In November of 2011, for some unknown reason, I took my sister up on an idea to join a training group through Fleet Feet, Schererville, IN. We met several great people including our main trainer-coach, Steve Hoye. We would be walking/jogging 3 times a week at various intervals. The goal was that after 10 weeks of training we would walk/jog a 5K.
"Well", you might say, "Why is that such a big deal?" I have MS! "Yes", MS and that is not an abbreviation for Mississippi.....I was diagnosed in 2000. As a part of our training we were given several brochures, business cards and presentations from various sport "gurus". I went to my first two weeks of training and thought, "Wow, this isn't going to be too bad." Just as silently as the MS came over me, so did some major tightening and cramping of my calves to the point where I could barely move. It seems a slate of issues became apparent including knee pain and hamstrings to boot. With MS you don't like to tell people you have it; you want people to get to know you and not your illness. So, I mentioned to Steve, our trainer-coach, that I was having some problems (I didn't tell him about the MS.) He suggested that I see Dr. Tiffany Bozovich. I made an appointment and Dr. Tiffany gave me a "Free Screening". I might add that at first I thought she couldn't possibly be the doctor as she looked about 12! I told her that I had MS and wanted to know if the cramping was due to the MS or just the new exercising. She was very reassuring and examined me carefully and gave me several exercises I could do at home to help alleviate the symptoms. Dr. Tiffany and her advice made me feel so much better that I have continued to see her on a weekly basis and walked/jogged my first 5K this past Sunday without any pain.
I would like to recommend Dr. Tiffany to you, as I now refer to her as my MS.....my MIRACLE SUPPORTER! It is obvious that Tiffany loves her work and is extremely supportive of her patients and their needs; she has been a source of reference and of strength. If any of you watch or have watched the Biggest Loser you will know that this season is themed, "No Excuses"! Because of Dr. Bozovich, I have adopted this as my own mantra! No excuses.....as I am looking forward to a new 13 week series of training sessions and my next 5K in April thanks to Dr. Bozovich, who I know will be there with me each step of the way.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Although recent research states that stretching may not have an obvious impact on decreasing the chance of injury, it does have many benefits for athletes and couch potatoes alike. Almost everyone understands the feeling of "needing to stretch". After sitting for a long period of time and standing up, it's practically automatic for a person to stretch out the muscles that have tightened up while sitting. When muscles are tight, they need to be stretched. But how a person stretches can actually have a great impact on the effectiveness of the stretching. Always be sure that the muscles are warm prior to stretching. Some simple jumping jacks or marching in place for 2-3 minutes can do the trick. Following this quick warm up with some dynamic stretching is important. You want to allow the joints to slowly and gently reach full range of motion through movements. I've listed below my favorite dynamic stretches.
- Ankle rolls - Either sitting or standing, place one leg out in front of you and slowly roll the ankle in one direction a few times and then in the opposite direction. Focus on feeling the muscles in the foot, ankle, and lower leg "stretch" during the movement.
- Non-weighted squat - Standing with legs shoulder width apart, bend your knees, lower your bottom and keep your chest and head up. Your knees should never go beyond your feet. Only squat as low as is comfortable, and attempt to squat lower with each repetition. 5-10 should be good. If you have bad knees, try using a stability ball. Place the ball against a wall and lean your back into it. Use the ball to help you squat down and take some of the weight off of your knees.
- Arm circles - With arms outstretched to your sides at shoulder height, circle your arms in small circles about the diameter of a soccer ball. After 5-10 circles, reverse and repeat. Then increase the diameter to full range of motion of the shoulder slowly over 5-10 more reps in each direction.
- Neck rolls - Allow the head to relax to one side (ear to shoulder). Feel the stretch on the opposite side of the neck and slowly lower the head and roll to the opposite side. Roll from side to side, always keeping the head down. (You should not be doing full circles, but instead half circles from one side to another.)
Once you've completed dynamic stretching you can continue with a work out or if you are just stretching, continue on to more static stretches which are the more common stretches people know. These are the stretches that will help gain more flexibility and help build endurance in the muscles. Endurance is gained by increasing the capacity of the muscles, which can be done through stretching. It can also help relax the muscles if they are over-used or tight. Below I have listed my favorite static stretches. I recommend doing one repetition and holding for 15 seconds for each stretch. Make sure to always stretch both sides of the body!
- Neck stretch - Ear to shoulder (lateral flexion)
- Bicep stretch - Hold on to something at should height, keep elbow straight, and turn away
- Tricep stretch - Arm above head, drop hand behind head and gently use other hand to gently push elbow down.
- Deltoid stretch - stretch arm across chest, using other arm to gently pull arm across.
- Quadricep stretch - Bend your knee and pull foot behind same side buttocks. Careful to keep your knee in line with hip.
- Hamstring stretch - Stand with foot outstretched on a chair. Keep head and chest up and pull your toes of the outstretched leg towards you.
- Calf stretch - same as above with foot on the floor.
- Piriformis stretch - This one is difficult to explain. Lie on your back and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Gently grab your left thigh with both hands and pull your left knee towards you allowing your left food to come off the ground.
- Adductor stretch - while seated, put the soles of your feet together and allow knees to gently go down towards the floor. You can hold onto your feet and use your elbows to gently push the knees farther down.
If you have any questions or need tips on great ways to stretch the above muscles, please feel free to call the office. Hope this is a good start to a new stretching routine for you!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
22 days ago, I began a 3 week detoxification. I had heard good things about the company and the product and I wanted to try it for myself. The program is designed to not only rid the body of toxins, but to also retrain your brain on how to eat. It basically forces you to eat nutrient dense "good for you food" for 3 weeks in an effort to change your eating habits. Well....it worked. I'm embarrassed to say that I was drinking close to a pot of coffee a day. As soon as I woke up, it was straight to the Keurig. Today, I had half a cup with a little bit of cinnamon and almond milk and felt satisfied. I didn't even want a second cup and poured part of the first cup down the sink. Lunch today was easy. I had to go to a meeting and I ordered the grilled chicken salad with oil and vinegar dressing. I'm sure a lot of people are reading this and shaking their head at the "boring" choices I now make for my meals. The funny thing is, I don't see them as boring. The fresher the food, the better it sounds to me. I'm fitting back into my pre-pregnancy pants and feel more energized and better all together than I ever have. I wake up in the morning and get right out of bed instead of hitting the snooze 6 times. I can walk right past the bakery section of the grocery store and I can honestly say, the donuts don't even look good anymore. Well....they look good, but I don't want them. I know how I'll feel when I eat them. 21 days ago I was convinced this wasn't going to work. I was convinced I'd go right back to drinking a pot of coffee and craving sugary snacks. I'm glad I proved myself wrong. I've never felt better and I have no intentions of ever returning to my bad habits. If you'd like more information on this amazing 3 week program just send me an email and I'd be happy to share the details. Tiffanyboz@gmail.com