Getting Healthy After Injury

Getting healthy after an injury or illness is not an easy then to do. It’s hard enough to find time to workout on a regular basis, let alone trying to fit in rehab on top of that. That’s where a knowledgeable personal trainer comes in handy.

Once a client has been released from rehab/PT, it is incredibly important to find a trainer that can understand the contraindications that come with the injury and how to progress the client correctly. The last thing someone wants to do is spend all of that time rehabbing to then get hurt working out by themselves or even with a trainer.

Many trainers today have backgrounds in corrective exercise and post-rehab training. This is important to know. Clients want the trainer to be able to discuss his/her program with the Physical Therapist once they are released. It will save time, money and recovery. It will also increase the trust between the client and trainer, as well as bridge the gap between fitness and Physical Therapy.

I always recommend that clients do at least 5 sessions with a trainer before going off on their own. If the client wants to go to a gym or do the program at home, it is best for the trainer to know what equipment the client has access to. With today's technology you can always Facetime or Skype, if there isn’t enough time to actually see each other in person.

Just remember that it’s important to spend the time and money now so that you won’t have to spend it later! 

Is it better to look good or feel good?

I have worked with many trainers over the years and have heard them say to their clients "It's better to look good than feel good."

Every time I hear this saying, I cringe.

What price are you paying to look good?

Yes, it's true that typically when we look good, we feel good, however the question is what price is the price we are paying to look good?

I have always believed that we should feel good first. Eat healthy, exercise 5-7 times per week and get 8 hours of sleep. Taking things to extreme to the point where we can't socialize, can't eat anything on the menu and have no energy because we are not consuming enough calories is a bad combination.

I believe you need to be good to yourself.  Have fun while you are exercising so that you not only can do it for a lifetime but will want to do it for a lifetime. And I believe we should enjoy healthy foods that make you feel clean and lean. 

Looking good is great but not at the cost of feeling lousy. The combination of looking good and feeling good cannot be beat.

Three Nutrition Tips To Live By

We have been in the weight loss/ weight gain profession for over 10 years and the ideas presented here are not a ‘magic pill’. We will help you manage your nutritional intake, calorie burning, & fitness plan.

We are going to keep this simple, so here are three things that need to be accomplished...

Nutrition Tips

1. Plan of attack

Remember that making healthy food choices goes a long way in maintaining your fitness plan. Do not deprive yourself of the pies, cakes or whatever it is you most enjoy; just remember to have a small portion in combination with healthy foods. Portioning is important. Sometimes just a taste is satisfying.

2. Anticipate setbacks

Remember you cannot always be as strong as you would like all of the time. You need to anticipate this. Do not get down on yourself and give up if (or, more likely, when) you overindulge. Just know this may happen and get back to the plan of eating healthy and controlling your portions. If it is Monday, and you remember that Friday is a party, you may want to make an extra effort to eat healthy the whole week.

3. Maintaining progress

You do this by continuing your workouts. You may want to put more time in for cardio. That means if you usually bike three times a week for 30 minutes, you may want to increase the bike time to 40 minutes and add a fourth day. You can also add to that by parking farther away during shopping.

These are just a few simple things to think about. Remember, enjoyment not engorgement.

And remember when it comes to weight loss, or any other healthy endeavor, there is no other place to be but here at Active Body & Health.

Advice For Joint Pain - Get Moving

Doctors increasingly are recommending physical activity to help osteoarthritis patients, overturning the more traditional medical advice for people to take it easy to protect their joints.

The new treatment approach comes as osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease once considered a problem of old age, has begun showing up in more middle-aged and young adults as a result of obesity and sports injuries. Studies have shown that weight loss, combined with exercises aimed at improving joint function and building up muscles that support the joints, can significantly improve patients' health and quality of life compared with medication alone.

Read more here.

Top 10 Brain Foods for Children

Give your child’s brain a nutritional boost.

By Jeanie Lerche Davis, Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
WebMD Feature (courtesy of webmd.com)

Want your child to do better in school? Take a close look at diet. Certain "brain foods" may help boost a child's brain growth -- plus improve brain function, memory, and concentration.

In fact, the brain is a very hungry organ -- the first of the body's organs to absorb nutrients from the food we eat, explains Bethany Thayer, MS, RD, a Detroit nutritionist and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

"Give the body junk food, and the brain is certainly going to suffer," she tells WebMD.

Growing bodies need many types of nutrients -- but these 10 superfoods will help kids get the most from school.

1. Brain Food: Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA -- both essential for brain growth and function, says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a Los Angeles nutritionist and ADA spokeswoman.

In fact, recent research has also shown that people who get more of these fatty acids in their diet have sharper minds and do better at mental skills tests.

While tuna is also a source of omega-3s, it's not a rich source like salmon, Giancoli tells WebMD."Tuna is definitely a good source of lean protein, but because it's so lean it's not very high in omega-3s like canned salmon is," Giancoli tells WebMD. Also, albacore "white" tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, so the EPA advises eating no more than 6 ounces of albacore tuna weekly.

Eat more salmon: Instead of tuna sandwiches, make salmon salad for sandwiches -- canned salmon mixed with reduced-fat mayo or non-fat plain yogurt, raisins, chopped celery, and carrots (plus a little Dijon mustard if your child likes the taste). Serve on whole-grain bread -- which is also a brain food.

Soup idea: Add canned salmon to creamy broccoli soup -- plus frozen chopped broccoli for extra nutrition and soft texture. Boxed soups make this an easy meal, and are generally low in fat and calories, Giancoli says. Look for organic boxed soups in the health food section.

Make salmon patties -- using 14 oz. canned salmon, 1 lb. frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained), 1/2 onion (finely chopped), 2 garlic cloves (pressed), 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste. Combine ingredients. Mix well. Form into small balls. Heat olive oil in pan, flatten spinach balls with spatula. Cook over medium heat. Serve over brown rice (instant or frozen).

2. Brain Food: Eggs

Eggs are well-known as a great protein source -- but the egg yolks are also packed with choline, which helps memory development.

Eat more eggs: Send your child off to school with a grab-and-go breakfast egg burrito. Try breakfast for dinner one night a week -- scrambled eggs and toast. Make your own egg McMuffin at home: just put a fried egg on top of a toasted English muffin, topped with a slice of low-fat cheese.

3. Brain Food: Peanut Butter

"Peanuts and peanut butter are a good source of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects nervous membranes -- plus thiamin to help the brain and nervous system use glucose for energy," says Giancoli. Eat more peanut butter: For a twist on an old favorite, make a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Dip apple slices in peanut butter. Or, top off your favorite salad with a handful of peanuts.

4. Brain Food: Whole Grains

The brain needs a constant supply of glucose -- and whole grains provide that in spades. The fiber helps regulate the release of glucose into the body, Giancoli explains. "Whole grains also have B-vitamins, which nourish a healthy nervous system."

Eat more whole grains: It's easy to find more whole grain cereals these days (make sure a whole grain is the first ingredient listed). But also think outside the box -- and try whole wheat couscous for dinner with cranberries, or low-fat popcorn for a fun snack, she suggests. Whole-grain bread is a must for sandwiches. Switch to whole-grain tortillas and chips for quesadillas, wraps, and snacks.

5. Brain Food: Oats/Oatmeal

Oats are one of the most familiar hot cereals for kids and a very nutritious “grain for the brain,” says Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, LD/N, a St. Petersburg, Fla. consultant and ADA spokeswoman. "Oats provide excellent energy or fuel for the brain that kids need first thing in the morning."

Loaded with fiber, oats keep a child’s brain fed all morning at school. Oats also are good sources of vitamin E, B-vitamins, potassium and zinc -- which make our bodies and brains function at full capacity. Eat more oats: Top hot oatmeal with pretty much anything -- applesauce and cinnamon, dried fruit and soy milk, sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey, fresh banana and a dash of nutmeg with skim milk, Krieger suggests.

Cooking: Throw a handful of dry oats into a smoothie to make it thick -- or into pancake, muffin, waffle or a granola bar recipe. Here’s a simple snack kids can make: 1 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup honey, 1 cup dry oats, 1/2 cup dry milk powder. Mix it up with your hands -- then put a tablespoon between 2 apple or pear slices for a fun and different sandwich!

6. Brain Food: Berries

Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries. "In general, the more intense the color, the more nutrition in the berries," Krieger says. Berries boast high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which may help prevent cancer.

Studies have shown improved memory with the extracts of blueberries and strawberries. "But eat the real thing to get a more nutritious package," Krieger says. "The seeds from berries are also a good source of omega-3 fats.."

Eat more berries: Add berries to veggies that may need a flavor boost -- like sliced sweet cherries with broccoli or strawberries with green beans. Toss berries into a green salad. Add chopped berries to a jar of salsa for an excellent flavor surprise. More berry ideas: Add berries to yogurt, hot or cold cereal, or dips. For a light dessert, top a mound of berries with nonfat whipped topping, Krieger suggests

7. Brain Food: Beans

Beans are special because they have energy from protein and complex carbs -- and fiber -- plus lots of vitamins and minerals, Krieger says. "These are an excellent brain food since they keep a child's energy and thinking level at peak all afternoon if they enjoy them with lunch."

Kidney and pinto beans contain more omega 3 fatty acids than other beans -- specifically ALA, another of the omega-3’s important for brain growth and function, says Krieger.

Eat more beans: Sprinkle beans over salad and top with salsa. Mash vegetarian beans and spread on a tortilla. Mash or fill a pita pocket with beans -- and add shredded lettuce and low-fat cheese. Add beans to spaghetti sauce and salsa. Infants love mashed beans with applesauce!

8. Brain Food: Colorful Veggies

Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach -- vegetables with rich, deep color are the best sources of antioxidants that keep brain cells strong and healthy, Thayer says.?Eat more veggies: Try sweet potato fries: Cut up in wedges or sticks. Spray them with vegetable oil cooking spray and then bake them in the oven (400 degrees, 20 minutes or until they start to brown). Make pumpkin muffins: Mix 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin with a box of your favorite cake or muffin mix. Stir the two ingredients together and follow the directions. Baby carrots and tiny tomatoes fit nicely into lunch bags. Kids love spinach salads with lots of stuff in them -- like strawberries, mandarin oranges, sliced almonds. Another trick: Sneak all sorts of chopped veggies into spaghetti sauce, soups, and stews.

9. Brain Food: Milk & Yogurt

Dairy foods are packed with protein and B-vitamins -- essential for growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. "Milk and yogurt also provide a bigger punch with both protein and carbohydrates – the preferred source of energy for the brain," Thayer says. Recent research suggests that children and teens need 10 times more the recommended dose of vitamin D -- a vitamin that benefits the neuromuscular system and the overall life cycle of human cells. Eat more dairy: Low-fat milk over cereal -- and calcium- and vitamin D-fortified juices -- are easy ways to get these essential nutrients. Cheese sticks are great snacks.

Low-fat yogurt parfaits are also fun. In a tall glass, layer yogurt with berries (fresh, frozen, or dried) and chopped nuts (almonds or walnuts), Thayer suggests.

10. Brain Food: Lean Beef (or Meat Alternative)

Iron is an essential mineral that helps kids stay energized and concentrate at school. Lean beef is one of the best absorbed sources of iron. In fact, just 1 ounce per day has been shown to help the body absorb iron from other sources. Beef also contains zinc, which helps with memory.

For vegetarians, black bean and soy burgers are great iron-rich meatless options. Beans are an important source of nonheme iron -- a type of iron that needs vitamin C to be absorbed. Eat tomatoes, red bell pepper, orange juice, strawberries, and other "Cs" with beans to get the most iron.

For a burger-less source of iron -- try spinach. It's packed with nonheme iron, too.

Eat more iron: For dinner, grill kebobs with beef chunks and veggies. Or stir-fry a bit of beef with kids' favorite veggies. Grill black bean or soy burgers, then top with salsa or a tomato slice. Or, chow down on a spinach salad (with mandarin oranges and strawberries for vitamin C).

Everyday Ways to Stay Sharp

By: Heather Boerner | from: AARP | August 18, 2008
Courtesy of aarp.com, with minor editorial revisions by Monica Resa)

One of the best ways to stay sharp is to exercise that muscle between your ears, research indicates. And discussions with some of the top scientists studying the brain reveal that you can work your noggin in many different ways, every day.

Here are 20 of them:

EXERCISE:

Ballroom dance like the stars. Dancing is a brain-power activity. How so? Learning new moves activates brain motor centers that form new neural connections. Dancing also calms the brain's stress response. So try a Zumba Class.

Take your dog—or yourself—for a walk. Walking for just 20 minutes a day can lower blood sugar. That helps stoke blood flow to the brain, so you think more clearly.

Bear some weight. Adding a little strength training can help protect brain cells from damage done by free radicals—and encourage new brain-cell growth. Do weights in addition to cardio. See Dave or Debi to learn more about personal training.

MENTAL:

Volunteer to answer questions at the library, arboretum, museum, or hospital. Playing tour guide forces you to learn new facts and think on your feet, helping to form new neural pathways in your brain. What's more, interacting with others can ease stress that depletes memory. Grab a video-game joystick. New video games, such as the Wii and Nintendo DS, offer brain teasers that make you learn the computer's interface as you master the brain games. That's a double boost to the formation of new neural connections and to response time and memory.

Leave your comfort zone. Getting good at sudoku? Time to move on. Brain teasers don't form new neural connections once you've mastered them. So try something that's opposite your natural skills: If you like numbers, learn to draw. If you love language, try logic puzzles.

Get some class. Live near a college? Research shows that taking courses—even just auditing them—can stave off dementia at an early age. Don't go in for formal learning? Check out book readings, seminars, and other educational events.

Join a book club. Pick up a good book to cut down on brain-withering boredom. Frequent reading is associated with reduced risk of dementia. And meeting new people forces new neural connections. Besides, you might enjoy the book.

Listen for details when a friend tells a story. Heed changes in the person's tone and register small facts you might otherwise gloss over. Conjure a mental image of the story. By doing this, you activate multiple areas in the brain and encourage memory formation.

Play Yahtzee! Whether you choose Risk, Pictionary, Scrabble, or Boggle, board games are associated with a lower risk of developing dementia. They activate strategic, spatial, and memory parts of the brain, and require you to socialize, which can help form new neural pathways. Switch hands. It may be uncomfortable, but writing with your nondominant hand or operating a computer mouse with that hand can activate parts of the brain that aren't easily triggered otherwise. Anything that requires the brain to pay close attention to a formerly automatic behavior will stimulate brain-cell growth.

HEALTH:

Get support for stressors. You may love your ailing family member, but the chronic stress of facing the situation alone can shrink your brain's memory center. Interacting with others activates many parts of the brain—and learning new ways of coping forms new neural connections.

Sit quietly, choose a word that calms you, and when your mind starts to wander, say the word silently. A form of meditation, this type of activity can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which zaps memory. Meditation also helps mitigate focus-stealing feelings like depression and anxiety.

Check your thyroid. It's a tiny little gland in your neck, but it could have a big effect on brain health: Thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) help nerve cells make connections. If you don't have enough of them you may be depressed, tired, and foggy-headed.

Sleep. Shut-eye isn't a luxury. It's when your brain consolidates memories. Poor sleep, caused by medical conditions, worry, depression, or insomnia, can interfere with your rest. So treat yourself to relaxing scents like vanilla before bed. They raise the chemical dopamine and reduce cortisol, a stress hormone.

Quick temper? Instead of yelling, take a few minutes to cool down. The stress of chronic anger can actually shrink the memory centers in the brain. Get to know the signs that you’re seething and address the problem before it erupts.

Check your meds. It may not be you having the memory problems; instead, it could be your medications impeding your memory. Older antidepressants, anti-diuretics and antihistamines—all block a critical brain chemical from doing its job. Ask your doctor for an alternative.

Let yourself sleep in. Research shows that when you're chronically sleep-deprived, your body doesn't have the time to build proteins and other brain - boosting components. So instead of waking yourself early, sleep until you wake naturally.

GET CREATIVE:

Turn up the tunes. TV may provide a lot of stimuli, but watching too much can dull brain transmission. Instead, spend an afternoon listening to your favorite music. Music can lower stress hormones that inhibit memory and increase feelings of well-being that improve focus. Redecorate and redesign your environment. Plant new flowers in front of your house. Redecorate the kitchen. Rearrange your closets and drawers. Replace the candles in your living room with some that have a different scent. Making such changes can alter motor pathways in the brain and encourage new cell growth.

Running Questions: Knee Know-How

At the end of a long run, the legs are inevitably tired which is to be expected. I understand the important role that the knees play in running, and they certainly carry a lot of the body’s weight and movement. Doing core exercises and strengthening and stretching the pelvis, hips, and legs will help the knees and legs remain strong during a run. Without a strong core to keep the body in a nice straight line while running, your knees will bear the brunt of any sideways movement of the body and you’ll feel the pain later.

Learn more here.