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Quick Snack at Work

By total mistake, my gf picked up some tasty yumskins at the store for me.  Of course, I asked her to pick up a variety of fruits and veggies to nibble on throughout the week, and she came through on the clutch.  If left to my own devices, I tend to stick strictly to the same variety.  But, on this glorious day at snack time, I dug into a treat known as Goldenberry.  It tastes great, so it got me thinking, “how good is it really?”

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Golden Berry

Turns out, it is a good source of Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), a couple of the B vitamins, Vitamin C, as well as some other important micronutrients.  In terms of macronutrients, it is composed mostly of carbohydrates (fructose), but also has a little bit of proteins and fats.  Most importantly, for you calorie-counters out there, 3.5oz/100g is approximately 53 calories.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Outdoor Training in Cold Weather

It has been asked of me lately what my opinion is on training in the cold weather, or what precautions need to be taken to train outdoors in the winter months?  So here we go…

Aside from the nutrition and recovery side of things, there are certain things to consider when working in the cold.  First and foremost, don’t be a mouth breather.  You look ridiculous for lack of a better statement, and you’re setting yourself up for getting sick.

When you take a deep breath in through your nose, there is a particular pathway that the air must travel that is actually a longer route than straight through your mouth.  This gives the air a chance to heat up and become a little more humid, something that you’re lungs will appreciate.  Not only that, your nasal passageway has mucus and hairs that will trap particles creating a nice little filter for you.

That’s well and good when you’re just walking or standing around, but what if you start running–if you’re into that sort of thing–or moving things around or skiing/snowboarding?

Sure, you’ll have to breathe through your mouth just to keep up with the demands of the working muscles.  Of course it is always suggested to breathe in through your  nose, but let’s be realistic for a sec.  I’ve tried it, anecdotally, and can’t seem to be able to do it for a long period of time without thinking my heart is going to pop or my head explode.  Therefore, I wouldn’t expect any of my athletes to do it either.

Most people on the mountain wear ski masks.  This serves multiple purposes 1. protects your face from sub zero weather and wind 2. creates a barrier from mouth breathing.  Also why lumberjacks have beards, oddly enough, as I doubt they’re making a fashion statement.  There are also cold weather training masks you can purchase.  I myself received a fancy new ski mask that looks like a beard, 2 birds…

What else? In the past, people traditionally wore wool based clothing in the cold because it keeps you warm.  But, what about when you get really warm and start sweating? Then cool down?  The wool based material is now damp and you’re in a cold environment.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what that will lead to.  Having a material that will keep the heat in, but wick the moist out is ideal.  The military has done great research on environmental extremes.  This one is pretty solid–minus in the case of fire as the material seems to melt.  Wicking material covered by a thicker material is solid.  In some cases, they even make a coat or pants with the dry wicking material built in.  Possibly the most amazing thing ever.

Footwear? Wear boots that are pretty airtight. Duh.

Leave comments below.  I would love to hear some other perspective.

 

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Why is Water so Important?

In this day of information overload and high tech ways of getting better, little emphasis is put on the most important factors for performance.  Even on this site you have the chance to read up on supplements and how they work.  I can’t really stress enough the importance of water.  Go a day without eating, fine.  Go a day without water, things go downhill quickly.

Water is about 60 percent of your bodyweight.  SIXTY PERCENT!  Let’s boil that down further.  Muscle, the thing we try to make more explosive or resilient depending on our game, is 75 percent water.  Blood, that transporter of all things (almost), 83 percent water.  Even if we do everything right–don’t eat refined sugar sources/junk food, exercise, crush your veggies (which have water in them)–you’ll still be lacking significantly without considering your water intake.

Water is a transporter, catalyst to the reactions in our body, a lubricant, help’s with growth, etc.  And just like your car needs an oil change, your body needs water exchange.  We get rid of water via sweat, the bathroom, and from breathing (as vapor).  For each percent loss of water there are repercussions that will impact performance from an athlete point of view, but get into the 5 percent plus range and you’re going to be dealing with some large issues.  Just don’t go there.

With all that said, how do you make sure that you have enough?  Great question.  There are a number of ways that you can guesstimate how much you need, some fancy equations are used to determine this.  To all you non-mathletes out there, a good general guideline is 100-120 fluid ounces of water consumed per day.  The more active you are, the more toward the 120 fluid ounce side of the spectrum you’ll be.

Prior to exercise, drink water.  During exercise, drink water.  After exercise, drink water.  See a pattern here?  Water means water too, not iced tea.  Caffeine has been shown to not have a huge impact on overall hydration throughout the day, however, in the short term it will speed up metabolic processes causing a little dehydration.

Anecdotally, I’ve had plenty of conversations about the importance of water.  The response is usually along the lines of, I don’t like the taste. In which I respond, what taste?  To be fair, water does usually contain some micronutrients which may have an impact on taste.  Who am I to judge? Fine, you don’t like the taste, how in the world will you stay hydrated now???  You can help the process with the foods you eat.  Technically all food has water in it, to some degree.  Fruits and veggies are always a great way to introduce watahh into the system as well as fiber and some micronutrients.

Just try it.  You’ll feel much better.  When you take it away, you’ll notice it.  Have anything to add to the conversation?  Chime in.

 

 

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2017 year review

This past year has been a roller coaster for sure.  I have accomplished many life goals, changed things that I never thought I would change, and accepted life curveballs.  Here is a quick recap of 2017.

I made a couple of small life goals in 2017 that would help give me a hobby, something that was completely lacking.  Basically, I’ve spent my college and adult life to this point filling all available hours of my day with work or class.  Now that school is done and I am working a more modest schedule, hobbies will keep me sane.  First, I wanted to get to the mountains and snowboard.  2016 didn’t allow me to do that and it happens to be something serene once you get up to the mountain and check out the horizon.  Secondly, I wanted to pick up a guitar at least once per week.  This is something that is difficult to me because I feel I don’t have a musical bone in my body. I remain humbled.  That’s my personal life in a nutshell.

On a much larger scale, I passed my NPTE, the exam of all exams essentially.  This is what licenses you to actually perform your duties as a physical therapist.  Thank goodness that chapter has come to fruition.  So instead of working a modest 40 hours per week, I have decided to get a job in a clinic in addition to running a performance center.  I know, what was I thinking???

I made it a goal to get to more of my athletes games.  In 2016 I was really handcuffed with the job I had which didn’t offer much flexibility in terms of being able to see my athletes play.  Besides coaching lacrosse in the spring and seeing literally all of my teams games, I was also able to see both of the volleyball teams I work with, the girls soccer team I work with, and the ultimate highlight was being able to see Notre Dame vs. USC at Notre Dame where one of my athletes plays football.  I’m hoping that this year extends more opportunity to see the athletes in action–as well as more deep dish pizza.

Now with the new year, I would like to keep my hobbies going as well as really refine my skills in the PT arena as well as the sports performance realm.  I would like to get to do more networking this year and travel a bit more.  Kind of a rough outline for the new year, but it works.