Finding fitness, specializing in athletic health care.
|Posted on March 28, 2020 at 9:10 PM||comments (1758)|
During my sports season, I see many patients/ athletes a day. Unfortunately, even though this population is strong in many ways they are not immune to this pandemic. While this virus can be spread to anyone, athletes with asthma are at a greater risk of complication. Asthma can be common in athletes. Asthma generally presents with coughing, shortness of breath, weezing and chest tightness usually caused by inflammation in the airway. Breathing is a good thing, so severe asthma or a severe attack can be life threatening.
It is always important to remember that if you have been diagnosed by your physician, but have not recently used your inhaler or prescribed medication, you do still have asthma. These are unusual times right now, but here are some tips to stay active, healthy and out of the hospital.
- Call your physician with any questions or concerns you may have. If you need a new prescription, this may be a good time to make sure it is up to date.
- It is always best to be prepared and have a good amount of your medication on hand.
- Follow your asthma action plan. This includes avoiding triggers and knowing how to properly use your medication.
- Practice social distancing by not gathering with more than 10 people and do not go out and about unless it is necessary.
- Keep up with your regular good hygiene program. Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water. Do not touch your face. Keep some hand sanitizer on hand. Make sure to clean and disinfect your home regularly.
- Continue your home exercise program.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Follow current guidelines and precautions set by the CDC ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/asthma.html )
- Follow current guidelines and precautions set by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America ( https://community.aafa.org/blog/coronavirus-2019-ncov-flu-what-people-with-asthma-need-to-know )
|Posted on March 20, 2020 at 7:20 PM||comments (9188)|
The times they are changing! Most of us have put our regular schedule aside for the moment to take care of ourselves, our families and our communities. In the mean time it's important to keep our immune systems strong and our bodies healthy. While we are at home, we can still keep moving, take our vitamins and eat healthy foods. Take this time to sincerely enjoy your family and those closest to you. In the comments let me know how the pandemic has affected you the most. Here are some helpful tips to stay healthy this season.
|Posted on May 6, 2019 at 4:10 PM||comments (48)|
Recovery from all your daily activities keeps us ready for more activity to come. Giving us the ability to play longer and harder. This leads to a few questions. What helps our body recover daily and how do we know we are keeping up? We are not a bunch of bits and pieces, but one unit, one person. For this reason it is important to use a holistic approach to daily recovery. It boils down to refuel, rest and restore. These three things focus on our body’s physical, mental and hormonal states, making sure that the reset button has been pushed daily and that we are always ready to go.
We need to refuel our bodies to rebuild and repair after bouts of different intensities of exercise and stress. Refueling means eating meals at regular intervals that include fresh whole foods. These foods should be meeting the general guidelines for active people. This allows the body to repair itself to maintain healthy tissues and can even prevent overuse injuries. Good pre/post activity snack are also recommended as we deplete our energy stores. There is a rhyme and reason to keeping these stores full and ready to go. It does include using a smoothie (from dotFIT) that has the right blend of cals and nutrients, as well as being easy to digest and absorb. Staying properly hydrated helps the body to work better overall but also to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Do you sleep well at night? Rest is one of the most important factors in recovery and readiness. This is the best time for your brain to process and make sense of everything that has happened during your day. It can literally be like pushing the restart button for all our hormones and regulatory systems. By monitoring our sleep quality and quantity we can make sure we are not just alert, but also mentally sharp and on top of our game. There are many factors that can affect our sleep including pain, travel, or stress.
In order to restore our body, we need to take a look at how we are feeling. Are we stressed? Are we feeling pain? Are we doing things during the day to counter the physical and mental stress such as our self care plan, getting a massage, proper warm up/cool down or seeing the athletic trainer? It's easier to be proactive and have a routine.
I provide online tools to allow you to track and monitor how well you are refueling, resting and restoring your body for recovery. You can then see not only your daily recovery and readiness number, but we can also look at your trends and see if we spot any patterns that can be improved. We can see how the team is recovering as well as the individual. This can be important for athletes that travel often, athletes that are recovering from injury or athletes that are going through some big changes. Anytime you can improve your recovery and readiness, it will give you an advantage, for both you and your team. If you are interested in improving your recovery and readiness for yourself or your team, please give me a call.
|Posted on April 4, 2019 at 2:35 PM||comments (8)|
It may be a bit odd that I really don't like coffee. I grew up with the smell of it every morning. I was a Minnesota farmgirl, and we always had coffe breaks. It was best to have coffee breaks at Grandma's, becuase she would also have "a little lunch" like a brownie or some sort of a bar to snack on with the coffee. As a youngster I passed on the coffee, but delighted in the treats. Now as an adult living in Wyoming, I am just finding out about a Swedish tradition called Fika.
Fika means coffee break. To just have a delightful warm beverage and socialize with people you want to talk to is just good for the soul. So I have decided to create my own version of fika. I am learning how to make coffe, again, providing snacks of all sorts and inviting you to come. This is a great time for me to catch up with you, for you to ask me any questions. Its a good time to get recipes and food ideas from me. Gain new ideas for your coffee. Bring a friend and enjoy. I am not a coffee shop so you will have to excuse my trial and error, but I do hope to have some good recipes as well as feature some good snack places in town.
Always remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup, so follow me on Facebook to find out when the next Fika will be and what wonderful snacks will be available. You are important, and taking care of your body, mind and spirit is a necessity.
If the weather is starting to bring on some spring fever and you are interested in adding coffee to your smoothie, try this. Don't forget to post in the comments, how you like your coffee best.
An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh. ~Will Rogers
|Posted on April 4, 2019 at 2:10 PM||comments (28)|
Everyone wants to eat. Something yummy! I actually would love to know what your favorite food is? Please feel free to post it in the comments. No matter what you are eating, no one wants to feel guilty about eating. If it is something we need to do, then we should probably make it pleasurable. I find that as Americans in general, we feel the need to limit our diets and feel its not healthy if we are not eliminating something. People will try to eliminate fats, carbs, protein (depending on the fad of the day), sugar, cholestrol, meat, plants and on and on. When you eat this way you have a tendancy to stress about what you are going to eat or rather leave behind so that the guilt does not follow. Stress does play a role in our overall weight. In addition, after stressing about not eating whatever it was you left behind at some point you will go back, eat your guilty food and over eat it because you waited so long. Probably not the best solution if you are trying to make some changes.
I suggest trying to add food into your diet. Why not? Be adventurous and try something new. Add in a veggie a day. May be try a veggie you have not ever had before. Try adding in an extra glass of water a day. Try adding in one piece of fruit. obvioulsy, don't forget to add in breakfast, dinner and supper. Skipping meals has never been healthy. I personally like to snack on fruit and veggies becuase they are crunchy, quench my thirst and are yummy. One new thing a week or a day is much less irritating than not having your favorite food. By adding in breakfast or even just an extra fruit you will be on a journey that makes you feel better, crave less processed foods. If you know what foods are throwing you off track, eat smaller portions and save for a special occasion.
Need some help with ideas for meals and snacks? Click here to get inspired with recipes.
Let me know your favorite food and if you like the recipes.
|Posted on August 14, 2018 at 3:05 PM||comments (2)|
Fall sports are officially underway! It is so exciting starting fresh and getting back to the grind. But fall sports can bring some risks as well. Regardless of your athletic level, you need to make sure you are prepared. This season can bring rugby, football, soccer, golf, volleyball and others. Many outdoor sports and some indoor as well. Here is what needs to be on your list to have a healthy, strong and fun season.
1. Make sure your physical is updated with your physician. You may feel this is only for youth athletes, but getting a physical can prevent many difficulties before they are an issue and many times before you realize there may be a problem. Everything from heart issues and kidney function to diabetes. It has saved lives.
2. Drink water and stay hydrated. Regardless if you are practicing indoors or out, a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day is needed to be consumed. This is pretty general and needs to be tweaked individually by location and how much you sweat. Your best bet is to ( in addition to the 8 glasses) weigh yourself before and after each workout. Drink one cup of water for each pound lost. This will prevent dehydration during warm weather, prevent heat illness and keep your body ready the next day’s workout.
3. Know when to also drink electrolytes. Water keeps you hydrated and is very important especially if you have been in the heat or working out for less than an hour. However, if you have been working out in practice or competition for more than an hour at one time you need to replenish electrolytes. There are several drinks to choose from and each is formulated just a bit different. Some can cause stomach upset, so there could be some trial and error till you find a drink that meets your need. Or just drink what your athletic trainer is serving that day!
4. Timing of meals can be important. I am not talking about what you should eat right before competition but making sure you are refueling for the next day. By eating within an hour after your workout you can replenish your energy stores for your workout the next day. This allows you to perform with the same effort each day. In addition this also allows your body to make sure there are enough building blocks available to repair any damage (microtears) from your workout. This can prevent overuse injury.
5. 7 hours of consecutive sleep. This is an average of what most people need and for competing athletes it is very important. Having a set sleep schedule puts your body in a functioning rhythm and allows your body to reset, refresh and heal from the the day before. It helps the brain to function properly. When we get out of the proper rhythm, fatigue can set in at the most inappropriate times. This especially important for those athletes that travel long distances, across times zones or have long flights that can also cause jet lag.
I hope everyone is ready for their upcoming season. Stay healthy! Be Strong & have FUN:)
|Posted on August 1, 2018 at 12:30 AM||comments (112)|
1. Fitness assessment. This allows the both the client and the personal trainer to know where the start point is, what needs to be worked on most. Once you have a good start point, then we can more easily determine goals both short term and long term.
2. Correct dysfunctions. Corrective exercise lets us lengthen short tissue, inhibit overactive muscles, stimulate the underactive muscles and integrate the whole body to work properly as it should. Sometimes we have had a dysfunction for so long we don’t even notice it until it gets pointed out or after it becomes painful. But correcting the imbalances will prevent injury and support your goals.
3. Program designed for your goals. Every goal has its own solution. Moving more and eating less is a great philosophy to start losing weight, but think about adding specific programming to that. You would be of fire! Endurance, Strength, Hypertrophy all have seperate programming, so once you have your goals set your personal trainer can design a program that will lead you safely and effectively to your goal.
4. No plateau. Hitting a plateau can really be a tough one to go through. However, there are ways around the dreaded plateau. By using the Optimum Performance Training Method™ we can change the variables that your body quickly gets used to. By using a varied system the body will always have to change and adapt.
5. Online provides easy convenient scheduling. Scheduling is always an issue when it comes to working out. Look at your schedule, see what times will be best for you and schedule your workout! By using the programming and videos provided, you can get a professional workout anytime of the day.
6. Online provides training at a location of your choosing. I love to work with everyone, but I just can’t be everywhere. So if you are not a member where I work, this is no longer a problem. You can work out at home or any gym of your choice, with my professional programming. This can also keep drive time down.
7. Personal trainers keep you on track. By finding your starting point and having realistic goals we can keep you on track. If you are not meeting your goals we always have a solution. By monitoring your exercise programming and logged nutrition we can easily find what needs to be tweaked instead of playing the guessing game. No need to quit, because its not working!
8. Personal trainers are a great way to stay accountable. If you don’t have anyone to report to about how the program is going, it can be easy to let it slide to the back burner. By checking in and having someone you can ask your questions to, you will much more likely to stick to the program.
9. Personal Trainers are mythbusters. There is so much information out there that it can be super difficult to sift through it all, know what pertains to you, what is unimportant and mostly the information that just is not true. It's nice to have someone by your side that can keep you on the right path and keep your eye on the prize. Myths can easily help you sabotage your goals without you even knowing.
10. Personal trainers are awesome! Yup, I said it! Personal trainers are awesome. It is just always great to have someone in your corner believing you can do things that are out of your comfort level. Things you may be were not sure could be possible. You have to be dedicated and committed, but I don’t let your self doubt in for a second. You can do this, I know you can!!
|Posted on May 31, 2018 at 10:35 PM||comments (9)|
1. Improve your muscles. This is probably the same reason most people choose not to lift weights. However, this does not include bodybuilding, unless of course that is your goal. Strength training is the best way to keep and gain strength to pursue your desired activities and maintain proper muscle balance.
2. Improve your posture. Our muscles are connected to our bones to hold us upright to perform daily tasks and activities. Proper posture prevents injury as well as being aesthetic. It holds our confidence and our presence.
3. Improve your cardio. Most people do not think about lifting weights to improve their cardiovascular system. Running is not the only way to improve your cardio endurance. Change up your variables with your weight lifting program and you will see improvement.
4. Improve your flexibility. When weight training is done properly, it will move through your full range of motion, with a slight stretch at the end point. I almost always have better motion after a good workout and you should too.
5. Decrease pain. That is right! Who does not want decreased pain? Many people with pain have dysfunction due to weak muscles causing joints, muscles and other soft tissue to compensate. By increasing your strength and returning proper motion, your pain will be a thing of the past.
6. Increase bone health. Our bones need stimulation to regenerate faster than they break down. Weight training is an excellent way to do this. Weight training has been known to stop osteoporosis and in some cases even reverse it.
7. Goal setting. Having goals provides accomplishments and productive feedback. It does not matter if your are weight training for the olympics or so that you can climb the stairs without falling. Forward progress is always good. Plus if your goals are not reached on time you will know what to change, which is also positive.
8. Happy endorphins. Exercise, including weight training, can stimulate the natural chemicals in our brains that make us feel good. When you get in a funk, make time for the gym and get those happy endorphins working for you to reduce anxiety, depression and stress.
9. Happy body. When your body feels good, so do you. Things move along easier, you are less afraid of activities causing you pain or that you are unable. Feeling able and less stress lets you feel better on the inside and out.
10. Look great. While managing your nutrition is one of the best ways to manage your weight, weight training is what makes you look good. When you shed those pounds you want the muscle underneath to be strong and defined. Losing fat will create a smaller you, but losing fat and increasing your lean mass will give you that fit look you have desired.
|Posted on March 20, 2018 at 3:50 PM||comments (5)|
1. We are NOT personal trainers. I know the names sound similar, so they can be easy to mix up. Personal trainers are used to help increase fitness levels of clients. Athletic trainers are responsible for the prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries.
2. We are recognized as a medical profession by the American Medical Association & are mid-level health care providers.
3. We do more than hand out ice and water. While hydration is very important, so is the overall health and well being of each athlete. We make sure that each venue is safe and has an effective emergency plan that includes plans for the spectators as well. We also handle administrative duties such as health forms, budgets, scheduling and other tasks.
4. We work long hours. A majority of events are held during evening and weekend times. We are the first ones there to prepare the athletes and the lasts ones to go home to make sure everyone has been treated and that everything is taken care of before we leave.
5. We love our front row seats! There is no better place to cheer on our favorite teams and athletes.
6. Being an ATC requires a minimum of a masters degree. We are also required to pass a national certification and be licensed within our state ( with the exception of Alaska & California).
7. ATCs work in a variety of settings. It is the most common to see an athletic trainer in a high school, college or professional sports setting. However, now athletic trainers can also be hired to work in physician’s offices, the military, physical therapy offices, law enforcement, fine arts and theater.
8. ATCs get just as excited about game day as the athletes! We are there to feel the energy change from an empty venue to the full energy of competition with the athletes we have been working with and preparing for this competition. This is what we work for.
9. Athletic trainers are skilled in manual therapy techniques to prevent injury and recover from injury/competition.
10. We love our job. At times athletic training can be difficult work, but it is also the most rewarding job I have ever had. Athletic trainers are some of the most dedicated people you will ever meet.
|Posted on February 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM||comments (19)|
I have been seeing much chatter about the topic of icing injury lately. Being an athletic trainer for several years, I am probably pro icing as well as the whole R.I.C.E. principle. I have blogged about R.I.C.E. in the past for acute care. But of all the things I have seen, I will always remember being a student athletic trainer at the high school level. One of the boys basketball athletes had a moderate ankle sprain. Our protocol was R.I.C.E., but as I have his swollen ankle elevated and activated the Cryocuff, the coach comes in and tells this athlete to “put a warm sock on it and walk it off!” All I could think at the time was “Man is he off his rocker! Good thing the trained ATs are here!”
So am I (or you) practicing evidence based medicine? Was the coach off his rocker or smarter than the medical professionals I learned from? Here’s the scoop!
I first learned of the inflammation process (and the histology of it) in college. Every place I have ever studied, has emphasized to enhance the body’s own healing process, create a positive environment for your body to heal itself. Inflammation is the first response your body produces when something is wrong and healing needs to begin. It is generally marked by redness, swelling and pain. It has two main purposes 1) to tell you to stop (so you do not cause any further damage and inflammation) and 2) to send healing chemicals your body needs to begin repair. No one wants to stop this process, nor can we.
Cryotherapy is a modality of cooling the body using various forms of water ( and ice). It causes vasoconstriction as well as acts as an analgesic. Just like any other modality, it is best to understand how it works as well as indications vs contraindications. Using different forms requires different variables. Different forms can consist of an icebath, real ice vs chemical ice or a machine like the Game Ready or Cryocuff. Timing of each will depend on the body part being treated, the stage of the injury and the form of cryotherapy being used.
I have not personally seen any athlete directly harmed from this modality, but you do need to be cautious as I have heard of athletes that have had cold placed over superficial nerves. That is not really a good idea. I have also heard of cases where tissue damage was avoided due to the use of cold modalities.
Ice is not a cure and does not prevent injury. It reduces symptoms so that we can break the pain/swelling cycle and move forward in the therapy and healing process. I don’t doubt that ice can be overused in a busy athletic training room, but we all know that the inflammation will not resolve until the source of the inflammation is removed regardless if it is trauma, allergy or poor mechanics.
Use ice as needed to relieve the symptoms of inflammation. I was not able to find any modality that stops the inflammation process and I do feel that managing a situation to relieve pain or excessive swelling is treating an injury responsibly. While the body is amazing, we do need to be responsible and not let inflammation get into small extremities/digits due to gravity, enhancing further soft tissue damage. When treating an injury or working on increasing your performance do not be afraid to find the science of that particular modality. See what the research says. Most modalities need to be used responsibly and as a tool to assist recovery. These modalities on their own or not within the specified parameters for the timing and injury type will not be as productive. Balance is always necessary.