With the start of school and school sports this NY Times article caught my eye. Gretchen Reynolds does a nice job in the article of explaining options for treatment. The ACL helps stabililze the knee and can get injured with hits on the side of the knee as often happens in football or with twisting of the lower leg as in an awkward fall - think skiiing. If it happens to your teen you will no doubt be inundated with advise. Take your time, ask lots of questions, remember every case is different and there are several treatment options.
For those with little time and a high tolerance for pain, doing a short but very intense circuit workout might be the most efficient way to get or stay in shape. I could do all the recommended exercises, but I'm not sure I could force myself to an intensity level of 8 out of 10. What about you?
I just finished reading a thought provoking article about doctors and how they treat and diagnose patients. The auther, a doctor herself, gave an example of four people with diabetes. They were all very different, yet as she pointed out, conventional medical taining would indicate that they would be basically be treated the same. Her argument is that one size doesn't fit all and at times you need a little creativity to find a good solution. The irony here is that acupuncturists are often criticized for not having standarized treatment protocols.
What's one to do - eat a diet low in all fats, one with "healthy" fats like fish oils or one with a mixture of saturated as well as unsaturated fats? The answer is that there is no right answer at this point. It could depend on genetics, so what's right for you isn't right for me and it could depend on what disease you are trying to fight. Newly analized old studies and more recent studies on diet and heart disease point to shortened life expectancy for men following low saturated fat diets. The long held belief that high cholestoral leads to heart disease is also being called into question. When in doubt I like to think of the Chinese dietary traditon of eating all things, but in moderation.
Have you ever run or walked backwards? Most of us have for very short bursts. However sometimes you'll see a runner doing a backwards workout, I've seen a few running that way in my neighborhood. Well who knew that they were on to something and not just crazy. They burn more caleries, improve balance and work the muscles differently than forward running. For more information on this check out the following New York Times article.
I just finished a wonderful new novel, "The Stockholm Octavo" by Karen Engelmann. I admit I read it because Karen is a high school friend of mine, ( you all know her work -when we were in high school she painted the drummer I now use for my logo) but I really did enjoy the book immensely. The setting is Stockholm in the 1790's and the Octavo is a form of fortune-telling done with cards. The seeker draws 8 cards that symbolize people in his life. His job is to find and use these people to further the vision that is foretold. Historical figures share the stage with fictional ones creating an intriquing tale that is filled with mystery, fashion, murder, art and love. All and all an intelligent witty read, perfect for our long winter nights.
If Thanksgiving week for you means watching football then this article I read today about exercise and the "love hormone," oxytocin should be of interest. A study published in 2010 about soccer players found that during a shot out when a player scored and expressed joy and enthusiam the subsequent players were more likely to score as well. Since it is impractical to draw blood from players in the middle of a game to test their oxytocin levels scientists have studied exercising voles. They found after exercise the voles had more oxytocin in their blood and were more likely to mate than the non exercising voles. What's all this got to do with football. Well if you watch you know the celebrating the players do after a good play. The theory is that the grandstanding triggers oxytocin in all the players on that team and that in turn can make them play better. Even the fans can have oxytocin rushes when their team does well. So may your team win!