Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Wondering: Is Acupuncture for you?

I talk a lot about acupuncture on this blog…mainly because I am a fan! It has worked numerous times throughout my running career – when I thought all bets were off on an injury.

It has come to the point, as of late, that I get acupuncture treatments on the regular to keep all aches and pains at bay. If you are wondering if acupuncture is for you, here is more information on the treatment (courtesy of my acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo):

“Acupuncture improves balance and removes energy (Qi) blockages. When applied to an specific area increases the blood flow in the tissues promoting the body’s self healing process.”

Carlos (and Acupuncture) in the news:

Sun-Sentinel: Cupping draw attention after Olympics

The Palm Beach Post: Should you pin your pain relief on acupuncture?

The Palm Beach Post: Holistic Healing

Way Back Wednesday: Maccabiah 1997 to Maccabiah 2017!

2017 marks 20 years since my first Maccabiah experience. I went to the 1997 World Maccabiah Games as a young, naive 15 year old looking to run fast and win in the Junior Track & Field competition…Now 20 years later, I am going as an experienced 35 year old competing in the Open Half Marathon field.

A lot has happened in 20 years (and I mean a lot) but one thing is the same: Running still makes my heart skip a beat…always!

Melissa Perlman Featured in the Sun-Sentinel’s Delray Forum

Thank you Joanie Cox Henry and the Sun-Sentinel!!!!! (Full article here.)

Delray woman headed to World Maccabiah Games

When Delray Beach resident Melissa Perlman is not running BlueIvy Communications, she’s running half marathons. The Spanish River High School track coach and former student will be the captain of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Half Marathon Team at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel. The Jewish multisport event features over 10,000 athletes competing on behalf of more than 80 countries.

Perlman will travel from New York to Israel on June 27 and be in Israel through July 19. It’s the 35-year-old athlete’s third time competing in the World Maccabiah games, and fourth time when including the European version.

“I first heard about the games when my dad participated in the World Maccabiah Games in 1973,” she said. “After my freshman year of high school, I qualified for the junior Track & Field team for the 1997 World Maccabiah Games. It was my first time in Israel and I came back with four bronze medals.”

Perlman competed with athletes from Mexico, Israel, England and all over the world.

“I stopped running after college for a number of years. After a few major life changes, I decided I wanted to get back into it seriously,” she said. “I was working at Office Depot’s headquarters and decided in order to have more balance in my life, I needed to make the time. I left the company in 2011, started BlueIvy Communications, began coaching with my former high school Rick Rothman at Spanish River, and, in turn, started training again.”

By 2013, Perlman was competing in the World Maccabiah Games in Israel again as a member of the Women’s Half Marathon Team. She came home with an individual bronze medal and team gold.

With 83 countries participating this year, Perlman has been training as intensely as she did during her high school and college careers with a goal to bring home gold.

“As an athlete, many of us grow up dreaming of going to the Olympics,” she said. “This is my best chance of fulfilling anything close to that. The games are pretty amazing, and the Maccabiah staff and organizers really treat you like you’re an Olympian.”

Besides running, Perlman has been spending her spare time lifting during OrangeTheory Fitness classes, getting weekly acupuncture treatments and massages, and adding hot yoga into her rotation.

“I feel ready and prepared for the whole experience. It’s so worth all the work that goes into it,” she said. “This will likely be my last year competing in this so hopefully I’ll once again meet friends from around the world, see the beauty of Israel and win gold.”

The games open July 4 and the half marathon is July 10 in Jerusalem. This time, Perlman will have her father, boyfriend, brother and sister cheering her on.

“I’m so lucky to have my family joining me for the experience. I couldn’t imagine anything more special. Also, my sister and boyfriend have never been to Israel so I’m very excited to share it all with them,” she said.

I’m Going to Stick a Needle In Your Leg & Set it On Fire!

Yep…You heard me right! And your reaction was probably similar to mine…but the needle was actually going in my leg, as was the fireball! Let me explain…

Acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo has been treating me since 2012 when he hired my PR agency (BlueIvy Communications) to market and bring media attention to his new acupuncture practice in Boca Raton. As a good professional, I tried out his services – acupuncture for stress, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and much more!

The results were immediate. Lingering injuries that I thought would never go away as well as new aches that were effecting my training  were finally fixed. Now I’m definitely not a “magic” believer…but these needles seemed to be working! Was it the increased blood flow, the movement of the Qi, or something else?

Fast forward five years to this summer. I’ve been dealing with a sore and downright painful left achilles tendon since July of last year. It started hurting while training in Colorado and hasn’t let up since. Carlos started working on my achilles with acupuncture needles in May and the pain eased up. While I could feel the tenderness in my foot…I was able to train and complete runs. That was a win for me in itself.

Carlos, however, wanted more improvement. That was when he broke out the “fire balls” or Moxibustion as the professionals call it.

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.

And it worked…after one treatment, my achilles was 50% better and after two treatments, the pain GONE. Now to be fair, every once in a while I feel the tightness in my calf and ankle area (usually after a deep stretch or hard workout) but all-in-all I run pain free. This magical Moxibustion sure did move my Qi!

Are Your Runs Suffering From Summer HEAT?

Great article from the NY Times with detailed research and studies
on what tactics seem to work best in “cooling” the body prior to a run in the summer heat.

I personally have introduced Hot Yoga (90 minute classes) to my workout routine this summer…and not only seen the stretch benefits  during/after class but also the ability to adapt to the heat during my runs easier as well!

The takeaway for those to busy to read the full article:

“The upshot of these results is that “you will receive a bigger bang for your buck from acclimating to the heat rather than by temporarily cooling yourself down” with chilled clothing and such…

On the other hand, precooling can be a useful stopgap measure when temperatures suddenly rise and you do not have time to acclimate before a looming competition, he says. “Throw your ice vest and cooling shorts into the freezer” and wear them for about 20 minutes before your event, he advises.

Acclimation demands far more time and planning. During your first workouts in summer heat, he says, reduce the time you spend outside and go at a gentler pace than normal, slowly ramping up your effort as the exertion begins to feel more tolerable, which can require anywhere from four or five days to two weeks, depending on your current fitness and heat tolerance. Be sure to drink plenty of water, too, he says, since you will start to sweat more profusely.”

Try it for yourself! I know I will!

New York Times: Hot Weather Workout? Try a Hot Bath Beforehand

As Seen In The Palm Beach Post: “Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness!”

Earlier this month I mentioned that my BlueIvy Communications client Stephen Walker (of the West Palm Beach law firm Critton, Luttier & Coleman) would be featured in The Palm Beach Post’s monthly “Healthy Living” magazine in honor of men’s health month. He was recognized as the pinnacle of men’s health: excelling at his career, in family life and with fitness/health. Well, the feature article came out this past Tuesday, and here it is. Be sure to read up on Steve’s schedule and his tips for others seeking the ideal balance of fitness, family and career!

Read the Online article

Read the text here:

You see it all too often: healthy, active, fit man graduates from school, starts career and family, hits 35, then becomes sedentary, tired, out-of-shape professional.

But not 37-year-old Jupiter resident Stephen Walker!

Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker performing a deadlift.
Walker is a partner with the West Palm Beach-based Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman (www.lawclc.com) where he focuses his practice on high-end marital and family law and complex commercial and construction litigation. He has been with the firm since 2012. “It’s a sedentary job,” Walker explained. “During a trial or deposition, you could literally be sitting for hours. And standing up to stretch out is usually not an option.”

When Walker isn’t at the office (where he typically spends around 60 hours a week), he’s focused on keeping a healthy work-life balance.

During the workweek, Walker wakes up at 5 a.m., kisses his wife Robyn and their two daughters — Madelyn, 5; Lillian, 1 – goodbye and heads to CrossFit Palm Beach (crossfitpalmbeach.com) for the daily 6 a.m. Workout of the Day (WOD). He leaves the gym and goes directly to the office, where he showers and gets dressed before a full day of work. On the weekends, he’s back at the gym for an early morning workout — Saturday and Sunday.
His consistency at the gym is impeccable. According to CrossFit Palm Beach co-owner Tony Frezza, “Steve may have better attendance than most of our instructors. Heck, even me!” Walker also admits having to call the gym on the rare occasion he is traveling and can’t make it in. “So they don’t worry,” Walker joked.

Walker works out seven days a week — always in the morning. Most workouts include strength training and a high-intensity workout that, in total, usually lasts less than an hour. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).

“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Walker explains. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”

Moreover, Walker said, any soreness or fatigue he feels is far outweighed by the emotional benefits of increased energy, stress management, and overall happiness. His wife, Robyn, a psychologist and Pilates instructor would agree. “She always recommends exercise for stress management for her patients, so she thinks getting some form of exercise every day is a great thing for me,” Walker said.

Walker’s diet is just as impressive – consisting mainly of meat, veggies, fruit and other forms of protein. He doesn’t have specifically planned “cheat days” but won’t refuse some of his favorites: chocolate chip cookies, French fries and potato chips. He drinks alcohol and eats dairy and peanuts but won’t eat bread or pasta. And he’s found that changing his diet was a big part of his success in the gym.

Walker says he’s been pretty healthy and active since his college days. But when he entered his 30s, he noticed his metabolism started to slow; he immediately adjusted his workout schedule and diet. “It sort of became a constant experiment for me,” Walker said. “Work out seven days a week and see what happens; clean up my diet by removing starches and breads; add cardio; and so on.” Walker saw the results immediately – after six weeks straight of everyday workouts back in 2012, he had gained seven pounds of muscle and lost an inch on his waist. He said he hasn’t looked back since.

Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker doing pull-ups.
And it’s the results that keep him motivated every day. “It comes down to making the time and prioritizing your health,” Walker said. “My job is mentally intensive and sedentary, so it helps to balance that, manage stress and keep me focused.”

Walker’s colleagues at Critton, Luttier & Coleman have noticed. Partner Robert D. Critton Jr, who also works out with Walker at CrossFit Palm Beach, said: “Steve is a great role model for attorneys and everyone who claims that they have no time to exercise.”

And Walker has no plans to slow down — ever: “My plan is to exercise and stay active every day for the rest of my life.”

STEVE WALKER’S TIPS FOR A FIT LIFESTYLE

  • Keep your alarm clock on the other side of the room so that you have to get up to turn it off.
  • Shower at the gym or your place of work.
  • Morning workouts are key! It means you are not giving up family dinners, networking opportunities or spontaneous nights out.
  • Make nutrition convenient. I keep a 5-pound tub of protein powder in my office, which means whenever I’m hungry or feeling lethargic, I can get an energy boost quickly.
  • Be flexible. Indulge in your favorite foods in moderation every so often.

 

20 Years of Running; First Dog Bite

Dog Bite 1
At Dr. G’s Urgent Care Center in Delray Beach

I’ve been running for about 20 years now and for the first time ever was bit by a dog…Now I wasn’t chased or mauled by the dog…but rather quickly and suddently bit (not a small bite).  So my post is more of a “be aware” note and advice on what to do just in case you are bit as well.

The situtation/what happened: I was running last Wednesday evening with my high school team when about 10 of us decided to veer off to a quiet nature trail in east Boca we sometimes venture off on. It’s basically a one-mile paved sidewalk that goes by bushes, plants and a lake. But a nice change-up. Anyway – the ten of us (all boys, one girl and myself) were running on the sidewalk past the lake when a couple with four dogs approached. We naturally went into our single file line and ran on the right side of the path. We were in the middle of talking about whatever when as I passed the couple (fourth in line for our group), one of the dogs (Australian Shepard) jumped up out of no where and bit me. (Not sure if it was on a leash or not, but it was with the couple and three smaller dogs.)

I immediately dropped to the ground in shock and a little bit of pain and the kids circled me. The couple and dogs were right there as well and seemed shocked as well. I had the kids check out the injury unsure as to how bad it was (a scratch, or more?) and the female owner came over to see as well. We all realized that it wasn’t a scratch at that point. The woman texted me her information so I could keep in touch as I still wasn’t sure how bad it was…or what my next steps would be. I pulled up my shorts to prevent any additional chafing and the kids and I ran back to our cars at Spanish River park.

When I got back, two of the girls (Sydney and Bailey) helped clean up the injury in the bathroom with soap and water before I jumped in the car with the plan to have it checked out by a doctor. It was at this point that the pain escalated and I realized I would have to rush to an ER Clinic/MDNow.

Bruise three days later
Bruise four days later

What the doctor said: My brother and friend met me at the clinic where the doctor cleaned me up, gave me antiobiotics and pain medicine. He mentioned that while only 5% of dog bites get infected (side note: 85% of cat bites get infected), that I should still watch it and come back if the injury turns red, gets inflamed. He also made sure that I had a tetinus shot and asked that I get the Rabies records from the dog owner’s vet.

No inflammation resulted the following day but the bruising has been pretty bad. And kept getting worse the first few days. Now it has calmed down a bit. Running was impossible the two days following the incident (felt super sore) but has been okay the last couple of days. (Sorta running through the pain a tad…)

The dog owner has been very attentive and checked in on me daily. She has agreed to buy me a new pair of shorts (the ones I was wearing were ripped) and pay for my co-pay/prescription (medical bills). We are both very lucky it wasn’t worse!

Lessons Learned: While honestly there was no way for me to have prevented this incident…I have learned a few things that I’ll share here:

  1. Run with a phone…I didn’t have a way to get the dog owner’s contact information. Luckily she had a phone and texted me her correct information.
  2. Don’t just run on the opposite side of the sidewalk…potentially run off on the grass if possible. Even if the dog is on a leash with owners…even if you look strange running so far away – it’s for your safety.
  3. Get the other person’s contact info no matter how bad (or not bad) the bite was. I didn’t think it was that bad at first. The adrenaline was pumping apparently. Get the information just in case.
  4. Be kind. It stinks to be bitten by a dog…but dogs are animals. And it’s not necessarily the fault of the owner (or you obviously). So be kind with each other…and see the situtation for what it is. I was lucky to have an attentive and caring owner that teared up when she saw how I was hurt….and I’m sure she felt lucky that I was understanding and not immediately threatening, yelling, etc. So be fair and kind.

*THANKFUL: Super thankful it was me that was bit and not one of the student-athletes I was running with…

Resources:

Run Eat Repeat Blog: Runner Bit by Dog

Runner’s World: Mean Dogs Bite

Great Fitness Experiment: Dog Attack!

UPDATED: So randomly, I learned that last week was National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Random! Details on the week here.

Perfect Balance: This High Profile Attorney Finds the Time For Work, Family & CrossFit

Steve Walker working out at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter, Florida.
Steve Walker working out at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter, Florida.

I was recently charged with the task of writing an article on a Palm Beach County resident who represented the ideal of “men’s health.” Well it wasn’t a difficult assignment to meet. I knew exactly who I would profile for the feature – my client, attorney Steve Walker from the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman, LLP. I knew Steve as a great, successful attorney in the areas of complex family & divorce law as well as complex commercial & construction litigation. I also knew him as a loving husband and father of two girls. And thanks to jokes and ribbing around the office, I heard of his consistent workout and training schedule. What I didn’t know what how consistent and intense his workout actually was.

I won’t ruin the entire article that was written up and which will be featured in the June 2015 issue of Health Living Magazine, distributed by The Palm Beach Post. But I will share with you a few fun tidbits that Steve shared with me. (Stay tuned for the full article next month!)

“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Steve said. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”

Steve Walker’s Typical Day

  • 5am: Wake up, get dressed, and gather my things (I drink a protein shake and take my vitamins).
  • 6am: Workout of the Day (WOD) at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).
  • 7am: Head to the office; during drive, drink a protein shake, have an apple or banana, and green tea; at the office, shower and get ready.
  • 8am: At desk or getting ready for Court or a deposition; if I’m at my desk, I try to stand as much as possible while working.
  • 10am: If I can, I drink a protein shake.
  • 12pm: Go to lunch; working in downtown WPB, we pretty much eat out every day. Trying to make smart choices from the menus on Clematis is a workout in and of itself.
  • 1-6 or 7pm: Still working…I try to get a high-protein snack or shake around 3pm.
  • 7-7:30pm: Try to get home before the girls go to bed, bath and story time, eat dinner and relax (or stretch) in front of the TV and/or get some more work done.
  • 9-9:30pm: Bedtime; if I ate relatively early, I will drink a protein shake with slow-digesting protein so that I don’t wake up hungry at 3 or 4am.

 

Running, Sweating and Beer Drinking?!

jcc sweat beersWhat could be better you ask? Nothing! As defending champion of the Levis JCC Run, Sweat and Beers 5K hosted in Boca Raton, Florida on a hot July night (7:00pm), I feel I can make that statement! The 5K is now in its 5th year and keeps getting better. Plus, if you’ve never run an evening race…you’ve got to try it! (Side note, for winning, I received a case of beer…so you may want to start training now!)

Details below:

What: 5th Annual JCC Run, Sweat & Beers 5K

When: Thursday, July 16, 2015; race starts just after 7:00pm

Where: South County Regional Park; 11200 Park Access Rd, Boca Raton, Florida 33498; Race start is just outside Ampitheater/Dog Park; follow the signs!

Sign up/Register: https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/BocaRaton/LevisJCCRunSweatBeers5k

Extras: Wings, snacks and beer ( 21+) following the race. First 500 to register will receive a free dri-fit shirt! Registration and packet pickup at South County Regional Park, 7:00pm prior to race!

Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach Now Open!

fleet feet 1Welcome to Delray Beach Fleet Feet Sports! Our friend (and fellow South Florida Runs member) Nicholas Stump just celebrated the grand opening of his new store Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach and we’re super excited for him and his wife Mackenzie.

We’ve had the pleasure of hearing some of the fun (and challenging) stories as they prepared for opening and we are thrilled to hear the store is open and shoppable!!! Be sure to check them out on the North-East corner of Linton Blvd and Federal in Delray Beach (same shopping plaza as Panera, Fresh Market and Zone Fresca)!

More about Fleet Feet Sports

At Fleet Feet Sports, you will find a welcoming environment where runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities receive unparalleled service and support. Fleet Feet Sports’ Fitlosophy is to help you find the right ”FIT” in every facet of your active lifestyle. Our goal is to engage and inspire all ages to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. We are committed to helping everyone achieve their goals, celebrate their accomplishments, and win everyday! Whether you walk, run, or simply need a good fitting pair of shoes, the educators at Fleet Feet Sports will work with you to evaluate your foot’s gait and natural biomechanics to help you select a shoe that offers the best fit and function for you. Fleet Feet Sports is committed to enhancing and growing our local running and walking communities, and offering educational resources and training opportunities to assist you in achieving your fitness goals.  Each store is locally owned and operated.

Learn more at www.fleetfeetdelray.com or at www.facebook.com/fleetfeetdelray.