What Is Body Mass Index, or BMI?
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a formula that looks at your weight in comparison with your height, in order to help determine how healthy you are. It can be a useful tool among a variety of factors that should be examined together when assessing your health. Athletes and serious fitness fanatics make use of BMI in building fitness, along with intense physical activity and diet adjustments, like snacking on energy bars.
You can calculate your own BMI score, using either metric measures, or pounds and inches, to see where you fall on the Adult BMI Chart. The result is your BMI. It places you in a category that gives an indication of your “degree of fatness.” The BMI formula takes your weight in kilograms (kg), and divides it by your height in meters, squared (m2).1 The result is a number that will fall within a range on the BMI charts, indicating that you are either:
- Underweight – with BMI less than 18.5
- Normal weight – with BMI between 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight – with BMI at 25 to 29.9, or
- Obese – with BMI at 30 or more.1
If you prefer using height in inches and weight in pounds, just follow this formula: calculate weight x 703, divided by height squared.1
How Is BMI Used?
Health professionals may use BMI as a screening tool to get an estimate of your total body fat. High body fat and obesity are potential risk factors for illness later in life. If your reading indicates a high BMI, you should undergo additional diagnostic tests to get the full picture and to sort out causes for the reading, apart from body fat.2
Some groups of individuals will obtain different readings than others, apart from their level of body fatness. For example, women generally have more body fat than men, and older adults will usually have more body fat than younger adults. Nevertheless, as a measuring tool, the BMI is used for men and women in the same way, and the adult weight distribution charts are also identical for men and women.
The difference comes in how the readings are interpreted. Children and teens are calculated the same way, but the outcome is judged differently because of the greater differences in body fat between boys and girls.2 When a high BMI is obtained, indicating overweight or obesity, the health care provider should perform additional assessments, such as examining diet, level of physical activity, skinfold thickness measurements, and other options, to obtain a fuller picture of an individual’s health.
If you are a highly developed athlete with greater muscle mass, chances are you follow a regimen of intense workouts, which demand high nutrition levels, as well as often being supplemented by nutrition bars. You may get a BMI reading that suggests you have more body fat than you do, when, in fact, you are not overweight. Your greater weight is possibly the result of high lean body mass, or bone and muscle, rather than high body fat.2
Why Is Obesity Such a Big Deal?
The health care and medical communities are very focused on health consequences of obesity because they are so significant. Obesity puts people at risk for a greater incidence of diseases including: high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and many other factors.
What Is a Healthy BMI?
In general, BMI status from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while 30 or more is considered obese. Athletes are generally assumed to have a higher BMI due to increased muscle mass, but they should be evaluated by a professional who will take into account all related health factors to get an accurate assessment of body fat. By contrast, aging adults who have lost muscle mass may get a low body fat reading that is inaccurate.
Measuring Body Fat – A More Complete Picture
There are limitations to the BMI method of assessing body composition, due to the factors described above, like differences in muscle mass. Obtaining a more accurate reading may require adding other methods that are considered acceptable by the medical and health communities.
- Skinfold Caliper Testing – Often used in combination with the BMI measurement, this test is widely and easily available. It can be performed by someone with the experience and training needed to get accurate assessments. As the name implies, it uses a set of calipers to pinch and measure areas of skin and fat underneath, in several specific locations around the body. The results are converted to a body fat percentage estimate. Experts suggest this method should be combined with a measurement of deep belly fat (not measureable with the skinfold calipers).
- Bioelectrical Impedance – This method sends a very slight electrical current (don’t worry—you won’t feel a thing) through the body, to measure the degree of resistance. Fatty tissue returns the electrical impulse more slowly than lean tissue, so a faster response rate indicates that you have a leaner body. You can keep a scale at home that measures body fat percentage in this way, and some personal trainers and gyms make them available. Experts note that the results can be affected by factors like your level of hydration and how recently you’ve had a meal, so it is best to use this method always at the same time of day, and to combine it with one or more other approaches, in order to obtain a fair comparison of results over time.3
- DEXA or Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry – A more scientifically accurate test, DEXA scans are x-rays that measure density of bone minerals, along with lean body and fat mass. The test is fast and painless, but the price is higher than other methods, and availability is limited to certain medical professonals.3
- Hydrostatic Weighing – Depending on your spirit of adventure and fondness for water, this may or may not be your method of choice. It measures body fat by submerging you completely under water and measuring your weight. This number is compared to your weight on dry land, and, together with the density of the water, gives a measure of body composition. Access and cost make it less appealing for the average person, or even the average health enthusiast.3
Use any of these methods as a comparison device to track progress toward your overall life and health goals, including a lower body fat content. It is recommended that repeat measurements are not taken any more often than six to eight weeks apart, to give the body time to adapt to any changes you make in exercise or nutrition.3 As part of a healthy, balanced diet, many highly active health enthusiasts and athletes supplement with healthy snacks like Promax Nutrition protein bars. For more information about their bars and other protein products, contact them at 888-728-8962.
As athletes, we know that sleep and rest is necessary to our training. Without good rest in between our training, our muscles don’t have the time they need to recover from our workouts and grow. We also know that without sleep, it makes it harder to make good nutritional choices since hormones like Leptin and Ghrelin affect our appetite. But what we hear a lot about regarding sleep is the timing of it—not just how much we are supposed to get a night but in particular for athletes, we hear that we shouldn’t be training so closely to our bedtimes if we don’t want them to be negatively affected. Promax is here to set the record straight. Here are 5 reasons that it’s a perfectly good idea to fit in an evening workout.
You Won’t Miss Out on Sleep
The thing about morning workouts, is that even if you get your workout out of the way before the stress of your day sets in, you often end up losing out on sleep. If you ask many athletes if they hit the snooze button or force themselves to wake up an hour or more early to fit in their workout, many may admit that they sacrifice sleep for a workout. But that’s not a good thing, because we need sleep just as much as we need exercising. Fitting in a workout in the afternoon or evening however, helps avoid missing out on sleep. You’re already up and going on about your day, so why not throw on your spandex and fit in a workout before turning in for the night?
Your Body is Already Warmed Up
In the morning your body is hopefully well rested from the busy day before and so warming up your muscles and getting motivated takes some effort. But in the afternoon and evening, you are already accustomed to being awake and moving around. A study from Northeastern University even found that a body’s temperature is higher between the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm and thus it’s easier to push your body to its limits when your muscles are warmer. Who knows, this could begin a new habit of hitting the gym for happy hour, instead of the bar.
You’ll Have a Buddy
It’s not easy to find a friend who has the same fitness goals and motivations as you and even when you do, it’s certainly difficult to find one who is open to getting up at the break of dawn to work out. If you choose to work out in the late afternoon or evening however, it’s must more likely that you’ll find a workout buddy who has a similar work schedule to you so you can find a convenient time that works for each of you.
You’ll Avoid Too Much Sun
The great thing about this time of year is that the sun rises early and sets late. That said, it’s hard to find the motivation to work out when the sun is too high in the sky. More important than motivation, is that it can be difficult to remain hydrated when it’s so hot out. If you make the decision to exercise in the evening, then you can take advantage of the cool summer evenings and be refreshed by your workout rather than overheated.
You Will Sleep Better
Exercise gets a hormone pumping in our body called epinephrine, similar to adrenaline, meaning that we do get a little lift from it. But that said, it’s not a HUGE lift with a big enough effect to keep us up at night. In fact, a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology states that unless exercising at a very high intensity, your workout is not very likely to negatively affect your sleep. Other studies go so far as to show that those who exercise, no matter what time of day, sleep better than those who don’t.
What’s Your Evening Routine?
Do you workout in the evening? If so, how do you schedule your workout and post meal nutrition with your sleep? We’d love to hear about your routine. Feel free to join the discussion on our Facebook page or get in touch directly!
While we’re training, we constantly have certain things in mind. We know that in order to be in our best shape, we need to get a proper amount of sleep, make sure that we remain hydrated, and take special care with nutrition to get the protein and carbohydrates we need. But there are specific parts of the body that we should be focused on taking special care of. Today we’re going to talk about the Achilles tendon. Did you know that when running or doing any sort of movement which requires a push-off motion, you’re not using your quad muscle, but instead using your ankle and Achilles tendon? That’s a lot of pressure for one tendon. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just getting started with your training, it’s important not to forget the Achilles.
Anatomy of the Achilles tendon
The Achilles tendon is located at the back of your ankle above the heel and is the body’s largest tendon. The tendon itself involves three muscular groups: the gastrocnemius muscle, the soleus muscle, and the medial and lateral heads of each. The gastrocnemius muscle is located above the knee and the soleus is below the knee. This means that the way you care for your knees and calf muscles all contribute to the overall wellness of your Achilles tendon.
How do I care for the Achilles tendon?
We’ve talked before about the importance of stretching and how it relates to your training. Stretching is particularly important when it comes to your Achilles tendon. Because the Achilles is related anatomically to so many muscle groups, it is important to keep your lower body well stretched. This means your quadriceps, your calves, and your ankles. It’s also a good idea to keep your hips, abs, and quadriceps strong so that you can use your strength there to alleviate pressure you’re putting on your Achilles tendon.
How will I know if I’ve hurt my Achilles tendon?
There are a few symptoms you’ll experience if there’s a problem with your Achilles tendon. Look out for the following:
-a snapping or popping noise
-pain when rotating the ankle or foot
If I hurt my Achilles tendon, what do I do?
The first thing that’s important to do if you hurt your Achilles tendon is to stop training. Yes, we know that’s hard to hear, but in the long run, it’ll be important that you get the rest and care you need to properly heal so that you can continue training as soon as possible. Make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as you can. In the meantime, focus on anti-inflammatory measures, like icing your Achilles tendon, keeping it elevated, and using compression.
In many cases a doctor will recommend physical therapy, though there are other therapies that can be done to treat problems surrounding your Achilles tendon. One of these therapies is Electric Shock Wave Therapy, which helps to promote the formation of new blood vessels.
Have more questions?
Getting injured, no matter how major or minor the injury is, is a scary thing for an athlete. Here at Promax, we’re here for you. If you have questions about training options you can do that won’t affect an injury, feel free to reach out with questions on our Facebook or Twitter. You can also choose to contact us directly, we’d love to hear from you!
It’s one of the first questions that people ask once they start going to the gym or seriously considering buffing up their physique: “How much weight should I be lifting?” It’s an important question, and getting the wrong answer could lead to doing a lot of work only to fail getting the results you’re looking for. That said, it is a question with more than one right answer, with the one that’s right for you depending on the fitness goals you’re trying to achieve.
How Much Weight to Lift?
“Building muscle” seems like a simple goal, but there are different ways to go about it. If you’re looking to gain strength, you’re going to want to do different exercises than if you’re just looking to add bulk.
If your main weightlifting goal is to build as much muscle strength as possible, then the answer to the “how much weight question” is going to be “a lot.” The target range includes weights that you can rep only 1-6 times. Specifically, you’re going to want to do lots of multi-joint movements like dead-squats, bench presses, and squats that exercise groups of muscles and joints like the elbows and shoulders. These exercises strengthen and grow fast-twitch muscle groups, which are the muscles that also get worked out during resistance training.
Keep in mind that fast-twitch muscles tend to tire out quickly, which means that strength building will entail long rest periods of up to five minutes between sets. You’ll also want to do a lot of warmups, and will have to be disciplined enough to stop yourself from doing more than your body can handle.
If you’re more interested in muscle size, you’re going to want to choose less heavy weights than are used for strength training. To achieve maximum muscle size, you should be able to comfortably perform 8-12 reps per set with the weights you are using. Keep in mind that this is the weight range that lets you perform “true” reps with perfect form – no bouncing the bar off your chest to give yourself a lifting boost or only bringing your arms down halfway.
Where strength training focuses on working out multiple muscles at once, bodybuilding is about exercising one muscle at a time in order to tone it as much as possible. Maintaining proper form is essential to bodybuilding – if you’re activating joints other than the one that the exercise you’re working on is meant to tone, you should revisit your technique to ensure that you get the results you’re looking for.
Bodybuilding also requires activating fast-twitch muscle fibers (i.e., the muscles that give you the strength to lift heavier weights the more you train). Like with strength training, that means doing multi-joint exercises. Whereas strength trainers focus on doing just a few of these exercises at their maximum lifting threshold, bodybuilders will want to use smaller weights so that they can perform more of these exercises with shorter weight periods. You should be able to perform 3-4 sets of each multi-joint exercises, with rest periods lasting only 60-90 seconds.
Whether you’re looking to bulk up, or lift more than anyone else, you’ll need a healthy source of protein to fuel your exercise. Promax bars are loaded with the protein that fitness buffs need, and they come in a variety of flavors. For more information, feel free to visit our .
My fitness journey started just about three years ago with working out in my room for 30 minutes a day. I was unsatisfied with being average and decided that I wanted to make change. No more swimming with my shirt on or feeling embarrassed at the beach. I began doing as much research on working out as I possibly could, spending countless hours reading articles and watching workout videos on YouTube. I quickly fell in love with working out, and it wasn’t too long before I had that six pack I’d always dreamed of. I’ve come a long way over the last three years and I am very proud of the progress I’ve made. That being said, I will never allow myself to be satisfied. Instead, I will continue to push myself in my pursuit of creating my best self.
Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX Original Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
In addition to pursuing my own fitness goals, I want to help others reach their goals. For this very reason, I decided to major in Exercise Science in college. Not only will I garner a great deal of fitness and nutrition information for myself, but I will be able to use that knowledge to help others reach their full potential and accomplish their fitness goals.
What is one unique thing about you?
Before I began bodybuilding and weightlifting, I was an artist, a BMX rider, and a Parkour and Freerunning enthusiast. Luckily, I truly believe I have finally found my calling.
Check out Brandon on INSTAGRAM!
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For those of us constantly training, we understand that we need our carbohydrates and our protein, and yes—even our sugar. But there are so many sugar alternatives out there, that when we want something that sweetens and doesn’t have the same negative effects on our body as sugar sometimes can, how do we know what the right product to choose is? Today we want to talk about Stevia, because there’s a lot of news circulating about it and because—guess what? It’s in Promax bars! Why in the world would be choose Stevia? Well, because it’s a perfectly safe sweetening product, and it’s natural. But we know you have more questions, so we’re happy to answer them!
Where does Stevia come from?
Stevia is completely natural. It comes from a plant. In fact, it comes from the same family as Chrysanthemum or ragweed. It’s been used in South American and Asian countries for ages as a sweetener. You can find Stevia in its natural form in Brazil, Paraguay, Japan, and China.
How does Stevia compare to sugar?
Believe it or not, Stevia is actually sweeter than sugar. Studies show that Stevia is found to be 200 times sweeter tasting than regular sugar. Not bad for something that isn’t even sugar, right? Because of this, your body reacts differently to Stevia than it would to sugar. Unlike sugar, which raises blood sugar, studies show that Stevia actually tends to lower blood sugar levels. This is a great benefit for everyone but especially for those training who may be suffering for Diabetes. (If you are suffering from Diabetes and want to try Stevia, though, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor first.)
Is Stevia safe for baking?
Yes, absolutely! Stevia is safe for baking and while it measures a bit differently than regular sugar will in a measuring cup, it’s perfectly safe to integrate it into your recipes.
How can I use Stevia?
There are so many ways you can use Stevia. You can put it in your coffee or tea, for instance. Another way to use it would be to sprinkle it over a tasty fresh fruit salad. If you’re someone who indulges in yogurt parfaits, you can include a little there also. Think of all the things that you may be tempted to use sugar for and instead, substitute Stevia.
Where do I find Stevia?
Stevia can be found in most grocery stores. You will find it usually in the sugar aisle or paired with the coffee or tea in single serving size packets. Other forms of artificial sugars which include Stevia are products like Truvia or ProVia, but these aren’t as natural as Stevia and are more processed.
Now that you know the basics about Stevia—where it comes from, how it compares to sugar (and how your body reacts differently), whether it’s safe for baking, how to use it, and where to find it, what’s stopping you? We’d love to know if you’re finding ways to incorporate Stevia into your daily nutrition. Is it by way of a Promax bar perhaps? If you’ve still got questions, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, we’re always happy to keep the fitness and nutrition conversation going!
Ever get that feeling you’re not full after you eat a meal or a mid-day snack? You know you ate enough, but you still have a craving for more. The truth is, some foods don’t keep you as full as others, and not feeling full and satisfied can lead to overgrazing and snacking too much. To combat that hungry feeling, we’ve gathered up a list of different foods that will leave you satisfied and full for hours.
Like apples, pears are a great snack to munch on, especially when it comes to keeping you full. Their fiber content does wonders for that hungry feeling. But pears don’t just keep you full, they have many other health benefits—they are packed full of vitamins B2, C, and E. Being high in vitamin C and copper, they help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals in the body, which helps to prevent cancer. As a bonus, the fiber in a pear is water soluble, so it helps keep the sugar levels in the body regular.
This one sounds strange at first – but have you noticed whenever you chew mint flavored gum or a peppermint, that your hungry feeling goes away? That’s because mint acts as an appetite suppressant, making you feel less hungry. But there are many more benefits to mint than just that. If your stomach feels off and you’re having digestion problems, drinking something infused with mint will help to soothe your stomach and promote proper digestion. Plus, by consuming mint in your diet, you’re revving up your digestive enzymes so you’ll be burning more fat – which in turn will help keep the weight off.
Chia seeds are the newest diet celebrity, and they should be, considering it’s been said they’re one of the best ways to suppress hunger. How? Chia seeds swell up in your stomach with liquid! They also contain high amounts of calcium, potassium, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals that contribute to bone health. And they can even help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study that showed decreasing rates of blood pressure and inflammation with chia seed consumption.
It’s time to swap out your favorite sugary cereal in the morning and opt for this filling, high-fiber breakfast food. If you feel sluggish in the mornings and want a boost of energy, oatmeal can fix that; since it’s high in protein and carbohydrates, you will get calories and energy in return, keeping you motivated during your busy work day or killer work out. You don’t have to eat oatmeal to gain all of its power, consider taking an oatmeal bath to soothe your skin and balance your skin’s pH level.
Of course nuts are on this list; their power to keep you full has been widely known for years, but don’t skim over their incredible health benefits. Nuts lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) so your chance of heart disease will decrease, plus they also prevent blood clots so your chance of a heart attack is lowered, too. Diabetes can be prevented by eating nuts as well, because fiber helps to prevent it.
The protein in hummus doesn’t just help to curb your appetite, but it promotes bone, muscle, skin, and blood health as well. If you’re having trouble keeping your digestive tract regular, it may be time for you to begin eating this delicious snack, since the fiber in hummus helps keep you regular. One unique factor of hummus is that it helps to relieve anemia in those who have it, because chickpeas are packed full of iron, so oxygen gets delivered to red blood cells.
Of course, for the ultimate on the go fix for that hungry feeling, our Promax protein bars are the perfect solution. From our original, lower sugar, and pro series bars to all the different flavors we have, you’ll be sure to find the one to satisfy your appetite. The protein and fiber in our bars keep you full and energized, plus they’re packed with so many vitamins and minerals, you’ll know you’re doing something good for your health at the same time you’re enjoying your snack.
For more information nutrition tips, be sure to come back to the Promax Nutrition blog each week.
Dessert is one treat we all love to have – and when it contains health benefits, it takes the word “treat” to a whole new level. We love protein and desserts, so combining the two sounds like heaven to us. To share the love, here are 4 recipes so you can create some protein packed desserts at home!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bites
What You’ll Need:
- ⅔ cup raw cashews (you can use almonds instead if you prefer)
- ⅓ cup oats
- 1 scoop whey vanilla protein powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (agave nectar can be used as a substitute)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk chocolate chips
- Grind your cashews and oats in a food processor until powdery.
- Add your syrup, vanilla, and protein powder and mix it until smooth.
- Stir in chocolate chips, and then roll your mixture into small balls (about one-inch balls).
- Place in refrigerator to chill and keep them there to store.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cups
What You’ll Need:
- ¾ cup Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons vanilla protein
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- ¼ cup PB2
- ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Combine your vanilla protein and PB2 in a small bowl, and then add in your unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Mix the ingredients together, then add in your peanut butter and mix until smooth.
- Melt your chocolate chips over low heat in a small pan.
- In your 8 silicone baking cups, add a small layer of your just melted chocolate. Then place them in a tray in the freezer for 15 minutes (until hard).
- Place a spoonful of your peanut butter mixture into each baking cup (make sure you leave enough room on the sides for your chocolate to fill in).
- Add more melted chocolate to the top of each baking cup.
- Place your cups back in the freezer for 30 minutes (until hard).
- Remove them from the silicon baking cups, wrap in foil, and place back in the freezer until serving.
What You’ll Need:
- ¼ cup instant oats
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 6 ounces of fat-free cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup mashed banana
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven for 300°. Coat 2 jumbo-sized muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.
- Stir your oats and applesauce together in a small bowl. After stirring, divide the bowl in half and press each half into the bottoms of the muffin cups (1 half=1 muffin cup).
- Bake your muffin cup bottoms for 8 minutes. Let them cool.
- Mix your cream cheese and honey in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is smooth. Add in the mashed banana, cornstarch and vanilla. Spread your combined mixture (this is your filling) on top of the cool crusts.
- Bake in the oven for 19-22 minutes (until the center slightly jiggles).
- Cool at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill (at least 3 hours).
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Protein Brownies
What You’ll Need:
- ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup Whey Chocolate Protein Powder
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla (you can opt for Chocolate Almond Milk instead)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup chocolate chips (also leave 2 tablespoons for the topping)
- ½ cup raspberries
- Heat your oven to 350°. Spray your baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (can be any size pan but suggested size is 8 x 8).
- Blend your oats in a blender until they have a flour-like consistency. Transfer them to a medium sized bowl. Add in your protein powder and cocoa powder, then whisk it all together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together your applesauce, egg, honey, vanilla, and almond milk until it’s blended well and smooth. Add in the rest of your dry ingredients until all ingredients are combined.
- Over low heat, heat your ¼ cup of chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Stir them continuously until it’s all melted together. Stir in brownie batter. (If you prefer using a microwave to heat you can—just stick them in for 30-45 seconds).
- Pour your mixture into your pan, and take your 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and sprinkle them on top. Chop your raspberries in half and add them to the top.
- Bake your brownies for 18-22 minutes.
- Cool them on a wire rack, cut them into pieces (bars or squares) and place in refrigerator to chill.
Of course, if you’re looking for something much easier, and even more delicious, you can always enjoy our Promax Cookies ‘n Cream bars or our Promax Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for dessert, or even right after your workout! Packed with protein, our bars are the best way to refuel – and the flavors are unbeatable.
For more amazing recipes, be sure to check out our #MAXMunchies!
If you walk into a gym you’re more than like to see different athletes pull out things from their gym bags that make it look more like a first aid kit—gauze, compression bands, medical tape, ice packs and more. And while you may be surrounded by weights and machines and not surgical equipment, it’s important to keep in mind that along with training comes the risk of injury.
What’s the most common cause of injury?
The most common cause of a sports injury is from training too much. Sounds too simple, right? It’s not. Overtraining can put unnecessary pressure on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, causing serious pain and delaying or even derailing your training.
What are the most common sports injuries?
-Achilles tendon injuries
-Sprains and strains
-Rotator cuff injuries
If I get injured what can I do?
When you get injured one of the first things you can do is stop and assess the injury. If you feel pain—not discomfort, but pain, stop and assess. Many athletes follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If doing these things doesn’t do anything to alleviate your pain then it is a good idea to go to a doctor or physical therapist to seek further instruction on what you can do to allow your body to heal. Remember that if you continue training while injured, you can make the injury even worse, so get the problem checked out as soon as you can.
There’s more you can do!
Besides taking care of yourself physically and making sure that you care appropriately for the injured area of your body, you can also take notice of what is going into your body. Proper nutrition is an important component of training that not only helps to prevent injury but also helps in recovering from injuries as well.
What should I focus on?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: protein and carbohydrates are essential to your training. Thus, they are also crucial to pay attention to when you have an injury.
When it comes to protein, you can eat either animal-based or plant-based proteins. Whey protein powder is from animal protein, but you can also take the time to cook up chicken or fish. The most accessible vegetable-based protein to consume is soy protein, but you can also get a small amount of protein from rice and beans (though not as much as soy, as they don’t have as many amino acids). The amino acids in proteins will help to your muscles begin to repair themselves. Eating carbohydrates will help to replace the glycogen that we used during our workout, which will help get our energy back up.
Carbohydrates are more important for the prevention of injuries, as they help give you the energy you need to train as hard as you do, while protein is most important when it comes to recovery and healing. We know that it can be hard to feel like you have time to fit in the proper nutrition, especially if you need to add physical therapy and icing to your routine. Take the time to plan out your nutrition if you can and if you don’t have time, grab a protein shake or a well-engineered protein bar to keep you fueled.
Don’t Forget the H20
Often when we’re training, we get so involved into our routines and nutrition intake, that we forget about one of the most important things we need: water. Hydration is an extremely important piece of the workout puzzle. Water helps our kidneys to function well and to filter the waste out of system. It also contributes to the wellness of other systems in our bodies, like our digestive system. When we lack water, our bodies let us know. Drink the recommended amount each day and to protect yourself against injury and recover further, drink even more than that.
Take care of yourself
We’ve laid out the injury basics for you, but before we go, we wanted to remind you: listen to your body. We’re all for training hard, but listen to what your body is telling you. Make sure you get the proper nutrition along the way to both prevent injury and help with recovery. If you have more questions about fitness and nutrition, feel free to take a look at our blog or reach out to us directly here at PROMAX.
It’s easy to get tired in the world we live in. Think about it. We’re always on the go, always working toward a new goal, and once we reach it, we’re already onto the next one. And while this kind of mindset is ambitious and healthy, it can be exhausting. We all know that there are days when we look at our gym bag—and then we think about our bed. When is it time to say “enough is enough” and skip a workout to catch up on sleep? Do you choose that extra hour of sleep in the morning or do you get up, lace up your sneakers, and hit the pavement? A lot of advice columnists answering this question will say “You can do both!” How ideal of them. The reality of it is, sometimes you have to make a choice—there’s no way you can possibly fit everything into your schedule, unless you somehow add more hours to the day (we’ve been trying to do it for years and it hasn’t worked yet, so good luck).
What hormones does sleep help regulate?
Ah, this is interesting. So there are a couple hormones that our body releases that specifically are related to our food intake. Leptin is a hormone that suppresses hunger. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite. In order to have a proper balance of these hormones, which with the right choices can lead to great nutritional habits, you need to get a proper amount of sleep.
What is a proper amount of sleep?
The jury is actually still out on that one. For some it’s 6 and for others it’s 9. Because so many people fluctuate in the amount of sleep they need, doctors recommend getting in about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. When you stop to think about it, it seems like a lot—that’s the average amount of time people spend at their job every day…and we’re supposed to get that much sleep? The answer is yes. For all the work you do during the day physically and mentally, you need the sleep. Just like we need to refuel our bodies after a workout, sleep is a way for us to refuel after each day.
Can I workout if I’ve gotten less sleep than that?
The “proper amount of sleep” jury and this jury are apparently out to lunch together, because that is also up for debate. It all depends on how much sleep you normally get and how good you feel. If you normally get 7 hours and only got 6.5 or 6 the night before, you may be able to fit in a light workout. If you only got 4 hours however, we wouldn’t recommend it. That’s because your body hasn’t spent the time it needs recuperating yet. Sure, you can work out, but odds are that you won’t be able to give it your all like you did on a day after you got a good night’s rest.
What if I really really want to work out?
If you haven’t gotten enough sleep and are really itching to work out—which we totally understand, because exercise relieves stress, then take a nap. We recommend taking a power nap for about 10-20 minutes and nothing longer. Taking a longer nap could get you kicked in to your REM cycle which is a way deeper sleep then you want to sink into before a sweat session. After your power nap, you should be good to go and work out. But be easy on yourself and listen to your body!
What’s the Promax jury’s ruling?
Like we spoke about before, it’s hard to say what is the right and wrong thing to do because everyone is different. Whether you should snooze or sweat all depends on you, your regular sleep schedule, your nutritional habits, how rigorous your workout is, and many other factors. All in all, it may be smarter to spend the extra hour catching up on sleep if you really need it. Exercising when you’re too tired can lead to mistakes in form and injury. But then again, you are an athlete and you know your limits—so you decide. If you think you’ve solved the mystery, we want to hear from you—feel free to get in touch directly!
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