June, 2011 | The 50 Zone Magazine : Mens Information On Wellness, Health, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Women, Style And Fashion

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Monthly Archives: June 2011

West into the Rising Sun

by Ken Eddy

Japan, land of the rising sun, a country of contrast, steeped in history that seems to contradict the futuristic side of the country.

August 2009 I found myself standing in front of the Hiroshima City Hall trying desperately to take a picture of the Hinomarus (Japanese flag). I say desperately, due to the fact that it was a sweltering 40 degrees Celsius, and not a breath of wind in the air. The flag just hung there, like it too, could feel the humid mid-day heat and just needed to rest.

Giving up my quest for the perfect shot, I shuffled back to the hotel and the relief of air conditioning. As I entered the hotel I practically ran head on into Dr. David Suzuki. Caught off guard I blurted out “David” as if I knew him personally. He stopped and stared at me for a second that then said, “You must be Canadian”. Well “duh”, I wonder what gave it away! The Canadian accent and the fact that I had a t-shirt with CANADA written across the front or the maple leaf on my hat? Of course it could have been the fact that I am six feet tall, poster child for a WASP, and sweating like a horse? Choose anyone of the above and Doc nailed it. We chatted briefly as he had to run to an awaiting van and vanished. (I always thought he was taller).

My good friend and travel companion, Leo Bruneau, was reluctant to leave the comfort of the AC, but nevertheless, I dragged him out to what would be, one of the major mind-blowing adventures of the trip.

We ventured a few blocks to a rather large park in the middle of the city that is made up of an island and a fork in two rivers.

The busy street filled with people became even busier as we approached the park. Once in the park we were immersed in a sea of humanity. There were thousands of people filling this huge park. I was thinking that this just can’t be a normal day in Hiroshima City Park and it definitely was not. It was on this very site 64 years ago, August 6, 1945, that the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped during World War II.

The scene that unfolded is hard to describe but I will do my best.

There were News crews from around the world, peace activists from every continent, flowers and wreaths, all engulfed in a deathly silence. We worked our way down the park toward the fork in the river, and on the far bank were the remains of a building, notably called the Atomic Dome (not its official name of course). Picture a round dome approximately six stories high with concrete sides and half the top missing. Some iron girders and supports were all that kept it from completely collapsing.

The allies targeted a bridge at a river crossing a few hundred yards away and the bomb was detonated prior to it actually hitting the ground for optimum effect, and that it had, virtually incinerating everything around it for hundreds of yards. Why this Atomic Dome was not completed obliterated remains a mystery.

Surrounding the Dome, were hundreds of people making and placing decorative memorial candles on the hedge that circles the building. Others were making paper lanterns approximately 12 inches high by 8 inches in diameter with a stand at middle/bottom for a small candle to be perched.

These reddish paper lanterns were being lit and set into the slow moving current by dignitaries, citizens, and yes, I even spotted David setting one adrift on the far bank. To view thousands of lanterns slowly floating with the current while surrounded by such a large mass of humanity watching in silence, was quite a spectacle. Even the occasional orchestra performance couldn’t break the spell.

Now I cannot fail to mention the cute little Japanese woman who was holding up a sign reading “Free Hugs”. I thought it was the Canadian thing to do and I accepted one (at that point I needed one).

Fast forward three days. Leo and I find ourselves in Nagasaki. Anyone who follows history will know the significance of this city, as it was here at 11:02 on August 9, 1945, that the world’s second atomic bomb was dropped.

Leo, myself and a young student from Tokyo, who we recruited to be our translator (I have to mention that English is not as widely spoken in Japan as you would think), were observing a moment of silence in a park prior to the Prime Minister of Japan reading an address.

To my right were two little old ladies (guessing 80ish) dressed in black and sitting on two lawn chairs. I asked our interpreter to inquire if they had been here during that time period and they said yes, they were in a factory not too far away making bombs for the Japanese military.

Prior to, and during World War II, the Japanese parliament was dominated by the military and despite the turn of events in the war, was not in the mood to surrender to the allies, who had just battled their way across two islands, Iwo Jima and Konawa, at a cost of thousands of lives on both sides.

It was estimated at the time that it would cost one million allied lives to take the main islands of Japan and that was the main reason that President Harry Truman decided to use the bomb in an effort to end the war once and for all. After the second blast in Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito surrendered unconditionally to the allies.

During my tour of Japan I only spotted three Japanese flags. Why I wondered, would there not be more of these Hinomarus flapping in the wind across the country? Research has taught me that not all Japanese respect the Hinomarus since it has a military background and it reminds them of the horror of war!

Never again do they want the military to control the government.

Never again do they want to experience such atrocities, agony, and loss of life.

Never again should another bomb be dropped.

Never again!

Author: Ken Eddy

Professions of the Sports Medicine Team

by Bob Gurney

As a follow-up to the previous article, indicating the need to identify health care professionals in the field of sports medicine, the following questions are explored:

  1. What are the professions in health care services that have evolved into specializations and constitute the broad field of sports medicine?
  2. How are these professions defined?
  3. How do I find out more about these professions?

Common knowledge found in textbooks of sports medicine, such as Prentice (2006) provide a brief overview of sports medicine and roles the professions play in their contribution to the field of sports medicine. Sports medicine as a concept is presented in the context of various professions contributing to the health and care of sports enthusiasts, and athletes. Although some may argue that one or more particular profession(s) dominate in the practices of sports medicine, the current textbook literature clearly indicates that each profession plays an important role in the field of sports medicine. The medical doctors are indicated as the primary health care providers (Prentice, 2006) in treating injuries of sporting enthusiasts and athletes.

Specialty fields of medicine (family medicine and orthopaedists) and physical therapy are well established historically, in the treating of sports related injuries. In the second half of the twentieth century traditional professions and new fields of allied health emerged through specialized training programs and became established in the team of professions working in sports medicine (Prentice, 2006). Medical doctors expanded their specializations into a new field of ‘sports physician’, where one must complete the requirements of post graduate training in this field. The profession of physiotherapy expanded to sports physiotherapy (Prentice, 2006) which involves the development and supervision of physical therapy rehabilitation for the injured athlete. Both the medical and physiotherapy practices are viewed historically as the traditional professions that have provided care and management of the injured athlete. Podiatry evolved into sports podiatry, as a specialized field, dealing with the study and care of foot injuries. Exercise and sports science is a field that emerged in the 1970s and provides athletes with training and conditioning techniques specific to the performance demands of a sport. Psychology expanded its specialty areas to sports psychology and provides advice on matters related to mental preparation for sport performance and the psychological aspects of the rehabilitation process for the athlete. Dieticians expanded their knowledge sets into sports nutrition and provide consulting advice for dietary programs that are geared to the needs of persons in a particular sport or physical activity.

This general knowledge of understanding professions, as described above, informs us that differences exist between the traditional professions of health sciences, and modern emerging professions in the field of sports medicine. To develop a better understanding of these professions a list of professional associations and web sites are indicated below. I have selected professional groups in Australia for two reasons. Firstly, my research work involved these groups and, secondly the information provided by these professional groups is both comprehensive and informative.

Australasian Association for Podiatric Sports Medicinewww.aapsm.org.au

Australasian College of Sports Physicians: www.acsp.org.au

APA – Sports Physiotherapy Australia: www.physiotherapy.asn.au

APS College of Sports Psychologists: www.groups.psychology.org.au

Exercise and Sports Science Australia: www.essa.org.au

Sports Dietitians Australia: www.sportsdietitians.com.au/

Sports Doctors Australia: www.sportsdoctors.com.au

References

Prentice, W.E. (2006). Arnheim’s Principles of Athletic Training. (12th ed). Toronto. ON: McGraw Hill.

Author: Bob Gurney

Desire to Endure

by Cal Zaryski

Many times I have been asked WHY I participate in endurance activities. I have tolerated many hours of discomfort only to cross a line that signifies an accomplishment. For most of society, this is the burning question. Why did Alan Hobson climb Mount Everest when the odds are that one in four may not return? Why would Sandra McCallum tolerate 7 days in the desert running over 250km risking her life just to finish? Why would she even think about returning to finish stronger and tolerate even more pain? What makes us different from the rest of society?

There seems to be this inner desire that drives us to our limits. Limits that need to be explored and pushed continuously. Some do it in business, others in sport, but the desire and motivation is the same. We are hungry for success and results. We need to achieve our dreams. Inspiration and desire must come from within. That is the key.

Motivation is energy, and that sense of self-directedness is one of the most powerful sources of energy available. From internal motivation you gain the willingness to persevere with your training, to endure discomfort and stress, and to make sacrifices with your time and energy as you move closer to your goals.

What are the key characteristics of well-motivated endurance participants? Through extensive research with athletes for 20 years, JoAnn Dahlkoetter Ph.D. has developed a constellation of traits that define the champion’s mentality. I will outline them for you.

Enthusiasm and Desire: You must love what you are doing! Regardless of your talent and ability, there must be a fire that ignites your passion to achieve an important goal. To accomplish anything of value in life you need to begin with a vision or dream! The more clearly you can see that picture in your mind, the more likely it will become reality. Wherever you place your attention, you energy will follow!

Courage to Succeed: Back up your desire with courage, the incentive to make any dream reality. It takes courage to sacrifice, to train when you are tired, to seek out tough competition when you know you’ll probably be beaten. It takes courage to stick with your game plan and the relentless pursuit of your goal when you encounter obstacles. It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before – physically and mentally.

Internal Motivation and Self-Direction: Successful athletes have decided early on that they are training and competing for themselves, not for their parents, coaches, or for the medals. Your direction and drive must come from within. Your goals must be one that you have chosen because that’s exactly what you want to be doing!

Commitment to Excellence: How successful do you want to be? Elite athletes know that to be successful in their sport they must decide to make it a priority in their life. It is important to make an honest effort each day to be the best at what they do! To notice significant growth you must live this commitment and regularly stretch what you perceive to be your current limits. This commitment must be present every minute of the day. Temptations are all too frequent.

Discipline, Consistency, Organization: Most successful people know how to self-energize and work hard on a daily bases. Because they love what they do, it is not hard to maintain this consistent behavior. Regardless of personal problems, fatigue, stress, poor weather or difficult circumstances, they can generate the optimal excitement and energy to do their best and stay on course.

Ability to Handle Adversity: Successful people and athletes know how to deal with difficult situations and facing this adversity builds character and self esteem! While elite athletes know the odds are against them they embrace the chance to explore the outer limits of their potential. Rather than avoiding pressure they feel challenged by it! Life is about personal growth and setbacks are apart of this growth. Remember, it is OK to fail, but never OK to fold! Successful people never give up!

Endurance activities ranging from a 2 hour hike or your first 10km running race to Ironman triathlons offer a wonderful chance to free ourselves for short periods and experience intensity and excitement not readily available elsewhere in our lives. To develop an inner desire and maximize your true potential, you must make the most of the talent you have, and stretch the limits of your abilities, both physically and mentally. Endurance activities can become a means to personal growth and enjoyment of the pursuit of your goals. Try incorporating the profile above into your mental preparation and you can learn to live more fully, train with more purpose and feel exactly the way you want to feel. Happy training and see you out there!

Calvin Zaryski MKin, CEP coachcal@criticalspeed.com

Racing as a Master

become a Master of Racing well into your 60s and 70s!

by Cal Zaryski

Old Father Time, lookout, the Masters are coming! I have witnessed this many times. Too often I have been passed in a race by what appears to be an older athlete, but yet performing at a youthful level. How do they maintain such an elite performance well into their 40, 50 and 60s?

Many exercise scientists are beginning to realize that sometimes older is better, and innovative new research is showing that much of the decline in performance which accompanies aging is actually the result of disuse – not the aging process itself. In fact, the latest investigations suggest that athletes who continue training vigorously often do not experience significant loss in performance until they reach their middle 40s or early 50s – or later. In addition, the eventual downturns are usually far smaller than expected.

It seems that a continued high level of training can significantly reduce the magnitude of aerobic power and capacity decline that inevitably occurs with aging. Previously, a 9-10% decline in maximal oxygen consumption per decade has been reported from studies of untrained healthy men. However, other studies have suggest that the rate of decline is halved (5% per decade and in some cases even less) in athletes who maintain a very high level of training volume and intensity. Continued training can maintain stroke volume at high levels, as well as skeletal muscle endurance capacity and even economy. Maximal heart rate decline with age, on the other hand, is not altered by activity level.

While age is a relative thing — the 60-year-old tennis player may be in better shape than the 20-year-old couch potato — time takes its toll on the human body in terms of physical changes. After age 30, humans start losing muscle mass and after age 40, bone mass declines. Tendons, which connect muscles to bone, and ligaments, which hold joints together, become less elastic and are easier to tear. These changes and others affect our ability to enjoy sports as we grow older, not to mention performing at a high level.

Here are some tips that should keep you healthy on your quest to compete with our youth and maintaining a high level of functionality:

1) As the decades slip by, add one more day of rest to your program. One day of rest in your 20s and 30s, 2 days of rest in your 40s until you are exercising every other day. These extra days off allow for the soft tissue to recovery and strengthen. This is most true if you are a runner.

2) Cross train to avoid over use injuries. Try swimming, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, deep water running, they all maintain your fitness and add variety to your active life.

3) To maintain a high level of fitness, vigorous exercise (heart rates greater than 85% of maximum) must be done once or twice per week. I suggest doing one session that is lower body (running or biking) and one session that is upper body (swimming). This will keep those fast twitch muscle fibers alert and ready to perform on race day.

4) Warm up well for at least 15 minutes before a strenuous workout. Allow the body to naturally accommodate the exercise. As we age, this process takes a little longer.

5) Always cool down after an exercise session. Allow the body to return to near normal functioning before hitting the showers. A good cool down can help diminish muscle soreness. Also try using cold water therapy after exercise to decrease inflammation and enhance recovery.

6) Functional range of motion tends to decrease with age, so stretch more frequently once your tissue is warm. Make sure that your stretching is not too aggressive. Stretch to mild discomfort then back off and hold for at least 30 seconds. Sometimes stretching can actually cause injury if done incorrectly. Try scheduling yoga into your program.

7) Incorporate strength training to your program. It is very important to maintain your lean body mass. In your 20s and 30s, weight training should comprise of 20% of your fitness program. As you age, weight training should become more of a focus. Eventually in your 60’s an 70’s 50% of your program should be weight training with the other half aerobic exercise.

8. Avoid increases in body fat. As your metabolic rate slows due to aging and without vigorous exercise, the body begins to store excess calories as fat which eventually will impair your performance. Remain lean and eat well.

9) Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. These foods help keep the acidity of your blood low which in turn minimizes the loss of nitrogen and calcium. This loss is related to losing your lean body mass and bone density. Focus on spinach and grapes while avoiding foods that increase your blood acidity such as parmesan cheese.

10) Take antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals that impair mitochondria functioning. The mitochondria are small organelles in the muscle where aerobic metabolism takes place. I suggest taking 1000mg of vitamin C and 400-800 IU of vitamin E daily.

We are all aging. Age fast, age slow, it is up to you. However, slowing the aging process doesn’t necessarily mean slowing down! Keep entering those races and impressing our youth. Age is nothing but mind over matter … if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!

Calvin Zaryski MKin, CEP      
coachcal@criticalspeed.com


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