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Firefighter Fitness

SFD and IAFF 574 are interested in the health and well being of all of its members.  This page will provide information about exercise and nutrition.  Articles will come from, among others, Drew McKenzie (who will now be leading the physical training portion of the SFD Fire Academy).  Drew can be contacted at:

Drew McKenzie MS, CSCS
Exercise Physiologist
St. Joseph's/Candler
Wellness Center
5353 Reynolds St.
Savannah, GA 31405
(912) 819-8800
mckenzied@sjchs.org
drewnmckenzie@yahoo.com


Dec 05, 2006

SHIN SPLINT

Meg Barton, MS ATC/L CSCS

St. Joseph’s/Candler Sports Medicine

Certified Athletic Trainer

DEFINITION:  “Shin Splint” is an inadequate and misleading terminology applied to a

dull aching pain experienced along the front side of the lower leg.

 

ANATOMICAL POSSIBILITIES FOR “SHIN SPLINT”:

 

1.)    An irritation or tearing of the interosseous membrane ( the soft tissue between

The lower leg bones).

 

2.)    Irritation of the muscles directly attached to the lower leg bones resulting in

Inflammation along the edge of those bones (periostitis).

 

3.)    Poor circulation of the lower leg.

 

4.)    Breakdown of the arches.

 

5.)    Pronation of feet.

 

PHYSICAL CAUSES FOR “SHIN SPLINTS”:

1.)    Shoes—

a.)    worn out

b.)    not enough arch support

c.)    not enough heel cushion

 

2.)    Running the same direction every day.

 

3.)    Running on hard surfaces.

 

4.)    Always running in the inside lane of the track.

 

5.)    Lower leg muscle imbalance.

 

6.)    Lack of ROM and flexibility.

 

7.)    Unconditioned for event.

 

TREATMENT:

 

1.)    Ice—15-20 minutes every two hours as able throughout the day.

2.)    Tape

3.)    Rest

4.)    Achilles flexibility exercises using either a belt, standing stretches or tilt box.

5.)    Exercises—12-15 reps, 3 sets, preferably 2-3 times per day:

a.)    Dorsiflexion--  starting with no weights, progressing to manual resistance

theraband and/or weights. 

b.)    Towel curls

c.)    Marble pick-ups

d.)    Coke bottle rolls

e.)    Alphabet

f.)     Overall lower leg strength as needed

 

6.)    Alternate training during the injury:

a.)    swimming

b.)    cycling-indoors or out

 

7.)    Important to stay away from high heeled shoes or boots as to take stress

off the lower legs from walking on an forward position on the toes/balls

off the feet.

 

            8.)  Arch supports or shock absorbency inserts may be needed and helpful.                 


Dec 05, 2006

Heat Considerations for the Running Athlete

 

                Heat can adversely affect a runner’s performance and, in some cases, can pose serious health problems. There are three types of heat illness:

(1)     Heat Cramps – heat cramps are extremely painful muscle spasms that occur most commonly in the calf, and abdomen.  The runner who likely will get cramps is someone who is in shape but overexerts in the heat. 

(2)     Heat Exhaustion – heat exhaustion results from inadequate replacement of fluids lost through sweating.  The athlete will collapse and have profuse sweating, flushed skin, dizziness, hyperventilation, and rapid pulse.

(3)     Heatstroke – heatstroke is a serious , life threatening emergency.  The specific causes of heatstroke is unknown, it is characterized by sudden collapse with the loss of consciousness, pale skin, the athlete will be sweating.  Heatstroke can occur suddenly and without warning, the athlete will not usually experience signs of heat exhaustion or heat cramps. 

 

The following precautions can be taken to help prevent heat illness:

q       Drink plenty of fluids prior to running, while running, and after running.  Water is the best for replacing lost body fluids.

q       Avoid running in the hottest part of the day.  Run either early in the morning or late in the evening.

q       If you must run in the hottest part of the day make sure that you are acclimatized.  That it is make sure that you are used to the heat prior to exercising in the heat. 

q       Wear loose fitting clothing.

 

Flexibility

                A good flexibility program should be a part of any exercise program.  Good flexibility will help to prevent allot of injuries such as muscle strains and muscle pulls.  There are several keys to a good flexibility program:

q       Warm up prior to stretching.  Take just a few minutes to warm up.  A light jog to get the core body temperature up.

q       Do not stretch to a point of pain.  Stretching should be comfortable not painful.

q       The best way to stretch is to hold a stretch for an extended amount of time.  That is hold a stretch for 15-30 seconds.

q       Cool down and stretch after exercising.


Dec 04, 2006

SYMPTOMS OF HEAT INJURY DURING

SUMMER IN WARM CLIMATES

Meg Barton, MS ATC/L CSCS

Certified Athletic Trainer

St. Joseph’s/ Candler Sports Medicine

St. Vincent’s Academy

      Heat Fatigue or Exhaustion occurs when a person is exposed to high temperatures and/or humidity and perspires excessively without salt or fluid replacement. Heat Stroke can occur when a nonacclimatized person is suddenly exposed to high temperature and/or humidity. The thermal regulatory mechanism fails, perspiration stops, and the body temperature increases. Above 42 degrees C oral body temperature, brain damage occurs, and death follows if emergency measures are not instituted. Note: Normal temperature is 37 degrees C (98.6 degrees F).

SIGNS OF HEAT INJURY

Muscle cramps  Excessive fatigue and/or weakness  Headache

Loss of Coordination  Decreased comprehension   Dizziness

Nausea & vomiting  Decrease reaction time

                        Heat Exhaustion   Heat Stroke

Appearance   Pale     Flushed & Red

Skin    Sweaty     Dry

Pulse    Weak     Strong

Body Temperature  Normal to subnormal   Very High

Eye Pupils   Dilated     Constricted

Muscle    Cramps & Spasm   â€œJelly-like”

Breathing   Shallow    Deep & Rapid

THE BEST TREATMENT FOR HEAT INJURY IS PREVENTION!!!!!!!!!!!

Note: The average mouth holds 3-5 ounces of water. Therefore to make sure that you

Are getting enough water--- you should drink at least one mouthful every 15-20

Minutes during exercise. More is needed in higher temperatures.

      Avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day!

      Change sweaty/wet clothes as often as able, allowing the skin to cool off.

TREATMENT:

  1. Remove as much clothing as possible.
  2. Telephone emergency squad.
  3. Cool as fast as possible (move to shaded area, ice towels, hose, swimming pool, etc.).
  4. Monitor sighs and symptoms (this includes changes in vital signs.

Dec 04, 2006

Preventing Heat Illness

St. Joseph’s/Candler Sports Medicine

Young people are at higher risk for heat illness, so parents should ensure kids are consuming nutritious foods such as vitamin D and calcium, and drinking adequate amounts of water. Also, acclimatizing to the extreme summer heat will help promote a healthy athlete.

Coaches should be aware of the heat and humidity when conducting practice. An early morning or later evening practice is recommended to prevent heat illness. Shorter hours during the first week (7-14 days) of practice, will allow the athletes to adapt to sweat loss, and the importance of hydration. This is especially important prior to summer camp, when practice is held twice or even three times per day.

Hydration is the key to preventing heat related illness. Water is not enough. Sports drinks like Gatorade helps the athlete stay better hydrated, than water alone. Drinking water and sports drinks before, during and after exercise will help prevent dehydration and heat illness. Many student athletes would prefer to drink sports drinks anyway, due to the taste. Water just doesn't appeal to many athletes. If you want your athletes to stay well hydrated, offer water and sports drinks, before, during and after practices.

Athletic Trainers and Coaches should watch for behavioral risk factors and high-risk athletes. Athletes who have not been sleeping well, athletes who have been recently ill, those who are prone to dehydration (chronic under drinkers on the field), and larger athletes who might be under-fit, overweight and not acclimatized, these athletes are at a higher risk for heat illness than the average athlete.

Players that are dehydrated will fatigue earlier, lose coordination skills and have a higher risk of heat exhaustion, heat illness or heat stroke. Football players need to drink throughout the day whether they are thirsty or not. It is recommended that in-season athletes avoid carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Carbonated drinks may cause bloating and decrease the amount of fluid consumed. Caffeinated drinks may cause the body to lose body fluids, especially through urination.

Information derived from

www.gssiweb.com

Preventing Heat Illness

Football Coaches Guide to Heat Illness and Hydration


Dec 04, 2006

Form in the Gym

By: Drew McKenzie, MS, CSCS

 

Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to lift weights. Having proper form when lifting could mean the difference between getting the most benefit from the exercise or getting injured. Check your ego at the door ladies and gentlemen! Don’t worry about pushing/pulling up a lot of weight. Drop a few pounds off and focus on proper form. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments will thank you later. If you are not sure on the proper form, then please ask.

COMMON FORM MISTAKES

Hips swaying forward and back on biceps curls (this can cause lower back problems).

Rocking way back on the lat pull-down machine (this causes the lats to work less, momentum to work more).

Driving with the feet and arching the back off the bench/machine during a bench press/seated chest press (this limits the range of motion for the joints being worked; only competitive power-lifters use this technique).

Lifting too fast/too slow (concentric phase: lifting phase should be faster- 1 to 2 seconds while the eccentric phase: lowering phase should be slower- 2 to 4 seconds).

Pulling the lat pull-down BEHIND the neck (this puts the shoulder in a compromising position and could lead to injury).

Performing "half reps" on machines and on free weights (work the muscles through their fullest range of motion each repetition)

***Note: Use a spotter if you go heavy. Tell them to watch your form on the exercise. When you break form, quit the set. Next set lower the weight and try again.

(all of which could be avoided by decreasing the amount of weight lifted):
Download: Form_in_the_Gym.doc

Oct 10, 2006

Setting Fitness Goals

Exercise not only improves your general health and bell-being, it also lowers your blood sugar, cholesterol, and improves strength to aid in decreasing joint pain. Fit muscles perform better all day long. Before you begin any kind of exercise program, determine what it is you want to achieve. If your main goal is to lose fat, you may choose to focus on aerobic exercise. If your goal is to build muscle strength, you may focus on weight training

Exercise works best when it is both regular and consistent. It takes 30 days to break and habit and another 60-90 to install a new one. Plan to exercise at or near the same time each day, preferably about 1 ½ to 2 hours after a meal. Exercise at least 4 times a week with each session including cardiovascular activities.

Some things to use in your quest to becoming healthier are:

Be specific with your long-term goals and develop an action plan that is realistic.

Consider your limitations- injuries (chronic or acute), your work schedule, life demands and your personal preferences to types of exercises or equipment.

Set your goals: weight loss, strength or endurance gains, and/or overall body toning.

Determine how many days a week you are able to or willing to commit to meet your goals. Three days a week should be the minimum recommended to obtain any goals.

Decide what activities are needed to reach your goals: weight lifting and running or aerobic classes, playing racquetball, tennis or biking can all be used to add dimension to your workout routines.

Decide on the amount of time you will spend on each exercise session. Does your schedule require you to do strength training in the morning and walk after dinner? Can you do all your program design in one setting (cardio and weight lifting)?

Keep a record- write out your program on a card or folder that you can take to the gym with you to monitor your progress from day to day or week to week.

Space out weight lifting sessions with 24-36 recovery time in order to give yourself adequate recovery time. Aerobic (cardio) exercise can be done every day where as strength training session should be spaced out by at least 48 hours unless you are training opposite body parts each day then a daily routing of 4-5 training days per week is adequate.

The key principle in developing muscular strength is resistance whether it is in the form of lifting your own body weight (push-ups) or using equipment (barbell, dumbbells or machines). The idea is to progressively increase the load on a muscle or group of muscles on a regular basis, thus giving the muscle fibers a chance to adapt and grow without risk of injuries. To build strength, you can increase the weight that you are lifting and to increase endurance, you can increase the repetitions (Reps) or number of times you are lifting a weight for a specific exercise.

Finally, if you have health problems or have never worked out before it is important to she your doctor before starting. It is also beneficial to work with a qualified personal trainer who can help design your program to your needs and teach you proper lifting techniques. Most importantly have fun with whatever exercise program you decide to do. If it is boring or too hard you will end up quitting within your first month.


Download: Setting Fitness Goals.doc

Oct 10, 2006

Finding the Right Athletic Shoe

 

The feet act as supporting "floor" for the entire body. They aid in balance, give support and help propel the body forward during motion. Many times, the feet are required to perform all these functions within seconds. Just as everybody’s feet vary, so do the sports and fitness levels. For example, if you only jog a little every week and play some basketball in your driveway occasionally then an all-purpose cross training shoe should be fine for your needs. But, if you do or play a certain sport at least three or more times per week then you should wear a shoe that is specific to that sport. Wearing a shoe specific to its sport has many benefits such as: giving the proper cushion where needed, traction for outdoors running, support around the ankle to prevent sprains and gender specific shoes. If the feet are to accommodate the stress placed on them they must be supported by a good pair of shoes that meets the demands of the sport and the individual.

Your first line of defense is to buy shoes that fit. Ill-fitting can cause pain that alters your gait along with the aliments such as bunions, calluses, corns, nail deformities and other deformities such as hammer toe. With shoes that are not properly fit, the toes can be cramped or twisted (leads to hammer toe), it can decrease the ventilation throughout the shoe as it is designed leading to excessive perspiration, which causes rotting of the inner soles, linings and upper leather. Every step that you take strains the foot and arch therefore, without proper support for the entire arch the foot sags down and nerves and blood vessels can pinched both of which can cause decreased circulation and pain in the foot. Another important fact to remember is that your feet continue to change throughout your adult life. Your shoe size may change when your weight or pattern of activity changes. The pads on your feet get thinner as you grow older. As well as fitting your shoes to your foot it should also fit your lifestyle. If you walk or run on hard surfaces or stand up for several hours each day, you need shoes with thick soles and soft uppers.

Guidelines for Shoe Fit

widest part of the shoe.

Make sure the shoe’s arch matches up with your arch (the highest part of the shoe should fit right underneath the highest point of your arch.

Try to shoe for shoes in the middle of a normal day or at the end of the day if that is when you exercise, not early in the morning since feet tend to swell as the day goes on.

Heavy and tall people wear away shoes faster than do lighter, shorter people. If you are heavy, choose shoes with mid-soles (the layer between the insole and the shoe bottom) made of polyurethane. It lasts longer.

Don’t expect shoes to "stretch" or "loosen up." If it doesn’t feel good in the store, it will not feel any better at home. Don’t buy tight shoes.

If you wear orthotics or braces during sporting activities then make sure that you try on the shoes while wearing them to ensure a proper fit for them and your feet.

Running Shoes

These are good for activities that primarily involve forward movement. Most are lightweight and have a durable, deeply patterned outer sole; a thick heel wedge to tilt the body forward; a firm shock-absorbent mid-sole; and a breathable upper. The best covering for a shoe is nylon or leather to accommodate the weather. The heel when placed on a flat surface should be straight up and down. Make sure the uppers are correctly attached to the soles. They should be perpendicular to the heels, not slanted, when examined from the back or side view. Running shoes should bend at the ball of the foot; shoes that bend at the mid-foot offer no support. A mid-sole that is too soft will feel very good in the store, but can cause the foot to turn inwards. Make sure that the uppers are correctly attached to the soles. A good running shoe will usually last for 300-500 miles.

Walking Shoes

Walking shoes need to be more flexible than running shoes because you bend your feet more when walking and you push off your toes with more oomph. Also, because your heels bear most of your weight when you walk, you need a firm, stable heel counter to keep your foot in place. They should have a rigid shank for support. Rubber heels are a must because they absorb shock better. Also, consider curved soles to facilitate the rocking motion of walking and extended heel counters at the backs. A good walking shoe should hold up for 1,000 to 1,500 miles

Other Considerations

There are shoes on the market that are designed for special foot problems. If you have a pronation of your feet; a straight shoe provides more stability on the inside of the shoe and therefore is more suitable for this type of foot. A soft mid-sole will allow for more shock absorption. The heel counter should be rigid. The more rigid the heel counter, the less motion occurs in the foot, and therefore pronation is controlled. Many specialty shoe stores carry variety of shoes made for both pronators or supinators. Try on different brands to find one that feels the most comfortable for you.

A woman’s foot is typically narrower than a man’s and has a narrower heel relative to the forefoot.

Total measure. Have both feet measures and always with full weight on the foot that is being measured. They try the size that fits the larger foot. When testing new shoes, stand on one foot at a time. Wiggle your toes. Stand on tiptoes, the shoe should bend where your foot bends. Jump or cut changing direction if you play basketball or volleyball. Jog either in place or for a few feet to check the feel. Make sure that your toes are not jamming into the end of the shoes when you jump or run as this can cause the nails to bruise and come off.

The toe bed (the area between your big toe and little toes) should lie flat. Check to see that you have one half inch space (about one’s thumb width) between the end of your big toe and the tip of the shoe, this also the foot to slide in the shoe when you jump or stop quickly without jamming the toes into to the end of the shoe and causing damage.

·

If your second or third toes are longer than your big toe then use them to measure the distance in the end of the shoe.

Make sure that the widest part of your foot (ball section) fits comfortably in the


Download: Finding the Right Athletic Shoe.doc

Aug 08, 2006

Work Out Smarter

      Each month, the staff at the St. Joseph's / Candler Wellness Center will try to help you plan a better holistic exercise routine. Each segment will try to focus on at least one aspect of training (specificity, overload, progression, nutrition, etc…).

      LEG DAY!! These words make most people cringe, so they forget about leg day. When was the last time you actually worked out your legs? (Normal everyday firefighter activity does NOT count as a leg workout). I see a lot of firefighters work out every day, and only a hand full work out legs. Performing leg exercises should be just as important, IF NOT MORE IMPORTANT, than upper body exercises. You do not have to “max out” on legs to reap benefits. Try to give your legs something that they do not get on a regular basis. OVERLOAD their normal activity and watch them get stronger.

Here is something to get you going:

Barbell/Dumbbell Squat  3 x 12 (start with your body weight and increase slightly each set)

Single Leg Press   3 x 12 (same as above) **this can be substituted for Squats

Leg Curls   3 x 10

Lunges (w, w/o weight)  3 x 10 on each leg

Step-ups (w, w/o weight)  3 x 10 on each leg

Remember: the goal is not to see how much weight you can lift, but rather stressing your muscles a little more than usual causing them to adapt to the change. Your muscles will become stronger and more conditioned.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Drew McKenzie @ either MCKENZIED@sjchs.org or drewnmckenzie@yahoo.com .


Aug 24, 2006
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You are here: Home >> AIS >> Sports Science / Sports Medicine >> Sports nutrition >> Supplements >> Classification

AIS Sports Nutrition - AIS Sports Supplement Program

AIS Sports Nutrition

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AIS Supplement Group Classification

In the AIS Sports Supplement Program supplements are classified into four groups according to their effectiveness and safety.

Group A

Supported for use by AIS athletes

antioxidants PDF (62 Kb)
bicarbonate PDF (62 Kb)
caffeine PDF (69 Kb) *
calcium PDF (59 Kb)
creatine PDF (68 Kb)
electrolyte replacement PDF (72 Kb)
glucosamine PDF (60 Kb)
*
glycerol PDF (58 Kb)
iron PDF (66 Kb)
liquid meal supplements PDF (98 Kb)
multivitamin/mineral PDF (60 Kb)
sick pack PDF (59 Kb)
sports bars PDF (68 Kb)
sports drink PDF (106 Kb)
sports gels PDF (62 Kb)

Group B

Considered for provision to AIS athletes only under a research protocol

colostrum PDF (92 Kb)
glutamine PDF (56 Kb)
HMB PDF (59 Kb)
melatonin PDF (59 Kb) *
probiotics PDF (61 Kb) *
ribose PDF (60 Kb)

Group C

Supplements which have no proof of beneficial effects and are therefore not to be provided to official AIS programs

branched chain amino acids (& other free-from amino acids)
carnitine
chromium picolinate
coenzyme Q10
cordyceps
cytochrome C
gamma-oryzanol & ferulic acid
ginseng
inosine
nitrous oxide supplements
oxygen boosters (e.g. Oxyshots)
network marketing supplements (e.g. Neways, Nuskin (IDN), Usana, Mannatech, Herbalife, Juice Plus, Noni Juice, Gogi Juice )
pyruvate
rhodiola rosea
vitamin supplements when used in situations other than summarised in Group A
ZMA

Group D

These supplements are banned

androstenedione
19-norandrostenediol
19-norandrostenedione
DHEA
ephedra
strychnine
tribulus terrestris & other herbal testosterone supplements

* These supplements are no longer made available to athletes under the AIS Sports Supplement Program


Group A Supplements - Supported for use by AIS athletes

This group includes supplements or sports foods which:

  • provide a useful and timely source of energy and nutrients in the athlete's diet, or
  • have been shown in scientific trials to provide a performance benefit, when used according to a specific protocol in a specific situation in sport

AIS Position on Group A Supplements

  1. We know that athletes and coaches are interested in using supplements to achieve optimal performance. Our 2006 supplement project aims to focus this interest on products and protocols which have documented benefits, by:
    • making these supplements available and accessible to the AIS athletes who will benefit from their appropriate use. In particular, to provide these supplements at limited cost to AIS sports programs, through systems managed by the Sports Nutrition Department
    • providing education to athletes and coaches about the benefits of using these supplements/sports foods and ensuring appropriate use of these supplements, with the emphasis on state of the art sports nutrition
    • providing immediate access to research opportunities to investigate sports-specific protocols for use of performance enhancing supplements and sports foods
  2. We are also aware that it is in the AIS's best interest to have a program that looks to minimise the risk of supplement use leading to an inadvertent doping offence.

Supplement Provision outlines the way Group A supplements are dispensed at the AIS

Provision of Group A and B Supplements Under a Research Protocol outlines how AIS sports scientists conduct research on Group A supplements


Group B Supplements - Considered for provision to AIS athletes only under a research protocol

Group B supplements are products for which there is no substantial proof of health or performance benefits at the current time, but:

  • remain of interest to the AIS because of the background interest of our athletes and coaches
  • are too new to have received adequate scientific attention, or have preliminary data which hints at possible benefits

AIS Position on Group B Supplements

  1. These supplements may be provided to AIS athletes or teams under the following conditions:
    • Supervised study or trial involving placebo/control groups and adequate monitoring of performance or health benefits so that better decisions can be made. Approval has been sought from AIS Ethics Committee to allow immediate set-up of such studies, and the committee should be notified of all projects in progress.
    • Clinical management plan overseen by AIS doctor, including the provision of the supplement to the athlete and adequate monitoring
    • Payment for the supplement may need to come from the budget of the sport, if it cannot be covered within the cost of the research project or from a grant from the manufacturer
    • Consideration of inadvertent doping risks
  2. A goal of these programs is to collect further data to allow Category B supplements to be moved into categories A or C.

Provision of Group A and B Supplements Under a Research Protocol outlines how Group B supplements are dispensed at the AIS


Group C Supplements - Supplements which have no proof of beneficial effects and are therefore not to be provided to official AIS programs

This category includes the majority of supplements and sports products promoted to athletes. These supplements, despite enjoying a cyclical pattern of popularity and widespread use, have not been proven to enhance sports performance or health. In some cases, these supplements have been shown to impair sports performance or health, with a clear mechanism to explain these results. We have named many of the products that belong in this category, but others that have not been named in our supplement system more than likely belong here.

AIS Position on Group C Supplements

  • In the absence of proof of benefits, these supplements will not be provided to AIS athletes from ASC/AIS program budgets or other sources funded by AIS/ASC
  • If an individual athlete or coach wishes to use a supplement from this category, they may do so providing:
    • they are responsible for payment of this supplement
    • any sponsorship arrangements are acknowledged to AIS marketing

Group D Supplements - These supplements should not be used by AIS athletes

These supplements are directly banned under the 2005 WADA Prohibited List or provide a high risk of producing a positive doping outcome.

AIS SSSM can be contacted on: Email: ais@ausport.gov.au Tel: 02 6214 1253  Fax: 02 6214 1603

Australian Sports Commission, Leverrier Cres, Bruce ACT 2617 PO Box 176, Belconnen ACT 2616 Telephone: +61 02 6214 1111 Facsimile: +61 02 6251 2680
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