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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.
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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.
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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.
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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