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Why Aerobic Exercise is a Waste of Time

07/18/07                                Issue 25 Volume 7

This Week In HealthBeat News:

  • Why Aerobic Exercise is a Waste of Time (Dr. Dana Myatt)

  • Strontium: The Missing Mineral for Osteoporosis Prevention and Reversal
  • FDA Tyranny Now Law: TWO Low Blows For Health Freedom and What It Will Mean to You
  • Ask Dr. Myatt:  Is Ostaderm Safe for Hot Flashes in a Woman on Breast Cancer Medication?
  • Laughter is Good Medicine: The Death of Common Sense

Why Aerobic Exercise is a Waste of Time

by Dr. Dana Myatt

Less than half the US adult population
exercises regularly. Among those who do exercise, the vast
majority are wasting a monumental amounts of time for
very little payout. In fact, some people are actually hurting
themselves with "aerobic" exercise. Why? The current
conventional wisdom regarding aerobic exercise is all wrong,
and it flies in the face of proven science.

We've been told for years that "aerobic exercise" is the
single most important thing we can do to maintain
heart-health and normal weight. Like the "nine to eleven
daily servings of carbohydrate" USDA food pyramid, this
advice is oh-so-wrong for several major reasons.

Heart rate variability (HRV) is the ability of the heart to
to vary it's rate in response to a variety of stressors
(like physical activity). People with a high degree of HRV
have the lowest risk of heart-related deaths, and people
with low HRV have a much higher heart-risk.

Aerobic exercise, which puts a mild-to-moderate stress on
the heart, encourages little HRV. Once a person is "up to
speed" with aerobics, they are taught to maintain that pace
for the duration of the activity --- usually 30 minutes or
more per session. But this pattern of activity does not
encourage wide "swings" of heart-rate variation, the kind
that strengthen the heart.

As for increasing metabolism, "moderate aerobics" fails
again. This is why I have patients complain that they walk
on a treadmill for 30 or 45 minutes per day and can't seem
to lose weight. Aerobic activity provides only a modest
increase in metabolic effect.

Not Aerobics, but "Super Fast Aerobics," is what teaches the
heart to have a high HRV and blasts metabolism into the
stratosphere. What is Super Fast Aerobics? Simply stated: it is
short bursts of high output exercise, what many know as
"interval training."

The difference between conventional aerobics and Super Fast
Aerobics is the difference between a marathon runner and a
sprinter. The marathoner can run for hours at the same
speed, but the sprinter can go really fast for several
minutes. It's the "really fast for several minutes" that
causes the heart rate to go much higher, then drop back to
normal when the bout of activity is stopped. This produces a
higher HRV than a steady "marathon" pace.

Further, an all-out bout of near-maximal muscle contraction
increases the metabolic rate up to 50 times in an untrained
athlete and up to 2,000 (yup, 2K) in a trained athlete. It's
not the duration of time spent exercising, it's the vigor of
output that produces positive heart and metabolic results.

How Does This Translate to a Daily Exercise Routine?

Simple. Instead of walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes at
a moderate pace, perform a high-intensity exercise for a
total of 10 minutes per day. If you do one minute of high
intensity exercise every hour, you can keep your metabolism
in high-gear all day long. And remember, your heart is
benefiting from this, too.

Instead of walking for 30 minutes, sprint all-out for 1-2
minutes, walk until you have recovered, sprint another 1-2
minutes and repeat this process until you have sprinted
all-out for a total of 10 minutes.

Or you can break up the daily 10 minutes in 1-2 minute
sessions. Every hour or so, perform jumping jacks,
calisthenics, face-paced stationary bicycle or any
activity that gets you going "all out."

The old rule about not getting your heart rate up higher
than would allow you to carry on a conversation is outdated
news. Instead, exercise hard enough that you could talk if
you absolutely had to, but it wouldn't be comfortable. Have
you ever seen a sprinter chatting with the other sprinter
next to him? I think not.

As unbelievable as it may sound, this "fast 10" minutes of
all-out effort on a daily basis will do more to improve
metabolism (and therefore weight loss or maintenance) than
45 minutes or more of daily "aerobics."

More importantly, by encouraging a higher heart-rate
variability, "Super Fast Aerobics" helps keep the ol' ticker in
stronger, better shape than hours of slower-paced aerobics.

How Can I Believe This?

Aside from the references which I have supplied, you can
prove to yourself that "less is more" by simply exercising
this way for two weeks. What you'll find is an increase in
endurance and, if you've been dieting or "stuck" at a weight
plateau, you'll see weight or inches coming off. "The proof
is in the pudding."

A Time, Heart, and Waist-Saver

It's sometimes hard for people who have been "working out"
for 30 minutes or more per day to cut down, afraid that
they'll "lose ground." You won't lose anything, guaranteed.
Old habits die hard, I know. But once you see what just a
few minutes per day of all-out activity --- the exercise
equivalent of sprinting, though you can use many different
types of exercise--- will do for you, it's doubtful you'll
ever go back to the drudgery of aerobic exercise.

As your heart function improves, you'll be increasing your
intensity, not your time, as needed to get into the "intense
zone." You don't need to add more time unless you want to,
but 10 minutes per day, properly performed, will keep you
cardiovascularly and metabolically fit for life.

One Precaution

Be sure that your heart and circulation are up to the task
of high intensity exercise before you begin a program like
this. If you're over 40 years of age, have any history of
heart disease, or carry more than 20 extra pounds, you
should have a physical and make sure that it is safe for you
to exercise.

Having made my "CYA Disclaimer," I will also note that if
you've been putzing around with long-duration aerobics, then
you're probably ready to make this healthful move to Super Fast

Strontium: The Missing Mineral for Strong Bones

Strontium is a naturally occurring mineral, in the same mineral family as calcium and magnesium, and it's been shown to promote bone growth in both animals and people.

Before you get nervous, let's clarify something: this is NOT the radioactive "strontium 90" that many of us were forced to hide from under our schoolroom desks in the 1950s during "A-bomb drills." The strontium I'm talking about is an all-natural, non-radioactive mineral that is very safe.

Strontium has been studied since the early 1900's for its effect on bone density. In 1910, one German researcher reported that strontium appeared to be uniquely effective in stimulating rapid bone formation. A decade later, another researcher concluded that strontium and calcium were superior to calcium alone in mineralizing bone. In 1952, a report from Cornell University found  that calcium and strontium work better together than calcium alone for rebuilding bone.

A Mayo Clinic study conducted in 1959 looked at 22 individuals with severe (and painful) osteoporosis. Part of the group took 1,700 milligrams of strontium daily. Another group took the same amount of strontium with estrogen and testosterone. In the "hormones plus strontium" group, 9 of 10 people experienced marked improvement of their symptoms, and the other one had moderate improvement. In the strontium-only group, 18 of 22 had marked improvement and the other four had moderate improvement. Bottom line: every person in this study had moderated to marked improvement using strontium.

After this study, there wasn't much scientific research concerning strontium for quite some time. Since strontium is a naturally-occurring mineral and can't be patented "as is," one wonder if the Big Pharmaceuticals were uninterested until they could trademark some form of this promising substance. Research on many promising natural substances is woefully neglected until Big Pharma can figure out a way to profit.

In 1979, another study was performed on a group of patients with metastatic bone cancer (cancer that has spread to bone). The results showed an improvement in bone density and decreased bone pain in the strontium-treated group.

In 1985, another study followed the effects of strontium supplementation on bone formation in six humans. By performing "before and after" bone biopsies, researchers concluded that "Following strontium therapy, all [measurements] of bone formation increased, while bone resorption remained unchanged." Sixteen years later, a research group reviewed the studies on strontium and concluded that  "In addition to its anti-resorptive activity, strontium was found to have anabolic (tissue-building) activity in bone."

These studies have used strontium carbonate, strontium lactate and strontium gluconate. All forms of strontium have produced positive effect, indicating that it is the strontium itself that is active and not what it is bound to. Why do I mention this little "factoid? So that Big Pharma can't fool you into buying an expensive drug form of strontium when a simple supplemental form should work as well.

Naturally, the most recent strontium-osteoporosis research has been performed by a drug company using a patentable strontium combination. (Remember, strontium by itself isn't patentable because it is a naturally-occurring substance). But combined with a synthetic substance called ranelic acid, strontium becomes a patentable drug. This "drug" is available in Europe as the trademarked Protos® but all studies before this suggest that it is the strontium itself which is responsible for bone-building effects.

In a three-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study using 680 milligrams of strontium daily, women suffering from osteoporosis had a 41 percent reduction vertebral fractures compared with placebo. The overall vertebrae density in the strontium group increased by 11.4 percent compared to a 1.3 percent decrease in the placebo group.

In another recent study,  353 women who had already experienced at least one osteoporosis-related vertebral fracture took varying levels of strontium ranelate or a placebo. In the group who tool 680 milligrams of strontium daily, there was a 3% increase in lumbar bone mineral density per year, significantly greater than placebo. At the end of the second year of the study, there was a significant decrease in fractures in the strontium group compared to placebo.

In a 2002 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 160 post-menopausal females who did not have osteoporosis were asked to take placebo or varying amounts of strontium daily. Compared to the placebo group, women who took 340 milligrams strontium a day had a significant increase in bone mineral density in two years' time. All groups also took 500 milligrams of calcium daily, but no hormones or vitamin D.

It appears that not only can prevent osteoporosis, it can repair existing damage. And it doesn't seem to matter what form it is in: strontium ranelate (a patented drug in Europe), strontium gluconate, strontium lactate, or strontium carbonate. It's the mineral strontium itself that works the magic on bone!

Sources of Strontium

Bad news: there's not enough strontium in food to have a significant effect if you already have osteoporosis. If you have a diagnosis of osteoporosis, you should take strontium in supplement form. If you don't currently have osteoporosis, then eating plenty of food high in strontium "may" be enough to protect you. Foods high in strontium include spices, seafood, whole grains, root and leafy vegetables, and legumes.

If you want to be on the safe side concerning osteoporosis prevention, consider taking one dose of strontium (200-400mg) per day.  For those without osteoporosis but with known risk factors (family history, immobility, smoking, etc.) one capsule twice daily is prudent. Also be sure to take the recommended calcium (1,200-1,500 milligrams for post-menopausal females) plus associated bone nutrients including magnesium, zinc, boron and vitamin D. I recommend a combination of Cal-Mag Amino and Strontium (taken at separate times of the day) for osteoporosis prevention and reversal.

FDA Tyranny Becomes Law:
What This Will Mean to Your Health Freedom

Two low blows to health freedom this month, and together they could have devastating consequences on those of us who choose to be pro-active with our health.

First, the FDA made some "clarifications" to their own rules. What this really means is that the FDA is largely free to say what their jurisdiction is, without oversight from any ohter arm of government. So "they" decided that they will impose new rules and restrictions on the nutritional supplement industry.

The new rules will drive many smaller companies out of business while protecting Big Pharma's manufacture of supplements, all under the guise of "protecting" the consumer. (Dr. Myatt's note: when was the last time you personally knew of anyone being harmed by a vitamin supplement?). Our current laws are already highly protective without being restrictive to health freedom.

Here are four revealing quotes contained within the FDA publication of the "new rule":

1) "We find that this final rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities."

2) "Establishments with above average costs, and even establishments with average costs, could be hard pressed to continue to operate."

3) "The regulatory costs of this final rule will also discourage new small businesses from entering the industry."

And I saved the absolute worst for last:

4) "We expect that the majority of these costs will be borne by consumers of dietary supplements, who will likely respond to the increase in prices by reducing consumption."

If this isn't bad enough, July 11, 2007, was a lucky day for Big Pharma and a Black Day for health consumers. The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2900, strengthening the power of

If this isn't bad enough, July 11, 2007, was a lucky day for Big Pharma and a Black Day for health consumers. The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2900, strengthening the power of the FDA and turning it into a quasi drug company.

The House and Senate, both using fatally flawed logic, made the assumption that the reason for so many deaths and injuries from drugs was due to the FDA's lack of resources. In truth, it is the FDA's financial alliance with Big Pharma that is the problem. Instead of independent oversight, the FDA is in bed with the Pharmaceutical Industry. Giving the FDA more power and more money will only speed more drugs onto the market with even less safety testing. And on the heels of the FDA's own new "internal rules (see above), they can further abuse their power by actively stamping out competition to drugs.

The creation of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA places the FDA in charge of drug design, drug patents, drug licenses, and the creation of new marketing entities/companies. Such a relationship with private industry is an unspeakable conflict of interest, totally at odds with drug safety. Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., the current commissioner of the FDA, is nothing more than a Big Biotech sales rep with massive industry connections.

Rich, isn't it? The FDA (that ol' beloved lap dog of Big Pharma) AND our own government have sold us out under the guise of "protecting" us. Hey guys ---- how about doing your job and keeping poisonous food products and toothpaste out of the country and making sure our "FDA approved" drugs aren't lethal instead of sticking your nose into my vitamin cabinet? #

Ask Dr. Myatt:

Question: Dear Dr. Dana, I have a question about OstaDerm (natural estrogens with progesterone). My neighbor has been treated for breast cancer and is on estrogen blocking med. Is it safe for her to use OstraDerm for her severe hot flashes? Thanks, Lennie

Dr. Myatt's Answer:

Hi Lennie:

Hormones are CONTRA-indicated in men and women with hormone-responsive cancers (as hers must be or she wouldn't be on "hormone blocking" drugs). There might be exceptions to this, but I would only make such recommendations if I were personally working with someone as their physician.

She is having hot flashes because the drugs create "artificial menopause."  Flax seed meal (freshly ground flax seeds) contain Omega-3 essential fats and a class of fiber called lignands. These substances have anti-cancer effects (some studies show them to be more potent than Tamoxifen, the drug I'll bet she's taking) AND they have also been shown in several studies to reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other symptoms of menopause. Recommended dose is 3 TBS. per day. Using flax seeds in a Super Shake (with Red Alert) is an excellent way to improve immunity, get the fiber and essential fatty acid benefits of flax and the high antioxidant intake of 10+ fruits and veggies (Red Alert).
Super Shake recipe:
Flax seed info:
Red Alert:

I'd try at minimum the flax but better yet the Super Shakes and see if that doesn't help hot flashes quite a bit.

Black cohosh appears to be both safe and effective for hot flashes. It is one of the most proven herbs for this purpose. Many women find my "Black Cohosh Plus" formula to be effective at relieving their symptoms.

Your friend is fortunate to have someone like you looking out for her! Why not suggest that she subscribe to HealthBeat News? We have a lot of up-to-the-minute information about cancer in the newsletter, as you surely know.

Hope this helps and let me know how things work out!

In Health,
Dr. Myatt


Laughter is Good Medicine: The Death of Common Sense

Mr. Common Sense Has Passed...

Today we mourn the passing of our beloved
friend, Common Sense, who has been an inspiration
to people throughout the world for centuries.

No one knows for sure how old he was, since
his birth records were lost in bureaucratic red tape.

Common Sense will beremembered for having taught
us such valuable lessons as:
* Knowing when to come in out of the rain
* Why the early bird gets the worm
* Life isn't always fair
* Maybe it was my fault

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial
policies (don't spend more than you can earn)
and reliable life-strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when
well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a 6 -year- old boy charged with sexual
harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended
from school for using mouthwash after lunch,
and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student
only worsened his condition.

His health stabilized for a short time, until parents attacked
teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in
disciplining their children.

His health further declined when schools were required to get
parental consent to administer sun lotion or a band-aid to a
student but could not inform parents when a student became
pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Strong as he had always been, Common Sense lost the
will to live when he witnessed the Ten Commandments become
contraband, criminals received better treatment than their victims and
illegal aliens started getting better medical care than American
seniors who have worked for decades to fund Social Security.

The final turn in his health occurred when people could no longer
defend themselves from a burglar in their own home and the
burglar could sue for assault.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his
parents, Truth and Trust;
his wife, Discretion; his daughter,
Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My
Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few
realized he was gone. If you
still remember him, pass this on. If not, join
the majority and do nothing. #


Super Fast Aerobics
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2.) Measures of heart period variability as predictors of mortality in hospitalized patients with decompensated congestive heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 2004 Jan 1;93(1):59-63.
3.) Heart rate variability in long-term risk assessment in middle-aged women with coronary heart disease: The Stockholm Female Coronary Risk Study. J Intern Med. 2004 Jan;255(1):13-21.
4.) Prognostic value of heart rate variability for sudden death and major arrhythmic events in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 Apr;33(5):1203-7.
5.) Depressed heart rate variability as an independent predictor of death in chronic congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.Am J Cardiol. 1997 Jun 15;79(12):1645-50.
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7.) Prescribing exercise at varied levels of intensity and frequency: a randomized trial.Arch Intern Med. 2005 Nov 14;165(20):2362-9.
8.) Exercise type and intensity in relation to coronary heart disease in men.JAMA. 2002 Oct 23-30;288(16):1994-2000.

9.) Strontium Ranelate Reduces the Risk of Nonvertebral Fractures in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis: Treatment of Peripheral Osteoporosis (TROPOS) Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 May; 90(5):2816-22. Epub 2005 Feb 22.
10.) Picking a bone with contemporary osteoporosis management: Nutrient strategies to enhance skeletal integrity. Clinical Nutrition (Epub ahead of print, 2006 October 12).
11.) The effects of strontium ranelate on the risk of vertebral fracture in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis.” New England Journal of Medicine 350 (2004):459 - 68.
12.) Strontium ranelate reduces the risk of nonvertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis: Treatment of Peripheral Osteoporosis (TROPOS) study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 90 (2005):2816 - 22.
13.) Strontium in Finnish foods. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 52 (1982): 342 - 50.
14.) Gaby AR. Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1994, 85–92 [review].
15.) Strontium ranelate: a dual mode of action rebalancing bone turnover in favour of bone formation. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2006 Jun;18 Suppl 1:S11-5.

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