Cue Rant

hi guys,

I wasn’t planning on posting today but something that happened last night at the gym prompted this post and well I just couldn’t contain myself.

So as a physical therapist & being married to a gym rat who is meticulous about form I have come to be a BIT anal about form and more often than not find my self cringing at people in the gym. I usually contain myself from giving glares, saying something or whispering to Brent about the person.

But sometimes it’s JUST.TO.BAD. and I feel that it’s my professional obligation to help the poor soul out. I mean my biggest fear, and the biggest fear of so many others, is that I am doing something that I think is right completely wrong & look a foul so I would hope someone would politely give me a hand, rather than staring like a jerk.

Last night was a case of the latter. Brent and I were half way through our chest workout when this young kid started to do single arm rows at the bench next to us. I first noticed him because he was a pretty small kid and pretty far down the dumbbell weight rack so I was impressed….

Then I saw his first pull, all lower back rotation & no upper back pull, a disaster in the making. But it didn’t stop there, he continued to heave the dumbbell up with his shoulders and traps then finish the movement with a lower back twist and hike. He followed these spectacular rows with some standing “skull crushers” at wayyy too much weight where I was pretty sure if he continued to do them he would most definitely tear his arms right out of the socket.

After about 3 rounds of this cringe worthy exercise routine & a couple visits from his friend, who I can only assume was telling him how to correct his form, the guy on the bench next to us told the kid “hey lower your weight and do the movement correctly” to which the kid said “this is how we train

At this point Brent jumped in and said “he’s right buddy, if you lower the weight you’ll be able to perform the lift properly” the kid scoffed at this as well & we both said “seriously you’re going to hurt yourself if you don’t lower your weight!”

Then the kid said the kicker… “Dude I’m 15!”

Ah Ha! This made my skin crawl! Not that kids shouldn’t be in the weight room, because I really advocate that and think that SAFE lifting is great for development, muscular growth, bone & joint health, along with a great confidence booster!

BUT, and this is a big BUT, if you are lifting incorrectly & aren’t going to take advice from others around you who are genuinely trying to help you out than you have no business in the weightroom.

If you are in the weightroom OWN it and if someone tries to give you tips listen. If you need tips reach out and I’d be happy to help!
Okay end rant!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Tuesday!

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Rehab Your Run Part 2

Well its been a couple weeks since my first RYR post. I have been working on myself and trying to be a good patient and not one that would make me pull my hair our as the therapist. Heres a recap!

Rehab Your Run

The first week I was lucky enough to have my friend work on my hip three days. I was super tight and definitely needed the intensive therapy. I followed up the soft tissue sessions with some glut and core strengthening tasks while also avoiding heavy legs, squatting or lunging tasks which would aggravate my poor body any more.

In addition to working on the exercises I did some work on the spin bike to keep my pulling intact and strong along with my running form.

At the end of last week I thought I was feeling better and tried to do some light leg work including squats & static lunges. Much to my surprise lunging caused a sharp pain in my hip which was a shock and frightening. I stopped the workout that I had planned & decided to stick to some light weight strengthening and exercises that I would be making my patients do in the clinic.

This really made me mad but I know that in the long run my running will be better. So its core, glut, hams and light leg workouts for me for a while more along with extra OmegaPlex & Catalyst to help me over the injury hump!

Here are the workouts that I will be sticking to for the most part. I will add some advanced tasks as I get to that point, please let me know what questions you have on any of these moves. These workouts are GREAT for everyone, runners or not, and I promise you if you do them correctly they are a lot harder than you would expect!

Rehab Your Run Rehab Your Run Rehab Your Run

Until next time, keep on running & injury free!

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Rehab Your Run

On Monday I mentioned a pesky little running injury that I have been dealing with, so I thought today I would give some more detail on it and start a mini-series, Rehab Your Run, to not only keep me motivated in getting better but to provide some helpful hints and insights to any other runners who might be experiencing some similar issues.

Lets back up here and let me tell you what happened. So I struggle from having a hypermoble back and excessive motion in my hips, especially during that time of the month, this is something that I have struggled with for the past two years not something that just happened over night.

My symptoms, generally, would consist of some slight hip soreness & feeling of “out of alignment” which would be worse when I would go into a deep loaded back squat. Performing a front squat or air squat would be pain-free. The other painful motion would be a push press, due to the excessive mobility and instability I have in my upper lumbar spine. The symptoms would last a few days and then go away. This was my “normal abnormal” while I didn’t love it other than a few days a month it didn’t really bother me. It did limit my ability to gain strength and depth in my back squat.

A little over a month ago I noticed that my “typical” hip pain was a little worse than normal, I had increased pain with leg press which was a movement that I previously could do without pain, and couldn’t do a back squat at 40% of my max without significant pain. Oh and a front or overhead squat, forget it! 

A very old recycled photo

A very old recycled photo

So like the smart (read: stubborn) physical therapist that I am, I just cut heavy leg workouts and did some modified lifting routines.This helped but didn’t fix my problem. I continued to run which didn’t bother me too much, but after my cycle came and passed I noticed that my pain was still around and seemed to be getting a bit more consistent. Rather than just having pain with specific movements I was having pain with significantly more movements.

I completely stopped doing heavy squats. I focused on a lot of posterior chain strengthening (hamstrings & glut max) and lateral hip stability (gluteus medius, minimus and abductors) as I know these are some of my weaknesses and could be contributing to my pain.

Focusing on glut strengthening...

Focusing on glut strengthening…

I TRULY felt like I was getting better, I felt that my pain was getting better, I still felt like I was “out of alignment” but generally my tenderness was lessened. So on Sunday I decided to itch my running scratch and hit the pavement.

Now I can hear, some of you, yelling at me “pavement??? why not treadmill its lower impact.” Well I was trained in the Pose method of running and truly believe that running on the road is 100x better for my body and joints. I told myself I was going to take it easy on the run, listen to my body and focus on my form. I tuned up my metronome and hit the road.

Training with Dr. Romanov & Charles Blake will change the way you think about running

Training with Dr. Romanov & Charles Blake will change the way you think about running

The first mile felt pretty good but when I hit the 1.5mile marker I was really feeling the increased pain. I could tell it wasn’t going to be a good indicator for what the rest of the run was going to be like so I walk-ran the remainder of the way home and then stretched a lot to try to combat any problems.

Since I knew that something was wrong and I thankfully work with a lot of wonderful therapists I immediately sent a text to my running idol and asked her advice. She was most concerned with my hip and told me I needed to get it checked out early this week.

The straw that broke my hip was honestly the 4 hour drive home that I had on Sunday. That was deathly to an already sore and spasming joint so when I got to work on monday it was all I could do to ask not beg for a quick assessment. Thankfully I have an amazing coworker who checked me out and told me the following…

Definitely some glut med-min weakness, joint stiffness and lots and lots of muscle tightness…. didn’t seem like anything was torn or catching, phew!

Core work is essential

Core work is essential

Here is the treatment thus far:

Day 1
Soft tissue work to lateral hip musculature
Stabilization exercises

Day 2
Plank & side plank exercises
Foam roll & lacrosse ball

From Monday to Tuesday I felt about 50-60% better, I have a lot of pain with standing on my right leg only (right hip is injured), going up and down stairs makes me want to cry & the longer I sit the more it bothers me to walk. However on Monday I couldn’t hardly put weight on my right leg which I could do on Tuesday.

Rehab Your Run

As for running, I am going to give it a while, I’ll keep you posted!!

Happy Healing 😉

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Thank You Rockford!

Its fall y’all!!

The leaves are changing,
The crispness in the air is changing,
The temperature definitely is changing.

Thank You Rockford

I LOVE fall and there is something about the fall that is comforting and while change is not very comfortable it makes you stronger and without change development and growth can’t occur. The last few weeks I have found myself reflecting a lot on the past year. What has happened, where I have come and where I plan to go in the next 12 months. A lot of this reflection is due to the fact that I knew change was upon me.

Friday marked my last day as the Facility Manager and Physical Therapist at the clinic I started my career at in Rockford, IL. I started at the Rockford clinic July 2013, after completing my Physical Therapy boards, I remember being so beyond excited to be a “real life” PT and treating some of my very first patients. The conversations, relationship & friendships that I made are incomparable and those first few months really solidified my knowledge that becoming a Physical Therapist was my life goal.

First Day as a PT!

First Day as a PT!

Change is marvelous, so I am linking up with Katie on this Monday! 

After a few months winter came and change occurred again, I was given the opportunity to grow as a leader within my company. Two people saw some potential in me and believed that this girl 6 months out of PT school could do something big and take on a leadership role. I was given respect, belief, and confidence that “I could do it!” and then given tools to help me succeed. I never imagined that in 6months people would see something that I didn’t even see in myself and truly believe in me.

The next few months were filled with juggling my concerns, challenges, changes within the clinic, and striving to maintain the BEST clinical & patient care that I could manage. I definitely faced my fare share of challenges but I was also able to succeed.

Thank You Rockford

I learned a lot about myself as a therapist, myself as a manager and myself as a person in the past months as a manager. I was able to work with an amazing team of people and truly feel so blessed.

Last week I felt so blessed. I felt so appreciated. And well I was moved to tears multiple times. My patients & coworkers became my family. They showered me with love and appreciation in my last few days at the clinic. I feel honored to have worked with EACH of them and thankful to have a little peeve of THEM with me & to have left a little piece of me with them all.

There are not words to express how honored I feel to be showered with such love from the people and patients at my Rockford @acceleratedrehab clinic.  I have been fed , sugared and hugged by all the sweet and amazing people here who I have been lucky enough to work with and help heal.  I could NOT have asked for a better family and clinic this past year and while I am excited for my new journey at the Schaumburg #acceleratedrehab I will definitely miss all of the people here in Rockford.  It is a crazy & overwhelming feeling to know that you have touched people's lives as much as I feel touched by them, my life will always be a little brighter and my heart will always be a little more full, NOT to mention my stomach !

There are not words to express how honored I feel to be showered with such love from the people and patients at my Rockford @acceleratedrehab clinic.
I have been fed , sugared and hugged by all the sweet and amazing people here who I have been lucky enough to work with and help heal.
I could NOT have asked for a better family and clinic this past year and while I am excited for my new journey at the Schaumburg #acceleratedrehab I will definitely miss all of the people here in Rockford.
It is a crazy & overwhelming feeling to know that you have touched people’s lives as much as I feel touched by them, my life will always be a little brighter and my heart will always be a little more full, NOT to mention my stomach !

Today marks my first day on my new adventure. A new clinic with different therapists and different responsibilities. I am excited for the change, the opportunity to start new and fresh, but am sad to have to leave something that I helped to cultivate, an environment that I grew and blossomed in.

Thank YOU Rockford for making me into the best therapist that I could be. THANK YOU for letting me help you & for helping me in return, thank you for blessing me beyond words!

Thank You Rockford

Farewell Rockford, Hello Schaumburg!! I hope you’re ready for me! 🙂

Cheers!!!

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How do you handle change?

Rule #1 Don't Think, Just Run! Pose Method

Happy Thursday Friday!!!

It’s short week and means today is really friday, this which will leave you for more time to practice your Pose running 😉

I don’t blame you if you stop reading now, after yesterday’s long post which left you with a lot of words and not so much fun. But I promise today is still as long, but hopefully helps to close the loop on the Pose Method of running.

I swear the whole weekend was a lot of fun, if we started to get “too serious” Dr. Romanov would get mad at us and make us laugh because he said that serious faces made him nervous. It was a great ice breaker!

Dr. Romanov

Dr. Romanov

We started our first drill session with a baseline run, and then we performed a lot of drills, which helped to take the lecture material and put it into practice.

We practiced the heel strike, pulling to mid-foot and then pulling to forefoot so we were able to really feel the effects of each position on our joints and body. We then went into “Pose” and started to run in place, and then on the pavement. I was amazed at how effortless it felt after performing a bunch of exercises, which seemed silly.

Dr. Romanov monkeying around while showing some flexibility drills

Dr. Romanov monkeying around while showing some flexibility drills

After our morning session of “basic drills” we learned more didactic work and then had an afternoon session of “advanced drills.” I barely felt like I grasped the basic drills before being thrown into the advanced setting but the advanced drills really helped me feel the difference. I was able to tune into my body and identify what “felt” normal and what “felt” right or wrong.

My perception of running was changing and I stopped sensing the movement. I started to understand how the movement was structured and started to understand what could and could not be manipulated to achieve optimization of movement.

We also analyzed our runs both our baseline and then our second run which was performed after the advanced drills. I learned a lot, I needed to fall more, pull better and stop caring about how my foot hit the ground. It was cool to see different peoples running progression, one person had an excellent pull, and it was really cool to see her before and after run, with the improved pull in her second run.

Showing drills to improve "Pull"

Showing drills to improve “Pull”

Then we had the chance to test our skills on a real patient! The patient my group was assigned had some exposure to Pose Methods before so we kind of just jumped right into the thick of it, gave him drills and helped him run. After performing a series of runs, drills and education our patient looked much better, and sounded better, his run was quiet. It became very apparent after we stopped and were talking with Dr. Romanov that we skipped a step.

We had him run again and there was no carry-over. Our patient had lost the groove that we just gave him. Obviously we missed something, Dr. Romanov questioned him on Pose and the method and challenged him to teach one of us “how to run.” He had a really hard time and that was when I realized, we just put Pose on him without explaining and having him perceive or internalize what was going on. I made him deadlift without teaching him the proper form, I had him swim without telling him how not to drown. WOAH!

Working with our patient

Working with our patient

This really showed me that perception is a powerful tool in movement science and essential for transitioning the drills into fluid movements and running. If you are unable to perceive the importance they will continue to just be drills and the carry over will be minimal or nonexistent.

“We cannot desire what we cannot perceive – Dr. Romanov”

After the weekend ended I was excited to take my running drills, skills and perceptions to the pavement. I knew what I looked like, I knew what I should look like, I knew what to change, how to change it and how to coach it. But what I didn’t know was how to just run. My first “post-Pose-run” was a laboring, hard, challenging and brain shaking run. I thought and overthought the run too death. I forgot Dr. Romanov’s first rule…

Rule #1 Don’t Think, Just Run!

Pose Method So what now? What can you do?!

Well first I would say start scouring the Pose website, it is seriously unreal, the contact, videos and education is unmatched, you will definitely learn something.

Second reach out to a local Accelerated Physical Therapist! We are putting together and implementing a Love To Run program and we would love to have you as a part of our team. Each and every Accelerated Therapist that was there was as excited, motivated and engaged as I was and I can assure you that they will help you learn to love to run.

Accelerated's Running Coaches would love to put you FIRST and help you LOVE to run!

Accelerated’s Running Coaches would love to put you FIRST and help you LOVE to run!

We have a 4, 8 and 12 week program to help you learn to run and run the most efficiently and effectively as possible. The program is still very new and is not (yet) in each Accelerated center but we do have a trained therapist in Illinois (multiple locations), Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Arizona!!! If there is not an Accelerated near you check out the Pose website and their list of technique specialists. I am sure each of these individuals will help you also.

Finally I encourage you to reach out to me (allisoninwellnessland@gmail.com). I am more than happy to set up online running training programs or help through emails, or phone consultations to determine how to best help you learn to love to run!

Okay I hope you have learned something exciting & useful the past two days, now get off the computer and go have a good run.

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No questions today, but I would love to answer any questions you have for me!

I was given the opportunity to attend Level 1 training free of cost through my employer, all thoughts and opinions from the weekend are 100% my own.

Do you LOVE to Run? Pose Method

If you asked me 6 months ago if I loved to run I would say, “hahahaha NO!”

If you asked me 2 weeks ago if I loved to run I would say, “ughhh no but I pretend to run occasionally, and would like to love to run.”

If you asked me on or after June 22nd if I loved to run, I would definitely tell you “I am getting there, I am learning to LOVE it!”

After one weekend, and 16hours of learning I definitely learned to love to run. I was inspired, motivated and educated on basic principles and practices which will make me and YOU a better runner.

I had the itch, I wanted to go home and run!!! I can tell you I have never wanted to run before. 

Two weekends ago I was given the opportunity thanks to my job at Accelerated, to attend a PoseMethod training program, and my world changed. Dr. Romanov not only is hilarious who speaks with amazing broken English, but he really knows his stuff. He sold me on so many aspects of biomechanics and body movements that I was always confused or questioned in PT school, and he made it clear and easy to understand.

Today I want to start my recap of the weekend with some of the Pose Basics and tomorrow I will be back with some more of the drills and how you can start to love to run too!

Dr. Romanov posed the question “What Running Is??” after telling us we were fired for our bad answers, he had us then instruct him in how to run so we said “move your legs”, “pump your arms” etc. and he said to us “but I am still NOT running, what do I need to do?”

We were all seriously stumped. Then finally he said “you must FALL!!”… Ah HA!

“One key Pose that defines running, from which we fall-forward by harnessing gravity and pull our trial foot under our hip to recover the key pose and repeat the cycle again – Pose Method Definition of Running” 

Most of Saturday was spent really dissecting all the science, methods and theories behind Pose Method. Dr. Romanov and Major Blake (A physical therapist in the military!) spent a lot of time teaching us why this way of thinking is beneficial, how it works, and answering all of our mind-boggled questions.

Remember they were talking to a room of very stubborn but interested Physical Therapist, if you try and break us of our biomechanical mold we will give resistance. However, we will give in eventually, if there is sound reasoning. And I promise you all that the science, research and reasoning behind all of the Pose Method to running is sound, solid and sensible.

Dr. Romanov and Major Charles Blake, two seriously inspiring & amazing men

Dr. Romanov and Major Charles Blake, two seriously inspiring & amazing men

I will save you all the details because to be honest my head is still spinning, and this post would be 3 days long. #snore

However, I do want to touch onsome of the basic concepts and key points. To start the common wave of running theories states that landing is the most important part of running, that if we focus on a midfoot strike we will have pain-free and the best running form possible. Pose would rather focus on the parts of running prior to landing and would suggest that a “landing” position is more optimal if you are performing the other parts effectively.

Remember Pose-Fall-Pull

Lets start with the landing and then go from there, let me help you understand why landing doesn’t matter, I promise this helped me the best.

Heel Strike – We all have heard that heel strike is bad it’s a very well known fact and research shows that ~82% of runners heel strike which correlates with ~85% of running injuries.
So when you heel strike you increase your support time and increase the force absorbed through your joints by 3x your bodyweight with each step… {say you take 30steps/mile that means your joints are taking 90x/bodyweight on each joint in one mile, imagine a marathoner who is a heel striker, OUCH!!!}

Mid-foot Strike – while the idea of not heel striking is a valid idea the mid-foot strike is a very difficult strike to identify. If you look at the “mid-foot” of your running shoe it is likely an ARCH, so to be a true mid-foot striker you are required to simultaneously land on the forefoot and heel. It is nearly impossible to reproduce this landing pattern consistently. Additionally it continues to place undue stress on the knee as you continue to have to propel yourself over the planted foot.

Forefoot strike – this would the landing pattern which Pose would recommend and here is why… When in a forefoot standing position your body wants to continue forward, there is very minimal feeling of having to propel yourself as the foot is not firmly planted on the ground, additionally this provides the shortest stance time. **longer stance = more injuries**
Forefoot landing position is scientifically proven to reduce eccentric load on the knee by 50%!!! Also by landing on the forefoot and by then pulling the back foot up under your hip into a balanced “running POSE” is the most efficient way to run!

Major Blake demonstrates "Standard" or Pose

Major Blake demonstrates “Standard” or Pose

We cannot efficiently run if we are constantly breaking, starting, and breaking again which is why Dr. Romanov suggests the Pose-Fall-Pull methodology.

If we start in running pose, fall and then pull (not push) our leg off the ground we will more effectively and more efficiently run with less injuries and faster speeds. Pulling is the only accountable element in running, the only element which we use muscular effort. We are required to pull ourselves to the Pose position in order to repeat the progress.

Like I said I all be back tomorrow with more info on drills and tips but in the meantime I would strongly recommend checking out the Pose website and YouTube page. They have tons of information and educational videos to help YOU learn to LOVE to Run TOO!!

Accelerated's FIRST Pose Method Running Coaches!

Accelerated’s FIRST Pose Method Running Coaches!

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Do you love to run?
Would you be interested in learning more about Pose Running? 

 

I was given the opportunity to attend Level 1 training free of cost through my employer, all thoughts and opinions from the weekend are 100% my own. 

A Day In The Life

First I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to Kelsey for winning my Bondi Band giveaway! Please email me your address so you can claim your prize!

Thank you to everyone who entered, remember you can get 10% off your Bondi Band with promo code SWEATPINK

I love reading updates from my blogger friends about their daily lives. I seriously think that they all live much more interesting exciting lives than I do. It makes me wonder would you all care what my day to day is like? I can’t imagine you do but I thought I would share Just.In.Case!

Heres the ushe on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday
Tuesdays and Thursdays I have different hours, basically this same thing pushed back an hour

4:30 Alarm goes off… snooze x4
5:00 okay enough snooze’s time to get out of bed
5-5:30 daily hygiene early in the morning really does exist. you’re welcome peak friends!
5:30-5:45 quickly make enough food to keep me full all day
5:45-6:00 eat my dates and drink my pre workout while driving to the gym

VegaSport Energizer

6:00-7:00 get my daily workout de jour, generally a GPP workout, sometimes a run & GPP
7:00 – 7:45 GOSSIP HOUR!!! okay not really I promise I do get ready in this time period but these girls have become my family and I love getting ready with them every morning. It is kind of like living in the sorority house again just with less drama!

gossip buddy :)

gossip buddy 🙂

7:45-8 drive to work, scarf food in my face, open the clinic, start my computer and great my first patient
8:00-12:00 TREAT TREAT TREAT, I generally have a patient scheduled every 30 minutes so I will see around 7 patients before lunch, but this number varies a lot. there are days when I see 3 patients before lunch and days I see 12.
12:00-1:00 stuff my face, catch up on social media, and document. I try to get notes done during lunch but often I just catch up on Instagram and Facebook. #sorryboss!

Lunch, often at my desk in front of my computer

Lunch, often at my desk in front of my computer

1:00-5:00 TREAT, TREAT, TREAT… Again I could see anywhere from 7-12 patients, however my 5:00 days tend to be on the slower side.
5:00-6:00(+/- 40minutes) – Document. I swear half of my time is typing what I did on patients. It takes up a ridiculous amount of time but is a necessary evil!
6:00-10:00 make/eat dinner, blog, watch tv, catch up on blogs/emails, spend time with Brent!

Dinner of grilled salmon, grilled stuffed zucchini and grilled corn #yum

Dinner of grilled salmon, grilled stuffed zucchini and grilled corn #yum

10:00 bed timeISH… I would say I generally am “in bed” by 10:00 but may fall asleep anywhere between 9:45-11:30. Brent would say I go to bed really early and he often tells me around 9:30 that it is almost my bed time, and if its after 10 he says its after my bed time!

So there you have it, A day in the life of a Physical Therapist. I definitely sweat a lot during my day, whether it is showing an exercise, working on a patient or at the gym these muscles get little rest and my jaw hurts most nights.

Home Exercise Programs on Demand ;)

Home Exercise Programs on Demand 😉

But I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love my busy days, early mornings and often long nights.

Linking up today for the first time in a long time with Jenn for WIAW!!! Make sure you check out her blog for the weekly foodie party.

WIAWbutton

So that wasn’t super exciting, sorry. I will strive to live a more exciting blogger life and maybe one day I can do a Day In The Life post that will be more exciting!

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What does your day look like?
Do you still have a “bed time”?

Workout Mentality – Practicing What I Preach

Happy Monday!

FIRST if you have not yet entered to win your copy of Yoga+Creativity you still have time, head over HERE to read my review and win!

As you all know I am a Physical Therapist and I tell patients all the time “if it hurts, don’t do it” OR “this is not a no pain no gain situation”

I am really good at telling patients what to do and how to do it to get better, and they get better. Partially because I give them exercises, strengthen them and educate them to use their muscles in a way they didn’t previously know to use them. Also because I use my hands to physically correct deficits they have, this is the PT magic 😉

I am really bad however, at taking all the education & voice of reason that I give my patients and put it on myself. I workout hard 5 days a week before I go to work, then I go to work and perform a rather physical job for 8 hours a day. I love that I am moving all day at work, that I get to use my hands along with my brain each day to help others, but at the end of the day I am tired. My body and muscles are tired from working out and work and I often forget to take some extra time for myself.

This includes working on my sore muscles, trying to correct my own joint alignments, and finding mental health time for me.

As a PT I think know I am extra aware of my body and the aches/pain that I have along with what is causing them. I also am the WORST at taking care of myself.

Last week Brent & I were talking and he said to me

“why don’t you just sleep in tomorrow morning, you are wearing yourself so thin, don’t you think you need a rest day”

This sent me into a little tizzy because I truly LOVE my morning workouts, I feel so much better in the morning after working out and I honestly feel that I am a better therapist when I have endorphins for breakfast. Brent gets this but he also was seeing how tired I was, how emotionally drained I was, hearing how much my hip hurt and saw that I really could use some extra sleep. What I saw was “if I don’t workout, I will feel like a failure, I can rest on the weekend.”

My workout mentality is almost as bad as my diet mentality

Exercise is my “me” time, I feel the best after a good workout, but when I am sore, tired, and mentally drained I don’t have a good workout and then I get down on myself. It can be a very vicious cycle very similarly to putting rules & restrictions on food. I have found myself classifying my workouts and this is not okay.

So I am doing something to help rectify myself. Through exercise modifications, asking for help and starting some new projects to help decrease the stress in my life.

I cannot control most things but I can control my workouts and I can workout the best way possible. So instead of beating myself up over a poor workout or decreased energy I WILL control my situation and use my time at the gym for ME not for anyone else.

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Who do you exercise for?
Have you ever caught yourself putting rules on your workout?

Nitty Gritty on Energy

Yesterday I gave you all a ton of information about the components of Female Athlete Triad and my talk at a local high school. Today I wanted to talk a bit more about actual fuel and components of fuel that are most important.

warning – this post might get rather technical & nerdy. I apologize in advance!

Lets Get Technical:

Our body uses energy constantly & the amount of calories which you need to perform your basic life functions is called your Basil Metabolic Rate, this is the base number to sustain life. On top of this is your Resting Metabolic Rate which includes the effect of food on your body, including how much energy you get from each fuel source (carbs, fat & protein which are all not created equally).

Additionally whenever you exercise you burn more calories which results in your exercise energy expenditure. The important factor to ensure we are achieving and balancing is our Total Energy Expenditure this is the combination of your RMR (which includes BMR and thermal effect of food) + Exercise Energy Expenditure. 

total-energy-expenditure

When you are in caloric balance your TEE = Calorie Intake this simply means you are eating the right amount to meet your basic and athletic needs & balance is achieved. You will likely experience minimal weight change.

If you eat more calories than what you burn in a day you will be apt to gaining weight either in the form of muscle or fat depending on what you eat.

If you eat less calories than what you burned that day, your TEE, you will be in a calorie deficit. This will likely result in weight loss. However, if this calorie deficit is too large your body will have too few calories to sustain normal functions of daily living. Additionally, you can have zero weight change and continue to be in a caloric deficit because when your body & brain recognize a caloric deficit they work to reestablish the energy balance by decreasing your resting metabolic rate in order to CONSERVE CALORIES!

Energy available must meet the needs for basic physiological processes a.k.a Resting Metabolic Rate

I personally have been in situations where I knew that I was burning more calories than I was taking in and that calorie deficit seemed “cool” or “good” but when I look back I can see that I was truly doing more harm than good. My body was not changing the ways that I wanted even though I was “eating healthy” & “exercising”… I was not eating enough and had put myself in a mildly disordered eating mindset.

800 calories

The other week I was talking to a female patient who told me she was trying to lose weight and was eating around 900calories/day while working out and doing PT. I seriously think my jaw dropped to the floor and then proceeded to put some knowledge on her about the healthier way and more effective way to lose weight than simply starving yourself from food.

The hard part is knowing that its OKAY to eat more food and you will still have the opportunity to lose weight, your body needs fuel and we cannot be afraid to fuel our fitness! 

So lets prevent the cascade of events which can occur with limited energy availability and fuel our future the healthy and fit way.

PREVENTION = Making sure you continue to eat the right amount of calories for YOU!!!

There are TONS of resources out there to help you determine your BMR, TEE and caloric need.
If you are concerned you are not eating the right amount of calories then I challenge you to figure out what you are eating and track your food for 3-7days. no longer

I told my athletes to focus on 3-7day logging interval,  as an adult if you think logging for a longer period of time would be beneficial then do it, but be careful because… Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. I would caution you against prolonged food tracking as it can lead into the vicious cycle of disordered eating. HOWEVER a 3-7day sampling IN SEASON will help you see how much food you are putting in your body and ensure you are eating the right amount for you.

 If you find you are not eating enough then lets increase your calories with healthy choices to make sure you are properly fueling YOUR athletic performance.

food-for-fuel

Remember food is fuel!!!!! Food is needed to meet the energy availability needs for basic cell function (growth, cellular activity, healing) in addition to calories or energy needed for activity and performance.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need help or guidance on finding the best solution to fueling your future the best way for you!

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Fueling Your Future

Female Athlete Triad – Part 1

Last week I spoke at an area high school to the female athletes about fueling their futures and the Female Athlete Triad. I wanted to share with you all about my presentation because I truly think its important for every one of all ages.

Female Athlete Triad

As a physical therapist serving many of the area school kids I was excited (and nervous) to present to this group of kids. As a high school athlete I got very little education on how to properly fuel my body and know many people who poorly or improperly fueled themselves for their athletic performance.

I tell my kids in PT often “if I only knew now what I knew then I would’ve been a top athlete, rather than just a good one.” I honestly believe this, when I was a high school athlete we would “fuel” with huge meals between matches, sweets after practice, and often a pre or post practice run to a fast food restaurant. While the majority of my teammates and myself were not acutely aware of what we were putting in our bodies we also were not deviating extremely from the “norm.”

As a high schooler & in general I think it is important to just eat!! Your body needs energy and energy comes from food, and once you focus on only eating certain foods or counting calories you risk a bigger problem than just eating the food you enjoy. Being mindful of moderation and portion control, the two things which I did not have in high school and hardly thought about.

Then & Now

As athletes we are exposed to a greater risk of social pressures and societal norms for the sport which we play and the athletic performance we wish to achieve. These pressures can monumentally impact growth and maturation of the female athlete.

Females are susceptible to what is called “The Female Athlete Triad” and what I think had a bad rap for being a huge scary thing. When really it should be discussed with each female sports team (and honestly male sports team even though the impact is different) because it is not as scary at it sounds.

Female Athlete Triad is the combination of three factors which exist on a continuum of severity 1. Energy deficiency with or without eating disorder 2. Menstrual disturbances/amenorrhea & 3. Bone loss/osteoporosis.

Female Athlete Triad

I spoke mostly on energy deficiency as I believe this is the biggest component of the triad and honestly the conduit to the other two components. While they can all exist exclusively they all can co-exist and this coexistence is a result from a cascade of responses.

Energy deficiency is defined as “Not having enough energy available” and is due to under-fueling and caloric deficits. It can lead to disordered eating but does not have to, and the result is not always a diagnosed eating disorder. Energy deficiencies can be unintentional and often occur within the exercise community.

Have you ever gone to a workout or sporting game and forgot to eat something before you went? How did you feel after the first 10minutes or 1 hour of full exertion exercise? not great right?

This is unintentional energy deficiency, some people think they perform better with fasted workouts and some do not, a fasted workout or state of unintentional energy deficiency puts your body in a “temporary state of female athlete triad” but if you replenish your fuel sources and continue to eat & fuel normally and healthily you are okay!

The Problem comes with sustained disordered eating, not just one day of poor eating or unintentional deficiencies. When you are in a sustained disordered state your body goes into starvation mode and stores each morsel of food. Since our body is a lot smarter than we are it knows that we are in a constant calorie deficit and so it stores all our food to use for energy to survive.

Female Athelte Triad

With sustained energy deficiencies our body searches for other areas to leach energy from so it can take that energy for vital processes such as thinking, digesting, sleeping, walking… This leached energy often comes in the form of discontinuing the normal menstrual cycle, or amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). While we all would love to not have our monthly visit from Aunt Flow it is an important regulatory function for females and vital part of our life.

Secondary Amenorrhea is defined as the “absence of menstrual cycles for 3 or more consecutive months or < 3 cycles/year” this is the amenorrhea that we are concerned about. This means your body has stopped menstruation for an important reason, typically the result of chronic energy deficiency. Prolonged or long-term secondary amenorrhea can lead to difficulty getting pregnant, infertility, pelvic pain and

… osteoporosis due to low estrogen levels. (perfect segue ay?)

Bone loss is no joke my friends and bone health is predominantly impacted by genetics (60-80%), exercise, hormones, nutrition and toxins. While we have little impact on our genetics we definitely have the ability to positively impact the other 20-40% of our bone health.

Starting to see how it all works together? Nutrition and poorly fueling our body leads to hormone imbalances which can negatively impact your bone health leading to weak or brittle bones and increasing your risk for osteoporosis and bone disease. Severe undernutrition impairs reproductive health and skeletal health resulting in low bone mineral density.

Female Athlete Triad

The POSITIVE is that exercise and physical activity positively impacts the bone builders and should improve bone mineral density.

Ok so now you know the gist of Female Athlete Triad. Tomorrow I will share more about how to properly fuel and recognize energy deficiency plus some personal stories on unintentional deficiency.

Questions and comments welcomed.

Fuel safe, perform strong, stay healthy.

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