Whether you currently have a gym membership or plan on joining a gym as part of a New Year’s resolution, there’s one thing you should know: health clubs potentially pose health hazards.
That’s right, even though your local gym provides many ways for you to improve your health, there are a few ways that the opposite may be true.
Germs are the main health risk at your local gym. Most health clubs encourage their members to spray equipment with a disinfecting spray after using, but we all know that’s not followed by everyone.
Staph infections can spread through gym equipment, towels and even mats. They tend to occur on certain areas of the body, including the armpit, neck, groin, and butt. They start out looking like a pimple, but grow and become more painful and produce puss. While they often clear on their own, you should contact your doctor if you develop a fever or the infection grows, or becomes tender and warm. (more…)
CrossFit is a brand or style of strength and endurance training that combines almost every aspect of sports training available. From gymnastics and weight training to sprinting and pushing the body to max, this style of training improves your endurance, stamina, over-all strength, speed, power, agility, flexibility, balance, coordination, and mental toughness. Phew.
I recently took a CrossFit class and was sore for a week. I normally do traditional cardiovascular training (jog 30 to 60 minutes) and standard weight training (45 of strength training) and consider myself a workout veteran, but CrossFit challenged me to almost failure (which is good because the gym is the only place where failure is encouraged). The class I took consisted of a jump rope warm up, jumping from balance beam to balance beam, squats, shoulder presses, and pull-ups. It was an amazing workout! Every workout is different, though, and you are encouraged to compete against yourself to finish the workout as fast as you can. (more…)
We go to the doctor for many reasons, but usually not until we have to. Preventive care and health counseling is severely lacking among adults in this country. We spend countless amounts of dollars on dieting and exercise products, yet we spend very little time consulting professionals about it.
Your physical and mental health history can greatly determine which type of fitness path you should embark on. It’s always wise to consult your doctor about diet and exercise. Many dieters don’t make the effort to do so for one reason: they don’t know how. We talk to people everyday, but to truly communicate with our doctors (or other health and fitness professionals) there are some key strategies we can use.
Prepare yourself. More specifically, come prepared to ask questions. Write them all down beforehand so that you don’t go home and realize you forgot to mention something. Be very detailed with your questions. Make an effort to be specific. Doing so will prompt your doctor to be just as detailed with his answers. To avoid multiple (and unnecessary) visits, don’t forget to ask if there are specific diet and exercise techniques that your doctor recommends you stay far away from. Write down his answers for future reference. (more…)
A recent study released in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has shown that a shot of Botox, the shot typically used to erase fine lines and wrinkles, might help ease pain. This has many hoping that Botox could help treat sports injuries, like tennis elbow and runner’s knee.
Is it too good to be true? Probably.
The immobilizing effects of the injection can actually hinder your performance. Botox paralyzes muscles, which is why Botox-aholics have that frozen, caught-in-a-wind-tunnel look. Paralyzing the muscles in your limbs, however, can decrease performance, which will not only cause your game to suffer, it can set you up for more injury.
Most joint injuries are caused by over-used or over-stretched tendons, so the only way to truly cure your injury is to strengthen the muscles and tendons around the joint. Daily, consistent strength training and resistance exercises are your best bet to prevent and treat overuse injuries. (more…)
The most common complaint among exercisers is knee pain, especially during squats and lunges. If you suffer from knee pain, it may be easy to write these exercises off, but more often than not, the pain you experience may have more to do with your form than your joints themselves.
Squats and lunges do put a lot of pressure on your knees, which can cause a sharp pain right in the center of your kneecap. If your knees are sore during or after performing these exercises, a simple adjustment of your form may do the trick.
They seem simple: just bend your knees, right? Not quite. Where you place your weight during these exercises can mean all the difference. Proper form for squats and lunges will not only eliminate most knee pain, it makes the exercises more effective. (more…)
There has been a ton of research done over the past few years on the benefits of running barefoot. Some studies have shown that running in shoes somehow weakens the small muscles of the feet as well as the tendons, ligaments, and natural arches of the feet. Several experts agree that running barefoot can improve your feet’s biomechanics and prevent the risk of injury.
If you do decide to run barefoot, start with short runs and slowly progress to longer runs over time. This will help strengthen the supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments as well as prevent overuse injuries. I recommend starting with a 10 – 15 minute walk for the first couple exercise sessions then progressing to longer runs, which will allow your feet to adapt to the current workload. Good luck! (more…)
Jorge Cruise is currently on a 20 city tour at various Barnes and Nobles promoting his 10th book “12-Second Sequence”. As we were waiting for the discussion to begin Jorge came bursting through the doors of the Barnes and Noble in New York City, kicking of his book tour energetically, despite the frigid temperatures in the teens outside. His promotional tour is perfectly timed with the New Year as the majority of New Year’s resolutions center around health and getting in shape.
Jorge began his discussions by talking about his passion for health and wellness and spoke about his perspective on ridding the body of fat. “This does not mean having to starve ourselves or perform cardio for hours,” Jorge states. The key being to build muscle strength by fatiguing the muscles. You will not change the muscle or body composition without this key component. This compressed program touts the ability to create muscle quickly, which then directly impacts our resting metabolism (the state of our metabolism when we are well, resting) leading to more calorie burn throughout the day.
After an overview of the program, Jorge lead a sample lunge exercise from the 12-second Sequence with members of the audience spread throughout the store. The countdown to 12 began and the audience members participating confirmed feeling the burn that Jorge has spoken about. He also at this point spoke on a more personal level about growing up overweight himself and not having good role models to look up to. In this 10th book, that took 2 years to write, are pages on eating well, meal plans and an exercise tracker. In addition, the book provides a self-administered fitness test, which then leads the reader into his 12 second sequence 8-week challenge. As well as joining the 8-week challenge, readers have the opportunity to win $10,000 by signing up at www.12second.com and uploading their before and after photos. 10 winners will be selected.
Jorge ends by asking us all “Are we ready to take on the challenge?” Are you?