Building Habits

New habits.

What does it take for you to build a new habit?

It’s not dragging your butt to the gym everyday for three weeks so your brain turns off and it just becomes what you do.

It’s not forcing yourself to run for twelve hours a day.

And it’s definitely not going on a 8 day smoothie cleanse consisting of cayenne pepper and honey.

It’s about making a conscious decision to change.

It takes a minute.

A minute to decide you CAN build a new set point.

A minute to FORECAST AND PLAN your day.

A minute to remember WHY.

A minute to commit to what you are doing…TODAY.

Everyday is a battle. You are the one who decides whether you win or lose.

Reframing Your Excuses

I talk to a lot of people who deem themselves too busy to get their workouts in. We all talk about the amount of time we have to put into our kids, our work and/or our personal life. We don’t want to give anything up. Our identities are deeply tied to the things we do, places we go and people we hang with.

Getting healthy thing can be very intimidating, frustrating and cause of a bunch of stress. Especially for those of us who don’t have tons of social support. Whether it’s an unhealthy family member, unmotivated partner or stress dumping friend. At the crux of each decision we make, healthy or unhealthy, is our self talk.

And how you talk to yourself is 100% on YOU.

So here’s an idea…

Why not try reframing the way you look at investing in your health? We all have reasons to stay healthy, strong and are working to fight against our inner fat kid.

Instead of “I can’t eat right because I’m taking my kids to a birthday party”….

Make it “I eat right so my kids can see that it’s OK to have a treat every now and then”.

Instead of “I can’t workout because I’m traveling”….

Make it “I exercise so I can have more energy during my travels”.

Instead of “I don’t have the time to exercise”…

Make it “I exercise so I can make the most of my time”.

The excuses and struggles can consume you, fight you and tear you down. But if you keep your reactions to life realistic and reframe your thinking, you can combat any excuse!

Peace like Geese

 

 

WTF is that Side Stitch While Running

Hey!

Had a great question the other day after a couple of rascals pranced around the track, dashing 400m in negative 12 seconds.

prancing

What the heck is the side stitch you get when you run at a near max effort? In my head, I’ve always called it a bear claw. It feels like a bear, grapsing your rib cage from behind, ripping out your obliques, puncturing your lungs, leaving you gasping for air.  Such a pleasant experience!

Causes

A couple of different theories out there on the causes of the dreaded stitch. The earliest I found is from 1923, theorizing that it is a result of stomach distention on the suspension ligaments in the diaphragm. Back in the day, they found it only happened with rhythmic exercise (running, walking and other bouncy repetitive motions).

More recently, the theories are far and wide and nobody is immune. It occurs in swimmers, runners but less commonly in bikers. The potential pathways are:

“ischemia of the diaphragm; stress on the supportive visceral ligaments that attach the abdominal organs to the diaphragm; gastrointestinal ischemia or distension; cramping of the abdominal musculature; ischemic pain resulting from compression of the celiac artery by the median arcuate ligament; aggravation of the spinal nerves; and irritation of the parietal peritoneum”

A crap ton of things it could be…and it really seems we haven’t figured out exactly what the cause of it is!

Speculatively, when you run, you’re bouncing which could cause you to have a hard time breathing. The stress of impact combined with the twisting rhythmic movement of your arms and upper body causes your lungs and lumbar region to take a beating. The arm swing force is transferred to the legs. And the leg drive is transferred to the upper body. If you aren’t well conditioned for the stress, you’ll feel it more frequently and earlier on. So run more. And work on strategies to improve your running economy (midfoot or forefoot strike, decreased vertical force while running, and a ton of others).

Prevention

The most effective strategies I have found for people in terms of treating the acute symptoms have included a bit stretching, breathing through it and manual pressure. In the long term, you should aim to strengthen your midline (abs, butt, lats, everything connected to your spine) and increase your efficiency in running.

For relieving the stitch, take deep, rhythmic breaths from the diaphragm. It helps relax the deep abdominal muscles, which helps in terms of relieving the stitch stress. If that doesn’t help…

7e66b0209909f9f558f7ba125f93810718d11718

Stretch! I would recommend a hip flexor(above) stretch with the painful side’s knee on the ground, reaching overhead to the opposite side of your body leaning away from the painful side. Go by the feel of it as each person’s body will be positioned a little different to relax the painful region. If that doesn’t help…

Apply manual pressure to the area! If you have a tennis ball or lacrosse ball, you can dive into the area with a little bit of pressure along the area that has the feeling of being knotted up. Or you can use your hands. Just dive in and take those deep breaths to get some bloodflow to the area and work out the tissue.

Other strategies include wearing a tight belt around the abdominal region and abstaining from food consumption within two hours of exercise.

Beyond that, work on getting stronger and conditioning your body more. Work on breathing while you exercise. It may never go away while varying intensity – but usually if you can grit it out beyond the stitch it will clear up!

Other questions? Leave a comment! Thanks for reading and own the day!

–Mike Goose

 

 

Enhance Your Nutrition

Hey! What’s up??

Food can be intimidating. And it can be intense to get into when you’re trying to change habits. But the smallest changes can make the biggest difference!
In case you didn’t know, I recently started nerding out on some nutrition material. In my mission to serve you a little better, I wanted to make sure I’m doing my part in helping you develop your nutrition habits to be consistent with your goals. And what better way to share it with you than one of my ridiculous essays?
For each of the following five components, I could dive deeper but that’s not the point. If you are one of those who struggles with nutrition, here are some questions to ask yourself on how to create some long term change!
1) How much food are you eating?
  • Is the amount of food you are eating consistent with your specific goals?
  • This one is the most important from the get go. If you eat more energy (food) than you are using, you will gain weight. And if your goal is to gain weight, the opposite applies.
  • Eating food until you are about 80% full is a great strategy to employ. Don’t overdo it while making sure you eat enough to not be hungry all the time.
  • Severely undereating can also do a number on your metabolism, energy levels and you’ll be hangry all the time. Who wants to be around that?
 
2) How are you eating?
  • Are you eating slowly and enjoying your food?
  • I’d love to see each and every meal eaten at a table with the family around, taking your time and enjoying your food. BUT in real life, things don’t always happen like that! Your body will take time to receive the signals from your stomach that tell you that you are satisfied.
 
3) Why are you eating?
  • Are you eating when you’re actually hungry or are you just bored?
  • Is it an emotional response to something that is happening?
  • Eat around your workouts, eat when you need food, eat to enjoy and savor your food.
 
4) What are you eating?
  • Is your food primarily consisting of whole food sources that are minimally processed?
  • Is your protein intake adequate? Minimum recommendation is .8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight but long term goals should be somewhere between 1.2-2.0 grams per kilogram of bodyweight (for a 150 pound female that is 82-136 grams per day, for a 200 pound male, that’s about 110-180 grams per day)
 
5) Are you doing this consistently?
  • What are the smallest changes you can make to help you stay on track? Can you add in a protein smoothie once a day to increase protein intake as well as fight hunger and feel more satisfied? Can you dedicate to having one meal at home, at the table, prepared by you every day?
  • What little things can you do to keep yourself asking the above questions when you eat?
If you find that you are getting better and more confident with the first question, move onto the next. And once you have the next figured out, move on, keeping the first question around. The whole idea behind improvement is constantly asking yourself your overaching question – is what you are eating consistent with the goal you are looking to achieve? Is it sustainable?
Thanks for tuning in!

My Favorite Question

How’s that working out for you?

A question I have been asking myself a lot recently.

A lot of depth to it if you commit to diving into the real answers. Real answers being hard to own up to.

In my case,

The way we set up your health program takes work.

The way we set up your nutrition goals takes work.

The effort we put in on a daily basis takes work.

And we want to be sure to be able to measure progress, see results and discern between what is working and what isn’t. This has been a struggle for me. Every individual I work with has a different attitude/concept as to what success means to them. And a lot of times, it’s not always clear.

‘I want to get healthy and establish an exercise routine’

‘I want to lose 10-15 pounds’

‘I want to get stronger and enjoy doing active stuff with my family’

To dive into the hours of developing a realistic, attainable exercise program, only to realize all the work you put in might not be specific to what that person needs is upsetting. There are days I find myself ‘being busy’ instead of being effective. And to come to that realization can be difficult. But I guess it’s part of the process to realize it.

Sending a fun text instead of updating a program.

Showing appreciation for the life my clients have given me. Living a dream job, doing exactly what I want to with my time.

Fighting to see you achieve your definition of success.

What can you gain from this?

Reflection. Take some time to ask yourself the important questions. Be able to stare the answer in the face without bias – How is that working out for you? What’s not working, and how can you make it work?

The Most Effective Cardiovascular Interval Protocols

Interval training.
Amazing for your heart.
And for your health.
And you get really, really sweaty.
sweat angel
Intervals have been shown to be more effective in a shorter timeframe than steady state cardiovascular exercise (running/biking/workout out at a constant intensity for X amount of time).
With the administration of one of the following protocols three days per week, your VO2max (ability for your body to use and utilize oxygen efficiently) can increase by up to 20%. Other side effects include – Lower resting heart rate, increased stroke volume(amount of blood with each heart beat), decreased bodyfat, improved thermoregulation, increased weight loss, reduced risk of cancer and heart disease…
10 x 1 – 10 sets of 1 minute high intensity followed by 1 minute of low intensity.
Tabata intervals – 8 rounds of 20 seconds HARD work, 10 seconds rest. Recommendation is on a bike with added resistance. Emphasis is a maximum effort for the 20 second intervals.
4x5x2 – four rounds of 5 minute ‘sprints’ followed by 2.5 minute rest
10 minute workout (perfect for an ‘exercise snack) – 2 minute warmup, 20 second sprint, 2 minute rest, 20 second sprint, 2 minute rest, 20 second sprint, 3 minute cooldown

Eating Food Before You Sleep

 

So I have this issue.

It’s really a funny thing.

Anytime I eat way too much pizza or pasta before I go to sleep, I wake up anywhere from 1230-2am and can’t go back to sleep for the life of me. And I’m 95% sure it’s more than just the guilt of eating an entire pizza that’s keeping me up. I just sit there twiddling my thumbs, trying to figure out what the best strategy is to relax and go back to sleep.

pizza nap

Thinking back to the college days, the same kind of thing would happen when I would have more than a drink or two.

So I did some reading. On sleep. On Nutrition. And how they interact.

And guess what… It’s hugely important.

It is known that individuals who stay up late or work overnight have a higher incidence of obesity, diabetes and corresponding metabolic ailments. Which is no bueno. Sleep is good. Especially when your body is supposed to sleep.

In this analysis the food nerds attempt to discern between different types of macronutrients, micronutrients and relate it to sleep patterns.  The general conclusion is that food CAN throw off your circadian rhythm (sleep cycle). There is no blanket answer as to what causes a particular person to interrupt their sleep when consuming food. But there is speculation that high fat diets and carbohydrate consumption prior to sleeping could cause interruption of sleep cycles.

At the same time, food can make you sleepy after a big meal.

At a certain point, your body will start to shut down due to the amount of excess calories consumed (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving). There is a response from your body at a certain point that tells your body to slow the eff down and focus on digesting the ridiculous amount of Calories/sugar/fat you just ate. And that’s why you’ll get sleepy after a big meal. But it can also come back to bite you in the butt later at night – as it’s theorized that the insulin spike in the middle of the night can keep you awake. Which may be happening when you eat an entire pizza before bed…

What this means for you –

  • Sleep more for better health.
  • Pay attention to what you eat before bed. If you have a night where you’re tossing and turning all night, maybe look at what you ate for dinner/bedtime snack and adjust.
  • Maybe pizza isn’t a superfood.

Ok, cool.

 

 

Taking Statins to Reduce Cholesterol

I’m eating my words today. And I’m glad I am haha. I did some reasearch into statins and it seems like there really isn’t that much controversy surrounding the use of statins other than their known side effects (muscle pain, VERY low risk of depression).  I know in the last place I worked, I saw a lot of folks who had muscle pain as a side effect pop up with the use of statins. In the grand scheme of things, they do far more good than bad in this world! I think use of the statin is a good idea up until that cholesterol gets down to a reasonable level then slowly try to wean off of it.
With that said, there are some ways to theoretically reduce the LDL using diet. Below I gave you a few links.
In individuals with 5-year risk of major vascular events lower than 10%, each 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol produced an absolute reduction in major vascular events of about 11 per 1000 over 5 years. This benefit greatly exceeds any known hazards of statin therapy. Under present guidelines, such individuals would not typically be regarded as suitable for LDL-lowering statin therapy. The present report suggests, therefore, that these guidelines might need to be reconsidered.

Exercise While Pregnant

Hey,

In case you didn’t know, my wife Heather is pregnant. 30 weeks in. And I’m still freaking out, man.

babyshower

I’ve been doing some research into exercise while pregnant. I’ve done my best in talking to MDs, reseaching nerdy crap and talking to people with experience. But really, I just want to make sure it’s easier for you than it was for me in terms of being confident when you continue or start an exercise program. Below are general guidelines on exercise and things to look out for while you or your significant other has a bun in the oven:

Found a great meta-analysis of exercise and health while pregnant. A couple of things to highlight, which I’ll steal right from the article.
My narrative is in Bold.

The first box is a group of things that would have your MD saying ‘Don’t exercise’.

Box 1 Absolute contraindications to aerobic exercise during pregnancy (with permission from ACOG1)

  • Haemodynamically significant heart disease, Restrictive lung disease, Incompetent cervix/cerclage, Multiple gestation at risk for premature labour, Persistent second or third trimester bleeding, Placenta praevia after 26 weeks gestation, Premature labour during the current pregnancy, Ruptured membranes, Pregnancy induced hypertension

 
The Second box is a group of things that would have you MD saying, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t exercise’:

Box 2 Relative contraindications to aerobic exercise during pregnancy (with permission from ACOG1)

  • Severe anaemia, Unevaluated maternal cardiac arrhythmia, Chronic bronchitis, Poorly controlled type I diabetes, Extreme morbid obesity, Extreme underweight, body mass index <12), History of extremely sedentary lifestyle, Intrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancy, Poorly controlled hypertension/pre-eclampsia, Orthopaedic limitations, Poorly controlled seizure disorder, Poorly controlled thyroid disease, Heavy smoker

The third box is a group of things that would have your MD saying, ‘stop because you’re experiencing something messed up’,
 

Box 3 Warning signs to terminate exercise while pregnant

  • Vaginal bleeding, Dyspnoea before exertion, Dizziness, Headache, Chest pain, Muscle weakness, Calf pain or swelling (need to rule out thrombophlebitis), Preterm labour, Decreased fetal movement, Amniotic fluid leakage


 
To expand, I took away a few things: 
– Moderate intensity exercise during pregnancy hasn’t been shown to affect fetal heart rate in a negative way unless the mother had previously listed contraindications. 
 

– As long as nutrition is sufficient (not undereating, increased amount of carbohydrate and protein), exercise is beneficial in the same way as those who are not pregnant. Big stress on the article was making sure the mother was receiving adequate nutrition through exercise. Increased carbohydrate intake should be stressed as it takes more energy to grow a baby. Mothers will have a higher breakdown of sugar relative to non-preggo folk.

 
– There is a lack of quantitative research on high intensity exercise during pregnancy, due to this, the recommendation is to stay around moderate exercise levels. (rating of perceived exertion on a scale of 6-20 should be anywhere from 12-15).
– Heart rate monitoring is HIGHLY variable, so the researchers don’t set a specific heart rate for exercise while pregnant (I think it would still be good to put a ‘soft ceiling’ on heart rate around 150. If you go over, don’t freak out, just don’t spend the whole workout above that number).
 
– There have been studies on subjects who reach >80% of their max who were previously exercising and there were no negative effects.
 
– A second article I found, utilizing a study of >5,000 participants comes to the following conclusion: Research on baby weight and structured exercise : These data demonstrate that structured prenatal exercise reduces the risk of having a large newborn without a change in the risk of having a small newborn.

Connecting your Why

 

Earlier today I ran up to the rec center. And in case I haven’t told you, I’m on a basketball kick.
Basketball is funny to me.
It’s a reminder of when I went through my surgeries. It’s a reminder of the years of rehab. It’s a reminder of all the hours spent on the couch, unable to get out and run.
It brings out weird memories of disappointment- that feeling after waking up from a dream about jumping, only to find myself rehabbing on the couch.
It brings back moments of stress, strain, anxiety and inactivity.
It reminds me of my vulnerability.
Today wasn’t an astronomical event. Playing basketball is fun, something I love doing. But I have no doubt it pushes me more today than it did before the surgeries. And I know that’s why I keep coming back. It reminds me to get better. It reminds me of the hard work it took to get back to jumping, running, hoopin. Just to get better at putting a ball through a hoop.
It reminds me all the time I’ve put in to become a bulletproof ninja no matter what event/sport/fun activity I participate in. The weight training, rehab, preparation and time invested. It’s justified in my mind. And I know that the reward I get from playing outweighs the risk involved.
Today, I played. And that’s why I train.To me, basketball is more than a game.
So that’s what I ask you today – What’s your ‘Why’? What are your willing to risk for your why?