Friday, October 15, 2010

Hamstring Pain

Function: the Hamstring is responsible for Hip extension, hip flexion, knee flexion, and knee extension.

Many people do not know what to do when they feel tenderness that seems to go from their glutes down to the back of their knee. These “pains” are very common to people who participate in drill team, dancing, and running; the tenderness these athletes experience is called Hamstring Strain and there are certain steps people can take to minimize the discomfort when it occurs:

1st step

Ice: ice the hamstring for 20 – 30 minutes right after the irritation occurs – continue ice every 15 minutes for 2-3 hours. Avoid heat; heat will increase the swelling. However, if you notice a large lump please go see a doctor - the injury could be a muscle tear.

2nd step

Rest: Hard for an athlete to do. Rest for 2-3 days, and then start stretching the hamstring applying dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches help with the gentle and progressive movement of muscles into their natural movements. When dynamic stretches become easy, and are without pain, individuals can then progress to static stretches. If there is no pain relief, see a doctor.

3rd Step

When ice, rest, and dynamic stretches do not help and the pain becomes unbearable, consult with a physical therapist, orthopedic doctor, and/or a sports MD.

4th step

Prevent reoccurrence: Peter Drucker said “an ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure”. In the past, lunges have been believed the primary culprit for hamstring injury - but it is also an excellent preventive measure. A good warm-up, 10-15 minutes, and stretches before lunges, will help with prevention. Lunges help with hip extension, but “cold” lunges (lunges without warm-up) may contribute to hamstring strain and pain. The following exercises will help fight against hamstring injury: walking backwards, running backwards, back extensions, donkey kicks (reverse leg extension), superman, squats, and high step-ups.

Quick Memory tips




Stretch (dynamically)

S.I.R.S (Stop, Ice, Rest, Stretch Dynamically)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I have it, now what?

Last week we agreed that deciding to be fit in the mind, is the first part of a fitness journey. The second part of fitness helps to solidify the why. WHY decide to go for Fitness?

Have you wondered why a lot of times people get the wrong answer for a right question? For instance, a little boy dropped an expensive glass cup his grandma had given to his mom; his mom asked, “Why did you do that?” Looking up with sad eyes, the boy answered, “I don’t know”. He is right, but that is the wrong answer (to the mom who is curious and angry). The mom asked the right question about the right thing, but asked the question in the wrong way. If she asked “how did it happen?” The boy will probably tell her “Mama I tried to see why you yelled, and then the cup slipped from my hands and broke – I am sorry, so very sorry”. The question “Why” is very abstract in the minds of children, so they do not know the answers to the “whys” people ask.

Likewise, asking yourself why you want to change your body, is probably not as effective as “WHAT WOULD I DO WITH THE BODY WHEN I HAVE IT?” Why is the later question effective? Because it deals with functions and it is not abstract. Knowing what to do with the body gives us motivation when the heart gets weary.

The Bible says if you have a talent and you don’t use it, it will be taken away and given to the person who knows how to use the talent (parable of talents). Therefore, we can say that if you do not want to lose your body you must use it. If you stop any Kilgore College Rangerette and ask her “why do you wake up 1 – 2hours before class to go workout with your trainer, do extra cardio for 30 – 45 minutes twice every week, and practice 4-5hrs after class every day?”, she would tell you she works out so her body will be ready to perform in an excellent manner in any show. Similarly, ask a football player, “why do Two-A-Days workouts?” the answer might be to get ready for a game. A more sarcastic answer will be “would you want to pay to come watch us lose?” What would you do with your body when you have it the way you want it?

Action Plan

Grab a piece of paper and pen, and then write this on the top of the paper. “Things I would do with a Fit, Strong and Energized body.” I prefer the question method. What would I do with a fit, strong and healthy body? Then sit down and turn on your thinking cap.

Write everything that comes to mind. Literarily write everything. Here are a few of the answers I have seen: hiking, biking, playing flag football, playing baseball with my grand kids, water ski, travel, mission trip, marathon, triathlon, dancing, … the list is endless.

Next week

Now that we have decided what we want from our workouts, we will cover the price next week: The price to pay for fitness.

Deciding in the Mind

Have you asked yourself why you set a goal to become healthy and never achieve that goal as planned? What is the answer you come up with? It is important to remember it is okay to ask yourself this question; however, it is imperative that when you ask yourself why you never achieve your target fitness goal, you also need to consider your answer. Some of the answers I am familiar with include:
“It is because I am weak”
“It is because I have bad genes”
“It is because exercise and diet is hard”
“It is because I don’t have time”
“Living healthy is not for me, I am just not fit.”
I have frequently asked myself WHY is it that over 90 percent of the people I have worked with are not patient enough to see results; WHY is it that most people cannot shake off their habits of food and inactivity; WHY is it that a 60 year old achieved her goal of losing 70 pounds, when some people struggle to lose 10 pounds? Why is it that another individual achieved her weight loss goal in 60 days, but struggled with her weight for three years prior to that loss? Here is what I discovered:
The number one reason I found many people struggle with their weight goals is most do not decide in their MIND what they want to accomplish before starting a workout program. That is the one key factor: Lack of a clear decision for what is wanted. Oftentimes people never make it IMPERATIVE; we make it important, but not IMPERATIVE. Attainment of your goal requires persistence and patience.
The debate of needing to be fit begins in the mind. Yes, overcoming the obstacles of attaining fitness is also in the mind, (there is muscle pain and fatigue to contend with during the initial phase of any program) but in the long run the fatigue fades and you are left with overcoming a mental debate: “Should I do this again or forget it?!”
Have you had the privilege of watching kids perform a task? You should have been there with me one evening as I watched my niece (Naomi) who saw her toy roll under our couch; Naomi, barely 13 months old, did all she could to retrieve her toy, with no positive result ‐ so she resulted to crying. My sister unaware of what happened picked her up and consoled and fed her, and then she fell asleep. But early in the morning, while I was watching ESPN, she came running as fast as she could to the couch. She fell three times on her way to the couch, to her that was nothing. She got to couch and started looking. She lay on the floor and stretched her arms but couldn’t reach what she was searching for. I know she couldn’t see the toy, but she knew it was there and that is all that mattered to her. About 15minutes later she stopped and just lay there with one arm under the couch. My sister walked in and with a surprised look asked, “What are you doing?” Naomi began to cry, looking at where she knew her toy was; when my sister reached and pulled the toy out, You should have see the priceless smile on Naomi’s face.
I did not see the lesson in the event until later on. Most people spend years getting out of shape and want to lose it all in a matter of 4 weeks or 8 weeks; there is a price for physical fitness, it is not magic and it takes time. There is a huge difference between looking fit and being fit. Some people look like they are fit because they are “cut”, “ripped”, “built”, or “thin” but they cannot perform daily functional activities. That event with Naomi reminded me that persistence on a task until it is accomplished is essential. It also made me realize that patience is a vital key in attaining any goal.
There are several means of achieving a weight loss goal and also achieving fitness. Shortcuts have their price, so also does persistent and patient actions. As you decide and make up your mind on what you want, have these two characteristics at the back of your minds: PERSISTENCE AND PATIENCE.

Action plan
Sit down with paper and pen and decide what you want to look like. Picture yourself that way, if you have a past picture pull it up; if there is someone you want to look like, print a picture of that person. If you want to weigh a certain amount – write that weight down. DESCRIBE YOUR DECISION.
While doing the above you might find yourself coming up with all the excuses and reason why things have not worked out in the past. You can write those down too. If you know all your excuses, you will learn to identify them when you try to fall back on those bad habits.

Next time we will discuss “What would you do with the health”?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Choice of Rewards

A pat on the back has never been enough when we achieve some sort of goal or worthwhile accomplishment. Is the constant rush to go eat out at a restaurant as a reward good either? "You made an A sweetie? Let's go eat! You made the team? Let's go eat! It's your birthday? Let's go eat! You're happy? Let's go eat! Are you depressed? Let's go eat! He scored a home run! Let's go eat! The team won! Yeah! Let's go eat pizza! You're broken hearted? Here's some ice cream! Movie time? Here's the popcorn, candy and coke! Are you sad? Here's some chocolate!" Are all of these answers wrong responses to certain emotions, accomplishments or events? NO! But there are other ways we can reward ourselves and others. Take time to identify what what rewards you would associate with each individual situation. After that, try the following:

Know yourself and try saying, "Can we go somewhere else?"

There are countless things that we can engage in that will reshape our lives, but first we have to develop new meanings for what we currently do. Eating out has become our culture's family and friendship bonding time. But who really engraved this meaning? Years back, we used to sit in our homes and enjoy time with our families indoors. This sitting inside mentality has become the go-to solution for everything. Start asking family members, colleagues, coaches, friends and lovers to take you elsewhere as a reward for a job well done instead of an indoor food rendezvous. Be creative! Use your mind-- heck, it's yours! I hear this statement a lot, "I don't know how I got this big!" I can tell you how, but does that really matter? It's easier to tell you how to start making changes to stop it and prevent it from happening again. That is what I am here to do. Get creative! Start by saying, "Can we go somewhere else?"

Make small changes

Try this-- When you get emotional, go blow off steam by working out, walking, biking, swimming or doing some type of physical activity. Listen, our bodies are designed to move and not sit and mope! When you're depressed, lift your head and walk will make you feel better anyway! Skip the ice cream, chocolate, candy and other sweets that have come to be your go-to temporary solutions. Do just the opposite. Replace sweets with fruits and instead of sitting and crying, get up and run. Get the picture? Ask your boyfriend to go for a walk with you. Ask your girlfriend to do something active with you. Parents, walk with your children. You would have time for them if they needed you, right? Why not choose to give them attention and time before they need you?

Ask for the healthy choices

Recently, I finally understood the meaning of one of life's biggest laws, "Ask and you shall receive." Instead of getting gifts that you will become bored with after a few weeks, ask for a gymnasium membership, workout clothes, workout shoes and motivational information. You can even ask for sessions with a personal trainer as a gift. Plan to use other methods of being fulfilled. These ways have transformed the lives of some of my clients.

To sum it all up, "Start doing something different, make small changes, and ask for healthy options for gifts or rewards. use your brain!"
Edited by Ashley Austin

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tips for Meal Times

These are few things that one can do that will make a significant difference in their meal time routine; take a snowball at a top of the hill, as it rolls down the hill it gathers and becomes bigger and stronger. Starts with these tasks, stick to them and soon you will begin to see that these small changes (your snowball) build up and see the differences in your body. I am looking forward to your reactions.

Make it Look Big

Fill up the plate and most people will eat it all. If this is you then try this, get a smaller plate than you’re used to (try a salad plate) and fill it up with food. Another way of making your meal look bigger is to increase the amount of greens and veggies (salads are wonderful but stay clear of creamy dressings, and also try steamed veggies without too much oil and butter). Eat balanced meals which include protein, carbohydrates, fiber rich foods and a small amount of fat.

Drink Water

Water has become an outdated important part of life, thanks to new tides in health field it is coming back. I recommend starting you meals with a glass of water or 2 glasses. Try drinking water with all your meals, drink sodas, tea or coffee between meals. Keep water handy at all times, you are more likely to drink if it is available. Try it! I promise you won’t die nor float away.

Sodas, Dessert and Cravings

I do not object to any of the above but like always I preach 3 rules to successful nutrition. They are:




As many researches have pointed out sodas are loaded with sugar and they are high in calories, caffeine, and sodium. Alongside many diet drinks have aspartame which is believed to increases appetite in some people and decrease appetite in others, either way they are chemicals so drink them occasionally. If you must drink them I suggest you cut back on the amount on a daily and weekly basis. Follow this simple rule: 3 glasses of water per glass of tea or 8oz of soda. Desserts are not a must, if you need to eat it here is a simple rule: Don’t eat your dessert right after your meal; wait for about 1 or 2 hours before eating the desert. If you still want it after the 1-2 hours then eat it. On cravings, if you want it, EAT IT! But remember the 3 rules to successful nutrition mentioned above. Carefully consider your cravings, and then weigh its benefits and risk before you indulge.

Remember this: “An ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure” – Peter Drucker


Edited by Nicole Oubre

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nuts: Good or bad???

Listening to a nutritionist scare some of my precious clients about nuts made me dig more into the above subject. As everyone is entitled to their opinions, my nutritionist
pointed out the effects that oil based foods (including nuts) will have on certain areas of the body, for 71 young girls and myself this is not what might be refered to as good news.

I hold the opinion that nuts are good (a handful, or realistically for me 2 handfuls). I find nuts to quite delightful when they decorate my bowl of cereal or oatmeal in the morning, matter of fact i would rather have them than any other ingredients with my cereals. I particularly don't eat peanut butter more than once or twice a month, and I dislike the idea that peanut butter goes well with/in oatmeal. Enough about me, let's go nuts!
For the USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture) to suggest that nuts can be sub for protein source foods (including poultry and meat), I believe there has been a conclusive research that supports the nutritious value of nuts, go to for more details. Nuts do contain the following vitamins E, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and even fiber and it is believed to lower cholesterol; how it does this I don't want to bore anyone with details, just like I don't know want to clutter my brain with how omega fatty acids does it's magic. However, Nursing school taught me that when a patient has a condition that causes major adverse reaction from eating seeded foods or nuts they are not safe to have it, especially if you are allergic to it please forget the above mentioned benefits, the nutrients can be acquired by other means (foods or multiviatmins)...
Matter of fact on this website it pointed out that as much as 200 thousand plus subjects have been tested in several tests and the conclusion is that nuts been a good source of protein and fats is a more beneficial than detrimental to health.

It is ok to eat nuts but don't go nuts about it. Remember too much of anything is bad.

I like to know what you think.

Thank you.