Cardio Calorie Burners

After a tough workout or a long day at work, you may feel tired, unfocused, and frazzled. As you are probably aware, stress and anxiety have a large effect on your body, particularly in muscle tissue. We often think of massage as an experience of relaxation and tranquility, but massage is also an important process that keeps the blood flowing through your muscles to alleviate tension. Spending a few minutes to give yourself a massage at the end of your day can have amazing effects on your tired nerves and leave you feeling relaxed and a little less stiff. So give your body a break and use some of these tools for a rejuvenating massage.

Foam Rollers

The cylindrical foam rollers are excellent for muscle tension over a large area of the body. Using one can help improve joint stability, posture, and mobility. You can utilize foam rollers to strengthen your muscles with the best alignment, to prevent injury. You can trigger the knots in your back, calves, hamstrings, and quads by placing the foam roller on the floor and rolling your target muscles over it, using the weight of your body to put pressure on a tender spot, or trigger point, and relieve tension. When you roll over a bump, focus on that spot until the knot is gone.

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Hike of the Issue – Gaviota Peak

Length of Trail: 6 miles round trip

Time Spent (Round trip): Approximately three hours

Level of Difficulty: Challenging: It is a steady and moderately steep uphill to the top

How to get there
: Going north on the 101 Freeway, exit Highway 1 to Vandenberg Airforce base. At the stop sign take a sharp right and drive to the parking area. You will need to deposit a $2 parking fee at the post at the beginning of the trail

The Trail: The trail begins on an uphill dirt road surrounded by vegetation. At about ½ mile up, there is a fork in the road with a path leading to the hot springs. To get to Gaviota Peak, stay on the dirt road which curves to the left and downhill. This path leads through a field and gradually becomes a steep uphill. After about three miles, there is another fork in the road.

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Doctor’s Orders: Asleep, But Not Sneezing

 If we were contestants on the Family Feud and the question was “Name an anti-histamine” we would all slam our hands on the buzzer and blurt out, “Diphenhydramine!” and then quickly look away to avoid getting smooched by the host. Diphenhydramine is best known by its brand name, Benadryl.

Most people know that diphenhydramine is a strong allergy medication. Most people also know that diphenhydramine can make people sleepy. That is why it is the active ingredient in virtually all over the counter sleeping aids including Nyquil and Tylenol PM.

What most people don’t realize is that, like alcohol, regardless of how “awake” someone feels after taking diphenhydramine, it still slows down reaction times. In fact, because of this effect, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of diphenhydramine. I don’t get the feeling that this is a very strictly enforced law – at least not until we have a good breath, blood, or urine test to detect its levels. But once we do, I think the SBPD should be very wary of anyone they pull over who is not talking in a nasally voice.

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Hike of the Issue – San Ysidro Trail

Length of trail: 9 mile round trip

Level of Difficulty: Very challenging: You’ll need a lot of energy and endurance for this hike. It’s very steep for most of the way, and you will be exposed to sun for a good portion of the time. Make sure you go on a cool day.

Time spent (round trip): 3.5 to 4 hours with a good pace with little resting.

How to get there:

Going south on the 101 freeway, take the San Ysidro exit and turn left.

At East Valley Road, (there is a shopping center there) turn right

Turn left onto Park Lane (this street is hard to find, so pay attention)

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The Splinted Shins

If I were giving a speech to the American College of Sports Medicine, I would start with a joke: “Why were the high school track athletes walking on their heels? Because they were trying to heal their shin splints!” The audience would erupt in boisterous laughter and deep inside I would cry a little because that really is what I did in high school. Back then I was just a soccer player in short shorts and spikes. I did as I was told.

Of course, in those days, Dos Pueblos had the unforgiving black asphalt track. Nowadays, it’s the all-weather ground rubber surface that gives foot massages and back therapy. Kids these days.

My understanding of shin splints is different now (and hopefully more accurate). Shin splints are an ‘overuse injury’. This means that there are no heroic saves/tackles/runs/dives to explain the injury. This is not to say that one cannot be made up. I wish I had told my friends in high school that I had injured my legs breaking cinder blocks with consecutive jumping round houses without touching the ground like a Crouching Tiger or a Hidden Dragon. And thanks to, I still can.


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Physical Therapy: What You Need to Know

I am often asked, “would physical therapy work for me?” or “what would a physical therapist do for this problem?” With so many healthcare choices available, it can often be difficult to choose the most appropriate provider, and thus, many people go on living with pain and dysfunction that could be resolved. Physical therapy in particular, has undergone significant changes throughout its development, which has left the healthcare consumer confused on issues; such as what it means to be a physical therapist and what conditions the PT (physical therapist) can treat. It is my goal to provide some clarity in order to help guide those experiencing musculoskeletal dysfunction in the most appropriate direction.

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Hike of the Issue – Jesusita Trail

Length of Trail: 7 miles round trip

Level of Difficulty: Moderate; good amount of shade, and it only gets steep towards the top

Time Spent: 2-3 hours

How to get there: Going south on the 101, exit Mission. Take a right off the freeway, and drive towards the Santa Barbara Mission. At the corner of Laguna Street and Los Olivos Street, follow Los Olivos, which will turn into Mission Canyon Road. At the stop sign, turn left onto Foothill Road. Turn right onto San Roque Road. You will pass the W.B. Carter Water Filtration Plant, and see a little clearing and a sign that says “Jesusita Trail.” You can park your car there.

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The Pain of Pain Relief

I imagine Lance Armstrong wakes up after winning the tour de France with some aches and pains. I also imagine that he treks down his local drugstore to look for some relief. Of course, in reality, he probably has a personal physician at his beck and call and the drugstore delivers anything he wants directly to his door by moped, ironically. But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend he actually has to go there himself.

Once there, he gets accosted by a battalion of bottles and packages all desperately vying for his attention. The “fat cats” of over-the-counter pain medications, like Advil, Aleve Pain Relievers, and Tylenol, occupy the prime, eye-level real estate. The lesser known brands are forced to look up from their peon levels and dream of climbing these shelves of success. Perhaps he sees his picture on a bottle of the “FRS” supplement he promotes and wonders if his nose is really that crooked?

Trying to choose the right pain reliever can be a pain in and of itself. There are tablets, capsules, gelcaps, and melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-gym bag red i-tads. There are boxes, child proof bottles that require a 3 year old to open, and regular bottles that still require a 3 year old to open. So how is a sore tour de France winner to choose the right medication?

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