Certified Athletic Trainer | Educator | Motivator
Sandy Krum

All posts tagged health

Olympic Torch

Every four years…

We sit in awe and watch amazing athleticism, choreography, movements with precision, and the skill of Champions shining as bright as the oil lit Olympic Light. Yes the Olympic spectacle is grand but what is even grander is the opening ceremony watching the torch enter the stadium for the final lap. Waiting with heartbeats so high, athletes and fans from all over the World sit and wait in excitement as the torch makes its way onto the track. Lights darkened, flashbulbs zinging, and the latest GoPro models being put to the test. C’mon baby, don’t fail me now.

Two torch bearers, faces lit with honor and glory for their countries, have the Torch raised at all times as they swagger around the stadium and up to the Cauldron. Yes, indeed a Final Lap to signify the games are about to be declared OPEN. Anticipation and excitement abounds!

Usually the final carrier of the Torch is a sports celebrity of the host country. The person often is unannounced until just prior to the ceremony as this also adds to the exuberance. From Ali to Gretzky, only the greatest of their respected countries are afforded this opportunity.

To become the greatest, these athletes have dedicated their lives to their conditioning, stringent if not backwards training regimes, injuries and the treatment of the same, nutritional changes, practice and more practice, rest, and finally honing their skills to a place so refined, only the best of the best can reach these levels.

My message today is simple: you too can reach these levels…. Perhaps not as an Olympian headed for Rio, but as an Olympian to you, your family and friends, and all those you encounter on a daily basis!

HOW IS IT GOING TO HAPPEN?

Olympian’s train endless hours and are guided by a strong support TEAM network, if not overcrowded. They are provided medical support with top physicians, the finest certified athletic trainers (NATABOC.ORG), exercise physiologists, nutritional support and receive counsel by some of the finest RDs (Registered Dietitians) around, psychological support, and personal training and Coaching from the finest in their chosen sport.

This same TEAM approach is what I believe helps make these athletes stand out, especially when put up against near equals in their chosen sports. The TEAM can and does make a difference, especially with such finite movements, landings, aim, skill, and precision.

To make it happen for you, I recommend beginning to develop your TEAM, the support team that you will put in place to aid you on your journey to your individual Torch Lighting Ceremony. This involves regular visits to your physician for blood and urine lab values and further testing as indicated. This means continuing to break down the walls via discussion, either amongst family members or with a psychologist. Secrets cause illness and the best place to start letting secrets out is with a psychologist or trained, qualified therapist.

Your Nutrition needs to be on point and this means not only eating the right amount of calories but also keeping track of the same via simple pen and paper journaling or via any one of the available apps available to track nutrition and exercise.

The Olympic Athlete is guided by top RDs in the profession and all preach the same thing: JOURNALING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. For those of you who have not kept track of what you are taking in on a day-to-day basis, now is a good time to do a five-day food journal. Simply write down what you eat and drink, the portion size or quantity, and the time. Everything! Do this for five consecutive days. If it’s one Iced tea, write it down and the approximate number of ounces. If it’s a cheeseburger and grilled veggies, write it down. Also note the time. Just be honest with your recordings. Remember, this practice event is to help no one but YOU. Once complete, you can share the journal with your RD and the rest of the TEAM. Proper guidance and dialogue will come from this and then and only then can a complete plan of attack start to take shape. The MD and RD will then use this information as well as other test results (RMR, DEXA), determine the best caloric range for you and the number of calories you need to be taking in daily (and of equal importance what types of calories).

Notice a pattern here? Everyone works together and communication has to be crystal clear and on point. This communication starts with YOU!

The other components of your Olympic Team include the Certified Athletic Trainer and your personal trainer/coach. The athletic trainer will ensure you stay healthy on a day-to- day basis, monitor and treat your injuries, implement a PREHAB program, and ensure proper levels of nutrition and hydration accompany your workouts and daily living activities. The athletic trainer will keep you on point when it comes to your overall well-being. Additionally, The athletic trainer will act as a liaison between yourself and the rest of the team members as you will continue to focus on following the protocols the team has laid out for you.

Your personal trainer or coach is one of the largest cogs in the wheels and often, too much or all emphasis is placed here, neglecting the rest of the team. I propose for you to change the approach and ensure the rest of the team is playing an equal and active role, allowing each of your team members the ability to work in unison and to their limits, not overstepping their respective positions. Placing all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for disaster.

Putting all these components together, all working harmoniously, this is what makes up an Olympic Athlete. Sometimes the Olympians hands are placed in one direction while other times another. Sometimes the Olympic athlete looks lean and fit while others are buff. Sometimes an ankle is taped to prevent, while others go barefoot.  And sometimes you’ll see or hear a coach or two in each ear. The Olympics are about more than the awe-inspiring performances and representation of the 80 plus countries displaying their talents. It’s about The TEAM and all the components that go into accomplishing the greatness. You too can achieve greatness by employing this TEAM concept. Become your own Olympian and Light your own Torch!

SAK

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_flame

 


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

 

 


Jerry & Estella Hayes_BL
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

 


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.

SAK

REFERENCES:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa41.htm

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/things-eat-before-bed-4256.html

http://sciblogs.co.nz/sleep-on-it/2011/03/11/caffeine-affects-your-sleep-no-ifs-no-buts/


Weigh In at Doctor
heart_beat_cardiogram_400_clr_5646
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

 


Erase_Impossible
Lightbulb_People
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