Archive for August, 2009

OH SH**……That Feels Good!!!!

August 30, 2009

Recent studies have concluded that the more aggressively you express yourself verbally while going through discomfort, the easier it is to withstand it.

During an experiment that was being held at Keele University in the U.K. by psychologist Richard Stephens, students held one hand in a bucket of ice water for as long as they could – a common test for pain tolerance. While their hands were in the water, they were told to say curse words. The most common words used were “f-ck” and “sh-t”. They then put the other hand in and used words such as “brown” and “square”.

Men were able to leave their hands in an average of 30% longer when swearing and women 44% longer.

Stephens notes that some experiments have linked pain tolerance and aggression. So if cursing increases aggression it may also alleviate hurt.

So next time you have one more interval to do on the track that you just can’t get through or one more rep to push out beyond fatigue. Let it all out!

On second thought you may want to look around first before you offend anyone close by.

Soggy Vegetables…..Should I??

August 27, 2009

A couple of days ago I picked up lunch for my partner (Marcia) and I. We try to eat right so I brought home some steamed vegetables over chicken and rice. Normally this is a very tasty meal. This time the veggies were soggy from being overcooked. We discussed what affect this might have on their nutritional value. So I began digging.

As it turns out, just like with exercise, a little is better than none at all. Vegetables benefit you no matter how they are prepared. Don’t get me wrong, the best situation is that you steam them and eat them crisp.

It is true that some nutrients are lost due to being overexposed to heat or water. This includes loss of minerals such as potassium and sodium. Also water soluble vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin C are reduced.

But it’s not all bad news. According to David Haytowitz of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory vegetables also contain protein, fiber and carbohydrates that are not harmed by overcooking.

So do as your Mother told you and EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, no matter how crisp or soggy they may be.

Running Uphill Vs Downhill- Today’s Workout

August 23, 2009

This morning my workout partner and I ran South Mountain. We did this in preparation for the Jerome Hill Climb which is going to be held in a couple of weeks. As you can guess both of these are steep up hill (all the way) runs. Although I was pleased with my conditioning and the time it took us to complete this run, there was one aspect that really stood out, and surprised me. While we were running the hills of the first half my legs were able to kick into gear and I was able to advance much quicker than my running mate. Anytime we leveled off and the grade changed (including the 2nd half which is all downhill) he was far and away the stronger runner. Now I realize that we use different muscles going up than we do going down. But I can’t imagine that my quads were that much weaker for him to just blow right past me, when, while we were going up I was able to do the same to him. As a trainer I know that I can manipulate my muscle groups so that I can increase my strength in one area over the other. But I’m curious, have you experienced this as well? What have you done to equalize the strength in your legs? Did you change the way you ran the downhill? Was your technique different?

Correct Posture

August 21, 2009

Recently during a training session I was asked to instruct on correct posture. I was a little taken back initially because I thought this was an automatic thing that we just did. But it’s true, as humans we struggle with this. If you observe people in public you’ll see a lot of slouched shoulders, slumped backs and on the other side of it most people at their desks tend to be either slouched or in a constant shrugging form with their shoulders. No wonder we hold so much stress in this part of our bodies. So in brief I would like to give you the rules of sitting and standing properly. How to sit properly

  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.
  • Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
  • Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
  • Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
  • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
  • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
  • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

How to stand properly

  • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.
  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
  • Tuck your stomach in.
  • Keep your head level. Your ears should be in line with your shoulders and your hips. All in one straight line. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who is struggling with the proper alignment of their body. Their chiropracter will appreciate  the help…..or maybe not.

Stretching…..Do You???

August 15, 2009

This week I had a conversation with a fellow that I have been training for several years. In the past year he has stepped up his running and in fact is going to join our team for next year’s Ragnar Relay. I was taken back when he told me that he didn’t stretch after his runs. After some thought I realized that this was actually pretty common. Stretching after running should be as automatic as running itself. Not having enough time is not a good enough reason to not stretch. After all it really doesn’t have to take any more than 3 to 4 minutes to complete. After running I religiously put my knees through their full range of motion by doing 10 squats then do a standing quad stretch for 30 seconds each. After this, what is left is to stretch my hamstrings, again for 30 seconds each. This really assists in stopping a lot of the soreness that I would feel had I not gone through this routine. What do you do after running? Do you have a different routine that you follow? What can you share with the rest of us to assist in our recovery?

Water???….Why not??

August 8, 2009

Although most of us are drinking a lot of water these days, it amazes me how there still are those who just won’t let go of their sugar-laden, artificially flavored drinks. I’m not completely guilt-free of this. After working in the gym all day and drinking nothing but water throughout the day, I enjoy having someting with flavor to it as well. I spoke to a group of car salesman this week about how to take care of themselves while having to work outside. This past July was recorded as our hottest yet. At one point in the discussion I found myself in a confrontation with a fellow who would just not let go of the idea that it was ok to drink several energy drinks during his day. We all have a right to put in us whatever we want. And let it be known that I completely respect his right to do this as well. Know this. Nothing absorbs and then hydrates us as quickly as water. This does include sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade. Sports drinks which include electrolytes are meant for endurance athletes that are working out for an hour or more at a high intensity. If you’re not this active then back to basics – water is your friend!!