Does the seven-minute workout work?
by Nancy Foley, PT, DPT, OCS
Last summer, yet another fitness fad/trend received some attention. It was first published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, and then it received coverage in a variety of newspapers and websites, including the New York Times. While high-intensity circuit training (HICT) is not new, the specific circuit training cycle discussed in the article received attention because the circuit duration lasted approximately 7 minutes. In addition, the authors theorized that it could also benefit “the masses.”
It is important to understand that this article was a case report on how the two authors manage limited training schedules and environments for their elite-level athletes: using body-weight resistance without any other equipment, in a seven-minute workout cycle, and repeated as many as 1-3 times based on time availability. For their purposes, the authors felt that this training tool was an effective way to help their athletes manage their workouts while maintaining intensity and improving aerobic conditioning in the presence of busy lives.
How can physical therapy help with migraines?
with advice from
Kristina A. Holland, PTA
While headaches can be uncomfortable, migraines are debilitating. The sensitivity to light and sound. Nausea and vomiting. An intense throbbing in your head that can last for hours or days. The symptoms can be so severe that, as the Mayo Clinic puts it, “all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down.”
Like back pain, treating migraines can be difficult because they can be triggered by many different things. Here are a few reasons you may be suffering from migraines:
How do you measure your fitness level?
with advice from
Jennifer Gamboa, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC,
Angela Manzanares, M.B.A., ATC,
and Joy Winchester, HFS
Am I fit enough? Whether it’s a daily question, one we ponder before visiting with the doctor, or one we guiltily think before grabbing another cookie, this is a question many of us ask ourselves. Unfortunately, there’s not a simple answer, but Physiquality’s physical therapy professionals have some useful insights.
“How people measure their health and fitness depends on the person,” says Angela Manzanares, the creator of the fitbook™, a Physiquality partner. She warns against using numbers like BMI, or the body mass index, on their own, as they only take into account a person’s height and weight, not body composition. It’s possible to have low body fat and high muscle mass, and therefore a higher weight, Angela explains, which could categorize someone as overweight or obese when it’s really not the case.
What you should know about ACL injury
with advice from
Rebekah Glass, PT, DPT, CSCS,
Bobby Horn, PT, DPT, CSCS, Cert. MDT,
and Peter (Piotr) Kluba, PT, DPT
Unless you’re Marcus Lattimore, who famously — or infamously? — injured all four knee ligaments in a college football game in 2012, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the knee ligament you’re most likely to injure. All of us can take steps to reduce the risk, but if you do suffer an ACL tear, your physical therapist can help you on the road to recovery.
An ACL tear is usually caused by a traumatic event, says Rebekah Glass, a physical therapist at The Center for Physical Rehabilitation, a Physiquality member with four locations in Western Michigan. While some tears occur during vehicle collisions or during a fall, most are sports-related and occur without contact from anyone or anything else. These “non-contact” injuries can be caused by quick changes in direction with a misstep, a bad landing after a jump (especially in basketball) or even simply turning the body while slowing down.
10 common fitness mistakes you might be making
with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS
and Lodi Physical Therapy
Hopefully those New Years’ resolutions have paid off. You’re eating healthier and working out more, and maybe your clothes are a little bit looser. But have you thought about what could be holding you back or putting you at risk of an injury? Here are some common errors you might be making at the gym.
- You walked in without a plan.
Many people — especially those that are going for the first time (or the first time in a long time) — walk into the gym and wing it, with no sense of how they are going to structure their workouts. But if you walk in without a plan, how can you expect to make progress, asks Mark Salandra, the founder of StrengthCondition.com (one of Physiquality’s partner programs). Mark advises, “Write down a workout plan: Map out all your workouts to the set. Figure out your goals and set a plan to get there.” (Need a workout journal? Check out Physiquality partner fitbook™ journals for tracking your workouts and diet.)
Are you texting your way to injury?
with advice from Matt Caster, PT, DPT, OCS
When texting started becoming commonplace, it was slow and awkward. (How many times do I have to click on “7″ to get an “S”? Where’s my punctuation?) But with the advent of PDAs and smartphones, and the ability to not only text but post on social media and craft entire emails on a mobile device, people are communicating more than ever — non-verbally — with their phones. Unfortunately, with that advanced technology can come some digital pain, literally.
Constant typing and texting on your phone can cause pain and injury, says Matt Caster, a physical therapist at Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania). “Texting thumb is an overuse injury, where the tendons that control the thumb become inflamed due to the repetitive use of the thumb when typing text on your phone,” he explains. You may feel pain simply in your thumb or fingers, or it could manifest throughout the palm of your hand or even up the length of your arm.
I have arthritis. Can I exercise? Should I?
with advice from David P. Thompson, PT, DPT, OCS
Arthritis is one of the more common conditions, especially as people age. According to the CDC, as many as 50 million adults in the U.S., or 1 in 5, have been diagnosed with arthritis, and the numbers are expected to grow as our population ages. While there are many types of arthritis, the most prevalent is osteoarthritis, caused by the wearing away of cartilage in joints, especially the knees and hips.
Arthritis can be extremely painful and often debilitating. According to David P. Thompson, a physical therapist at Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania), “Patients with arthritis frequently report a variety of symptoms, including pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth in the joint, aching, joint deformity, difficulty with bearing weight, trouble with walking, and general loss of function.”
Is a boot camp right for me?
with advice from Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS,
Jim Liston, M.Ed., CSCS
and Mark Salandra, CSCS
Trends come and go for everything, and fitness is no exception. A variety of high intensity workouts, often labeled as “boot camps,” are infiltrating gyms and selling DVDs via infomercials. They promise rock-hard abs and easy-to-learn routines, but do they deliver healthy bodies as advertised?
There is no standard definition or regimen for a “boot camp.” The name is applied to a wide variety of workouts, depending on who is offering the training or class. Mark Salandra, the founder of StrengthCondition.com (one of Physiquality’s partner programs), points out that one boot camp workout might stress calisthenics, while another emphasizes military-style drills. Some even incorporate martial arts moves and plyometrics.