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All posts in “Preventive Care”

Myth: Skip Meals to Lose Weight

Myth: Skip Meals to Lose Weight

Author: Joe Sage, NASM-CPT, FNS, WLS, CES

While it is true that we need to lower caloric intake to lose weight, skipping meals all together, or fasting, can have a negative effect on weight loss. Let’s take a look at the meal most often skipped, breakfast. Eating a balanced breakfast can help improve concentration, performance in physical activity, and also aid in weight control. But, it is estimated that 31 million Americans skip breakfast every day. One of the biggest problems with skipping meals is that we tend to overeat at other meals during the day. It is suggested that eating breakfast can reduce feelings of hunger and help people make smarter foods choices during other meals.

If we were to skip eating all morning, and hadn’t eaten since the night before, we would be starving and be tempted to eat just about anything in front of us, even if we knew it wasn’t the healthiest option. That lack of control from feeling hungry can also cause us to snack all day long leading to an increase in calories that wouldn’t normally be present.

For me, breakfast was a struggle. When I was younger, I never had an appetite in the morning, and it just became a habit to not eat breakfast. I soon realized that I needed to break this habit, as it was having a negative effect on my entire day. So, I started small. Some days it was a bowl of cereal and others just a piece of toast. As I stuck with it, I started feeling hungry in the morning and slowly increased the size of my breakfast. It has been years since I have gone without breakfast, and looking back I’m not sure how I functioned without eating in the morning. We have to provide our body with fuel as soon as we can to get the most out of our day.

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How Much Stretching Is Enough?

How Much Stretching Is Enough?

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

Flexibility is defined as the ability to move joints at their full range of motion, and is important for several reasons. Without enough flexibility, daily routines become difficult and, over time, the body begins to compensate leading to improper joint mechanics. Maintaining a flexible body decreases physical pain and prevents injury.

Research suggests that the risk of injury is reduced when people follow a proper flexibility-training routine. Regular flexibility training can also help reduce stress in active muscles and relieve tension in overused areas. Flexibility is also a form of active recovery that improves mental states and helps soothe unstable emotions.
If you find yourself experiencing any of the following, it may be a good indication for the need to begin implementing more flexibility training into your fitness program.

Joint stiffness, poor posture muscle or joint pain, chronic stress, back, shoulder and neck pain
For guidance, I have adopted the concept of FITT for flexibility training, as follows –

Frequency
Generally an 5-10min flexibility routine four to seven days a week is recommended. It is also ideal to conduct flexibility training pre and post workouts.

Intensity
Stretching should never be painful – stretches should be held to a point of slight tension. Proper breathing is highly important to optimize the stretch – practice a big deep inhale with a 1 second pause followed by a slow long exhale with another 1 second pause between breaths.

Time
The length of a stretch depends on both the type of stretch and activity. In general, a flexibility routine should last a minimum of 5 minutes and should target the major muscles groups. At a minimum, static stretches and poses should be held for 30 seconds.

Type
The best flexibility training programs incorporate multiple forms of stretching based on the goals and needs of the person. The timing and the types of stretches utilized should be based on the findings of an evaluation, the goals of the program and when the stretches will be used. The four types of stretching used at Achieve Wellness to accompany self-myofascial release (foam rolling) are static stretching, neural-muscular stretching, active-isolated stretching and dynamic stretching.

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Meniscus Injury & Prevention

Meniscus Injury & Prevention

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries, with more than 3 million reported cases annually in the US. The Meniscus is a C-shaped disc of cartilage that cushions the femur and tibia at the knee joint. An injury can occur when there is a tear in the cartilage due to incorrect movement or improper weight distribution. When this injury happens the cartilage cannot support the weight between femur and tibia. An example of this would be twisting or rotating the knee while keeping your foot planted. Elderly and those who play sports are at an increased risk for injury. Symptoms can include pain or swelling around the knee joint, a clicking noise, and/or inability to bear weight on the affected side.

There are training and strengthening techniques that can be used to help prevent and also heal a meniscus tear. Assessments can be performed to see if there is pain when certain movements are performed involving the knee joint. If a tear has happened, you need to strengthen and recondition the muscles around it in order to prevent the injury from worsening and to help it heal. Stability, core, and balance training would help assist in preventing a tear from happening. When performing exercises, keeping the feet straight and the knees in line with the feet will help ensure the knee is moving correctly. Focusing on good form and posture will help maintain proper movement patterns which will decrease the risk of injury.

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