Monday, May 16, 2011

Sprained Knee Prevention

A sprained knee is an injury that no one wants to experience, however sports and daily physical activity sometimes contributes to such an injury. If we take the proper precautions necessary we can limit our chances of experiencing a sprained knee. We will explore some of the methods used to help prevent such an injury and ensure that when you play sports or are involved in a physical activity you try to limit your chances of getting injured.

One of the most productive exercises that one can perform to prevent a sprained knee is to make sure an individual stretches before engaging in sports or physical activity. Stretching your legs and body enables you to get accustomed to certain positions which contribute to flexibility of your legs and knees. This flexibility will help in avoiding injuries especially when the knee is subjected to certain unorthodox positions. It is also important that when playing sports, you have the proper footwear and attire. Certain activities such as football and soccer require special footwear and shoes. These shoes and attire assist in ensuring you have strong placement of your feet in the turf or grass that you are playing in. It helps to prevent injuries by ensuring that your footwear is designed to handle the terrain of the environment that you are playing in. Another important factor is ensuring that the body weight on your knees does not bear a heavy load. A big contributing factor to a sprained knee is the body weight of a person. Body weight causes more stress to the ligaments as well as the menisci of one's knee, as a result it can be a contributing factor to a sprained knee. It is recommended to maintain a healthy weight to ensure that your knee retains strong health and minimizes the possibility of knee injury.

These are just a couple of suggestions on how to prevent or avoid a sprained knee. Please keep in mind that although we can be pro-active and make the necessary improvements to prevent such an injury, it is still possible to attain one even with all of the exercises and precautions mentioned in this article. In sports and virtually any physical activity, one wrong step or move in the opposite direction of the turf or pavement can result in a sprained knee or another serious injury. Our knees are built to withstand lots of pressure and torque, however the ligaments and tissue are just like any other body part, they can tear or be torn very easily. It is imperative that we continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle of proper nutrition and exercise to ensure that we are doing all that we can do to prevent such injuries. Lifting weights and properly training the knee by building strong muscles surrounding the knee and knee joints can also assist in preventing injury. A sprained knee is an injury that occurs to many people. If we follow some of the recommendations above, we can try our best to prevent such an injury from occurring.

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Davey Johnston also posted this article on his sprained knee website at: There you will find all sorts of resources on the sprained knee as well as articles to help you recover from a sprained knee.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Live Now, Pay Later

One thing above all else raises us above the 'lower' animals. We have the ability to contemplate the future, and imagine the wonderful things we can accomplish if we set a target and work consistently toward that end. They, with their limited mental faculties, can only live in the 'here and now.' They have no concept of 'deferred gratification.' Pigeons can be trained to resist an immediate food reward if they know they'll get a bigger and tastier prize a short while after, but they'll wait no more than a few seconds. Monkeys can hold back for a minute or two, while bigger brained apes have the self control to wait twenty minutes or longer. Humans, with their highly developed cerebral hemispheres, can do even better. If they're so inclined, they can choose to go on a forty day fast to purify their souls, or risk premature death by following a protracted hunger strike. This faculty of self-determination raises us way above our fellow creatures.

But there's another brain function which nullifies that power. This we share with all other animals. Deep in the limbic system of our brain there's a primordial 'pleasure centre' which is activated when we have sex, eat or take psychedelic drugs. When electrodes are placed in this area, attached to an on-off lever, animals will give up everything else and frantically press the lever to get an ecstatic high. This is the root cause of addictive behaviour. The alcoholic buys oblivion today for the price of liver cirrhosis tomorrow. To get a short term rush of adrenaline, the gambler gives no thought for the poverty he'll suffer when his luck runs out. The same applies to the shopaholic, who run up credit card debts buying jewellery and clothes they know they can't afford. Food junkies, through their short-termism, suffer a similar fate.

Somehow we must learn to strike a proper balance between immediate pleasure and long term rewards. If we do this we'll overcome the tendency to put on weight, and gain a raft of other benefits. Psychologists at Columbia University, New York discovered this when they submitted children to a 'marshmallow' test, and then followed them up in later life. They found that youngsters who had the strength of mind to resist eating a marshmallow, on the promise that they'd be given a second in a few moments' time, gained better exam results and secured higher paid jobs when they left school. They also enjoyed superior overall health and more successful marriages. The good news is that this admirable level of self discipline can be acquired by patient practice.

A test carried out at the State University of New York showed that people who work to improve their posture over a two week period, find it easier to carry out other tasks that require similar self-control. The same conclusion was reached by the marshmallow experimenters, who said: 'Sticking to a plan to go to the gym or exercising other forms of self-control can, over time, boost your resolve in other domains.' All of which means that you can achieve lifetime weight control if you give less attention to the pleasures of the 'here and now' and pay more thought to the rewards you want to achieve a few years hence. This deferred gratification is in line with the affirmation of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, the American author and poet, who wrote: 'There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.'

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How to Increase Your Energy Levels - Useful Facts You May Not Know

To win in life, sticking it out to the end is everything. You need to be able to sustain energy levels so you can do what you have set out to do. In a marathon, for example, the runner who finishes the race is declared the winner. Even if you clocked in the fastest time at the outset that would hardly ever matter unless you are able to sustain that energy all the way to the finish line.

There is really no secret to keeping yourself strong enough to last in your daily activities. Whether you intend to see yourself through your weight loss regimen or simply last through the entire workday, there are practical things that you can do to sustain energy levels.

1. Keep hydrated. When your body lacks water, you become sluggish and tired physically and mentally. Your body can't metabolize energy properly when you're thirsty and as a result, you'll feel fatigued. To prevent this from happening, always have a water bottle with you.

2. Stay away from alcohol. If water is a boon in your life, look at alcohol as a bane. When your body does not tolerate alcohol well and when you've taken more than a glass, it acts to depress your nervous system and makes you feel tired. The initial stimulus you feel with this substance will easily get replaced with lethargy, depression and worse, when taken as a way to escape stress and problems, becomes addictive. With alcohol, you're not just going to be dealing with tiredness associated with a hangover but with overall feeling of malaise as well and that will not work towards sustaining your energy levels.

3. Strive for balance. To sustain energy levels, don't drive yourself to the ground by overdoing everything-- especially work and exercise. Don't keep on accepting projects when you know it will adversely affect the time you will have for yourself or your family. Never workout more than your body can sufficiently handle at a time. When your life is dominated by work, when you can't get enough sleep, when you can't even share a decent conversation with your spouse, then you know you're doing it a tad too much.

4. Revitalize yourself with mind-body techniques. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi keep you reenergized. Many practitioners are living proof of the ability of these exercises to revitalize and lift depression. Aside from these exercises, you can also get a massage or acupuncture to keep the energy flowing throughout your body. This contributes to increased feelings of wellness.

5. Take in nature. Just staying outdoors can have a revitalizing effect on the body. Whenever you can, take the time to actually smell the flowers and the clean scent of freshly-mowed grass or the invigorating feel of early morning dew. You'll be surprised at how a few breaths alone can sustain energy levels throughout the day. Avoid being cooped in an air conditioned office all day. Take lunch break walks in a nearby park and let the sights, sounds and smell of the outdoors keep you energized.

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