Vol 5 | Issue 6 | Summer Activities, Sports & Fitness



Support for Your Body Naturally…

Summer Fun

The hot summer months get us energized and take us outdoors doing all sorts of sports and fun activities, bringing with it an increased risk of injury and physical stress to the body.  Acute injuries are usually very obvious, as they often occur in a very dramatic fashion. However, other injuries can creep up slowly and get progressively worse.  These often turn into nagging chronic aches and pains.  Most joint and soft tissue injuries have some common warning signs and symptoms; pain being the number one warning sign.  Don’t ignore it. Pain is a communication.  If we pay attention to the warnings signs and symptoms of both types of injuries, we can often get to the root of the problem.  It’s important to start off on the “right foot” to promote health and strength in the body, and possibly prevent sports injuries.

Eating Right is a Good Start

There is no doubt that the type, amount, composition, and timing of the food you eat can dramatically affect exercise performance, recovery from exercise, body weight and composition and health. When exercise increases to more than one hour per day, the importance of the food you eat becomes even more critical. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are important nutrients for active individuals. A balanced diet of protein, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables plays a vital role in providing adequate essential nutrients and energy for a healthy active lifestyle. 

As stated in the 2000 Position Statement on Nutrition and Athletic Performance, published by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), any active individual “who wants to optimize health and exercise performance needs to follow good nutrition and hydration practices, use supplements and ergogenic aids carefully, minimize severe weight loss practices, and eat a variety of foods in adequate amounts” (ADA, 2000).

Supplementing is Necessary

Most health care practitioners advocate healthy diet practices, a daily exercise routine and recommend adding daily supplements to support and maintain health in the body. Food grown in depleted, nutrient deficient soils lacks the nutrients needed to keep people healthy. The nutritional content of harvested food produced today is significantly different from the food produced 70 years ago. In the United States and throughout the world there is a widespread lack of adequate nutrition in both in the agricultural soils in which food is grown and in harvested food. A critical need exists to halt the alarming declines in the world’s supply of topsoil and to increase the nutritional values of our food. Exhausted soils depleted of needed minerals and organic material cannot grow healthy, nutrient rich food.

The human body needs nutritious food to stay healthy. Food is the body’s main source of energy. Nutrients in food are needed to sustain life. Our diet, the food we eat, is the source of nutrients for all our body’s biochemical processes. Minerals may be more vital to physical and mental health than vitamins. Minerals assist the body in a multitude of biochemical processes. Minerals are inorganic compounds found in the soil. Foods grown in soil depleted of minerals do not contain the minerals needed to sustain human health.

Hydration is a Must

It is well-documented in the research literature that exercise performance is optimal when athletes and active individuals maintain fluid balance during exercise (Coyle, 2004). So, it is imperative that all active individuals drink adequate amounts of fluids and stay well hydrated.  Active individuals exercising in special environmental conditions (heat, cold, altitude) need to take extra precautions to remain hydrated (ACSM 1996a; Brinkley et al., 2002; Freund & Sawka, 1996).

Maintaining Water and Electrolyte Balance

Maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance means that active individuals need to replace the water and electrolytes lost in sweat. This requires that active individuals, regardless of age, strive to hydrate well before exercise, drink fluids throughout exercise, and rehydrate once exercise is over.

As outlined by ACSM and NATA (ACSM, 1996a; Casa et al., 2000), generous amounts of fluids should be consumed 24-h before exercise and 400-600 mL of fluid should be consumed 2-h before exercise. During exercise, active individuals should attempt to drink ~150-350 mL (6-12 oz) of fluid every 15-20 minutes.

When Sports Injuries Occur….

Sprains and Strains

A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, the band of connective tissues that joins the end of one bone with another.  Sprains are caused by trauma such as a fall or blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position and, in the worst case, ruptures the supporting ligaments.  Areas of the body most vulnerable to sprains are ankles, knees, and wrists.  Signs of a sprain include tenderness or pain; bruising; inflammation; swelling; inability to move a limb or joint.

A strain is a twist, pull, or tear of a muscle or tendon, a cord of tissue connecting muscle to bone. It is an acute, noncontact injury that results from overstretching or over-contraction.  Symptoms of a strain include pain, muscle spasm, and loss of strength.  Strains not treated immediately can cause damage and loss of function.

Knee Injuries

Because of its complex structure and weight-bearing capacity, the knee is the most commonly injured joint. Each year, more than 5.5 million people visit doctors for knee problems.  Knee injuries can result from a blow to or twist of the knee; from improper landing after a jump; or from running too hard, too much, or without proper warm up.

Shin Splints

Although the term "shin splints" has been widely used to describe any sort of leg pain associated with exercise, the term actually refers to pain along the tibia or shin bone, the large bone in the front of the lower leg. Shin splints are primarily seen in runners, particularly those just starting a running program.  Risk factors for shin splints include overuse or incorrect use of the lower leg; improper stretching, warm up, or exercise technique; overtraining; running or jumping on hard surfaces; and running in shoes that don't have enough support.

Enduring Pain is Not the Answer

When injure or pain occurs, most of us try to “push through the pain.”  We continue working out and playing summer sports.  We endure the pain and pop a couple of over-the-counter pain pills rather than taking positive steps to repair the joint and tissue damage, reduce inflammation and pain.  After all, isn’t it easier to take a quick trip to the drugstore and grab some ibuprofen? While taking pain killers provides temporary relief, it is simply the wrong approach for long term relief and ultimate healing.

Taking Over-The-Counter Pain Medication is Not the Answer

Taking over-the-counter pain medication provides only short term relief to a long term problem! 

Since pain goes hand in hand with joint injury and inflammation, the most common approach is to take aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen or one of the family of drugs known as NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).  What is often not realized is that the relief provided by these drugs comes at a very high price.  Over time, they all can have dangerous and possibly even health threatening consequences. Prolonged use is not recommended.  There are natural alternatives you can use instead. Click here to see. 

Old Fashioned Remedies Work

What to do with an injured joint?  The old fashioned remedies still work. Ice, elevate, and immobilize the joint.   Elevate, whenever possible, to relieve the swelling; and wrap in an ace bandage to secure the joint to provide support and prevent additional injury or trauma to the joint and damaged tissues. Keep the injury iced for as long as possible. Icing the injury helps reduce tissue inflammation caused by the injury, which in turn reduces swelling, which then reduces the pain.  It is the inflammation and the swelling that causes the pain. Anytime inflammation and swelling are reduced, pain is reduced.

Repair the Problem

So, when summer injuries occur and pain, swelling and inflammation are present, get to the root of the problem.  Allow the body to heal.  Don’t just mask the symptoms with pain killers.  Support your body’s own natural healing process by using natural sources to reduce inflammation and swelling, which ultimately reduces pain.  There are many natural source products and ingredients that have been used successfully for many, many years.   Many of these natural ingredients, such as glucosamine and chondroitin have long been used to repair and improve joint tissues and cartilage.  While others, such as valerian root, white willow bark, quercetin, and bromelain are often used for their natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.  A combination of Serrapeptase + Prozyme with SPR Oil provides a highly effective immediate relief remedy for acute injury.  Ligatone/Disc Support paired with Glucosamine CL non-sodium offers a powerful long term regenerative combination.  Try some natural alternatives to support the body in healing as assumed to just masking the symptoms. Click here to see. 

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