Vitamin D: Consider A Supplement During Winter Months

Over the past weekend many parts of the U.S. turned their clocks backwards one hour, which means we are now in “Standard Time”.  I like to think of this as “daylight losing time”. Our afternoons get darker earlier. With fewer opportunities for sunlight exposure we’ve got fewer opportunities to make a critical component of health, fitness, and athletic performance: Vitamin D.

In addition to the general health benefits noted above there is reasonable evidence that a proper blood Vitamin D level can reduce the chance of testing positive for Covid-19.

In today’s post I’ll briefly describe where Vitamin D comes from, outline Vitamin D’s effects on sports performance and fitness, and what to do if you need to get more Vitamin D in your body.

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Exercise Is A Great Election Day Stress Buster

Today, national Election Day in the United States is likely to be a stressful day for many people. In fact, if projections are correct we will probably not know the final results of the Presidential election for several days. That will undoubtedly create even more stress.

This blog site focuses on health and wellness, with an emphasis on evidence directed recommendations. So here’s one bit of advice that’s backed by exceptionally strong evidence: there’s no part of your life that isn’t improved by exercise. This goes for stress around the election too.

The message today is short and simple: any type of movement-based exercise is a fantastic stress buster.

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Toes or Heels?  Revisiting The Runner’s Debate

Dev Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Medical Director, Apeiron Life Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Institute For Joint Restoration, Menlo Park, CA   October 27, 2020 Key Points: Forefoot strike running can reduce impact forces on the leg, leading to a reduced risk of some types of running injuries However, the transition from…

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Intermittent Fasting: A Weight Loss Method You Might Not Know About

I will frequently tell my orthopedic patients that there’s “no joint condition in your body that can’t be improved with weight reduction”. Many folks think that’s a crazy notion but there are strong mechanical reasons why it’s true.

If someone buys into that, the next question frequently is “how do I lose weight if exercise causes my low back/hips/knees to hurt?”

One method you can consider is intermittent fasting, which can often jumpstart a weight reduction program if other things you’ve tried aren’t working.

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Use It Or Lose It? Exercise Can Be Hard To Do Now.

So many folks are just plain tired now. It seems that many events around us are sapping us of our energy. You did the best you could for the first several months. Your gym was closed, no bootcamps happening, impossible to get home exercise equipment. Now, many people have lost their desire to train.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “use it or lose it”.  How many days or weeks can you miss from exercise and still keep your level of fitness? It turns out that for most healthy adults in their 20s and 30s you can take 2 to 3 weeks off and still retain most of your strength and cardiovascular fitness. The amount of time off can be even longer if you are a teenager, and unfortunately it’s shorter if you are an older active adult.

For all age groups the good news is that you will lose some conditioning when you stop exercise, but fitness predictably will return when you start exercising again.

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When Can I Play Again: High Ankle Sprain

I’ve recently written about common ankle sprains, but there is a different type of ankle sprain, often called a “high ankle sprain” that happens when body rotation is combined with forceful contact. What is the difference between a common ankle sprain and a high ankle sprain? And why do athletes with a high ankle sprain seem to be out for a longer period of time? The explanations center on the anatomy of the ankle and the different ligaments injured in a common vs. high ankle sprain.

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Habits For Healthy Living

Practicing five habits consistently may add 10 years or more to your life, according to a landmark 2018 study from Harvard University researchers. Additionally, the quality of our social interactions has a major effect on healthspan, especially as we age.

The best part? All of these daily habits can be done now during our Covid restrictions.

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When Can I Play Again?: Ankle Sprain

People are coming into my clinical office again with ankle sprains, and this makes me happy. No, I’m not happy because they’re hurt, but I am happy because it means that folks are slowly finding a way to safely navigate our Covid restrictions and get back to sports.

An ankle sprain is an injury that’s typically brushed off as a minor inconvenience by the athlete. Most athletes will try to power through and keep playing. But this is a classic injury where early proper management will speed recovery and reduce a chance for a reinjury. Conversely, ignoring it can lead to more severe sprains and chronic problems.

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Continuous Glucose Monitoring- Is It Right For You?

Our metabolism is comprised of a complex set of cellular processes that result in energy production in our body. Regulation of insulin and glucose are critical to metabolic regulation. Insulin is not easy to measure, but glucose is a blood sugar that’s easily measured. For type 1 and type 2 diabetics, measuring blood sugar is a key component of health maintenance.

Continuous glucose measurement (CGM) is a technology that allows a person to monitor glucose levels in real-time, without having to prick your finger for a blood sample. This technology has been a game changer for diabetics, allowing very precise control of insulin dosing in type 1 diabetics, and monitoring response to foods and exercise for type 2 diabetics.

Why would someone who’s not a diabetic want to use a continuous glucose monitor? The theory is that getting this extremely precise data will allow someone to take steps before a problem like type 2 diabetes sets in, and by doing so you’ll lose body fat, get to your optimal body weight, and reduce your chances for chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

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Low Vitamin D Increases Covid-19 Risk

This week I’ll highlight two interesting studies linking low Vitamin D levels to increased Covid-19 risk. Both of these studies suggest that low Vitamin D levels are independent risk factors for Covid-19 risk, meaning that there is something about the low Vitamin D level in the body that leads to the increased risk, without other contributing factors.

In my experience, a surprising number of adults have low Vitamin D levels. Given that it’s so easy to increase your Vitamin D level either through a modest increase in sunlight exposure, proper food sources, or through supplementation, this represents an easily controllable way to reduce risk of Covid-19.

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