Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Living With Type 1 Diabetes: Medications

After checking blood glucose levels and eating, a diabetic must take the proper medication. Not every diabetic will have the same medication. The medications vary for each person as to what works best for them. These are some of the types of medications that type 1 diabetics take:

Some diabetics take insulin shots. There are many different ways to go about this. The most common way for a type 1 diabetic is to take one shot every night of a long-acting insulin. A long-acting insulin lasts about 24 hours in the body. Then the type 1 diabetic will take a fast-acting insulin shot at every meal or to correct high blood glucose levels. This results in at least 3-4 insulin shots a day.

Other type 1 diabetics might be on an insulin pump. When using a pump, which can either be battery operated or have a charting port, the diabetic will simply press buttons on it to receive insulin. A clear cannula is inserted into the body through a needle and connected to a thin tube that is connected to the pump, this is how the insulin gets to the body. With the pump, insulin is constantly being sent to the body at slow rates according to what you and your doctor decide is best for you.2

If a type 1 diabetic has low glucose levels  they are going to need a food that will raise their blood glucose levels . It is highly recommended to eat a sugary snack to bring the blood glucose level up. Most diabetics have glucose tablets to eat when they are experiencing low blood glucose. This is not required medication but it is extremely important to have something with you at all times in case your levels begin to drop.
Image result for glucose tablets

Each individual must communicate with their doctor about how much insulin they need to be taking and at what times. It is important to stay on top of medications and never forget to take insulin.


24 Ways to Get Started. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/treatments/insulin-pump-therapy  

Exercise as Therapy: Insulin Resistance

Considerable knowledge has been accumulated in recent decades concerning the significance of physical activity in the treatments of number of diseases. Today, exercise is indicated in the treatment of a large number of medical disorders. In the medical world, it is traditional to prescribe the evidence-based treatment known to be the most effective and entailing the fewest side effects or risks.1 Evidence has suggested that in select cases exercise therapy is just as effective as medical treatment—and in situations more effective –or it adds to the effect.Exercise therapy can have two known clinical effects. It can directly affect the pathogenesis by improving symptoms of the underlying disease, or it can enhance physical fitness, strength, and quality of life of the patient.  Exercise therapy does not represent a paradigm change—it is rather the accumulated knowledge is now so extensive that it has to be implemented. Exercise therapy can have clinical effects, either by directly affecting the disease pathogenesis by improving dominant symptoms of the underlying disease or by enhancing physical fitness, strength and hence quality of life in patients weakened by disease. The goal is that all patients should exercise so that they benefit from the positive effect of prevention of other diseases.1

Insulin Resistance can cause impaired glucose tolerance. About ~40% of people with impaired glucose tolerance will develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years. While some remain insulin resistant, others will regain normal glucose tolerance.1 Physical activity, including appropriate endurance and resistance training, is a major therapeutic modality for type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, too often physical activity is an underutilized therapy. Favorable chances in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity usually deteriorate within 72 hours of the last exercise session: consequently, regular physical activity is imperative to sustain glucose-lowering effects and improved insulin sensitivity.2

Evidence for Physical Training
Few studies have examined the isolated effect of training on the prevention of diabetes in patients with impaired glucose tolerance, but there is good evidence for a beneficial effect of combined physical training and dietary modification.1 Few studies have examined the isolated  effects of training and the prevention of diabetes. However, there is evidence that  when combining physical activity and dieting will result in benefits,  Chinese study subdivided 577 people with impaired glucose tolerance into four groups: diet alone, physical exercise, diet and physical exercise and control, and followed them for 6 years. The risk of diabetes was reduced by 31% (P<0.03) in the diet group, by 46% (P<0.0005) in the exercise group and by 42% (P<0.005) in the diet and exercise group.1

Type and Amount of Training
Most of the information available concerns aerobic training of moderate intensity over a long period of time Most of the information given is based on aerobic training done at a moderate intensity for a long time period., but strength conditioning with many repetitions enhances insulin sensitivity in experimental situations and is probably effective in the prevention of type 2 diabetes). Also, strength conditioning (done in experiments) with multiple repetitions enhances insulin sensitivity and may be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes. Lastly, muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness are known to have independent and joint inverse associations with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome.1

1 Pedersen, B.K., & Saltin, B. (2006). Evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in chronic disease. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, (16)S1, 3-63. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.2006.00520.x

2Albright, A., Franz, M., Hornsby, G., Kriska, A., Marrero, D., Ullrich, I., & Verity, L.S. (2000). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and type 2 diabetes. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 37(7), 1345-1360. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200007000-00024

Aerobic Health Part 2


            Last blog, I talked about the main reasons for people’s neglect of aerobic activity. Just as there are people who refuse to participate in aerobic activities, there are people that are eager to participate in such activities are aware of the benefits of aerobic activities. Why would someone want to run on a treadmill? Isn’t running long distance for people who want to lose weight? These are questions, I myself have been asked by people I’ve conversed with in the Tarleton State Recreation Center.

          There are multiple reasons why I do aerobic activities, besides losing weight to maintain a healthy physique. Aerobic exercise increases cardiovascular efficiency, which in turn improves one's VO2 max. Aerobic activities improve respiration efficiency. Aerobic activity increases stroke volume which is the amount of blood pumped from the ventricle each time the heart contracts. Aerobic activity even improves blood distribution, blood volume, and delivery to the muscles. These benefits may appeal to some, but not everyone. Some people would like to know how aerobic activities would help with everyday life, or sport specific activities.

    Why is it that some people have a hard time walking up the stairs without losing their breath? Why is it that some people can’t walk a couple blocks without experiencing extreme fatigue? And why is it that some people have a problem digesting their food properly? Nine times out of ten, those people have a high resting heart rate, high blood pressure, and/or poor body composition. Aerobic activity can improve body composition, so that you’re not weighed down by extra fat which does absolutely nothing for efficient movement. Aerobic activity also lowers your resting heart rate, thus lowering your blood pressure and allowing you to do more physical activity without becoming short of breath or fatigued. This is not where the benefits of aerobic activity end.

    Not only does aerobic activity improve overall health inside and out, but it also helps a little with mental and emotional aspects of health. Most people with full-time jobs experience a certain level of emotional or mental stress which leads to physical stress. Aerobic activity is an outlet that is proven to lower stress levels physically, emotionally and mentally.


1 The 20 benefits of aerobic exercise. (2012). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.manageyourlifenow.com/The-20-benefits-of-aerobic-exercise/
2 Build Self Confidence | Fun Physical & Occupational Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://fitnessforhealth.org/

Time Under Tension: The Building of Muscle

Time Under Tension: The Building of Muscle

Are you tired of doing the same thing in the gym over and over, but not effectively  building muscle? Try  Time Under Tension (TUT). This is a great way to put the muscle under tension for a period of time. An example of the TUT system would be 14,1,2 which means, that the weight is lowered for four seconds, paused for one, and raised over a duration of two seconds. Time under tension is a great way to build the muscle you are looking for. You do one of two things, you either increase the weight load, or you increase your TUT. This system is a great alternative to heavy lifting because of the tension. It allows the muscle to get stronger because of the amount of work it is having to do while it is under tension from the weight on the bar.
There are three phases that your body goes through when it is using the TUT approach. You start with the concentric phase. During this phase, you raise the weight up. The concentric phase is usually the fastest phase. Although you pause at the peak; The peak is where you are going to switch from eccentric to concentric. This can be either the bottom of a bench press before you go up or at the bottom of a squat before you lift it back up. You want to be explosive while still keeping your form. The second phase is the eccentric phase. This is the phase where you are lowering the weight. During this phase you want to take more time on because of the tension that it is putting on your muscles. While lowering your weight, be slow and controlled for max effectiveness. The third phase is the rest phase at this point you are stopping which causes your muscles to no longer have momentum forces the muscle to re-calculate the amount of muscle fibers needed.
Each phase is important and necessary to effectively lift in the TUT style . If you want to build muscle, this is a great option for as I have had luck with it myself . There is definitely science behind this way of lifting, and it is not to complicated to understand. I urge you to try this method of lifting, and see if it works for you.

1Labrada, H. (2015, May 1). Lift For Length: Build Muscle With Time Under Tension. Retrieved from http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/lift-for-length-build-muscle-with-time-under-tension.html

2I. (2004, October 9). Time Under Tension In Your Training Program. Retrieved from http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa37.htm

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Sedentary Life of a Gamer

Yes, it’s true we gamers sit for long periods of time while we save the princess or stop a world ending catastrophe. But what does that hurt? No one has ever been hurt from just sitting, right? Wrong. In fact having a sedentary lifestyle can have life altering complications.

I'm going to tell you a story about a man that developed a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The Mayo clinic describes this condition as, “when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. DVT can cause leg pain, redness, or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms.2 DVT can come from other medical conditions but what we are worried about is DVT caused by sitting for too long. This can cause death. If one or more of these clots become unlodged in the legs and finds its way to your lungs, you could easily die of a pulmonary embolism (This happens when the clot obstructs the blood flow in your lungs). In a published case study in the Journal of Medicine is where we find our story about a man who developed DVT from spending a little too much time on the game. Now the man, who  remains unnamed due to the anonymity of case studies in journals, was a painter by trade but played games for enjoyment. He decided it would be a good idea to lay in his bed while playing. He did this for 8 hours a day for 4 days straight. This man developed DVT in his legs. Luckily for him, he received medical treatment and the issue was resolved.1

I don’t know about you but I have personally had longer gaming sessions for many days on end. It’s just the life of a gamer sometimes. So, you want to know the secret of not developing DVT? Well, it's simple. Move! Since DVT is caused by inactivity and the blood flow being restricted in the legs, doing some exercises and moving around is one of the best ways to prevent it. I normally stream for at least 6 hours a day, 3 days a week. That's a lot of sitting time, an ample amount to cause issues. I make sure I get up at least 3 to 4 times to stretch out and walk around. If you do have some other genetic issues or medical conditions that could lead to this, eating a high fiber, low fat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables also helps to combat DVT.

Streaming games has become a very enjoyable part of my life, but I know the risks that come with sitting or lying for such a long period of time and how it could impact my quality of life. I’m not telling you to stop playing for so long. I know I’m not going to stop. I’m just asking that you don’t let the thing you love kill you. Break up the gaming sessions with some moving around. Maybe alter your diet some. Don’t be a statistic in some medical journal. Until next time gamers, game safe!


1Mohney, G. (2013, December 12). Video Game Leads to Life-Threatening Condition for Gamer. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video-game-leads-life-threatening-condition-gamer/story?id=21182106

2Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/deep-vein-thrombosis/basics/definition/con-20031922

Understanding Autism

Despite the fact that until recently there has been very little research towards understanding autism, there have been many advances. Autism is a mental disorder that is characterized by difficulty communicating and forming relationships, and it can be present in early childhood.
  • Developmental regression. Since autism can be detected at an early age, it is usually noticed when a young child presents difficulty in communication and other language related skills.2 Children who have autism have a hard time developing relationships, and engaging in spontaneous pretend play, with their peers.1
  • Savant-like skills. Some children with autism are incredibly intelligent and have amazing skills. A particular autistic person comes to mind when I think of a savant. This person can remember names and birthdates for a very long period of time. Upon meeting her one time, she was able to remember my name and my birthday for years to follow; and I never heard her forget anyone’s name nor their birthday regardless of how long it had been since she saw them last. Her talent is just one of many but it has been very inspiring to me and has helped grow my passion for working with people who have disabilities
  • Communication. Despite being “disabled or mentally handicapped”, people with autism who are nonverbal can learn to communicate later on in childhood. It is important to understand that people who have autism may not function well in large crowds, so be respectful of that. They also have a hard time processing their surroundings and expressing emotions, usually with confusion and anger. When communicating with someone who has an autism spectrum disorder, ask detailed questions and try to avoid sudden, drastic changes,hey may not look you in the eye but they are listening and processing the information around them, be understanding of that.
In conclusion, there is a lot we have yet to learn about autism. But understanding how to work with autistic people will benefit them as well as the ones who are around them. I know I am inspired personally but have learned that there will be days when they do not want to be as friendly as they were the last time. Here is a link to a video that may help understand what some people go through on a daily basis: sensory overload video.  Not everyone with autism reacts the same, take the time to listen and learn about people.

**I am not naming anyone for their privacy, thank you for understanding.

1  Heerey, E. A., Capps, L. M., Keltner, D., & Kring, A. M. (2004, July 27). Understanding Teasing: Lessons From Children With Autism. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://link.springer.com.zeus.tarleton.edu:82/article/10.1007/s10802-005-0934-z

2Rutter, M. L. (2011, February 12). Progress in Understanding Autism: 2007–2010. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-011-1184-2

Importance of Physical Activity

Physical activity is the most important aspect of the day for many people, but not everyone understands these benefits and how it impacts daily living. Understanding how important it is can help motivate a person who lives a sedentary lifestyle. Here are some simple changes to make in your daily routine to help be more active:

  • Regular Physical Activity. One hour of physical activity can positively reduce the risk of chronic disease and illness among other issues that may occur later on in life. The United States is considered the most obese country in the world; so if we teach the younger generations to incorporate 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intense activities each day, it could make an enormous impact. It does not have to be completed at one time, but can be broken up into smaller intervals to adapt to a hectic schedule. It is much easier to stay on track if you have a support system, so take a friend!

  • Limit electronic use and time spent on social media. Reduce non-active time spent on watching television and videos, playing computer games, and surfing the Internet. Start with 30 minutes less of such activities per day and progress over the course of approximately five months to 90 minutes less per day.1
  • Get outside. There have been studies that prove that exercising outdoors, otherwise known as green physical activity, has positive effects on physical, psychological, and emotional dimensions of health and wellbeing.2 It can be as simple as walking in the park, rather than on a treadmill. This is due to the natural environment, as well as, the elevation changes on the walking path. This study shows growing awareness that exercising in a natural environment could generate a larger variety of benefits that undertake the same exercise levels indoors.2
In conclusion, physical activity can be incorporated in many different ways, keep an open mind and find what works best for you. Your health is your most important project that is always ongoing, so keep changing the routine.

1Janssen, I., & LeBlanc, A. G. (2010). Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://link.springer.com.zeus.tarleton.edu:82/article/10.1186/1479-5868-7-40
2Yeh, H., Stone, J. A., Churchill, S. M., Wheat, J. S., Brymer, E., & Davids, K. (2015, September 02). Physical, Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Green ... Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s40279-015-0374-z.pdf

How strength coaches can impact high school programs pt.2

In last week’s blog, (Click here for Part 1), we briefly discussed two areas where strength coaches could have an impact on a high school programs. In this week’s blog we will continue the discussion of strength coaches and their impact on a high school program with an emphasis on the athletic department.
Freedom for Sport Coaches
Erik-Spoelstra-Celtics-Game-3.jpg                With a strength coach being on staff the sport coach can gain an additional 2 to 4 hours each week of free time to do originally what they signed up for; teaching and coaching. No longer having to deal with the stress linked to the question, what are we going to do in the weight room this week?
With sport coaches not having to be in the weight room conducting workouts, they can now spend their time in a more efficient manner. Looking at the grand scheme of things, the sport coach will be much more content with their position in the long run, even if they struggle with the idea of letting someone else take over their team's training program.
Sports Medicine Team
athtrainslide.png                Not only will the athletes and sport coaches benefit from the strength coach, but so will the sports medicine team. First off, the establishment of a good relationship between the athletic trainer and the strength coach can enhance both of their jobs and create a “medical staff”.1 With both working side by side and together considering solely in the best interest of the athlete, will take the responsibility of communication out of the equation for the athlete.
With the athletic trainer knowing how to treat injuries and the strength coach understanding the limitations that injuries lead to in the weight room and during conditioning gives the athlete more resources to improve their treatment. The integration of a strength coach could further constitute the development of an injury report to keep all three parties on the same page.
strengthcoachhome.jpg                This article is in no way saying that sport coaches are unable to manage time between teaching, coaching, or lack the ability to form great relationships between themselves and the athletic trainer. Instead, the message hoping to be received is that strength coaches can play a unique role is making each person in the athletic department job a bit less stressful.

1Ryan_Faer. (2015, November 23). Why high schools need strength & conditioning professionals — part II. Retrieved May 25, 2016, from https://medium.com/@Ryan_Faer/why-high-schools-need-strength-conditioning-professionals-part-ii-47ba3bbef4a6#.w4tg5r6wb
2Ryan_Faer. (2015, November 19). Why high schools need strength & conditioning professionals — part I. Retrieved May 25, 2016, from https://medium.com/@Ryan_Faer/why-high-schools-need-strength-conditioning-coaches-part-i-4c2bf654d013#.x851lkkne

Living With Type 1 Diabetes: Blood Glucose Testing

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can be extremely scary, especially because most type 1 diabetics are diagnosed as children. After leaving the hospital, the disease is still with you everyday and you must monitor it and control it 24-7. Over the next couple of weeks, we will go over some of the things that will become an everyday responsibility for a type 1 diabetic.

Blood Glucose Testing- This is how you monitor your blood glucose level at any given time. To check your blood sugar you need to first wash your hands, then use a lancing device to poke the tip of your finger to draw blood. Next, touch the edge of the test strip and wait for the results on a blood glucose monitor. A normal range for a type 1 diabetic is 80-120. If levels are higher or lower than normal range, you must take the proper medication that has been discussed between you and your doctor.1
A type 1 diabetic must check their blood glucose often. It is usually recommended that you check your blood glucose at least three times a day.2 Once in the morning, afternoon, and before bed. Type 1 diabetics must also check blood glucose before every meal or snack. This is extremely important because if you do not know blood glucose level, the amount of medication might be too much or too little to get levels back to normal range. It is important to keep a daily log of all blood glucose levels and what times they were checked and take this log to every doctor appointment for review.

As a child, when I left the hospital after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I thought I was never going to have to poke my finger again. Once I got home I realized, after eating a delicious meal,  this was something I was going to have to live with for the rest of my life.


2Type 1 Diabetes. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/type-1-diabetes

Volleyball Over Everything: Practice Ready

   This week we’ll be discussing practices and what they mean to the overall turnout of play. We’ve all heard the expression “You practice how you play”, but what about when practices are excellent and game time is awful? Where or how should that be addressed in practice? As a coach, there should be a time in a practice period where the players are allowed to think about why certain drills are being ran and how to transfer that knowledge of play into the game.

There are a couple of key facts that will help our players in practice to game transfer.
  • Reading the situation and analyzing what skill to use.
  • Preparing to use that skill in order to have the best outcome.
  • Executing that skill with proper technique and form.
  • Making sure that practices are age and skill appropriate.

As a coaches, the drills we give should in some way prepare our players to easily transfer these skills into the game and eliminate doubt and confusion. We want our players to be able to coach themselves on the court. I was told a quote from one of my mentors, “Practice is where a coach earns their pay, but games are where a player shows their worth.” Meaning, you as a coach should prepare your player in practice so that you will not have to coach them on the court and they can show their skills and understanding in a game.

Lastly, while preparing for a practice make sure you address where activities and drills will fit in with overall goals of your program and if they will effectively improve performance, technique, transferring these set skills into game play. Remember, practices are not effective if skills and techniques can not be transferred. Players should move in such a way that seems effortless when it comes to this element, and that is when you know as a coach you found a good fit in practice.


1 Sports, S. N. (2015). Incorporating Game Situations Into Player Development.
2 White, J. (2016). Planning Purposeful and Pertinent Practices.