Sunday, June 30, 2013

Avoid Aspartame - and Junk Drink

I'm a big fan of Joseph Mercola, the Chicago-based doctor of chiropractic who has one of the most popular health websites on the internet.

I've been getting his newsletters for donkey’s ages and respect his work.

He's a prolific correspondent, specializing in writing 'stuff' that you won't get from the NH&MRC, a surgery or chemist shop.

Over the weekend I received his newsletter with an article about ASPARTAME. He’s been sending out warnings about Aspartame for a number of years.

Here's the link:

The irony of the 'diet' sector of the junk drink industry is that despite the low calorie nature of their beverages it doesn’t seem to be leading to the progressive thinning of society. In fact I’m tempted to say that obesity trends and consumption of food and drink with Aspartame in them probably go lock step with each other.

You may like to do your own survey and determine which group of people purchase most of the diet colas: thin people or fat people.

My suspicion is that the diet drink phenomenon – as a way to lose fat from the body or slow down the increase of fat around the body - will probably go down in history as one of the great nutritional myths.

Just to remind you, here’s a few of those myths.

There are no calories in broken biscuits.

-     The calories don't count if you eat standing up; standing up is a form of exercise which means
       you're burning off the calories as quickly as they're going in

-     When you eat food with a salad, the salad cancels out the calories in the food.

-     Food being sold to raise money for charity cannot make you fat, because your virtue cancels
       out its calories.

-     Skinny fries, lattes and muffins will make you thin.

-     A diet coke cancels out the hamburger and fries.

-     Icing and cream on cake doesn’t contain any calories

-     Giving blood makes you calorie-immune for the rest of the day

-     Cutting food up and spearing it on sticks makes it healthy

-     Butter doesn't make you fat if spread on brown bread.

-     Food taken off children’s plates doesn’t make you fat.

(With thanks for

Regards and best wishes

John Miller

If you want advice on how to eat and drink wisely in a junk food world go to


Friday, June 28, 2013

Take a Break

I reckon institutionalized ten minute breaks are important, particularly for people who sit down all day and are in stressful jobs like call centres.

So work for seven hours but get paid for 8 - but the extra hour means breaks for

- listening to a relaxation audio file

- walking around the block - without a cigarette

- doing ten minutes tai chi or yoga

- doing ten minutes of strength exercises

- doing ten minutes of stretching exercise.

I'm not sure that adds up to an hour but you get what I mean.

Plus if you're the manager, obligate yourself to personally-deliver a piece of fruit to each person's desk for morning tea.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and remind me to do this myself!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Is Obesity a Disease?

Today's post come from reading a comment on  a Linkein forum that metabolic syndrome is a disease.

Metabolic 'syndrome' is not a disease.

The word 'syndrome' is medical speak for 'We don't know the cause.'

If you're in the fitness business you'll know the cause. It's just that you're too far down the medical feeding chain for anyone to take any notice of you!

Better to use the term 'metabolic dysfunction' to describe what the medical industry calls 'metabolic syndrome'.

And, when push comes to shove, the underlying cause may well reside in our thinking.

What AILS you?

It could be

- Attachment
- Ignorance
- Laziness
- Stupidity.

There was quote from the film, 'Fight Club' (Chuck Palahniuk), 'Never under-estimate the predictability of stupidity', which when it's all boiled down means knowing what to do, but not doing it. This could well be THE major 'disease' of our time.

All the symptoms of metabolic dysfunction - elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, obesity, depression (yep, depression is positively correlated with metabolic dysfunction), lack of energy, headaches, cardiac insufficiency are related to body systems that have become dysfunctional, due principally to a poor diet and lack of aerobic fitness.

And if it's personally generated I wouldn't classify it as a disease. And being personally-generated there's a good chance that it can be personally-ungenerated (though not in all cases.)

Despite whet the medical industry thinks, heart disease isn't a disease; type 2 diabetes isn't a disease, just symptoms of personally-generated dysfunctions. Because they're classified as diseases by the medical industry, the medical industry has levered its way into the front line of treatment. And what misguided treatment it frequently is, when drugs to mask the symptoms are the first prescriptions of choice, rather than the last.

It's time the  has fitness industry elbowed the medical industry out of the way for the treatment and prevention of the personally-generated, body system dysfunctions.

You'll know the personally generated dysfunctions from the usual junk medical treatments:

- a heart attack is not caused by a lack of bypass surgery
- headaches are not caused by a lack of Panadol
- high blood pressure is not caused by a lack of Avapro
- high cholesterol is not caused by a lack of Lipitor
- depression is not caused by a lack of Zolof
- type 2 diabetes is not caused by a lack of Gliclazide
- reflux is not caused by a lack of Tims
- a crook guts is not caused by a lack of Prilosec
- lower back pain is not caused by a lack of Oxycodine
- bad breath is not caused by a lack of Spearmint
- piles are not caused by a lack of Anudol.

So, nope, being fat is definitely not a disease.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Female Urinary Incontinence in High Intensity Exercise

First the glass ceiling and now the pelvic floor.

Until I recently saw a link to a video posted on Linkedin on the subject I wasn't aware of just how common this problem appears to be for so many fit and healthy young women.

The person who made the original post seemed to think it was a bad thing to post a Youtube video on the topic.

Like most health problems, I think it's a good idea to get it out into the open, particularly as it seems to be quite prevalent. There may be women who are so embarrassed by the problem they are scared to exercise and don't realize they are not alone.

In the gym where I go there's a sign out the front saying, 'No towel, no train.' Maybe there needs to be information about this problem in womens' change rooms and a sign advising women who have this problem to wear something that maintains a high standard of hygiene within the gym.

So far from thinking it's wrong to bring this topic out into the open, I think it's good.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and make sure you take your towel to the gym.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

How to Build Muscle

The secret is weight training using slow repetitions, very slow; 2 or 3 seconds out, hold and then 2 or 3 seconds back and hold.

As well as that, hold for a second at the half way point on the 'out' and the back' stroke.

Three sets, 10, 8,6 with gradually increasing weight will leave you staggering.

Applies to up and down as well.

In the mean time stay tuned, highly tuned and if you weight train three times a week, doing super sets and the system outlined above you'll build muscle quickly.

John Miller


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Obesity set to become a disease.

The US medical industry is toying with the idea of defining obesity as a disease.

 Obesity is not a disease. Anyone who tells you that it is has a poor understanding of the definition of the word 'disease' and lacks the inability to make the distinction between a disease and a personally-generated body system dysfunction.

The inability to make the distinction between a disease and a personally-generated dysfrunction describes all that's wrong with the medical industry. It's one of the reasons why the health or people in Western countries continues to decline.

Obesity is the most visible symptom of personally-generated METABOLIC DYSFUNCTION - just like adult onset diabetes is not a disease it's a symptom of a dysfunctional pancreas - usually personally-generated.

If anything obesity is a fitness and nutrition problem, not a medical problem, and you can't solve fitness and nutrition problems with medical solutions.

When your see this sort of stuff:  

          '... labelling obesity a “disease” could spur change and “result in greater investment by government and the private sector to develop and reimburse obesity treatments',

... you know the medical industry is angling for greater levels of protection. It's marking out it's territory for a demarcation dispute, in a way not dissimilar from dogs marking out their territory with a urine spray. It's drooling at the thought of sucking more money out of the health system.

It's a strategy to elbow out of the way practitioners of more effective treatments. They're throwing their weight around.

The medical industry has a hide in wanting to medicalize the effects of laziness, ignorance, stupidity and the attachment to the soft and comfortable way of life.

The medical industry has an appalling record in treating the personally-generated metabolic, musculo-skeletal and psychological dysfunctions. In fact. most of the time the best it can offer is junk medicine, where pills are prescribed to mask the symptoms of dysfunctions rather than restoring poor function to good.

What the medical industry still doesn't get is that it's a big ask expecting to stay healthy without keeping yourself fit - and that it's an even bigger ask expecting to get better by having someone do something to you: sooner or later you have to do something to yourself.

What this proposition is all about is encouraging people to outsource their fitness program to their doctor. It's a nonsense. I'm yet to hear of a physician taking their customers out the back and measuring how fit they are.

There are very few physicians who prescribe their customers with an exercise program - and then supervise it.

I do know of one - a doctor on Thursday Island, who ran fitness classes on the town oval three mornings a week. That's not the sort of doctoring in the minds of whose who want to elevate the status of obesity to a disease.

The further the medical industry can be kept away from the treatment of the personally-generated body system dysfunctions the better off everyone will be.

Get thee to a gym where you'll get good advice on how to keep yourself fit and healthy and a program to go with it - and supervision- and motivation.

And don't think for a moment think that the public health system has to pick up the tab for every privately-generated health problem.

Those with a death wish can keep stuffing themselves with fat, flour and sugar, (on their own or mixed with each other) and spend their day sitting or lying down. You don't have to worry about them. Just worry about yourself.

If you can reach the gold standard on the Fit-for-Work Award, I'd say you were in pretty good shape and close to your ideal weight.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and when you can do 40 laps between two lines 20m apart - in five minutes, when you can do 40 situps, 40 pressups and 40 squats, report back.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ten reasons to eat more chocolate

I've just finished reading an article outlining ten reasons to eat chocolate.

Well here's ten reasons why not to eat it.

1.  It's one of the highest density foods you can eat; it makes you fat. 100gms of chocolate contains about the same calorific value as a kilogram of carrots. Which do reckon is better for you?

2.  Compared with a range of fruit and vegetables it's nutritional value is practically zilch.

3. Words of advice from two of history's greatest nutritional advocates. Maria Antoinette said, 'Let them eat cake.' John Cadbury said, 'Let then eat chocolate.' .  Their mantle has fallen on the shoulders of Nestles, pre-eminent advocate for junk food world wide.

4.  The producers of junk food pervert the course of good nutrition, leading to all manner of metabolic dysfunctions.

5.  Anything made up of 60% sugar is definitely not good for you

6.  Any food containing 30% fat isn't good for you either.

7.  Any food comprised principally of fat and sugar is a junk food that ought to be sold in a plain wrapper with a warning notice.

8.  Who in their right mind would think of taking the nutritional advice of fat and sugar producers and manufacturers - and their barking dogs from Madison Avenue?

9.  The only chocolate that might be good for people is so bitter than no-one will eat it.

10.  Chocolate has become the addiction of choice for people with both a sweet tooth and a fat tooth - with disastrous effect on their metabolic system.

It has very little to commend it - let alone be paraded as a panacea for adult onset diabetes.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and eat from the top of the hourglass.

Here's the link to how to east wisely in a junk food world.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ozone therapy for herniated disc

I joined a discussion on Linkedin relating to ozone therapy as a useful treatment for a herniated disc.

My response

Muscles pull bones out of alignment. It's usually the case with a herniated disc that muscles attached to the pelvis pull the pelvis out of alignment. Then the bones above the pelvis move out of alignment 'in sympathy'.

This means the cause of the pain in your lower back is not at the site of the pain.

The medical industry just doesn't get it. They have this quest to complicate the simple and make the cheap expensive.

In a high proportion of cases, lower back pain is a fitness problem caused by weak and tight muscles that have allowed first the pelvis and then the bones above it to move out of alignment. You can't solve a fitness problem with a medical solution.

It seems to be the case that patients collude with their doctor - they don't want to be put out by spending time doing strength and flexibility exercises. They want someone else to do something to them, not realising that they need to do something to themselves.

Most medical practitioners don't know where to look for the cause of the pain. The X-ray is a useless tool. The X-ray tells you what's happened, not what's caused what's happened. It doesn't lead to a solution - unless you're a surgeon.

They don't know which exercises to prescribe to get the body back in better alignment..

If everyone with a crook back spent an hour a day doing yoga, doctors, physios and chiros would be sitting around twiddling their thumbs and playing golf on most afternoons.

Take the pressure off the disc by getting the bones of your body back into better alignment. For 80% o9f people there's an n80% chance that they can get their bodies back into 80% of good shape in around 80 days, if they're diligent.

The definition of being diligent is spending a couple of hours on the floor doing a few simple and relaxing exercises while you watch TV and having a good strength training program in the gym - or you can suck on a bottle of ozone!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Medical Insurance

Until medical insurance companies rate their premiums against risk they do their members who are fit and healthy (and the community at large) a grave disservice.

In Australia where I live they are not allowed to do this. It's illegal. Similarly with the Australian Goverment's Medicare tax levee. From memory it's around 2% of taxable income, but it should be closer to 8%, take off:
-  1% if you're less than 30% body fat for men and 40% for women
-  1% if you can do 35 x 20m laps in five minutes
-  1% if you can do 20 situps
-  1% if you can do 20 press-ups
-  1% if you can do 20 squats
-  1% if you can sit up straight with your legs crossed.

You can read all about this approach on this link where the Musculo-skeletal Health Risk assessment and the Fit-for-Work Award are outlined in the workers compensation context. The same thing should apply.

Paying part of a gym membership is an input. Premiums should be rated on output. If you can reach the Gold Award on the Fit-for-Work Award, I'd say you're a pretty safe bet. Why should people who are keeping themselves in dreadful shape pay the same insurance as those who keep themselves in good shape?

Attaching benefits to gym clubs ignores those people who keep themselves fit outside those clubs. They run, swim, cycle ..., do physical jerks at home.

Reimbursement for wellness and prevention services is baloney. Reward output.

The gyms should be the place where people can go once or twice a year to have their fitness measured (at their own expense).

I believe that the stimulation of the hip pocket nerve will be the most effective way to raise the level of fitness in the community.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and remember, you can't solve a fitness problem with a medical solution.


 New and hot off the press, the solution to a burgeoning workers compensation bill. Read all about it on this link. It outlines the case for moving heaven and earth to keep your staff fit and healthy.

The link today is to the Fit-for-Work assessment workbook.

You can see for yourself some of the key the parameters that I believe need to be measured to determine the MUSCULO-SKELETAL HEALTH RISK that organisations carry when staff are

-     lacking the strength to do every day tasks without breaking down

-     lacking flexibility and

-     are already suffering from bones that are out of alignment

-     are over weight

-     don't have a regular strength training program and

-     don't have a regular flexibility training program. 

By far and away, most musculo-skeletal pain in workplaces (particularly lower back pain) is personally-generated. It's a fitness problem.

Likely as not, your workers compensation insurer will treat it as a medical problem and authorise the use of your funds for treatments that involve rubbing, crunching, heating, vibrating and doping, oblivious to the fact that most musculo-skeletal pain is not caused by a lack of rubbing, crunching, heating, vibrating or doping.

IN A NUTSHELL a very high proportion of workers compensation claims are for problems generated by a lack of fitness, particularly a lack of strength and flexibility. You can't solve a fitness problem with a medical or para-medical solution. It's a waste of time and money.

And why wouldn't you put in place a system that stopped the problem from occurring in the first place?

Here's the link again to the Fit-for-Work assessment.

Let me know how you how well you score on it yourself.

Then if you think I can be helpful in bringing down your workers compensation costs, give me a call (612) 6288 7703 (Australia) or send me a reply email.

I'm happy to come and see you and take you and a group of your staff through the Global Back Care Musculo-skeletal Health Program that includes the measure of risk and the Fit-for-Work Award.


Included in the workbook is the Fit-for-Work Award. It's a simple fitness award you can use to gauge the fitness of your staff for the work they do - at the same time inspiring them to become fitter and healthier.


Regards and best wishes


John Miller

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The squat - squatting down - and up: - building leg strength.


I haven't been here for a while. But I'm back.

I'm a regular poster on LinkedIn and what I'm proposing to do is every time I make a comment on a thread on Linkedin I'll post it on the Health Blogarithm.

Today's post was stimulated by a Linkedin thread from a bloke called Mike, relating to SQUATS - as in squatting down and up. Most people find squatting a tough assignment, principally because they don't have a regular and systematic leg strength training program. They sit down all day and forget that the leg muscles need a regular workout.

The complain they've got sort knees (fer chrissakes) and never strengthen the muscles designed to support the knees in correct alignment.!

How much does it cost to do a few squats every day?


Mike, thanks for the post. I've viewed your photos. You need a heel raise, about an inch and a half high and then you'll stand up straight. Most people in Western countries need a heel raise because their calves are too tight - as opposed to people in Asia who've spend all their life hunkering.

People need to do squats regularly. Strengthening buttock, quads and their antagonists is the foundation of musculo-skeletal health. People with crook knees, hips and backs never realize how important it is to have strong leg muscles.

You need to go down past half way. You'll know where that point is by the feel. You backside needs to go down to around halfway between your knees and your heels.

The squat should be controlled - ie without bouncing down and up.

The human body is designed to do this with ease. It's only a lack of strength that stops most people from doing this important exercise.

I'd say 20 reps was good, 30 better and 40 best.

Once you're regularly doing 30 or 40 reps, knees should be a lot better.

Most people can hardly do one squat they're so weak.

The heel raise is the secret to staying up straight and getting down far enough without toppling over.

In the mean time stay tuned, highly tuned and do your squats at least three times a week.

John Miller