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Exercise & Fitness

Stay active and healthy and learn how to prevent injury while doing it. These articles address some common fitness guidelines and suggestions. An individual needs a certain level of fitness to be healthy, but they do not necessarily need to have a highly structured or disciplined fitness regime to achieve health. Implementing a fitness program into your lifestyle is important and there is much to learn here by clicking on the “Fitness” tab in the top toolbar.

  • Dr. Gangemi’s List of Ten Things I Think You’d Like To Know

    March 4, 2012

    Here’s a list of ten questions I often get asked from patients as well as sources I use for certain products. Enjoy!
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  • Essential Training Principles: Become a Strong, Fast, Efficient, Injury-Free Athlete

    January 30, 2012

    I recently wrote a very long post, (over 14 pages), regarding training principles and philosophy for any person who wants to not only become more fit, but also improve their health. It’s divided into five parts and can be found right here at the Sock Doc site.

    Just some of the topics covered are:

    • What exactly is “cardio” exercise?
    • How to build your aerobic system correctly and efficiently
    • HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
    • Strength conditioning for endurance athletes- it’s a good thing if done correctly
    • Improving your health and fitness without sacrificing one or the other
    • Can a training for a half or full marathon kill you?
  • Piriformis Syndrome, Low Back Pain, & Sciatica

    August 23, 2011

    Many people suffer from hip pain, back pain, piriformis syndrome, and what is thought to be “sciatic pain”, which is often not true sciatica, but another type of pain known as sclerotenogeous pain. Hip flexion problems are very common in runners and those who use their bodies to jump and kick. Extension-type pains are very common too and can cause pain when you sit, walk, and climb stairs. (more…)

  • Do Not ChooseThisPlate – It Will Seal Your Fate

    June 14, 2011

    The pyramid is now a plate! Earlier this month the USDA came out with their new ChooseMyPlate image and dietary guidelines, replacing the Food Pyramid that had its own problems, as I discussed here. The plate took several years and $4 million to create – yet it resembles a TV dinner with its four compartments and is supposed to be easier for Americans to understand – because well, we eat off a plate and not off a pyramid. (more…)

  • Stop Stretching!

    April 10, 2011

    Stretching is perhaps one of the most controversial fitness subjects of present day. Passionate debates arise between those who perceive the benefits of stretching and those, like me, who think stretching is one of the worst activities you can partake in, especially if you’re already injured. It’s a tradition that’s hard to break because so many of us have the stretching necessity ingrained in our heads as we’ve listened to coaches, trainers, professional athletes, researchers, and doctors throughout our fitness lives. Although research shows stretching has no value and may actually cause harm, people find it difficult to “Just Say ‘no’ to stretching.” Now, to clarify, I’m primarily talking about static stretching – that’s the “stretch and hold” type of stretching. Dynamic stretching is different as it promotes natural movements and range of motion that typically isn’t harmful if done properly. I’m all for moving natural and natural/normal range of motion of joints and muscles but I don’t think that we need to call this “stretching.” Read on to understand my madness… (more…)

  • Childhood Obesity – Get Your Kid Eating Right and Exercising Before It’s Too Late

    March 3, 2011

    We are way too fat here in North Carolina. But if I move west to Kentucky, then my kids will get fatter. North to Virginia, they will drop some weight. East, well, they’re going to get wet.

    Ok, enough of the joking, for now. Childhood obesity is a nationwide problem, regardless of where you live. Many kids are putting on a lot of weight for two relatively simple reasons – they don’t exercise and they eat highly processed foods containing white flours and sugars. Kids are being put on statin medications – those are the drugs that lower cholesterol – and teenagers are even going to extremes by getting Lap-Band surgeries performed. Squeezing the upper part of anyone’s stomach so they feel full sooner should only be considered in extreme situations – definitely not in any kid. (more…)

  • The Health of Football and Its Unhealthy Players

    February 6, 2011

    With the Super Bowl well underway, many may wonder the health of the NFL, especially in regards to the health of the players. Talks concerning extending the season will most likely shorten the player’s careers as it increases their risk of injury and overall wear and tear on their bodies. Currently, the average NFL player is only around for 3.5 seasons. Not much left in those guys after they put their bodies through collision after collision, day after day. (more…)

  • Three Simple Steps to Lose Fat

    February 4, 2011

    Americans are winning something not worth winning. They’re getting fatter than any other developed nation over the past 30 years. Over the same time period, obesity rates have doubled, to over 20 percent. And that’s just those who are obese. The overweight crowd is now at 68%! Wow. One-third of those overweight are obese. Breaking that down – take 100 Americans – 23 of them are obese and 45 are overweight, just not fat enough to be considered obese. How about the other 32? I think it’s safe to say that most of them don’t fit into a healthy category, but they’re just not in the overweight category either.

    Being overweight means you’re at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, joint problems, immune system problems, and pretty much every disease and ailment out there. Can you think of just one disease whose risk factor would be lower in the overweight category? I can’t. (anorexia?) Aside from the increased rates of all the stuff you don’t want, don’t forget the everyday, functional problems associated with being overfat – low energy, sleep problems, little to no sex drive, difficulty moving, poor mental concentration – just to name a few. (more…)

  • The 10 Worst Exercise and Dietary Habits to Leave Behind – Part 1

    December 30, 2010

    1)Stretching. Yeah, that’s right – stretching. The belief that stretching will prevent or rehabilitate an injury and increase performance continues to be unproven both in a clinical setting and through more and more studies. It’s a hard-core belief system that continues to be carried over from generation to generation, despite any evidence showing that stretching helps. Those who still want to keep this passion alive are the same ones who are still not eating eggs because they think it’ll raise their cholesterol levels (it won’t), but it just sounds so right. Read my somewhat controversial post on stretching here.  I never stretch – not before any training, not before any Ironman event. To quote Jack LaLanne, “Have you ever seen a lion stretch before it attacks?” (more…)

  • Sun, Vitamin D, Sunscreen, & Shoes

    June 3, 2010

    SUN, VITAMIN D, & SUNSCREEN

    Now is a good time to have your vitamin D levels checked (via a blood test) if you haven’t done so recently. Most people lose a substantial amount of vitamin D as they hibernate indoors over the winter and the UV-B rays which provide vitamin D are almost non-existent. Vitamin D is needed more than just to metabolize calcium and build strong bones; it’s necessary for a healthy immune and nervous system. Optimum serum  levels are between 50-80 ng/ml. If your level is very low you may need to supplement with some Vitamin D3 (not D2) as even an adequate diet and sun exposure may not be enough. Speaking of sun – sunscreen blocks the absorption of vitamin D and also the more tan you get, or the darker your skin is, the harder it is for your body to absorb vitamin D. Even worse, most sunscreens out there, even the ones found in health foods stores like Whole Foods, contain ingredients that actually promote free radical damage to your skin. It is thought that the use of most sunscreens actually promote skin cancer rather than prevent it. They do this by blocking vitamin D levels from being absorbed into your body and also via free radical damage. By lathering up in sunscreen, many are blocking the absorption of vitamin D as well as giving themselves a false sense of security as they think they can stay in the sun longer, only to absorb more of the dangerous UV-A rays. So get a tan, but don’t burn. And if you’re very fair skinned and burn very easily, then more reason to have your 25OH Vitamin D blood level checked. Personally, I use sunscreen at the beginning of the year when I am outside a lot and don’t have much of a tan. As soon as my skin darkens and I know there is no chance of me turning even slightly pink, I’m done with the sunscreen for the year. The rule is if you’re not going to burn, then don’t use sunscreen. (more…)