How did those World Cup players play in the heat and humidity in Brazil? The German team ironically hired an American, Mark Verstegen, over 10 years ago to help train their team. The New York Times has a great article on their training protocals. Verstegen says that anyone can benefit from some of his methods. Pay attention to nutrition, your attitude, how you move and give your body time to recover. Sleep is key to getting good results so don't skimp on that. Do something physical first thing when you wake up, like a stretch, pushup or squat, to prime your body and mind for activity. Then when you work out push yourself a bit. You need to stress your body and mind for them to grow. Read to the end of the article and watch the short videos showing the team's warm-up exercise routine, you might pick up something that will work for you. Who knows I might even get on my foam roller!
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.