Hamstring tears are a common injury for soccer players, dancers, runners...really anyone who goes for a brisk dash. Try this quick workout supplement from The New York Times to bolster your hamstring confidence out on the field of life.
"After warming up, kneel on the ground, with a spotter securing your ankles. Then, as slowly and smoothly as possible, lean forward so that your chest approaches the ground. Use your hamstrings to put the brakes on your forward momentum until you can no longer resist gravity. Put out your arms at that point to stop your fall. Allow your chest to touch the ground, then push yourself upright to repeat the exercise."
"Week 1: 1 session; 10 repetitions
Week 2: 2 sessions; 12 repetitions each
Week 3: 3 sessions; 18 to 24 repetitions each
Week 4: 3 sessions; 24 to 30 repetitions each
Weeks 5: 10 – 3 sessions; 30 repetitions each (divided into 3 sets of 12, then 10, then 8 repetitions)
After 10 weeks, try to perform one weekly maintenance session of 30 repetitions."
Click here to see the full post by Gretchen Reynolds.
Here at the ShockYard, we strive to help our clients improve their health in all aspects of their lives. This goal, in addition to the desire to give back to our community, has led us to develop a series of Social Club events centered on active community service projects.
A wealth of scientific studies show that volunteering is good for your health. Many of them are reviewed in this article from the Corporation for National & Community Service. For example volunteering results in lower mortality rates, even after controlling for other demographic factors. Those who volunteer also report lower levels of depression as well as higher levels of happiness, life-satisfaction, self-esteem, a sense of control over life, and physical health.
In a new survey from the United Health Group, over 75% of people who volunteered in the past year reported that volunteering has made them feel healthier and lowered their stress levels, while approximately 95% said that volunteering improved their mood and enriched their sense of purpose in life.
At our first community service event, we will be cleaning paddocks, painting fences, and grooming horses at Wild Hearts Horses for Heroes Therapeutic Equestrian Program. The Horses for Heroes program helps veterans who are coping with PTSD by giving them a hands-on opportunity to communicate and connect with horses in a way that can help them to rebuild their relationships with family, friends, and society. Click here to learn more about this amazing program at their website. We will finish out the day with a short run around the property for those who are interested and still have energy to burn.
Come volunteer with us, and get back even more than you give!
Where: Wild Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Program in West Bridgewater
When: Saturday June, 28th 2-5PM
What to bring: Garden gloves, boots, clothes you don't mind paint on, hedge trimmers, paint brushes,
and running shoes (if joining for the run after)
Sign Up: Community Wild Hearts Service Day Facebook Event
Disclaimer: This website provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site is not intended to be medical advice and is not a substitute for medical or professional care.
Take-home Message: This article supports the idea that taking an iron supplement can improve the athletic performance of women who are iron-deficient.
Women of reproductive age are at a high risk of iron deficiency due to menstruation. In female athletes, the risk is even higher due to factors such as low-iron diets and low levels of inflammation caused by endurance exercise. When severe enough, iron deficiency can lead to anemia (low concentrations of hemoglobin in the blood). Hemoglobin is the protein in your blood that carries oxygen to the rest of your body, including your muscles during physical exertion. Oxygen is important for muscles because it is used during aerobic (literally meaning, “with oxygen”) metabolism, which produces the energy required for your muscles to contract. A key component of hemoglobin is iron; therefore, if you are deficient in iron, your blood cannot carry as much oxygen and your physical performance may suffer.
At least, that has been the theory of exercise scientists. Until now, however, there have been few studies that have demonstrated this relationship clearly. This article in the Journal of Nutrition, however, is a meta-analysis of 22 smaller studies. That means that it pooled the data from smaller clinical trials. This procedure can be useful because the larger the number of patients included, the more power you have to detect a small difference between experimental and control groups.
When data from the smaller studies were pooled, the researchers found that an oral iron supplement improved both maximal and submaximal exercise performance in the women participants. Maximal, or peak, exercise performance was measured by VO2 max, which is the highest rate at which your body can consume oxygen. Everyone has a different VO2 max, which is influenced by things like genetics and training. Imagine running on a treadmill at a sprint until you reach exhaustion – by the end, you’ll be using oxygen as fast as your body possibly can and you’ll be at your VO2 max. In general, the higher your VO2 max, the longer you can run on that treadmill before you become exhausted. The VO2 max of women given iron supplements was on average higher than that of women not on supplements, suggesting that iron improved their maximal, or peak, performance. The amount that VO2 max increased by is about the same amount that training can improve your VO2 max by, which is a fairly substantial effect. At submaximal exercise (meaning exercise at an intensity that is not going to exhaust you), iron supplementation also lowered the heart rate of the women, suggesting that they were performing better at lower intensities as well.
Importantly, these effects were mainly seen only in women known to be iron-deficient or trained athletes (who are at a greater risk for iron deficiency). So this doesn’t mean that every woman should start taking an iron supplement. It does mean, however, that if you are a woman of reproductive age, and especially if you are an athlete, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about checking your iron levels. If you are found to be iron deficient, an iron supplement might very well improve your athletic performance significantly.