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image credit: breaking muscle

Everyone at some point in their active career is going to face recovery from an injury.  Whether acute, chronic, sudden, or built up over time, it’s going to happen!  Here are a few ideas for preventing and treating injuries:

Use a foam roller in conjunction with other massage / stretching aids to stay loose and nimble.
“The deep compression of self-myofascial release allows normal blood flow to return and the restoration of healthy tissue. The body naturally wants to be healthy and strong, but sometimes an extra boost is needed to achieve optimal muscle and tissue health.”
-Jeff Kuhland, Breaking Muscle

Listen to your body and rest when your body is telling you to!  Overuse is a common method of injury, especially when athletes do not take the proper time and measures to let their bodies recover.

Balance your fitness routine.  Mix in a little of everything: Corps Fitness, CrossFit, Yoga, Swimming?  Keep your body guessing and get good at everything!

Tweak and re-tweak your form, make sure you’re not getting lazy!  Just because you’ve done xx before doesn’t mean you’re perfect at it.  Today is a different day.  Pay attention – there’s always room for improvement!

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Do you see a giraffe or penguin?

Did you know that what you believe is often a self-fulfilling prophecy?  Confirmation bias is “a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.” (Science Daily).

Extending this to Corps Fitness: If you perceive an exercise to be difficult or challenging for you, it probably will be!  Keep an open mind.  Take it for face value and see how it goes each day.  Don’t count yourself out before you even try something!

So you can go where you wanna go and do what you wanna do!

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Throwback to a couple previous blog posts: January 2011, Marathon runner vs sprinter – can you tell who’s in “better shape” (carried over the pic above), and July 2013: Say No to chronic cardio!

image credit: Runners World

Ryan Hall must have been reading.  After retiring from marathon running and packing 40 lbs of muscle on his previously sinewy 5′ 10″ frame (127 lbs – what?!?), he is still impressing even himself with his energy and run times.  Not too surprising, as he’s finally feeding those starved muscles!  You gotta have balance – balance in your workouts, balance in your food / energy intake, balance in your personal life.  It all ties together.

“I still weigh myself every morning, but I get bummed if I’m not putting on half a pound now, whereas in running it was the complete opposite,” Hall said. “I was always trying to knock off a pound here and there.”
-R Hall

“I feel like it’s giving life to my body instead of taking it away,” he said. “Now I can go run and not feel fatigued and feel good. But I’m also doing so much less running-wise than I ever have—like, 12 miles a week compared to 12 miles a day.”
– R Hall

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Who knew one small board could cause so much misery?

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What’s your take?  CF provides balance in an otherwise 1-sided world: we offer a little of everything.  Strength, cardio, high intensity intervals (all the rage right now… we’ve been doing it since 2004!), balance work, agility, endurance.  Oh, and the added perks of no judgement and an extended family!  Not too shabby!  As always, the only way to get into CF shape (or stay in CF shape, thank you Maria Nawa) is to do Corps Fitness!!

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Did you know that playing together with a stranger will increase your empathy for that person?

Being around strangers creates stress and decreases empathy (tested by plunging one’s hand into a bucket of ice water – ouch!).  But playing just 15 minutes of a cooperative game with that same stranger results in empathy and stress levels similar to when you are with your closest friends!  Amazing!  Now extend that to a Corps Fitness class…  Maybe you walk in the door as a newbie, knowing absolutely nobody (or maybe only your friend who brought you in).  Spend an entire HOUR “playing cooperatively” with them via team runs, team exercises, and general good old CF-style teamwork!  All of the sudden you’re leaving Bldg 7 feeling like you own the world!

Never stop playing, my friends!

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Is sugar toxic?

Here are a few articles fervently supporting this theory…
Time: Sugar is Definitely Toxic
“After nine days of having their total dietary sugar reduced to 10% of their daily calories, however, they showed improvements in all of these measures. Overall, their fasting blood sugar levels dropped by 53%, along with the amount of insulin their bodies produced since insulin is normally needed to break down carbohydrates and sugars. Their triglyceride and LDL levels also declined and, most importantly, they showed less fat in their liver.”

Sugar Science: The Toxic Truth
“There is growing scientific consensus that one of the most common types of sugar,fructose, can be toxic to the liver, just like alcohol.”

Global Healing Center: Refined Sugar: The Sweetest Poison of All
“Refined sugar is lethal when ingested by humans because it provides only that which nutritionists describe as “empty” or “naked” calories. It lacks the natural minerals which are present in the sugar beet or cane.
In addition, sugar is worse than nothing because it drains and leaches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification and elimination makes upon one’s entire system.”

…an analysis…
NYTimes: Is Sugar Toxic?

“If what happens in laboratory rodents also happens in humans, and if we are eating enough sugar to make it happen, then we are in trouble.”

…and a few other points of view:
Stats.org: Glaring Flaws in Sugar Toxicity Study
“Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, said the study needed to be viewed “with some skepticism” because it was uncontrolled. It did not compare the children with a similar group who continued to eat a high-sugar diet. The comparison instead was made with their weight and health before the study while on their usual diet. “But it is well known that obese children underestimate and under-report food intake, particularly of soft drinks and snack foods,” said Sanders.
‘This is a fundamental flaw in the study. It is likely that the changes in metabolic outcomes observed can be explained by the experimental diet providing fewer calories than the children’s usual intake.'”

The Atlantic: Being Happy with Sugar
“The metabolic effects of fructose presented in ordinary human diets remain poorly investigated and highly controversial.”

Bottom line, it’s probably not great.  Do your research, use your brain, and decide for yourself.

featured image: theatlantic.com

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…or are there?  Does exercise build strong bones?  NYTimes would argue that it does not, but Breaking Muscle would disagree…

A certain published author (and CFer) who spent college summers dissecting and researching neonatal rat femurs might also have some opinion on the matter:
“The increases in stiffness and failure load with a corresponding decrease in displacement would support an increase in bone strength as a result of mechanical stimulation.”
– Saunders et. al

Bone Picture

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When is fun not really fun until it’s over?  When it’s Type II Fun!  I’d hazard a guess that every CFer has experienced this to some degree, whether inside the walls of Bldg 7 (or literally ON the wall of Bldg 7), or in another event CF has helped you achieve.  Worth a read at the Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast table…

Urban Dictionary:
Capture

“Somewhere in the middle of this mess lies Type II fun, which is God-awful while you’re doing it, but totally worth it once you’re done.” (entire article linked above)
– A Blackmer, backcountry.com

Featured image from Eat to Perform

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Backyard Veggie Gardening Workshopunnamed
Thursday April 21st
6pm w. Danielle & Jordan of Grow Your Own Freedom in the Earth Room
We will go over the basics of backyard gardening… both raised beds and containers. We will help participants with all of the basics. They will create a basic plan for what they want to grow and when they can grow it. Basic troubleshooting will be discussed.
Remember to bring a notebook to take notes during this educational workshop!
FREE to Bldg 7 Yoga Members
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Earth Day & Full Moon Drum Circleunnamed (1)
Friday Night Special
Friday April 22nd
6pm w. Kate Stufflet & Mark Seamans
in the Fire Room
This evening we are celebrating the Earth, the Full Moon and Mother Nature herself. Leave your inhibitions at the door, and let your primal instincts take over in this drum circle celebration. Comfy, loose fitting clothing is recommended as we dance the night away to the beat of our own drums. All ages welcome!
Wear white or bright colors, we will have our Black Lights on for this festive dance!
$12 Adults
$5 Under 18
Class Cards and Memberships Valid / Register Here
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When you pry it from my cold, dead hands.  Ever have hands or feet that look like this?  You’re not alone!  Raynaud’s is different for each person experiencing it, but may result in loss of feeling / numbness, and then pain and tingling as blood flow returns to the affected area.  It is often more noticeable on cold or damp days like we’ve been having lately.  Here’s a little more information on Raynaud’s disease / Raynaud’s phenomenon:

“With Raynaud’s phenomenon, the body’s reaction to cold or stress is stronger than normal. It makes blood vessels narrow faster and tighter than normal. When this happens, it is called an “attack.”

During an attack, the fingers and toes can change colors. They may go from white to blue to red. They may also feel cold and numb from lack of blood flow. As the attack ends and blood flow returns, fingers or toes can throb and tingle. After the cold parts of the body warm up, normal blood flow returns in about 15 minutes.”
nih.gov

And finally, here’s a fun Buzzfeed pictographic article on Raynaud’s for your Monday entertainment.

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