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Jul
1

ASK DR. SALADA – STICKING WITH YOUR WORKOUTS DURING SUMMER VACATIONS

Healhty happyIt’s officially Summer and the vacationing has begun!

Time to relax with a good read, lay out at the pool or on the beach, visit distant family and friends… But while you’re living it up during the “lazy days of Summer,” don’t neglect your workout routine.  Trust us, when the vacation ends and it’s time to get back to workday reality, you’ll be happy you didn’t.

Dr. Elizabeth Salada shares some helpful tips on how to incorporate your fitness into fun activities:

“I love summer time, because it gives us all an opportunity to ‘mix things up’ a bit and try new activities.

If you are vacationing with children and family, now is a great time to do family exercises that everyone can enjoy like snorkeling, swimming, surfing, paddle-boarding, horseback riding, bike riding, kayaking, hiking, or just walking as you explore new cities.

Staying active doesn’t always have to be considered “work.” Think about the hundreds of steps that it takes to hike a mountain or a historic building in Europe, or to the top of the Empire State Building! Now that’s a work out! You will be using muscles you never knew you had and your body, mind and spirit will love the variety.

Also, now many hotels and cruise ships have amazing fitness facilities ( some even with Total Gym Equipment in them). Set aside 15 minutes to half an hour to get a quick workout in so you won’t fall too far off track.   Staying with friends or family elsewhere? Take the opportunity to explore the fitness centers in other cities. Many clubs offer free trials of their facilities or drop-in day rates. Perhaps whomever you are staying with is a member of a gym; ask if they have free guest passes you can use during your stay.

The goal is to just continue to work out, in some capacity, every day and by the end of summer you may just be fitter than you ever imagined. It’s mind over matter really, so go enjoy the quality time away with family or friends, rest, rejuvenate, recover and keep on keeping on. Whatever you do, just keep moving!”

 

I look forward to hearing what creative adventures you discover!

Happy summer! Until next time…
Dr Salada

 

Dr. SaladaElizabeth Salada, MD

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information: http://elizabethsaladamd.com.

May
23

ASK DR. SALADA – HOW TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT WHEN WORKING OUT

iStock_000020679668XSmallMemorial Day, the unofficial start of Summer, is just around the corner.

Soon temperatures will be on the rise and your workout will be heating up, but that’s not necessarily just because you’re working harder. Believe it or not, the warmer weather impacts your workout more than you may realize.

Despite having worked out all Winter and Spring, you might find you’re having difficulty completing workouts or are feeling more drained after working out than usual.

Don’t worry worry – it’s perfectly normal.

This is a common condition called “acclimation”.

In simple terms, this just means that your body has not yet adapted to a change in climate. This can occur when the weather changes, you change your routine or you travel to a higher altitude. It can take your body anywhere from a few days to a week or so to adjust to the changes, especially when there are sudden extremes in temperatures, which happens often as we transition into Summer. If you are used to exercising outdoors, then as the weather changes your body will adapt.

A few things you can do to help your body adjust more quickly this time of year is to make sure you stay especially well hydrated. Try shortening your session by a few minutes or lessening the intensity of your routine for a few days. As soon as you feel your strength and endurance improve, go ahead and ramp things back into full swing.

In addition, avoid any alcohol, caffeine or dehydrating beverages. In fact, you may need a little extra salt in your diet in order to accommodate any additional perspiring that may occur while your body attempts to adjust to the sudden high temperatures. Perspiration is our body’s way of keeping cool, so more fluids may be needed in order to produce the additional perspiration needed to cool us down.

So, to sum things up, cut back on your routine a bit, drink healthy fluids and keep on keeping on…better health will follow and in no time you will be back up to speed!

Dr. Salada

 

Elizabeth Salada, MD

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information: http://elizabethsaladamd.com.

Sep
4

ASK DR. SALADA – EXERCISE FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS

Q:  My mother suffers from osteoarthritis of her back and hips.  What types of exercises should she be doing to keep her from making things worse and having more pain?

A: That’s a great question and one we are asked quite often.  Osteoarthritis has to do with inflammation (-itis) of the joints (osteo) of the body.  This condition is not to be confused with osteoporosis which has to do with softening of the bones due to loss of calcium.

Osteoarthritis tends to occur most often in the larger joints such as the hips, knees and back but can affect almost any joint.  It is caused from excessive wear and tear on the joints and can be aggravated by trauma, overuse and excessive pressure on the joints which tends to occur with obesity or excessive high impact sports like running.  Our joints wear out over time with resultant thinning of the tissues that provide cushioning of the joints called cartilage. Eventually the cartilage erodes completely and there is significant pain and swelling of the joint.  In the most extreme cases, the joint needs to be replaced due to the complete loss of cushion and thus loss of function due to extreme pain.

But there are exercises that can be done to help support the joint and keep it from wearing out.

Exercise that improves your range of motion such as rotating your arms or using your Total Gym for arm pull downs and squats helps to lubricate and strengthen your joints.  Anything that helps to provide support to the joint will cause less wear and tear.

Using the Total Gym for exercises like pull ups and abdominal exercises can also provide low impact, cardiovascular and muscle training and is uniquely designed to raise your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. In turn, your metabolism is raised which helps to facilitate weight loss.  Weight loss unloads the joints and keeps them from eroding.

In addition, core exercises that strengthen the abdominal and back muscles help to unload the delicate spinal joints which cause less spinal disc erosion and thus less back pain.

Osteoarthritis symptoms can be lessened by regular exercise and training.  So continue to use your Total Gym to enjoy the best of health!

Until next time, stay well and keep training!

Elizabeth Salada, MD

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information:http://elizabethsaladamd.com.

Jun
11

ASK DR. SALADA – DOES STRENGTH TRAINING STUNT GROWTH IN ADOLESCENTS?

Q: I’m in my teens and I want to start working out with the Total Gym.  Will this stunt my growth in any way?

A: The idea that working out with weights will stunt your growth is an age old myth but one the really has no scientific basis.

The growth of bones occurs when the growth plates that are located at the ends of the bones form new bone.  This process is regulated hormonally although it can be adversely affected by things like trauma.  However, the force that is generated by the action of resistance training is not significant enough to adversely effect the growth process.  

Weight or resistance strength  training actually allows you to develop stronger muscles and bones and helps build your confidence.  In addition, it benefits you as you participate in other sports since resistance training helps with balance and endurance.  One of the most important concepts to keep in mind as you perform resistance exercise is to maintain the proper form in order to minimize injury and stress on the joints and maximize muscle strength.  The greatest benefits are achieved when you perform 8-12 repetitions with weight that is slightly difficult to move.

On a final note, weight training is a great way to combat obesity that stems from inactivity and helps to encourage you to follow a healthy diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

As for the proper age for starting exercise, there really is no exact age, but you should be mature enough to pay attention and follow instructions in order to avoid injury. So, after you check with your parents and get an “ok” from your doctor, feel free to enjoy your Total Gym or other resistance or weight training type activity and have a safe healthy summer.

Until next time,

Elizabeth Salada, MD

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information:http://elizabethsaladamd.com.

Apr
16

ASK DR. SALADA – RECOVER FASTER WITH PROPER POST EXERCISE EATING

Q: I want to maximize my workouts and my recovery.  Are there special foods or supplements that can help me perform best and recover quickly?

A: This is an excellent question and can best be answered by understanding what happens to our bodies when we exercise.

Exercise causes the depletion of the glycogen stores (which are carbohydrates that are stored in muscles) and the breakdown of muscle protein.

Immediately after exercise is the ideal time to replete these stores of carbohydrates and proteins. It is critical that you eat at least six hours post exercise in order to provide the raw materials that are needed for muscle recovery.  If you fail to eat post exercise, you diminish the chance to promote full recovery of your muscles.

Muscles are the most efficient at carbohydrate and energy uptake during these six hours, so the bulk of the day’s calorie intake should ideally come during this time.

Since muscles typically need 24-48 hours to repair and rebuild, the idea is to consume enough carbohydrates in the 6-hour time frame to promote the release of a hormone called insulin which helps to shuttle carbohydrates and amino acids (the building blocks for protein repair) into the muscles.  Elevated insulin levels promote the storage of glycogen which helps to promote protein repair.  The ideal amount of carbohydrate intake is 0.8-1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight which maximizes glycogen syntheses and accelerates protein repair. The ideal amount of protein that should be consumed is 0.2-0.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. You can calculate your weight in kilograms by taking your body weight in pounds and dividing that by 2.2.

It’s best to avoid fats post workout as fats slows digestion and transit time of nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract.  Liquid supplements are ideal, especially ones that contain whey proteins and carbohydrates. Solid foods tend to be harder to digest post exercise, but if you do choose to consume solid foods, then focus on items such as fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese or even chocolate milk.

So, after your work out, maximize your recovery by consuming the ideal amounts of proteins and carbohydrates and staying well hydrated.  Our bodies perform best if we give them the proper substrates needed to rebuild.

Until, keep working out with your Total Gym and sculpting your physique!!

Elizabeth Salada, MD

 

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information: http://elizabethsaladamd.com.

 

Jan
31

Ask Dr. Salada – Exercise Relief for a Pain in the Neck

Q:  I have been spending a lot of time on the computer lately. I have noticed that my neck is really starting to bother me, and I am starting to get headaches as well. What exercises can I do to avoid these aches and pains?

A:  This is a very common problem and one that is usually due to poor body positioning and/or weakness of the shoulder and neck muscles. Strong shoulders and upper back muscles actually help to take pressure off of the neck and help maintain the head and neck in an anatomically ideal position.

The first step in avoiding chronic neck pain involves assessing the position that you are in while at your desk or computer. The elbows should be at a 90 degree angle with the work station so your hands can work with minimal involvement of the arm muscles.

Next, is the position of the shoulders. Anything that causes you to round your shoulders forward will put excessive strain on the neck. If you find that your shoulders are rounding forward while you sit at work, here are 2 simple exercises that will help to counteract this posture:

1)  The first exercise involves developing the latissimus dorsi muscles, which are located along the lower side ribs and mid back area. One way to strengthen these muscles is by performing an exercise that pulls weight against resistance from above your head, such as a Total Gym Lat Pull Down (see the exercise here). The idea is to train your shoulder muscles to be pulled down, away from your ears while at rest.

2)  The second exercise involves recruiting your back muscles, including the rhomboids, teres major and minor, to help keep your shoulders back and down away from your ears.  You can recruit these muscles by squeezing your shoulder blades together and holding that position for 30 seconds, or perform Pull-ups on Total Gym. Try this exercise by visiting http://www.totalgym.com/c-18-upright-prone.aspx and click on the “Pull-up” video.

If you do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of these exercises 3-4 days a week, that is all you need to develop healthy posture and avoid neck pain.

Find more Total Gym Back and Shoulder Exercises by visiting the NEW Exercises section of Total Gym.com at www.totalgym.com/exercises. You can search for exercises by Body Position here: http://www.totalgym.com/c-7-back.aspx.

Remember:  Avoid any exercise that requires you to push weight up and over your head, which could develop your trapezius muscles that sit high up on your shoulders and can aggravate your neck pain.

In addition, any type of stretching, range of motion or yoga exercises can help to relax your neck as well to increase your flexibility. Of course, if you are not sure of the cause of your neck pain or headaches, or if you have weakness or numbness of your hands or arms, consult your doctor as there may be more to the issue than just neck strain.

In the meantime, continue to use your Total Gym, consulting with a personal trainer or physician along the way, to ensure you are doing the exercises properly.

Keep working hard at staying well and healthy!

Until next time,

Elizabeth Salada, MD

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information: http://elizabethsaladamd.com/. 

Dec
14

Ask Dr. Salada – How can I combat holiday stress and its effects?

Q:  The holidays are so stressful with all of the “to-dos” and little time to get it all done. How can I ease the holiday stress?

A:  That’s a great question that not only applies to the holidays, but to the stress of “life” in general.  When our bodies experience “stress,” our adrenal glands, that sit just above our kidneys, release a combination of hormones that include cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The term “adrenal” fatigue occurs when we have prolonged periods of stress, resulting in the prolonged release of stress hormones. The symptoms of adrenal fatigue can include decreased energy, body and muscle aches, extreme exhaustion, poor quality or interrupted sleep, lack of mental clarity, or “brain fog,” and sometimes depression.

Exercise can help overcome the effects of stress by shutting off the adrenal hormones and instead causing the release of substances that our brain produce called endorphins. Endorphins result in feelings of relaxation, peacefulness and calmness. Exercise also helps to relax our bodies and our cardiovascular system, which helps to enhance our quality of and depth of sleep, which results in more restorative sleep.

How much exercise a person needs to maximize the release of endorphins varies from person to person and with the aerobic activity being performed. Generally, a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day of moderate intensity aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate above 100 beats per minute should be enough to at least “take the edge off” of those stressful feelings and clear your mind so that you can focus better.

So, with the stress of the holidays bearing down on us, make sure to use your Total Gym daily to relieve those “holiday blues.” Daily exercise will also help fight the weight gain that is so common this time of year!

Until next time, have a wonderful, safe, healthy and blessed Holiday Season and New Year!

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine.

 

Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information: http://elizabethsaladamd.com/.

 

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