Tag Archives: swimming

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…)

Olympic Swimmer Dana Vollmer Cuts Gluten and Wins Gold

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer made history this week when she won Olympic gold in the 100-meter butterfly and set a new world record with a time of 55.98 seconds. While this achievement was a huge breakthrough for the swimmer, it wouldn’t have been possible without a major diet modification she made just last year: Going gluten free.

As reported by CNN, Vollmer always had something holding her back from her goals, be it a heart condition, ACL or shoulder injury, or chronic back pain. But another obstacle the swimmer was facing was frequent debilitating stomach aches, which, coupled with her other conditions, inevitably led to her failed effort to qualify for the Olympic trials four years ago.

Vollmer and her doctors weren’t able to identify the cause of the stomach aches as they continued to grow worse and even resulted in multiple trips to the emergency room. And because Vollmer had already received so much care for her other conditions, she tried to ignore the symptoms and rarely shared how much pain she was actually enduring. “I’d always had either knee or shoulder problems,” she said, “so I didn’t want to say ‘Oh, I have a tummy ache today.'” (more…)

Kami Craig’s Olympic Training and Diet Make Her “Feel Explosive” in the Water

There’s no doubt that Kami Craig was a born water baby. Swimming by age 4 and playing water polo by age 12, she’s now headed to London to compete on a global stage as part of the USA Water Polo Olympic Team. The California native joined the team in 2011 after graduating as a leader on the USC Trojans water polo team in 2010.

It’s no doubt Kami plays on a team with 13 girls, not only was she born to swim but she was born to be a team player. Her USA Water Polo biography explains that she loves water polo because it’s a team sport, where she “loves being apart of a team and getting to hangout with 13 of her friends everyday.”

Kami and her 12 friends/teammates are headed to 2012 London Olympic Games to score more medal. She was part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games that won silver. With her healthy diet focused on fresh produce and lean protein, rigorous training schedule for six days a week, and team-focused attitude, we have to believe she’ll help bring home a gold for the U.S.

Learn more about this star of the USA Water Polo Olympic Team in our interview! (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

US Olympic Swimmer Natalie Coughlin Talks Health and Fitness

Natalie Coughlin is one to watch in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Natalie is on the US Women’s Olympic Swimming team. At the ripe age of 22-years-old, Natalie won five medals in 2004 in the Athens Summer Olympics. It was her first time participating in the Olympics and won a gold medal in the 100m Backstroke and 4x200m Freestyle Relay, silver medal in the 4×100 Freestyle Relay and 4x100m Medley Relay, and bronze medal in the 100m Freestyle. In 2008, she won six more medals to add to her collection. Already having 11 medals under her swimsuit she is determined to win more medals in London this summer.

In addition to swimming, Coughlin is focused on her health, the environment, and as a philanthropist, Natalie says health and nutrition go hand in hand. She keeps up with her fitness outside of the pool and eats healthy to maintain a well balanced diet. She embraces the green lifestyle, so much so that she has a garden in her backyard where she grows her own fruits and vegetables. She was recently introduced to Michelle Obama during a Let’s Move presentation, which is one of the charities she works with. She has also made donations to Right to Play through the Hearts of Gold program. It’s great to see athletes give back to the community.

Natalie is keeping a busy schedule preparing for the summer Olympics and all the other activities in her life. We are glad that she took some time out from her busy schedule to give us an interview!

Q: What does your calorie intake look like during training? In 2008 we heard that Phelps consumed something like 12,000 calories! 

A: I have no idea what my calorie intake is… I do my best to listen to my body and change the amount accordingly. During big lifting phases and competitions I tend to eat more, during lighter training phases I eat less. (more…)

Stand Up Paddling is the Latest Fitness Craze with Serious Benefits

Stand up paddling (SUP) or “Yoloing” is the perfect combination of traditional canoeing, surfing and kayaking, but even better. Stand up paddling offers an incredible core workout with a cadence much like swimming or cycling. Yolo Boards, founded by Tom Losee and Jeff Archer in 2006 in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, is the custom paddleboard of choice. “Yolo” stands for “You Only Live Once”, and when you first try stand up paddling in a lake, ocean, or bay, this name makes perfect sense.

People of any age, from 5 to 85, can do this. While traditional surfboards are 20 inches in width, stand up paddleboards are 32 inches wide. You can learn by starting on your knees and go from there. What is truly great is that it is something the entire family can do together.

Here are 3 new fitness trends in Stand Up Paddling:

1. Stand Up Fitness and Paddle Fit founder Brody Welte, says, “SUP” is one of the greatest forms of exercise that exists. It focuses on upper and lower body and core strength. It is as challenging as running, swimming and biking from a cardio perspective. It has virtually zero impact, is gentle on the body, and improves your balance as well.” SUP is an exercise like no other. Getting out on the water gives you a true serenity, challenge and good time.

2. Stand Up Paddle Yoga is becoming a top yoga trend as well. When I asked Stand Up Paddle Yoga Instructor Gillian Gibree why she thinks this is becoming so popular, she told me, “Stand Up Paddle Yoga takes the workout out of the studio and into nature. Doing a true sun salutation on a floating mat on the water is so refreshing and meditative. Yoga and SUP are two amazing practices that are great for the body, mind, and spirit!”

3. Racing in Stand Up Paddle is becoming a sport as well. You can find the latest information for races around the United States on at SupEvent.com and iTunes.

For more information, you can also see Brody’s innovative Paddle Fit digital guide launched last year, which gives step-by-step digital instruction on getting fit while stand up paddling. He has also launched an entire Paddle Fit certificationof classes, held in different areas of the country. For your next vacation, see if your resort offers SUP like Sandestin and 30A in NW Florida.

Alison Lewis is a nationally known Cookbook Author, Magazine and Internet Food, Travel, Fitness and Health Journalist, Speaker, Travel and Food Photographer and Owner of Ingredients, Inc., a Media Consulting company in Birmingham, Alabama who is on Facebook and Twitter.

Swimming Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

A recently published study of 43 older men and women shows that swimming a few times a week lowered their systolic blood pressure. On average, systolic readings—the “top” number in a blood pressure reading—were 131 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Three months later, it was 122 mm Hg.Swimming Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

Normal blood pressure is defined as an average reading no higher than 120/80 mm Hg. Readings of 140/90 or higher are considered high blood pressure, and anything in between is considered “pre-hypertension.”

Swimming is often promoted as a good way for older adults to exercise. It also offers them the ability to work their body without harsh impact to their skeletal system.

When the body is submerged in water it automatically becomes lighter. Depending on how much of the body is submerged, the amount of weight the body bears can be reduced by as much as 90 percent.

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Stay in Shape While Recovering From an Injury

By Elizabeth Magill

Dealing with an injury that requires rest–no matter for how long–can seem like an eternity.  If you’re fitness-conscious as well, you’ll be concerned about staying in shape during your recovery. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations you can do it by focusing on strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance during your downtime.

Here are 10 tips to help you stay fit while recovering.

1. Start with R.I.C.E.

If your injury is sports-related, a sprain, strain, knee injury, fracture, dislocation, or an injury of the Achilles tendon, treatment should begin with the R.I.C.E. method, an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation. R.I.C.E helps to reduce swelling and relieve pain, especially during the early phase of the injury. The R.I.C.E. treatment also helps your injury heal faster, enabling you to get back to your previous fitness regime more quickly.

2. Communicate with your doctor

Whatever exercise you do, do it under your doctor’s supervision. Your physician will keep you apprised of what you’re ready for, and what you need to hold off on, so that you don’t re-injure yourself.

3. Listen to your body

In addition to listening to your doctor, listen to your body. It will let you know when you’re exercising too much or pushing too hard. Overdoing it can hinder your ability to stay in shape while recovering from an injury. (more…)

Yoga for Triathletes

Swimming, biking and running for short or long distances requires a tremendous amount of strength, endurance and mental stamina. While a triathlon-specific training regime is necessary in developing staying power, a yoga program will also physically and mentally help take you to the finish line.

Power for the Swim

Stretching is definitely crucial to counter balance the muscle tightening actions of triathlon training, however stretching against a light resistance (as in yoga) will not only lengthen your muscles, it will improve the contractibility of your muscle fibers. This means your muscles will have the range of motion and power required to propel your body through the water. Practice the following stretch for up to one minute, five times a day.

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Low Impact Exercise Doesn’t Have to Mean a Low Intensity Workout

For most, impact exercise is a good thing. The more force you apply to your bones, the stronger they become. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population is physically falling apart due to being sedentary, overweight, and all around just plain horrible to ourselves.

To be fair, many have legitimate joint and bone injuries, or are recovering from surgeries that also require them to stick to low and no impact modes of exercises. There is no shame in that. Low or no impact doesn’t have to mean taking it easy- it just means working out differently. You can get just as intense of a workout while still being mindful of your limitations.

Low Impact Cardio

To determine if something is high impact, ask yourself if your feet leave the floor, and how hard they come back in contact with it. Your bones and joints are required to absorb the shock, and the impact of this can be too much for many.

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