Maximize Your Exercise During Recovery

Do you want to get the most out of your Barre3 or CrossFit workout? Would you like to swing the tennis racket or golf clubs more often with less pain?  Are you the weekend warrior competing in triathlons, marathons or centuries?

Research—and common sense—shows that the key to performance is not only in the training, but more importantly in how effectively and quickly you recover from those killer workouts.  Think of recovery techniques as the legal form of performance enhancement.  Your training regimen MUST include a recovery regimen—these are two parts of the whole.

8 Keys to Workout Recovery

1. SLEEP

You cannot, as many people think, “catch up on” sleep. The body doesn’t work that way. You need to get at least eight hours of sleep every night - 10 if you can. Consider it part of your workout, and schedule it just as you would a training session.

2. HYDRATION

Your body also requires water.  The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 13 cups or 3 liters of fluids per day; women should drink 9 cups or 2.2 liters per day. This does not include the additional amount required due to loss from exercise.  The most important thing is that you do not get thirsty as this is a sign that you are already dehydrated.

3. NUTRITION

Your body requires proper nutrition properly timed.  The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 25 grams of quality protein with 0.5 to 0.75 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within the first 30 minutes post-exercise.  Your body requires 0.7 – 0.85 grams of protein per pound of body weight, preferably spread out over 5 meals (~every three hours), to develop muscle mass.

4. MOVEMENT PREP and STRETCHING

Strength and power without flexibility means you are an injury waiting to happen.  But, you should not stretch before warming up (studies show it makes you temporarily weaker).  Thus, you must incorporate a movement prep/dynamic stretch routine prior to any workout.  After you’ve warmed up, then add the static stretching and a foam roller, to break up knots and further release tension.

5. CRYOTHERAPY

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a research-proven cold therapy that triggers your body’s natural pain and inflammation fighters.  Chill in a cold air sauna for 3 minutes, and your body activates its restorative process.  The results are relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated muscle recovery, boosted energy levels and vitality, increased metabolic rate and elevated well-being.  There's a reason every professional sports league is rapidly replacing ice baths with cryotherapy.

6. MASSAGE (PROFESSIONAL) AND SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE (FOAM ROLLING)

Many put off a massage till we are so tight we can barely move. Don’t wait that long. Get therapeutic massages to prevent that in the first place.  No Pain – No Gain: myofascial and deep tissue sport massages will release tension and improve range of motion.

7. Normatec compression therapy

Compressed air massage boots designed to massage legs to reduce soreness, help flush lactic acid/fluid build-up, improve circulation and prevent/reduce early stage varicose.  These boots have been widely adopted by the athletic industry--they flat-out work!

8. CHIROPRACTIC

Heavy lifting over the years puts an enormous amount of torque on your joints and spine.  Structural issues can lead to muscular issues and vice versa.  Chiropractors can take almost anything that’s out of alignment and set it right again. Invaluable to preventing serious injuries before they happen.

Sources

http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/recovery/5-recovery-secrets-of-endurance-athletes.html

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110413p18.shtml

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1008372-11-easy-postworkout-snacks-science-work/#slide=1

http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-120-recovery-techniques-for-athletes

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011244-top-10-moves-recover-workout/

Is Cryotherapy A Fad?

Pokemon Go? Fad.  Angry Birds? Fad.  Twerking?  FAD (thank God)!!!

A fad as defined by Webster's is "an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze."  So is cryotherapy a fad?

History of cryotherapy

Developed in 1978 by a Japanese Rheumatologist (Dr. Yamagughi) and with almost 40 years of research-proven benefits, cryotherapy is definitely not a fad.  Dr. Yamaguchi originally designed cryotherapy to decrease pain and inflammation for his rheumatoid arthritis patients; since then, many new benefits have been research-proven: accelerates athletic recovery, elevates metabolic rate (aiding fat loss), enhances skin complexion, improves sleep quality, and strengthens the immune system.

Cryotherapy did not reach the U.S. until 2011, which may make it seem like a fad only because it is still somewhat unknown and yet is so quickly gaining exposure.  Professional sports franchises, college athletic departments and a health-conscious American culture with an appetite for natural therapies, have all adopted cryotherapy because it works.

doctors validate benefits of cryotherapy

Assessments from some of the nations' top orthopedics further validates the experience of those who've tried cryotherapy.  Many renowned doctors and physical therapists are beginning to promote cryotherapy for relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated recovery from exercise, and overall health and wellness (see http://championcryotherapy.net/champions-blog/2017/2/9/what-do-doctors-think-about-cryotherapy).

Fad? No.  Too good to be true? Only you can decide.  Certainly, the benefits for many are too good to not try it!

Reference on cold therapy:

https://selfhacked.com/2016/10/19/12-reasons-embrace-cold/

Who Benefits From NormaTec Compression Therapy?

Compression in sports training is probably not new to you.  I bet you already use compression shorts/pants, socks, etc. Research shows that compression garments reduce muscle soreness caused by plyometrics and sprinting.

The latest innovation in compression therapy, NormaTec Compression therapy takes compression to the next level.  Designed by a physician bio-engineer to enhance circulation and speed recovery, the technology uses pulsated, sequential pneumatic compression delivered via leg boots (which resemble a larger design of a blood pressure cuff) which feature five chambers that are attached to a control unit and pump. These leg boots deliver sequential and pulsating compression to a particular area, systematically enhancing blood flow and lymphatic fluid removal.

Benefits of NormaTec Compression Therapy

What does all this mean?  According to Chris Contini, recovery specialist at Denver Sports Recovery in Colorado, a primary function of these compression sleeves is to engage a lymphatic flush, which enhances a healthy blood flow back into the region by helping to remove waste products, inflammation, and swelling.  Additionally, these boots enhance circulation in the legs via the same mechanism.

Benefits include:

1. Lactic acid and lymphatic flushing, thus removing toxins

2. Reduces inflammation and water accumulation

3. Improved (better) and enhanced (healthier) circulation

4. Accelerated recovery, so you feel rejuvenated and ready for the next workout.

5. Helps prevent and eliminate first-stage varicose veins

Who would benefit from compression therapy?

First, any athlete who uses his/her legs: runners, swimmers, cyclists, triathletes, weightlifters/CrossFitters, Mudders, walkers, football/basketball/baseball/soccer/volleyball/hockey/LAX players . . . etc.

Second, anyone who works on his/her feet all day, because gravity causes poor circulation in your legs when you are standing all day  Nurses, doctors, construction, and numerous professions benefit.

Third, anyone who battles poor circulation would benefit: diabetes, varicose, peripheral artery disease, and just about any circulation disease with the exception of deep vein thrombosis (contraindicated).

Finally, anyone who enjoys a relaxing massage!  The NormaTec compression therapy feels like a gentle myofascial massage--which I recognize is a contradiction in terms!  Just envision sitting back in a leather recliner with a post-workout beverage for 20-30 minutes, having your legs massaged, flushed of lactic acid and reinvigorated for your day!  I guess you just need to try it to believe it.  Bring a friend or two to get your "squeeze" on!

Who Will Laser Therapy Help?

Do you wish you could once again move without pain, so you could play tennis again?  Or perhaps swing a golf club without back pain?  Shoot hoop again without knee and ankle pain? Throw the baseball with your son without shoulder pain?

We may have just the remedy for you, but it's not magic--it's science.

Cold Laser: Too Good To be true?

The cold laser provides safe, non-invasive, drug free pain relief and accelerated healing of injuries by simply activating your body's natural healing mechanisms: Laser and LED beams of light are used to stimulate the cells in the body that repair tissue, reduce inflammation and reduce pain.  Like photosynthesis does to plants, light reduces oxidative stress which causes cell death, and enables your cells to increase ATP production (cellular energy).

With over 400 randomized clinical trials behind it, “Cold Laser" therapy (aka Low Level Laser Therapy and/or Photobiomodulation) is research proven to be remarkably safe, painless and effective in treating both acute injuries and chronic pain of various kinds.  Who benefits?

which conditions respond well to cold laser?

  • back painneck pain and arthritis
  • tendon and ligament injuries
  • soft tissue injuries
  • muscle strains and pulls
  • degenerative joints
  • plantar fasciitis and other musculoskeletal conditions
  • pre- and post-surgery healing

what results can you expect after cold laser?

  1. REDUCED SWELLING and INFLAMMATION: Stimulates lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling.
  2. REDUCED SCAR TISSUE FORMATION: Laser light reduces formation of scar tissue, leading to more complete healing, with less chance of weakness and re-injury later.
  3. DECREASED HEALING TIME: Stimulates the cells around the injury to increase the speed, quality and strength of tissue repair.
  4. PAIN RELIEF: Inhibits the nerves related to the site of pain.
  5. ENHANCED BLOOD CIRCULATION: Immediate improvement of localized blood circulation.

Are you ready to move from surviving to thriving once again? If so, we can help you with natural therapies like laser therapy, cryotherapy, compression therapy and massage therapy. It's time to return to doing what you love to do!

12 Reasons You Should Embrace Cold Therapies and Cryotherapy

This Post Reprinted From SelfHACKED (https://selfhacked.com/2016/10/19/12-reasons-embrace-cold/), Written by Joe Cohen

From freezing showers to cryotherapy tanks, cold exposure is in vogue amongst health conscious people. And rightly so; simple practices that can enhance nervous system health, decrease inflammation and promote longevity are rare.

In this article, we will explore the scientific research to uncover the many benefits of getting cold. We will also touch on the best ways to approach cold exposure as, whilst we should embrace the cold, we need to be aware of its power.

Cold therapy is not a new invention; it is among man’s earliest medical treatments. The Edwin Smith Papyrus (3500 BC), the most ancient medical text, repeatedly mentioned cold therapy (R).

However, until the late 1980’s, cold exposure remained relatively unappreciated by modern, allopathic medicine (R).

More recently, cold therapy has been increasingly used to prevent or mitigate various types of neurologic injury (R).

Even so, the numerous benefits of cold therapy remain relatively untapped by conventional healthcare practitioners. Hopefully, this article will give you an insight into how you can leverage cold exposure to optimize your health and performance.

Benefits of Cold Exposure

1) Cold Exposure Aids Fat Loss

Humans have stores of active brown fat tissue (BAT). Unlike white fat, which stores energy and comprises most body fat, brown fat is active in burning calories and using energy (R).

BAT can essentially turn calories from food into heat. It generates heat by uncoupling proteins, particularly UCP1, within the mitochondrial membrane (R, R2).

Indeed, studies show that cold exposure increases BAT activity which leads to increased calorie expenditure. Researchers concluded that frequent cold exposures might be an acceptable and economical way to address the current obesity epidemic. (R).

In fact, a lack of BAT has been linked with obesity (R).

Cold exposure increase shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis. These processes increase calorie expenditure (R).

One study exposed one group of mice to cold temperatures and the other to normal temperatures. The cold-exposed mice ate far more calories but weighed less (R). This goes against the prevailing view that increased calorie consumption shortens lifespan.

Exposure to cold temperatures leads to increased levels of adiponectin, a protein that increases fat burning. Low levels of which are associated with obesity (RR2, R3).

In one study, subjects who were exposed to cold stress had an 80% increase in their metabolism over “warm” levels (R).

If you want to maximize your brown fat levels you should take things with capsinoids, like chili extract. The bitter melon extract also works synergistically with the cold to create more brown fat (R).

2) Cold Exposure Fights Inflammation

Exposure to cold temperatures raises adiponectin, a protein that helps prevent inflammation (R).

Another study found that exercising in the cold reduced the inflammatory response seen in regular temperature environments (R).

This same study found that exercising past a certain time in the cold can actually increase the inflammatory response (R). The dose is important! More on this below.

Cold exposure can lower pro-inflammatory TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8.

3) Cold Exposure Increases Lifespan

A study found that flies lived twice as long when kept at 21°C than 27°C (R).

Similarly, research on worms found that a 5°C drop in temperature increased lifespan by 75% (R).

A number of studies on insects have also found a negative relationship between temperature and lifespan (R, R2, R3)

Fish  also seem to live longer at lower temperatures (R). For example, one study showed that 6 °C drop in temperature increased average fish lifespan by 75 % (R, R2).

In 1986, one researcher immersed his lab rats in shallow, cool water for four hours per day. The rats burned so many extra calories that they ate 50% more than control rats. The cold-exposed rats weighed less than the control rats and lived 10% longer (R). This goes against the prevailing view that increased calorie consumption shortens lifespan.

Another study lowered the core temperature of mice by 0.3 °C (males) and 0.34 °C (females), resulting in an increase in average lifespan of 12 and 20 % respectively (R).

Increased longevity via cold-exposure could be due to hormesis. Hormesis refers to the paradoxical adaptation that makes animals stronger and more efficient if they are exposed to environmental stresses (R).

Other researchers prefer the ‘rate of living hypothesis’. This theory suggests that lower temperature promotes longevity by slowing down the rate of reaction of various metabolic processes. This means fewer by-products of metabolism, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) (R).

Alternatively, increased longevity from cold exposure may be due to a modulation of genes, such as TRPA-1 and DAF-16 (R).

4) Cold Exposure Strengthens the Nervous System

The increase in fat burning during cold exposure is modulated by the sympathetic nervous system (R, R2). Cold temperatures act like a mild workout for the nervous system, which adapts and strengthens.

Wim Hoff (“the ice man”) has been instrumental in showing the world that, through specific training techniques using cold exposure and breathwork, a person is able to control their autonomic nervous system. Before this research was done on Wim, the autonomic nervous system was largely thought to be beyond conscious control.

5) Cold Exposure May Heal Injuries and Speed Recovery

The physiological effects of cold therapy include reductions in blood flow, swelling, inflammation, muscle spasm, and metabolic demand (R).

There is some evidence that ice plus exercise is effective at increasing healing speeds after an ankle sprain or surgery (R).

Cold exposure has a positive effect on muscular enzymes linked with muscle damage (e.g. creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase) (R).

One meta-study looked at 360 people who either rested or submerged themselves in cold water after resistance training, cycling or running. 24-minute cold water baths (50-59 F) prevented sore muscles after exercises (R).

6) Cold Exposure Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Exposure to cold temperatures can increase levels of adiponectin. One study found adiponectin levels increase by 70% after cold exposure. This is important as adiponectin is a protein involved in blood glucose regulation, with low levels found in insulin resistance (R, R2).

In rat studies, cold exposure increases glucose uptake in the peripheral tissues – (by enhancing glucose oxidation via insulin-independent pathways). Thus, cold exposure may be beneficial during a fast, as fasting can cause peripheral insulin resistance (R).

Cold exposure can enhance the body’s response to insulin, allowing glucose to be cleared from the blood quicker (R). A cold bath is one of the quickest ways I have found to lower my blood glucose and increase insulin sensitivity.

7) Cold Exposure Improves Sleep Quality

Natural daily temperature fluctuations are an important regulator of sleep cycles (R).

A Dutch study found that by cooling core body temperatures, participants achieved double the restorative, slow wave sleep (R).

The nonprofit National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping bedroom sleeping temperatures between 60 and 67 degrees F (R).

8) Cold Exposure Strengthens the Immune System

Studies have shown that cold exposure increases natural killer cell count and activity (R).

Cold exposure also increases levels of white blood cells and circulating IL-6 (R).

One study looked at the effects of 6 weeks of cold water immersion (14C for 1hr) on the immune system. Participants had increased levels of IL-6, CD3, CD4, CD8, activated T and B lymphocytes, suggesting a more active immune system (R).

Engaging in exercise before cold exposure enhances the immune stimulating effects of cold therapy (R).

Increased immune system function could be due to increased levels of adrenaline from cold exposure (R).

9) Cold Exposure Enhances Detox Pathways

One study found that people who regularly swim in ice cold water had relatively high levels of reduced glutathione, an antioxidant that’s vital for detoxing (R).

Cryotherapy can enhance antioxidant status, allowing the body to deal with free radicals more effectively (R).

10) Cold Reduces Pain

Blasts of cold significantly improve the quality of life for patients suffering from phantom limb pain (R).

Cold compression therapy provides more pain relief than popular, alternative interventions (R).

Cold application alone may be effective in reducing pain associated with migraine attacks (R).

11) Cold Exposure May Increase Bone Health

Some researchers have suggested that age-related decline in bone health is attributable to a loss in brown fat (discussed above). Thus, it stands to reason that regular cold exposure could be an important tool for maintaining bone health as we age (R).

12) Cold Exposure Increases Will Power

This benefit is anecdotal and not backed by scientific research*

Many of my clients and I have noticed a huge increase in will-power from taking regular cold showers.

Nobody wants to get in a cold shower. Getting under freezing cold water every morning trains your brain to do things it doesn’t want to do if the rewards are big enough. This attitude then translates to other areas of your life.

Recommendations for Cryotherapy

Written by Todd Pendleton at Champion Cryotherapy.

Now that you've been exposed (pun intended) to cold therapy and it's many benefits, perhaps you should give it a try.

Cryotherapy is becoming more mainstream and, as a result, more affordable.

When will you start to reap the rewards from cold exposure?

What Do Doctors Think About Cryotherapy?

Numerous doctors are publishing support for whole body cryotherapy.  Why?  Because it works! 

The internationally renowned sports medicine physician and orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews believes enough in cryotherapy to sit on a national advisory board!  If you are not familiar with his name, Dr. Andrews is recognized throughout the world for his scientific and clinical research contributions in knee, shoulder and elbow injuries, as well as his skill as an orthopedic surgeon.  Many top professional athletes turn to Dr. Andrews when they need surgery (Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, MLB pitchers, etc.). He has mentored and trained more than 314 orthopedic/sports medicine Fellows.

Dr. Andrews serves as Medical Director and/or Surgeon for the following: the Washington Redskins, the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), the LPGA, USA Baseball and Little League Baseball, Inc., Auburn University Athletics and the University of Alabama.

Watch some other doctors give their assessments.

How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?

With 400 Clinical studies behind it, “cold laser” or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), has been research proven to be remarkably safe, painless and effective in treating both acute injuries and chronic pain of various kinds including chronic back painneck painarthritisplantar fasciitis and other musculoskeletal conditions.

The laser gives us the ability to provide you with an improved level of safe, non-invasive, drug free pain relief and accelerated healing of injuries.  The treatment is simple in science and application: Laser and LED beams of light are used to stimulate the cells in the body that repair tissue, reduce inflammation and reduce pain. In biological terms, this photo-therapy (like photosynthesis in plants) reduces oxidative stress which causes cell death, and enables your cells to increase ATP production (cellular energy).

 

How To Recover For Optimal Performance - Part 2

 

We are continuing with our list of the Top 10 Keys to Recovery (listen/read here: Part 1). The first five keys you can do yourself, but these next five require some help.

Keys To Recovery

6. CRYOTHERAPY

Drain the swamp (er . .  ice baths)!  Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a research-proven cold therapy that triggers your body’s natural pain and inflammation fighters.  Chill in a cold air sauna for 3 minutes, and your body activates its restorative process.  The results are relief from pain and inflammation, accelerated muscle recovery, boosted energy levels and vitality, increased metabolic rate and elevated well-being.

7. NORMATEC COMPRESSION THERAPY

Feeling the burn of lactic acid, or dead legs from an intense leg workout?  NormaTec Compression Therapy, designed by a physician bioengineer (MD, PhD) to enhance blood flow and speed recovery, employs compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluids, and speed recovery.

8. FOAM ROLLING (SELF MYOFASCIAL)

No pain, no gain: Use a foam roller to break up knots and further release tension in your muscles.  We use--and highly recommend--HyperIce Vyper and HyperSphere, rollers incorporating vibration technology to more effectively activate more of your muscle fibers.

9. SPORTS MASSAGE

Many put off a massage until we are so tight we can barely move. Don’t wait that long. Get therapeutic massages to prevent tightness and injuries in the first place.  Myofascial, deep tissue and trigger point massage techniques will release tension and improve range of motion.

10. CHIROPRACTIC, AIRROSTI & PHYSICAL THERAPY

Heavy lifting over the years puts an enormous amount of torque on your joints and spine.  Structural issues can lead to muscular issues and vice versa.  Chiropractors can take almost anything that’s out of alignment and set it right again. Airrosti soft tissue technique helps break up scar tissue (from injury) and increases range of motion, which allows you to get back on the field/court/track!

Recovery--your secret weapon

As we said in Part 1, if you really want to maximize your gains from all your training hours, then you need to prioritize recovery.  Incorporating the keys we've discussed will give you a distinct advantage over your competition, , help you achieve your fitness/competitive goals, and increase your athletic longevity!

Sources

http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/recovery/5-recovery-secrets-of-endurance-athletes.html

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110413p18.shtml

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1008372-11-easy-postworkout-snacks-science-work/#slide=1

http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-120-recovery-techniques-for-athletes

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011244-top-10-moves-recover-workout/

How To Recover for Optimal Performance - Part 1

Do you think that strength, speed and power development is dependent solely on the intensity and frequency of your workouts?  Research now shows that the secret to getting bigger, faster and stronger lies in how effectively and quickly you recover from those killer workouts.  Because recovery and training are two parts to one whole, you should think of recovery as the legal form of performance enhancement.  To excel, your training regimen must include a recovery regimen.

We will tackle this subject in a two part series, so here are the five "Keys To Recovery" in our Top 10 list.

Keys to Recovery

1. SLEEP

You need to get at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night.  Consider it part of your workout, and schedule it just as you would a training session.  You cannot “catch up on” sleep--the body doesn’t work that way.

2. HYDRATION

Your body requires water.  According to The Institute of Medicine, men should drink 13 cups or 3 liters of fluids per day; women should drink 9 cups or 2.2 liters per day. This does not include the additional amount required due to loss from exercise.  If you get thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Drink!!

3. NUTRITION

Surprise--your body requires proper nutrition properly timed.  The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 25 grams of quality protein with 0.5 to 0.75 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within the first 30 minutes post-exercise.  Your body requires 0.7 – 0.85 grams of protein per pound of body weight, preferably spread out over 5 meals (~every three hours), to develop muscle mass.

4. SUPPLEMENTATION

It's challenging to ingest the quantity and quality of nutrition our bodies require to remain healthy.  Nutritionists suggest augmenting your meals by adding some key supplements: whey protein powder; Omega-3 (1200 mg); BCAA with L-Glutamine (5G); Creatine Monohydrate (5G); and Citrulline Malate (2G).

5. PREHAB EXERCISES, MOVEMENT PREP AND STRETCHING

Sitting down at a computer all day makes it difficult to maintain bio-mechanical integrity and correct joint and tissue function when moving.  Prehab exercises can help you correct these deficiencies (http://www.prehabexercises.com/compensation-patterns/).  Additionally, strength and power without flexibility = an injury waiting to happen.  However, stretch after incorporating movement prep/dynamic stretching (studies show stretching cold muscles makes you temporarily weaker).

Recovery--your secret weapon

If you really want to maximize your gains from all the training hours you invest, then you need to prioritize recovery.  Incorporating the keys we've discussed will give you a distinct advantage over your competition, as well as increase your athletic longevity!

Check in tomorrow for Part 2!

Sources

http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/recovery/5-recovery-secrets-of-endurance-athletes.html

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110413p18.shtml

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1008372-11-easy-postworkout-snacks-science-work/#slide=1

http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-120-recovery-techniques-for-athletes

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011244-top-10-moves-recover-workout/

Top 10 Keys to Maximize Your Athletic Performance

Do you think that your performance is driven solely by the quality of your training regimen?  Champion coaches, players and Olympians reveal that there is more to it than simply training hard!  Here's what they say is vital:

1. COMMIT TO EXCELLENCE

What's the first step? Every champion will tell you that a champion COMMITS to becoming a champion! This means doing what most players will not do: preparing to perform like a champion by doing all the things on this list--and all the things that mediocre performers will not do.

2. MENTAL TRAINING

Comprised of confidence, attitude, character, coach-ability (student of the game), and determination, "mental strength" makes the difference between winning and losing.  Learning how to visualize the moment before it happens, and then learning how to focus in the moment, separates champions from players. This is a major topic unto itself, which we will explore in the future.

3. STRETCHING, MUSCLE PREP AND MOBILITY TRAINING

Jumping straight into an intense workout without sufficient warm-up is a recipe for poor results (at best) or injury (at worst). Prepare your body for physical activity by going through a series of dynamic movements that increase your core temperature, prepare your nervous system for activity, and activate those key muscles that you'll use in your training session/competition.

4. PILLAR STRENGTH

Your pillar--all the muscles that connect your hips, torso, and shoulders--is vital to moving with speed, strength and efficiency.  When these areas are properly aligned, you can transfer energy throughout your body more effectively, so you’ll produce more strength and power with less fatigue.

5. BALANCE

Balance provides the foundation for athletes to manipulate their center of gravity further away from their base, creating angles to facilitate speed and agility.

6. POWER

Power = Work/Time (Work is the product of force multiplied by distance). As you gain strength and speed, you exert more power. The more power you exert, the better your performance.

7. EXPLOSIVENESS

Power is great, but explosive power is best. Explosive power is defined as the rate of force development (RFD) at the onset of muscle contraction. The goal of training for improved RFD is to create more force in less time. Think of it this way: explosive strength allows you to get to top speed quicker, explode out of cuts/change of direction quicker, get off the floor quicker, etc.

8. MULTI-DIRECTIONAL SPEED AND AGILITY

Coaches moan, “You can’t teach speed.”  Not necessarily.  You can certainly enhance your “sports-speed” through multi-directional speed training exercises that focus on movement patterns, acceleration and deceleration technique, fast-firing, resistance and plyometrics.

9. NUTRITION AND HYDRATION

Garbage in—garbage out! This is another topic unto itself which we will explore soon.

10. RECOVERY, INJURY PREVENTION AND HEALING

We will take a deep dive into this critical topic for our next article, but suffice it to say that the top nine elements above mean nothing without this recovery!

If you are ready to make the commitment to be the best you can be, you’ve just taken the first step.  We want to join you on your journey, so let’s get busy!

SOURCES

1UP Sports Performance

EXOS (formerly Core Performance)

DeFranco’s Training

Martin Hagger (Sports Psychologist)

How Does Cryotherapy Relieve Jet Lag?

Are you enjoying a long Spring Break to a great vacation locale?  If so, you are likely to experience the phenomenon of jet lag, a condition resulting from an imbalance in your body's natural "biological clock" caused by traveling to different time zones.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, "simple behavioral adjustments before, during and after arrival at your destination can help minimize some of the side effects of jet lag:

  • Anticipate the time change for trips by getting up and going to bed earlier several days prior to an eastward trip and later for a westward trip.
  • Upon boarding the plane, change your watch to the destination time zone.
  • Avoid alcohol or caffeine at least three to four hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid any heavy exercise close to bedtime. (Light exercise earlier in the day is fine.)
  • Bring earplugs and blindfolds to help dampen noise and block out unwanted light while sleeping.
  • Try to get outside in the sunlight whenever possible. Daylight is a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock. 

Cryotherapy and Jet Lag

So, how does Whole Body Cryotherapy help relieve jet lag?  When you undergo a 3-minute cryotherapy session, your body responds to the cold air by releasing a substantial amount of nor-epinephrine and acetylcholine, two endorphins vital to the activation of REM sleep.  As you may know, REM sleep is the deeper, high-quality sleep state our bodies require to function optimally.

Web MD states: “Endorphins act as analgesics . . . and also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines . . . Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body . . . the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.”

Thus, those endorphins help you relax to enter more--and more complete--sleep cycles.  Wouldn't you like to sleep well again--to wake up fully rejuvenated?  If so, consider trying cryotherapy!

Sources:

https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/jet-lag-and-sleep

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/06/get-better-sleep/

https://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_iliff_one_more_reason_to_get_a_good_night_s_sleep#t-1601

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2013/01/sleeping-well/

Does Cryotherapy Enhance Sleep Quality?

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How well are you sleeping these days?  If you are like so many, you are having trouble fitting in the 7-9 hours prescribed by the Sleep Foundation.  And during whatever sleep you do get, you may have trouble getting quality sleep (defined as REM sleep, which should comprise at least 20% of your sleep hours).

Tired of waking up tired? Consider these 5 easy tips to increase your sleep productivity!

1. Cold Temperatures Enhance Sleep Quality

Research shows us that people who slept in colder temperatures (roughly 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) fell asleep quicker and with better quality.

2. Turn Off Your Screens to Enhance Sleep Quality

The light generated from your screen is very similar to that of the sun and can trick your mind into thinking “Its time to stay awake!”  Try to eliminate checking your phone before going to bed, even if it’s a part of your bedtime rituals.

3. Develop a Bedtime Routine Conducive to Sleep Quality

Whether it be meditating, stretching, breathing exercises, positive thinking, reading a book, or taking a shower – develop a routine, 1 hour before bed, can be an easy way to “trick” your brain into a sleep mode.

4. Exercise Consistently to Enhance Sleep Quality

Research proves that people who exercise consistently get a higher quality of sleep compared to those who don’t exercise.  If the thought of exercising does nothing for you, consider taking a long walk with your spouse or friend.

5. Cryotherapy Enhances Sleep Quality

How does Whole Body Cryotherapy help you sleep better?  Because your body responds to the cold by releasing a substantial amount of nor-epinephrine and acetylcholine, two endorphins vital to the activation of REM sleep.

Web MD states: “Endorphins act as analgesics, which mean they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines . . . Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body . . . the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.”

Try following these simple steps to help you enhance your sleep quality and, ultimately, brain functioning.

Sources:

https://pillowpicker.com/health-wellbeing/benefits-of-sleep/

https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/06/get-better-sleep/

https://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_iliff_one_more_reason_to_get_a_good_night_s_sleep#t-1601

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2013/01/sleeping-well/

Daylight Savings Time Can Be Hazardous?

Daylight Savings Time (DST) is already upon us, which means it’s time to “spring forward” the clocks!  Watch your step though; losing an hour of sleep also comes with some surprisingly hazardous maladies.

A 2015 viral video from Last Week Tonight, John Oliver, a comedian, asked why DST is “still a thing” when, “What you lose in sleep, you gain in mortal danger.”

In the days following DST reports of traffic accidents, work-related injuries, and the number of heart attacks all increase markedly. How could this be?

DST induces changes related to the body's internal circadian rhythm, the molecular cycles that regulate driving rhythms of biological processes inside the body—like when we feel awake and when we feel sleepy.

Each cell in the body has its own internal clock rhythm to prepare itself for stress or a stimulus. When this rhythm is disturbed it increases the stress response concurrently magnifying the bodily detriment. The difference is akin to knowing you’ll be giving a presentation two weeks in advance verses being surprised the day before.

Since normal immune responses are highly dependent upon the time of day, a time shift like DST puts the body in a pro-inflammatory state and desynchronizes the sympathetic tone-signals of the autonomic nervous system to keep the body at homeostasis. Circadian disruptions often lead to sleep deprivation, fatigue and related effects: moodiness, cognitive sluggishness, slow reaction times, etc.

The adverse impact of DST typically sorts itself out after a couple of days. Recovery can be hastened by acclimating to the change gradually such as waking up and then going to bed 30 minutes earlier on the days leading up to DST. Ensuring that your body is receiving the nutrition it needs to function properly and avoiding alcoholic beverages. Exercising and safely spending time in the sun accelerate this process as well. Occasionally using supplemental melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal glad, can be useful in alleviating symptoms related to circadian disruption if a deficiency exists.  Even adding cryotherapy to your regimen in the days surrounding DST. Cryotherapy has been research-proven to reduce inflammation, positively affect the immune system, revitalize the blood with increased nutrients, reduce pain, and improve sleep—and it only takes 3 minutes!

 

Cryotherapy: Faster Than a Starbucks?

Faster than a Starbucks drivethru--and better for you.

Cooler than SnapChat--and no need for WiFi.

Healthier than quinoa--and easier to pronounce.

Don't believe me? In a society full of quick fixes that are almost always less than satisfying, it is easy to add cryotherapy to the long list of quick solutions that simply don't produce. But elite athletes and regular Joe's alike are finding that the 3-minute therapy actually lives up to the hype.

Athletes are finding faster recovery times from workouts and injuries, while weekend warriors are experiencing reduced pain and inflammation outside of the nine to five grind.

There will always be a reason not to try something, but gaining a huge reward on an small investment is certainly worth the time. After all, it's only 3 minutes.

Natural vs. Pharmaceutical: Best for YOUR Body?

Do you habitually pop an Advil or Aleve to knock out that persistent pain?  If you are like most Americans over age 40, you do.  But should you?

NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) were designed as low-dose, short-term pain relievers that also curb inflammation.  If you deal with inflammation daily, NSAIDs are not for you.

Did you know that research indicates NSAIDs raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke when taken in higher doses over prolonged periods?  They can also cause stomach bleeding.  Side effects most commonly happen if you take large doses over a long time (months or years).

Common side effects of NSAIDs include:

  • Stomach pain and heartburn
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Allergic reactions such as rashes, wheezing, and throat swelling
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Leg swelling

natural anti-inflammatory mechanisms

There is good news, though.  Our bodies were created with an amazing capacity to self-heal when we eat natural foods, take natural supplements and use natural therapies that activate those healing mechanisms.

Cold therapies like whole body cryotherapy, light therapies like low level laser therapy (LLLT), soft tissue therapies like HyperIce vibration and massage therapies all activate your body's self-healing mechanisms--without any side effects.

You can find relief from chronic pain and inflammation without pharmaceuticals.  Treat your body naturally--you deserve it!

 

Top 7 Natural Inflammation Fighters

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We like things in sevens around here, because the number 7 signifies perfection in the Bible and because it signifies touchdowns on the football field (we hate field goals).  So, here are the perfect 7 inflammation fighters.

Turmeric/Curcumin: Turmeric’s primary compound, curcumin, is its active anti-inflammatory component. Documented for its affects against inflammation in numerous circumstances, turmeric health benefits prove invaluable in an anti-inflammatory diet.  The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds. It found that aspirin (Bayer, etc.) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) are least potent, while curcumin is among the most potent anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative agents in the world.

Ginger: Research is showing how beneficial this spice can be in regards to reducing inflammation and expediting muscle recovery. Studies have shown that ginger not only has hypoalgesic effects in osteoarthritis patients, but it also can reduce muscle pain associated with post-exercise soreness (Black et al., 2009; Herring et al., 2009).  Due to these strong anti-inflammatory effects, ginger has been clinically shown to reduce knee pain in osteoarthritic patients (Altman & Marcussen, 2001). The main anti-inflammatory effects of ginger come from its ability to inhibit prostaglandin biosynthesis, a discovery that was made in the 1970's (Grzanna et al., 2005).

Quercetin (Olive oil, citrus, dark colored berries): One antioxidant in particular stands out as an especially strong anti-inflammatory, and that’s quercetin. Found in citrus, olive oil and dark-colored berries, quercetin is a flavonoid (a beneficial substance or phytonutrient that’s prevalent in fresh foods) that fights inflammation and even cancer.

Bone Broth: Bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and others. They contain chondroitin sulfates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.

Coconut Oil: So much can be written about the way herbs and oils work together to form anti-inflammatory partnerships. Lipids (fats) and spices create strong anti-inflammatory compounds, especially coconut oil and the components of turmeric.  In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil reduced inflammation and healed arthritis more effectively than leading medications.

Chia Seeds: Chia is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory powerhouse, containing essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including sulfur, iron, iodine,  magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine.  Chia seeds’ ability to reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure make it extremely beneficial to consume for heart health.  Also, by reversing oxidative stress, someone is less likely to develop atherosclerosis when they’re regularly consuming chia seeds.

Cryotherapy: Developed by a Japanese rheumatologist to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, whole body cryotherapy is a fast, research-proven therapy that activates your body's natural inflammation fighters through sudden exposure to dry, extremely cold air.  Your body responds to rapid cooling by shunting blood from your extremities and to your vital organs, where your body's cardiovascular system eliminates toxins and replenishes the blood with oxygen, nutrients, red blood cells and anti-inflammatory enzymes.

Sources:

https://draxe.com/anti-inflammatory-foods/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705881,00.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/02/anti-inflammatory-foods-herbs-spices.aspx

 

 

Cryotherapy Boosts Your Metabolic Rate to Burn Fat?

Do you like the thought of fat?  Whether it's the health risks like heart conditions and diabetes that are associated with fat, or the aesthetic concerns of an oversized "base" and jiggly thighs, we hate fat.  So, can cryotherapy increase your metabolic rate to burn fat?

Research now shows two types of fat: white fat (bad!) and brown fat (good!).  Unlike white fat, which stores excess energy, brown fat burns energy to keep us warm. Brown fat gets its hue from relatively high levels of mitochondria, the cell’s power station.

And brown fat can be induced to burn energy through repeated exposure to cold.  Whole body cryotherapy activates this biochemical process by stimulating the release of norepinephrine, which is turn activates the energy pathway to produce thermogenesis (increases metabolic rate).  Norepinephrine essentially fools the mitochondria in brown fat to think they are not producing enough heat to warm the body, so the mitochondria ramps up fat metabolism (i.e. the body burns more fat for energy, which produces heat).

Spending time in the cold makes your brown fat more active, and could even cause you to grow new brown-fat cells, according to a 2014 study conducted by National Institutes of Health researchers and published in the journal Diabetes.  Theoretically, people who regularly expose themselves to extreme cold produce more brown fat, which in essence is training their bodies to burn fat as energy.

As quoted in The Scientific American, researcher Jon Dempersmier at UC Berkley said “Brown fat is active, using up calories to keep the body warm,” said Dempersmier. “It’ll burn fat, it’ll burn glucose. So the idea is that if we can harness this, we can try to use this in therapy for weight loss and for diabetes.”

Further research is currently underway at schools like the University of Texas, UC-Berkely and other top research institutions.  You could wait for their findings, or find out the truth for yourself.  Come realize what so many have experienced: cryotherapy really does boost your metabolic rate!

 

Sources

Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/supercharging-brown-fat-to-battle-obesity/

UC Berkey Research: http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/01/08/energy-burning-brown-fat-protein/

National Institute of Health: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/shivering-triggers-brown-fat-produce-heat-burn-calories

 

 

 

Top 10 Reasons to Try Cryotherapy

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Research (http://championcryotherapy.net/cryotherapy-research/) shows cryotherapy has a positive effect on a wide variety of conditions and uses.  Should you try cryotherapy?  Here are the Top 10 reasons you should consider it:

Cryotherapy Reduces Pain and Inflammation

10. To decrease inflammation, including arthritis
Cryotherapy activates the body's natural inflammatory fighters, by prompting the circulatory system to first remove inflammatory enzymes and toxins, and then to replenish the blood with oxygen, nutrients and red blood cells.

9. To relieve chronic and acute pain
In addition to the above, Cryotherapy stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals released by the brain to moderate and alleviate pain.

Cryotherapy accelerates muscle recovery

8. To boost recovery from intense exercise and injury
Replenished, nutrient-rich blood elevates your body's condition as it speeds recovery from the stresses of exercise.

8. To get better results from your training and exercise
Accelerated recovery allows you to train more frequently and intensely.

Cryotherapy Enhances Overall Wellness

6. To fight stress and anxiety
Endorphins lower heart rate and blood pressure, encouraging a calm and relaxed body.

5. To treat insomnia and jet lag
Endorphins activate a mild sedative response, making it easier to sleep.

4. To tone skin and smooth complexion
Cryotherapy promotes the release of collagen, which leads to enhanced complexion and skin elasticity.

Cryotherapy increases energy, mental acuity and caloric burn

3. To increase metabolic rate (i.e. burn more calories)
Cryotherapy tricks the body to create thermogenesis (heat), which increases metabolic rate for 4 to 6 hours post-session. Your body burns between 500-800 calories above baseline during that time-frame.

2. To heighten energy level
Increased metabolic rate means increases energy. and mental acuity (nutrient-rich blood flows to extremities and your brain).

1. To enhance mental acuity
Replenished, nutrient-rich blood flows to your brain as well as your extremities.  Students and professionals have vouched for the benefits of mental focus, energy and endurance in studying and work.

We will take a deep dive into each one of these benefits in future posts, but as you see cryotherapy can enhance your life in many ways.  Our members most appreciate the fact that these benefits come from a natural therapy that takes just 3 minutes!  Which benefit are you most intrigued by?  It does not matter, because you don't have to settle for just one!