Fitness News & Views
A Publication of Graham Fitness
April 15, 2017
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

Here's Your Newsletter Quiz for April.
You'll Find All the Answers in the Newsletter.
  1. Dark chocolate makes a good snack for quick energy.
    • True
    • False
  2. When running outside, which of the following is not a good rule to follow?
    • Run with the traffic.
    • Wear reflective clothing if it's dark or getting dark
    • Don't wear headphones when running on roads.
    • Be courteous. Nod or wave to other runners.
  3. According to data compiled by the Cooper Institute in Dallas, running one hour increases a person's life span by:
    • 10 hours up to a maximum of 8 years.
    • 5 hours up to a maximum of 6 years.
    • 20 hours up to a maximum of 7 years.
    • 7 hours up to a maximum of 3 years.
  4. If you are a slow runner and running on a track with others, you should run on the inside lane so others can pass you easily.
    • True
    • False
  5. Which exercise increases your aerobic fitness best?
    • Running
    • Rowing
    • Bicycling
    • Swimming
  6. Most sports medicine specialists recommend working through minor injuries if the pain is less than 7 on a scale of 10.
    • True
    • False
  7. Planks are hard on the back, so people who are prone to back pain should avoid them.
    • True
    • False
         As you know if you read last month's newsletter, I had a skiing accident on February 27th that left me with three fractures - an ankle, a rib, and a lumbar vertebra. I also banged up my right shoulder which was the most painful of the injuries. So here's an update on how things are progressing.
            I'm no longer wearing a boot to protect my ankle or a back brace. Don't tell my doctor, but I never wore them. I began my own rehab about two weeks after the accident, and I'm now able to lift the same weights I was lifting prior to it. I'm able to do all of the lifting exercises I was doing before. I can't run yet which is the most frustrating thing, but I can get in 30 minutes of cardio every day on a stationary bicycle. It burns a few calories and works up a pretty good sweat, but it's just not the same as running. Hopefully, I'll be running again in a couple of weeks.
            All I can say is, "Thank you, Lord." All of the fractures were obviously minor and are healing very well. The shoulder doesn't bother me anymore, and I haven't been in any pain to speak of since the first week after the fall. I don't advise my treatment plan for anyone else, but I do think staying active is about the best thing you can do for most minor injuries.
         Many of you commented on my report in the last newsletter, and I thank you all for your concern. Mostly I thank God for keeping me from an injury that could have been debilitating.
 

      Spring is here, and the weather is perfect for running. So if you are a runner, it's time to get off the treadmill and take it outside. When you do though, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Run against the traffic. Generally, it's better to run in parks or forests with trails, but if you do run on streets, you should run facing the traffic, and keep a sharp eye on oncoming vehicles.
  • If you are running before dawn or after dark, always wear light colored clothes and some kind of reflector. Reflectors on shoes or shirts are better than nothing, but your best bet is a reflector vest.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. That means you should not wear headphones or ear plugs if you are running on streets, because you can't hear the traffic.
  • If you are running on a trail and you encounter another runner, give him or her a nod or a wave. It shows camaraderie and it's just common courtesy. If it's an area with a lot of runners, you can disregard this ritual. It becomes tedious for everyone.
  • If you are a slow runner, and you are on a track where several others are also running, stay in one of the outside lanes.
  • Finally, if you are in a race, line up at the start according to the pace you expect to run. If you are an 8-minute miler, you would line up about the middle of the pack. It's a matter of courtesy to the other runners and safety to you.

            
           Sometimes during the course of the day, we need more energy. Let's look at some foods that will help give you a much needed boost when you're feeling a bit wilted. These are also great post-workout snacks.
            Peanut butter is a quick and easy snack. Two or three hefty spoonfuls will fill you up, provide a significant helping of protein, and boost energy levels. In addition, it has healthy omega-3 fats. If you really want a tasty treat that will give you a double whammy of energy, spread peanut butter on a banana which is packed with nutrients like potassium and B vitamins.
            Nuts are a great source of magnesium and protein. Often when we are feeling sluggish, it's because we are deficient in magnesium. Almost all nuts are good, but almonds and walnuts are probably the best.
            To start your day on the right foot, have an egg for breakfast. One egg provides six grams of protein as well as Vitamins B2, B12, and A. For a quick burst of energy during the day, a hard-boiled egg makes a great snack.
            Salmon contains essential omega-3 fatty acids which your body can't make on its own and which you must obtain from food. It's also rich in protein. Make it a part of your diet by adding one or two servings a week.
            Hummus is made up mostly of garbanzo beans so it is full of energy enhancing protein and fiber. Besides being healthy, it's also filling
            My favorite energy snack is dark chocolate. Yes, dark chocolate is healthy, and since it has caffeine, it provides a potent punch of energy when needed. Plus, it's a rich source of phytochemicals like you get from fruits and vegetables.
            These are a few ideas for quick and easy snacks to keep you moving full-speed ahead all day long.

        I rarely reprint news stories in this newsletter, but here's one I ran across a few days ago compliments of WLTX.com:     
       News 19 first introduced you to Kendra Miles back in February. That's when she held the state 5k record for 7-year old females. Saturday morning (April 8) in the Day Break 5k, she broke the record for 8-year old females. Her official USATF (US Track and Field) time is 21:42. The previous record was 22:11, set back in 1989 ... Kendra came in second overall for females.
            For the record, Kendra's record breaking time of 21:42 averages out to 7 minutes per mile. The article didn't say where Kendra lives, but her future high school coach is probably already excited.

    If you want to live longer, take up running. That's the conclusion of a study released recently and based on data derived from medical and fitness tests taken at the Cooper Institute in Dallas.
            According to the report, running, no matter what the pace or mileage, dropped a person's risk of premature death by almost 40 percent. In more concrete terms, the study said that one hour of running increases a person's life span by about seven hours up to a maximum of 3.2 years.
            Other forms of aerobic exercise also increase your life expectancy, but not to the same degree as running. Walking, cycling, other activities can add about a year to your life.
            There's one other caveat as well. While you're living longer, you'll also be healthier. Running improves your aerobic fitness better than any other exercise, and aerobic fitness is one of the best-known indicators of good health.

        There's a new school of thought among many sports medicine specialists about how to treat sports injuries. Instead of rest, these experts now recommend working through minor injuries.
         Professional and college athletes have used this active approach for some time, but now the average exercise enthusiast is being given the green light to continue exercising with minor injuries.
          There is no precise prescription to know exactly when an injury should be rested and when it can be worked, but there are some suggested guidelines, including the following:
  • Does the injury alter your normal movement? If it's a leg injury, for instance, can you walk on it without limping? If so, keep exercising.
  •   Can you do today what you did yesterday without increased pain? If so, you can keep working through the injury.
  •  Is there significant swelling or bruising? This is a sign that you've probably torn something. A torn or stretched muscle, tendon, or ligament will require rest to heal.
  •  How bad is the pain? This is subjective. Some people tolerate pain better than others. But generally, on a scale of 0 to 10, if the pain is a 7 or more, you better treat it as a serious injury.
  • And finally, does the injury interfere with either your daily activities or a good night's sleep? If so, shelve the exercising until the injury has improved a little.
       I can testify from experience that nagging injuries and pains in the joints and muscles are a natural part of life, especially as you get older. If you stop exercising every time you have one, you might as well hang up your sweat pants. But use discretion. You don't want to make a bad injury worse.

         I saw a headline in the New York Times fitness section that caught my eye, "Strengthen Abs and Banish Back Pain with This 1 Move." So I clicked on it. The article written by Jordan Metzl turned out to be excellent. Here are some excerpts:
        Planks are God's gift to people with low back pain which is the third most expensive medical condition in the United States. The key to planks is they strengthen the core muscles - the muscles in the front, the six-pack that everyone wants - and the back muscles at the same time. Here's how to do planks better:
  •  Stay firm. The idea of a plank is like a plank of wood. You don't want to be a wilting flower.
  • Don't sag. You should feel some lift in your butt as you contract your core muscles.
  • But don't pike either. Keep your hips in line with your shoulders.
  • Relax your shoulders. People tend to be too tense in their shoulders and scrunch up. Be sure your shoulders are wide on your back.
  • Keep your hands and forearms aligned with your shoulders.
  • Relax your hands. Don't grip your fingers.
  • Put your forearms on the ground for a somewhat easier plank. Do a full pushup position to increase difficulty.
     Metzl recommends doing about three minutes a day, a minute at a time. If that's too difficult, start with 30 seconds and work up. Personally, I don't think you need to do them every day, but planks certainly should be an occasional addition to any workout routine.
Graham Fitness
Tim Graham
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Phone: 803-447-8557
 
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