CLASS: A new 6-week Pelvic Power Class (for women) begins Wednesday, June 15 at noon Call to register. Cost is $108 for the 6-week session.
THE SHAKESPEARE MOMENT
All day, everyday we make decisions that affect who and what we are. In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the prince states “To be or not to be, that is the question”. Most of the personal decisions we make answer that question for the moment in which the decision is made. When we are in a moment where we must choose a specific action, these moments can be referred to as “Shakespeare Moments”.
You experience your first Shakespeare Moment when you hear your alarm go off in the morning. You must decide if you want to be awake or not be awake. If you decide to be awake and get out of bed, you will probably have enough time to eat a decent breakfast, make good decisions about what clothing to wear, enjoy some of the newspaper, and have ample of time to commute to work.
If you decide not to be awake and hit the snooze button a few times, you will probably eat whatever is handy, throw on some clothes that “will do”, not even look at the newspaper and rush off to whatever form of commuting you use, worrying if you will make it on time.
So the decision you make during your first Shakespeare Moment may set the stage for the rest of the day.
Let’s say you decided to be awake and get up when the alarm goes off. The next Shakespeare Moment may occur when you decide what to eat for breakfast. Do you want to be fueled enough to keep you alert until lunch in 4 to 5 hours? Do you want to be energized for only 2-3 hours (and be able to snack before lunchtime)? Your choice of food will then depend on what condition you want for yourself. For example, protein (milk, yogurt, egg whites) added to complex carbohydrates (whole grains, cereal) will fuel you for a longer period than adding more simple carbohydrates like fruit.
Now it is time to get dressed. Your next Shakespeare Moment is deciding who you want to be when others see you. Do you want to be seen as more professional today, or will a more casual look be appropriate for the type of business you will do today. Your choice of clothing will reflect who you want or need to be that day.
Throughout the day, many decisions are based on factors beyond your control, such as demands of business; however, Shakespeare Moments will occur whenever personal decisions are involved.
Once the workday is over (or anytime for that matter), one of the most difficult Shakespeare Moments occurs; specifically, to be active or not to be active. To be active requires a time and energy commitment; not to be active is easy and relaxing. To be active will be healthy and make you feel good; not to be active is unhealthy and makes you feel lazy. So it’s healthy and feeling good requiring time and energy vs. unhealthy and lazy requiring no time or energy. Decisions, decisions…
There are many things that influence your decisions, not the least of which is your state of mind. If you are already stressed out by having been forced to make too many decisions that day, you may take the easiest, least stressful route (i.e. not exercise). Sometimes that is okay, but if you continually take the easy way out, a pattern begins to form and you may become what you don’t want to be, less healthy with decreased stamina, more body fat, and less inclined to change this pattern. The consequence of taking the least stressful route usually ends in dissatisfaction on many levels, both mentally and physically.
So, when those Shakespeare Moments occur, it is best to think about the consequences of your decision as it relates to the real question; that is, who do you want to be, or not want to be?
WHEN YOU OVERDO EXERCISE (from the American College of Sports Medicine Sports Bulletin, May 24, 2011)
Your last workout felt really good when you finished — but the next morning, you can barely walk to the bathroom or lift an arm to brush your teeth.
Such are the painful rewards of delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, a result of microscopic tears to muscle fibers that occur when you run faster, lunge deeper, crunch harder or lift more than usual. The damage ignites an inflammatory response as the muscle repairs itself, causing pain that peaks 24 to 48 hours after the activity and dissipates in five to seven days, said Carol Torgan, ACSM health consultant.
Contrary to popular belief, next-day soreness is not caused by a build up of lactic acid, a normal byproduct of muscle metabolism responsible for the burn you feel during exercise. Lactic acid quickly leaves your muscles afterward.
Enter the ache – DOMS is most common after a new activity or exercises involving “eccentric muscle contractions,” which is when the muscle lengthens, such as when you lower the weight in bicep curls.
Next-day soreness is usually a good thing. The tear-and-repair process forces the muscle to adapt, so that the next time you do the same exercise there’s less damage, less soreness and less recovery time — basically, you’re stronger; therefore, you need a specific amount of muscle damage (soreness), if you want to grow and gain strength. So, how do you deal with the muscle soreness?
Do lighter exercise: When muscles are sore, they leak proteins from their cells into the bloodstream and can’t generate their usual force. So you have to put far less pressure on sore muscles, or you risk injuring them and delaying recovery.
Sore muscles heal faster if you just rest, but just sitting back and resting can cause muscles to get stiff. When you exert slight pressure on sore muscles, such as through light running, biking or very light weight lifting, however, you cause the muscle fibers to become more fibrous, so they can later withstand greater stress during your harder workouts. It’s a delicate balance.
No one knows for sure how much damage is necessary to get the muscle to adapt, said Priscilla Clarkson, professor of kinesiology at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, but some soreness is probably essential.
Stay hydrated: It’s important to stay hydrated while you’re sore to flush the kidneys and prevent protein buildup in the blood, said Clarkson, a fellow with theAmericanCollege of Sports Medicine. Watch your urine to make sure it’s a light yellow, she said; if your urine turns brown, you’re on your way to rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which the proteins from muscle breakdown flood the bloodstream and impair kidney function.
Work up, cool down: There’s little you can do to prevent DOMS. Cooling down helps remove lactic acid that gives you that muscle burn during exercise, and stretching can help prevent a pulled muscle, but neither stretching nor cooling down will do anything to prevent next-day soreness. Your best bet to mitigate soreness is to gradually build up to strenuous exercise with lighter versions of the activity over several days prior. (Weekend warriors should heed this advice.)
Temporary relief: There’s also little you can do to speed recovery from soreness. Massage, ice, stretching, a warm bath or taking an anti-inflammatory can make your muscles feel better temporarily, but they won’t make them heal faster.
Diet: Eating foods with protein and sugar within an hour of hard exercise speeds muscle recovery because the spike in insulin drives protein into the cells. It is best to get that sugar from natural carbs such as potatoes.
Be smart: In some cases, what you think is soreness could be injury. See a doctor if:
•You have acute, sharp pain as opposed to the dull burn of soreness.
•The pain is only on one side of your body (soreness is usually symmetrical).
•The pain gets worse during light exercise.
•The pain hasn’t dissipated in seven days.