Rapid Fire : Installment 3

I’d like to dedicate this week’s blog to the youthful and exuberant Diana Gasperoni, who provided me with the inspiration and idea for some of the topics of interest. Nutrition, avoiding female infertility and fixing iliotibial band syndrome are explored in this third installment of Rapid Fire.

Making healthy eating choices will continue to be a challenge for many of us and a struggle for some. It’s a never-ending battle that we must embrace courageously to avoid mistakes. Certain dietary behaviors could impact female infertility. Learn exactly what and what not to eat to be able to conceive. If you’re a runner, you most likely have had IT-Band syndrome at some point. As painful as it can be, there are simple ways to fix it.

1. Don’t Get On A ‘DIET’: We’ve all heard and seen them before: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, and so on. These are some of the commercial diet plans aimed at promoting weight loss. Now many people, including some of my colleagues in the industry, will disagree with me but in my humble and professional estimation, diet plans are a waste of time. They are just another clever gimmick with the sole purpose of collecting money from the public. Now, don’t get me wrong, they can certainly help an individual trying to lose weight, providing that person is also physically active. But losing weight isn’t rocket science nor is it complicated. It requires a simple solution : calories burned must exceed calories consumed. 3,500 calories is needed to get burned for 1 pound of fat to get shed. So for example, in order to lose 2 pounds of fat, you’ll need a caloric deficit of 7,000 pounds.

It’s been ideally concluded that 4 pounds of fat is the most a person can lose in a week. Anything more is most likely water weight which will return to the body once fluids are consumed again. This is how those diet programs capture the audience, promising absurd amounts of shed pounds in a week. Remember, muscle, water, fat and bone make up the body weight. The best way to stay lean and lose weight is to exercise regularly (aerobic and anaerobic training) and eat small meals frequently (5 to 6 a day). This will help continued growth of lean tissue which leads to faster metabolism. So don’t ‘get on’ a diet. Just eat a clean diet. For more on diet and nutrition, read this blog post I wrote a while back.

2. Avoid Female Infertility Through Nutrition: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the infertility rate amongst married women aged 15 to 44 in the country dropped from 8.5 percent to 6 percent between 1982 and 2010. But an alarming 1.5 million women were considered infertile at some point between 2006 and 2010. Though advanced medical treatments have become available over the years, simply eating the right meals and avoiding some is the only remedy needed to avoid infertility.  According to the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC), insulin insensitivity is a major reason for infertility. When insulin is released into the bloodstream, it affects the liver and encourages production of androgen. This results in circulation of testosterone which prevents the release of an egg from an ovary.

To promote insulin sensitivity, the ENC recommends consuming fiber-rich carbohydrates. These meals are slowly metabolized and do not spike insulin in the bloodstream. Low-glycemic index (GI) meals such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole-grains are the ideal food sources for women looking to get pregnant. While High-glycemix index meals like rice and pasta are great for post-workout when the body is craving simple sugars, they should be avoided or consumed in very small portions when trying to get pregnant. Additionally, the ENC also recommends a multivitamin (specifically folic acid and iron) and dairy products as ways to optimize female fertility.

3.  Simple Remedy For Iliotibial Band Syndrome: Running is one of the most common and simplest aerobic activity. But too much running, especially amongst long-distance runners and triathletes, can lead to a condition called Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). This occurs when the IT-Band constantly rubs over the lateral femoral epicondyle  along with continuous flexion and extension of the knee. The inflammation affects the lateral side of the knee and can be very uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable while running. Although the pain goes away once running is discontinued, it arises again during another run.

Here are a few exercises that can help in rehabilitating ITBS:

  • Standing Hip Abduction :

Make sure your torso remains tall and straight and do not compensate by tilting your torso.

  • Box Step Down :

Make sure the spine is neutral and that the hip, knee and heel are aligned.

  • IT-Band Stretches and Foam Rolling : Any IT-Band Stretch should be held statically for 15-30 seconds and repeated no more than 3 times. Foam rolling can last up to 5 minutes.
  • High Plank : This is basically a plank with your hands fully extended, as opposed to resting on your forearms. Aim to do 3 sets of 20 to 180 seconds resting 20 seconds between sets.
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