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Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Endurance Athletes

Chiropractic for AthletesIf you've ever talked to an athlete who receives regular chiropractic care, you may have heard subjective reports of the benefits that athlete has experienced. While there have not been huge studies done with endurance athletes and chiropractic care, the testimonials abound on this subject. Athletes note a decreased rate of injury, increased flexibility and range of motion, and improved hand-eye coordination, in addition to other benefits.

Today, most athletes have or are coming to recognize that chiropractic care is an excellent way to prevent and treat injuries. However, they also need to realize that chiropractic provides additional benefits that boost performance naturally. Chiropractors can provide this wellness care to each patient to help maximize athletic potential.

Increased Flexibility

Athletes who are involved in endurance sports also benefit from increased flexibility through chiropractic care. Tendonitis and joint pain often occur when there is not enough flexibility in the spinal column. Usually, this issue stems from nerve transmission problems which a chiropractor can treat. By clearing nerve transmission paths, an athlete will see increased mobility and range of motion, decreasing the chance for injury.

SubluxationIncreased Performance

The correction of vertebral subluxation is certainly a health benefit, but it goes beyond just treating back and neck pain for endurance athletes. One research study found that athletes who had regular chiropractic care performed better than athletes who did not.

Two groups of athletes were used in the study and the authors measured athletic performance in several categories including agility, power, reaction time, and balance. One group had spinal adjustments for 12 weeks, with measurements taken before, during, and at the end of the period. After the 12 weeks, the group who received chiropractic care had a 16.7% increase in athletic performance.

This study along with multiple others supports the idea that athletes benefit from chiropractic care. Correcting the spine affects several areas of the body, including major joints. For example, a decrease in an athlete's performance can often be linked to foot imbalances.

A chiropractor can address all joints in the body, including the extremities, and will typically pay special attention to the feet. Since an athlete's feet are the foundation for every other action, optimal foot balance and function are a key part of success. And, many times, these foot imbalances affect the knees, pelvis, and spine. A chiropractor can see these imbalances and improve an athlete's function by correcting and adjusting the spine.

Correcting Misalignment

Body-stressing sports that many endurance athletes do put a great deal of stress on the spine and can cause minor misalignments over time. When the spine is not adjusted regularly, there will be noticeable effects such as soreness and headaches. Having a regular spinal adjustment is a huge benefit for athletes because of the strain that their bodies experience on a regular basis.

For these reasons and many more, endurance athletes should talk to their local Bloomington, Il chiropractor about receiving regular care. This care can be used for current joint and muscle pain as well as prevention of future injuries. Over time, regular care can help improve athletic ability.

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5 Tips for Rapid Injury Recovery

Injury Recovery RunnerFor sport enthusiasts and athletes something tragic can happen at the worst possible moment, tearing a muscle, breaking a bone, or spraining an ankle. You may be out on the trail, on the squat rack, or just walking down the street.

A wide range of injuries are possible - everything is just hunky-dory when out of the blue, something tragic happens. Maybe you pull/tear a muscle, sprain an ankle or break a bone. You may be on the squat rack, out on the trail or just jogging in the park.

There is a wide range of injuries that can happen to active people and each of them takes different amounts of rest to heal. However, there are some things you can do to help it healing faster. We will discuss here 5 tips for rapid injury recovery.

Adjust Your Diet

Even if your ability to train is impaired by your injury for a while, you can still maintain a great body shape and also help heal faster with the proper nutrition. In case that your injury doesn’t totally prevent you to continue your regular workout then you need to maintain your current intake of nutrients. However, if your injury is likely to make you miss most of your workouts, you need to reduce a little your food intake. Just adjust your diet to your level of physical activity.

Some macronutrients can help you heal your injury faster. Good nutrition will increase the supply of nutrients carried by the blood flow to the area of the injury. Some foods accelerate healing and have anti-inflammatory proprieties. Avoid foods that promote inflammation such as eggplant, fried foods, cayenne, processed white flour, potatoes, tomatoes, and hot peppers.

Consume instead foods that can accelerate the healing of your injury, such as fresh juice made from raw, fresh and organic vegetables, fresh ginger, foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, radishes, garlic, and beets. These foods are high in important nutrients that accelerate healing: manganese, zinc, silica, calcium, multivitamin, glucosamine sulfate, essential fatty acids, and BCAA’s.

Deep Tissue Massage

Professional massage for athletes includes the deep tissue massage therapy that is proved to relieve severe muscle tension, decrease pain and accelerate healing of the injured area. This form of massage treatment is recommended to athletes dealing with injury, people involved in accidents, and those who experience consistent pain.

Deep tissue massage therapy can accelerate healing in personal injury recovery, sports injury recovery, chronic muscle pain relief, and car accident recovery.

Chiropractic Care

Injury Recovery ChiropracticThe Active Release Technique (ART) is used in chiropractic care for treating nerves, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and as soft tissue injuries. This chiropractic technique is a non-invasive hands-on therapy for professional and amateur athletes who need help with rapid injury recovery.

In fact many chiropractors are starting to adopt ART and other forms of treatment like acupuncture and massage. One of the Bloomington chiropractors at Bly-Hillman Chiropractic specializes in ART as supplemental therapy for injury relief. This is just one example of how chiropractic care is become more integrated.

Yoga, Stretching, & Mobility Exercises

After an injury is not recommended to cease all sports activity, but rather continue with yoga, mobility exercises, stretching, and easy “injury prevention” style workouts. This will help your muscles recover faster from an injury and prevent in the same time muscular atrophy that is a significant strength loss which can install after just three weeks of inactivity.

Epson Salts Compress with Heat

Heat promotes relaxation in tissues and muscles. Epsom salts baths and Epson salt compresses with heat can enhance relaxation, help decreasing muscle soreness, and displace the calcium ions that accumulate in muscle tissue during workouts. Epsom salts deliver magnesium sulfate, an active compound that work well for injury recovery.

Magnesium is a mineral essential for over 300 reactions in your body, including protein formation, muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve and cardiac function, and synthesis of ATP-based energy.

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5 Effective Recovery Tips to Become a Better Triathlete

When it comes to becoming a better triathlete, it's often the things that we do outside of training that can have a significant impact. Recovery, rest, and rehabilitation should be at the core of any athlete's training regime.

Better Triathlete Recovery

Beyond just stretching and eating right, below we share five highly-effective recovery tips to help you become a better triathlete.

1. Practice self myofascial release

In order to understand what self-myofascial release (or "SMR")is all about, it is paramount that we understand two aspects that are integral to SMR effectiveness. The first term is fascia; which is a specialized connective tissue that surrounds the whole body, that is, the bones, joints and muscles, as well as providing protection and support.

When there is damage to the fascia, this gives rise to trigger points. Trigger points are the second aspect to consider and are defined as areas of muscle that are susceptible to pain when undergoing palpation, they also exhibit tout bands around these areas.

Self myofascial release is a very simple technique that athletes employ in order to alleviate these trigger points. The exercise involves a foam roll, on which the athletes roll parts of their body until they reach the trigger point. The athletes then hold this position until the pain subsides.

2. Hydrate and replenish mindfully

It is common knowledge in the athletic world, that what you consume after a work out or race greatly determines how your body is going to react in the subsequent day or days. It is therefore imperative that we carefully consider what we drink or eat after such tiresome sessions.

Triathletes should know when to drink water and when to drink electrolyte rich energy drinks. These decisions are predominantly determined, by the rate of absorption of these fluids by the body. In order to make the right decision, one should consult a nutrition expert before consuming anything.

3. Experiment with different types of stretching

Stretching is a very integral part in the training regimen of any professional triathlete. Triathletes who have more elasticity and flexibility in their muscles perform better. There are two types of stretching recommended by the professionals.

The first one is, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) which is a set of stretching techniques which are used to improve both the passive and active range of motions in our bodies. This done to ensure that that our body produces optimum performance as well as rehabilitate the body when injured. The second technique is of static stretching which generally means stretching while the body is in a stationery position.

4. Embrace cold exposure

After that vigorous work out, a lot of triathletes prefer to immerse themselves in an ice water bath. This ice water bath has temperatures between twelve to fifteen degrees Celsius. This plunge into the ice bath is believed to have a therapeutic effect on the muscles as it reduces the soreness and pain in the muscles.

Doing this after training can help the muscles recover quickly from the strains of the exercises and as such are quickly ready for the next session. This cold exposure also provides a resurgence of energy.

5. Practice meditation and mindfulness

Meditation can be a very useful tool for an athlete who is training for a tournament or who is recovering from an injury or strenuous exercises. Meditation causes the body to relax and such reduce the release of the hormone cortisol, which is a very bad hormone for and budding athlete. Athletes who meditate have been known to perform better, as they generally have all their faculties in control.

Last word on becoming a better triathlete

Lastly, spend some time working on your form and biomechanics in all three disciplines of triathlon. There are many sports scientists out and triathlon coaches out there who can help you refine your form and help you become more efficient and injury free.

Explore the idea of investing in quality triahlon coaching so you can become better organized with your training, and your self as a whole through the sport.

 
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Online Triathlon Coaching: 3 Tips to Find The Right Tri Coach

If you're interested in online triathlon coaching as a means to help you progress in the sport and prepare for your next A-race, it's important to be very mindful with respect to who you hire as your tri coach. Online Triathlon Coaches

Communication, experience, and level of interaction are just a few considerations when searching for online triathlon coaches who are right for you. In addition to these considerations, you ultimately need to pinpoint an individual who you feel comfortable with and who you trust in building your triathlon training plan.

To help guide you in your search for online triathlon coaching resources, below are three tips to steer you in the right direction.

Engagement & Responsiveness

There's a broad spectrum of triathlon coaches out there who operate online. Some provide very intimate coaching services with one-on-one Skyping, personalized training and nutrition planning, and high levels of engagement. Parallel to this premium quality caliber of coaching, some online tri coaches provide quick responses to their athletes' needs and questions.

Conversely, there are many online-based triathlon coaches who are less hands-on when it comes to communication and responsiveness. While cost often reflects this important consideration when seeking a coach, it's up to you to learn as much as you can about prospective triathlon coaches to find an individual who can cater to your needs throughout your training.

Create a List of Interview Questions

Before reaching out to prospective triathlon coaches, write-out a list of questions that cover the important aspects you're interested in or needing in a coach. Don't go overboard, as some high-level tri coaches don't have the time to nurture new athlete leads (as some elite coaches can pick and choose who they want to work with.) Rather, formulate 5 or so key questions that you want to cover before making an investment.online triathon coaching

Here are a few example questions that you might want to consider adding to your list.

  • How responsive is the coach? Or what is the average response time?
  • What metrics does the coach use to get a baseline for athletes? Or rather, where does the coach begin in building training plans for athletes?
  • (Follow-up) What historical data or baseline testing does the coach want from athletes?
  • Does the online triathlon coach provide help with nutrition and fueling?
  • What mode of communication (Skype, email, phone?) and training documentation (TrainingPeaks?) does the coach prefer to use?

This list will serve as a vital tool in helping you seek out the best online triathlon coach who is right for you. The next step is seeking out prospective online triathlon coaches who fit your bill.

Inquire With Several Prospective Coaches

The first step to reaching-out to online triathlon coaches is to know what you're looking for. If you're doing an Ironman, you'll want narrow your search to Ironman triathlon coaches, whether that be through Google search or using online resources like Ironman's new CoachMatch network.

Also, ask around in your area for reference to both local and online triathlon coaching. In larger cities, there are often triathlon clubs, or clubs specific to swimming, biking, and running.

If you're doing a sprint triathlon, the level of training will be far less (depending on how competitive you plan to be during your race.) So you may find that your primary objective is to invest in a good training plan and get some guidance from time to time.

Inquire with 3-5 (or more) online tri coaches and shop around. You're putting a great deal of time and money into your training, so you'll want to find a triathlon coach who you're confident in.

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How to Review Vegan Protein Powders the Right Way

There's good reason why vegan protein powder has become a popular topic in the world of nutrition, athletics, and overall general health. Eating vegan, or plant-based, has been shown to offer a number of benefits for one’s health. From lowering the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease to optimizing athletic recovery and performance, all walks of life stand to gain from eating less animal-based foods and consuming more plants. vegan plant based protein powders reviews

The topic vegan protein powders, however, has been a pivotal cornerstone to the plant-based push. This is primarily due to the countless celebrity athletes who have publically made it known that they’re now eating a vegan diet. The protein powder aspect stems from the recovery component, which is one of the primary reasons why so many are embracing the plant-powered way.

So if you’re like many of the vegan individuals (or vegan curious) who are interested in vegan protein powder products and reading vegan protein powder reviews, then this post is for you. In this article, I discuss a few specific considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind when reviewing plant-based protein powder products.

Check the Sources of Plant-based Protein

First and foremost, when reviewing vegan protein powders, be sure to look at the plant sources of protein. These sources will often dictate the quality of the vegan protein powder, in addition to the price of the product.

For instance, some of the best vegan protein powders have sources deriving from hemp, pea, brown rice, and other seeds and legumes of all sorts. Some products have unique blends containing artichoke protein, chia seed protein, pumpkin seed protein, and so on. Hemp is one of the most powerful sources of plant-based protein because it contains one of the most rich amino acid profiles (more about amino acids below.) Conversely, soy protein does not have as rich of an amino acid profile and is much cheaper and lesser quality than other plant-based sources (primarily from an athletic recovery standpoint.)

Lastly, review the vegan protein sources to see if they are labeled as isolates or concentrates. In short, protein concentrates are better than isolates. Most plant-based protein isolates have undergone some degree of processing, which can strip the protein of its nutritional co-factors. That’s not say protein isolates are bad. Rather, protein concentrates are more pure, as they’re in their more natural state.

Know What Makes a Vegan Protein Powder “Complete”

Perhaps one of the most important variables for athletes (i.e. endurance athletes and weight lifters) is ensuring the vegan protein powder is complete. Complete proteins are defined by their amino acid profile. Complete proteins contain nine essential amino acids. These include:

  • Tryptophan
  • Threonine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine+Cystine
  • Phenylalanine+Tyrosine
  • Valine
  • Histidine

Unfortunately, only some vegan protein powder products will actually list the amino acid profile on the label. The products that do this are often high-performance products that are geared for athletes. Examples include Vega protein powders, PlantFusion protein powders, and MRM protein powders, to name just a few. These are some of my personally-favorite brands as they taste great and offer a complete protein for optimal athletic recovery. Read my Vega Sport Performance protein powder review to see what makes this product one of the best plant-based protein supplements for athletes.


Vegan Protein Powders with BCAAs

Branched chain amino acids (or “BCAAs”) are three specific types of amino acids that are absolutely essential for building lean muscle mass and improving recovery after any form of physical exertion. The amino acids that make-up BCAAs are Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine. Together, these amino acids optimize muscle repair. This is particularly important when seeking vegan protein powders for bodybuilding.

If you’re trying to build muscle or improve performance from sports (as well as mitigate the effects of muscle soreness,) supplementing with vegan protein powders with BCAAs is vital. The latter mentioned brands (Vega, MRM, and Plant-Fusion), all offer plant-based protein powders with BCAAs. These are among the top vegan protein powders for atheletic recovery.

Vegan protein powders with BCAAs are often a bit more expensive than other plant-based products without them. So if you’re not too concerned about athletic performance and building muscle mass, then you don’t have to worry too much about it. You can also supplement with BCAAs in capsule form if don’t have a protein powder with that includes them in the blend.

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