Archive for December, 2009

No Pain, No Gain (Sport or Life)???

December 27, 2009

The average life (playing) span of an NFL player is barely 3 years. Oh sure you hear about the Jerry Rice’s or Brett Favre’s of the world who play into and past their 40’s but for every one of these players there are dozens behind them that are forced off the field by career and quite frankly life altering injuries.

Dave Pear was recently highlighted in an article on The article tells the tale of a man that after 5 years of playing in the NFL is left disabled and forgotten. This former, Pro Bowl defensive lineman who assisted the Oakland Raiders in winning a Super Bowl is now 56. He struggles with walking and suffers from vertigo and memory loss. Dave is unable to work and only after many lawsuits against the NFL he is now collecting only $40,000 per year for his disabilities. Not enough to support his family.

Dave is not alone. In Bill Romanowski’s  book ROMO, Bill includes an “Injury List” at the back. This list is 8 ½ pages long and includes 10 concussions in 15 years.

Not many sports are free from their dangers. Muhammad Ali the “Greatest” boxer of all time is now a shuffling shell of his former self.

The center that I work out of is also an Outpatient Orthopedic Rehab clinic. On any given day you can find High School kids being treated for a variety of injuries that have occurred on the playing field. These sports include baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer and yes football.

Many questions can be asked. But when your son or daughter approach you and ask you about getting involved with their favorite sport. To what extent will drive them to choose the game of sport or the game of life?

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Muscle Recovery

December 20, 2009

People who are new to working out often ask why they can’t exercise the same muscles everyday. In brief this is what I tell them.

First off for a true workout to be successful you want to exercise to the point that your muscles are tired. Sometimes they’ll even hurt a little. When you fatigue your muscles in this way you are making them feel something that their not use to. (Physiologically you are breaking them down)

Since they haven’t felt this before, their reaction to this action is to ready itself in case it happens again. In effect their saying “Holy cow we better get ready before THAT happens again!”

Blood pours into the area that has just been exercised, tissues are being mended and your muscle is being repaired. But this time even tougher and stronger.

True muscle growth happens during this period of recovery. The process can take up to 24 – 36 hours immediately after you stop exercising.

If you are going to train the same body part two days in a row you are not giving the muscle its chance to repair and then truly change. You won’t be giving your muscle a chance to come out of fatigue.

Now keep in mind I never said that you shouldn’t exercise everyday. I’m just pointing out why you want to work on different aspects of your fitness each day.

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Does Higher Oil Prices = Better Fitness?

December 15, 2009

I’m about to end my first trip to a European country. The one thing that strikes me is the presence of the bicycle traffic. Now mind you I’m here in December, in Berlin. During this trip the temperatures have not risen out of the 30’s. Yet there are many people on their bikes pedaling away every day of the week. Bicycles seem to be much more prevalent here than in the U.S.

Gas prices have always been higher in Europe than what we’re used to paying. In fact it took gas prices to go to $4 in the U.S. for there to be a shift from the giant SUV’s to the Smart Cars and other more efficient vehicles that have been a part of Europe for a long time.

But would higher gas prices also turn our country towards the bicycle as well? Could this be the subtle fix we need to turn some of our normally pudgy, sedentary fellow Americans into…dare I say it Cardio King & Queens?

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Book Recommendation

December 13, 2009

I want to recommend a book to you. I’m on holiday right now. And as with most times that I take off, I use this time to catch up with my reading. Being away gives me a chance to put in some focused book time away from the distractions of my daily life.

The book I want you to check out is called Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D.

This book discusses that since most of us will reach our 80’s and quite possibly our 90’s we have a choice in the way we live. Will we be crouched over our walkers grumbling at everyone that passes by or will we enjoy this time of our lives with vim and vigor?

We all have choices to make. In this book Dr Lodge says “Aging is up to nature, but decay is up to you.”

The book outlines a plan so that we can all successfully enter that last third of our lives. No matter where you are on the health & fitness continuum I encourage you to give this book a read.

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Are You Ready To Set Your Goals?

December 5, 2009

January 1st is right around the corner. Ah, the time for resolutions, goal setting looking ahead to the New Year.

Last year when I awoke on the 1st day of 2009. My partner turned to me and one of the first things she said was, “What are your goals for the year?” I thought for a quick moment and told her what my plan was.

Well as it turns out, although I attained most of what I had set out to do, I really didn’t complete it. And had I really thought it out, I would have known then that it just was mathematically impossible.

Do you do that? Set a goal without putting much thought behind it and then come short of completion.

So before that golden day comes up I want you to put some real thought behind what you want to do in the next year.

Remember your goal(s) should be S.M.A.R.T

S-   pecific

M – easurable

A – ttainable

R – elevant

T – ime bound

Write your goals out. Put them on or near your desk so that you can see them and reevaluate when necessary.

You are the captain of your ship. In the coming year, will you drift? Or will you plot out a course that will enable you to move ahead?

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