Tag: Blog

Play through the Pain: 5 Tips to Minimize Sports-Related Pain

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – Pain is a part of everyday life for active Americans – whether as a result of their athletic pursuits or due to silly mishaps. Though pain can occur in the blink of an eye, it can linger for years and prevent sufferers from fully enjoying the sports and exercises they so love.

When participating in your favorite physical activity or trying out a new one for the first time, the last thing you want is for pain to live life for you. Ben Shear, performance trainer and Golf Digest fitness advisor, shares his tips on how to minimize and treat pain resulting from physical activity, so you can get back to performing at your best.

1. Warm Up

While warming up is often perceived as something only runners or collegiate or professional athletes need to do, no matter the physical activity you’re partaking in, it is crucial to properly warm up to avoid injury and minimize pain. In fact, according to a recent ThermaCare survey of 2,000 Americans, 45 percent of people feel they have injured themselves due to a lack of stretching or warming up. A good warm-up should increase core body temperature, making the muscles more receptive to stretching, and stretching keeps the muscles pliable and mobile.

2. Stock Up

When aches and injuries strike, it’s important to have items on hand that can combat pain quickly so that you can stay in the game. Be sure to stock up on a quick and effective topical pain reliever, like ThermaCare Ultra Pain Relieving Cream. It’s the first and only formula with four powerful pain-fighting ingredients that provides deep, penetrating relief for multiple types of pain, including sore muscles, joint pain, back pain, arthritis and body aches.

3. Massage Up

Sure, massages are a great way to unwind, but they can also aid with managing pain. Massages can help muscles recover, stimulate blood circulation and alleviate local inflammation to improve mobility and flexibility.

4. Fuel Up

Hydration is crucial when it comes to muscle and joint recovery; however, water isn’t the only fuel source to consider. The foods and drinks we consume can have a direct effect when it comes to minimizing muscle and joint pain post-exercise. Low-fat chocolate milk has the ideal recovery ratio of carbs to protein (4:1), so it can aid in faster muscle recovery. Nuts and seeds, as well as fish like salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. Moreover, they’re packed with lean protein – a key element of muscle restoration.

5. Switch it Up

Yes, you’re a golfer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore other types of physical activity to up your performance on the course. By introducing other types of workouts, like swimming and running, you’ll utilize different muscles and allow overused muscle groups a chance to heal and recover. Moreover, core and flexibility training can actually help you improve your athleticism, whether on the golf course or the basketball court.

For the 78 percent of people that participate in physical activity once or more a week, aches and pains are inevitable. Luckily, being equipped with thorough preparatory and recovery plans can make all the difference when it comes to getting back to feeling and performing your best.

Five Steps to Preparing for an Obstacle Course Race

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – With popular obstacle- and ninja-style shows taking over TV, you might be curious what it takes to become a part of the competition. One expert ninja says this curiosity can springboard you quickly to the next level.

“‘I want to try it.’ This is the first thing I said before exploring training,” said John Wilmas, best known as the stair ninja (@stair_ninja on Instagram). He participates in competitive stair climbing with a passion for charity climbs. He also has competed on “American Ninja Warrior.”

“Most people enter this sport with a simple desire to give it a try and have fun,” he said. “If that is you, I encourage you to give it a go. From there, you can take additional steps to develop your skills.”

Wilmas recommends five tips when beginning to train for any obstacle-style event:

1. Find a local training gym or park

As the popularity of the shows has grown, so too has the desire for more obstacle-style training facilities. Research what is available in your area. Indoor gyms and outdoor obstacle parks featuring FitCore Extreme fitness equipment by Landscape Structures Inc. offer multiple whole-body fitness and agility options for children ages 5 to 12 and teens/adults ages 13 and over, so the whole family can participate. Learn more at www.playlsi.com.

2. Use your body weight as a training tool

If you can’t find training opportunities within 30 minutes of your home, focus on body-weight training and calisthenics – the type of training gymnasts do – to build your skills. Keep in mind that even if you can bench a lot of weight, it’s not the same as holding your own body weight. Train by using your own body weight as resistance because that is what will be tested on many of the obstacles.

3. Work on speed, balance and agility

Being agile and having good balance can help you conquer some of the toughest obstacles. Competitors that only focus on upper body strength will slip up on seemingly easier parts of the course simply because they don’t have good balance or speed. The faster you can go, the less energy you’ll expend, which means you can go further without getting tired. Speed can also be an alternative to balance. If you can go through some obstacles quickly, you’ll not have to rely on stellar balance skills.

4. Find friends and build camaraderie

What makes obstacle- and ninja-style competitions unique is everyone supports each other. It’s a competition, but competitors have strong bonds and encourage the success of each participant. When you start training and decide you enjoy the sport, try joining some local groups so you can build your own camaraderie. The support you’ll feel is incredible. You can start by researching local meetups on the Facebook group American Ninja Warrior Comrades.

5. Explore mental training

A big part of succeeding at this sport is mental strength. Believe in yourself and envision yourself successfully completing a challenge. A mental block is always the hardest obstacle, so if you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Repetition helps you gain confidence so your mind trusts your body. Then you can just go without overthinking it. The mind is your biggest asset if you use it to your advantage, but can also be your biggest hurdle if you let worries overtake your abilities.

Omega-3s: Do you really know what they are, and if you are getting enough?

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – Each day we are bombarded with heaping helpings of health headlines – the latest, must-know, must-do health advice. Sometimes the tips seem obvious; but often, it’s quite difficult to understand what will produce health benefits – especially when headlines and social media can make legitimate advice seem irrelevant in a moment.

Over the years, we’ve seen more conflicting advice around omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). Thousands of published scientific studies have shown the benefits, and we know that the human body needs them to function but can’t create them on its own. Among their numerous benefits, EPA and DHA have been associated with overall heart health and improving eye, brain and joint performance.

Yet most are confused

Unlike many other important measures of health, most people have no awareness of their omega-3 levels.

Omega-3s are found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. But the reality is, many people have difficulty achieving optimal levels with diet alone. And according to one recent study, even among people who believed they were eating a balanced diet, 98 percent had levels of omega-3s that were below the optimal level.

“I had heard fish oil was critical to a balanced diet,” said Schnelle “Nellie” Acevedo, a fitness blogger and mom of three. “As an avid runner and working mom, making smart choices about my health is really important to me. As I learned more about omega-3s and their health benefits, I started worrying that I could be omega-3 deficient and wondering what kind of toll that could be taking on my health.”

What we can do

Today, there are resources available to help us get an answer on where our levels stand – the Omega-3 Index test is a simple blood test that unveils what percentage of red blood cells contain EPA and DHA.

There’s also a brief quiz online that provides a general guide for individual omega-3 scores. The five-question quiz at www.knowyouromega3s.com was launched by MegaRed, an omega-3 supplement brand dedicated to helping support overall health. By answering the simple questions, you can determine if your levels might be low, and learn helpful tips and actions to ensure you are getting enough omega-3s.

When it comes to health, knowledge is just the first step

Every health journey is unique, so regardless of the latest trend, it’s key to act to determine where you stand and the changes that work for you. Like understanding your cholesterol or blood pressure levels, knowing your omega-3 levels is an important marker of health.

“It’s tough to be sure of your health and fitness choices, but I got an answer when it comes to omega-3s. Last year, I sent in a test to check my omega-3 levels. When I got my results, my numbers were not nearly where I want to be. I needed to supplement my diet to get my numbers up!” said Acevedo. “It’s important for you to know whether or not you are getting enough omega-3s, and what you can do to fix it!”