By now, many yoga enthusiasts are well aware of the informative article “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body,” written by author William J. Broad, published early last year in the New York Times. While the article stated that yoga may not be appropriate for certain populations, it also carved out a few well-appointed reasons how yoga can actually do more harm, than good.
The “Wounded Warrior Pose,” which is Broad’s latest cautionary piece, highlights not just the inherent dangers of yoga, but of yoga for men specifically. Listing injury statistics and several educated comments from a handful of related experts, Broad paints another hazardous picture of yoga.
Injuries are apparent in any physical endeavor from walking to race car driving. The majority of people might have a hard time believing that an activity as gentle as yoga could be hurtful, but the reality is, yoga is not appropriate for everyone.
The following are a few bits of sound advice that may help men (and women) avoid injuries in a yoga class. (more…)
When deciding where to workout, dedicated runners have a plethora of options. Between barefoot running, trailblazing, asphalt, concrete and the local track, it can be difficult to decide what choice is right for you.
Dr. Charles A. Mutschler, DPM is a medical director and podiatrist at Advanced Footcare of Miami. As an expert in the field, he acknowledges the fact that all types of running surfaces can provide both risks and benefits to the runner.
Running on sand, grass and dirt trails are all very common practices. Although running on these surfaces provides incredible shock absorption and muscle development, the uneven ground can contribute to slips, trips and falls. Runners who are not accustomed to the irregular terrain may find themselves straining and spraining the muscles in their feet and ankles.
I was out running one morning about two years ago. It was a rare morning where I didn’t have music pumping in my ears. As I was approaching a turn, I began to hear an odd rhythm. It almost sounded like duck feet smacking the ground. As I got closer, I saw another runner coming towards me. The sound was coming from her shoes. She was wearing what looked like gloves on her feet as she trekked along. This was the first time I’d ever seen anyone run in the Vibram Fivefinger shoes. Flash forward two years and these shoes and the minimalist movement have grown tremendously popular. However, as with most popular things, it’s not all necessarily a good thing. There’s quite a bit of controversy over these shoes and the proper role they play in the sport of running.
There’s lots of debate over the safety of minimalist running and barefoot running. There are also a lot of grey areas in the subject. While some shoes are minimal in the support they offer, they are not equivalent to a barefoot or even a Vibram. However, all members of the pro party tend to support the general theory that the stronger the foot, the better the runner will run.
Vibrams (pronounced “VEE-Brims”) claim that they allow the runner to land on their forefoot which results in optimum balance, improved stability, lighter impact, and increased propulsion. The Vibrams also claim to help correct form problems along with strengthening and stimulating muscles in the feet and lower legs.
So with such positive claims what’s the objection to this product? First Gear running shoe store owner, Gary Gregory, sees the Vibrams as a form of barefoot running and explained why he will not carry the product.
“Barefoot running is too radical of an idea from the norm, it’s too big of a departure and too big of a change for people who have been running in shoes for years.”
When an athlete gets injured, there’s a typical protocol. The usual treatments include physical therapy and sometimes surgery. These long standing treatments have been effective, but they take the athlete out of their game for quite some time. Lately, a new therapy has surfaced and athletes and doctors alike are loving the results. Plasma rich platelet and stem cell therapies are new treatments that are proving their worth and looking to become the new “go-to” therapy for injured athletes.
Plasma rich platelet (PRP) and stem cell therapies are administered by taking blood from the injured patient, placing the vial in a centrifuge to separate the components, and then injecting the plasma or stem cells back into the patient at the injury site. The healing elements of the PRP go to work directly on the injury and are claimed to speed the healing process. Stem cells work similarly.
In a nutshell, the patient is being treated with their own blood for expedited recovery.
We’ve all seen it, the little girl (let’s say she’s four) clomping around the house in her mother’s high heels. For some women, an obsession with shoes starts young and for others, it doesn’t emerge until the teen years, if ever. Personally, I always saw my mother in her high heels and the clicking sound they made as she walked across the floor made me think she was the most beautiful and powerful woman in the world. I love that sound even now and regardless of how irrational it seems to you, it makes me feel gorgeous.
When I first heard about high heeled workouts, my initial reaction was “heck yes!” and then reality set in. The fact is, working out in high heels adds an entirely new level of possible injuries to your regimen. Consistently struttin’ your stuff in heels has been linked to weak muscles in the calves and ankles. Back and knee injuries also seem to be more common in women who regularly wear heels. Besides the more complicated physiological dangers, something as simple as your balance can be compromised when raised up on high heels. So then why the sudden surge in heel-based exercise classes?
No pain, no gain, right? Well, maybe in certain scenarios, this old motto is false. A runner in training should expect fatigue. They should expect muscle soreness. They should also anticipate that not every run will be a good one. But what about when these truths start piling up? Does the runner need to learn to push through or is it possible that backing off will be the key to their success?
While it might not seem possible, a runner can actually over-train and negatively impact their performance.
Over-training is characterized as not allowing the body to rest and recover from the stress of training. If the body can’t catch up on the much needed repair time, the athlete’s performance will suffer. This is a very serious problem. Over-training has the potential to ruin one’s running career if not taken seriously. If the body gets into a state of over-training, it’s very difficult to recover.
As a runner, there’s nothing more wonderful than a cool morning, a gentle breeze, and some scenery. I love to run outside. Because of where I live, I typically run on pavement in neighborhoods. Sometimes I manage to run through parks and even along rivers during my weekly training. When everything is in sync, there’s noting better, but that’s just one runner’s opinion.
Many runners run outdoors on the pavement. However, there are also a lot of runners who actually prefer the treadmill. As I’ve had my fair share of terrain experience, I can safely say that neither is necessarily better, but they are very different.
Road running naturally creates many benefits for the training athlete. Because of the uneven surface the outdoors provides, the body gets a complete workout. Stabilizing muscles have to work harder out on the road as the runner has to shift to adapt to the changes. Road running will also bring its share of climate obstacles. Wind will provide great resistance training and heat and cold can also help the runner prepare for any given race day condition. Another major bonus of road running is that it burns more calories than treadmill running as it is more intense and demands more energy from the leg muscles.
I ran my first marathon in the spring of 2007. There were medic tents located every few miles along the course. That made perfect sense to me however, I was utterly confused about the continuous offers of Vaseline on a stick. The medics had large tongue depressors with heaping dollops of petroleum jelly on the ends. As I passed the tents they held them out hollering, “Vaseline? Vaseline?”
My best guess was that runners must like to use Vaseline for lip balm to keep their lips from getting dry.
Somewhere around mile 13 all my curiosity was cured. I was passing yet another tent and ignoring the offer for jelly on a stick when I heard thundering steps behind me and a primal scream rang out, “VASELINE!!!!”
The male runner was doing some sort of bow-legged hop as he quickly grabbed the aid and proceeded to slather it all over his nether region.
All questions were then answered and I got my first glimpse into a dirtier side of running.
Dr. Stephen Liston D.C., P.S. is a licensed chiropractor in Vancouver, WA. In addition to his chiropractic care, Dr. Liston’s practice provides specific recommendations on nutritional supplements and healthy food choices to enhance his patients’ return to optimal health.
The gym is a fantastic and popular place to work out. If you’re going to a good one, they will also usually have many of the latest fitness machines. But if you plan to partake in gym exercises, be sure that you do it right or you may end up injured and find yourself doing physical therapy.
Here are some of the more common injury-causing mistakes that happen at the gym:
1. Stretching Before Your Workout – Stretching will loosen up your muscles and joints. However, if you don’t warm-up beforehand, you may be doing more harm than good. Your muscles are a bit like taffy. If you were to stretch taffy when it’s cold, it will snap. But when you warm taffy up, it stretches easily. Your warm-up can consist of walking for a few minutes at a moderate pace to get your blood flowing. (more…)
There are some injuries you have to just push through, and then there are aches and pains that will stop you dead in your tracks. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between if your pain is just normal wear and tear or if continuing on will cause serious damage to your body.
A common complaint among athletes and exercise enthusiasts is heel pain. Repeated pounding on hard surfaces, like running on asphalt or a treadmill, can often be blamed on unsupportive shoes and bruising, but sometimes that sharp pain in your heel can be a more serious problem: Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot injury that occurs when the thick band of connective tissue, the plantar fascia, that runs from your heel bone over the sole of your foot towards your toes becomes inflamed. It is most commonly caused by repeated pounding, but long periods of weight baring is also a cause, and as Americans become more obese, the added body weight has more instances of Plantar Fasciitis cropping up.