Certified Athletic Trainer | Educator | Motivator
Sandy Krum

All posts tagged exercise


A Holiday Message…

thank youWith the winter months and Thanksgiving fast approaching, I want to extend my best wishes to each of you for a happy and healthy Holiday Season. Similarly, I want to share some thoughts that come to mind as the festivities are about to begin.

The holidays are mostly happy times spent with families and friends, attending of social gatherings, and the ubiquitous running from here to there with hustle and bustle. Many of you will be sprinting to stores for Door Buster deals that await while others will be running to their “caves” to catch every moment of the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day edition.

ABUNDANT food and drink await and the assortments and platters are mostly overflowing. Our friends join us with sweets and wines, all the while sharing in the festive occasion of the Holidays. Challenges indeed!

Of great concern to me is the many around the world who are not as fortunate and those not able to enjoy the festive occasion with grandiose pomp and celebration. We need to take time and ensure we have done all possible; to make sure we have done our parts to ensure ALL others have the opportunity to enjoy the season just as we do.

We hustle to the market for the healthiest turkeys, the perfect floral arrangements, the festive tablecloths and all the components that fill our holiday with family, friends, and cheer. With all the hustle and bustle to take care of “ourselves”, I offer the following premise: What can we do this HOLIDAY SEASON to help the less fortunate?


volunteerThere still is plenty of time to think of others at this time of year and I offer the following suggestion: Call a local charity, food bank, or shelter and arrange to volunteer part of the day or weekend.  It may mean clearing tables at a senior center or park district meal, serving the homeless, or delivering meals and visiting with the homebound. Whatever the case, dedicate part of your day to someone in need. (Remember- This good deed doesn’t need to be exhibited solely on Thanksgiving!)

The characteristics of Health and Wellness include not only what you can do to better yourselves, but also what you can do for others. It’s a balance! This is the time of year to give back and send thanks, a time to reflect on what others are doing and sacrificing on our behalves.


Many of us will be traveling to spend time with family and friends. We also are questioning our workout routines and whether or not they are going to be compromised. Au contraire! The only thing that may change is the location! If you are a runner, find a new trail or turkey trot. If you are a spinner, attend a new class. If you are a hoopster, find a new court with new mates. If you’ve never walked the neighborhood, do so. Venture outdoors and over to the local park for a game of soccer or tag football. The key is NOT to take the day off because of the holiday, rather reach outside your comfort boxes and try something NEW from hikes in the mountains to biking the beaches… Regardless of the environment, the mission has to and can be accomplished! Remember, Holiday workouts should be fun filled and whenever able, should incorporate the whole family!


Control and Discipline often are thrown out the window this time of year. I challenge you to enjoy the holiday season even more so by exhibiting your inner controls and putting them into play, just like the quarterback about to hand off the ball in a well-practiced play or a goaltender using his or her reflexes to stop a blistering shot. You have practiced and practiced well being and discipline throughout the year and I’m certain that implementing these controls and plans during the holidays can continue. Persist in implementing portion control. Make a plan and understand the temptations that may present. Discuss your plan of ‘Healthy Eating’ with your husbands and wives, children, boyfriends and girlfriends. Whatever the case, having and executing a plan to stay within caloric budgets is going to be one of your keys to success for the Season.


pilgrim_hatIf you are attending a potluck type meal, prepare a healthy dish that compliments the season. Plenty of nutritious, colorful foods are available this time of the year and now is a great opportunity to be creative, yet smart in preparation. Similarly, the holidays and festive occasions are great opportunities to share new food ideas with one another. Embrace healthy preparations. But people, let’s be real! This is truly going to test you and Temptation.Trust me, you aren’t going to offend anyone if you don’t try a “full entree” portion of everyones preparations. A little taste may be all you really want anyways? Right? This is where your same discipline and control come into play.This is your chance to ‘Master’ them!

Additionally, do you have a recipe to share or are you looking for one? You can search and or post these online. Often, local community newspapers have a section devoted solely to holiday recipes. Where needed, make the appropriate substitutions with ingredients. This is also a great place to get a ‘taste’ of what others are doing.

On a personal note, this year I’m even more grateful and thankful to my supportive family and friends! I’m also grateful for something we often take for granted and seldom take time to acknowledge and recognize: the wonderful foods each of us has been afforded. If this is you as well, I challenge you to make someone else’s Holiday season as cheerful as yours. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving and how can you have a positive impact on others less fortunate?

I wish you and yours all the best during this festive time of the year. Happy Holidays.




Having a morning coffee after a rough night trying to sleep. I could NOT get comfortable and my mind continued to race. It was almost as if it was time to count sheep but every time I started to count , I had to reposition myself and start again at number one.  How many of you have had racing minds and were unable to sleep? I’m sure several of you have your hands up.  For me, this was an unusual evening.  I usually let my mind wander a little and then I’m gone.  Three days without going for a run probably has a lot to do with it.

What are your triggers for poor sleep? Here are some key triggers that I feel precipitate unhealthy sleep patterns:

wine_and_glassLate Night Eating and Drinking Alcohol send poor messages to the body. The digestive system starts to work overtime and the alcohol does not allow for restful sleep cycles. The average American sleeps 7.5 to 8 hours per night according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. * The alcohol may induce a faster TO SLEEP time but the quality of the rest turns out to be poor. Interruptions occur cycle after cycle and in the end the total slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM periods are shortened.

In regards to food, our bodies start the digestive process as soon as the food hits our mouths. Eating late at night is not a NO NO as it was once thought. The key is which foods are more ideal prior to sleep. Late night snacks are ideal if they are in the 100-200 kcal range. (Ex: ¼ cup baked popcorn). Watch your hunger cues, be mindful to not attempt to sleep on a rumbling stomach as this will deplete your AM energy stores and more than likely induce greater kcal intake later in the day.

CPAPNot Using a CPAP (CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE)? A CPAP is used best to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The mild pressure from the machine will prevent your airway from collapsing and becoming blocked.   Have you had a sleep study done to determine the quality of your sleep?  An apnea is described as a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of very low breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least ten seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Are you getting full oxygenation during the same? The only way you can get the restful sleep indicated is with the assistance of a CPAP sleeping device. A mask covers the nose and mouth and is connected to the machine via a plastic encased hose. Based on your results from the study, pressure levels are set. Most machines now have self setting sensors. Continuous monitoring with a trained Sleep Specialist will keep you on point and ensure quality oxygenation throughout the entire rest period. Similarly, your energy levels will increase exponentially if indeed you’re compliant!

Family or Personal Conflict often lead to sleep pattern disruption. Anxiety and depression are the leading causes here and the best avenue to resolving these issues is by addressing them with your physician and or therapist. All involved parties should be part of this counseling process and your physician will advise the best ways to incorporate all parties. Avoiding the conflict is not a choice!

medicationMedication Interactions and Increased Caffeination can also cause sleep disruption as well. If taking new medications, consult with your physician if your sleep is interrupted by the same. Caffeine based drinks prior to sleep will cause you to lessen your sleep time, reduce SWS time,  and increase the time needed to get to sleep. The message here is to learn your individual Caffeine Half-Life…the time it takes our body to rid the caffeine. Is it the normal 3-7 hours or are your levels skewed?  Use non caffeinated beverages as well, such as a warm lemon water.

The exercise portion of the equation is a constant. For me personally, this is what q’d my poor restless sleep. Respect the need for quality sleep! The bottom line here is our bodies need proper rest to replenish and repair! To bring your “A” game every day, your body needs plentiful restful sleep.