The dog days of August are here.
Are you ready?
With temperatures fluctuating between cooler night temps in the 60’s and higher day temps in the 80’s/90’s, it can be difficult to predict how to beat the heat. For student-athletes, morning practices might feel cool while afternoon practices might feel exhaustingly hot.
Two of the best ways to counteract the heat is staying properly hydrated and knowing the initial signs of minor heat illness so it doesn’t lead to exertional heat stroke.
One of the best resources available is the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Infographic on “Beat The Heat” at https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/hydration_heat_illness_handout.pdf
If you are a coach, parent, or student-athlete, I highly recommend becoming familiar with the first signs of minor heat illness so that you can work with your Certified Athletic Trainer and take action quickly.
Did you know that 80% of Americans will suffer with back pain at some time in their life?
While there are numerous reasons a person can have back pain, an often overlooked cause is poor hip mobility.
That’s right, if you have tight hips that lack rotation, your back can start hurting because it is trying to compensate for lack of mobility in your hips.
For 2 quick exercises to help increase hip mobility, I invite you to check out a recent Facebook video I did: https://www.facebook.com/jeanette.brandtdewitt/videos/2110294555774770
The 2 exercises I share in the video help with hip internal and external rotation. When the hips internally rotate, it’s like when you cross your legs. When your hips externally rotate, it’s like resting your ankle on your opposite knee to tie your shoe. If your hips can’t rotate well in either direction, then you can strain your back.
Take home message: Happy hips = a happy back!
To Your Best Health,
I recently received a question asking about the best exercises for weight loss.
This is a fantastic question!
I am so glad this gentleman asked it because he, along with many people, think there must be a very specific exercise or collection of exercises that will drop the most pounds.
This belief is false. There is no single exercise or exercise program that will immediately cause the most dramatic weight loss.
What? Are you serious? What about all those claims from fitness gurus that their programs are the best, will cause the most extreme weight loss, or work the fastest?
Are they lying?
They are NOT lying because these programs work. These programs do help people lose weight but it is almost impossible to say which program works the best and the fastest because exercise alone will not help decrease weight unless it is combined with other healthy habits.
The answer to weight loss is...
Summer is the perfect time to create the healthy habit of exercise with your kids. The weather is warmer and the sun is shining - kids naturally want to get outside and play!
Exercise = PLAY!
The #1 way to get your kids to exercise is to MAKE IT FUN!
Many kids love water so here are a few options - some a little pricey and some a little easier on the wallet!
Most people know that moving and grooving (exercise) is good for your heart. When your body moves around, your heart becomes more efficient and your blood improves how it flows through your body.
It is important to keep on moving!
However, you should do a lot less shaking… I mean stop pouring salt on your food!
Seriously, put the salt shaker down. Any food that comes in a can, is processed, or purchased at a restaurant will have more than enough salt in it. There is NO reason to add more!
Salt causes your body to hold water - it makes your body swell up! If you are swollen, then you have extra fluid in your body which makes your heart work harder. This causes increased blood pressure.
High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and/or kidney disease. High blood pressure can kill you.
I once had a patient who was referred to physical therapy. When I see someone for an evaluation, I take blood pressure and heart rate measurements.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80.
“I don’t have time to go to the gym.”
“I can’t go to the gym because I don’t have a babysitter.”
“It’s too cold - I don’t like sweating then walking out into frigid air.”
“There are too many germs at a public gym.”
“I don’t feel comfortable exercising in front of other people.”
“I can’t afford a gym membership.”
If you have ever said anything like these before, then you need to create a gym workout space at home WITH NO MORE EXCUSES!
Exercise is important for your health.
Exercise helps to manage your weight.
It reduces blood pressure.
It reduces the risk of Type II diabetes.
It helps you burn off energy so you sleep better.
It helps to reduce stress.
And, it is FUN!
You don’t need a ton of equipment at home. You just need some basics.
Here is my recommended list - you can get these on Amazon through my website so you don’t...
“Lunges and squats - don’t they do the same thing in strengthening your legs?”
“Why should I do lunges AND squats?”
“If I’m short on time, can I do lunges OR squats?”
If you have ever had these questions, the answers can be found in this video!
Enjoy your next workout!
If you google “natural pain relief”, you will be inundated with a countless number of commercial products, supplements, herbs, etc. You could have your own small pharmacopeia of over-the-counter remedies.
The question is do any of these products actually work?
Besides natural pain relief options, you have the option of prescription medications. With the rise in opioid use and abuse, many physicians are a bit more stingy with prescribing pain medication and many patients are shying away from wanting to even start them. Unfortunately, there are still too many people dependent on both prescription and over-the counter medications to mask their pain - whether it be physical, psychological, or emotional pain that grips them.
What happens when the prescription medications no longer work or the physician stops prescribing them?
Many people turn to alcohol and/or illegal substances to self-medicate. What starts out as one drink turns into another and another and another....
As I write this blog, I am reminded that September 6th is National Read A Book Day.
Have you held a book in your lap and after reading it for awhile, tried to look up but felt a “kink in your neck”?
Or, maybe your son or daughter stayed up late cramming for an exam and then complained about a “kink in their neck” the next morning?
In my own personal experience, I have awakened with a “kink in my neck”.
Why does this happen?
One of the most common reasons the “kink in the neck” occurs is because of muscle imbalances.
What’s out of balance?
Stand up wherever you are right now.
Stand and move your chin to your chest to look down at your feet. Do you feel a pull in the back of your neck?
Imagine standing or sitting in this position for 1 hour. The muscles in the back of your neck would get nice and stretched but the muscles in the front of the neck would get nice and tight.
When someone is reading for awhile and...
My family and I have spent A LOT of time at the waterpark this summer. We have the sun tans to prove it. And, yes, we used sunscreen!
Our girls love climbing up the steps to slide down some really big water slides. The inflatables they carry up of those steps are bigger than they are but they don’t seem to care as they laugh going through massive water chutes and tunnels.
As soon as they come out of one slide, they are on to the next.
Or, they want to go to the pool wearing their goggles and swim, do underwater flips, and underwater handstands.
Next, they are jumping up against the waves in the wave pool! Talk about a core workout - try standing your ground when the next wave comes. It takes a lot of strength to not move!
Sure, they rest a little in the lazy river but then they get bored, they start running through it!
All this time, guess who is chasing after them, supervising, and laughing right there with them?
Sometimes we go for just a couple of hours. Other days we...
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