It’s Shoe Time!!!

Ok ok….So it has been a looooooong time since my last entry! However there have been some big occupational changes….

If you would just like to read today’s “Shoe time” blog, kindly skip the information below which just addresses significant changes in my life! 😉

Enjoying benefits of my new job at the Transkei Wildrun

This blog is going to take a slightly different approach, with a rather large focus on running. Since your previous encounter with my blog, I have accepted the role as adidas technical representative for Durban (&Bloem, which by the way is one of my highlights as it is a quiet little town with incredibly genuine people – apart from my slight language barrier). I do still rehabilitate patients on a part-time level, however I have a special interest in working with runners and therefore have the beauty of referring the other patients to our incredibly capable team at Prime.

Based at Prime Human Performance Institute, I offer gait analysis and footwear advice using a dynamic footplate, a treadmill with a camera, and incorporating your personal running and footwear history. For this there is no charge.

Shoe Time!!

Firstly, if you skipped the above paragraphs you are definitely not invited to my party.

Secondly, these blogs are designed to increase your knowledge of running trends, shoes, events, biomechanics, and latest research.

The more I increase my training, the more I realise just how fast the professional athletes really are. In fact, I lay in bed last night (as some do) battling to fall asleep, due to the exhausting fact that I was calculating the mindspinning speeds at which these athletes tear up the tar.

“Calm down there Geoffrey son” was your thought, but hear me out. I have a slightly competitive streak in me, which means I had to come to terms with the fact that unless I wake up as a highly toned, trained and tanned Kenyan, I will never be as fast as these heroic gentlemen. 

Let’s place this into a little thing us humans call perspective – Haile Gebrselassie, in 2008, ran 42kms in 2:03:59 in Berlin (in adidas obviously). “But what does it all mean Basil?!” He is roughly running at 2:57 minutes PER KM!!! You still not amazed? That is approximately 17.7sec per 100metres, FOR 42 KILOMETRES!

If you are still not amazed, go and time yourself doing the 100 metre dash!

On the topic of times and speed, this “first” blog is a great time to set some goals before we jump into the blogs to come. Everyone who runs, let’s just begin with an honest little 5km time trial and record our times. Through sharing our challenges, goals, and research, let us see if we can improve on our times!

A brilliant outlet for this is parkrun. Every Saturday at 8am at Battery beach Durban in front of Pirates. Follow the link above for free registration and information.

Today was about sharing my amazement of these fitness freaks and opening us up to future running topics. As mentioned, in the blogs to come you will be exposed to some biomechanical info, and hopefully benefit your own running experience, or running knowledge. I am happy to start advising in any way, leave a post with a question, or email me directly.

Until then, conquer concrete 🙂 or trail!

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The Challenge

Christmas is great! We celebrate the birth of a king, we enjoy family time, we give gifts to one another…..and, we eat A LOT. In the last quantitative research study I performed, involving the method of asking myself what I think the most given gift over Christmas is, the answer was chocolate. After a detailed analysis I concluded that it is true, and that something should be done about this…….welcome to “The Challenge”.

How it works:

It is health and fitness based and it runs for the month of February.

You are to undergo the following simple dietary modifications:

1. You are to eat no butter, margarine, deep-fried food or sunflower oil

2. No chocolates or sweets

3. No puddings or cakes – including cookies, biscuits, muffins, ice cream or chocolate drinks

4. No alcohol

5. No Soda/soft drinks

6. No fast food except skinless chicken from Nandos

Activity Challenge:

In the month you are to perform:

3000 push ups

3000 seconds of front plank/ prone bridge

3000 seconds per side of side plank

3000 reverse lunges per leg

Technique:

Push ups: Keep back straight, hands under shoulders, shoulders at 45 degrees, lower your chest down to a fist height above the ground. Ladies can go on their knees.

 Front plank/Prone bridge: Back straight, hips slightly tilted towards your chin, do not let your lower back drop down. suck your stomach in, only forearms and feet touch the ground.

Side plank:  Keep shoulders, hips and feet all in line, do not roll your non bracing shoulder forward, aline the bracing shoulder straight into the glenoid cavity (joint), do not let the shoulder pop up, keep it perpendicular to your body.

Reverse Lunge: In a standing position, lunge backwards keeping your front knee just behind your toes, lunge back up balancing on your front leg then lunge back and repeat. If you battling to add the balance you can just stand normally between each lunge. If you are still battling you can alternate legs.

Important things to note:

This will mean an average of 100 reps/seconds of each per day for a normal month. However there are only 29 days this month, so don’t fall short!

You can split the reps up throughout the day.

Please stretch your chest everyday, as well as work your back in the gym, or lie on your stomach and squeeze your shoulders blades together to keep your scapulae setting. Too much work on the chest without working it’s antagonists can cause bad posture and shoulder pathologies.

Leave comments to say how your journey is going!

4 days until the challenge begins! Tell friends to join in

The Resolution

Without a doubt, the resolution fairy strikes most people at the beginning of every year and implants some form of a health goal on their lives. Your new years conversation over a family dinner may well have sounded like this: “This year I will lower my cholesterol and improve my health.” “Good to hear, I have been eating way too many MacFat burgers and it is time to cut some rubber off my belly tyre.” And finally, “Well  kids, I will have a 6 pack by May, you just watch and see!” (I know this man personally)

So how do you go about achieving these? Consider the following definitions for “resolution”:

1. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.

2. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

3. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

Are you determined? Do you have a firm purpose to do it? Find a friend who has not made ‘tact’ or ‘sugar coating’ his/her resolution and ask him/her to hold you to it!

I would like to highlight a resolution of which a handful of you may well have made regarding an old injury and the desire to address the pathology, i.e. fix the problem. Firstly, it is imperative to clarify certain phrases; “just leave it, and it will get better”, this is something that your mother said to you when you were a child and had a rash that you kept scratching, this is not something you say about an injury. “I will just work around it at the gym”, you may state this when someone has spilt his protein shake on the floor, NOT about an injury. “Rub it better”, by all means do this if you stand up and bump the back of your head on a table after trying to pick up some peas you dropped off your dinner plate, but not after increasing your swimming training frequency and experiencing radiating pain in the shoulder.

These injuries will remain until you treat the cause. It may be degeneration in the tendon, calcification, instability in the joint amongst many other things. We will prescribe exercises that you will be required to perform to correct the biomechanics of the affected area, and relieve pain. If your injury is still in the inflammatory phase or following an acute injury (eg, twisted your ankle and it has swollen up) then pay a visit to your Physio before the Biokineticist.

So friends, have a wonderful 2012 and let it be the year of resolving your old injuries! I would be happy to help 🙂

Lets Get Practical!

SUMMER IS HERE!

For most of you, after reading that phrase you may have sub-consciously thought about your body…. Yes, no?  Some of the ladies’ minds ventured into the “im still pale from winter and needing a tan” thought process. Some of us may have tried not to entertain the “I should have started eating and training better from earlier” thought. Or possibly you settled on a “regardless of how I look, I am really excited to enjoy some sun, beach and some evening runs” option. I am hoping most of you took on the latter approach. If we are honest with ourselves, a “good” body does not mean a “healthy” body, a “good” body is subjective. Look back in history and across cultures, what was/is a good or attractive body, is quite different to what is attractive in our society today. Thanks to the media and exploitation of the body through magazines, TV etc, it has shaped our view of what attractive is.

Here are some examples for the ladies. Pics taken from http://www.diet-blog.com/07/female_body_shape_in_the_20th_century.php

1990s

1900s

1920s

It is not easy to escape this mindset, I even discuss ways that can leave you “toned” or “leaner”. How did it come about that we started to find “more definition” possibly more attractive? I would like to encourage you to decide why you are training and eating the way you are. Has it gone beyond just being healthy to look after your body, the enjoyment of training and feeling happy or confident with how you feel? Has it instead, become an obsession? or possibly left you feeling more self-conscious? Before I offer some fun training suggestions, perhaps take a moment to re-consider your motives, then read on.

1950s

If you want to feel good about yourself for accomplishing goals, go for it. Maybe you are married and you and your spouse really enjoy lean abs, go for it. But if you are setting out trying to reach the unrealistic and unreachable image portrayed through Photoshop with the sole mindset of looking this way to impress others, maybe return to the top of the page and start again 😉

Alright, so if you have never attempted super-setting before, now is your time! Let’s get practical!

Super-setting can be done with a combination of various forms of resistance and cardio work, or just resistance or cardio separately. Here is a 3 superset exercise routine using all three forms! For best neural activation it has been said to keep weights heavy and reps low, but let’s get into it first!

complete the 3/4 exercises in a row with no rest, then take a 30 second rest and repeat another 2/3 sets. Then take 2-3mins before the next superset

  • SUPER-SET 1  (repeat 3 times)
  • Push ups                      (50-70% of your maximum amount)
  • Oblique crunches         10 reps each side
  • walking lunges              24 reps (12 each leg) use weights if it is too easy
  • SUPER-SET 2   (repeat twice)
  • 10metre shuttle runs       10 reps
  • Dips off a bench              10 reps
  • Fast stepping                   1min (off a step – right up, left up, right down, left down)
  • 1 leg hip raises                15-20/leg (on back,1foot flat – lift hips and other leg)
  • SUPER-SET 3   (repeat twice)
  • Up-downs                      30 seconds
  • High knees                    30 seconds
  • 5squats jog 10metres    5 reps

So how was it? Go enjoy a nice stretch!

Heat Acclimatisation

Firstly, apologies for taking so long since my last blog, I will try keep the frequency of my posts slightly higher!

With regards to answering those questions I previously posted….I feel like someone may have gone before me! I had a moment while putting together information and looking through journal articles and finding nothing of perfect clarity and insight, when all of a sudden there it was! The gold at the bottom of the rainbow, the trophy at the end of an event, the sunlight following the rain, the Mandela of people, the taste of candy coated raindrops, the colours of a magic carpet….ok sorry, I got a bit carried away there, and looking back, I may well have even seemed slightly feminine? Moving on, I realised that if I typed a blog on heat acclimatisation I would want it looking like this particular gentleman’s. So with no further a due, I shall humbly refer you to this post to answer those questions while I prepare a real healthbud tickler 🙂 thank you for the comments, discussions and questions, keep them coming!

Heat Training Intro…& What follows forgiveness

This week is a busy one, so apologies if you find that your comments have not been posted, I will accept them and reply as soon as I have a chance.

Tuesday was possibly the hottest day this century! Ok ok it probably was not the hottest, but it was a big contender I’m sure. What happens when there is a big sporting event like a biathlon for example, on a day like that? “The games must go on”, but are your bodies prepared for the race with the added heat considering you might dampen a big training session or train early in the morning or later in the evening on such a day as that scorcher?

“cottoncandyclowns.com”

But should you train in heat to prepare yourself incase your race falls on a sizzler or save the grueling sessions and hope that the weather follows the same training plan as you? Are there benefits in training in extreme heat, or should you continue to train early in the morning and face the heat on race day with enough hydration to start a flood?

Sadly, if your enthusiasm level was at melting point as you were anticipating some answers to these wonderful questions, you are now going to (reluctantly I’m sure) use this time to work on your patience 🙂

I will answer these questions in my next blog. this week I am excitedly preparing a talk as I have been asked to speak at Westville Baptist Youth this Friday.

What Follows Forgiveness?

I would like them (and ourselves if you up for the short read ahead) to consider that forgiveness is not the end point in a relationship. If you completely forgive someone you love, would that not mean reconciliation, an ability to continue or begin a new relationship?

We often talk about having a faith in Christ means that we are forgiven for our past, and we eagerly await eternal life with God where the bible explains that He will “wipe away every tear” and give us “new bodies” amongst other amazing things. Yes this will be incredible, and help us face the tough times here on Earth with regards to emotional pain, disease etc (which would never have existed in the first place if we hadn’t turned from God and turned to sin thousands of years ago)…but what about the fact that we are forgiven? Would this not imply that we can begin a relationship with God while we are still here?

What would this mean for our lives now? No, it does not mean that we will never face financial, physical and emotional tough times, in fact the bible tells us that we will, but could it mean that we will NEVER walk alone through these times, and allow God to present us with strength, joy, peace, and healing as He works for the good according to His will day by day….

The greatest thing about heaven is not the “blessings” we will receive, it is being in the presence of God.

For those of you who picked up on a certain phrase, no, it does not come from Liverpool’s chant! 😉 If you are not a Christian but took the time to read this blog anyway, thanks I appreciate it. If you have questions just leave a comment, but let me know if you do not want it posted, and I will email you back. If not, no problem, be sure to have a look at my response next week regarding training in the heat, along with hydration/overhydration and the impact of this on our body 🙂

“Tummy Bug”

From "fitsugar.com"

If you haven’t heard or experienced it recently, there is a very generous bug going around which loves to visit your stomach and those around you. He paid a less than welcome visit to my naive, happy, unaware stomach. I noticed that something was not right while I was training the bootcampers. (which reminds me, the name is changing from WAG-Woman Against Gain, to something which is up for debate that includes men, as our ratio has changed. If your suggestion is accepted as the new name, you get 1 free bootcamp session 🙂 Moving on, this “not right” feeling progressed to not being able to eat and feeling rather unwell.

from "blessingsamidchaos. com"

The bug attacked! Now generally a bug affects you in one of 2 ways……out the top, out the bottom, or double delight where you experience a combo of top AND bottom! My experience was out the top, so……  The first time I woke from a not so deep sleep, I had only just enough energy to find the bathroom and plant myself on the floor in front of the throne. I thrusted the wooden toilet seat up to reveal the mini well that collects all things nice, but someone had conveniently placed a magazine on the pinnacle of the porcelain water reservoir, which did not allow the seat to open to it’s extremely necessary full range of motion. I had already leant forward to prepare for the optimal position for trajectory, only to have the seat give a practical example of newtons law……..yes I got hit in the face with a toilet seat. This has led me to research a little bit about tummy bugs…

The culprit

Please note, I did not study medicine, this is BASIC INFORMATION I have found which you might find interesting.

Lets start with a fun fact, “Emetophobia” is the fear of getting sick, and it is the FIFTH most common fear!!

The correct name for a “stomach bug” is gastroenteritis, and noroviruses are part of a group of viruses that are a common cause of gastroenteritis.

Norovirus

Noroviruses are sometimes known as ‘small round structured viruses’ (SRSV) or ‘Norwalk-like viruses’. Noroviruses are also called the ‘winter vomiting disease’ because people usually get them during the winter months. HOWEVER, they can occur at any time of the year.

How are noroviruses spread?

Noroviruses are transmitted directly from person to person and indirectly via contaminated water and food. They are highly contagious, with as few as one to ten virus particles being able to cause infection. Transmission occurs through ingesting contaminated food and water and by person-to-person spread. Transmission through fecal-oral can be aerosolized when those stricken with the illness vomit and can be aerosolized by a toilet flush when vomit or diarrhea is present (SO SHUT THAT TOILET LID!); infection can follow eating food or breathing air near an episode of vomiting, even if cleaned up. The viruses continue to be shed after symptoms have subsided and shedding can still be detected many weeks after infection.

There are many types of norovirus, and it is possible for infection to occur several times. This is because after contracting the illness, immunity to the virus only lasts for 14 weeks. Having recurring bouts of the norovirus may provide some protection from future infection.

Rotavirus

Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea among infants and young children!
By the age of five, nearly every child in the world has been infected with rotavirus at least once. However, with each infection, immunity develops, and subsequent infections are less severe

One of the most important treatments for a child is being hydrated and even making a salt and sugar-water solution. If it persists, the child will have to go on a drip and be admitted into hospital.

Rotavirus is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, via contact with contaminated hands, surfaces and objects, and possibly by the respiratory route. The faeces of an infected person can contain more than 10 trillion infectious particles per gram (how gross is that?); only 10–100 of these are required to transmit infection to another person (how insane is that?!).

Also have a look at Escherichia Coli (e coli), it causes severe diarrhea containing blood.

So until next time, when I will post something more in my field of expertise, the take away message of this blog would have to be: Close the toilet seat when you flush

References

http://www.medicinenet.com/gastroenteritis/page3.htm

http://www.emetophobia.com/norovirus_stomach_bug.htm

Wikipedia references: please note, there were more references used, you may visit the site if you wish to find them.
1.^ Dennehy PH (2000). “Transmission of rotavirus and other enteric pathogens in the home”.
2.^  Velázquez FR, Matson DO, Calva JJ, Guerrero L, Morrow AL, Carter-Campbell S, Glass RI, Estes MK, Pickering LK, Ruiz-Palacios GM (1996). “Rotavirus infections in infants as protection against subsequent infections”.
3.^ Linhares AC, Gabbay YB, Mascarenhas JD, Freitas RB, Flewett TH, Beards GM (1988). “Epidemiology of rotavirus subgroups and serotypes in Belem, Brazil: a three-year study”.