Tag Archives: body

Ice Baths Are Not for the Weak!!

My running partner, Lauren, and I have had some pretty tough training runs over the past few weeks…so under the advisement of her boyfriend Zach, Lauren stepped into an ice bath for her very first time! As she told me today on our run…it was the absolute worst experience ever! I had to giggle as I know the pain all too well! Few can handle the ice bath, but those who do benefit!

(Photos of me in my own ice bath today; as well as Lauren eating pizza to make the time go by faster in hers!)

Here’s why:

The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibers and resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise.

  • After a workout, your body needs to “repair” itself to prepare for the next training session.
  • It does so with the help of blood vessels that bring oxygen to your muscle tissue while removing waste products of exercise — the most common being lactic acid.
  • Too much lactic acid build-up can cause your muscles to function poorly and will often lead to fatigue.
  • An ice bath will immediately reduce swelling while flushing lactic acid out of your body.
  • When you sit in an ice bath — or when you rub a cup of ice on the muscles you just trained — the cold causes your blood vessels to tighten.
  • This helps drain the lactic acid out of your tired muscles.
  • When you get out of the bath, your muscle tissue warms back up, causing a return of oxygenated blood to help your muscles recover.

So next time you are need of some relief for your sore muscles, try out your very own ice bath. Directs as follows:

  1. Pick up at least two or three 20lb ice bags
  2. Fill bath up with cold water about 50%
  3. Dump in ice baths
  4. Jump in yourself and force yourself to stay in there for 10 minutes
  5. Tips: Go in fast…the slower you do it, the longer it takes for your legs to go numb. Wear a sweatshirt or towel on your upper body to keep you warm / bite when you need to scream!
  6. Have fun!!!

Benefits of Massage

I am a big fan of massages. I go for them pretty regularly – well at least I try to. I know I should go more and am told that by my masseuse each time I show up. The knots in my back and shoulders seem to get worse and I am reminded that de-stressing, more water, stretching and more regular massages are the only answers. Each time I smile and promise I will schedule more but it is tough to get there with such a busy schedule. I mean it’s not like I don’t want to go! If I had my way – I’d be on the massage table at least twice a week!

But back to the purpose of this post. Lots of massage locations are offering special packages and discounts for summer and specifically Mother’s Day. So regardless if you are a mom or not, take advantage and get one! I personally recommend the amazing massage team at the Boynton Beach Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation Institute. I’ve had personal experience there and the experience was fantastic and most importantly RELAXING! They are offering 25% off hour-long massages just in time for Mother’s Day so call the office today and purchase one for you or the “mom” in your life. They are located in the Canyon Town Center shopping area in West Boynton Beach (Boynton Beach Blvd, just west of the Turnpike). The office number is 561-364-4111 and the website is DrDavidRudnick.com. Tell them I sent you!

And if you still need a reason to go for a massage, check out this great article written by Madeline Vann, MPH for EveryDayHealth.com:

Massage And Emotional Wellness

Massage can provide stress relief for just about anyone, from preterm babies to the elderly. Yet the benefits of massage go beyond stress relief. Moderate-pressure massage for as little as 15 minutes may offer relief from depression, anger, and anxiety.

“It’s never fun to let stress bring you to your breaking point! Just as we take our cars in for regular tune-ups, we too need maintenance,” says massage therapist Kristen Sykora, LMT, owner of Harmony Healthcare Associates and Hands Down Physical Arts, Inc. in Wantagh, NY. “Massage therapy decreases the amount of stress in the body by [relaxing] muscles, flushing out the waste products from the muscles, and increasing the ‘feel-good’ hormones.”

Massage Therapy and Stress Relief: Emotional Health Benefits

If you’ve been in the hands of a good massage therapist, you already know how your body responds with stress relief. But the physiological response goes deeper than blissful relaxation.

“Massage therapy can improve a person’s emotional health by reducing stress and stress hormones; by increasing serotonin and thereby reducing depression and pain; and by enhancing immune function and thereby reducing bacterial and viral illnesses,” explains Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Fla.

Field’s research team has shown that massage relieves stress for preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. Three 15-minute full-body massages each day for five days lead to a significant reduction in stress-related behaviors in this vulnerable population. Massage has also been shown to help preterm babies gain weight faster.

Research has also shown that:

  • Six 30-minute massages over a two-week period can ease pain and improve mood among people with advanced cancer.
  • Massage can help reduce depression in both children and pregnant women. As little as 15 minutes of massage on a regular basis may be beneficial to mood.
  • Massage therapy is helpful for trauma victims. “Aside from physical pain, victims of trauma, past or present, will often hold memories of such events in their muscle tissues. By receiving massage from a trained professional, one can get back in touch with their body and be able to access the held emotions,” says Sykora.

Massage is not just a way to gain stress relief — you can reduce many of the other unpleasant emotions in your life as well. “Many studies show that massage therapy reduces negative mood states like depression, anxiety, and anger and their associated stress hormones,” says Field.

Massage Therapy and Stress Relief: Finding a Massage Therapist

Most massage therapists can provide the kind of massage you will need to help with depression, anger, anxiety, and stress relief. “Moderate pressure is the key factor for massage therapy to be effective. Any type of massage therapist who uses moderate pressure should be able to help with mood management,” says Field.

“We often go through our day without any recognition of how our bodies are responding to the stress we experience,” says Sykora, who advises regular massage sessions as well as a meditation practice for optimal stress management. “Massage treatments give us a time-out in order for us to access the deeper layers of our well-being, allowing the therapist to unwind the holding patterns in our tissues.”

So don’t be afraid to indulge in a massage every now and then — it’s good for your emotional well-being and your physical health.

Direct link to article here.

Are You At The Right Racing Weight?

I recently read an advertisement for a new diet program and thought I had to share…

As a runner or athlete, you know that every extra pound you carry costs time, wastes energy, stresses your joints, and affects your performance.

And you know that “dieting” doesn’t help much, either. Diets only leave you feeling weaker by starving your body of vital energy and choking off the nutrients you need for muscle growth and training improvement.

What’s worse: With diets, you run the risk of undernourishing your body and losing muscle along with fat. So what’s the answer?

Burn off excess fat, get lean and finally get to your RACING weight.

The ad happens to be for a new book by a Triathlete selling his nutrition program…It goes on to ask, could 5 or 10 lbs be standing in the way of your personal best?

WELL, the book brings up a good question and something that’s important for all athletes and especially runners. In high school, prior to my junior year, I never thought about weight. As Coach Rothman said, do the workouts, eat well and the weight will be at what it needs to be. It seemed so easy then. Junior year, however, I started packing on the pounds. I was growing up you could say. All of a sudden, I found that I needed to pay attention to what I was eating. No more sharing pints of Ben & Jerry’s with one of my teammates in the local Publix parking lot after every long run. It was during the winter of my junior year – between cross country and track – that I got my eating schedule under control. I was on a nutritional program that told me what and when to eat. It was a perfect balance of carbs, protein, fats, etc. I was eating enough that I felt energetic, yet not too much so I kept my body lean. Later on the in the spring, I ended up winning the Florida 6A Track & Field 1600m and 3200m State Championships. So you could say the program worked.

But was it easy from there? No, I definitely went through phases again through my senior year and through college of eating too much again, and then eating too little. My energy was low and my races suffered; or I was carrying an extra few too many pounds and my races suffered. The balance is tough for a lot of us. I am the first to admit it, and that’s why a program that tells you what and when to eat has always been ideal for me. It ensures that I am not eating too much and that I am most importantly not restricting too much! It also allows me to live my life and not worry about what I am eating and if I had too little or too much. Because who wants to spend their life thinking about what’s next on the menu?

Now, 12 years later since that junior year of high school, I am back on a program and enjoying it once again. I am seeing the results and I am feeling good. If you or someone in your life needs that guidance, I recommend the AdvoCare program. It’s a complete nutritional and eating plan that keeps you on schedule and on target to be strong and lean. More details here.

Still not believing me? See some of the results!