Dietary guidelines for gym enthusiasts and goers (Part 2)

Total daily caloric requirement for carbohydrates

In the previous article (Part 1 of this series), carbohydrates was specifically mentioned as the most immediate source of energy because it is easily burned and used by the cells of the human body. Thus, for active individuals and for those who do physical exercises, it was suggested that seventy percent (70%) of the total daily caloric requirement (TDCR) must be derived from carbohydrates.

General uses of carbohydrates in the human body

  • Source of energy

In Diagram 1, it is shown that before carbohydrates can be used by the cells of the human body, they must be converted first to glucose. When an individual takes in adequate amount of carbohydrates, the glucose that enters the cells are either used directly for energy or stored in the liver and skeletal muscles in the form of glycogen. In the future, when the same individual suddenly finds himself in need of extra energy, this glycogen will be broken down into glucose which can then be used as emergency source of energy. When too much carbohydrates is taken in, however, such that the excess amount cannot be used by, or stored in, the body, it will be converted to fats in the form of adipose tissue.

  • Antiketogenic effect

When an individual takes in inadequate amount of carbohydrates, the body will look for other sources of energy. The next in line as possible source of energy   after carbohydrates will be the fats. Fats will be processed, and energy will be derived from them! However, in emergency situation wherein fats are used as source of energy, their burning is not complete, and it will lead to the production of acids known as ketones. When ketones are produced in significant amount, they accumulate in the blood, and will lead to ketoacidosis—an emergency situation wherein the acid-base balance in the system of an individual is greatly disrupted causing the affected individual to become comatose! If adequate amount of carbohydrates could have been taken, this emergency situation could have been prevented, and this is called the antiketogenic effect of carbohydrates.

  • Protein-sparing action

When the intake of carbohydrates is very much restricted, such that even fats have been exhausted, the next in line as possible source of energy will be the proteins. Thus, proteins will be burned, and they will be used as source of energy! In fact, in severe lack of carbohydrates, such as in cases of malnutrition, the muscles, which are made up of proteins, will be used by the body as source of energy! Thus, children and adults whose muscles are used for this purpose are emaciated, and their muscles are significantly gone, known as muscle wasting. In situation wherein proteins are used as source of energy, building and repairing tissues which are their primary functions will be sidelined and neglected! If adequate amount of carbohydrates was taken in by this individual, proteinscould have been spared as source of energy! This is called the protein-sparing action of carbohydrates.

Recommendations

From the foregoing, it is clear that if you are actively engaged in physical exercises that you need to follow your TDCR for carbohydrates. If you take more than what you need, you will gain weight, and you will store fats in your body. If you take less than what you need, you will lose weight—probably less than your ideal body weight—and you might even end up suffering from ketoacidosis, especially if you are a diabetic.

 References:

Book:

  • Roth, Ruth A. Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Singapore: Delmar Learning, 2007.

Magazine:

  • Castro, Jose S. “Practical insights on how to stay fit: Proper and adequate diet (3rd of a series)”. Lifelink March 2000: 30-31.

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Dietary guidelines for gym enthusiasts and goers (Part 1)

Basic food groups

Carbohydrates

Dietary carbohydrates are the main sources of readily available energy for man. In the hierarchy of food utilization in the human system, they, if available, are preferentially used over the other food groups as sources of energy. They can be derived from rice, root crops, sweet corn and potatoes, noodles, breads, pasta and cereals.

Fats

With low intake of carbohydrates, the next food group which will serve as source of energy will be the fats. These can be derived from bacon, butter, fish oils, poultry fat, coconut, peanuts, pork fat, egg yolk, avocado, whole milk, and fatty meats.

Proteins

If we lack carbohydrates and fats, then proteins will be the last source of energy. Thus, in malnourished children who lack protein intake, the loss of muscles is very evident because they are consuming their own flesh which is largely made up of proteins. Aside from being the source of energy, proteins are needed in the repair of tissues, and they are derived from milk, poultry, meats, fish, eggs, cheese, soybeans, and legumes.

Interplay of the three food groups

In one of the previous articles of Powertec, total daily caloric requirement (TDCR) was mentioned, and it was defined as the amount of energy that a person needs to take in daily so that s/he could maintain his/her ideal body weight. If s/he takes more than the TDCR, s/he will gain weight; if s/he takes less than the TDCR, s/he will lose weight. Thus, the TDCR needs to be computed, and everyone is enjoined to strive taking in various kinds of food in a day whose total energy content is more or less equal to the TDCR.

For those who habitually go to the gym for physical exercises and for those with very active life, it is recommended that 70% of the TDCR must be taken from carbohydrates, while the remaining 30% will be taken from fats and proteins. A greater percentage is allotted to carbohydrates because as you physically exercise, you need to have readily available source of energy. Aside from physical exercises, in the morning, each one is in a hurry to meet his/her deadlines and various appointments; some need to move and drive fast to beat the traffic; more importantly, all need to replenish the energy that was burned while sleeping through the night—thus, the need to have immediate source of energy when the demand is high.

When the demand for energy is great, and the intake of carbohydrates is inadequate, a person will feel weak, lousy and dizzy because his/her muscles, brain, and blood cells—among other organs—are craving for glucose which is the simplest and smallest unit of carbohydrates. Grossly, when a person suddenly experiences hand tremors as s/he works and cannot withstand the cold air from the air conditioner, then s/he lacks carbohydrates which serve as fuel for muscle contraction and bodily warmth.

True enough, fats and proteins can serve as sources of energy; however, energy from these food groups is not readily available.Biochemically, if glucose will still be derived from fats and proteins, a very long and tedious processes will have to take place in our bodily systems. In short, it will take too much time and a number of biochemical reactions to take place before energy from fats and proteins can be used, unlike carbohydrates which can be immediately burned and used once they are needed. Since active people do a lot of bodily movements, such as walking, running and driving, they need to nourish themselves with enough carbohydrates before they hit the road.

Intake of fats is very much needed by people from cold countries because it provides more than twice the energy value of an equivalent weight of carbohydrates or proteins. They need it as rich source of bodily warmth. High intake of protein is needed by growing up children. For very active adults in tropical countries, a little of fats and proteins could be taken, but greater percentage should be derived from carbohydrates.

References:

Book:

  • Roth, Ruth A. Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Singapore: Delmar Learning, 2007.

Magazine:

  • Castro, Jose S. “Practical insights on how to stay fit: Proper and adequate diet (3rd of a series)”. LifelinkMarch 2000: 30-31.

Physical exercises for stroke survivors (Part 3)

Precautions prior to having physical exercises

Stroke survivors need to observe some precautions prior to engaging in physical exercises. The reason is that s/he cannot immediately afford to start having a full-blown physical activity because now s/he has some physical limitations. Firstly, the muscles of his/her extremities—be it lower or upper—are now weak! Secondly, his/her blood pressure needs to be maintained at normal level while doing his/her physical exercises. Thus, high intensity—and highly strenuous—physical exercises are not allowed in the first few weeks of the program; and the allowable physical exercises will be introduced in gradual and incremental manner.

While it is true that some precautions limit the implementation of the physical exercise program for a stroke survivor, s/he cannot also afford not to have any physical activity at all for a long time; otherwise, his/her physical deterioration will be accelerated.

It has to be emphasized, too, that before any stroke survivor patient will start having physical exercises, that a medical doctor with specialty in rehabilitation medicine, or a physical therapist, be consulted beforehand because the physical exercise program needs to be customized, and tailored fit, to the medical condition of the patient. The severity of stroke is not the same in all patients; it varies from one patient to another.

In this article, some recommended physical exercises will be mentioned; it is meant to inform stroke survivors and their relatives that after acquiring the illness and the disability, that a lot of things can still be done to improve their medical condition. It is meant to erase the misconception that once afflicted with stroke, that you can no longer join any physical exercise program.

Recommended physical exercises

The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended the following as the physical activities and exercises for stroke survivors:

While in the hospital:

  • Exposure to orthostatic or gravitational stress

While still in the hospital, the patient will be encouraged to have intermittent sitting or standing. In these exercises, the patient is exposed to stresses as a result of having an erect posture (orthostatic) or generated by the pull of gravity (gravitational). The patient is not given any extra physical load, but by the weight of his own body. After hospital discharge, the physical exercise therapy will be continued, focusing on improving the strength of the muscles paralyzed by the stroke.

After discharge from the hospital:

  • Aerobics

The AHA recommends that aerobic exercise training—combined cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility—be done three times a week for around 12 weeks. In most gym centers, every aerobic exercise session lasts for an hour. Thus, three hours of aerobic exercises per week needs to be done. Aerobic exercises are meant to stimulate and strengthen the heart and the lungs. Hence, the following can be done in a well calibrated mannerin a gym or an outdoor sports center: dancing, walking, jogging, or stationary rowing in a gym. If the person can afford to do it, based on the assessment of a medical doctor or physical therapist,  swimming or cycling can also be engaged in.

  • Treadmill exercise with or without body weight support

Treadmill exercise is also recommended; being a form of aerobic exercise, it can be done three times a week (three hours per week) for 6 months. The advantage of a treadmill exercise is that its intensity can be regulated and made progressive. In addition, if the patient cannot fully stand using his own strength, a body weight support can be put in place.

  • Strength training

A progressive resistance-training program, which was done within a 12-week period and twice per week, turned out to improve muscle strength, gait and balance of stroke survivors. The strength of lower limb was increased by 68% on the affected side. The motor performance and the ability to maintain balance when at rest and when moving also showed improvements. Thus, based on this study, it is recommended that stroke survivors be enrolled in progressive strength training for a 12-week period, done at twice per week.

Reference:

Gordon, Neil F., M. Gulanick, F. Costa, G. Fletcher, B. A. Franklin, E. J. Roth, and T. Shephard. “Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Stroke Survivors”. Circulation 109 (2004): 2031-2041.

Powertec acquires the brand of Muscle Dynamics, including Maxicam

Long Beach, CA (19th Jun, 2015) Powertec, a leader in Plate-Loaded Home Gyms, acquired most of the intellectual property of Muscle Dynamics, including, but not limited to, the Maxicam & Muscle Dynamics brands & designs of the Dynamax line from Oscar Leon, President & CEO of Muscle Dynamics, for an undisclosed sum.

Muscle Dynamics was started in 1971 to build anatomically correct fitness machines that would last a lifetime of use. For almost 45 years, the Maxicam branded machines have been used in hard-core gyms such as Gold’s Gym & World Gym to mainstream gyms like Bally Total Fitness & 24 Hour Fitness.

The acquisition will solidify Powertec’s presence in the light commercial & specialty gym marketplace. Powertec’s President, Wayne Lee, said, “We have been interested in solidifying our position in specialty gyms as we have in specialty retail. This acquisition allows us to take the ergonomic designs of Maxicam & integrate it into our ability to manufacture high quality products at a price point that will be interesting to the specialty local gyms competing against the larger membership chains.”

Powertec is a pioneer & leader in the area of strength equipment. Since 1997, Powertec has increased its global presence with operations in the United States, Europe, & Asia while committed to the mission of creating stronger lives. Headquartered in southern California, Powertec produces a full line of strength equipment for home & light commercial purposes. The brand is highly sought after by the educated buyer looking for weight capacity maximization without sacrificing safety, customization of their home gyms through extensive accessory modularization, & commercial gym quality at home gym prices.

Physical exercises for stroke survivors (Part 2)

What are the underlying medical problems in stroke survivors?

Stroke survivors have something in common. More often than not, they have a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, elevated blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and being overweight.

Elevation of blood lipids

If we do a retrospective study of all patients who suffered from stroke, almost all of them will have a history of elevated blood cholesterol and/or triglycerides. If a person has elevated cholesterol level in the blood, s/he is a good candidate for heart and blood vessel diseases. The risk will be doubled if, at the same time, s/he has elevated triglyceride level. The reason for this is that cholesterol and triglycerides promote the deposition of the so-called atheroscleroticplaques in the large and small arteries that will eventually block—partially or totally—the opening of the said blood vessels. When the deposits of plaques have been significant, the blood vessels become inelastic, and the blood pressure ultimately rises.

Elevation of blood sugar in diabetes mellitus

In diabetes mellitus, the quantity of insulin which is responsible for the burning and use of glucose is low, if not inadequate. In some diabetics, the quantity of insulin is adequate; however, the quality is poor. Thus, the glucose in the blood rises. If the elevated blood glucose is not controlled for years and years, spanning decades, it will lead to the clogging of the small and large arteries and damage of the kidneys, ultimately leading to hypertension.

Being overweight

If a person is overweight, s/he is prone to develop hypertension. Thus, overweight people are encouraged to lose weight either by physical exercise or by dietary modifications.

What is the common consequence of elevated blood lipids, diabetes mellitus, and being overweight?  

They all lead to the development of hypertension, which could cause the rupture of small blood vessels in the brain, leading to stroke.

What does physical exercise do to would-be stroke victims and the stroke survivors?  

With regular and consistent physical exercises, the following will be achieved to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of stroke:

  • The blood lipid levels—cholesterol and triglycerides—will go down, thus preventing the deposition of lipid plaquesin the heart and blood vessels;
  • It will lower the blood level of the low-density lipoprotein(LDL) which is considered as the “bad cholesterol” since it promotes the deposition of lipid plaques;
  • It will increase the blood level of the high-density lipoprotein(HDL) which is considered as the “good cholesterol” since it prevents the deposition of lipid plaques;
  • It will improve the competence of insulin in promoting the burning and use of glucose, thus lowering the blood glucose level;
  • It will reduce the amount of fats stored in the different organs of the body;
  • It will promote the reduction of body weight;
  • It will reduce the level of the so-called C-reactive protein which, to a large degree, serves as an index of inflammation in the body.

All of the above will prevent the gradual elevation of blood pressure; therefore, in the long run, it will also prevent the occurrence and recurrence of stroke.

Among stroke survivors, the most common problem that they experience is the weakness of the lower and upper extremities; thus, the introduction of physical exercises as part of their daily living will be done in a unique and different manner.This will be the concern of the ensuing article(s).

Physical exercises for stroke survivors (Part 1)

What is stroke?

In the previous articles of Powertec, some discussions have been made regarding the nature of hypertension—its complications, prevention, and treatment. Among its complications, stroke is the worst because it could be fatal! Therefore, the occurrence of this complication must be prevented at all costs!

As in other parts of the human body, there are blood vessels which transport blood to the brain. The main difference, however, is that the blood vessels in the brain are so thin, and they were made by Mother Nature that way to allow an effective exchange of gases in it—that is, the oxygen must come in and the carbon dioxide must come out!That seemingly simple process cannot take place if the blood vessel wall in the brain is thick and impermeable!Among the different organs of the human body, the brain is the most sensitive to the availability of oxygen, and it cannot afford to have no oxygen for a long time! Otherwise, it is irreversibly damaged!

Being thin, the blood vessels in the brain cannot withstand high blood pressure! Thus, when the blood pressure of a person is not managed properly—unchecked and untreated—and it rises to a high level, well over and above 140/90 mm Hg for a long time, the blood vessel wall in the brain could rupture and burst, allowing the blood to flow in the brain substance. This medical occurrence is called stroke, or intracerebral hemorrhage, or intracerebral accident.

What are the complications and aftermath of stroke?

If the stroke is so massive and severe, the blood that flows into the brain substance may compress on the respiratory and/or the cardiac center(s) which control(s) the breathing and heart contractions, respectively! When this takes place, the person may die—thus, the need to properly control high blood pressure!

If the stroke is not so massive, the person may still live; however, he will harbor some complications, such as weakness of the extremities, slurring of speech, facial deformities resulting from the imbalance contractions of the muscles in the face, and inability to control urination and/or defecation. This situation will surely exact a lot of difficulties among the relatives who will care for the patient! It will be time consuming and very expensive!

What can be done for a stroke survivor?

Control of blood pressure

Being a hypertensive patient, s/he needs maintenance medication(s) for his/her blood pressure. S/he cannot afford not to take his/her medication(s), because if another episode of stroke takes place, s/he may die from it! The probability of death is higher among patients with repeat strokes than those who had it for the first time.

Control of blood sugar

More often than not, hypertensive patients are at the same time diabetics. If this is the case, the blood sugar must be controlled, too! Thus, the patient needs to have maintenance medication(s) to normalize his/her blood sugar! If the blood sugar is not controlled, it will aggravate the elevated blood pressure that the patient has been suffering from!

Dietary modifications

Stroke survivors need to have changes in their diet. Firstly, s/he must avoid high fat diet; secondly, s/he must avoid high salt diet! These two dietary modifications, if followed to the letter, will greatly contribute in the effective control of blood pressure.

Lifestyle changes

Stop smoking

Most of stroke survivors are cigarette smokers; they should be encouraged to stop from smoking.

Engage in physical exercises

A number of medical literatures have discussed the positive role of regular physical exercises among stroke survivors. This will be discussed in the next article (s).

Essential medical examinations prior to engaging on a long-term physical exercises (Part 2)

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Electrocardiogram is an instrument which has some sort of electrical wirings attached to the chest and extremities of a person to be examined. When the machine is run, a white longpaper comes out wherein the tracing of the heart activities is written. This tracing will then be interpreted by a medical expert.

The most important information that can be derived from ECG is the patency of the coronary arteries that supply the heart with the much needed blood. If one or more coronary arteries is/ are blocked, heart attack could take place, and the patient may die. The ECG will not only tell the attending physician that the patient has blockages of the coronary arteries; it will also indicate the location of the blockages.

Knowing beforehand that the patient has coronary blockages is very important because by taking in proper medications, heart attack could be prevented, and the patient may be allowed to engage in a restricted physical exercises. If heart attack was not prevented, and it happened, the ECG could definitely detect it, and proper measures could be done to save the life of the patient.

The heart has four chambers: (1) the left ventricle, (2) the right ventricle, (3) the left atrium, and (4) the right atrium. Through the ECG, the physician will be informed if there is enlargement of any one of the chambers. For instance, if the left ventricle is enlarged, then it can be surmised that the patient may have a long standing hypertension which has been left untreated. If the right ventricle is the one enlarged, then some degree of blood flow obstruction in the lungs can be considered. If the right or left atrium is enlarged, then some defects in the heart valves could be detected. With any one of these findings, would-be participant in gym sessions could be properly advised.

Another important information which the ECG could reveal will be the presence of the so-called atrio-ventricular blocks wherein the electrical current coming from the sinus node, a structure in the upper portion of the heart which produces the spark for electrical current,   is not properly transmitted to the ventricles. With this, the normal rhythm of the heart is disturbed. If this happens, the person concerned will not be able to perform highly strenuous work or physical exercises.

Other information that can be gathered from the ECG tracing are the following: (1) the rate and rhythm of the heart, (2) the position of the heart in relation to the chest cage, and (3) alterations in the blood levels of electrolytes, such as calcium or potassium.

Threadmill Stress Testing

Stress testing is a procedure wherein the patient performs a threadmill exercise, and the load is gradually increased. As he exercises, the pulse rate, symptoms of any heart disease, blood pressure, and tracing of electrocardiogram (ECG) are monitored. Normally, as the person exercises, the pulse rate and blood pressures increase, but there should never be chest pain and/or abnormalities in the ECG tracing. If the blood pressure decreases, or the patient experiences chest pain, or there are ECG abnormalities indicating heart problem, the exercise test will be discontinued.

The thread mill stress testing is usually required for would-be gym enthusiasts who at one time or another experienced chest pain, especially if it was provoked by exerting effort, such as going up the stairs, lifting a heavy object, or running! It was usually relieved by rest! In this case, it is possible that the person concerned is suffering from ischemic heart disease (IHD), wherein some parts of his/her heart is/are not well supplied with the much needed blood, and he/she is prone to suffer from heart attack!

Individuals suspected of suffering from IHD need to undergo this test so as to firmly establish if he/she is really suffering from the disease. If, indeed, the individual has IHD, he/she needs to have daily medication(s) as he/she engages in a long-term physical exercise program. There are cases, however, when a medical doctor will immediately disallow a person to proceed with any physical exercise program if the findings in the threadmill stress test revealed that he/she has heart problem that could endanger his/her life.

Essential medical examinations prior to engaging on a long-term physical exercises

Urinalysis

The laboratory examination of urine is called urinalysis. It is one of the cheapest laboratory examinations, but a lot of important information could be derived from the results. Normally, you do not find many white blood cells (WBCs) in the urine; but if there are more than 5 in one microscopic field, it is possible that you have urinary tract infection (UTI). Sometimes, it is accompanied by the presence of red blood cells, which could also be more than 5 in one microscopic field. UTIs can be classified into upper or lower infection. If the presence of significant WBCs is accompanied by the presence of protein in the urine, then it is upper urinary tract infection, which means that the kidneys are involved.If there is no protein in the urine, but there are lot of WBCs, then it is lower infection, which means that the urinary bladder and/or urethra is/are the one(s) involved.

UTIs which are not treated, or attended to, for a long time could lead to end-stage kidney diseases that could lead to hypertension and long standing medical problem. It is advisable that before you embark on a long-term physical exercises, that you need to ensure that your kidneys and urinary bladder are free from infections so that you will be spared from developing hypertension which, most of the time, prevents would-be gym enthusiasts to engage in physical exercises, especially those requiring high intensity.

Another important thing that should be looked at in the results of urinalysis is the presence or absence of sugar. If sugar, or glucose, is positive in the urine, it is possible that you are suffering from diabetes mellitus (DM), which could lead to debilitating medical problem—if untreated for a long time—and that could eventually restrict your participation in any gym activities.If you want to confirm whether you have DM or not, you can request for fasting blood sugar (FBS)! If FBS is elevated, then you probably have DM, and you need to see a medical doctor to correct it!

Chest X-ray (Postero-anterior view)

The chest x-ray helps you evaluate your lungs and your heart.It will help you find out if you are suffering from any infection, such as tuberculosis or pneumonia. If, indeed, you have tuberculosis, then medications should be started with dispatch, because treatment takes some time—from 3 to 6 months! Aside from safeguarding your health, there is also a need to protect the health of those around you—at home and in the gym! Tuberculosis is classified as infectious disease; therefore, it could be transmitted from one person to another, threatening public health! Preventing the spread starts from you! If you have it, do not report to the gym, unless you have been taking your anti-tuberculosis drug(s) for at least 2 weeks! Although medical literatures claim that a tuberculous patient ceases to be infectious after taking anti-tuberculosis drug(s) for at least 2 weeks, you are advised to continue taking them for at least 3 or 6 months, depending on the types of medications prescribed to you by your medical doctor.

Aside from lung infections, the chest x-ray will reveal whether or not you have enlargement of the heart! If, indeed, you have heart enlargement, you are advised not to immediately join any physical exercises, especially those with high intensity; it could endanger your life; you need to see a medical doctor to find out the cause(s) of your heart enlargement. Possible causes of heart enlargement are long-standing hypertension, defects in the valve(s) of the heart, or lung problem. The cause should be pinpointed, and appropriate management needs to be started soonest. If your medical doctor has given you the go-signal to proceed with your gym sessions, then you can start it any time.

Chest x-ray will also reveal any carcinomatous process, or cancer, in your lungs! Although it may not have an immediate adverse effects on your gym activities, in the long run, it will drain your health and your capacity to have gym sessions. Therefore, once you have learned that you have cancer, see a medical doctor!

Causes of injury while doing physical exercises (Part 3)

Inadequate sleep

It has been established in some researches and has been published in some literatures that every human being should have an 8-hour sleep every night—not more and not less!The reason for this is that sleep has a restorative power on human strength, vitality, stamina, and alertness—among other things! If you lack sleep, chances are, you are relatively weak, and your alertness is quite low!Being bodily weak and lacking alertness are the most injurious combination—a perfect recipe for injuries, so to speak—because in doing physical exercises you need to be strong and alert! Without the necessary strength, you may not be able to finish your usual work out; without alertness, you may have poor coordination in doing your work out! In one or both case(s), you are prone to injuries!

Under stress

When you are under stress—brought about by personal, family or work-related problem—your health will take a toll of it! In fact, stress is one of the causes of having poor sleep! Aside from preventing good sleep, stress drains and sips your energy and—like inadequate sleep—it alters your concentration and focus! Again, with the combination of lack of strength and alertness, you are not far from having injuries while working out!

Inappropriate diet

When you work out, ensure that you have a good meal prior to it! When it is described as “good,” it means only one thing: that it is not too heavy nor too light! Actually, it is only you who can more or less determine how heavy or how light your meal should be prior to your gym work out! It is only you who knows exactly what particular gym exercises are you going to have; thus, you can adjust your meal according to that activity, or activities! If you are planning to have weight lifting and threadmill exercises, there is no doubt, you need to take relatively heavy meal with preponderance of carbohydrates! If you are going to participate in yoga exercises, then relatively light meal could be taken! Again, these are mere suggestions! The only person who knows you—in and out—is you, yourself! Based on your previous physical exercises, you learned that at the middle of your work out you had gotten hungry and had needed to stop to take in something! That meant that your meal prior to your working out was not enough to sustain you all throughout the gym session! Therefore, you need to adjust next time! Doing the same physical exertion, you need to add more calories to what you used to take in prior to working out.

In another scenario, while doing your gym session, you felt that you were experiencing stomach cramps and feeling of fullness! You felt like you wanted to vomit in order to relieve yourself! If that is your case, it is possible that you had overeating, and you started your session sooner than what was allowable! After meal, give yourself at least one hour of rest before starting your gym session! But if you had overeating, longer time might be needed!

Based on your previous experiences, take in the most appropriate diet—in terms of quality and quantity—prior to gym session to avoid the feeling of dizziness, or stomach cramps, which could lead to injuries.

Improper shoes

Every sport event requires a particular type of shoes; shoes for running cannot be used for playing basketball; and it cannot be used for playing tennis! Using the wrong type of shoes in a particular sport event will lead to injuries! Remember that not all shoes are created equal! One could provide more traction than another! One could be more flexible than another! The qualities of the shoes are adapted to the needs of a particular sport event! If you want to buy shoes for your sport event, go to shoe stores which are manned and managed by experts who could give you the right and scientific advice.

Reference:

Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. “The Runner’s Handbook”. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc. 1996.

Causes of injury while doing physical exercises (Part 2)

Overdoing the physical exercise

As mentioned in the previous articles of Powertec, it is not advisable that you immediately increase the intensity of your physical exercises! You need to gradually increase it in terms of rate, the load, and the distance! For instance, if you are doing the treadmill exercise, and you have been covering 3.0 kilometers in your previous sessions, it is not advisable that you immediately go up to 6.0 kilometers in the next session! If you have been doing weight lifting, and your maximum load has been 5.0 kilograms, it is injurious that you immediately shift to 8.0 kilograms! If your rate in the treadmill has been 5 kilometers/hour, don’t attempt to immediately shift to 15 kilometers/hour, lest you will injure yourself!

In the field of running, aside from the distance and the rate, you need to consider—and factor in—the terrain of the place where you will run! If you are a flatlander, never attempt to speed up when you find yourself in a hilly section of the training site—much more if you are going down a very steep—and downhill—section (Glover, 1996)!

Undertraining

Undertraining can be defined as lack of preparation for   a certain target which you, yourself, has set! For instance, if you aim to lift 10 kilograms of weight as your final target, then you need to gradually work for it! Every week, you need to incrementally increase the weight that you are lifting until you reach your target! It is injurious if your degree of training is far below the demands of your target, and yet you try reach it! If you cannot devote more time and effort to meet your target, then you might as well reduce its level!

To make it more concrete and understandable, consider the following examples in preparing for a sport event:

If you are going to participate in a particular sport event, be sure to adequately prepare for it. If you will run for a 5-kilometer event, it is not wise that you only practice for a 3-kilometer! If you will swim for 500 meters, it will be disastrous if you only prepare for 300 meters! If you have 15-round boxing fight, ensure that you prepared for it—and had assumed that your fight would last for 15 rounds—and that your preparatory work out was designed for that maximum length of fight! The safer way to do it is that your preparation must be slightly more demanding than what is required!

Being overweight

If you are overweight, there are a number of possible injuries that could happen to you. For one, injuries at the knees are very likely! If you are doing threadmill exercises, and you are overweight, the weight of your upper body puts a significant jarring effects on your knees, and injuries could take place! This possibility increases if your age is 50 and over! If you are overweight, the best that you can do is to enroll first in weight reduction program so that you will have a body weight that is ideal for you. Once you have attained your ideal body weight, then you can proceed to pursue your different physical exercises!

More likely, if you are overweight, then your blood pressure could be higher than normal! Have your blood pressure checked before you embark on intense physical exercises! If your blood pressure is high, and you engage in intense physical exercises, you might suffer from stroke while doing the regimen! If you cannot immediately reduce your weight, and you really want to have some physical exercises, the least that you can do is to ensure that your blood pressure is normal! This is not an overstatement! It is a strict precaution because stroke is fatal!

Reference:

Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. “The Runner’s Handbook”. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc. 1996.