSM? We care because it has been shown that an increase in VO2 Max, also suggesting an increase in heart efficiency, decreases the rate of all-cause mortality.

This means that the more efficient you are at exercising, the better chance you have to avoid all causes of death by cardiac (heart) instances, illness, and disease.

This, of course, does not guarantee that you will not have something like a heart attack or cancer occur. But it greatly decreases your chances.

ACSM Body Composition Guidelines

Diet and Exercise Made Simple

Another way to decrease your all-cause mortality and prevent illnesses, such as cancer, is through maintaining healthy body composition. This is what the ACSM gives as basic guidelines for body composition:

Calculating BMI

BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a measurement of body mass density. This measurement is the leading standard for determining the risk level for all-cause mortality.  Or the likelihood of death from a heart-related incident (heart attack, heart disease, etc.) or illness (cancer, life-threatening diseases, etc.).

BMI = Bodyweight (kg) / Height² (m)

Or

BMI = [ Bodyweight (lbs) / 2.204 (kg) ] / [ Height (inches) X 0.0254 ]² 

Weight (kg) = Bodyweight (lbs) / 2.204

1 kg = 2.204 lbs

Height (m) = Height (inches) x (0.0254)

1 inch = 0.0254 cm

Body Mass Index (BMI) Risk Level and Classification

BMI

Risk Level

Classification

<18.5

Increased Risk Underweight

18.6-24.9

Normal Risk Optimal
25-29.9 Increased Risk

Overweight

30-34.9 High Risk

Obese – Class 1

35-39.9

Very High Risk

Obese – Class 2

≥40 Extreme Risk

Obese – Class 3

*Risk Level is greatly increased when paired with a large waist circumference.

Reference: Williams, L., Wilkins. (2019). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Tenth Edition. [Text]

Waist Circumference

Your waist circumference is a measurement around the largest area of your stomach, or just below the navel.

While standing with feet together, arms at sides and feet relaxed, take a horizontal (level) measurement around the narrowest part of the torso between the umbilicus (belly button) and xiphoid process (base tip of the sternum).

Waist Circumference Risk Level

Men

Women

Risk Level

<80cm / <31.5 in.

<70cm / <28.5in. Very Low

80-99cm / 31.5-39in.

70-89cm / 28.5-35in.

Low

100-120com / 39.5-47in. 90-110cm / 35.5-43in.

High

>120com / >47in. >110cm / >43.5in.

Very High

*Risk level is greatly increased when paired with an obese BMI measurement (≥30).

Referenced by: Williams, L., Wilkins. (2019). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Tenth Edition. [Text]

Muscle vs. Fat Tissue

By improving your body composition, you are much more likely to live a longer, healthier, cancer-free life. As you will place less stress on your body’s systems, allowing them to function better.

However, both your BMI and your Waist Circumference present the same health risk; whether your mass is made mostly of fat or muscle tissue. In fact, the stress on the heart may even be greater in those with more muscle.

This is because muscle tissue has blood vessels and must be maintained. While fat is simply stored, with little maintenance. And muscle puts increased stress on the heart to function at a higher rate at all times.

So it doesn’t matter if you are made mostly of rock-solid muscle or fat. The same risk applies because it is based on your heart. Not based on your tissue. 

Helpful Weight Management Articles:

6 Pack Abs for womenJACKED – How To Build Muscle >>

SHREDDED – How To Get Lean >>

RIPPED – How To Get 6-Pack Abs >>

Fat Loss Forever >>


The Bottom Line For Cancer Prevention

A lot is still unknown about Cancer. Except that we are all born with the potential for it to occur.

This is why we see children with cancer even though they have done nothing to trigger these uncontrolled growth responses. We simply do not know why they occur. And they can happen to anybody.

Even the most elite athletes can obtain cancer, such as Lance Armstrong. He was a world-class athlete and had multiple battles with cancer. But he survived them all. And he is a great example that cancer can be overcome.

Yet, the best treatment for cancer is still prevention.

And many people can prevent cancer, along with other illnesses, just by simply taking care of their body’s. If you live a lifestyle where you do not care for your body, then you cannot expect it to be able to protect you when you need it most.

However, just by taking a little time to exercise, eat clean, and avoid bad habits, you can greatly decrease your chances of ever getting a life-threatening illness. Then you can feel better and be there for the people and things that you love.

Take Action

So I suggest that you choose to challenge yourself. To make a better life for yourself, and those around you by taking action. And fight back against cancer, by preventing it all together!

I know it is not always easy and many of us already do way too much. But we have to put ourselves first sometimes to better be able to help others.

And that can be as simple as just being there for them in the future. And not placing the stress of possibly preventable illnesses on them.

So take action and be different today. Because tomorrow may be too late.

Take Action! >>

I wish you the best of luck at preventing cancer. And remember to keep getting stronger my friends! Stay Stronger Than Cancer! 

More Articles >>


References

Cancer Basics. (2019). Retrieved from

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/signs-and-symptoms-of-cancer.html

Wilkins. Williams, L. (2019). ACSM’s Guidelines For Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Tenth Edition. [text] 

www.acsm.org