Saturday, September 20, 2014
I borrowed this from MyFitnessPal's Facebook Page. It really does a pretty good job of clarifying what it means to "Listen To Your Body" It does take time to figure out when it is really Your Body talking, and when it is your Internal Spoiled Toddler who doesn't want to do ANYTHING remotely related to exercise.
“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
Ah, yes, this statement and similar motivational(ish) quotes are go-to stock phrases of drill sergeants, tough guys, and, unfortunately, coaches and workout buddies everywhere.
We get it: When it comes to working out, pushing ourselves is a tried and true way to make progress toward fitness goals. But what about when we push too hard in the face of pain, putting ourselves in danger of injury? Hello, rehab! It’s about this time when the physical therapist asks us things like, “Did you feel this coming on?” “When did the problem start?” Their parting advice is often, you guessed it: “Next time, listen to your body.”
It’s all just a jumble of mixed messages. First, do we ignore the pain or push past it? And second, what the heck does “listen to your body” mean anyway? If we actually listened to our bodies, would we ever willingly participate in activities that make us tired, sweaty, and sore in the first place? OK let’s not get carried away.
One thing we know for sure: Exercise is good. Well, the right amount of exercise at the right intensity is good. The challenge is figuring out when enough is enough and when it’s just too much. The good news is that our bodies already know the answer. We just need to train our brains to recognize the signs for when to put the pedal to the metal and when to pump the brakes—and actually do it.
I Saw the Sign (But Did It Open Up My Eyes?)
It’s understandable to think that exercise- or sports-related injuries are just plain bad luck. But freak accidents notwithstanding, there’s a good chance that before that ACL tore or that hammie popped, your body tried to warn you that injury was a-comin’ for you.
It might come as a surprise, but our bodies are incredibly smart. If we take the time to listen to them,” some very serious injuries or conditions could often be avoided,” says Dr. Doug Andrews, PT, director of sports medicine for Optim Healthcare. “When we experience pain, our body is definitely telling us that something is not right. It is up to each person to figure out what the signal means,” Dr. Andrews says.
Think of pain like the “check engine” light in a car. Turning a blind eye to this blinking light will inevitably result in a breakdown, granted the body’s warning signs can be more subtle than a car’s. (If only our knees came with a “Check ACL” light.) But when it comes to preventing small problems from turning into lasting injuries, there are symptoms and signals that act as the first line of defense . Sure, soreness and fatigue accompany many exercise routines, but being able to identify more serious aches and pains is more important than many endorphin-seeking, active folks might think.
Tune In to Common Warning Signs
It’s easier to hear the alarms our bodies are sounding when we know what to listen for. Get familiar with the warning signs of three common conditions that could be compromising performance in the gym or in everyday life.
Caused by too many intense workouts and not enough time recovering from them, overtraining feels, well, terrible. If you’ve ever experienced some combo of prolonged periods of fatigue, soreness that won’t go away, insomnia, a cold you can’t seem to kick, and heart rate fluctuations, chances are you’ve been overtrained.
What to listen for: While there’s not a single diagnostic test that determines overtraining, it does make its presence known pretty clearly. Be on the lookout for symptoms described above and consider using a heart rate monitor to establish your resting heart rate and your maximum heart rate. An elevated resting heart rate and/or an inability to raise your heart rate during vigorous exercise can both be signs of overtraining. If you suspect you’re over trained, it’s time to take a break from your workouts to focus on recovery. Take some rest days ASAP and focus on getting quality sleep and eating nutritious whole foods.
Just because some of our favorite pro sports moments involve an elite athlete heroically pushing through the pain of a brutal injury doesn’t mean we should follow suit. In fact, even minor sports-related injuries generally require intervention. So how do we know when to take a knee?
What to listen for: Dr. Andrews warns of chronic and persistent pain, saying that managing it to allow for continued participation in sports or training is a bad idea. (In other words, don’t pop ibuprofen and wrap your knee in a brace just so you can make it through a run.) That not-so-bad-but-constantly-nagging ache in your calf or bothersome knot in your shoulder? It’s trying to tell you something. Avoid injuries altogether by recognizing the warning flares, no matter how faint they might be. First, acknowledge that you’re dealing with some ongoing pain, no matter how minor you think it is. Then back off from your exercise routine for long enough that you can care for the achy part of your body with targeted mobility work.
According to Dr. Andrews, most instances of soreness are caused by restriction of the fascia, or the connective tissue that interconnects our muscles and joints, which leads to aches, pains, and limited range of motion. His solution: Use a foam roller to break up the fascia then follow up with stretching.
After resting and stretching the ailing body part, it’s time to do some strengthening. But this time it’s not about PR-ing a lift. Dr. Andrews recommends focusing on strengthening “the muscles that are weak… not the ones that are already strong.” He also points out that this might be a good time to seek out a physical therapist, or someone trained in movement science, to assist in the recovery process.
3. DISORDERED SLEEP
While some of us wear our late-night-early-morning routines like badges of honor, lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can wreak havoc on the body, productivity, fitness routines, and overall sense of well-being. And poor sleep isn’t an isolated event. Sleepiness compounds to create energy crashes during the day, increases stress hormones, and promotes poor eating habits. As the energy roller coaster dips, we often turn to caffeine, sugar, and energy drinks to combat fatigue. These quick fixes further complicate the energy crisis. It’s only a matter of time until illness, depression, or chronic fatigue set in, but it’s not until the daily energy crash turns into an all out well-being train wreck that we begin to take notice.
What to listen for: Everyone has a bum night of sleep every now and again, but paying attention to how frequently you suffer insomnia or fitful, interrupted sleep is important. If you notice unusual hunger, increasingly frequent bad moods, problems concentrating, trouble staying awake and alert despite pounding caffeine and energy drinks, and even poor motor function, you might be suffering from a sleep problem that requires intervention. Instead of trying to self-medicate with sugar and caffeine, try setting a grown-up bedtime routine. Sleep debt must be repaid on the road to restoring energy levels. Adding an hour or two a night over the course of a month will help restore natural sleep patterns.
Once you feel a bit more well-rested, turn your attention to fuel that provides lasting energy: Nutritious foods (protein instead of sugar, for example), plenty of water, and snacks when you need them. Put some limits around your coffee consumption coffee, like having it only early in the day and perhaps in limited amounts.
Considering how busy most of us are with school, work, relationships, family, working out, and the countless tiny things we make time for each day, it’s not surprising that we sometimes lose perspective on how we’re physically getting through it all. Sometimes the opportunity to rest, eat healthfully, or ditch the energy drink in favor of going to sleep a little earlier slips right past us. But resolving to pay extra close attention to our bodies’ “check engine” lights could be the difference between taking a few days off to tend to an ache or a cold and losing weeks or months to an injury or sickness you just can’t kick.
—Joe Vennare for Greatist
- See more at: http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/2014/09/what-
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I had my First Meeting with my Personal Trainer (Travis) today. As I sort of knew -- and ALL of my Friends assured me -- It was MUCH Less Painful than I was afraid it would be.
Well, except for the Weigh In, but I KNEW that would be B-A-D!!
He did an Assessment and figured out what my Goals were, and agreed that they were All Reasonable and Achievable. Then he had me do some Walking on the Treadmill to assess my Cardiac Fitness (I think). Then he had me do some exercises with the TRX Bands. I think I might LOVE Them!! I can use them to work on my Squats, Push Ups, and (I think!!) my Pull Ups!! I have a set of Resistance Bands that I believe I can use like the TRX Bands and add to my workout at work!! Usually I just do Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds DVDs at work, along with a few Light Weights.
He also had me do a couple of Planks. Although I do include Planks occasionally in my Workout, I have NEVER Done a Plank in front of anyone so I was afraid my Form might be bad. According to Travis, my form was Great, PLUS I was making them Much Harder than they needed to be!! Thanks to his input I will be doing them on a Much More Regular basis!!
I did make the "Mistake" of telling him that I had heard about their Water Zumba Class and that I might be interested. I am now signed up for Water Zumba. I do have Two Bathing Suits that fit. One was given to me by a Client's Daughter, and one I found at Goodwill (with the New Tags still attached!!)
When he was asking me about my Goals near the beginning of our meeting, I told him that my "Secret Goal" was to do a Pull Up. I know that theoretically it IS 'Possible' but it doesn't seem any closer Today than it did three years ago when I joined Anytime Fitness and started working on Pull Ups by myself. I have increased how much weight I can pull on the Lateral Pull Down, and I am fairly decent at Push Ups, but the Only Pull Up I can reach are the Baby Ones.
At the end of our Session, Travis sat down with me and filled out a Form. At the Bottom of it, he initialed it and then gave it to me to initial. It was basically a "Contract" saying that at the end of FOUR MONTHS(!!) I would have achieved my Two Top Goals -- Lose 30 Pounds & Do 1 Real Pull Up!!
Later this afternoon, I went back to the Gym and walked a little over 2 miles using a Video App on their Treadmill that made it seem that you were walking along the coast of Maui, Hawaii!! Although the Inclines did not SEEM that bad, my Legs are SCREAMING at me now, LOL!!
As much as I Like going to the Gym, it has been quite awhile since I felt This EXCITED to get to the Gym tomorrow!
Tomorrow Morning I have 2 Jobs to go to. There is a Panera Bread and a Gold's Gym right between the Two Jobs. Usually during my Down Time between Job 1 and Job 2, I go to Panera Bread for Coffee and a Bowl of Oatmeal. I am SERIOUSLY pondering eating my Breakfast at Job 1, then spending my Down Time at the Gym, LOL!!
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Dr. Pam Peeke is the author of books like "The Hunger Fix", "Fight Fat After 40" and "Fit To Live." She has appeared on programs like ABC Nightline and the Katie Couric Show. Her FaceBook Page says that she is "The Doc Who Walks The Talk" This article was printed on her FaceBook Page today, and I read it on a friend's FaceBook Page.
EXERCISE WITH BENEFITS! Exercise can actually IMPROVE your PAIN TOLERANCE. First, scientists already knew about something called exercise-induced hypoalgesia, which usually begins during a workout and lingers for perhaps 20 or 30 minutes afterward. This hypoalgesia is caused by your brain secreting a boatload of pain-killing endorphins to help you decrease your perception of pain so you can get through any physical challenge. Now, let's flip over to the aches and pains we often have throughout the day and that accrue as you age. Got any chronically inflamed joints, headache, or back ache? If you perform regular exercise at a moderate level (that's code for you don't need to be an Olympian) your brain changes over time and you can actually increase your tolerance to physical pain and discomfort. That's an awesome extra added benefit for assuming the vertical and getting that daily exercise rockin'. This is especially wonderful as we age when we're starting to creak a lot, and just through wear-and-tear over the years, something's going to ache somewhere. We can tolerate all of this so much better with regular exercise because our brains will gradually make the correct adjustments and your experience of pain changes dramatically. The saying about how more athletic people are hardier is absolutely correct. This is a terrific mind-body connection we all want to make, especially as we age.
If you're already physically active, keep it up and know you have an added benefit.
If you're just getting started, don't waste any time. Get it rockin' TODAY!!!
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
The Coffee Cure: 11 Diseases Coffee Helps Prevent
Posted on April 25, 2013 by BeanPoster
Believe it or not, coffee can cure many different diseases. Considered by many as the first super food coffee is full of antioxidants that help cleanse toxins from our bodies toxins that can cause life-threatening diseases. When coffee is paired with an anti-inflammatory, like Advil, our favorite beverage can even kick hangovers to the curb (speaking of anti-inflammatory pills, a recent study has also shown that coffee may reduce physical pain!).
So what diseases can coffee cure? Before we dive in, we have to make a few things perfectly clear. There isn't any solid scientific evidence that coffee alone will cure what ails you, but it can either help cure or prevent it. The best thing to do is to make sure coffee is a part of your daily routine in some fashion.
1. Breast cancer - Recent studies have found that coffee aids in the production of breast cancer-resistant proteins in cancer cell lines. A Swedish study further solidified this. It found that it post-menopausal women would benefit the most from drinking coffee. It was found that coffee lowers the risk of non-hormone responsive breast cancer.
2. Depression - Coffee drinkers everywhere can attest that coffee brightens their day, but it can also have the same effect on those who suffer from depression.
3. Diabetes - Previously, it was thought that coffee prevented diabetes by improving the body's tolerance to insulin and glucose. A study from UCLA, however, found that certain proteins called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) help prevent type 2 diabetes. Higher levels of coffee consumption actually increase the levels of SHBG in the bloodstream. Those who drink about four cups of coffee per day have much higher levels of SHBG than non-drinkers.
4. Colon cancer - In order to correlate coffee drinking healing powers and colon cancer, research conducted by the National Cancer Institute studied a group of Americans for 15 years. They found that those who drank four or more cups of coffee (both regular and decaf) per day had a 15 percent lower risk of developing colon cancer. They're not completely certain why, but they believe it is because of an antioxidant compound found almost exclusively in coffee, methylpyridinium. This antioxidant has proven to be extremely effective in fighting colon cancer.
5. Endometrial cancer - Endometrial cancer is known as the most common type of uterine cancer in post-menopausal women. A Harvard study found that at least one cup of black coffee a day will greatly reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. They attribute this to coffee's ability to lower insulin and estrogen levels.
6. Oral Cancer - Consumption of roughly four cups of caffeinated coffee has been known to reduce the risk of oral cancer within the oral cavity and pharynx.
7. Skin cancer - Just because coffee helps prevent skin cancer doesn't mean you can forgo the sunscreen! But the study associated with this found that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. It should be noted that the reduced risk is only associated with caffeinated coffee.
8. Alzheimer's - Research has found that participants who drank more coffee showed fewer signs of dementia and avoided early onset Alzheimer's. Caffeine is believed to be the secret weapon here for long-term protection against memory loss associated with Alzheimer's.
9. Prostate cancer - In this Harvard study, men who drank more than six cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of lethal prostate cancer. Caffeine doesn't get credit for this one, however. That merit goes to phenolic acids and antioxidants. It was shown that coffee's disease-fighting power isn't relegated to all forms of prostate cancer, just the highly lethal forms.
10. Liver cancer - Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that intake of more than three cups of coffee per day drastically decreased risk of the most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma.
11. Death - Ok, death isn't really a disease, and it certainly can't be "cured." It can however, be delayed, thanks to antioxidants that act as a shield for the body, protecting it from free radicals!
Coffee drinkers, rejoice! All 11 of the above diseases can be cured or prevented simply by drinking coffee. Perhaps best of all, coffee is readily available and easy to access, unlike many medicines and treatment plans! Not to mention, coffee tastes great. So do yourself a favor and have a cup for your health.
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