Tag Archives: muscle

Sports Drinks

Hydration & Supplements: Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks

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hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated during physical activity. While water is still the best choice for hydration, other acceptable options are available. Do you know what is most effective for your workout?

Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are ideal for athletes looking to hydrate and replenish after long, intensive exercise (usually greater than 60 minutes). Sports drinks contain a combination of electrolytes, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. This combination of nutrients serve to restore lost fluid and sodium levels. Additionally, the sugary carbs found in sport drinks provide athletes a boost of natural energy to aid in recovery.

hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are never a good option for athletes. While these beverages do provide an apparent energy boost, the effects are temporary. Energy drinks contain few helpful macronutrients, like carbs, and instead use the stimulant caffeine to create an artificial boost of energy. These high concentrations of caffeine can act as a diuretic thus increasing dehydration risks. Too much caffeine can also cause jitters, dizziness and headaches leading to decreased performance. High doses of caffeine have been linked to cardiac emergencies.

Chocolate Milk?
Effectively recover with chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk makes a simple yet effective post-workout snack. Offering just the right mix of carbs and protein, this tasty drink refuels your body and helps muscles through recovery. Drink up!

Out Smart Muscle Cramps:
Painful muscle cramps can quickly sideline an athlete. While the root cause is still being researched, dehydration, muscle imbalances and improper warm-up are likely factors. Follow these basics to help prevent muscle cramps:

  • Stay hydrated, make sure your athlete does not start the practice/game dehydrated.
  • Pack a refillable water bottle to drink throughout the day.
  • Consume a balanced diet with healthy amounts of sodium.
  • Bolster weak muscle groups with functional, plyometric and strength training.
  • Practice foam rolling and static stretching in tight areas.
  • Incorporate a dynamic warmup.

Written by the Therapy Team at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, Michigan.
To learn more about the Center for Physical Rehabilitation click here.

Baby Mechanics

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Proper lifting mechanics is important for everyone, especially for a new mom. Caring for a young child/infant significantly increases the strain to one’s low back. Luckily, there are steps that one can make to decrease that strain and reduce the risk of injury.

Always remember to: lift the child/infant close to you and bend through your legs versus your back.

As your baby begins to gain more independence and mobility, lower the height of his mattress to keep him safe. Be aware that the lower mattress height can increase strain on your back, so lower the mattress height as gradually as possible. When lifting your baby in or out of the crib, keep baby as close to your body as possible while keeping your back straight and bending through your legs. For older babies, help him get into a sitting position before lifting him out of the crib. Once baby can stand, lift him out of the crib from a standing position.

Just like lifting baby out of the crib, keep her as close to you as possible, bend through your legs and keep your back straight. Keep your abdominal muscles tight as you lift her up. If possible, get into a deep squat position to lower your center of gravity before picking up baby.

Avoid the “hip shift” position with baby propped on one hip while shifting your body to that side. Instead hold baby in front of you with his legs out on either side of you. If you are going to be holding baby for an extended period of time, use a baby carrier to keep your baby supported in a neutral alignment.

Tummy time isn’t just good for babies! During tummy time, get down on your stomach too. Stretching out on your stomach is good for you, and it also allows you to better interact with your baby.

During story time, be aware of your posture and always sit up straight. Place a pillow behind your back for extra support.

Use a nursing pillow under baby to help prop her up closer to you. Bring baby to you instead of leaning forward towards her to avoid strain. Placing a pillow behind your back can provide extra support and help you maintain the proper posture. If you are bottle feeding or for older babies, place a pillow under the arm that is supporting baby’s head to decrease the strain on your shoulder and neck. Although making eye contact with baby during a feeding can help strengthen your relationship with baby, it can cause strain on your neck. Be sure to bring your head to a neutral position throughout the feeding to decrease the tension on your neck.

baby car seat

When lifting a car seat, be sure to keep the car seat as close to your body as possible. Bend through your legs and keep your abdominal muscles tight as you pick up the car seat. Instead of carrying the car seat in one hand at your side, use both hands to hold and carry the car seat in front of you whenever possible.

Getting the car seat in and out of the car can be tricky. Remember to keep the car seat as close to your body as possible, keep your abdominal muscles tight and your back straight. If your car seat is placed in the middle position in your car, put one leg up into the car to protect your back while keeping the car seat close to your body.

This information was written by Metro Spine & Sports Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations in the Chicago Loop and Lakeview areas. At Metro Spine & Sports Rehabilitation, their number one priority is the patient. For more information click here.

heart healthy physical activity

Heart Healthy Physical Activity

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The heart is often used as a symbol of vitality for good reasons. The heart pushes blood and oxygen to every cell in the body to be used as fuel and carries waste away. Without this process, the body cannot function. The heart plays a role in many aspects of your health and wellness.

Efficiency Matters
The heart beats an average of 60-80 beats per minute, which can add up to millions of beats in just one month. When something works this hard, it is important that it also works efficiently. Well-conditioned athletes can have resting heart rates below 50 beats/minute. Even though their heart beats slower, it can do the same amount of work or more than a heart that beats 60-80 beats/minute. An athlete’s heart pumps stronger during each beat, needing fewer beats to get the job done. Over a lifetime, a difference of 10-30 beats/minute can add up to quite a few beats.

An Ounce of Prevention…
The heart can be affected by physical and mental stressors. You can feel your heart speed up when you sprint across a busy road or when you have a burst of emotion like anger or surprise.

Physical activity can decrease the effect of stress on the heart and body. A fit body and mind will help improve heart health. Regular physical activity can:

Improve physical abilities by:
• Improving the heart’s ability to pump blood
• Increasing energy levels
• Increasing muscle strength and endurance
• Improving agility

Change physical appearance by:
• Toning your muscles which gives you a tighter appearance
• Burning calories which helps with weight loss or maintenance

Improve overall wellness by:
• Helping with stress management
• Improving self-image
• Helping to decrease anxiety and depression
• Improving relaxation
Improving the ability to sleep
• Creating a social activity opportunity
• Promoting healthier cholesterol levels

If you have heart problems, physical activity can still play an important role. A strong and healthy body can help you manage your condition. Physical activity can help reduce the stress on a sick or weak heart and decrease secondary risks like obesity and diabetes. If you do have heart health issues, talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Even if you are healthy, but have not exercised in a long time, you may need to talk to your doctor to make sure that you are in good physical condition to exercise.

heart veggies

Where to Start
For most people, you can begin right away. Find an activity program that you enjoy. Do not pick an activity that does not fit into your schedule, does not fit in with your personal preferences, or has too many obstacles, because you may lose interest quickly. A program that starts with too much intensity is also likely to lose your interest.

Work towards reaching these basic goals:
• 30-60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week (total of at least 150 minutes/week)
• Include some strength activities at least 2 times/week

Make It Stick
Long-term regular physical activity will count more than a brief and spectacular burst of activity. Most people do not plan to become sedentary. It creeps up on you. Work to increase your physical activity the same way. Gradually add steps. Find activities you enjoy that can replace more sedentary activities.

Here are more tips that have been shown to be useful:
• Find an exercise partner. You are less likely to skip the activity if someone is waiting for you.
• Write it down or use a fitness tracker. Keep a log of your activities and how much you accomplished either by distance or time. It will help keep you honest.
• A long-term goal is fine, but also make short-term goals, because they provide quicker feedback.
• This is important, make it a priority. Plan it out. Find a time in your daily routine when you can regularly fit the activity in.
• Consider doing your activity in 10-minute spurts throughout the day. Spurts can be as effective as being active for 30 minutes straight.
• Be flexible. Life happens and you may find that you need to make adjustments to your routine. A rigid schedule and goal may not be worth the stress. Keep an open mind to new activities and schedules.

Make It Count
Any physical activity is better than none. But at least a few days per week you should aim for more than a leisurely stroll. A moderate intensity level is best to help you make health changes. Moderate intensity activity is enough to get your heart rate up and make you feel a little out of breath but not feel worn out when you are done.

Do not forget to enjoy your activity for the daily benefits it can bring and know that your heart appreciates it as well!

by Pamela Jones, MA

RESOURCES:
American College of Sports Medicine
http://www.acsm.org

American Heart Association
http://www.heart.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:
American Heart Association guidelines for physical activity. American Heart Association website. Available: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/StartWalking/American-Heart-Association-Guidelines-for-Physical-Activity_UCM_307976_Article.jsp. Updated September 10, 2014. Accessed October 22, 2014.

Guide to physical activity. National Heart and Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/phy_act.htm. Accessed July 21, 2016.

Haskel W, et al. Physical activity and public health, updated recommendations for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circ. 2007;116(9):1081.

How much physical activity do you need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/index.html. Updated June 4, 2016. Accessed July 21, 2016.

Promoting physical activity with a public health approach. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/acsm-in-the-news/2011/08/01/promoting-physical-activity-with-a-public-health-approach. Accessed July 21, 2016.

2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed July 21, 2016.

Last reviewed July 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated:10/22/2014

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

healthy start

A Healthy Start in 2017

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It’s time to get a healthy start in 2017!  We provided some general health and wellness tips to get you on your way to an amazing year!  We call it the Pearls of Longevity!

PROTEIN
Eat 25 grams of protein each meal especially breakfast to prevent being hungry from carb cravings and crashes, help maintain and build muscle, and improve your immune system.

DID YOU KNOW?
For every 100 calories of protein you eat, it takes 25 calories to digest meaning you really only ate 75 calories! This is a 25% discount! For carbs and fat, you get less than a 10% discount.

EXERCISE
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day to burn calories and decrease stress. Lift weights or use body weight strengthening exercises to increase lean muscle and boost your metabolism.

DID YOU KNOW?
Exercise relieves symptoms of depression as well or even better than medication. Losing 10 lbs. decreases your risk of knee arthritis by 50%, while losing 10% of your body weight decreases joint pain by 50%!

ANTI INFLAMMATORY & ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS
Fill half your plate at every meal to ensure you eat enough of these power foods.

DID YOU KNOW?
Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, beans, salmon, spices, and even dark chocolate helps reduce inflammation and stress, decreases joint and muscle pain, and reduces your risk heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and stroke.

pushup_woman

RELAXATION & STRESS REDUCTION
Practice inhaling slowly through your nose until you feel your belly button move out and then slowly exhale through your mouth feeling your belly button move in. Practice at least 5 minutes a day while driving, at your computer, while watching TV or when in bed. Smile, laugh and hug someone once a day.

DID YOU KNOW?
Deep breathing reduces stress, muscle pain, and blood pressure, while improving memory, concentration and performance. Happiness and affection are considered by many experts to be the fountain of youth as it lowers stress and releases hormones that help fight aging.

LIQUIDS
Drink 2 cups of water or tea when you wake up and drink 1-2 cups in between meals. Coffee does not count as it can lead to dehydration.

DID YOU KNOW?
Water reduces hunger, improves metabolism, brings nutrients, and hydrates your muscles and connective tissue. This can reduce inflammation and scar tissue which can lead to decreased muscle and joint pain.

SLEEP
Sleep at least 7-8 hours per night consistently going to bed and waking up the same time even on weekends.

DID YOU KNOW?
Sleep releases growth hormone which helps keep you young, increase lean muscle and decrease body fat!

A healthy start can lead to great endings. Best of luck to you and yours and Happy New Year!

Protect, Stretch & Rest: General Tips

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These are some general healthy tips to remember during your day-to-day activities.

• If you are doing strenuous, household or outdoor work protect your hands with gloves in order to prevent injury and/or loss of moisture.
• Take frequent breaks or switch to a new activity. Overuse of repetitive motions, such as pressing buttons, can cause tendonitis of the elbow or lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
• If you find yourself sitting at your computer for hours each day, stop each hour and stretch your fingers, arms and the rest of your body to help prevent injury to your bones, joints and muscles.
• If you have pain during your activity, stop. Pain is one of the ways your body is letting you know that you are overextending a particular muscle group.