Ask Us answers archive

July 14, 2008


Feet turning out during a workout? Proper shoes or orthotics can help

I noticed that when I am working out my feet tend to turn outward. Is this due to not wearing the proper fitness shoes, or is it a foot problem that I need to correct, and how can I correct it?

June 23, 2008


Diagnosed with cancer? Here's how to find a doctor in your neighborhood

My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and lives in the Los Angeles area. I was wondering if your publication had ever created or published any lists of top doctors in the area? She's looking for a doctor but isn't sure where to start.

June 9, 2008


How to reduce waist size? Or lose weight after hitting a plateau?

Any advice for those who are not overweight but whose waistlines keep growing? At age 68, I weigh the same as in college 50 years ago, but my waist is three to four inches larger. I exercise five times a week and eat a healthful diet.

June 9, 2008


Hypnosis might help some lose weight, but studies are few

I'd like to know about dieting by hypnosis. A company called Positive Changes runs a lot of ads in the L.A. Times.

May 12, 2008


Hearing loss is common among seniors

I am 72 years old, and I have begun to not distinguish sounds. Am I going deaf? I must ask people many times to repeat what is said to me in order the grasp the words. Is there any treatment, or is there any device to help me?

May 5, 2008


Smelly sweat, and lots of it -- what to do?

Sometimes after vigorous exercise, I detect a faint odor similar to acetone. Is this common? What is it telling us?

April 21, 2008


Cinnamon extract for better insulin sensitivity can be found online, at stores

In the March 17 Health section, Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon wrote about cinnamon to improve insulin sensitivity. I have type 2 diabetes. After reading the article, I went looking for a water-based cinnamon extract. I have been unable to find any place that sells it. Can you tell me the name of a product and where to buy it?

April 14, 2008


Heat or cold: How should ballet dancer treat a sore knee?

I dance ballet, and on one of the jumps, called a tour jeté, I used to land more heavily on my right heel. Done repetitively, it caused some trauma to the left uppermost corner of my right kneecap. I've since modified my technique, but I still land with my weight more on the heel on some of the jumps. Eventually, I feel pain, and it is difficult to kneel on that knee. (I don't have the same experience with my left knee.)

April 7, 2008


Exercise moves to make your breasts stand out

When I turned 50, it was as if my breasts fainted from the shock. I don't expect a return to perkiness, but I'm looking for a great exercise to help them head at least a little north.

March 31, 2008


Regarding mercury levels, how much fish is safe to eat per week?

What is a safe amount of fish to eat per week for an adult female (past pregnancy age) and male in regard to mercury levels?

March 17, 2008


Broccoli or cauliflower? You can't go wrong with either

I have read many times that vegetables in the cruciferous family are very good for me. Some cruciferous vegetables are dark green, such as the florets on broccoli, and some are white, such as cauliflower. Are they all equally good? Are they good in different ways?

March 10, 2008


Breast cancer survivors can and should exercise

Are there exercises specific to breast cancer survivors?

March 3, 2008


Got milk -- and increased cancer risk?

How is drinking skim milk linked to the risk of developing prostate cancer?

November 26, 2007


For long-distance walks, foot protection is the bottom line

I recently completed a 16-mile city hike on pavement. For the hike, I picked shoes that were comfortable, but by the end of the day I felt like I had bound feet. My toes were rubbing into the shoe uppers. I did, however, wear a great pair of Thorlos socks. Any tips about shoes or other things to consider for long city hikes?

November 12, 2007


Earlobe repair is not easy

My son has those large holes in his ears that are so popular now. He wants to "close them up." Is a surgical procedure required? What needs to be done?

September 24, 2007


With cardio, trust your heart -- not the chart

When engaging in the most strenuous portion of my cardio workout, my heart rate routinely gets up to around 95% of the maximum heart rate calculated for my age (48). I am going by the standard formula or chart that's on the cardio machine. I don't feel winded and can sustain that rate for some time. My resting pulse is in the low to mid-60s. Should I be concerned?

September 17, 2007


Wrinkles get under the skin

I am 62 years old,I work out with weights and do a lot of walking with my lovely wife. I feel fine and am told that I look younger than my age. Nevertheless, I've noticed that the skin on my neck and arms appears to have wrinkles. Can anything be done about this? Does hydration help?

September 10, 2007


Ankle weights: pros and cons

Is it helpful or harmful to wear ankle weights while doing cardio exercises? Will it strengthen and tone the legs, or will it put stress on the knees or ankles?

September 3, 2007


Treating shin splints at the source

I have horrible shin splints that make aerobic activities such as walking and running incredibly painful. Is there any warm-up I can do that might ease the pain?

August 27, 2007


Can't sleep? It could be your technique

Is there a sleep aid that would help me sleep for two to four hours? I have insomnia where I often wake at 3 or 4 a.m.

August 20, 2007


The right foods can free you from your medications

Though I'm very active, doing both cycling and weight training and maintaining a fairly healthful diet, I still need to take medication for low-level high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

August 13, 2007


Keep active while treating knee pain

My husband has severe osteo-arthritis in one of his knees. (His other knee was replaced several years ago.) He is in his 70s and doesn't want to undergo another surgery. His doctor has him on a pain-pill regimen. Should he walk for the sake of exercise, or in his case is it best to stay off the knee as much as possible?

August 6, 2007


Weightlifting does a whole body good

I often read that resistance training is good for your bones. I'm wondering if that means it's good for the limbs that you exercise, or if in a more general way it's somehow good for the whole body. If you work the muscles of your arms, for example, do bones elsewhere in your body benefit?

July 16, 2007

Jacuzzi or couch? Calories burned are about the same

How many calories are burned sitting in a Jacuzzi? Does the temperature of the water have a bearing?

July 2, 2007


Many factors can cause blood pressure fluctuations

My blood pressure readings vary throughout the day. Sometimes they're high and sometimes they're low. So I'm not sure if I have high blood pressure or not.

July 9, 2007


What can nitric oxide do for me?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the supplement nitric oxide?

June 25, 2007


Don't go nuts over coconut oil

What are the latest research findings on the health benefits of virgin coconut oil, whether positive or negative?

June 4, 2007


Sweating increases as you train

I run on my treadmill for 45 minutes at a quick pace (eight minutes or less per mile) every morning. I am always dripping (and I mean dripping) with sweat, often after only three miles. Is it unhealthy or unusual to perspire so much? Or is it a sign of some kind of condition I should be concerned about? I'm in very good shape, don't sweat excessively during regular activities and don't drink that much water.

May 28, 2007


Weight training

If you are working out with free weights doing a series of exercises (for example, six sets of six repetitions of bench presses, bicep curls, triceps extensions and pullovers), is there any disadvantage to completing half of the workout, then going back two hours later and completing the other three sets?

May 21, 2007

Ask Us

A runner asks: What's wrong with sugar?

If I don't need to lose weight, is there some reason I shouldn't be using sugar? I do watch what I eat to get the best nutrition because I am training to run a marathon. I have sugar in my coffee in the morning. I think it helps during long runs.

Keep exercising those bones

December 4, 2006


Keep exercising those bones

Can cycling (indoor or outdoor) be a weight-bearing exercise? When I do Spinning classes in the gym, we pedal in a standing position much of the time. I have been diagnosed with osteopenia and have been told weight-bearing exercises may help slow down the loss of bone tissue. And I wonder whether cycling works in this way.

Exercise may be just what she needs

November 27, 2006


Exercise may be just what she needs

Does having a relatively rapid resting pulse rate (say 90 beats or so per minute) make aerobic exercise more stressful on the heart and respiratory system than having a slower resting pulse rate?

November 20, 2006


Vaccine may still provide protection

Q: I have human papilloma virus. Can I still get the shot that just came out — even though I already have the virus?

Muscles aquiver

November 13, 2006


Muscles aquiver

Why do my muscles shake involuntarily during certain exercises, especially abdominal ones? Is this a bad sign (perhaps of fatigue, weakness in specific muscle groups or poor nutrition)? Or does this indicate that the muscles are being worked and strengthened?

November 6, 2006


It isn't how you quaff beer, but how much

If I drink, I drink two beers in a day, as I have been led to believe that this is a healthy amount. If I drink these beers after a meal, they don't have much affect on me at all. If I drink the beers on an empty stomach I can achieve quite a pleasant buzz. The question is, am I "cheating" by drinking on an empty stomach and actually drinking the equivalent of an unhealthy amount of beer?

October 30, 2006


Foot pain just won't go away

I walk a lot in a variety of shoes (long walks with dog in tennis shoes, and dressy shoes, some with heels, for work), and I keep getting a severe pain in the sole of my feet just below the third and fourth toes.

October 23, 2006


The right stretches can ease his pain

I'm 46 years old and in good shape. I jog on a treadmill three times a week for 3 miles and lift weights. But I'm always sore and stiff. Lately I've experienced lower back pain and cannot get up to a full sprint on the basketball court because of hip and groin discomfort. What stretching exercises do you recommend?

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