Friday, February 5, 2016

Food labels and what they mean

Once you are inside the store, walking through the aisles, and deciding what items to purchase, it is critical to read the food labels to make wise purchase decisions. Below are some things to look for when reading food labels.
  • Sugar - Many  times, manufacturers trick the customer by claiming a product is fat free. However, in  reality it is also very high in sugar. You are definitely getting low fat, but all the extra sugar will result in an excess of stored fat. Pretty good trick, isn't it?

  • Portion Size - People also are misled when they trust that the company has their best interest at heart and, as a result, neglect to read the labeled serving size of a product. Products usually have calories listed for one serving and they highlight the number of servings per package. The customer might buy it thinking that it contains fewer calories but in reality if a package contains four servings, calories might be multiplied by the number stated on the cover which is  another important reason to start reading labels.
  • Fat - Avoid food which is very high in fat. Check labels for saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats have shown to raise blood cholesterol levels, causing  ill effects on the heart. These fats are found in meats, whole-fat dairy products, baked and processed goods, butter, and margarine.

  • Sodium - According to The American Heart Association, nine out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium. The recommended daily allowance is 1500 milligrams or less, but an average American consumes about 3400 milligrams in a day.  Too much sodium can put you at risk for heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, osteoporosis, headache, and water retention which  could further develop into  bloating, puffiness and weight gain1. Also, sodium is usually high in canned goods  because salt is used for preservation and fast food is high in sodium as well.   
  • Our bodies make cholesterol in addition to the consumption we receive  from food sources like eggs, meat, and full fat dairy products. In adequate quantities, cholesterol plays a significant role in maintaining hormonal balances, synthesis of hormones, utilisation of vitamin D, production of bile, proper functioning of brain and many more benefits to the human body. A major problem arises when cholesterol levels are higher than the body needs. Excess of this cholesterol clogs the arteries, reducing the blood flow which can lead  to stroke and heart attack, and keeping the brain from getting enough oxygen. Checking cholesterol levels on the product labels could significantly lower cholesterol levels and improve health.

1 “The effects of excessive sodium on your health & appearance”.(2014). The American Heart Association. Retrieved from
2 How to understand and use the nutritional facts labels. (2015). U.S Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A small overview of The Laboratory for Wellness and Motor Behavior at Tarleton State University

I have been a Trainer/Grad. Assistance  in the Laboratory for wellness and Motor Behavior lab for two years now here at Tarleton State University. It’s a lab where we exercise stroke survivors, diabetics, hemiplegics, cerebral palsy, and people with multiple sclerosis. Majority of our patients run out of insurance to pay for Physical Therapy, so they come to use for free. Overtime with working these extraordinary people, I began to notice a trend. On their first workout session, they’ll be on at least 10 different medications, but a couple months later there dosage goes down; ultimately to the point of no use of that synthetic drug. Which raises the question, How can someone who is so dependent on pharmaceutical drugs, end up with no need for them after a training program? If this is true, let's increase the physical activity so we can see a decline in prescription drug.  00130001.JPG

After physical therapy most patients never tend to work out after they leave rehab. They sit at home and never move, allowing their muscles to stiffen up.  How do we unstiffen our muscle? The answer is simple, stretch, exercise in all range of motion, repeat.  Most people know that stretching increases blood supply. Because stretching allows blood to flow through your body, the nutrients in the blood are being carried and spread out all throughout your body as well. An increased blood and nutrient supply also helps reduce soreness.(1)In regards to increase blood supply and nutrients, exercising has the same benefits.

In the lab we go beyond the three sets of ten that the physical therapist administers. For example, we will put a client on a flywheel powered cycle and as the patient pedals, the flywheel has momentum in the direction whether is forward or backwards. We can crank up the resist in which they pedal against.  For instance, the first workout session for a client they will pedal for five hundred revolutions. A revolution on our cycles is a complete trip for the pedal; you end where you started. A couple months later in their training program they are up to four thousand revolutions.  “Four thousand revolutions?!” you say. A lot blood is being pumped through the body.32790.jpg
This is just a miniscule of what we do here in the lab. At anytime, the Wellness lab can consist of massage therapy, corrective exercise training, physical therapy, speech therapy, nutrition, and even psychotherapy. As kinesiologists, our view is holistic , and make sure our clients are in balance to be functional fit.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Difference Between Kicking- Soccer vs Football

Kicking footballs and kicking soccer balls- not the same thing.  Even though many would say it is, whether one is kicking a football or soccer ball, it is the same concept.  For those that actually know the skill; one, the other, or both- they will agree that even though you are striking a ball with your foot, the sport and the type of ball makes a big difference.  Majority of football kickers either grew up playing soccer or have played soccer at one point in their life, but that is not necessarily a requirement because there have been many successful football kickers that have never played soccer in their lives. This is relevant information because it’s a clear indication that there is no direct correlation with how good a kicker is or can be, if they have played/ not played soccer before.
Kicking a football is a skill; skills are learned and made better with practice, it can also be something that comes “naturally to an athlete but for the most part, one can only get better at kicking footballs with practice no matter how much natural ability they may have.  New York Giants placekicker, Josh Brown, was asked about his thoughts on the difference between kicking a football and a soccer ball, his response was “with football we are trying to accomplish the ball to fly straight… not very often does a soccer player get to stand there and just look at his goal”.1  That phrase within itself specifies that the terms in which an athlete is kicking a ball is different between the 2 sports (football kicker- stationary, soccer- always moving).  Another huge difference is obvious, the difference in ball size and shape.  In football the ball is only striked in one place, the “sweet spot”, lower middle half of the ball.  Whereas in soccer, since the surface area of the ball is wider you can kick various types of kicks: a curve ball, a knuckle ball,  outside the foot, toe ball, and many more.2. 

Football contact- "sweet spot"

Soccer Contact- Knuckle/ Curve

Image result for kicking a soccer ball

1 Differences: Kicking Football vs. Futbol. (2014, June 26). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

2 The Various Ways to Strike a Soccer Ball. (2015). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

The Hail Mary!

Down by 7, 55 yards from the endzone, 5 seconds left, Rodgers takes the snap, drops back, heaves the ball high into the sky and….stop me if you’ve heard this one before. With the recent conclusion to regulation of the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals there has been some attention drawn to the “Hail Mary” play that has been around for decades. Due to the rarity of its success along with the vital impact it tends to have on games it makes it into one of the most exciting plays to happen in all of sports, comparable to a buzzer-beating shot half-court shot in basketball or a last second long-range goal in soccer.


The term first became widely known after a 1975 NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings. From midfield with 37 seconds left on the clock, trailing 14-10, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw a long desperation pass down the right sideline to a waiting Drew Pearson, who caught it at the 5 yard line as Vikings corner back Nate Wright fell down. Pearson then turned and jogged into the endzone, scoring a touchdown and putting the Cowboys up 16-14 with just 24 seconds remaining. They would go on to win the game 17-14, after the extra-point advancing to Super Bowl X where they lost to the Steelers 21-17. After the game, Staubach said of the play “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”1 Although previously known as any sort of desperation play, this was the when a “Hail Mary” became known as a long, desperate pass at the end of the game that is hoped to gain some points when the team is out of field goal range or in need of a Touchdown.2


Some of the most memorable and exciting plays in all of football include “Hail Mary” plays. Either as a result of poor defense, a spectacular play by the offense, or just plain luck, these plays can not only determine the fate of a game but also the whole season for a team. Whether it’s Staubach to Pearson, sending the Cowboys to a classic Super Bowl matchup with the Steelers, or Aaron Rodgers to Jeff Janis pass that ultimately doesn’t change the outcome, you can always count on a “Hail Mary” to provide some excitement.

Hail Mary Pass. Retrieved January 21, 2016

Retrieved January 21, 2016


     If you’re the normal fan watching football on TV at home or watching your team at the local watering hole, you may watch every part of the game. The quarterback handing the ball off to the running back or making a pass. Defenders making tackles and interceptions etc, but there’s one position that most people overlook and that’s the offensive. It may not be a hall of fame position. Or a sexy position2. But, it’s the most important. My whole life I have played only one position and at times I wanted to be one of the skinny guys making game thrilling plays that would be talked about forever. Instead I was blessed with size, strength and other qualities which allowed me to play the position effectively. Looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way! There is truly something special about playing offensive line. Five guys are asked to carry the weight of the whole offense, team and receive none of the credit that is due. Being an offensive lineman incorporates everything that it means to be a football player. These qualities include being unselfish, tough, strong, gritty, prideful and any other adjective you think of. It’s a unique collection of characters that are willing to do absolutely whatever it takes, and sacrifice their bodies on every play and every game so their team can be successful. Being a good offensive lineman requires more than just discipline or a good blocking technique. It requires pride -- pride in yourself; your group and your team. A team with pride is a hard team to beat because they're willing to do the little things that most teams aren't willing to do1. It may not look pretty to the ordinary person, but to us it’s a well-oiled machine working in sync. I’ve played the position for almost ten years and personally it’s the greatest position on the field. So next time you are watching your team play, take a peek at the o-line and watch the nastiness that goes on in the trenches and know that o-lineman love pancakes.
  2. Nason,A.n.d.).TheGreatestPositionNeverSeen:TheOffensiveLine.Retrieved January21,2016,from

Concussions in Football

Marc Martinez
Concussions in Football

The rise of concussions is a very significant issue in today’s sports. Football is the main sport that has put many people in an uncomfortable feeling when looking into the effects of concussions.CDC reports show that the amount of reported concussions has doubled in the last 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 years old has doubled, and concussions have risen 200 percent among teens ages 14 to 19 in the last decade.1 Throughout the history of football, technology of the equipment has come a long ways. However the new development of the equipment has not completely erased the amount of concussions received. Impact speed of a football player tackling a stationary player: 25mph.2  Concussions cause players to be unconscious or dazed when hit during a game. These can lead to traumatic brain injuries in which some cases have lead athletes to commit suicide.
Concussions are never going to be completely gone in our society, but there are a few easy steps we can do to ensure the decline of concussions.
●     Pre health examinations
●     Innovation of better helmets
●     Construct new rules, which will reduce the amount of concussions.
Accomplishing these steps will aid in the safety of our future football players on the field. This may prevent the concussion rate and keep our All-American game a safer sport for parents to allow their kids to play.
Recently, with these rules established there has been very beneficial results to the amount of concussions suffered. If we can keep establishing new rules and regulations, the concerned discussion of concussions in football may eventually settle down and people can see that football can be a much safer game.


  1. Head Case - Complete Concussion Managements. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2016, from Head Health Management Systems
  2. Concussion Facts | Sports Concussion Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2016, from

The Conjugate System- "The Basics"

Strength and conditioning coaches utilize many different training programs, methods, and techniques to increase an athlete’s athletic potential. The conjugate system is one method  most commonly used among power lifters. This blog will help you understand the way strength coaches implement the various strategies within a conjugate system.
Simplified programming may allow athletes to become stronger but only to a certain degree.1 Specialized programming will allow an athlete  to push through plateaus which simple programs will not get them through. Different days of the week utilize different efforts to accomplish the daily goals. Listed are the different efforts:
  • Max Effort
    • This is for the major lower and upper body movements with a load of 90-100% of their one repetition max.
  • Dynamic Effort
    • This is for the major lower and upper body movements with a load of 45-65% of their one repetition max and can be used with accommodating resistance.
  • Repetition Effort
    • This is for the accessory lifts that coaches may put after certain major lifts to assist different aspects the strength coach may have planned for the program.
Coaches are able to implement these different efforts throughout a specific program for their athletes to increase athletic performance simplified programs may not. Utilizing these different strategies throughout the week can make the athlete’s goals more achievable throughout the program.
  1. Death to the Conjugate Method? (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2016, from

Know Each Type

When someone tells you they are diabetic, do you automatically think  they are type two? Do you really know the differences  between  Type 1 and Type II diabetes? To some, it may make no difference, but to someone who has diabetes, it means everything.

Type 1
Type one diabetes, formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes, occurs when the pancreas in the body completely shuts down and can no longer produce the cells that release insulin in the body. Without insulin , the cells cannot break down sugar (glucose) that aids energy production necessary for performing daily functions. Type one diabetics are insulin dependent and count for five to ten out of a hundred people with diabetes.1
Type 2
Type two diabetes, also known as adult-onset, occurs at any age. Those with type two diabetes typically get diagnosed during adulthood. In this stage, their pancreas is still functioning but has very little insulin, or  the insulin is not utilized effectively, known as insulin resistance. The majority of people with diabetes are diagnosed under type two.1
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and is defined as glucose intolerance. Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy in any woman and typically dies out after the birth of your child. Diagnoses of gestational diabetes occur because the placenta makes many hormones that lead up to a buildup of sugar in the blood. Normally, the pancreas is able to produce enough insulin to  use the extra sugar being produced from the placenta, but if not, this causes the development of gestational diabetes. Along with type 2, gestational diabetes still has a functioning pancreas so it may produce insulin, but may not necessarily break down sugar effectively.2
With the three different types of diabetes, it is important to understand which are insulin dependent versus non-insulin dependent. There are similar medications used for all three types, but the usage of each medication is very different.
Many people do not realize they are diagnosed or may be at risk for any of these types. Yearly checkups are highly recommended.
1 Diabetes: Differences Between Type 1 and 2-Topic Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21,
2016, from
2 Buchanan, T. A., Xiang, A., Kjos, S. L., & Watanabe, R. (2007). What is gestational diabetes?. Diabetes care, 30(Supplement 2), S105-S111.
Starting Your First Run! Aerobic Threshold Training
          Have you ever tried to start running after not exercising for a long time? Did you lace up your shoes, head out the door and after a few minutes you had a burning sensation in your lungs and legs? You were most likely running at too hard of an effort and not training the appropriate energy system for your first run. threshold training is one of the two components that help develop endurance in an athlete.1 “Endurance is defined as the capacity to sustain a given speed of work rate for the longest period of time.”1 The energy system you primarily use when training your aerobic threshold is the oxidative system. Your goal as an endurance athlete is to increase your aerobic threshold because this allows your body to delay the usage of glycogen as an energy source. Fatty acids are stored in muscle cells while glycogen is stored in muscle cells and the liver. Training at your aerobic threshold is when your body starts changing main fuel sources from fatty acids to glycogen. The longer you can delay using glycogen as an energy source the longer duration of exercise you can accomplish.2 Your aerobic threshold is typically 65-75% of your current vo2 max, depending on the athlete.1 When starting training for an endurance event you want to be training in this specific training zone for the first few weeks. This allows your body time to adapt physiologically to the stress you will put it through during harder efforts.

When an athlete is training at his or her aerobic threshold they should still be able to carry on a conversation while running. This might be difficult for your first few runs, but in time it will become easier.  
1Freeman, W. (Ed.). (n.d.). Track and Field Coaching Essentials / USA Track and Field
2Barder, O. (n.d.). The Aerobic and Anaerobic Thresholds. What Is the Aerobic Threshold? Retrieved January 22, 2016, from

Entertainment and Sport

ESPN, though not the broadcasting network for Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoff Round Game, undeniable entertainment and sport was placed on stage. A game that kicked off at 7:15 pm at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and ended in final overtime at roughly 10:30 pm was definitely one to remember. This read is to cover for those who may have went to sleep early or missed a game that will be talked about throughout the remainder of this playoff journey. The last five minutes [including overtime] created madness that would define the fate of two teams.
To state that opportunities weren’t left on the field Saturday night for both the Green Bay Packers and the winners of last night’s bout, the Arizona Cardinals, would be the setting to start this bedtime story. Just a little under a month ago, Arizona blew out Green Bay in a 38-8 final. 26-20 would be the final in this one. Both games between the two teams this season would have the same result.
Yet, every opportunity had some degree of apparent madness related to it in this one.
The madness began when, down 3, Carson Palmer threw an interception. The Cardinals later fall into two circumstances where the chains were brought out to measure the distance to a first down, and each time the Cardinals picked up the 1st down by the degree of a single chain length. The Cardinals’ continue to keep the drive moving on a controversial catch or non-catch [don’t let the Dallas fans decide] that got them into the redzone.
Arizona scores off a miracle deflection landing in the hands of Michael Floyd to take the lead, 17-13. Green Bay is left with 3:44 in the game, and faces a must convert 4th down against one of best pass defenses in the league. Green Bay fails to convert and all Arizona has to do is run the ball and run out the clock. Yet, as the madness continues, the Cardinals would throw a fade route well covered by the Packers and leave an opportunity yet again for Green Bay. remain and what’s madness without lightning. Yes, lightning would seem to strike twice on the same game tying drive as Rodgers would throw one 60 yard pass completion for Janis on a 4th and 20, and a Hail Mary touchdown pass to head into overtime.
The madness didn’t stop at the end of regulation and, gravity would also play its part in this one, a coin toss without a flip would start overtime. How often do you see that? I mean, I’ve know how to flip a coin since the 1st grade. Some would yell conspiracy, and others would state claim to pure entertainment and sport.1 or bad luck, the Arizona Cardinals move on to the NFC Championship Game in what may go down as one of the craziest playoff games to ever take place.2

1Seifert, K., & Wilde, J. (2016, January 17). Coin toss, catch controversy heighten drama of Cardinals' win. Retrieved January 17, 2016, from