20
May 2015
Got cholesterol?

That cholesterol in your food is no big deal, so sayeth the scientific advisory panel for the 2015 iteration of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. If the recommendations are adopted, it would signal a major about-face in governmental dietary advice.

 

For 50 years, government agencies and mainstream medical establishments have advised Americans to lower their intake of dietary cholesterol — despite growing research that disputes its reputation as the primary culprit behind heart disease.

 

“Cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption,” stated the panel after its review of current scientific literature and medical knowledge.

 

“It’s the right decision,” Steven Nissen, MD, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told USA Today. “We got the dietary guidelines wrong. They’ve been wrong for decades.”

 

This doesn’t mean that health warnings about cholesterol in your bloodstream are changing, just that experts now believe the cholesterol in food is not at fault.

 

The dietary guidelines are updated every five years and have broad reach, including school-lunch programs.

 

Source

19
May 2015
How fit is your brain?

Staying physically fit isn’t just good for your health. It’s also a good way to beef up your brain, according to new research.

 

Led by Laura Chaddock-Heyman, a research scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Beckman Institute, a team of researchers found greater aerobic fitness is associated with more fibrous and compact white matter, a type of nerve tissue connected to learning and brain function. Previous research has shown more compact white matter fibers can lead to improved cognitive performance.

 

“Our work has important implications for educational and public health policies, as sedentary behaviors and inactivity rise and physical activity opportunities are reduced or eliminated during the school day,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “Hopefully these findings will reinforce the importance of aerobic fitness during development and lead to additional physical activity opportunities in and out of the school environment.”

 

The researchers used a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at five different white matter tracts in the brains of two dozen 9- and 10-year-olds, half of whom were more physically fit and half were less fit. White matter also works to carry nerve signals between different parts of the brain, and all of the tracts examined have been associated with attention and memory, the study says.

 

Just one-quarter of American youths currently engage in the recommended amount of daily physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That can have a negative impact on their academics, research has shown.

 

Previous research shown improved fitness can boost students’ memory and learning, but this new study is the first to show a connection between physical fitness and brain structure during childhood.

 

“We know from previous work that higher fit children outperform lower fit children on tasks of attention, memory and school performance,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “Thus, it is possible that white matter structure is another pathway by which fitness relates to improved cognition.”

 

The study was published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Moving forward, the researchers plan to conduct a five-year study to determine whether children’s white matter structure improves when they start and maintain a new physical fitness routine.

 

“Be smart, and exercise your heart,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “High levels of physical fitness are not only good for one’s physical health, but one’s cognitive and brain health as well.”

 

Source

18
May 2015

Sore?
Muscle soreness after a workout is widely considered an indication of fitness gains and muscle growth – but this may not always be the case.

 

At some point during your resistance training career, you’ve probably experienced it – muscles so sore you could barely bend down to pick something up. This phenomenon called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, happens when you stress your muscles more than they’re accustomed to. DOMS is usually most profound when you first begin training with weights or after you haven’t lifted for a while, but it can happen anytime you push yourself harder than usual. After you’ve trained for a while and experience that old, familiar feeling of stiff, achy muscles, you might wonder whether the extra soreness you’re feeling is a good indication of future gains. Is DOMS correlated with muscle growth?

 

Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Muscle Growth

 

First, let’s shatter some misconceptions about DOMS. At one time, people believed delayed-onset muscle soreness was caused by build-up of lactic acid in muscles. This doesn’t appear to be the case, primarily because lactic acid is flushed out of the muscles within an hour of a workout, and you often don’t feel the effects of DOMS until at least 8 hours after a workout. The discomfort usually peaks within 24 to 48 hours, although you may feel some soreness for up to 7 days.

 

What more likely causes DOMS is micro-trauma to muscle fibers along with the formation of microscopic tears in the muscle fibers due to the stress of training. Eccentric contractions, when a muscle elongates under tension, as in lowering weights or running downhill, is the primary stimulus for micro-trauma and DOMS, although you can experience a lesser degree of DOMS after concentric dominant exercise as well. So, if you suddenly decide to do a super-slow training session where you emphasize the eccentric phase of an exercise, expect to feel sore! Once micro-damage to muscle fibers has taken place, a variety of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines are released that elicit the sensation of pain.

 

Is DOMS a Predictor of Muscle Growth?

 

It may not be accurate to use muscle soreness, or DOMS, as a marker for future muscle growth. Research looking at links between muscle soreness and muscle hypertrophy hasn’t shown a strong correlation between degree of muscle soreness and muscle hypertrophy, although muscle damage is clearly a stimulus for muscle growth. Muscle damage activates satellite cells on the outside of muscle fibers, causing them to fuse with pre-existing muscle fibers to increase the number of myofibrils or contractile units inside the muscle fibers. Satellite cells are supported by a number of growth factors and hormones like growth hormone and insulin, which further stimulates hypertrophy. So microscopic damage to muscle fibers IS a stimulus for muscle growth, but what’s less clear is whether it’s a NECESSARY one. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology calls this into question.

 

In this study, two groups of participants took part in an 11-week training session using high-force, eccentric movements with the total work load being the same. One group had been pre-trained with an initial exercise bout prior to the start of training, while the other group was “naïve” with no prior training to protect them against DOMS.

 

As expected the naïve, untrained group experienced significant DOMS along with an increase in markers for muscle damage, while the pre-trained group didn’t. Despite the lack of muscle soreness in the second group, both groups of participants experienced similar increases in size and strength, suggesting it’s the total work performed that matters for muscle growth.

 

 

Continue reading at Cathe.com!

17
May 2015

Stressed?

It seems like this unfortunate emotion is more visible than on Monday than on any other day of the week – here’s five tips to deal & promote the healthier (and more sane) you.

 

The better we are at addressing our stressors and learning how we can reduce their effects, the more well we become.

 

1. Avoid the snooze button

 

We’ve already determined establishing a proper sleep schedule can help you become less tired throughout the day. With less grogginess comes more productivity and, in turn, a reduction of stress.

 

And while heading to bed early seems simple enough, there are definitely tips and tricks that can help you settle your mind after a long day. Learn to unplug from technology up to 30 minutes prior to crawling underneath the covers. When it comes to rising, while it may be challenging, aim to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

 

Avoiding multiple taps of the snooze button will give your body more time to adjust to being awake instead of simply getting a few more minutes of shut eye that may just make you more tired.

 

2. Breathe

 

While sitting at your desk, attending meetings, or commuting home, practice taking deep breaths throughout your day. Most of us take short, shallow inhales due to stress or an overall lack of body awareness. So try it out. Right now, take a 3-5 second inhale, hold at the top and slowly exhale for 3-5 seconds.

 

We all lead busy lives filled with an overwhelming about of multitasking. And while it may be impossible to incorporate a much needed yoga class into your week, taking deep breaths is something your can do anywhere, anytime.

 

3. Sweat it out

 

Starting this week, right now, aim to get in at least 3 workouts. Exercise releases endorphins and helps initiate an all-natural stress relief within the body.

 

When you stop thinking of fitness as something you ‘must do’ and instead find an activity that you enjoy doing, you’ll be more likely to continue. So go try a free fitness class and start working out your stress. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your weekly sweat sessions and be holding on to less tension. It’s a win win!

 

4. Eat balanced meals

 

I love a good s’mores as much as the next person, but when it comes to reducing stress and feeling your best, you must fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods.

 

Aim to incorporate a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. The cleaner and less processed you eat, the more energy you’ll have to get to the gym and release stress in a healthy way.

 

5. Unplug

 

This may be the most difficult tip to adhere to, but if you’re feeling stressed daily, it’s necessary.

 

Between our smart phones and constantly evolving technology, it can be hard to remove yourself. But, while this is all very valuable for our society, it’s just as important for you to know when to turn it off and focus on your health.

 

Unplugging can be as minimal as silencing your phone 30 minutes before bed and as grandiose as not opening your laptop all weekend. Regardless of which level you (and your job) choose to do, stick with it. You’ll begin to notice your shoulders relax and an essence of calm as you power down elements of your life.

 

Source: bostinno.streewise.co

15
May 2015
Do smartphones and exercise really jive?

How do you use your smartphone while you work out? That’s the key question when it comes to deciding whether or not it’s helping or hurting your fitness.

 

Kent State University researchers Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., and Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., as well as Kent State alumni Michael Rebold, Ph.D., and Gabe Sanders, Ph.D., assessed how common smartphone uses – texting and talking – interfere with treadmill exercise.

 

The researchers, from Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, found that when individuals use their smartphones during exercise for texting or talking, it causes a reduction in exercise intensity.

 

“Exercising at a lower intensity has been found to reduce the health benefits of exercise and fitness improvements over time,” Barkley said.

 

The results of the study and the widespread use of smartphones during exercise help explain the results of a previous study conducted at Kent State by the same researchers, which found a negative relationship between smartphone use and cardiorespiratory fitness.

 

“These findings are important because poor cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as higher cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which could potentially lead to premature mortality,” said Rebold, who worked on the study while at Kent State and now serves as an assistant professor of exercise science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

 

In the present study, 44 students participated in four, separate 30-minute exercise sessions on a treadmill. The researchers assessed the effects of common smartphone functions, such as music, talking and texting, and a control condition where the students had no access to their smartphones. During each session, average treadmill speed, heart rate and enjoyment were all assessed. The study demonstrated that relative to the no smartphone condition, the three smartphone functions – music, talking and texting – differentially affect exercise behavior.

 

Continue Reading at MedicalNewsToday.com

14
May 2015
Set, hut!

Why anyone can (and should) visit a chiropractor regularly, a vast number of athletes utilize DC’s for problems with their muscular-skeletal systems regularly with impressive results.

 

Most people make the conclusion that a person visiting a chiropractor is doing so for problems with their back or neck. According to a recent study led by Dr. Simon French of the Melbourne University in Australia, most people do visit the chiropractor for these reasons. However other research is showing that people are reaching out to their D.C. for other treatments involving problems with their muscular-skeletal system, and a great deal of these patients are younger athletes.

The punishment the body takes in sports

 

Participating in sports is encouraged because of the many benefits. Not only is a person getting exercise when playing, but they are also developing fine motor skills, learning about teamwork and fair play and of course building friendships. But their bodies are also taking impacts no matter what sport they are playing.

 

“Even if you don’t play football, sports like soccer, baseball, volleyball, softball, wrestling and lacrosse involve a lot of contact and the physical demands of any training and practice affect your spine and muscles too. Cross country track was a slug fest in NY. As soon as you were out of sight and in the woods running the race guys were catching elbows in their sides and getting pushed down,” says Dr. Jay Lipoff, Executive Board Member of the International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science. A point he drove home by drawing a comparison between heading a soccer ball traveling at 70 miles per hour and getting punched by Muhammad Ali.

 

Types of sports injuries treated through chiropractic care

 

While seeking chiropractic care for back and neck pain caused by injuries suffered in sports like football and rugby would normal, injuries to other parts of the body can also benefit from a visit to the D.C. In fact, many studies have shown that chiropractic treatment helps athletes recover from injuries without the need for painkillers or invasive surgery.

 

Headaches – with a current focus on head and neck injuries in sports it should be noted that a Duke University study from back in 2001 came to the conclusion that, “Spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate relief for headaches originating from the neck.” Since 60 to 90 percent of all headaches are linked to facet joint pain (neck), chiropractic treatments offer a significant form of relief.

 

Shoulder pain – Studies from the Annals of Internal Medicine and the British Medical Journal both found that adding shoulder manipulation to traditional rehab techniques improved the outcomes and reduced pain associated with certain shoulder injuries.

 

Ankle injuries – a joint study from the JMPT and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care of ankle sprains helped increase motion, lessen pain and provide better ankle function.

 

Injury prevention – An Australian study conducted in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders reported that Australian football players who used a regiment of chiropractic care had a fewer number of leg injuries than those who did not.

 

Types of treatment

 

While there are many different types of treatments that chiropractors perform on their patients, Ellen Sonnino’s report in US News and World Report discussed four methods that are often used to treat athletes:

 

  • Active Release Technique where massage and stretching are combined with moving the effected joint through a range of motion.

  • Graston Technique that uses stainless steel tools to break down scar tissue.

  • Functional dry needling where deep trigger points are focused on to release tension in the muscles through stimulation.

  • Electrical muscle stimulation to release tension towards the surface of the muscle using contraction caused by electricity.

 

And not all athletes are seeking chiropractic care after they suffer an injury. Some, like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, find that it helps improve not only their health, but their performance, “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”


Source

13
May 2015

Physical Therapy

Even if you aren’t in any pain – or pain that you think is unbearable – seeing a physical therapist can contribute greatly to a healthy lifestyle, and here’s why.

Book an appointment with a FIX Physical therapist today!



Why is it that superbly fit athletes can find themselves in as much back, knee, or neck pain as their flabby fans, who sit at desks all day long then watch sports from overstuffed sofas?

“When you do an activity over and over again, your body adapts to that activity,” warns Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, professor emerita of physical therapy at Washington University School of Medicine. “If you play tennis, your arm gets bigger on that side; if you do karate you get adaptations in your hip and leg. Even if you just sit, you lean, you slump, your neck goes forward.” Either your body fails to build up musculature to support itself, or it overbuilds certain muscles and throws off the symmetry your skeleton craves.

 

That’s why Sahrmann wants to see an annual physical therapy exam become as routine as a dental checkup. “We go to the dentist twice a year and spend thousands to straighten our teeth, and all we do with them is eat and talk. Meanwhile the rest of our body’s just hanging out there.”

 

People think of p.t. as something generic their doctor orders after an injury, she says. But by analyzing the way you walk, bend, sit, and carry yourself, physical therapists can prevent injuries and head off future surgeries and chronic pain.

 

“Kids don’t sit correctly, they slump, so they wind up sitting on the middle of their back,” she says. “We have these little bones on our bottom where we are supposed to sit and keep our spine erect. When you slump, the muscles get stretched out, and they’re not going to function optimally.”

 

A temporary phase? Maybe. But “bones adapt to the alignment that you keep them in,” Sahrmann points out, “and your spine becomes shaped like that.”

 

Continue reading at stlmag.com!

12
May 2015

Run MD Rollers Available at FIX!
That is the question! What is happening inside when you do foam rolling for self-myofascial release (SMR)?

Foam Rolling and Self-Myofascial Release

For starters, you cannot foam roll fasciaexclusively; all the other cells – nerve, muscle, and epithelia – are also getting ‘rolled’ too.

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In epithelial and muscle tissues, the water is squeezed out of the tissues, and then is sucked back in when the pressure moves on or is taken away. Like squeezing a sponge over the sink and then letting it fill again while doing the pots and pans, this is generally a good idea. As the old bedouin proverb has it:  “Water still: poison!  Water moving: life!”

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Or as Paracelsus, the famous physician of the 16th century said: “There is but one disease, and its name is congestion.” To the degree that tissues are congested under the roller, it can definitely help liquefy and disperse such congestion.

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It’s not going to make the muscle stronger, but there is initial evidence that it might make the arteries to them more elastic.

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If we turn to the nerves’ reaction, rolling can certainly be ‘sensationful’. This is a negative if it is so painful it causes muscle contraction and cellular retraction, so I am not a fan of painful rolling. I prefer my clients stay in the pleasurable realm, or on the ‘hedonic point’ (poised between pleasure and pain).

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Rolling through pain, however, can be helpful on previously traumatized areas – for instance, rolling over an old bone break – but we want the area to be pain-free when we’re done, not bruised or further traumatized. Bruising in general is, in my opinion, almost always a sign of tissue damage, not of healing. Moving slowly over the tool is very important in a painful area.

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All that said, you can also use rolling to awaken areas of ‘sensori-motor amnesia’ – to bring sensation into places that you (or the client) are not moving in daily life. Two things about this:

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1) your iliotibial band (ITB) is not a place of sensori-motor amnesia; it bumps up against the rest of the world and is thus stimulated every day. Some of the most likely areas to be ‘amnesiac’ are hard to find and hard to roll – like the whole adductor quadrant on the inside of the thigh, and obscure and tiny (but important) areas in the deep lateral rotators on the backof the hip, or right under your head in the upper neck.

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2) we tend to miss our own amnesiac areas, for the very simple reason that cannot feel them so we don’t know where they are. Here we can be of help to our clients to make sure they are rolling the bits that need rolling, not just repetitiously rolling the obvious and available bits, like the ITB or the superficial back muscles.

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Continue Reading at AnatomyTrains.com

11
May 2015
Cool down!

When it comes to exercise, it’s so easy to finish your lift, run, circuit…etc. and drop the weights and peace out – but cooling down properly is more important than you might think.

Post workout recovery to get the most our of your workout!

by: Patricia J. Cornwell

 

Eating food and drinking large amounts of clean water aren’t the only steps you should carry out following a workout. Recovery is another essential step not to be skipped. It includes cooling down and stretching. Here is what you need to know about it and why you shouldn’t avoid it.

 

Cool-down

 

If you are new to training, try to avoid this common mistake. Some people think that when they do the final exercise, their workout is over. So wrong! You are not done until you have cooled down. As it is important to warm up before your training session, so it is essential to cool down after it is over. What does it mean?

 

The purpose of cooling down is to stop exercising gradually so that your breathing and heart rate can return to their normal state. Some people claim this practice helps prevent muscle soreness as well, whereas others reject the statement. But anyway, you should not cool down post exercise only to prevent muscle soreness. There are many other benefits of this practice. For example, if physical activity ceases suddenly, you may feel dizzy for some time after your exercise session is over. In comparison, doing some light exercise after your workout will help you normalize your body temperature (literally cool down).

 

Here are several cool-down options for you:

 

• Go out and walk briskly for about 5-10 minutes. Another option is to cycle or jog slowly. What you need to know is that the exercise you choose to do post workout should be lower in intensity than your training session.


• Or here is another way to go. Simply continue with the final exercise but make sure to lower the intensity little by little until you stop.

 

Remember to perform the exercise for about 10-15 minutes before you send your training equipment back to the garage or wherever you store it.

 

Continue reading at AlwaysActiveAthletics.com

08
May 2015
Race Training?

How do you spend the time between when you sign up for a race and when you actually start training for it?

 

If your answer is ‘not sure’ or ‘good question’ you aren’t setting yourself up well from the start for success.

 

With many races having sign up periods many months in advance, it can be easy to sign up and then have it come up on you quickly leaving you to jump into training without much thought.

 

Here are 4 key questions to ask yourself before you start your training to get you started off the right:

 

1. What is the result you want to achieve?

 

While you might consider this to be your main goal, Dr. Stan Beecham, a sports psychologist and expert in helping athletes overcome their limiting beliefs prefers to phrase it a different way: What is the result that you want to achieve?

 

When you approach it this way, the steps to get there will become more clear.

 

Get specific and include the time frame for which to achieve the desired result. From there, you can evaluate what you need to do to get there.

 

By keeping your mind focused on a result instead of a goal you will be more committed and see it as something that is concrete rather than perhaps wishful thinking.

 

2. Identify your motivation(s)

 

Motivations differ from the result you want to achieve. Your goal is what you want to achieve whereas your motivations are your “why” for wanting to do so.

 

It is important to understand your motivations for they are a powerful driver for you to continue on when it gets hard and you want to give up.

 

If have just a goal and no motivations behind it, there is less likelihood you will be successful.

 

Continue Reading at RunnerAcademy.com!