A pedometer is a pager-sized device worn on your belt that simply records the number of steps you take based on your body's movement. Some pedometers are analog devices that simply measure steps. Some are fancier digital models that track the distance you walk, plus the calories you burn. But keep in mind, the calorie counters are notoriously inaccurate and those models are more expensive. All you really need is a simple step counter so you can monitor if you walk the recommended 10,000 steps per day.
A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness ball) is a weighted ball roughly the diameter of the shoulders (approx. 14 inches). Often used for rehabilitation and strength training, it serves an important role in the field of sports medicine. It should not be confused with the larger, inflated exercise ball. Medicine balls are usually sold as 2–25 lb. balls and are used effectively in plyometric weight training to increase explosive power in athletes in all sports. Some medicine balls are in the form of weighted basketballs.
Medicine balls are used by boxing professionals to improve the strength of abdominal muscles. This is done by dropping the ball onto the abdomen of the boxer, simulating a punch coming from an opponent. Other athletes use medicine balls to increase their core strength. One common activity is to have athletes hold the ball against their chest and thrust it at another athlete, who catches it against their chest. This strengthens arm, chest, and leg muscles.
Medicine balls throws are also implemented as part of the SPARQ rating, a test of sport-specific athleticism, to assess core strength, total body power and coordination. Different tests involve an athlete throwing the ball behind them and over their head as far as they can, or kneeling and pushing the ball out from their chest for maximum distance.
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In a wide-ranging look at eating habits, David Kessler, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, addresses America's ever-increasing waistlines in his new book, "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite."
He interviews the overweight, who say that just the sight of a favorite snack food is enough to make them feel hungry, as well anonymous food executives who admit that fat, salt and sugar are often the building blocks of successful food products. The book was prompted by a question that had long nagged Dr. Kessler: Why is it that Americans continue to crave such foods as potato chips and candy bars long after they feel full? "No one has ever explained what's happening to them and how they can control their eating," he writes. "That's my goal in this book."
Dr. Kessler, a 57-year-old pediatrician, was commissioner of the FDA from 1990 to 1997. He is probably best known for his opposition to tobacco interests and efforts to better label food products. He is currently a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.
The Wall Street Journal: What most surprised you while researching this book?
David Kessler: I wanted to understand why it was so hard to control what we eat. I thought I was going to end up in the world of nutrition and endocrinology. I ended up inside the brain and inside the food industry. The metaphor for the book was: Why did the chocolate chip cookie have such power over me? I saw a woman on Oprah who said she ate when she was happy, when she was sad, before her husband left for work and then after he left. I wanted to understand what was driving her behavior. It was not just that she was eating too much -- she was eating when she didn't want to eat. And nobody could explain why. I wanted to know, how could we help her? What was driving her? The greatest surprise was understanding how highly palatable foods had hijacked her brain.
WSJ: Early on in the book, you suggest that that major food companies know what motivates shoppers.
Dr. Kessler: They know what drives demand, and they were able to design foods to be hot stimuli. The food industry says they only give consumers what they want. But what they want excessively activates the rewards circuits of the brain. They aren't selling just any commodity. They've designed highly stimulating products, and consumers come back for more. Nothing sells as much as something that stimulates the rewards-circuitry of the brain. It's all about selling product.
WSJ: What about restaurant eating?
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