Certified Athletic Trainer | Educator | Motivator
Sandy Krum

All posts tagged fitness

Turkey

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?

VOLUNTEER!

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.

YOU AND YOUR EXERCISE

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!

STAYING FOCUSED

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.

SHARE AND LEARN

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.

SAK

 

 


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TEAMWORK

Team Diana Nyad – Goal Achieved

Diana Nyad’s recent achievement  is stunning in so many ways, but now that she has accomplished her latest GOAL, what’s next for the 64-year old aquatic wonder? The lessons learned by her feat are too numerous to cover in writing, but here is a start to this dialogue.

Nyad, accompanied by a support team of 35, departed Havana Cuba on a recent Saturday morning en route to Key West, Florida. She wouldn’t catch a flight or a boat, rather she would attempt for the fifth time to cross the 103 mile track by swimming the entire distance cage free and without fins! When we’re talking the ocean swim, that’s a big enough feat onto itself. Warding off jellyfish , sharks, the elements of weather, and the potential hyper/hypothermia: that’s simply another beast.

A long distance swimmer with years of experience and determination beyond belief, Nyad and her team would attempt the crossing after four previous failed attempts. Illness, weather, and jellyfish stings would hamper previous crossings.

The author of three motivational books and world renowned speaker continued to test her limits, reaching outside the box for the answers that would fulfill her determination.

We can talk about her age, the difficulties she had to endure, her discipline, her focus, her GOAL, and her TEAM.

Jerry & Estella Hayes - Biggest Loser Season 7Age is no barrier!  I call attention to seniors Jerry and Estella Hayes, recent contestants on the reality show NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Not only were they both lost in years of protective wall building and hiding, the Hayes realized their extended family would not have the chance to see their parents and grandparents much longer if indeed they both did not change their physical and mental well being. Jerry and Estelle made the commitment and learned how to prepare and eat smart foods, and exercise to the fullest of  their potentials. Each challenged themselves daily to change and better themselves. Each had their struggles but eloquently followed the course outlined for them by the BL TEAM.

The Hayes recaptured their health and well-being and now continue to spread the message of their successes with encouragement for others to achieve what once was only a dream.

Her lips blue and swollen as she swam through the night, Nyad was unable to hold down foods at called feeding times. Profuse vomiting and dehydration would ensue. To keep her core body temperature warm, the TEAM decided to have Nyad swim through the night until daybreak, extending her feeding time a bit so to maintain a solid core temperature. This way she could maximize her “running engine” vs. trying to stop and start like the breezy, thunderous night air. Kudos to her medical team for their efforts and guarded care!

A team of divers would advance the way to clear pockets of jellyfish and ward off any potential shark sightings. Remember she is not in a cage as in others’ previous crossings.

Basically her team and divers were saying: “Follow the path we set out for you and you’ll get to your destination!” How often have we had this done for us in our own endeavors and not accomplished the task? WHY?

Traveling at an average of 2.2 miles an hour, the trip would land Nyad and her team on the shores of Key West mid day, ironically 53 or so hours later, Nyad would accomplish her GOAL. There, so many sat and watched, content lying on the sand and cheering. Here comes Nyad and her dolphin esque skills, swimming to shore! No, not your average spin class, crossfit WOD, or treadmill workout. This lady was swimming from damn Cuba to Florida!

There was no quit, even from a cautious medical TEAM of doctors noticing slurred speech, nausea, swollen tongue, and vomiting from the sea water. Her core temperatures must have been crazy, and by all accounts she really may have been too sick to continue. No, not this time. The jellyfish would not get the best of her as she wore a specially made face mask to ward off such stingers. This too would cause another obstacle as the mask would cause severe bruising inside her mouth from the repetitive facial movements while turning her head to the side and breathing. Still, seawater would be swallowed.  WOW, how did Diana stay focused on her GOAL, how did she navigate, and stay desired?

There are no better examples of what the word TEAM means after watching this accomplishment. And to Nyad’s credit , she trusted her TEAM to help her achieve. Changes were made based on previous failures. Nyad afterword would praise the facial mask she wore as the tipping point to her successes. A silicone mask was indeed the savior of her two plus day escapade through dangerous channels. Doctors, drivers, divers, navigators, nutritionists, coaches and the like worked tirelessly to put Nyad in a position to succeed.  Nyad’s individual accomplishment would only be attainable if indeed all the Team’s components played in unison!

The takeaway messages from Nyad’s triumph will continue to develop over the days, weeks, and months ahead. Her powerful message and inspiration directed to so many, almost begging us all to take note. “Find the obstacles that may present and be prepared for anything to the best of your ability!” This foresight prevented  the unexpected to take place.

Here are some of the messages I took from watching this incredible accomplishment:

AGE- Never a factor!

DESIRE- Never in question!

DISCIPLINE- Never questioned!

TEAM- The overwhelming winner here!

GOAL- ACHIEVED

What’s next for Nyad? I would only hope she continues to spread the all important messages she so beautifully exhibited. This, my friends, is a powerful message that was delivered to our laps so eloquently. Now, the better question is how can we incorporate her powerful display into our own protocols and ventures? Will we listen to the trumpet she played for us? Do I have a support TEAM in place and am I following the lead they are displaying?

Teamwork

Don’t let this superb accomplishment go unnoticed. Take the will and desire from Diana Nyad and play your own trumpet.

SAK

 


Maslows_Hierarchy

Often I reflect on whom I am accountable to and what steps and procedures I need to accomplish successfully to stay on point. Am I going to be on time for a meeting or appointment? How am I communicating with my peers? What are my exercise habits? Often we rely on others to assist us with this accountability. Today, I propose another format. Lets take a look at what I believe is the groundwork needed to succeed in any model or plan.

 What Is Accountability?

Accountability is viewed as being responsible or giving an explanation of your actions.  But this is only ONE form. I want to turn the focus to you. When you hold yourself 100% responsible for holding YOURSELF accountable: YOUR relationships will flourish, your personal market value will soar, people will respect you more, you’ll be a greater example for others to follow, and your self esteem will grow. Notice here the common word is YOU and now the focus turns inward versus outward or towards others.

I’ve found a great read on accountability and want to share the same with you. The book is titled Little Things Matter Book | 100 Ways To Improve Your Life Today and is written By Todd Smith (littlethingsmatterbook.com) In it, Smith speaks of accountability and breaks the broader definition into 3 forms.

Smith’s Three Forms of Accountability

1.     Your Actions and Choices- These include how you communicate with others, how you spend your time, the consideration you show others, and your exercise and eating habits.

2.    Your Responsibilities-These include returning calls and emails, being on time for your appointments, and doing things you agree to do when you agree to do them.

3.    Your Goals-This could include financial desires, your fitness and health, or your personal family objectives. Accountability is nothing more than the follow through of YOUR Commitments and Responsibilities.

The How To

How are YOU going to change the focus of your Accountability and directly take responsibilities? Here are some of Smiths’ tips: 1.Use a Website to track Food and Exercise 2. Use a paper journal 3. Hire a personal trainer 4.Workout with a friend or partner 5. Sign up for classes 6. Rules need to be established beforehand 7. BE FLEXIBLE TO ALLOW COMPLIANCE.

I love introducing Abraham Maslow’s Philosophy on reaching Self Actualization and this is a good place to refer to Abe. Remember the Pyramid? Take a look at this link and it may shed a new light on where I want you to go with this thought process. I’ve attached a couple quick links for you here :

http://brainblogger.com/2013/01/08/maslows-theory-of-self-actualization-more-or-less-actualized/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

I propose small steps on your behalf to start to take the onus of accountability off others and direct them on to yourself. Achieving small steps in this transitional phase will enhance your overall well-being.   SAK


Weigh In at Doctor
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Medical App

Hope all finds you well! I was thinking about the upcoming season and what it takes to actually make it on to the Biggest Loser reality television show. For all the contestant hopefuls, the single wish I have for each of these folks is that they  have an established rapport with a physician in each of their respective home towns and cities. How many of you have not been to the doctor in ages? The questions I pose to you for today’s writing is, “ Do you have a physician and when is the last time you paid him or her a visit?”

I know for most of us, Health Care costs are through the ceiling. Health Insurance premiums are skyrocketing when overall preventative measures are declining. The affordability of reaching out to a doctor for preventative care is mind boggling alone.

Professionally , I have always urged my athletes and private clients to establish a relationship with their own personal physician. I want them taking a proactive approach to their medical care and not a reactive one.

How often should I see my physician? There really is not an exact answer to this but there are varied opinions, and two respected physicians from The Mayo Clinic came up with the following for Healthy individuals: internal physician and geriatrician Kevin Fleming, M.D. and gynecologist Petra Casey, M.D., made it easy for you. Here are their recommendations for how often to have the screenings you need most. Annually you should have the following evaluated:

weight, blood pressure, a dental exam, a skin exam, STD/STI testing, and a Mammogram (for women 40+). A fasting blood panel should be standard to identify cholesterol and other markers as well as a glucose tolerance test to determine blood sugar values.  Similarly for women , a PAP SMEAR is indicated every three years (every five years if HPV contesting is used). For men over 40 , annual prostate exams are indicated.

Besides the normal screens your doctor will perform, the evaluation time can also be spent dealing with counseling matters, family planning, STD prevention, quitting alcohol or tobacco use, and Nutrition and Weight loss. The simple evaluation can be the force that drives you to bettering your health.

For those of you looking to start or restart an exercise routine, the MD eval is a must. This is the way you are going to learn about your current cardiovascular fitness, your blood pressure, your blood lab values, and your past or current medication use. It is a time to discuss your goals and have your medical support TEAM in place. When it comes to the doctor patient relationship, I stress honesty and openness. I stress the direct route versus beating around the subject and stress a level of comfort in your ability to understand your personal findings.

The wellness package you are trying to achieve starts with the building of this ever important support system. Do you have the right physician for you? Robert Wergin, MD, a practicing family physician in Milford, Nebraska, and member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians says, “It’s about establishing a relationship with someone who cares about, and can help you with, your health.” You may not need to see a doctor when you’re healthy, but when you come down with a nasty bug or mysterious ache, you’ll be glad to have someone with a knowledge of your medical history to turn to. Your relationship with your primary care physician, if well established, can provide peace of mind when you’re not feeling your best.

As a new season approaches , these are some of the values I will be sharing with the contestant hopefuls. Although not all of the finalists we evaluate will make it onto the show, I know we can say we have done an exhaustive battery of tests on each of these people and hopefully identified any areas of concern that need to and can be addressed.

 

References: Sizensky, Vera: “Do You Really Need an Annual Checkup?”. Women’s Health, Oct. 2012

 


Posture:

My posture has been poor as of late. Whether it’s lying on the couch reading my tablet or slouching over to see the screen on my laptop. I know I need to concentrate more and more each day on keeping my shoulders back, on keeping my chin up, and sticking out my chest. I’ve gotten too lazy and haven’t really been incorporating a balanced BACK ATTACK.

What does our posture say about us? This is a simple concept but one that is so often overlooked when it comes to our overall wellness and often deters from our ability to stay on THE HIGHWAY.

A recent Human Kinetics (HK) publication spoke of posture in two forms. They discuss both the physical attributes of good posture but also the downfalls of a mismanaged psyche and how the same can lead to postural defect.  They state, “Good posture requires a person to maintain the alignment of certain body parts; poor posture is often acknowledged as a cause of musculoskeletal pain, joint restriction, or general discomfort. When used in the context of therapy, athletic training, physiotherapy, massage therapy, osteopathy or chiropractic, for example the term posture more precisely describes the relationships among various parts of the body, their anatomical arrangement and how well they do or do not fit together…”  Adding, “Of course, the postures we assume provide clues to not only the condition of our bodies; traumas and injuries old and new, and mild or more serious pathologies.  It’s also how we feel about ourselves; our confidence (or lack of it), how much energy we have (or are lacking), how enthusiastic (or unenthusiastic) we feel, or whether we feel certain and relaxed (or anxious and tense). Intriguingly, we all almost always adopt the same postures in response to the same emotions.”

To repeat, Kyphosis describes the forward rounding of the shoulders, a position often brought on by weakness or imbalance in thoracic spines musculature as well as fatigue in keeping these muscles engaged and firing. Genu Valgus is also a condition brought on by weak hip musculature, causing the hip and pelvis to collapse and forcing the knees into a Knock Knee position.

I constantly preach the latter portion, the “how do we feel about ourselves” and “how does this lead to our postural defects?” Are we engaging at all times through our daily interactions with others or are we defensive? Watching simple non-verbal Q’s of someone’s body language can often lead to a better understanding of that persons make up. When speaking with others, are my arms crossed in front, guarding the walls that have been built over the years? What am I hiding? I propose a more engaging approach: Head and neck high, chest out, hands to the side in a neutral position and relaxed versus uptight. THE EYES ARE ON THE ROAD!

Are we confident in ourselves and are others reading those same non-verbal Q’s we emit? Do we like the message we are sending? How can we /I work on this?

I propose daily practice sessions to start to concentrate on our postures. Practice 5-10 minutes per day and attempt to be cognizant throughout the day. Your practice session involves looking in the mirror at your posture, shoulder positioning, leg stance, and your facial expression. Can I improve in my engaging skills? Use this practice session to assist you.

For those of you who have worked with me, you know how much emphasis I place on how you carry yourselves and how engaged I expect you to become. I stress the importance of walking tall and proud with your shoulders back and chest and core engaged. I stress free and easy breathing. During this exercise, think deeply about the walls you may have put up and address them! Is it necessary for me to be expending so much energy to retain these walls? Which ones do I want to start to work on and dismantle? An additional exercise could simply be observing others throughout your day and see what messages these people may be sending!

During Your Workout

Are you looking down on the treadmill versus standing tall and looking onto the horizon? Is your chest out and are your breathing patterns relaxed? Are there similarities to a top-performing car? You bet! I call this “THE ALIGNMENT”. A Poor alignment predisposes you to injury and breakdown. To stay on the HIGHWAY of HEALTH, I propose to you to incorporate these simple daily exercises that will improve your chances of staying aligned and reduce the probability of system breakdown.

Krum’s Keys:

  1. Relaxed Breathing and Facial Muscles
  2. Engage Abdominals / Core
  3. Proper Leg Stance
  4. Shoulders Back
  5. Equal Balance When Weight Training (Multi Planes)

 

Lastly, I want to throw out a TIP. If you are able, have someone you know film your whole running session, or a good five to ten minute session. This person could be a loved one, friend, coworker, or a Certified Athletic Trainer (NATA.ORG). Have them film you from various angles and show everything from your stride, to your hand motion, to your head and neck movement.  Slowly review your tape and write notes on the items you see that need addressing. Make subtle changes and visually see yourself as you do each subsequent workout. Incorporate the changes over a period of time, all the while working on correcting the same. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, ask the advice of a Certified Athletic Trainer (NATABOC) near you. I’m sure they would love to help. After several weeks of practice, re-film a session and notice the changes.

Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing, love to hear from you.

 

All the best until next time, Sandy

REFERENCES: Johnson, Jane POSTURAL ASSESSMENT pp 1-176. 2012. Human Kinetics

 


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On_TOP

BL ALUMNI

     As the lights just dimmed on Season 14, I can’t give enough credit to all of the great transformations I just witnessed.  It was really a special evening to see all of you walking with that air of confidence and strutting with your chests out proud (AND RIGHTFULLY SO).  You all remember that sense of accomplishment, just hoping someone you hadn’t seen in a while noticed the new you!  Realizing the work you just put in paid off!  Realizing this is the happiest you’ve been in a long, long time!  Realizing your dreams!  Those of you who returned to welcome your new family members looked just as proud and full of love.  What a healthy environment, right?

     The questions I pose today to all of you to ask yourselves: “ How am I going to keep that battery charged and walk with that GAIT Sandy spoke of often on the ranch? “  Take a moment today to reflect momentarily on the past and ask “what is on my agenda to keep my light bulb lit and shining at its optimal wattage?”  True, some of you need to replace a bulb but once the bulb is in the fixture, know that you all have the tools and knowledge to keep that bulb burning for a long time…with full glare!!!

     “How do I know if my bulb is functioning at its peek level?” “Am I journaling?” “Am I counting calories?” “Am I weighing my foods?” “Am I planning meals for the week for myself and loved ones?” “Am I eating with a plan as proposed by H and Forberg?” “Am I snacking correctly?” “Am I incorporating the prescribed workout time to stay at maintenance?” “AM and PM?” “What am I doing at work to help keep myself functional and active?” “Can I be doing more?” “Am I treating my injuries and am I working to tolerance with the same?” “Am I making excuses ?”

     If you are on point, tremendous!!!! If your bulb needs replacing or if there is a short in the wire, well its time to change the darn thing!!!  Today is the day to do just that!  And if you’re not sure where the closest hardware store is or what wattage you need, please reach out to me and know that I will do my best to lead you.  Wishing you all continued success and love.

sak