Posts Tagged ‘Everyday Health’

FIre and Ice

July 11, 2012

I work out hard, most days of the week.  The farther away from 25 I get, the more injuries and chronic aches and pains I experience. Lately, it seems something always hurts.

I’m never actually sure when to apply heat to an injured area and when to use ice.

I set out to get the information from “Dr. Google”, my go-to source for all things medical.

According to About.com: Sports Medicine and Everyday Health, there are 2 kinds of injuries:

Acute pain is of rapid onset, and can be short lived.

Chronic pain develops more slowly, and is persistent and long lasting.

Acute injuries are generally sudden, sharp and occur immediately after some sort of trauma or impact. They are often accompanied by pain, tenderness, redness, swelling and inflammation.

Chronic injuries can be slow to develop, and the pain often comes and goes. They are often the result of overuse, but could be caused by an acute injury that was not properly treated.

Cold therapy, or ice is considered the best treatment for acute injuries, because it constricts the blood vessels and reduces swelling

Ice can also be effective for some overuse injuries as well. For example if a runner experiences knee pain after running, ice can prevent or reduce the inflammation if used after each run.  ( bingo!)

To ice an injury, wrap the ice in a towel and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. From personal experience with runner’s knee, I’ve found a small bag of frozen vegetables such as peas or corn are perfect, because they allow the “ice pack” to conform to the entire knee area.

Heat is recommended for injuries that have no swelling or inflammation, such as stiff, sore muscles. Heat can also be applied pre-workout, to increase joint elasticity and stimulate blood flow. It is also helpful in relaxing tight muscles or relieving muscle spasms. ( my computer neck, for example?)
It is not recommended to use heat immediately after a workout.

Moist heat is optimal, so hot, wet towels can be used. Heat packs or heating pads can also be used for 20 minutes or less. Never go to sleep with a heating pad on.

While heat and ice can be very helpful in treating injuries and muscle pain, it is advisable to see a real live doctor for treatment.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Not So Healthy “Health” Foods

June 27, 2012

Do you ever wonder why you aren’t losing weight, when you feel like you are making healthy meal choices? Chances are, despite their healthy reputation, many of the foods you are eating are packed with hidden sources of sugar, fat and calories!
Our friends at Everyday Health shared the inside scoop on 11 not so healthy “health” foods with us:

Protein bars, or “power bars” are touted as healthy snacks with deceiving labels such as “gluten free”, “low fat” and “natural”, but most of them are just fancy candy bars. Watch out for high sugar content and artificial ingredients. Many protein bars have 300-400 calories, and aren’t as satisfying as whole foods with a similar calorie count.

Granola, the organic, whole grain cereal, dried fruit and nut mix, is actually extremely high in calories, fat and sugar. Consider it a topping to sprinkle on yogurt and not as a meal.

Dried fruits are high in fiber and vitamins, but are also high in calories and sugar, and lack the water content of fresh fruit.  Just one cup of prunes packs over 400 calories, while the same amount of fresh plums has only 76.

Sushi is a great source of lean protein, vegetables and seaweed. However, many of the modern rolls have fried foods, mayo or cream cheese in them. Soy sauce is high in sodium, which can cause hypertension and bloating.

Stick to simple rolls made of fish, fresh raw vegetables and brown rice, and leave off the sauce.

Most Caesar Salads have more calories than a cheeseburger! While the lettuce is a great low-cal base, the croutons, cheese and fatty dressing make it a hidden calorie bomb! Go for a salad with lots of fresh vegetables and some grilled chicken, with a drizzle of balsamic dressing instead.

Opting for the filet of fish sandwich sounds good, but once the fish is breaded, fried and slathered in tartar sauce, it is no longer a healthy choice. Putting it on buttered white bread just adds insult to injury. Next time, try a grilled fish sandwich (open faced on whole wheat) or a simple fish taco with salsa and vegetables instead. Hold the sour cream and cheese please!

Margarine can be a good choice for those watching their cholesterol. Many margarines use trans fats, which is worse for your health than butter. Make sure your margarine is plant fortified, which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Fruit juices often have tons of added sugar to enhance their taste. Even the pure fruit juices miss the fiber and nutrients that are found in the whole food, especially those with edible peels. They can also add up to lots of calories without even realizing it.

Bran muffins sound healthy, but in reality, the sugar, sodium and fat added to the whole grains make them a diet trap. The supersizing of baked goods, adds to the problem.

Flavored waters and sports drinks are either high in calories, or filled with artificial flavorings.  Those touted as vitamin and mineral enhanced often don’t have enough to substantially contribute to your daily requirement. Unless you are really sustaining long, tough workouts, opt for good ‘ole H2O.

Turkey burgers are thought of as a low fat alternative to red meat, but depending on the cut and preparation, they can have more fat than a lean cut of beef. Look for lean ground turkey at the store, and go easy on the trimmings!

Want to know more? Check out the full article and video at Everyday Health!

Photos and information courtesy of Everyday Health


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