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Restaurant patrons have long used calculators to figure out how much to tip their waiter. Now, it appears calculators are needed before ordering for those who want to really know how many calories they’re about to eat.

Menus might list how many calories an entree contains but they don’t always break it down to individual serving, according to a new study published in the Journal of Urban Health. Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center also found that some nutritional information was posted in a way that consumers could end up eating twice as many calories as intended.

The discovery comes at a pivotal time for Americans. More than two-thirds of adults are either overweight or struggling with obesity. The added weight has put many people at risk for associated health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Federal lawmakers passed a law in 2010 to help people make better nutritional choices and lose weight. Restaurants nationwide that have 20 or more locations must provide calorie data and nutritional information for menu items and self-service foods.

But the study from Columbia University Medical Center researchers raises questions about its effectiveness.

“Although most postings were legally compliant, they did not demonstrate utility,” the study’s authors wrote. “Menu postings for individual servings are easily understood, but complex math skills are needed to interpret meals designed to serve more than one person. In some items, calories doubled depending on flavor, and the calorie posting did not give enough information to make healthier selections.”

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As many parents know, athletic injuries are not reserved for the professional athletes playing in front of thousands in a stadium.

Proper training and seeking treatment when needed begins when a child dons their first sports uniform.

Many children will be playing baseball and softball in the next few weeks. Although baseball and softball have lower rates of injury compared to other sports, it’s the degree of injury severity that has pediatricians concerned.

To reduce the number of overuse injuries that occur among children, the American Academy of Pediatrics  issued this week some basic recommendations for parents and coaches.

First, children need to be taught proper training and conditioning, which includes correct throwing mechanics to avoid injury, according to a press release from the AAP.

“Not everyone may know exactly when an athlete begins to show signs of overuse,” said Dr. Stephen Rice, who co-wrote the AAP policy statement. “But it is important to know to never pitch when one’s arm is tired or sore. Athletes must respect the limits imposed on throwing, including pitch counts and rest periods.”

Other recommendations from the AAP include:

  • Be prepared to call 911 if necessary. Have access to an automated external defibrillator if a player experiences cardiac arrest.
  • Postpone or cancel games during extreme weather.
  • Repeat instruction and practice for young baseball and softball players so they can acquire basic skills while learning the fundamentals of the game.

“Baseball is America’s pastime,” said Dr. Joseph Congeni, who co-wrote the policy statement. “In order to minimize the risk of injury and maximize enjoyment of the game, coaches, parents and youth baseball and softball players should be familiar with an ‘ounce of prevention’ guidelines. Being aware of a few issues regarding overuse, appropriate equipment, environmental factors and those rare but catastrophic injuries, can help accomplish these goals and ensure kids are having fun and staying healthy playing ball.”

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Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, personal training, senior health, core stability and strength, personal trainer, certified training, sports performance specialistAccording to recent data, there are approximately 100 million Americans suffering from body pain. Up to 90 percent of these chronic pain sufferers don’t get the relief they’re looking for with their current pain medication. As the popularity of holistic and non-invasive treatment options grows, we’d like to take a minute to review some misunderstood and often overlooked pain remedies:

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can be an effective way to alleviate all types of musculoskeletal and neuropathic types of pain. Whether you have arthritis pain or fibromyalgia, a primary goal of physical therapy is to help chronic pain patients become stronger and learn how to avoid injury or re-injury.
  • Exercise: A consistent exercise routine can help control pain. In fact exercising alone or with a certified personal trainer for just 30 minutes a day at least three or four days a week can help with chronic pain management by increasing endurance, muscle strength, joint stability and flexibility in the muscle.
  • Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is an effective part of pain relief and management because it can reduce inflammation and swelling and soothe stiff, sore muscles. While other physical therapy programs focus on strengthening and stretching, massage therapists can release the muscles, soft tissue, and softening restricted tissue.
  • Kinesio Taping™: Clinically tested, taping is used to help correct muscle imbalances, decrease pain and swelling and promote healing. It has been used to treat such things as tennis elbow, rotator cuff strain, plantar fasciitis, patellar tracking, and low back pain, as well as joint and arthritis pain.

The next time you think about reaching for a pill, consider seeking out a variety of treatment options for your pain; you may find a cheaper and more reliable solution in the physical therapy clinic or gym – instead of the pharmacy. A conversation with your primary care doctor can help educate you about what other treatment options are available.

Source: America: A Nation In Pain

Fans of celebrity physician Dr. Oz appreciate his direct approach to solving health problems.

The TV show host has a wonderful way of conveying important health information in simple terms. Now he’s sending video messages around the web. Fans can pick from a variety of health topics,, which range from sleep problems to fitness tips.

My favorite has to be Dr. Oz’s simple tips for weight loss. When put into place, they can really help people lose weight:

  • Find a buddy who wants to lose weight, too. Working out and eating healthy meals is easier when you do it with a friend.
  • Eat more often because you’ll likely eat less. Also eat within an hour of waking up to keep your hunger at bay.
  • Watch portion sizes. Meat servings should weigh no more than 3 ounces – that’s about the size of a deck of cards. Starch servings should be no bigger than the size of your fist.
  • Switch to a smaller plate size; you’ll eat less.

Alice Warchol is a freelance health blog writer and fitness instructor.

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For some women, pelvic pain is a daily barrier to enjoying life. After several months and visits to a urologist, a woman can face a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (IC) a chronic condition of uncomfortable bladder pressure, bladder pain and pelvic pain, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, or some other source of pelvic pain.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an estimated 3.3 million U.S. women, or 2.7 percent, who are 18 years of age or older have pelvic pain and other symptoms, such as urinary urgency or frequency.

Luckily, patients with these conditions may benefit from a variety of non-invasive treatments. Lifestyle changes, like eliminating caffeine, processed foods, and alcohol from your diet, can decrease bladder irritation and inflammation. Stress management and a physical therapy program under the guidance of an experienced physical therapist can also make a big difference in helping women cope with and overcome pelvic pain and pelvic disorders.

You don’t have to suffer in silence, find a pelvic pain specialist near you here in Hampton Roads.

Source: Sioux City Journal “There is Help for Patients Suffering from IC”

physical therapist, physical therapy, back pain, spine pain, orthopaedic surgery, orthopaedic rehabilitation, physical therapists, Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, cervical disc, back health, postureBack pain sufferers are often wary of exercising their back muscles for fear of exacerbating or worsening an injury. However, for some lower back pain sufferers, regular stretching and exercise, under the guidance of a professional, can relieve pain and improve range of motion, with patience, time and effort.

Treating and strengthening sore back muscles can be done in a variety of ways:

  • A Heating Pad: Heat is one of the most reliable ways to help relax tight muscles. Relaxed muscles are easier to stretch and are less likely to get injured than stiff muscles. 20 minutes of “heat therapy” a day can go a long way in loosening and relieving pain in a tight back muscle.
  • Stretching: Stretching will help to relieve tension or stress on the back muscles. There are a couple of good stretches you can do to target the lower back.
    • Option 1: Lie flat on your back on the floor with legs stretched out in front of you. Pull one knee up to your chest and hug it with your arms to your chest. Feel a stretch in your lower back, but do not pull so hard that your cause pain. Gently release and straighten the leg and repeat with the opposite leg. This may also be done with both legs at once.
    • Option 2: This exercise is known as “child’s pose.” Kneel on the floor, with your knees tucked under you. Place your palms flat on the floor and stretch them out in front of you as far as you can reach. Hold this position for a few seconds. As you pull your hands back to you, roll the stretch through your back. Repeat a few times as desired.
  • Strengthening: When it comes to strengthening the muscles in the lower back, we recommend you find a personal trainer or gym professional to help correct your form – at least when first embarking on an exercise routing. Your trainer will guide you through a set of weight or core exercises designed to target and strengthen the muscles in your lower back. The stronger these muscles are the less likely you are to suffer from pain; the muscles act as a support system that enables free movement and flexibility. When done slowly and consistently exercise can relieve any lower back pain – the key is to do them regular in addition to your stretching exercises.

Always remember to check with your doctor when you try something new, and to always use common sense. If you are suffering from severe pain or you feel like your back pain is getting worse, you should consider consulting the advice of a back specialist.

+ Find a personal trainer near you to help you strengthen your back and relieve pain!

Source: News Olio “Back pain: Tips to strengthen a sore lower back”

It’s that time of year I dread as a fitness instructor. The mid-part of February when so many people give up going to the gym.

I think I know what happens. Or really, what doesn’t happen: instant weight-loss.

If you joined the gym this January and have been exercising regularly, I have to ask you something: Did you remember that fitness begins in the kitchen?

It’s not a pleasant topic. Nobody likes change. But if you really want your time on the treadmill and the hours you spend lifting weights to count, you have to think about what you eat. Exercise and eating healthy meals work wonders for weight-loss when you do them at the same time.

Personally, I think dragging myself to the gym for a heart-pumping aerobic workout is a lot easier than saying no to the double chocolate brownies sitting on my kitchen counter. (They’re a treat for the kids.)

When I talk to people at the gym where I work, I realize that most of them just don’t know what they should be eating. That’s why it’s so important to learn about nutrition and seek advice from someone qualified to give it, not  – ahem – a magazine that promises amazing abs in 10 days.

Instant weight-loss equals instant disappointment.

Alice Warchol is a freelance health blog writer and fitness instructor.

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marathon runner, running analysis, gait analysis, bon secours in motion physical therapy and sports performance, sports performance specialists, triathlete, marathonTraining for endurance sports, like the 2015 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, 8k, is a marathon, not a sprint. Like any long-term pursuit, it can be easy to lose sight of your end goals during long training sessions and setbacks. However, you can set yourself up for success by taking a serious approach to your training and knowing your VO2 Max.

VO2 Max, short for maximal oxygen uptake, is the measure of your ability to utilize oxygen while exercising.  VO2 max is typically expressed as liters of oxygen per minute and is also known as aerobic capcity. It allows you to know your capacity to create the energy required for endurance exercises.  It is an important factor in determining if you can exercise vigorously for longer than four or five minutes.

Your VO2 max capacity is measured  through a 30 minute assessment, during which you undergo increasingly difficult exercise while we measure your oxygen use. Ideally, you are attached to the oxygen measuring device while exercising on a machine that matches your sport. For instance, a runner would be on a treadmill and a rower on a rowing machine.

To a degree, you can train yourself to increase your VO2 max capacity can be trained. You can take more than a minute off of your 5k time by increasing your VO2 max by 10 percent, even without changing other factors. While your sedentary VO2 max values are determined by genetics, you can make drastic improvements in your exercise VO2 max through training.

Getting an accurate measure of your VO2 max requires some specialized equipment. Learn more about VO2 Max testing or schedule an appointment at one of our Sports Performance clinics!

Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, football, concussion management, sports performance specialists, athletic trainers, sports injury, concussion rehabilitation, acl tear, athletic injury, sports medicine, combine preparatory trainingWith research showing that developing brains are more susceptible to injury, some experts are calling for the end of youth football programs and contact sports to help avoid traumatic consequences.

A recent article published by The Post Game on the fate of youth football in America states:

“According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, between 4 percent and 20 percent of college and high school football players will sustain a brain injury during the course of one season; a report cited by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta estimates that about one in 10 high school players suffers a concussion. The Boston Globe recently reported that emergency room visits for youth sports-related traumatic brain injuries went up 62 percent from 2001 to 2009. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has labeled sports concussions “an epidemic,” reported last year that roughly 122,000 youths between the ages of 10 and 19 went to emergency rooms for nonfatal brain injuries. For boys, the top cause of injury was playing football.”

While a concussion diagnosis doesn’t always lead to a visit to the emergency room, doctors are seeing a rise in the number of sports-related concussions among children and adolescents. Health care professionals believe these numbers are on the rise because more coaches and physicians are educated and willing to diagnose concussions where they would have previously diagnosed them as minor head injuries. Still, some speculate that parents and coaches may be missing up to 9 out of 10 concussions.

Growing recognition of the potentially catastrophic consequences of brain injuries among younger athletes recently led the Canadian Paediatric Society to release a new position statement in January warning that “Because their brains are still developing, children and adolescents are more vulnerable to head injury and take longer to recover from concussions than adults,” according to Dr. Laura Purcell, the CPS statement’s author. In fact, the CDC states that younger athletes are at increased risk for traumatic brain injuries that are more severe and more difficult to recover from.

Boys over the age of 10 tend to lead in multiple concussions due to “high-energy risk taking,” but, while specialists tend to see mostly preteen and adolescent boys for concussions, girls are catching up. And the research shows that a young person who suffers from one concussion is more likely to suffer from another. Studies have linked a history of two or more concussions with a high rate of cognitive issues, including headaches, memory problems, mood swings, and impacted classroom performance.

Though the jarring impact may not result in a blackout, victims are also at risk for life-threatening complications, like or second-impact syndrome, in which an athlete suffers a second concussion while still recovering from a previous one. Though the precise physiological cause is uncertain, the outcome is a fatal or severely debilitating swelling of the brain.

Last year, concussion expert Robert Cantu suggested to the Boston Globe that children under 14 should not be allowed to play collision sports unless those activities are modified to eliminate head blows, and that athletes under the age of 18 should be prohibited from enduring more than an agreed-upon number of blows to the head during a particular period of time. What would those numbers look like? As a starting point, the Cantu’s company suggested no more than 1,000 hits in a season, and no more than 2,000 in a calendar year.

So how can we protect our children’s brains? Aside from educating yourself about the signs and symptoms of concussion and taking the necessary safeguards and risk management steps, many believe that concussion safety is “a matter of risk acceptance.” Anxious or worried parents and coaches can rely on experts trained in the most current proactive concussion management practices. At Bon Secours In Motion, our Certified Impact Consultant Physicians, specially trained physical therapists and athletic trainers will help get you back in the game. Measuring brain function with the ImPACT™ Neurocognitive Test, our experts can monitor an athlete’s symptoms to ensure that their recovery is progressing adequately.

Source: The Post Game: “End Game: Brain Trauma And The Future Of Youth Football In America”, The Vancouver Sun “Concussions hit the young hardest: Experts”

You wake up in the morning with a runny nose and a sore throat. Should you keep your workout plans or draw the line and stay home?

As a general rule, mild to moderate physical activity won’t hurt you if you have a normal cold with no fever. In fact, exercise can help alleviate cold symptoms by clearing nasal congestion.

However, you should stay home if you have “below the neck” symptoms, like chest congestion, a hacking cough, or an upset stomach. If you have a fever or muscle aches you’re better off on the couch than the treadmill.

Remember to listen to your body. If you feel awful, take a break from exercise. If you have a common cold and think some activity might help you feel free to workout, but reduce the intensity and length of your session so that you don’t risk more serious injury or illness.

When in doubt check with your doctor!

Source: Mayo Clinic “Exercise and Illness”