Friday, February 8, 2019

3 ways to Roll Away Muscle Tension

Sedentary jobs, decreased activity levels, and increased stress have made us a less mobile population. Our muscles are overactive and tight, creating imbalances in our bodies, which can lead to poor posture, joint pain, and a host of avoidable injuries. Sometimes tightness of muscles also may occur from those crazy intense workouts during PE class at Souderton High School so how are we supposed to alleviate our tense, overactive muscles? Below I have 3 options for you, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a newer trend in flexibility training. Foam rolling incorporates use of a large foam roller and one’s own body weight to apply a deep massage. Users are encouraged to roll back and forth over muscle groups, pausing on tight and tender areas known as “trigger points,” which encourages overactive muscles to relax. Foam rolls range in density, size, and price, so you’ll need to experiment and see which type is best for you. While some like the active full-body movement across the foam roller and the fact that it can also be used in strength exercises, others may find controlling their body weight to be difficult.

Ball Rolling
Ball rolling is similar to foam rolling in that a user uses their body weight to apply pressure, but instead of using a broad foam roll, a smaller ball is used. Unlike foam rolling, which works on larger muscle groups, ball rolling is a more targeted approach. One advantage to this method is that you can ball roll with common household items like a tennis ball, racquetball, or lacrosse ball. You’ll probably want to start off with something soft like a tennis ball and work your way up to something more dense like a lacrosse ball. All you need to do is place the ball between your body and the wall and roll around, looking for trigger points. While some prefer a more targeted approach, others may find such localized pressure to be a bit too much for their pain threshold.

Massage Sticks
Massage sticks have become popular in athletic training rooms across the world. Think of the massage stick as a rolling pin for your muscles. You control the amount of pressure applied and work the massage stick back and forth until your tight muscles begin to loosen. Massage sticks are convenient and allow you to isolate areas of the body more than foam rolling, but the sticks themselves can be pricey and some people find that the use of one’s arms to be taxing and just a trade-off of where their tension is.

As you can see, each method presents its own advantages and potential difficulties, but each is an effective way to help alleviate muscle tightness. Many health clubs, physical therapy clinics, and fitness stores will give you a chance to test out some of these techniques, so go ahead and give it a shot. You have nothing to lose but muscle tension!

Friday, February 1, 2019

DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Image result for delayed onset muscle soreness
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) describes a phenomenon of muscle pain, muscle soreness or muscle stiffness that is felt 12-48 hours after exercise, particularly at the beginning of a new an exercise program, after a change in sports activities, or after a dramatic increase in the duration or intensity of exercise.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – Causes
Delayed onset muscle soreness is thought to be a result of microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers. The amount of tearing (and soreness) depends on how hard and how long you exercise and what type of exercise you do. Any movement you aren’t used to can lead to DOMS, but eccentric muscle contractions (movements that cause muscle to forcefully contract while it lengthens) seem to cause the most soreness.
Examples of eccentric muscle contractions include going down stairs, running downhill, lowering weights and the downward motion of squats and push-ups. In addition to small muscle tears there can be associated swelling in a muscle which may contribute to soreness.
Image result for delayed onset muscle sorenessDOMS disappears in about 72 hours after appearing. If treatment is desired, any measure that increases blood flow to the muscle, such as low-intensity work, massage, hot baths, or a sauna visit may help somewhat.
Counter intuitively, continued exercise may temporarily suppress DOMS. Exercise increases pain thresholds and pain tolerance. This effect, called exercise-induced analgesia, is known to occur in endurance training (running, cycling, swimming), but little is known about whether it also occurs in resistance training. There are claims in the literature that exercising sore muscles appears to be the best way to reduce or eliminate the soreness, but this has not yet been systematically investigated.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The NEED for Phys ED

The New Core Curriculum For A Healthier Future

Unhealthy Kids Become Sick Adults

The overarching priority of this new education system is to create inspired humans, and this cannot be done without an emphasis on physical and mental health. The neglect of these areas is at the root of a society that has never been more unhappy, anxious, and depressed.

As depression and suicides skyrocket, so have obesity, heart disease, and sales of Sock Sliders. A 2017 Harvard study concluded that if current trends continue, over 57% of today’s youth will be obese by the time they are 35. Our already unsustainable health care costs are set to become overwhelming. A 2012 study concluded that if obesity rates only stayed the same, rather than progressing as expected, “the combined savings in medical expenditures over the next 2 decades would be $549.5 billion.”

It is the duty of education to see these issues, interpret the ramifications, and implement solutions. Our negligence to train our youth in health and fitness is the greatest failing of our educational system.

Giving kids the tools for lifelong health must become our primary objective. Students must learn to cook, to grocery shop, and to plan meals. They should be enlisted on a rotating basis in the preparation of cafeteria food, and they should be instrumental in planning initiatives to educate the population at large about the consequences of current health trends and simple solutions.

We should see the student and the school day through a lens of nourishment and fostering a balanced inclination for lifelong health. Standing desks, physical projects, flexibility to take classes outside, and movement breaks should become school norms.

Physical Education Isn't Extra

Most of all, students must be immersed in a challenging and motivating physical education program that makes them more likely to live active, healthy lives. Nothing accomplishes Harari’s suggested objectives of resiliency and emotional intelligence better than an inspired physical training curriculum. More than just creating the physical literacy for a healthy, dynamic life, a great PE curriculum teaches discipline, growth mindset, patience, humility, toughness, dealing with failure, and a joy in the amazing potential of the human body.

Our world makes it so easy to inflate every accomplishment, rationalize every misstep, and live in constant denial. Tapping back into the physical is tapping back into reality. It offers a path to mindfully experience the world around us and work towards tangible results.

La Sierra High School’s PE program from the 1950s and 60s is the model of an inspired, unifying experience. It utilized the best of classical physical education concepts dating all the way back to Ancient Greece. Tony Asaro, who went through this program, explained to me how all his classmates experienced a mind and body transformation in this program, and became bonded as supportive teammates. Nothing ties communities more than common physical experiences.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018