Thursday, June 28, 2007

SHIN SPLINTS

It’s not surprising to see people having lower leg problems when an exercise program is started. A common problem occurring is known as SHIN SPLINTS. It’s a familiar name and many of us neglect and do not treat or rehabilitate it. Shin splints should be treated and rehabilitated as we do for other injuries. If neglected chances of reoccurring are high and it can be harmful too.

How do we get shin splints?

1. From a direct hit or blow which is a very uncommon
2. Stress factures in one of the lower leg bone (fibula) common in long distance runners mainly found in recreational exerciser who jog long distances
3. Triggered by over use of the lower leg during athletic training or new comers to exercise which is known as compartment syndrome (growth of muscle due to repetitive movements).

There common signs which indicates shin splints.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

1. A minor pain which gradually increase on the lower leg until it becomes impossible to continue running
2. Weakness when the leg is flexed or bent upwards
3. Sensation of numbness
4. Swelling on the front of lower legs
5. Pain when foot is passively bent downwards.

The rehabilitation process for shin splint is very straight forward.

Rest Actively: This means you can continue a physical activity without exposing your legs to continuous tension. One of the best rehabilitation exercise is swimming, apart from swimming you can do light cycling or do light cross training on an elliptical. You can also continue with light weight training for your upper body.

Ice treatment: Apply ice (use a medium between ice & skin) on the area of pain for 10 to 12 minutes in every two waking hours.

Rehabilitation exercise: Perform these exercises during the active rest period.
· Ankle circles: Sitting with you legs out straight, turn your involved foot in small circles clockwise. Repeat counterclockwise. Start with small circles, and then gradually increase the size o the circle. Repeat 8 to 10 times each way.
· Ankle Flexions: Sitting with your legs out straight, pull your whole foot and ankle up towards you as far as possible, keeping you knees straight. Hold for 5 seconds, and then push your foot and ankle away from you as far as possible. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat.

Back to sport or activity: Do not return to the normal activity as long as the pain remains and if the pain is not easing at all consult a doctor.

Progression of training: If you are a new comer to exercise or even an athlete its advised to follow a gradual progression plane. For new comers to exercise it’s advisable to first walk and then progress to fast walking and to slow jog and so on.

Friday, June 22, 2007

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Q - If a person wants to lose weight by way of a combination of dieting and exercise, during exercise what should be sufficient heart rate for weight loss to occur.


A – There are many methods to calculate target heart rate zone, I rely on KARVONEN formula , this formula can be considered more accurate as it incorporates resting heart rate (RHR).
First you need to know your resting heart rate; it’s advisable to take your resting heart rate right after you wake up from a good night’s sleep (before you get out of bed). Count the number of beats for one minute from your carotid artery (easiest to measure for non professionals)


Below is an example of the Karvonen formula for a 30 year old person with a resting heart rate of 65 beats per minute.


220 - 30 (age) = 190
190 - 65 (resting heart rate) = 125
125 * 65% (low end of heart rate) = 81.25
125 * 85% (high end) = 106.25
81.25 + 65 (resting heart rate) = 146.25

106.25 + 65 (resting heart rate) = 171.25


The target heart rate zone for this person would be 146 to 171, for this person he/she needs to maintain heart rate around 146bpm to work in a fat burning zone during aerobic exercise sessions.
To monitor heart rate it’s advisable to use a heart rate monitor.


Q - If a person performing simple aerobic exercises such as jogging or cross-training complains of muscle aches during (and not afterwards) workout what is the solution for this? Will continuation of jogging fix the problem?


A - There maybe several reasons for those muscle pains during aerobic exercises, most common problem is weak muscles (ie: lack of strength in muscles) to perform the given activity. Continuation of jogging will not solve the problem, it may worsen the case. To prevent minor muscle aches it is best to perform some resistance training to strengthen the muscles.


Q - What is the cause of muscle aches after weight training?


A – Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS) is the name of muscle aches you get after weight training. Generally the pain and discomfort occurs 24 hours after exercising, the exact cause is still unknown, some believe it’s due to lactic acid build up and in current assumptions it’s due to tiny muscle fiber tears due to eccentric contractions (negative contractions). Some research also claims it is not due to muscle damage during training.
To reduce DOMS a good stretch routine is the best solution, and it is not advisable to train the body part with the discomfort of DOMS as it’s exerts more stress on the same area which may cause more stiffness and pain.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

OVERTRAINING SYNDROME

There are several reasons why people struggle to make progress in training, the most common reason is overtraining. Overtraining occurs when the amount of stress placed in your body is more for it to handle, when the stress is high it shows signs and symptoms that it cannot handle more.

There are few easy ways of identifying if you are overtraining. Excess fatigue, tiredness, change of moods, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, and difficulty to concentrate at work, I believe the first sign is lack of motivation to exercise.

Overtraining is simply an imbalance between training, nutrition and recovery. Here are three simple steps to create a balance in training and to maximize your progress in your program.

Take an active rest: If you have concern with any of the above symptoms take a rest from your intense training routine and continue with some light activity like cycling, swimming or light jogging for 3 times a week for about two weeks.

Sometimes people think taking a few weeks off from their intense training routine will dramatically reduce there muscle mass or strength. Some people even told me that simply going for a jog for 15 minutes three times a week will reduce there muscle mass and weight rapidly. Believe me if this is the case obesity will not be a problem in this world.

Recovery: A good 7-8 hours of sleep within every 24 hours is required for your body to recover from exercise. If you are serious about achieving goals without overtraining get back to bed early.
You muscles don’t grow when they are being worked; they grow or get strong when they are resting. You need to work your muscles then give them adequate rest.

Analyze your diet: Many times, overtraining is nothing more than poor nutrition. One of the most important things you can do in this regard is to consume good nutritious vegetables and fruits (choose variety) to aid recovery. It is advisable for athletes such as bodybuilder to take a recovery supplement.

It is also advisable to take an immediate source of simple carbohydrates after an intense training program and the sooner the better, so why not take a banana in your gym bag to fuel yourself without any delay after a workout.

Monday, June 11, 2007

THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGER !!

It was bad news for the 36 year old runner Ian Grime 4 years ago when the doctors told him to quite sports as he was diagnosed with rear heart condition. Arterial Fibrillation – a condition which typically affects elder people over 65, which meant his heart rate would jump dramatically, triggering chest pain, shortness of breath, dizzy spells and exhaustion.

Ian went through the process of a heart surgery, surgeons went in through his groin to access the main artery and through the heart to his ventricles and tested it with electrical shock and when the problem was found they burnt it with radio waves. Ian describes the surgery as “frightening although it wasn’t an open heart surgery”.

Following a treatment of 18 radio waves “burns” to his heart he hit the road to undertake the ultimate challenge. I would say that training Ian to complete a marathon would be extremely complicated after following such a surgery, after 20 months Ian decided to compete in his first ever competition London Marathon 2007 with the worlds greatest athletes in the professional division, THAT IS DETERMINATION… but Ian’s application was rejected by the organizers assuming that he could not maintain the pace of the professional athletes instead he was advised to join the Fun Run part of the same marathon.

Not long when he participated in the Edinburgh Marathon … The Manchester University Lecturer shocked the participants, crowd and the public by crossing the finish line and becoming the champion of Edinburgh Marathon with a timing of 02 hours 38 Min 57 Seconds, which he says is 7 minutes late than his expectation.

Kuda Husen my very best friend and colleague says he will award MRf50,000 to any Maldivian who breaks his record.

Do you guys know the world record of Marathon? It’s 02 Hours 04 minutes 55 seconds by Mr. Paul Tergat of Kenya. Do you know the National Marathon Record in Maldives? It’s 02 Hours 45 Minutes 03 Seconds by Capt Dr. Hussain Haleem (Kuda Husen). Compare results of Ian to the above stats and you decide what Ian is … Ultimate Challenger? Or what ever you may say …

This is an inspirational story from which you all should learn a lesson, to be a champion in what ever you do. You all can be winners in someway at sometime of your life, young or old, fat or thin, poor or rich … I would say “YOU CAN”

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

BOOBS

A big topic to talk about, studies conducted by experts gives many answers and the topic is open for debate among people who wants to know the perfect or attractive sizes.

Some arguments raised during the studies conducted by experts are …

Small - Looks athletic and slim
Small - Less attractive
Big - Look fat and overweight
Big - Gets more attention from man

The mystery goes on … some want bigger and some want smaller … reason unknown.

Well I am not an expert to tell the perfect sizes. I’ll try to explain how this works in terms on exercise, as some people have asked for exercises to reduce their breast size. This is a serious concern for some women as more than adequate size can have an impact on posture and may create back problems.

Unfortunately there are no specific exercises that will reduce the size of your breasts. I hope all of you have heard of the training fact “spot reduction is impossible”. Lot of women do the mistake of doing loads of chest exercises assuming that those exercises will reduce breast size. It may tighten the chest muscles and therefore will create the impression that the busts are lifted. Lifted busts maybe good news but careful ladies, those exercises need careful supervision and guidance or else may change the shape of your breast as arm circles vary from person to person.

Is awkward shape good news? Let’s talk about a balance exercise routine which will help those who wants to reduce size.

Now here is the good news, although there are no specific exercise to reduce your breast size, following a good aerobic (cardio) exercise program with a healthy diet will reduce your overall fat content which will eventually reduce the fat content in your breasts, this is the only approach you can take to reduce size naturally.

I guess you got the point … go out there do some jogging, walking or swimming and eat healthy nutritious food.

Again I need to make a point here about a very common myth these days “jogging is not good for women as it creates a bouncing effect on the breasts which will result in saggy breasts”. This is absolutely wrong jogging or walking is the most natural way of exercise and it gives you all the benefits you need, about the bouncing effect there are sport-bras which will solve the bouncing problem.