Monthly Archives: February 2015
On March 8, there will be 7,500 people running the 4th Annual San Diego Half Marathon. Since anyone can gain entry into the popular road race, amateur runners will abound. So if you’re new to the sport but aspiring to get to even this half marathon level, there are things every new runner needs to keep in mind in order to prevent injury.
Dr. Perry Julien, a sports medicine podiatrist and author of “Sure Footing,” says revisiting the basics is important because so many people are constantly new to running or to exercise.
“It’s very common for new runners to get themselves into trouble,” Julien said. “They do too much, too soon. They’re wearing the incorrect shoes. They don’t allow time to warm up or cool down. They’re not stretching.”
And more people are in marathon mode these days. The popularity or the 26.2 mile runs around the country continues to grow. According to RunningUSA, a non-profit association, about half a million people finished marathons in the U.S. in 2010. That’s up almost 9% from the previous year and approaching twice the number of participants in 1995. The group says there are several reasons to explain the increase: training programs (both charity and for-profit), an increase in women participating and many people finding them to be fun events for the community.
Julien sees many patients who are new runners who have made mistakes; they may lead to injury. He is constantly giving them the following advice:
-Buy sports-specific shoes. Walkers and runners need a runner shoe. Tennis shoes should be worn by tennis players.
-Replace your shoes on a regular basis. For an average use of three to four times per week, you should replace the shoes every four to six months.
-Go to a specialty running store to be fit properly for your shoes. For example: a foot with a higher arch typically needs more cushioning. A foot with a lower arch typically needs more support.
-Softer surfaces are better, in general. A packed gravel trail is the best; if not available, most roads are made of asphalt. Asphalt is softer than concrete, like sidewalks.
-Treadmill runners may be prone to injury because they are on a fixed path. A runner cannot move left or right; the motion is constantly the same.
-Always increase slowly; if not, overuse injuries can result.
-Realize that some discomfort is normal as you apply new stresses to your body.
-Treat aches and pains with ice. Heat is completely wrong. Ice the sore area for 15 minutes, two or three times per day.
-If the pain does not go away within 48-72 hours, it usually means that you’re overdoing it.
-If you suspect an injury, cut back on your amount of activity. If pain is involved, you may have to stop.
-Any pain lasting more than seven days or recurs should be evaluated by a sports medicine physician. For the foot, ankle or leg, see a podiatrist. For the ankle or knee, see an orthopedic surgeon.
“One of the effects of exercising- you’re creating microinjury to the tissue, which as it heals, it heals stronger,” he said. “But the more you injure it, the less potential it has to heal.”
“If you’re walking or running on an injury-exercising on an injury, you can make it worse and you can increase the time it takes to actually heal that injury.”
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine suggests a gradual return to running following an injury if further medical intervention is not needed.
Whether you are already athletic and looking to up your game with a triathlon, or are just beginning your journey on the road to getting fit, what you put in your body plays a big role in the performance you’ll get out of it.
We’ve been taught to think of food – especially carbs – as our enemy, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Food is what fuels our bodies, allowing us to physically push ourselves to reach our own potential for fitness and athleticism. But when we think about a diet to match a healthy active lifestyle, too often we mistakenly buy into the old adage that getting in shape means resigning to a bland and unsatisfying diet of meager proportions. For someone who’s spent their entire life in some of the best Italian restaurants in the country, bland, meager, and unsatisfying just isn’t going to cut it.
Food and wine became a passion of mine early on- a passion I was not eager to give up when I first took up running. What I quickly and thankfully learned is that I didn’t have to- and neither do you!
Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up satisfying and savory meals.
Pasta has always been a staple of my diet-and it is the food I reach for most often before and after working out. The more I run, the more I need. Many classic pasta dishes such as puttanesca (pasta anchovies, capers, tuna, and olives) spaghetti allo scoglio (mussels, shrimp, and scallops) and a pasta a la norma (eggplant and onion) combine workout-friendly complex carbs with the health benefits of antioxidant-chocked veggies and omega 3 rich shellfish and seafood.
Using whole wheat pasta certainly increases your fiber intake and helps to regulate blood sugar, but eating white pasta made with more refined flour is actually easier for the body to digest before any big workout or race.
In fact, carb loading is extremely important for maintaining enough endurance to power you through a big competition. One of my favorite pre-race meals is pasta primavera. This dish is the perfect fuel for your body- complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, olive oil for its anti-inflammatory effect on joints, and the antioxidant-laden veggies to help protect muscles, joints, and tissues from wear and tear that comes with pounding the pavement. And speaking of antioxidants- my all time favorite source is- you guessed it- red wine!
Now I’m certainly not advocating you down a bottle of Barolo the night before a big race, but, red wine in moderation is an excellent source of antioxidants- crucial for athletes to help repair muscles, joints, and tissues damaged by strenuous workouts. A well-deserved treat after a grueling workout!
Eat real food.
Processed foods are harder for the body to break down- this means your body has to waste energy digesting chemicals it doesn’t really know what to do with- processed cheese is one of the worst offenders. And why reach for processed cheese when the real deal is so much better? Many cheeses such as grana padano from Italy pack more protein ounce for ounce than any variety of meat or nuts- not to mention a good source of calcium.
The moral of the story is, you can feel great, look great, and still enjoy a little vino and mozzarella caprese at the end of the day.
Anybody who has a long daily commute knows the frustration of sitting in traffic with nothing to do but wait. Now, a study suggests that long commutes can take away more than just precious time – they also negatively impact your fitness and health.
Previous research has linked longer commutes with obesity. But this new research is believed to be “the first study to show that long commutes can take away from exercise time,” explained lead investigator Christine M. Hoehner of Washington University in St. Louis.
Long commutes are associated with “higher weight, lower fitness levels and higher blood pressure, all of which are strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers,” she said.
One discovery that Hoehner found a little surprising was how “being exposed to the daily hassles of traffic can lead to higher chronic stress and higher blood pressure.”
Here’s how the research was conducted: Scientists studied 4,297 residents from the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, metropolitan areas. They documented their commuting distances, body mass indices, and metabolic risk, including waist circumference, fasting glucose and lipid levels and blood pressure. Participants reported their physical activity for the previous three months.
What did scientists learn? Commuters who said they drove longer distances also reported they took part in less moderate or vigorous physical activity. They had lower cardiorespiratory fitness, greater body mass index, waist circumference, and higher blood pressure.
For a little historical perspective – as obesity rates have increased – so have the number of American commuters and the length of commute times.
Between 1960 and 2000, workers commuting in private vehicles jumped from 41.4 million to 112.7 million, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. And as suburbs have sprawled across the nation since the 1950s, commuter miles have increased too, along with the time drivers spend sitting behind the wheel. according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
For many commuters, moving closer to work isn’t an option but Hoehner said there are solutions that can lead to more exercise.
Commuters should find ways to work physical activity into their work days said Hoehner, by doing things like walking during work breaks. Employers could also help, she said, by encouraging fitness break and by offering schedule flexibility to commuters, if possible.
By Jonathan Pierce, ART Director at FIX Body Group
When: Thursday, March 26th
Where: Crossfit PB (Garnett)
Time: 6:30 PM
I believe there’s a lot of information out there regarding footwear options for running, proper foot contact mechanics, and more generally gait and what it means for running and athletes of all levels. It has also become apparent that as more ideas get pushed into the pipeline, there are many prevalent ones of an extreme nature. It’s either maximalist shoes, minimalist shoes, or no shoes but no one is really advocating the moderate approach and mindset.
When it comes to bio-mechanics, or running gait, there’s also this prevailing extremist perspective, we went from a model of heel-toe running to one of forefoot running and forgot to ask what the costs of injury for this was. I would like to create a discussion around moderate ideas, for shoes, bio-mechanics, and injury prevention in general. I believe that the way to do this is through the use of models, the application of techniques that the elite, top performers use successfully and taking these models to the masses. I have spent many years in the world of elite running, as an athlete, then as a coach and therapist, now as a consultant and sports rehab practitioner. I’ll present on techniques and commonalities that elite athletes have in running, and which we can learn from. We will also discuss the common faults runners make, the injury risks associated with each.
FIX patients are encouraged to attend!
Did that fartlek workout lead to a major bonk instead of runner’s high? Need a glossary just to understand what we’re talking about? We demystify some of the most common running terms.
Verb: To become utterly exhausted and depleted and unable to keep moving forward at a desired pace. This occurs when your glycogen stores are depleted.
Example: “I didn’t think I’d bonk so hard during the race, but it felt like I hit a brick wall and my legs were made of concrete.”
Noun: A Swedish word that means “speedplay.” A run where you speed up and slow down several different times during the workout. You must keep running during the entire workout for it to be considered a fartlek.
Example: “Our fartlek was 10×90 seconds with one minute of jogging in between.”
Noun: Set distances or times that are meant to be run fast and followed by periods of rest.
Example: “Yesterday I did three one-mile intervals in the park with six minutes rest between each.”
Noun: Miles you get in just to keep your weekly mileage high. Some coaches believe that junk miles make you stronger, while others believe that they do little else than contribute to injury.
Example: “I was putting a lot of miles into the bank while training for Ironman, while my teammate wasn’t concerned about getting in junk miles.”
Acronym: “Long slow distance.” This is a run you do to build your aerobic capacity.
Example: “My LSD run was 20 miles this week.”
Verb: To finish the second half of your interval or race faster than the first.
Example: “I negative split the two-mile interval with a 5:20 and then a 5:15 mile.”
Noun: To run at an extremely easy pace, which pushes blood through your muscles and allows them to recover more quickly than they would if you did nothing.
Example: “I’m really sore from bonking in that race – I need to get outside and do a recovery run.”
Noun: A feeling that runners sometimes get after a brutal workout or race, or after a long run. During a runner’s high, you feel invincible, unstoppable. When this occurs during a workout you feel like you’re running effortlessly and could go for miles on end.
Example: “Work’s been kicking my butt lately – I need to go for an interval workout and get a runner’s high.”
Noun: Short, quick runs that are 50 to 100 meters in length. They should be run at a pace that is fast, but not so fast that you’re losing your form. They’re meant to help you warm up for a race or workout and to help you get the feeling of running fast.
Example: “If I don’t run strides before a race, I can’t seem to hit my rhythm.”
If you’re a golfer – whether recreational or even a pro like John Cook – you can benefit greatly from the services we offer at FIX.
Recently our founder and Clinic Director Dr. Shawn Robek served as John’s private practitioner during the Mitsubishi Champion’s Tour in Hawaii and performed pre and post round performance care on him.
When asked what these athletes need in terms of treatment, Dr. Robek said “Golfers utilize chiropractic adjustment to maintain flexibility of the spine, as well as active release technique to break up restrictions and scar tissue in muscle. Corrective exercise is also used to enhance the strength and endurance of deep spinal muscles.” He went on to say that “golfers typically experience knee, hip, and lower back pain as a result of a poor golf swing – all of which can be corrected by our procedures at FIX. For someone trying to enhance their golf game but not suffering from a specific injury, our strength coach would be a great adjunct.”
So if you’re a golfer – what are you waiting for? Set up an appointment with us today and experience the FIX difference.
After completing more than 150 marathons, running coach Jeff Horowitz got sick of running himself ragged with 70 to 100-mile weeks during training.
In order to avoid injury and burnout, he designed a less-is-more, quality over quantity philosophy in his book “Smart Marathon Training.” Adapt some of his principles into your triathlon training program.
1. Ditch the junk miles.
Only add workouts that have a purpose.
“Instead of assuming that squeezing in an extra run is always a good idea, you’re going to refrain from adding in that run unless you can articulate a specific benefit that would come from doing it,” Horowitz writes.
The same applies to your swim, bike or strength workouts. For marathon training, he suggests a max of 35 miles per week using three purposeful workouts (speed or hills, tempo, long run), cross-training twice per week and strength training/drills two or three times per week.
2. Look out for signs of fatigue.
Horowitz suggests establishing your average resting heart rate by checking it in the morning on three consecutive “normal” days.
If it’s elevated one day (say 10% more than average) your body might be telling you it needs a rest day.
Another sign of fatigue? If it takes you longer than 10 minutes to fall asleep.
3. Embrace the hills.
“[Hill running] builds power and explosive strength. Running up is really a series of short, one-legged squats,” Horowitz writes.
Plus, running uphill is easier on the knees, ankles, hips, etc. If that’s not enough, hills can also improve running form and economy — because you can’t overstride!
4. Use your long run to perfect technique.
Monitor your form in training and you’ll be able to do the same in your race, Horowitz writes.
Count your cadence and aim for 180 steps per minute, listen to your foot strike to ensure it’s quiet, check if you’re slouching and if so, tighten your core muscles.
5. Build a runner’s body.
“Think of your body as a powerful platform… with attached appendages to perform necessary work,” Horowitz writes. “These appendages — the arms and legs — move around but they are only able to work effectively if they’re grounded by a solid base.”
That base is your core. Horowitz suggests doing functional strength exercises and core work at least twice a week.
As a sports nutritionist, I consult for pro teams and privately counsel professional and competitive athletes in numerous sports, as well as fitness enthusiasts. Pros and weekend warriors definitely have different nutrition needs, but they do have one thing in common: In order to get the most out of being active, everyone needs to eat properly to help their bodies recover from the wear and tear of exercise.
Here are six rules to follow, and how to prevent overdoing it, which can cancel out the weight-loss benefits of breaking a sweat.
Eat within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise.
If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, try to eat a “recovery” meal as soon as possible. Exercise puts stress on your muscles, joints, and bones, and your body “uses up” nutrients during workouts; so post-exercise foods are all about putting back what you’ve lost, and providing the raw materials needed for repair and healing. In fact, it’s the recovery from exercise that really allows you to see results in terms of building strength, endurance, and lean muscle tissue. Not recovering properly can leave you weaker as you go into your next workout, and up your injury risk.
Think beyond protein.
Protein is a building block of muscle, so it is important post exercise, but an ideal recovery meal should also include good fat (also needed for healing muscles and joints), as well as plenty of nutrient-rich produce, and a healthy source of starch such as quinoa, sweet potato, or beans. These foods replenish nutrients that have been depleted, and provide energy to fuel your post-exercise metabolism. A great post-workout meal might be something like a smoothie made with either pea protein powder or grass-fed organic whey protein, whipped with fruit, leafy greens, almond butter or coconut oil, and oats or quinoa, or an omelet made with one whole organic egg and three whites, paired with veggies, avocado and black beans.
Keep it real.
The phrase “you are what you eat” couldn’t be more true. Nutrients from the foods you eat food are the foundation of the structure, function, and integrity of every one of your cells. Your body is continuously repairing, healing, and rebuilding itself, and how healthy your new cells are is directly determined by how well you’ve been eating. In short, your body is essentially one big miraculous construction site that’s open 24/7. So even if you’re lean and you burn a lot of calories, avoiding highly processed food and eating a clean, nutrient rich, whole foods diet can help you get the most out of all of your hard work, including cells that function better, and are less susceptible to premature aging, injury and disease.
If weight loss is one of your goals, it’s important to not overestimate how much extra food you “earned” working out. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to “eat back” all of what you’ve burned. For example, in a one-hour elliptical session, an average woman burns about 490 calories. A large salted caramel Pinkberry contains 444 calories, and a 32 ounce high-protein pineapple smoothie from Smoothie King clocks in at 500 calories. Even if you don’t splurge on treats like these, you may be tempted to sneak a little extra almond butter, or be less mindful of your oatmeal or fruit portions, and those extras can add up. And if you’re going to be eating a meal within an hour of finishing up a workout, you don’t also need a post-exercise bar or snack.
If you sweat heavily, exercise in high humidity (which prevents cooling of the body) or your workouts last longer than 60 minutes, you might need a sports drink rather than plain water during exercise. These beverages are designed to keep you well hydrated, but they also provide electrolytes to replace those lost in your sweat (like sodium, which makes sweat salty; and potassium, which helps regulate heart rhythm), as well as fuel to keep you going. If your workouts are less strenuous, shorter, climate controlled, or not so sweaty, plain H2O is probably fine. The general rule of thumb is to drink at least two cups of fluid two hours before exercise, another two cups 15 minutes prior, and a half-cup every 15 minutes during. Post exercise, aim for two cups of water (16 ounces) for every pound of body weight lost, and monitor the color of your urine — if you’re well hydrated it should be pale.
Watch your alcohol intake.
Many athletes and active people I work with enjoy imbibing a bit after working out. Alcohol in moderation is fine, but be sure to eat first to start the recovery process. Also, it’s important to know that alcohol has been shown to accelerate post-exercise muscle loss and the loss of muscle strength by as much as 40%. It can also interfere with replenishing glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates you stock away in your muscles to serve as energy “piggy banks.” Less glycogen can translate into a lack of power or endurance during your next workout, so aim for moderation.
There’s a lot said about how to lose weight. As it turns out, a lot of what’s said may not be true.
To sort fact from fiction, a group of doctors and nutritionists researched the medical evidence behind common claims and presented their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.
1. Weight loss is just “calories in” vs. “calories out”
“Predictions suggesting that large changes in weight will accumulate indefinitely in response to small sustained lifestyle modifications rely on the half-century-old 3,500 calorie rule, which equates a weight alteration of 2.2 lb to a 3,500 calories cumulative deficit or increment,” write the study authors.
The 3,500-calorie rule “predicts that a person who increases daily energy expenditure by 100 calories by walking 1 mile per day” will lose 50 pounds over five years, the authors say. But the true weight loss is only about 10 pounds if calorie intake doesn’t increase, “because changes in mass … alter the energy requirements of the body.”
“This is a myth, strictly speaking, but the smaller amount of weight loss achieved with small changes is clinically significant and should not be discounted,” says Dr. Melina Jampolis, CNN diet and fitness expert.
2. Set realistic weight-loss goals
The thinking here is that people who aim too high might be setting themselves up for disappointment.
“Although this is a reasonable hypothesis, empirical data indicate no consistent negative association between ambitious goals and program completion or weight loss,” write the study authors.
“Indeed, several studies have shown that more ambitious goals are sometimes associated with better weight-loss outcomes.”
3. Big, fast weight loss won’t stick
Going on a very restrictive diet led to faster weight loss, the study authors found, and dieters did not necessarily gain that weight back, either.
“There was no significant difference between the very-low-energy diets and low-energy diets with respect to weight loss at the end of long-term follow-up,” write the authors.
4. You won’t lose the weight unless you’re really ready
“Readiness does not predict the magnitude of weight loss or treatment adherence among persons who sign up for behavioral programs or who undergo obesity surgery,” write the study authors.
“The explanation may be simple – people voluntarily choosing to enter weight-loss programs are, by definition, at least minimally ready to engage in the behaviors required to lose weight.”
5. Kids are losing weight in physical education class
“Physical education, as typically provided, has not been shown to reduce or prevent obesity,” write the study authors.
“That doesn’t take away the fact that physical activity has been consistently associated with decreasing childhood obesity,” says Krista Casazza, the lead study author.
“But the way physical education is currently given in the schools is the issue. Oftentimes, it’s just kids going outside or being in a physical education class. It has to be an actual, purposeful event.”
6. Breast-feeding reduces child obesity
“Although existing data indicate that breast-feeding does not have important anti-obesity effects in children, it has other important potential benefits for the infant and mother and should therefore be encouraged,” write the study authors.
7. Sex is a good workout
Well, depending on how you do it.
The researchers cite evidence that sex takes about as much exertion per minute as going for a walk, but lasts on average about six minutes. That adds up to about 21 calories, which isn’t such a good workout, but may be good for stress relief.
“Does it make any difference if you do calorie labeling? Does it make any difference if you cap soda size? Does it make any difference if you remove food advertising to children from television?” says Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University who is not associated with the study.
“Those are the really important things that people are looking at to change the environment of food choice to help people eat more healthfully, and I don’t see any of that in here.”
Beyond academia, however, the doctors and nutritionists also have deep ties to industry, receiving grant support and consulting fees from food, drug, and diet companies, raising questions about how wide a net of inquiry the authors were willing to cast.
Still, here are what the researchers say are the seven myths about obesity:
CHIPS AREN’T WHAT THEY USED TO BE!
Chips have always been delicious. No argument there. But the carb-loaded snacks have always been reserved for cheat days or impulsive munching… until now.
With 21 grams of high-quality protein per bag, Quest Protein Chips are the ONLY chips you can enjoy at the gym, on-the-go, or as an anytime snack completely guilt-free.
In fact, guilt has nothing to do with it. Every bold, mouthwatering flavor has only 5g total carbs and zero junk ingredients, so eat the whole bag!
ANATOMY OF A PERFECT CRUNCH:
Ingredients:Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate), Dried Potatoes, Corn Starch, High Oleic Sunflower Oil. Contains less than 2% of the following: Sea Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavors.