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Showing posts from October, 2013

DEAD BUTT SYNDROME

The gluteal muscles (glutes, buttocks) are a group of three muscles (maximus, medius, minimus) that play an integral role not just in propelling you forward but in keeping your pelvis stable, none more so than the gluteus medius.

When the gluteus medius is weakened - whether through prolonged sitting, or through repetitive motion (e.g. running) in the absence of strengthening exercises - what often results is a condition known as dead butt syndrome. Dead-butt syndrome is inflammation of the gluteus medius muscle due to irritation. A weak muscle is unable to properly perform its function, which in this case is to keep the hip level. The result is pelvic instability, identifiable with the hallmark "sagged" gait, called the Trendelenburg sign in the medical community.


Dead butt syndrome and resulting pelvic tilt can cause a cascade of inflammation and irritation of adjacent muscles, which can lead to other injuries such as iliotibial band strain, plantar fasciitis, lower back …

ACTIVE RECOVERY

For the athlete, recovery from training sessions is essential. I remember being told during my days as a bodybuilder that the muscles grow when you sleep, and training too much (overtraining) can inhibit growth and slow or stall fitness gains. In my twenties I transitioned to endurance sports, and the same concept holds true. For the endurance athlete - and if you like to run, swim, bike, or even walk, that means you - rest is important to the extent that you allow your muscles to recover from a particular exercise. But rest doesn't have to mean inactivity.

Enter active recovery.

Let's say you're a triathlete. You run. You bike. You swim. You do it again. You do it a lot. So much that you begin to notice the signs of overtraining. You have difficulty sleeping. You dread your next workout session. Your resting heart rate goes up. You experience changes in appetite. You become irritable. Your sex drive diminishes. Or you have an upcoming race and begin a taper, reducing tra…

HFLC?

LFHC stands for "high fat, low carbohydrate." This is a diet some follow, including proponents of the Paleolithic approach to eating. Recommendations that we were meant to derive energy from fat and not carbohydrates, but NOT omega-6 fats (found in nuts and oils) leaves a paltry few foods to choose from, mainly animal products. Considering the bacterial contamination and pesticide residue found in animal foods, loading up on beef, fish and chicken is not a good idea.
Also, fat is a stored energy source but it is also the place where toxins are stored, like the garage of the body, and by eating the fat of animals you are  getting all their stored toxins along with that stored energy. Anyone who says that carbohydrates are not a preferred energy source and this is why the body burns them preferentially (which seems very counterintuitive to me) is implying that we should not eat fruits and many vegetables, which are predominately carbohydrates and also some of the most nutrit…

HYDRATION DURING EXERCISE

Considering the sweat rate for the average athlete - 1 liter per hour of exertion, equivalent to two pounds of body weight - it is crucial to replace fluids both during and after exercise. Losing just one or two percent of body weight (around 2 or 3 lbs) can negatively impact performance, or at least increase perceived exertion, the amount of energy it takes to move at a given pace.

However, since most fluid lost contains salt (sweat), drinking plain water does not replace electrolytes and can even make you hyponatremic. Hyponatremia, or low blood sodium, can make you feel dizzy, disoriented, nauseated, and lethargic, and in extreme cases can be deadly.

Most endurance athletes these days do no drink plain water during exercise. A mixture of sugar, water, and salt is best. Consider adding 1/2 tsp of salt for every 16 ounces of fluid, in addition to 2-4 tbsp of sugar (equivalent to 120-240 calories). The juice of a fresh-squeezed lemon can really improve the taste. This is a homemade …