Marie Oliva President & CEO Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce 70 Main Street Buzzards Bay, MA
I have been exercising for over 20 years, and Donna Madonia is no doubt the best trainer I have hired. I have been training with her for about 3 years. She is mindful of what works for me personally, and doesn't do "boiler plate" training sessions. Rather, she evaluates you individually and knows what works and what doesn't work. I have had back and neck problems for years. Through Donna's training, I am more fit and stronger with much less pain. The right kind of form when exercising is crucial as well as the type and amount of weights one uses. Donna gets an overall rating of "10" and I highly recommend her.
Maria West, Plymouth MA
I have been training with Donna now for over 15 years. Not only does Donna help build my strength but she has helped to insure proper posture due to back and neck injuries from previous accidents. I highly recommend Donna as a personal trainer. She has helped me to stay focused and motivated. Not only does she help you stay in physical shape but she also helps with wellness of spirit!!!
Jeanne Hesketh, Kingston MA
A true motivator! Donna has a talent for getting you to push yourself further then you thought you could. The best part about Donna is she does this in a fun-spirited, positive way.
Sara P. Grady, Plymouth MA Donna has provided me with creative and interesting workouts to target my fitness interests, from a workout to generally tone to a specific one to improve core muscles and balance to get me in shape for surfing. She is super-friendly and encouraging - even if I don't have an appointment with her, she always says hi when she sees me.
Carol Sheen Sagamore, MA
I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart! You have done so much for me... words cannot explain. I have never felt better in my life and I owe it all to you. Just knowing when I was going to meet with you, no matter how I felt you were going to make me fell that I could do anything. I have beaten my cancer and I have you to thank for it. I feel incredible and look better than I ever have in my 56 years o f life! You are an angel and someone I will always cherish!!!
Lynne M. Schaefer Plymouth, MA
Several months back feeling totally frustrated with the lack of any significant change in my body I enlisted the help of Donna Madonia a personal trainer at the gym I had been going to for a full year. Within weeks of working with Donna there was such a dramatic change to my outward appearance that people I both knew and didn't know were stopping me to compliment me. Never in a million years would I think that I could have muscle tone and definition that I saw on other people training around me. After 45 years of looking and feeling one way I now have more energy and strength due to the varied weight program that Donna has worked out for me. She is a true motivating factor with her boundless energy and extensive knowledge that she continues to share with me and her other clients.
Lisa Mulcahy I am a nationally established best-selling author (BUILDING THE SUCCESSFUL THEATER COMPANY, THEATER FESTIVALS, Allworth Press; BYE, BYE BOREDOM!, Scholastic, Inc.) and magazine contributor (GLAMOUR, MARIE CLAIRE, SEVENTEEN, WEIGHT WATCHERS, MUSCLE & FITNESS HERS, AMERICAN HEALTH & FITNESS, VIBRANT LIFE and many additional domestic/international titles). Donna Madonia frequently assists me as exercise consultant for my health/fitness related writing.
I heartily endorse Donna's professionalism, experience, and expert abilities.
Donna is highly knowledgeable about an extremely wide range of fitness-related topics. She delivers consistently superb and thorough research on the many diverse and challenging fitness questions I pose to her. She does an excellent job in both creating specialized exercise routines for print, and making certain that these routines safe and easily understandable for the millions of readers who peruse my work. I have worked with many consultants on my pieces over the years, and Donna's work is peerless.
Her advice and contributions have impressed numerous editors I have worked with as well.
Donna is extremely organized, meets deadlines effortlessly, and is personable, pleasant, and meticulous. I look forward to collaborating with her on many more projects, and feel that any professional or client who has the opportunity to work with her is very fortunate indeed! Donna Madonia earns my highest recommendation.
Marilyn Basoli Parker Sagamore Beach, MA
I have known and trained with Donna Madonia, for the past twelve years, and revisit that from time to time. She adapts well to all abilities. I love how she modified and offers varying alternative exercises. I love how her kindness goes above and beyond to help you reach your fitness goals. And, I especially love her high energy and positive attitude...wish I could bottle that!
Jodi Harmon Kenney, Plymouth, MA
Donna is an amazing and extremely caring and genuine person. She was more helpful than I could have even hoped for regarding nutrition, fitness, and basically anything having to do with a healthy lifestyle. She goes above and beyond anyone I have ever worked with before and look forward to my next meeting with her. I would recommend her to everyone!!!
Judy Donn, Plymouth MA This place not only has great certified instructors, programs, variety, routines, and philosophy--it's also lots of FUN!! Class size is always small. The instructors are all well trained and vary routines from day to day. They easily modify exercises to accommodate individual situations. The friendly and welcoming factor Is exceptional at Dynamic. All instructors are cheery and encouraging; AND they introduce clients to each other. That way the place is not just a place to exercise. You're with friends. Really!
These fit fine yesterday": get your jeans to fit every day. Curb the many causes of abdominal bloating with these deflating strategies
Muscle & Fitness/Hers, April-May, 2002 by Lisa Mulcahy
So here you are, feeling bigger than that girl who turned into a giant, swollen blueberry in the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Many women can relate to the discomfort that bloating can bring, whether caused by PMS, what we eat or drink or the effects of stress. The good news: You don't have to grin and bear it. You can beat the bloat through understanding how it occurs, then figuring out how to prevent or alleviate it through smart nutritional, physical and supplemental solutions.
What Causes Inflation?
Fluid retention in women is frequently due to the hormonal changes that happen right before your period arrives. Bethany Hays, MD, medical director for True North: A Center For Health and Healing in Falmouth, Maine, explains: "There are brain hormones and brain chemicals that affect the gut; estrogen and progesterone are actually brain chemicals. They affect the brain and nervous system, and have an effect on the motility, or movement, of the gut. So a lot of women will have bloating in the premenstrual phase of their cycle."
Abdominal fullness or distention is often accompanied by gas. "Bloating really just means that a person feels abdominal gas," notes Lin Chang, MD, of the UCLACURE Neurenteric Disease Program. "The feeling of being bloated can come from several possibilities. The first is that you just produce more gas; that's usually dietary. The second is that the transit time, or the time it takes for gas to go through the intestine, is slowed. Medical conditions that can cause this include chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and motility disorders, where the intestinal muscle doesn't work as well -- from nerve damage, nerve dysfunction or muscle dysfunction. The third is an enhanced sensitivity or perception to gas: You don't necessarily have more gas, but your perception of it is more bothersome and increased."
Sometimes bloating is simply due to dietary changes, a laxative or a lot of fiber says Chang. But it can also be associated with a more serious condition, so if it just won't go away, especially if you're older, see your doctor.
Vibrant Life, January-February, 2003 by by Kendra Cordero
If you haven't joined the health club craze ... it's time! Health clubs are not like the ones of the past. The new and improved clubs offer the latest in equipment and health information, activities from rock climbing to spinning, and even after-workout massages. Even with all the benefits, first-time members usually feel some degree of anxiety. There's a tendency for new members to walk into their first workout with the realization that they don't have a clue as to what is going on. Well, help is on the way!.
"Do I Have to Wear That?"
Nothing is worse that the thought of wading through a mass of spandex and muscle shirts in your oversized sweat suit. Make sure that what you are wearing is comfortable and conducive to body movement. Find a comfortable pair of loose shorts and a T-shirt. Also, don't be afraid of spandex. It's great to wear under your shorts so that you will be able to use all of the equipment while maintaining your modesty. Remember, it's a workout, not a fashion show!
Sweatin' to the Oldies
Invest in a Walkman. Thirty minutes on the treadmill can be torture if you are bombarded with heavy-metal muscle music, and at the same time, Anne Murray isn't going to help you bench-press 250 pounds. It's impossible for a club to please such a wide variety of members, so instead of plugging your ears, it may help to pick your own music.
"Help ... Security!"
Just as in any other place, theft can be a problem. Leave your wallet and anything of value at home or locked in your trunk.
The Dreaded Cottonmouth
Dehydration is a serious problem that can sneak up on you. Even if you don't feel thirsty, your muscles are. Bring a squirt bottle full of water to each workout. Be sure to drink a full glass of water an hour before your workout, continue taking small amounts throughout, and drink a large amount at the completion of your workout to replenish your body.
Don't Be Afraid
Have you seen some of the equipment coming out these days? Every club has trainers who will show you how to use the equipment. Don't try to figure it out on your own. Also, don't be afraid to ask a second time. Trainers are very understanding about the anxieties of new members.
Join a Class
Most aerobics classes can be joined at any time. Ask for a description of the classes and just jump in. If you're a beginner, be sure to let the aerobics instructor know so they can give you some extra tips that will help you in class.
"I Weigh What?"
Stay away from scales and pay attention to how your clothes fit. Weight can fluctuate by as much as five pounds from day to day ... even more if you are weighing at different times of the day.
Ready for a Splash?
After a long workout, a dip in the pool or a refreshing shower is a great idea. One problem ... no towel. The best thing is to always bring your own. Even if your club provides towels, most of them wouldn't even fit around your leg.
Take Time to Read Signs!
Most clubs post signs with information ranging from canceled classes to upcoming events. If you don't read, you may be missing out and not even know it.
Have a positive attitude. Make sure you are joining a club for you, and take advantage of everything it has to offer.
Kendra Cordero writes from Keene, Texas.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Review and Herald Publishing Association. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group
Basic training: it's no wonder that boot camp survivors look and feel so lean, fit, and healthy. Simple commonsense exercises, as practiced by the military, really get the job done—and can work for you, too!
Vibrant Life, January-February, 2003 by Lisa Mulcahy
Sound off! One, two, four, That's right, soldier. I'm talking to you--yes, you, couch potato! Do you have any idea how pitifully pudgy you're getting as you spend yet another evening slumped in front of Everybody Loves Raymond, stuffing your face with fatty chips and tossing back sugary sodas? Change your life! Get up off that sofa, drop, and do 10 push-ups pronto!"
Have we gotten your attention? OK, so we at Vibrant Life aren't slave-driving drill sergeants. Still, there's no doubt that a basic training routine is a great way to firm up your body quickly and effectively. New recruits to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines are immediately plunged into a practical, tough workout regimen from day one. Such military training is meant to prepare participants for the ultimate challenge of warfare by whipping their bodies into the best shape possible. Push-ups, chin-ups, squats, repetitive running, and more--doesn't it all sound too hard to master? Think again! No matter what fitness level you're currently at, a straightforward, no-frills routine can get you into top shape and can be done easily on your own without any special equipment.
"Going back to the basics will increase your overall fitness and energy level, improve bone density and strength, and increase endorphins," explains Donna Madonia, a certified personal trainer/aerobic instructor and the owner of Dynamic Training in Wareham, Massachusetts. Read on to learn about the roots and specifics of basic training exercises and then understand how this ideology can be adapted for lower-impact workouts at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Where Basic Training Begins
To properly implement a basic training regimen into your life, it's important to have an understanding of this fitness philosophy's core essentials. Historically, military boot camp gave birth to the concept of basic training. Boot camp exercises are chosen to build strength and total body conditioning through repetition, duration, and gradual intensity. A typical day of full basic training in the U.S. Army consists of eight and a half hours of physical training, consisting mostly of exercise drills, running, and wind sprints. Marine boot camp is no less demanding. The daily workout regimen within this branch of the service includes six limbering exercises, followed by "the daily dozen"--leg lifts, hops, rowing, bends and thrusts, side bends, toe touches, trunk twisters, push-ups, bend and reach exercises, body twists, squats, and mountain climbing/runs. These moves are intended to be done as fast as possible to make them even tougher. Plus, as the weeks go on, boot camp workout regimens typically grow longer to maximize physical improvement results--time and mileage are added on to scheduled runs, for instance.
These basic workout strategies require little in the way of elaborate equipment to execute, yet are well-known for effectively sculpting the muscles and giving a lean, cut look to the body.
Why does this happen without the use of, say, free weights? "You're working with your own body weight," Madonia explains. "Overall, for executing boot camp exercises, your abdominals should be tight, you should keep your neck in line with your spine, and you should focus on the muscle you're going to be performing a specific movement with."
Bring It On!
A growing number of civilians have declared they're up for the basic training challenge by signing up for boot camp exercise programs. The Navy SEAL PT program of New York City is a two-week super immersion training program that tests the mettle and tones the muscles. Each weekday morning, participants meet in Central Park at the crack of dawn to be instructed by actual commandos. The moves include intensive running, bodybuilder exercises (such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and jumping jacks), "chasing the rabbit" (running in place on your hands and feet), "bear crawling" (movement on hands and feet), and more. No matter what shape a recruit may be in at the start of the course, typically, weight pours off, pant sizes shrink, and body fat ratios plummet by the end of training.
In the Boston area FitBoot is a highly acclaimed exercise organization that utilizes basic training techniques to develop muscle, teach physical skill, and aid weight loss. It also teaches its participants important nutrition/lifestyle enhancement lessons. FitBoot was founded by a former Marine Corps captain, Charla McMillan, and offers a six-week training cycle zeroing in on upper and lower body strength, flexibility, agility, cardio, and, additionally, mental concentration improvement. You must earn a passing score in the course to graduate, following Marine standards. When you do so successfully, you're encouraged to continue your training at an advanced level.
Fitness testing is required when entering these and all other reputable professional exercise programs. Plus, it goes without saying that before starting any exercise regimen, you should visit your doctor for a complete checkup to rule out any health problems. So let's say you get the all clear--how do you begin basic training on your own?
Donna Madonia has designed The Back-to-Basics Boot Camp Workout especially for Vibrant Life readers to benefit from. "This is a fun program I highly recommend for all fitness levels," she says. "It's effective and can be done by beginners or intermediate and advanced athletes." You can easily do it outdoors, too. Make sure to pay attention to your own body, working out gradually in terms of time/intensity as you feel comfortable. Here are the how-tos.
The Back-to-Basics Boot Camp Workout
Madonia explains: "You will do two sets of 15-30 repetitions or until you feel you can't do any more, with 15-30 seconds of resting time between sets. Challenge yourself each set; each day you do your boot camp exercises, always try to add more reps. This will improve your bone density and increase your overall strength, skill, and energy levels."
1. Begin by walking for five to 10 minutes to warm up--walk briskly or slow jog.
2. Stop and do push-ups.
3. Resume walking or jogging for five minutes.
4. Stop and squat or squat thrust.
5. Resume walking or jogging for five minutes.
6. Stop and do jumping jacks .
7. Resume walking or jogging for five minutes.
8. Stop and do chin-ups, as many as you can. If you're outdoors, utilize, for example, playground equipment such as a jungle gym or sturdy bars to execute chin-ups.
9. Resume walking or jogging for five minutes.
10. Stop and do one set of push-ups.
11. Do one set of squats.
12. Do one set of jumping jacks.
13. Do one set of chin-ups.
14. Cool down with a five-minute walk or jog.
15. Finish up with a set of sit-ups.
The Back-to-Basics Boot Camp Workout should be done three times per week (every other day) for best results.
For advanced athletes Madonia suggests, "Kick it up a notch--run a little faster and a little longer. Be creative. Challenge yourself!" In a nutshell: keep it safe, work hard to see results, and don't forget to have fun!
Be all that you can be: essential tips for executing boot camp exercise
by Lisa Mulcahy
There's a right way and a wrong way to do a sit-up. In order to get the most out of your workout, Donna Madonia offers some solid advice to properly put you through your paces.
* SIT-UPS (which strengthen the abdominal muscles and provide support for the internal organs and back): Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground a comfortable distance from your body. Hold your abs in tight, keeping your lower back and torso in a neutral spine position. Place your hands behind your head and do a curl, bringing your head, shoulders, and rib cage up and forward in a slow controlled motion. Now return to your starting position without dropping your head and shoulders to the ground. Make sure you maintain a consistent, moderate contraction of the abs as you repeat each sit-up.
* PUSH-UPS (which strengthen the muscles of the chest and arms): Position your hands so that they are the width of your shoulders or slightly outside shoulder width apart. Keep your hand placement very straight; hands should be positioned slightly forward of your shoulders.
Don't lock your elbows; keep your head in line with the spine. Separate your legs so as to evenly distribute your body weight between your arms, legs, and upper torso. Perform your push-up using a smooth motion, leading with your chest. If you're a beginner, feel free to use a tree or park bench to push against.
Intermediate exercisers may perform push-ups on the knees. Advanced athletes should be able to do a straight-leg push-up.
* SQUATS (which strengthen the buttocks, the quadricep muscles at the front of the leg, and the hamstring muscles at the back of the leg): If you're new to squats, holding on to a park bench or tree can help until your legs strengthen and you become more accustomed to the movement. Place your feet shoulder width apart, keeping knees and toes facing forward and in the same direction. Position your body weight in heels, not toes. Contract your abs, holding your rib cage and shoulders back and relaxed. Squat by lowering your torso until thighs are just about parallel to the floor, using a controlled motion. Don't drop your hips below your knees (keep the image of sitting in a chair in mind instead).
During the lowering phase of a squat, your tailbone should point to the rear as an extension of your spine; you should not arch your back. To finish the exercise, straighten your legs without locking your knees.
* SQUAT THRUSTS (variation): This exercise takes the same basic form as a squat. The difference is that you hop off the ground on your way back up from the squat position, heel first, then rolling on your toes as you ascend into the air.
* CHIN-UPS (which strengthen arms and back, and boost upper body strength): Using an underhand grip, and keeping your arms shoulder width apart, pull your body up with your chin to the secured bar you are using. Descend slowly.
Lisa Mulcahy is a writer who lives in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Review and Herald Publishing Association. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group
AHF, February-March & April-May, 2005 by Lisa Mulcahy
Sprain or strain a muscle? Here's everything you need to know in order to heal the right way.
This morning, you were enjoying a brisk winter jog - until you hit that patch of black ice, Now your twisted ankle is exploding with pain, What should you do? Well, first of ail, don't panic The good news is that your particular workout injury is extremely common, and can easily be understood, treated and rehabbed properly.
This two-part series will examine a variety of frequent sports injuries using solid medical information, safe, alternate exercise activities (so you don't have to give up cardio or strength training while you heal), and clear, concise advice on how to prevent re-injury in the future.
This morning, you were enjoying a brisk winter jog - until you hit that patch of black ice, Now your twisted ankle is exploding with pain, What should you do? Well, first of ail, don't panic The good news is that your particular workout injury is extremely common, and can easily be understood, treated and rehabbed properly.
This two-part series will examine a variety of frequent sports injuries using solid medical information, safe, alternate exercise activities (so you don't have to give up carclio or strength training while you heal), and clear, concise advice on how to prevent re-injury in the future.
Injury Hot Spots - and Solutions
There are many specific parts of the body that are most often afflicted by sports injuries. The following are three major hot spots:
An ankle injury such as a sprain is a twisting injury, Ankle injuries usually happen when your foot accidentally rolls inward. This type of motion can tear or stretch out the ligament connecting your ankle and foot bones.
Ankle sprains are generally treated with the RICE treatment: rest, ice, compression (with an Ace wrap) and elevation, explains Dr. Jim Kelly, an orthopedic surgeon at the Northern California Institute of Sports Medicine. "If the injury is associated with any deformity, severe swelling and bruising, or is recurrent, you should see your doctor," he says."If you are unable to put weight on the ankle, this.may be an indication of a more severe injury requiring medical treatment."
What to Do: As soon as possible after you've been injured, tape, brace and splint the area; taping your leg from your toes to the middle of your calf can significantly 'reduce pain, As days pass and you start to feel better, how can you safely resume cardio activity again? *lt depends on the 'stage of injury,"explains Donna Madonia, a certified persona! trainer and owner of Dynamic Training in Plymouth, Massachusetts, "In earlier'stages, I have to say swimming (a non-weight bearing exercise) would (put) the least amount of stress on your ankle, in addition to Increasing the resistance of movement, being in the wafer decreases 1 The stress on your joints, while increasing your range of motion, Because there is no impact, an injured athlete can train in the water and remain fit while the injury heals."
In later stages of recovery, Madonia suggests Incorporating bike workouts and then elliptical trainer workouts, Above all else, however Madonia urges that if you have an ankle injury, or any sports 1 injury, you should get the all-clear from your doctor or physical therapist before resuming any form of exercise. "I also highly recommend hiring a personal trainer to get you started in the safest direction," she adds, A trainer will be able to tell you about the value of safe rehab exercises like calf and heel stretching to strengthen muscles.
Joggers, walkers and cyclists con easily be plagued by knee injuries, most commonly due to "pounding the pavement," or by accidentally twisting their knees (like if your foot "catches" on the ground as your leg is rotating in an outward direction, white pedaling, for instance). Sprains, the most common knee injury, usually occur on the inside of your knee, and involve a stretching-out of the ligament. If a knee injury is internal (this usually involves damage to the cartilage), your knee most likely will swell up and discolor. See your doctor right away if this happens, since your injury could be serious.
What to Do: For a simple sprain, the RICE treatment should provide initial relief. Keep in mind not to overexert your knee too quickly. "Common knee sprains take two to three weeks to become comfortable, but at least six weeks to heal adequately (so you can) return to at-risk sports such as football" says Dr. Kelly. "The healing process can't be (rushed)! Smoking will lengthen the process. Returning to sports too soon makes an athlete susceptible to a recurrent and more severe injury."
Once you get a medical okay to proceed. Donna Madonia warns against any exercise that would promote symptoms of swelling. "Functional weight-bearing exercises are essentially the best," she says. "These get the joints and muscles all working together. Proper form is crucial!" Madonia suggests starting off with squats and multi directional'lunges, then adding leg extensions and hamstring curls once your knee feels stronger.
Hip sprains and strains can happen when you stretch too vigorously during any type of exercise. RICE first aid should be started as soon as possible, A fall during a workout could potentially result in a more serious hip problem such as a contusion, dislocation or fracture. Get immediate medical help if you have major bleeding, you can't stand or walk, your joint looks crooked or misshaped, you' re in your 50s, or older, have osteoporosis or use steroids. "Most hip fractures require surgery," says. Dr, Kelly. "Some fractures of the socket at the hip joint can be managed with crutches and non-weight bearing for a minimum of six weeks."
What to Do: If your hip injury is minor, Madonia stresses the importance of knowing your physical limits when it comes to exercise, "Listen to your body," she advises. "If you feel any discomfort, this means you may be overstressing the joint or tissues and may need to rest." if you do exercise, avoid positions that cause pain at the hip. Madonia recommends dumbbell workouts while sitting on an exercise bench or backed chair, Ensure that the chair height keeps your knees at a 90-degree angle. "I cannot stress enough about correct form," she says. "Make sure you start off with a very light weight, contract your abdominal muscles, lift up your rib cage, and bring your shoulders back and down. (It's also important to use) a very slow and controlled movement when lifting weights, and to use only machines or light dumbbells. This should help keep your hip stable and help prevent any rotations with your hip that could cause or provoke pain and slow down the healing process."
Sprains, Strains & Pulls: What's the Difference?
It's important to understand the differences between various kinds of muscle injuries in order to treat them properly (and prevent them in the first place). Here's a quick primer:
A SPRAIN affects the ligament, which is the tissue that connects your bones to one another. When the ligament is extended too far from its normal position because of undue force, a stretch or tear can result, and that is the technical definition of a sprain. Simple strains (often called Grade I or II) are the kind that can be treated with home first aid. Sprains classified as Grade III can actually lead to lasting ankle instability, and require more complex treatment and sometimes even surgery so that the condition won't affect your long-term daily movement or exercise ability.
A STRAIN happens when you pull too hard on a muscle or tendon. If your muscle pulls one way while it's also contracting the opposite way, you're set up for a classic strain as well. A muscle pull is essentially the same thing as a strain. Chronic bad exercise form or repetitive motion can set the 1 stage for a strain.
The Heal Factor
Here are some general guidelines about the healing time required for strains or sprains to your ankles, knees and hips:
Ankles - 80% restoration of movement/comfort within one month
Knees - general comfort returns within 2 to 3 weeks; total healing takes up to 6 weeks
Hips - general improvement begins within 2 to 3 days. Swelling improves within 7 days; pain is reduced within 2 weeks
Red-shirt Training Program
Madonia suggests the following exercises:
Chest (machines only): seated chest presses, seated chest flyes
Shoulders ( machines and/or dumbbells): overhead shoulder presses, lateral raises frontal raises, wide-grip upright rows, shoulder shrugs for traps
Biceps (machines or dumbbells): biceps curls, hammer curls, reverse curls
Triceps (machines or dumbbells): triceps, kickbacks, triceps extensions
Back (machines only): seated rows
Weight-bearing exercises can be slowly added back into your routine as healing progresses, No matter what kind of injury you've suffered, it's essential to take- things slowly when you begin to exercise again.
Part 2 The last of our series on muscle sprains and strains - with treatments you can use, plus great ways to stay active.
In our last issue we look at how three parts of your body (ankles, knees and hips).are frequently affected by sports injuries, We also focused on savvy treatment and workout strategies to help heal these hot spots as safely and quickly as possible, In this issue, we'll tell you about three other common injury trouble spots, and the best ways to feel better and stay active while recuperating. There are many specific parts of your body that are often afflicted by trauma - wrists, elbows and shoulders are very susceptible to sports injuries: WRISTS Exercise-related wrist injuries almost always occur when you trip (while jogging, for instance), put out your hands to catch yourself, and land with your weight on your palms, This will cause your wrist to bend backward too far and strain your ligaments, It's crucial to monitor a wrist injury closely for skin that feels hot, looks discolored or swells up, since these symptoms could mean that you have an infection. See a doctor if any of these signs are present. What to Do: "For most sprains, the extremity is rested until the swelling and bruises subside," says Dr. Jim Kelly, an orthopedic surgeon at the Northern California Institute of Sports Medicine. "Generally, immediate motion is allowed for less severe strains. Elevation is extremely helpful, along with, the early motion, for dissipating the swelling. Once the wrist is pain-free and the motion is normal, usually in four to six weeks, (you can resume sports)." "You can do lots of cardio," says Donna Madonia, a certified personal trainer and owner of Dynamic Training in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
She warns against gripping handles on a machine or using weights or dumbbells. "Make sure to maintain a neutral wrist position while performing all resistive activities," she adds. ELBOWS If you strain your elbow (while working out with weights, for example), you're tearing a ligament or ripping at a type of tissue in your arm known as the "capsule," When you try to move it, your elbow may feel tight or stiff and quite painful. What to Do: Apply an ice compress to the area for 20 minutes, then repeat every three to four hours for a simple sprain. Gently attempt to move your elbow until your range of motion returns pain-free. If you've suffered a blow with considerable force to the elbow, you could be dealing with a dislocation - see your doctor in this case. "When an elbow is dislocated, it is usually very painful, swollen, deformed and immobile," notes Dr. Kelly. If you're healing from a minor elbow sprain or strain, it's fine to do cardio, lower body or ab exercises, as long as they don't involve gripping motions. "Take caution," Madonia says. "You can also exacerbate a tendinitis by trying to work through the pain."
SHOULDERS Shoulder sprains or strains should be seen and promptly treated by your doctor in order to avoid repeat problems when you work out in the future. Why? Because shoulder injury affects muscle and tissues, which directly correlate to shoulder-joint stability. "The rehabilitation of a shoulder injury is most effectively managed under the supervision of a qualified physical therapist as directed by your doctor," explains Dr. Kelly.
What to Do: "Most shoulder sprains will respond and recover with a focused exercise program in one to three months," says Dr. Kelly; "The program commonly starts with stretch ing, followed by strengthening, of the muscles supporting the shoulder, then the muscles of the rotator cuff." An activity such as improper pitching or catching form can re injure your shoulder and lead to serious ailments like rotator cuff syndrome, so take care to "retrain" yourself properly, and use correct form, when it's safe to fake up sports again.
"The shoulder is a touchy area and should' be dealt with using extreme caution," says Madonia. A physical therapist and trainer must advise you following a serious injury. For a simple post-strain or sprain, Madonia suggests the following: » Avoid upward movements initially (like lateral raises, upright rows and shoulder presses. » Do backward movements below shoulder height: first try seated rows, then rotator cuff strengthening exercises, followed by exercises to strengthen your arm, back and chest muscles. » Try incline bench presses with your arm at. 45 degrees initially, then build up to normal bench-press range as you get stronger.
Avoid increasing weight too soon, staying in the 10 to 20 rep range for a while before adding more weight. » Once your pain is totally gone, slowly introduce overhead exercises like shoulder presses, upright rows, lateral raises, pullups, and lat pulldowns, using light weights and higher reps. » Reduce your reps by two every two weeks to build up strength slowly, and always warm up your joints and rotator cuff thoroughly prior to lifting.
Injury-Proof Your Workout To avoid repeating an injury or causing a new one, practice the following common-sense workout tips: • Exercise on non-slip, even surfaces. • Work on improving your balance through exercises like yoga, or using a core balance board. - • Wear supportive footwear with non-skid soles. • Warm up before you exercise. Always stretch afterward. Paying attention to these details will keep your workout routine as safe and effective as possible.
Why Scales Lie
We've been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can't resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can't bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it's readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.
Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body's water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don't understand what's happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it's water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.
Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it's easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn't have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts.
The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That's why, when it comes to eating, it's wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.
Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.
Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it's packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it's stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it's associated water. It's normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you're prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.
Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it's wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It's the actual weight of everything you've had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you've finished digesting it.
Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely. In fact it's not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it's likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it's only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it's physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you're really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.
This brings us to the scale's sneakiest attribute. It doesn't just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you've lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you're just sitting around. That's one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.
Robin Landis author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy. lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn't differentiate between the two. It can't tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.
If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn't appeal to you, don't worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel'? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? 'These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don't be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It's a matter of mind over scale.
Weight Loss and Nutrition Myths
Myth: Fad diets work for permanent weight loss.
Fact: Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off: Fad diets often promise quick weight loss or tell you to cut certain foods out of your diet. You may lose weight at first on one of these diets.
But diets that strictly limit calories or food choices are hard to follow. Most people quickly get tired of them and regain any lost weight.
Fad diets may be unhealthy because they may not provide all of the nutrients your body needs. Also, losing weight at a very rapid rate (more than 3 pounds a week after the first couple weeks) may increase your risk for developing gallstones (clusters of solid material in the gallbladder that can be painful).
Diets that provide less than 800 calories per day also could result in heart rhythm abnormalities, which can be fatal.
Tip: Research suggests that losing 1/2 to 2 pounds a week by making healthy food choices, eating moderate portions, and building physical activity into your daily life is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. By adopting healthy eating and physical activity habits, you may also lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Myth: High protein/low-carbohydrate diets are a healthy way to lose weight.
Fact: The long-term health effects of a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet are unknown. But getting most of your daily calories from high-protein foods like meat, eggs, and cheese is not a balanced eating plan. You may be eating too much fat and cholesterol, which may raise heart disease risk. You may be eating too few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which may lead to constipation due to lack of dietary fiber. Following a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet may also make you feel nauseous, tired, and weak. Eating fewer than 130 grams of carbohydrate a day can lead to the buildup of ketones (partially broken-down fats) in your blood. A buildup of ketones in your blood (called ketosis) can cause your body to produce high levels of uric acid, which is a risk factor for gout (a painful swelling of the joints) and kidney stones. Ketosis may be especially risky for pregnant women and people with diabetes or kidney disease. Tip: High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets are often low in calories because food choices are strictly limited, so they may cause short-term weight loss. But a reduced-calorie eating plan that includes recommended amounts of carbohydrate, protein, and fat will also allow you to lose weight. By following a balanced eating plan, you will not have to stop eating whole classes of foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables-and miss the key nutrients they contain. You may also find it easier to stick with a diet or eating plan that includes a greater variety of food.
What Are Eating Disorders?
A practical guide to understanding the signs, symptoms, and dangers of eating disorders
Eating disorders are defined as eating habits that are hurtful to an individual; at times resulting in death. They currently affect five to ten million American adolescent girls and women, and approximately one million men. In addition, approximately 70 million individuals worldwide struggle with these disorders. In a single person's lifetime, approximately 50,000 individuals will die from this terrifying disorder. Eating disorders do not discriminate between gender, class, race or age. They can and do happen to anyone. Eating disorders have been present in children as young as three years old and in adults as old as ninety. However, the typical age of onset is anywhere from 12-18 years of age.
Contrary to popular belief, an eating disorder is not solely based on food.
There are many contributing factors that lead to the emergence of an eating disorder. Loss of control, anxiety and/or depression, sexual abuse, genetics, family emotional problems, a high need for perfection, the media, and a refusal to grow up are just some of the possible factors, although no defined cause has been established. The three most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa (self-starvation), Bulimia Nervosa (binge-purge), and Binge Eating Disorder(bingeing). An eating disorder can go unnoticed for a significant amount of time, and if it is recognized, denial usually follows and the disorder goes untreated. If you think you or someone you know has developed an eating disorder, please do not deny that a problem exists and try to get professional help as soon as possible. The earlier an eating disorder is detected and treated, the quicker the recovery. Learn as much as you can about eating disorders, and do not be afraid to talk to someone about it. Major health hazards including death may occur if an eating disorder goes undetected and/or untreated. Help is available and recovery is definitely possible.
Do's and Don'ts
1. Learn as much as you can about eating disorders.
2. Find an appropriate time and place to talk to the individual; in private and never in front of other people.
3. Make sure to talk to the person in loving and understanding way, and listen with a nonjudging ear. Don't be scared.
4. Encourage the individual to seek professional help. Don't attempt to solve his/her problems on your own.
5. Talk about things other than food, weight, and exercise.
6. Be available when your friend needs someone, but remember, it is okay to set limits on what you can and cannot do.
7. Be available and don't expect to be perfect.
1. Do not gossip about the individual.
2. Do not engage in a power struggle and/or force the individual to eat.
3. Do not give any advice about calorie/food intake, weight, appearance, etc.
4. Be prepared that the individual might deny that he/she has a problem. If that is the case, make sure to inform someone else of your concerns. Don't promise to keep it a secret.
5. Don't try to solve her/his problems or help with the eating disorder on your own. Get help from others.
6. Don't confront your friend with a group of people, in front of a group of people.
7. Don't let her/his peculiarities dominate you or manipulate you.
8. Don't be scared to talk with her/him.
9. Don't expect to be the perfect friend - Reach out for support when you need it.
10. Don't expect your friend to be "cured" after treatment. Recovery can be a long process.
11. Don't keep this a secret for your friend. Remember, her/his life may be danger.
12. Don't panic: Look for the help you need.
THE ALLIANCE FOR EATING
P.O. Box 13155
North Palm Beach, FL33408-3155
TEL: (561) 841-0900
FAX: (561) 881-0380www.eatingdisorderinfo.org
Take the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26)!
EAT-26, David M. Garner & Paul E. Garfinkel (1979), David M. Garner et al., (1982)