IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  October 1, 2007

Sexual Harassment

Although it is rare, some personal trainers who train in the home may be concerned by possible sexual harassment claims. For those that may be susceptible to this type of liability, IFA suggests wearing a digital audio recorder on your waist. Inform the client in your initial contract that you intend to record all sessions for quality control. If they don't agree, then you might just pass up that client. It also serves the purpose of later review of your sessions to see how you might improve on your coaching.

Versatile Chicken

Check your cookbooks, and you'll find more recipes for chicken than for almost any other food. Its versatility is one reason the world has depended on it for about 3500 years.

Before 1400 B.C., the Chinese raised chickens for meat and eggs. While many historians thought chickens were first brought to the Americas by explorers and pilgrims, a recent discovery shows that chickens lived in Chile from the 1300s. They were brought there by the Polynesians.

In our time, chicken is a highly recommended addition to our diets. It's low in fat, particularly without the skin. And its fat is lower in cholesterol than other meat fats.

Chicken is a good source of the B vitamins and vitamin D, plus various important minerals. And it contains all nine essential amino acids. Its phosphorous and selenium contents are involved in the release of energy.

Try this easy and fast recipe recommended by Better Homes and Gardens.

Chicken Marsala

Rinse and pat dry about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts, skinned. Place each breast between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a flat mallet until 1/8 inch thick. Remove wrap.

Mix 1/4 cup flour with 1/4 teaspoon crushed marjoram, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and press chicken pieces into the mixture.

In a skillet, cook 1 cup mushrooms and 2 tablespoons sliced green onions in 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter until tender. Remove from skillet. Cook chicken in the same skillet for 4 minutes. Turn to brown evenly. Return the mushrooms and onions.

Carefully add 1/4 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup of marsala or dry sherry. Cook uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes until the mushroom mixture thickens slightly. Stir occasionally.

Transfer chicken to a serving platter and spoon mushroom mixture over it. Sprinkle with snipped parsley if desired. Serves 4

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Weight-loss drug Alli calls for a low-fat diet

Loosely defined, lifestyle drugs are products used to treat conditions that are not life threatening. As such, GlaxoSmithKline's weight-loss drug Alli (pronounced ally) qualifies.

The company's Consumer Healthcare division says people should know at the start that the drug is not a quick fix. Those who want to lose a lot of weight in a hurry will be disappointed.

One analyst says a person on a diet and exercise program who would normally lose 3 pounds in a week would probably lose 5 while taking Alli three times a day. That's if the same program was continued.

One caution: The drug prevents the body from digesting about a quarter of the fat a person consumes. Those who eat too much fat while taking the drug can experience unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea or stomach upset.

The good news is that the side effects should effectively force patients to stick to a low-fat diet while on the treatment.


How to control aging by starting now

If you think you can wait until later to prevent premature aging, you will miss some of the most important times of your life to do it.
Most people's muscle mass declines with age, and the rate of loss accelerates after age 45

The amount of muscle you retain, or build, is determine partly by how much muscles are used. Use them frequently and you maintain their strength. Push them to the limits of their capacity by exercise, and you increase strength no matter how old you are.

Doctors at Tufts University say most middle-aged people's weight problem is excess body fat coupled with too little muscle.

As you age, you can lose whole sets of muscles and nerves that work together to make your body go. Between ages 30 and 70, it is estimated that people experience a 20 percent decrease in the strength of the thigh. Landmark studies at Tufts, however, show that muscles do get bigger from strength training such as weight lifting. You can regain muscle mass and strength no matter what shape you're in when you begin.

How much oxygen your body can process in a given time is an important biomarker called your aerobic capacity. By age 65, it is typically 30 percent to 40 percent less than in young adults. People at any age can reverse the trend with aerobic exercise, the kind that makes you huff and puff. And when you build muscle with strength training, you also increase aerobic capacity.

Other methods to slow aging include controlling sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density, and hydration. The older you are, the more fluids you should drink.


High-tech wound treatment

Because of war casualties, accidents, and diabetic skin ulcers, high-tech wound closure products are the fastest-growing segment of wound-treatment medicine. The vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) by San Antonio's Kinetic Concepts is the leader in the field.

Its system uses nonabsorbent foam that is inserted into the wound and covered by a transparent membrane. Air is sucked out of the area around the foam with a vacuum, creating "negative pressure," which hastens healing, prevents infection, and lessens scarring.

The system is more expensive than gauze dressings, but speeding up wound repair brings the overall cost of care down to the same level or lower.

In the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, subsequent amputations were reduced by more than 60 percent using VAC.

New alzheimer's treatments

Patients with mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer's disease will soon have drugs that will slow down or reverse progress of the disease, according to the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Md.

Positive test results are expected for the first new drug, Alzhemed, from Neurochem. If the Food and Drug Administration fast-tracks approval, the drug could be approved in 2008.

Scientists are confident that one or more of the dozens of new-generation drugs now in human trials will succeed. They are the result of 20 years of scientific work on Alzheimer's disease.

One of the most promising is Flurizan from Myriad Genetics. It should complete testing in the next 18 months.

To find out about clinical trials being held near you, call (800) 438-4380.

Chemo for kidney cancer

Nexavar is not a cure for kidney cancer and only lengthens victims' lives by several months, but that time can be precious.

In the U.S., about 19,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year and 17,000 die of the disease.


Take a hike, but don't drink the water

The American Journal of Medicine reports that among long-distance backpackers, diarrhea is the most common illness. Even the clearest brook or pond can have microorganisms that cause it, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

For a short hike, carry your own water. If you drink water from a stream or pond, boil it and let it cool first.

More advice on hiking safety can be found at http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthextra.