Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A small overview of The Laboratory for Wellness and Motor Behavior at Tarleton State University

00130001.JPGI have been a Trainer/Grad. Assistance  in the Laboratory for wellness and Motor Behavior lab for two years now here at Tarleton State University. It’s a lab where we exercise stroke survivors, diabetics, hemiplegics, cerebral palsy, and people with multiple sclerosis. Majority of our patients run out of insurance to pay for Physical Therapy, so they come to use for free. Overtime with working these extraordinary people, I began to notice a trend. On their first workout session, they’ll be on at least 10 different medications, but a couple months later there dosage goes down; ultimately to the point of no use of that synthetic drug. Which raises the question, How can someone who is so dependent on pharmaceutical drugs, end up with no need for them after a training program? If this is true, let's increase the physical activity so we can see a decline in prescription drug.  

After physical therapy most patients never tend to work out after they leave rehab. They sit at home and never move, allowing their muscles to stiffen up.  How do we unstiffen our muscle? The answer is simple, stretch, exercise in all range of motion, repeat.  Most people know that stretching increases blood supply. Because stretching allows blood to flow through your body, the nutrients in the blood are being carried and spread out all throughout your body as well. An increased blood and nutrient supply also helps reduce soreness.(1)In regards to increase blood supply and nutrients, exercising has the same benefits.

32790.jpgIn the lab we go beyond the three sets of ten that the physical therapist administers. For example, we will put a client on a flywheel powered cycle and as the patient pedals, the flywheel has momentum in the direction whether is forward or backwards. We can crank up the resist in which they pedal against.  For instance, the first workout session for a client they will pedal for five hundred revolutions. A revolution on our cycles is a complete trip for the pedal; you end where you started. A couple months later in their training program they are up to four thousand revolutions.  “Four thousand revolutions?!” you say. A lot blood is being pumped through the body.
This is just a minuscule of what we do here in the lab. At anytime, the Wellness lab can consist of massage therapy, corrective exercise training, physical therapy, speech therapy, nutrition, and even psychotherapy. As kinesiologists, our view is holistic , and make sure our clients are in balance to be functional fit.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Elastic Resistance Bands: Taking Your Exercise Outside the Gym.

Whether you are a beginner, just starting to get familiar with exercise, or an avid gym go-er looking for a new way to change up your daily exercise regimen, resistance bands are often overlooked. This tool can offer the kind of variety, flexibility and “real-world” functionality that is not found in larger pieces of weight equipment such as weight machines.  As a stay at home mom of twins a lot of my exercise is done at home or outside so I count on these tools to help me reach my goals.  Here are some of the advantages to using bands in your workout routine:

Resistance bands are lightweight elastic strips that come in a variety of colors; each color represents a different level of resistance. These bands can be used alone, with special accessories such as door attachments or handles to give you a wide variety of exercises to choose from. Being lightweight and the having ability to fold up the bands and pack into your luggage makes transportation of resistance bands easy.

Another big advantage is cost. With individual bands priced as low as $3, and bulk rolls costing under $20, these are quite easily some of the least expensive, yet versatile exercise items you can find. Bands can be used for just about every exercise that can be performed with free weights. Additionally, the special accessories, such as door attachments and handles, make them even more diverse.1

A critical benefit of elastic resistance is that it prevents the user from “cheating” on the exercise being performed. This is a common practice, especially for beginners, when using free weights. Cheating involves the use of momentum to get the weight moving. Once the weight has built up momentum, the muscle fibers do not need to be maximally activated to continue moving the weight throughout the rest of the range of motion of the exercise. This is due to the fact that the physics of momentum have taken over to move the weight. The physical properties of elastic resistance devices do not allow the user to cheat by using momentum. This is because the resistance from the elastic equipment comes from the stretching of the elastic material and not the mass of the elastic equipment. The only way to continue a movement while performing an exercise with elastic resistance is to utilize more muscle fibers in the exercising muscle to continue stretching the elastic material.2
In conclusion, a program that uses elastic tubing resistance can also provide benefits that are not offered by free-weight resistance programs. Follow up next week to compare the disadvantages of resistance bands.

1. Cook, LaRue. (2013, December 18). Resistance Band Vs. Free Weights. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from http://www.livestrong.com/article/87499-resistance-bands-vs.-weights/
2. Stoppani, Jim. Elastic Resistance Bands Vs. Free Weights. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from http://www.bodylastics.com/pages/elastic-resistance-vs-free-weights-by-jim-stoppani-phd.

Importance of APE

The biggest and most important key to having APE in the schools across Texas is the fact of  “inclusion.” Inclusion in education describes an approach wherein students with special educational needs spend most or all of their time with non-disabled students.1  From my experience and working with students with disabilities in Erath county school systems, the students want to just be included and to feel wanted by others. To include these students into regular physical education classes will benefit both groups and the teachers as well.
Benefits for Children with Disabilities:
  • more stimulating environments
  • role models who facilitate communication, social and adaptive behaviors
  • improved competence in IEP objectives (IEP- Individual Education Program)
  • opportunities to make new friends and share new experiences
  • greater acceptance by peers
  • membership in class and school
Benefits for children without Disabilities:
  • more accepting of individual differences
  • more comfortable with students with disabilities
  • become more helpful in general
  • acquire leadership skills
  • improved self-esteem
Benefits of Inclusion of Teachers:
  • awareness/appreciation of individual differences in all children
  • access to specialist/resources that can help all children
  • learn new teaching techniques that can help all children 2
Block,M. (1999). Did we Jump On the Wrong Bandwagon. Problems with Inclusion on physical education. Palaestra, 15(3), 30-36, 55
These are just some quick and simple benefits that I found while researching APE.
Here is a quick video click YouTube to view all of the benefits listed above and so much more. It will show just a glimpse of how important it is to include all students with disabilities into regular physical education classes as well as everyday activities.

4. Image: http://bcsd.com/bcsdspecialed/

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Proper Diet

Many athletes and weightlifters put in hard work and training every single day. Some people workout for beyond two to three hours a day but may never see high noticeable improvements in performance or strength. This may be a cause of poor nutrition. An athlete’s body requires a way to replenish and revitalize its muscles after a long and hard work out to make improvements. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics lists some of the benefits of a good, healthy diet for both athletes and people who just love to exercise:

1·         Improved cardiovascular health, including better blood flow, delivery of oxygen and blood pressure
·         Improved respiratory function
·         A stronger immune system
·         Stronger bones and muscles
·         Improved metabolism to keep your body burning calories

To truly have a positive impact on performance, an athlete should eat a high-carbohydrate meal three to four hours before exercise and within one to two hours preceding the workout. This is to help the athlete have enough ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) to burn during the workout. After a workout a certain amount of protein should be consumed as well. “Protein is an important part of a training diet and plays a key role in post-exercise recovery and repair. Protein needs are generally met by following a high-carbohydrate diet, because many foods, especially cereal-based foods, are a combination of carbohydrate and protein.”2 Plenty of water should also be consumed throughout the day. Water or a sports drink like gatorade is necessary to avoid dehydration and to replenish electrolytes.

1. Health Tip: The Right Diet Can Boost Athletic Performance
Published on the website http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=155797 by Athletes Topic of the Week by Diana Kohnle

2.Sporting performance and food
Published on the website http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sporting_performance_and_food?open by DEAKIN University Australia

Friday, September 25, 2015

Student Employment in Campus Recreation

With the many expenses that come with attending college, many students across the United States are forced to obtain a part-time job throughout their time at the University. Whether it is waiting tables at a local restaurant or working an on-campus job at the attending University, an additional income (to parental support) is a must. Let us take a look at the student workers’ satisfaction with working at their respected university’s recreational facility.

In a 2009 study2, studies showed that student employees working at a recreational facility with a high level of commitment to the organization had high levels of job satisfaction. As one of the most highly seeked out/hardest to get jobs on every campus, it is important for these undergraduate and graduate student workers to remain committed to their jobs. As a recreational administrator, it should be a priority to develop a positive relationship with student workers, directly relating to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

Student workers play a vital role in running and maintaining the facility as well as carrying out campus recreation events such as intramural sports, 5Ks, and tailgates. In a 2005 finding1, the study suggested that students look at campus jobs as more than just making money, but a way to learn working skills that can be stationed into a future job.

Findings suggest that student worker employers should consider making a work environment that is enjoyable to keep retention levels of the workers at climax. In the students’ dedication to the organization, the benefits of paycheck, increased self-satisfaction, and positive attitudes will be experienced by administration and co workers as well as enhancing the moods of patrons who use the facility each day.

1Carr, J. W. (2005). An exploration of how learning and development emerge for student employees during the on-campus work experience (Order No. 3161580). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304998049). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304998049?accountid=7078

2Grimes, M. G. (2011). Student worker satisfaction and retention in campus recreation (Order No. 1497252). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (885646868). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/885646868?accountid=7078

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Perks of Packing Your Lunch

Image result for perks of packing your lunch

Sure you can put cookies, candy, and other non-nutritious foods in a lunch box. But the difference between actually packing your lunch and eating out, is the options you have. Not every restaurant has a healthy option, therefore it is beneficial for you to be prepared with your own nutritious lunch. If you are to pack your lunch you can save your body and your money!

Let's talk numbers first; everyone loves to save money. 1A study in 2013 found that on the average people that ate out for lunch were spending anywhere from $7.00- $10.00 per meal. That comes out to $160- $200 per month. When you eat out you are purchasing one meal at a time, but if you pack your lunch you purchase multiple items at a cheaper cost for a week's worth of meals. This same study showed that the average meal cost at most $3.00 per meal if you packed your lunch. That means that you can save anywhere from $80-$100 per month or more!

Saving money is not the only benefit of packing your lunch. You will also have the option to pack foods that are healthier for you. Not all restaurants offer a healthy menu, by packing your lunch you can have that option.  If you pack your lunch you can control what goes in your body. 2Some great foods to put in your lunch box include salads, nuts, items you are able to reheat such as chicken, or the leftovers from dinner the night before, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Packing your lunch will give you control over your diet and your wallet. You will have the choice of what goes in your body and you can choose where and how your money is spent. This is a chose you wallet and your health will both be thankful for!  

Sheehan, K. (2013). What are the benefits of bringing a packed lunch instead of having a schoollunch.Retrieved2015,from http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-bringing-packed-lunch-instead-having-school-lunch-5628.html

James, J. (2013, August 5). Packing a lunch will save you money. Retrieved from http://lifeincharge.com/packing-a-lunch-lets-you-save-each-month/

Monday, September 21, 2015

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a very common and under diagnosed disease.1 Approximately 15 million people have been diagnosed with COPD in America this year.2 This results in the difficulty breathing in COPD patients. Cigarette smoking causes 80 – 90% of all COPD cases.2 The biggest population of this disease is often referred to as the “Baby Boomer” generation.  This generation grew up in a time where smoking was acceptable anywhere you went and they didn’t know the harm they were causing on their bodies.
When a healthy person breathes, the air travels through thousands of little bronchial tubes in your lungs to little air sacs called alveoli.2 The alveoli expand as you breathe in and shrink to its normal size when you breathe out.2 The alveoli in a COPD person’s lung become stretched out and lose their elasticity, which causes trapping of excess air in the lungs.2
The common symptoms of COPD are coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue but they may often be mistaken for old age or being out of shape.2 COPD is a progressive disease.  The following  common symptoms will increase and other symptoms may begin occurring, such as:
·      Higher frequency of pneumonia and lung infections.2
·      Wheezing 2
·      Coughing up mucus or phlegm.2
·      Weight loss 2
It is very easy to exacerbate the symptoms of COPD, so it’s important to avoid these triggers so you can keep your symptoms to a minimum.
Put Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Into Your Own Hands -
Whole Health Insider. (2012, July 30).
Retrieved September 21, 201
·      Quit smoking and avoid areas where smoking is permitted.2
·      Keep your home clean and free from mold and dust.2
·      Use a cooking vent to keep cooking fumes out of your home.2
·      Avoid large crowds.2
·      Try to avoid cold air.2
·      Use pursed lip breathing as often as possible, as this helps keep alveoli open in your lungs.
·     Exercise at your own pace with monitoring if possible.
COPD is a progressive disease and it will be with you forever. Knowing these symptoms, avoiding the triggers and using these breathing techniques will help you manage your COPD.
1Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2015 Aug 28;10:1711-8. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S84247. eCollection 2015

2Common COPD Signs and Symptoms. (2001, January 8). Retrieved September 13, 2015.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Expectations from International Student-Athletes

Eager to start classes and to meet new team mates are always the main focus for the international student-athletes. This process is important because, if their grades are down they will have to go back home with no education and if they don’t perform well on the field their scholarships will be deducted. In making their dreams come true, it is important to build a strong bond with other team mates and professors. Most institutions will assign personal advisers to help the student educational process easy knowing that Education comes first before sport.1 This does not really happen in some schools and that leads international student-athletes to finding out things the hard way.
For an International student-Athlete to keep their scholarship, knowing that they are lots of aspiring to being in the Olympics athletes are available, they must:
·         Remember that graduating within a four-year window is a priority, and that can only be fulfilled with taking at least 15 credit hours to graduate on time (summer not included).
·         Focusing mostly on making a certain GPA to be eligible to play and those who want to continue in Graduate schools must keep a certain GPA to apply.2
When given an assignment, some may find it hard to comprehend when another student sees it to be easy.  Even with trying to meet up with class times and grades, keeping up on the field is tough too. Their workout programs change from what they are used to and this may sometime affect their performance. Coaches who wish to recruit international students to their programs must know that when the students get to school their body might not give 100% as it should.
1Melin, A. (2013, April 23). Apply to U.S college as an International Student-Athlete. Retrieved September 14, 2015. http://tinyurl.com/nwrcusp

2James, S. (2013, December 1). Ten Tips for Advising International Student-Athletes. Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/Ten-Tips-for-Advising-International-Student-Athletes.aspx http://tinyurl.com/ogugk43

Dehydration and Hyponatremia in Endurance Sports

When competing in any kind of endurance sport, whether it is marathon running, cycling, or cross-country skiing, one of the most important things an athlete can do is rehydrate and replenish their bodies. Everyone has heard of being dehydrated, it’s common knowledge among even people who are not physically active. However, knowledge of hyponatremia is not as wide-spread as it should be. Both dehydration and hyponatremia are conditions that pose threats to endurance athletes, and can sometimes even be fatal.

Dehydration is a condition that occurs when the body loses more water than it is taking in, causing there to be an insufficient amount of water for the body to carry out normal body functions.1 This condition is easily resolved and even prevented simply by regularly drinking water before and during exercise. Common signs and symptoms include: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, headache, dizziness, and muscle weakness.1
Hyponatremia is a condition in which sodium levels in the blood are low.2 Sodium is an electrolyte that is responsible for regulating the amount of water that is in, and around, the cells.2 As sodium is sweat out of the body without being replenished, sodium levels in the blood drop, causing cells to swell with water which in-turn can cause health risks such as rapid swelling brain, which could lead to coma or death.2 Hyponatremia may also be caused by excessive consumption of water, which is why it is advised to drink an electrolyte sports drink towards the end of a workout, in order to replenish the sodium. Common signs and symptoms include: nausea, headache, confusion, fatigue, restlessness, muscle weakness, seizures, and coma.2
Dehydration is far more common than hyponatremia, but they are both worth considering when preparing or participating in any endurance event. It is important to understand the difference of each due to their similarities. Treating hyponatremia as dehydration, and vice versa, will make the problem drastically worse, and therefore awareness about both conditions is a must for any endurance athlete.

1Dr. Runco. (2010, March 2). Dehydration vs. Hyponatremia. The Running Institute San Diego. http://www.sdri.net/2010/03/dehydration-vs-hyponatremia/
2Hyponatremia. (2014, May 28). Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyponatremia/basics/definition/con-20031445

Preparation for Running- Nutrition

Runners all around think running is just a one to two hour a day activity but really if you break down what running is it can turn into an all day job. With the constant hydration, rest, and pre and post workout nutrition it can turn your two-hour activity to an all day act. Nutrition is the most important key to being a successful runner; it is the gas to your vehicle to get you from point A to B. “Good nutrition should be part of your ongoing training, not something you start to do in the weeks leading up to the race.” 1
A runner needs to always understand that hydration is key to being a superior runner. The ingredients to perfect hydration are drinking 16-32 ounces of some sort of a natural fruit drink (never from concentrate!!) 20-32 ounces of an electrolyte replacement example Gatorade or PowerAde and finally half a gallon of water. Be very careful on not drinking too much fluid all at once 6-8 ounces sips. Hydration is crucial it can be the difference from a new personal best or just a normal training day.

Being a long distance runner there is a common mindset that has individuals thinking they can eat whatever they want because they have ran so far earlier in the day. Unfortunately, that is one of the false myths that comes along with distance running you cannot out train a bad diet! A runner diet needs to consist of 70% carbohydrates, 25% natural fats and 15% protein. Carbs produce the body with energy and is a crucial need for a runner that runs high mileage, for every mile a runner logs that is a 100 calories burned so on a 2500 calorie diet a runner is already needing 1750 of those calories carbohydrates. Fats are just as important, as they can not be produced by your body, omega 3 and omega 6’s are crucial to gaining energy out of the body they also help with runners skin and lubrication of joints and muscles. Choosing a healthy diet not only produces better workouts but can also help your overall daily health and prevent nagging injuries that come from intense training, choose your food wisely and eat healthy so you can go the extra mile when training.

  1. Lipton, Y. (n.d.). Fuel Your Run: Nutrition for Training and Racing. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  2. Dada, J. (n.d.). Marathon Fueling - Runners Need Proper Nutrition and Hydration for the 26.2-Mile Stretch. Retrieved September 13, 2015.