Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Spotlight: Men’s Fitness

Men's Health MonthJune is Men’s Health Month. It’s also the time of year when many men become more active. The warm temperatures and long days make it easier (and more fun) to play on a softball team, tend to the yard, or start a new exercise routine, like biking or swimming. But after months of rest, the sudden explosion of activity can wreak havoc on the body.

If you’re about to ramp up a new summer workout, keep these injury prevention tips in mind:

1. Get Professional Help

If you are new to exercise, or just haven’t been active in a while, see your doctor for a physical to make sure you are healthy enough to take on strenuous activity. Also consider hiring a professional trainer or coach who can teach you proper form and technique.

2. Wear Proper Clothing

Always wear appropriate footwear. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you will also be able to alleviate undue stress to your ankles, knees and hips by providing much needed support. Also choose appropriate clothing that fits well, allows you to move naturally, and doesn’t interfere with your safety.

3. Warm Up

Never start a workout in full throttle. Begin slowly and build the pace. This gets the blood flowing to your muscles gradually, giving them time to warm up and acclimate to the activity. This also gives you time to listen to your body and identify any aches or pains that may be red flags to more serious problems.

4. Leave Your Ego At The Door

Many men start a workout program thinking too much about what they should be able to do rather than what they are honestly capable of at the time. Attempting too much too quickly invites injury. So, take the pressure off. Concentrate on your individual progress rather than comparing yourself to or competing with others.

5. Stretch

When your muscles have warmed up, stretch. Many men skip this part of a workout. After all, stretching is for girls, right? But, as your muscles get stronger and tighter they start pulling on one another. Eventually, this tug-of-war affects your body posture and you start to feel aches in your back, hamstrings, and shoulders. These minor aggravations can turn into serious problems, all preventable if you take the time to stretch.

6. Take A Day Off

Rest is important. It gives your body time to recuperate and repair. If you’re just starting an exercise program, make sure you take two days off each week. Listen to your body and respond accordingly. Pain and fatigue are subtle signs of overtraining that can lead to more serious problems.

7. Eat Well

Pay attention to nutrition. In order to maintain healthy energy levels and have the physical endurance to push through tough workouts, you need to fuel your body with good, healthy food. Avoid high-fat foods and sweets and drink lots of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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New Year’s Resolutions – 4 Tips for a Successful Year

New Year's ResolutionsThe first day of the New Year inspires many to start a new, healthier lifestyle. For some, the holidays have been a time of over-indulgence. Surveys suggest that the average American reports that they gain about 5 pounds during the holiday season. For others, the previous year has inspired concern with overall health. Studies consistently show that a good diet and regular exercise not only reduce the risk of heart disease, but reduce cancer risks, as well.

Whatever your reason for making healthy changes this year, we have some suggestions to help you make and meet your new goals!

1.) Know Your Numbers

Taking the time to find out your blood pressure, blood glucose level, cholesterol, and body mass index numbers can be a scary task, but deciding to know your numbers can be incredibly empowering. Having this information can help you and your healthcare provider make specific decisions about your diet and exercise plans as you resolve to make changes.

2.) Make New Habits

It’s much easier to make a new habit than it is to break an old one. For example, instead of giving up your favorite desserts altogether, decide to choose healthier options more often. Still allowing yourself to indulge now and then makes it much easier for you to maintain these new habits instead of ditching them when things get difficult.

3.) Take Baby Steps

While setting new habits into motion is key, it’s important to be sure that you’re allowing yourself room to adjust. For example, a sedentary person will likely fail in the long run if their goal is to run a 5K by the end of the month. Starting with 15 minute jogs three times a week is a much more attainable goal. Once the 15 minute jogs become routine, gradually increasing the length, difficulty, and frequency of the workout will help you reach a larger goal.

4.) Find a Support System

Don’t feel like you have to do this alone! Talk to somebody about your plans for change. Join a workout group. Encourage your partner and friends to find out their numbers and share in your goals. Finding someone to share your goals with makes the journey more doable AND enjoyable!

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Dr. Hart to Host Online Chat on Getting Motivated to Exercise

Dr. Chris HartExercise provides numerous benefits—from reducing cardiovascular disease to fighting depression. While we all know we should exercise regularly, the trick is working up the motivation to start exercising. Overcoming couch-potato inertia can be difficult particularly during the dreary winter months and especially after most of us have spent the holidays celebrating with family, friends—and a lot of comfort food.

Join Christopher J. Hart, MD, Chief of Staff at Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Medical Director of Emory Johns Creek’s Atlanta Bariatric Center, on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 from noon to 1 p.m. as he provides tips and guidance to help you get moving.

Exercise Motivation Chat Sign Up

 

Whether you are simply working toward a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, or you are trying to lose weight for a surgery, Dr. Hart can address issues and questions such as:

  • I really want to start exercising but I can’t seem to work it into my schedule.
  • What if I don’t like to exercise?
  • I can’t carve out an entire hour to exercise. What are my options?
  • What if I can’t afford a gym membership?
  • I’m exhausted all the time, and just the thought of exercising wears me out. How do I get over that mental hurdle?
  • I’ve tried exercising before, but I can’t stick with it. What can I do to stay motivated?

If you’re looking for a good way to get motivated in the New Year, join Dr. Hart for what’s sure to be a great online chat!

Is it Possible to Overtrain for a Running Race?

2013 Peachtree Road RaceYes, it is possible to overtrain your body while training for a running race! I know from personal experience because I am an avid runner and have run the Peachtree Road Race 16 times. Overtraining can occur when runners stress their bodies beyond what their bodies can handle. This can occur when a runner trains too fast or too hard without sufficient rest and care of minor injuries and aches and pains.

Some symptoms of overtraining include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Chronic muscle soreness
  • Elevated heart rate when waking up
  • Depression
  • Decreased performance
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Decreased enthusiasm for running

The most common overtraining injury we see in our clinic is a stress fracture. When the bone is under repetitive stress day after day it can eventually crack. Stress fractures are characterized by localized pain and swelling over a bone, especially in the foot or shin. It generally gets worse the further you run and progressively more painful over time. If you experience these symptoms during your training you should see a sports medicine specialist for evaluation.

Runners can overcome overtraining by taking a few “rest days” when you feel your body is telling you to rest. Many runners do not want to take time to rest but you will find your performance will actually improve by letting your body rest. Also, if you do not want to fully rest, try cross training. You can go for a swim, try yoga or pilates to improve your endurance, core strength and flexibility.

Listen to your body and if you experience many of the symptoms above, instead of pushing harder, try mixing up your running routine and adding rest. The body likes variety. We are not meant to do the same activity for multiple hours day after day after day. You may surprise yourself and run faster because you let your body recover!

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

Emory Healthcare is the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia and includes Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Wesley Woods Center, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory Adventist Hospital, The Emory Clinic, Emory Specialty Associates, and the Emory Clinically Integrated Network.

Come visit us at the AJC Peachtree Road Race expo in booth 527 to get your blood pressure checked and learn more about how Emory Healthcare can help you and your family stay healthy!

About Dr. Jeff Webb

Dr. Jeffrey Webb

Jeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team.  He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools, the Atlanta Dekalb International Olympic Training Center, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College, and many other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.  Dr Webb is an avid runner and has completed 16 Peachtree Road Races.

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On the Job? 5 Cubicle-Friendly Toning Exercises You Can Do At Work

Sitting at your desk or cubicle for extended periods of time can result in back pain and stiffness. Toning exercises can help lessen back pain, especially when the pain stems from a lack of toned abdominal muscles. By doing a few of these simple at-work exercises, you can start to improve your back pain right away.

Below, we’ve outlined five exercises you can do at work to help you stay fit while you’re on the job!

1. Up and Over

The first toning exercise you can do to strengthen your abs and lower back muscles is simple, yet effective. Use your water bottle or something similar to hold in your hands. Grip the water bottle sideways with both hands and lift it into the air. Be sure to pay attention to how you are sitting. Both feet should be flat on the floor, back nice and straight, and abs in. With your arms high in the air, bend to one side as far as you can, using a slow and fluid movement. Repeat for at least ten counts, and then switch to the other side. Try to do three sets as many times per day as you can.

2. Twist and Back

This is another variation of the side toning exercise. Hold your water bottle again with both hands. This time put your arms out in front of you. While holding the water bottle, twist to one side using the same fluid movement as with the up and over exercise. Be sure to keep your feet flat and move only your upper body, not the whole chair. Repeat for ten counts and do at least two sets for each side.

3. Sitting tight

This is a toning exercise that is easy to do any time and can be done several times a day. While you are sitting in your office chair, sit up straight and hold the sides of the chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Tighten your glute muscles and your ab muscles, and lean forward slightly. You should feel your muscles working if you are doing it correctly. Do at least twelve counts, and try to do two sets at the top of every hour whenever you can.

4. Lift Your Knees

This is another toning exercise that can be done while you are sitting at your desk. Sit up tall with your back straight and your abs in tight. Your feet should be on the floor and your hands should be holding the sides of the bottom of your chair, next to your thighs. Slowly lift your knees as far up as you can while your back stays straight. This is a challenge and not as easy as it sounds. Do it for as many counts as you can and as many reps as you can.

5. Legs Up

This one will work if you have a mat and room enough to be on the floor. Lay on your mat on the floor with your feet resting on your office chair. Keeping your feet on the chair, perform ab crunches.

There are many ways to stay in shape, even while working at a desk job. Creativity and consistency are key elements to staying fit while at work.

How do you keep in shape at your office? Share your “At-Work” fitness tips in our comment area below.