Category: Training & Health


Many people have experienced the spinning sensation after an amusement park ride or after spinning around for a period of time and then stopping quickly.  Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness where the person feel as if the room were spinning, which gets worse with head movement.  The person might have visual disturbances, weakness, difficulty speaking, a decreased level of consciousness, and difficulty walking.  Dizziness and vertigo are not diseases in themselves. They are symptoms which indicate that something is wrong and can have different causes. 

 

Four ‘Vestibular Nuclei’ (superior, lateral, medial, and inferior) provide us with the ability to maintain balance while standing or walking.  They are located in the brainstem, within an area in the lower rear part of the brain connected to the spinal cord.  During ‘Vestibular Neuronitis’ there is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve which carries sensory data from the inner ear about head movement.

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In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale “The Princess and the Pea”, a princess is unable to get a good night’s sleep because a pea has been placed under her 20 mattresses piled high.

Today there is no excuse to not choose an ergonomic mattress, designed to conform to the spine’s natural curves and to keep the spine in alignment when you lay down.  A normal mattress does not sufficiently adjust to your body and lead to bad blood circulation and numb arms.  Tests have shown that an ergonomic mattress will allow 25% more ‘deep sleep’ than a standard mattress.

My mattress is a bit outdated, but still in good condition and I decided to go for a top mattress that provide the orthopaedic and anatomic properties of new materials and technologies.  The main core consists of 8 cm of POLYFLEX foam with wavy surface, high density (30 kg/m3) and elasticity.  This model has an outer cover of the Belgian jacquard fabric DESLEE CLAMA, lined with anti allergic wadding of silicone, and quilted with SPUN BOND non-woven fabric.  The wave like geometry of the core ensures comfort, while helping the relaxation of the muscles and the blood circulation.  The structure of multitude of open cells of the mattress, allows it to “breathe” guaranteeing maximal air permeability and the air circulation prevents overheating.  The mattress can be reversed by season – a softer winter side envelops sleepers and a firmer summer side lets sleepers rest on top of the mattress covers for a cooler, more refreshing sleep.

Fibre in a Healthy Diet

 A high fibre diet help to reduce cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels and blood pressure. According to a recent study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, the fibres also binds to potential cancer-causing agents so the body can flush them out.

Beans, oatmeal and lentils help reduce the rate at which glucose is absorbed, because of the slow digestion.  Your pancreas releases less of the hormone Insulin, this tell the kidneys to continue releasing sodium which keep the blood pressure down and prevents “hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase” (HMG-CoA) to increase cholesterol synthesis in the liver.

 

 

 

We all heard ‘Always bend your knees when lifting’, but do we follow this advise?

Dr. Robert S. Renfro explains that a great portion of back problems are simply due to tension and muscular tightness, which come from poor posture, inactivity, being overweight, stress and lack of abdominal strength.  A normal lumbar curvature or lordosis is 35 degrees, with the normal cervical lordosis being 45 degrees (see Correct Your Bad Posture).  The muscles involved are the abdominal, hamstring, quadriceps, gluteal and lower back muscles. These muscles need to be of equal length and tone on both sides. If there is an imbalance, this can cause pelvic rotation of the ilium and sacrum. 

Click on the picture to view the Back Care Exercise Chart:

There are three primary muscles groups in the back – the trapezius muscles in the upper back, the latissimus dorsi muscles in the mid-back, and the erector spinae muscles in the lower back.

There are several other smaller muscles in the back, all of which will be developed by performing exercises that work the three main back muscles.

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The trapezius (traps) muscle is made-up of three separate regions. The upper portion of the trapezius is mainly responsible for shrugging your shoulders. The middle and lower regions are used during rowing type movements. Well developed traps help to counterbalance the chest and front (anterior) deltoids. This helps to improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.

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The latissimus dorsi (also known as the “lats”), lie across the middle section of the back on each side. This muscle group when well developed gives the upper body that V shape. The lats originates from attachments along the spine and inserts with a large tendon to the humerus (upper arm bone) on each side of the body.

The erector spinae muscles of the lower back are like two thick columns of muscle on either side of your spinal column. The spinal erectors run from the base of your pelvis to almost the full length of your spine. However, they are most easily visible from the middle to the lower back.

Correct Your Bad Posture

At eleven years old the school nurse noticed an increased S-shape of my spine.  The ideal posture should be mostly J-shaped and it should be effortless and natural.

This is quite common in early puberty during growth of the spinal column.  The normal human spine contains natural thoracic and lumbar curves, which serves to absorb mechanical stress and help distribute weight.  However, serious arching has been known to result in health problems called “Kyphosis” and “Lordosis” posture.  The Kyphosis posture, with the rounded back as well as forward position of head and shoulders, is more frequent in today’s society caused by more time hunched in front of a computer.  Lordosis, with the pelvis is tilted forward creating an excessive curve in the low back, shifts your posture so that your stomach pushes outward and the weight of your body creates back pain. 

After the first year of entering my fulltime career as a lecturer I got concerned about my bad posture and decided to see a Naprapath for consultation.  He told me that if you sit for too long in a bad position or continually stand with bad posture, certain muscles will become tight which really means they will become shorter resulting in imbalances.  The solution is to stretch tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles to support the spinal – known as “Core Strength”.  Restoring muscle balance will allow you to naturally tilt back of the pelvis, lifting of the ribcage and allowing the shoulders to sit down and back.

Leg Muscle Anatomy

There are four main muscle groups in the thighs. The quadriceps on the front of the thigh, the biceps femoris on the back of the thigh, the leg adductors on the inner side of the thigh, the leg abductors on the outer side of the thigh. There are several other smaller muscles as well, but they will be completely developed if you focus on working the four main thigh muscle groups.

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The quadriceps muscle has four lobes, and it primarily is used to straighten the leg from a bent position. This muscle is often called the “quads”. A secondary function of the quads is thigh adduction and rotation of the thigh within the hip socket.

The bicep femoris (also know as the hamstrings or leg biceps) consists of two lobes, and it primarily is used to bend the leg from a straight position.

The adductor and abductor muscles of the thighs help to pull your leg either toward the centre line of your body (adduction) or away from the centre line of the body (abduction).

The gluteus (also know as the “glutes”) form your buttocks. This large muscle is primarily used to extend the leg into a straight line with the torso and to rotate leg at the hip.

The pectoralis muscle is a large flat, fan shaped muscle that covers the entire upper rib cage. It originates from attachments along our breast bone, collarbones, ribs, and it inserts on each side of your body via a large tendon through your shoulder joint to your upper arm bone.

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The primary muscle of the shoulder is the deltoid (also know as the “delts”). It is the rounded cap over the point of your shoulder. There are three heads of the deltoid that insert into the upper arm bone. The anterior (front) head, the medial (side) head, and the posterior (rear) head.

Around the shoulder joint itself is a small bundle of muscles called the rotator cuff. These smaller muscles help to rotate the arm in its shoulder socket. Since these muscles are small relatively weak they can be injured easily. That is why it is essential to warm up well before working your shoulders or doing any activities that incorporate the shoulder joint.

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When training the abdominals you should pay attention to the three primary areas of your midsection – the rectus abdominis (frontal abdominal wall), obliques (muscles at the sides of your waist), and intercostals (bands of muscle that run diagonally across the sides of your upper abdomen).

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