Tag Archives: injury prevention

Fit in 5: Best Exercises for a Lower Body Injury

By Pamela Hernandez

Whether it comes from a workout or simply stepping off the curb the wrong way, a lower body injury is bound to occur at some point or another in our athletic lives. Injury, of any kind, can be extremely frustrating. Some injuries can be mild, like an ankle sprain, and simply require a few days of rest. Others, like a broken foot, can mean weeks off your feet.

Our bodies feel the effects of not working out very quickly. While your body does need extra nutrients to heal, it’s often not as many as you burn with your workout. Energy goes down and we can feel more “jiggly” and less strong. When we’re sidelined we can also feel the effects mentally, not only losing the post workout endorphin rush but also a part of our routine and identity.

The good news is, unless specifically forbidden by your doctor, there are exercises and activities you can do to keep working without aggravating conditions such as plantar fasciitis or a sprained ankle. The following exercises are my top picks for those fighting a lower body injury. Just remember, when healing especially, rest is important, too. Take your intensity and frequency down a bit until your body is ready to take on more. (more…)

Zumba-Related Injuries on the Rise

Have you jumped on the Zumba train yet? If so, we wouldn’t be surprised as it was named the world’s largest branded fitness program earlier this year. But if this dance craze is your favorite way to shed pounds and chisel a sexy figure, you may want to  be cautious with your next step as doctors have recently been reporting a growing number of Zumba-related injuries.

According to a recent report from TODAY, neurologist and Consumer Reports medical advisor, Dr. Orly Avitzur, has been seeing a number of injuries related to Zumba, ranging from ankle sprains, shin splints, and heel spurs to plantar fasciitis, hip bursitis, muscle strings and even knee problems that require surgery.

Zumba started off as a few dance classes offered by owner Alberto Perez, and quickly blossomed into a fitness empire. What began as a small business in Cali, Columbia is now a worldwide dancing sensation that boasts fun, Latin-inspired aerobic classes for the purpose of getting in shape and having fun at the same time. (more…)

The Pros and Cons of a Beach Workout

Swimsuit season is in full effect. Across the country people have been hitting the gym to make sure their body is ready for one-pieces, two-pieces and maybe even no-pieces. If you’re tired of the gym, and have access, consider a workout on the beach. Like any workout, there are advantages and disadvantages. So before you dig your heels in to the sand, be sure you know how to get the best and safest workout at the beach.

I talked to Holly Perkins, a renowned fitness expert and New Balance Fitness Ambassador, about the pros and cons of working out at the beach. She gave me a great list of benefits someone can get while working out at the beach.

Beach Workout Pros

3 Yoga Rules Worth Keeping

Yoga styles are like snowflakes; there are no two exactly alike. While there may be major differences in every style, there are common rules for every yoga practice that are worth adhering to.

Put the following yoga rules at the top of your must-not-break list for all styles of yoga to ensure you’ll gain more enjoyment from your practice.

Rule #1 – honor your real limits

This is a tricky rule, because there are clearly two types of limits: Self-imposed limits and real limits. Self-imposed limits are those that we cling to when we are most likely afraid, unmotivated, or disinterested in improving. An example of a self-imposed limit is thinking you are completely unable to get better at yoga because you are too stiff. These types of limits can be broken, and yoga helps us do that. (more…)

Bed Top Yoga DVD Makes Yoga Accessible to Those With Physical Limitations

Krishnamacharya, a classic Indian yoga teacher, used to say, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” So basically, as long as one is alive and breathing, a yoga practice is possible. Of course, it depends on the style and intensity of yoga, but the fact is that anyone can practice some type of yoga, as long as they can breathe.

Carol Dickman, a professional yoga teacher who holds several certifications, and who has shared her expertise on the TODAY Show, CNN, Fox News, and in places like the NBC corporate headquarters, has developed a video series to address and teach yoga to those with physical limitations that would otherwise be seemingly viewed as too disabling to do yoga.

Bed Top Yoga, Chair/Seated Yoga, and Balance Basics and Beyond are three of Dickman’s DVDs designed to bring relief to those with issues ranging from mild to severe. Recommended as resources for healthy living by Arthritis Today Magazine, Weight Watchers Magazine, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Muscular Dystrophy Association, The National Amputee Coalition, The National Fibromyalgia Association, Dr. Andrew Weil, and hospice workers, these DVDs are built to suit those needing extreme modifications and gentle care.

In Bed Top Yoga, one can practice simple yet effective stretches and yoga poses on the bed, or on the floor. Bed Top Yoga is an ideal 33 minutes in length and closes with a sleep enhancing relaxation. It is more than appropriate for seniors, the physically challenged, or those with a visual impairment.

Yoga Journal calls Bed Top Yoga an intelligent and useful presentation with, “a cult following of former insomniacs,” also quoting that, “Dickman has a reassuring style, appropriate for an audience that might be reluctant to exercise because of injury, disability, or age.”

And so it goes, yoga’s health benefits can touch just about anyone. All someone needs is the ability to bring fresh air into their lungs and a willingness to give yoga a try.

Also Read:

Yoga for a Great Night’s Sleep

Sleep and Relax to Prevent Diabetes

Yoga for Arthritis 

Yoga Helps Bicyclists Get a Leg Up on Speed and Recovery

Super active quadriceps, strong hamstrings and monster gluteal muscles are what propel a road bike across pavement. Just take a look at the lower bodies of famed cyclists such as Lance Armstrong or Cadel Evans and you will see some serious power pent up in their legs. In professional racers, the contractibility of muscle fibers is beyond efficient, and the speed at which they fly up steep grades is unimaginable.

While we may not boast the title of ‘Tour de France winner,’ we can still enjoy trying our best in a local bike race or just having fun while riding along our neighborhood bike path. Either way, nursing our well-used legs is of great importance. Post ride or race, ice and massage are crucial for speed of recovery, and so is yoga.

The following yoga poses are superbly beneficial to anyone who enjoys spending time in the saddle, i.e. the bicycle seat.

Runner’s Lunge

You might as well call this ‘cyclist’s lunge,’ as it is helpful for runners and riders alike. With the front knee directly over the ankle and the back leg stretched as far back as possible (toes on the ground) the psoas muscle receives a lovely stretch for restoration of length and suppleness. In cycling, the psoas muscle is responsible for bringing the knee forward at the top of the pedal stroke, as well as keeping the pelvis stable while pedaling. (more…)

Best Foods to Eat to Stop Exercise Pain Before it Starts

By Gale Tern

One of the best ways to lose weight and feel better is through exercise. Science tells us that regular exercise makes us healthier and increases our feelings of well-being. The release of chemicals within our bodies called endorphins is what induces that good feeling and even reduces our perception of pain. However, exercise sometimes comes with the price of soreness, aches and pain. But minor aches and pains should not prevent you from getting your workout on.

Here are some things you can do to prevent injury and the hurt that sometimes comes with exercise.  

Before Workout

1. Drink plenty of purified water throughout the day before you start exercising. This will hydrate your body and reduce cramping and soreness during and after your routine.

2. Consume anti-inflammatory herbs and nutrients such as tart cherry juice, ginger, vitamin C, and turmeric. Try drinking 8 ounces of tart cherry juice before you exercise. You can dilute it with water if it is too tart. In addition, you can add anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger powder and turmeric to your favorite fish and chicken dishes.

3. Stay away from alcoholic beverages before you exercise. They can dehydrate you and lead to cramps and soreness.

4. Add one teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate not baking powder) to 8 ounces of water. Drink this mixture on an empty stomach at least one hour prior to exercise. Sports scientists learned several years ago that baking soda taken before athletic performances not only increased performance but reduced soreness and cramping afterwards. That’s because baking soda reduces lactic acid build-up in our muscles. (more…)

Yoga Hits a Home Run With Baseball Players

Evan Longoria used yoga to rehab his left foot

Major League baseball players are coining the phrase “flexibility is the new strength” and adding yoga, stretching, and Pilates to their off season and spring training regimes. Baseball manager Joe Maddon said in 2007, when yoga was first introduced as an official part of the training program, that he expected yoga and stretching to soon be as mainstream as weight lifting for strength, and his assumption is now a reality.

The Devil Rays’ third basemen Evan Longoria is one player who first took yoga seriously as a way to find a little peace and contentment through the stressful baseball season. Needing to rehab his left foot, Longoria focused on functional movements and stability therapy, adding that doing yoga in a hot room for over an hour was no easy task, but also provided many benefits beyond peace of mind.

Many other baseball players have followed the lead of Longoria and used yoga or Pilates as part of their offseason training. Jimmy Rollins practiced yoga following an injury and went on to playing 142 more games after making a strong comeback. Jim Thome practiced both yoga and Pilates to better prepare his 41-year-old body for playing first base, and Alex Rodriquez, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson have also reportedly added more flexibility to their training.

(more…)

Learn the Lingo: Common Runner’s Injuries Defined

Just like any hobby or interest, there’s a certain jargon to accompany and running is no exception. We speak in a foreign language at times. Runners will talk of BQs and PRs. We’ll discuss pronation, tempo pace, or Gu. Perhaps one of the oddest topics to dissect is when runners speak of their injuries. They may refer to their IT band or their need to go home and R.I.C.E.

We runners all can share a war story of an injury as the sport can demand a lot from the body. Next time you catch a runner slip into an obsolete vernacular about running injuries, here’s a heads up as to what they’re probably taking about.

Below is a list of some of the most common runner’s injuries. There seems to be an overarching theme behind the cause of most runner’s injuries: over-use, improper footwear, or lack of stretching.

1. Shin Splints
Shin splints are typically felt as a pain on the inside of the shin. Most splints are caused by a biomechanical flaw in one’s running gait, however many times a proper fitted shoe can correct those flaws. Other major culprits in the cause of shin splints is over training or overuse and tight calf muscles in need of stretching

2. Plantar Fasciitis
Often runners will refer to the annoying pain in their foot as PF. PF is a pain in the middle of the foot arch. Again, tight calf muscles are partly to blame. Other causes are an abnormal motion of the foot called excessive pronation. In long distance running the foot should strike the ground on the heel and roll forward to the toes and finally inward to the arch. If the arch dips too low excessive pronation is taking place and easily going to stress that tendon causing PF.

(more…)

Yoga Doesn’t Have to Wreck Your Body

A recent article published by the New York Times suggested the many ways yoga can wreck your body. While this is true, it is important to understand that injuries can be avoided. Without knowing much about yoga, especially the myriad ways yoga is practiced in our modern day society, one might read that article and take it as a reason to toss out their New Year’s resolution of trying a yoga class for the first time. But the reality is, yoga doesn’t do the body wrecking, you do, and it happens when you neither honor your limits nor trust in your abilities. Having a qualified yoga teacher also helps prevent needless wrecking and wrenching of our fragile bodies, but ultimately, we are our best teachers.

The bottom line is that with any type of physical activity we all must trust ourselves, our own inner teacher. There are times when it is appropriate to dig in a little deeper to move past self imposed limitations of movement, and there are times when it is completely acceptable to bow out of a pose or an exercise if it hurts. Also, no two styles of yoga are exactly the same. It is best to find one that fits your body type, rather than try to fit your body into a style that does not suit you.

While some yoga poses will be extremely inappropriate for you, some yoga poses are necessary to counter other poses in an effort to avoid muscle imbalance and instability. A qualified instructor will lead you in such a way that you have no choice but to listen to your body’s needs. You will know when too much is too much, and you will understand why some poses are needed to keep you aligned.

(more…)