Monday, October 27, 2014

5 Burdenko Warm Up Exercises for Runners

A good warm up is important for preventing injuries and preparing your body to perform.  Next time you head out the door for a run, try these 5 Burdenko warm up exercises that Eric Chandler, a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Certified Burdenko Method Instructor, picked out with runners specifically in mind. 

Warm up by walking for 3-5 minutes.  Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise.  Gradually move through greater range of motion.  Do not perform any exercise that causes or increases pain.

Wake Up Call

Take a small step forward white extending your arms overhead. Clap! Return to start position and repeat with the other leg. Gradually take bigger steps forward until you are lunging.

Weight Shift Catch

Shift weight to one leg and simultaneously catch and lift the knee with both arms and pull the knee to chest, hold the balance.  Return to start position and repeat with the other leg.

Squat Hurdles

Squat with arms straight forward at shoulder level. As you stand, mimic hurdle motion: one leg kicks out straight, touching the foot with your opposite hand. Other arm extends back. Squat and repeat with the opposite hand and foot. Get the motion in rhythm, kicking knee is straight, weight bearing leg is on the ball of the foot.

High Knees/High Heels

Perform 3 high knees with alternating arm swings then 3 butt kicks, lifting the heel towards the buttocks, continuing with the arm swing.

Power Stride

Start with one foot in front of the other.  Drive up with the back leg to a high knee with opposite arm in the air.  You can take it one step forward and go all the way up to your toes on the stable leg.  Continue for 10 repetitions and repeat to the other side.

Blog post by Jen Skiba.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beating Back the Risk of Diabetes

From an article in the NY Times

Nearly 29.1 million Americans have diabetes. This year alone, almost 2 million American adults and more than 5,000 children and adolescents will learn they also have type 2 diabetes. This largely preventable disease claims nearly 200,000 lives a year. The fatality rate among affected adults is 50% higher than among similar people without diabetes.

Recent studies have linked diabetes to an increased risk in other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and have also shown an increased risk of dementia. The same is true for those who do not yet have diabetes but have above average blood glucose levels.

Excess weight, the primary risk factor, can run in families. There are ways to combat this disease with proper nutrition, weight loss and activity. Though the numbers are daunting and it can be difficult to lose weight, it is not impossible. It is however, easier and more effective to avoid the risks of getting type 2 diabetes in the first place. 

Here are some tips on diet and exercise to keep you healthy, active and living a longer more productive life:

  • Avoid drastic measures. Making gradual changes to your diet in what and how you eat allows your body time to adjust. One study showed that people with pre-diabetes who had moderate weight loss (avg, of 12 lbs), reduced their odds of progressing to diabetes by nearly 50 percent.

  • Concentrate on food choices and gradually reduce portion sizes. You don’t have to count calories but it can be helpful to keep a food journal for each day.

  • Carbohydrates- breads, grains, cereals, sugary drinks, and sweets. Carbs are metabolized to glucose, which raises the body’s demand for insulin. Try consuming less of them in general and choose whole grain when possible.

  • Fruit juice vs. Soda- Fruit juice is not necessarily safer than soda. All drinks with fructose (table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey or agave) may increase body weight, insulin resistance and belly fat.

  • More Coffee- two or three cups of coffee a day have been consistently linked to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Take your coffee black or artificially sweetened. Be cautious with specialty coffee drinks- they can be loaded with sugar and calories.

Blog post by Farran Jalbert.