Ankle & Foot Pain After Exercise

Your foot and ankle are comprised of many small bones that work together during exercise to help you run, shift your weight and jump. Because exercise places extra pressure on foot and ankle joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons, the feet are subject to injury, swelling and pain. While some extra pain or discomfort can be common after an exercise session, experiencing severe pain or swelling can indicate a more serious injury or need to change the way you exercise to prevent future injuries.
In some instances, foot and ankle pain can be attributed to wearing unsupportive shoes or failing to stretch the muscles properly before exercising. Making these small changes can help relieve pain. Foot pain also can be related to a loss of natural foot padding that occurs with age or even osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle joints. Increasing your exercise duration or intensity by too much may mean your feet and ankles were not prepared to accommodate for the extra intensity. Sudden twisting movements also cause an ankle sprain, a common athletic injury.
Your athletic shoes help to protect you against foot pain and injury by supporting and cushioning the foot. The right shoes for you depend upon what activity you are performing. For example, if you are an athlete who engages in twisting and back-and-forth movements such as those in basketball, football or volleyball, high-top or three-quarter length top shoes are best to protect the ankles from twisting. For other exercise types, focus on comfort and function for activities you commonly perform. If you commonly practice step aerobics, a trail-running shoe that is made to increase traction in dirt would be too heavy and grooved on the bottom for stepping. Also, replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles. If your shoes start showing too much wear on the bottom or the backs start to break down, it¡¯s time to buy new athletic shoes.
While treatment may vary based on the specific ankle and/or foot pain you are experiencing, there are a few techniques you can use to lessen pain. The first is using sports massage techniques to rub the foot and relieve tired and sore muscles after exercise. Icing the foot and elevating it after exercise can help to reduce inflammation that leads to pain. Wearing an ankle brace even after exercising can help stabilize the ankle joint and reduce instability. If the foot continues to hurt for more than a few hours, refrain from exercising at least one additional day or switch to a low-impact exercise like swimming to reduce pressure placed on the foot and ankle.
Some foot and ankle symptoms indicate the need for immediate medical treatment. If the foot does not respond to your self-care techniques after one to two weeks, seek medical evaluation. Symptoms indicating the need for medical treatment include inability to bear weight on your foot, bleeding, deformity or an open sore accompanied by fever. Your physician can evaluate your foot and recommend treatment options, which may include surgery in severe instances.

How to Put on Weight for Football

Being bigger and heavier is an advantage for most football players, due to the physical demands of the sport. While you likely want to put on weight to play, you don¡¯t want to lose any athleticism or speed by gaining fat instead of muscle. To effectively put on the pounds and become a football force to reckon with, participate in a high-volume weight training program and adhere to a diet that supports muscle growth.
A high-volume weight training workout is designed to increase muscle mass. It will also help ensure that the extra calories you consume puts on muscle rather than fat. Lift weights four days per week, targeting your muscle groups with separate workouts. For example, hit your lower body on Mondays and Thursdays, and your upper body on Tuesdays and Fridays. Do not work the same muscle group two days in a row; the muscles need at least a day to recover from the workout. Physiologist Joseph A. Chromiak, Ph.D., writing for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, recommends doing two to three sets of five to 12 reps of each exercise during each workout. Give your muscles just 60 to 12 seconds of rest between sets.
Forget the isolation exercises and instead focus on compound, multi-joint exercises. They¡¯re more effective for building muscle mass, according to the American Council on Exercise, and they¡¯re also better for training for football. Back squats, for example, more closely mimic the movements that your lower body has to handle during football than straightening your legs on the leg extension machine. Quality compound exercises that will help you put on mass include squats, deadlifts, hang cleans, push jerks, snatches, bench press, military press and pullups.
To put on weight and fuel the muscle-building process, you¡¯ve got to consume adequate calories. You can gain a single pound of muscle mass by creating a caloric surplus of 3,500; if you’re not adhering to your workout program as outlined, however, these excess calories will translate into a pound of fat rather than muscle. This caloric surplus needs to be created gradually, however. Shoot for an excess of 250 to 500 calories everyday, said Chromiak. This allows you to put on 1/2 to 1 pound of muscle every week. Make sure your meals feature a high amount of protein, which is required to put on muscle; take in 0.65 to 0.8 grams of protein daily for every pound you weigh, Chromiak advised.
Instead of shooting for three large meals, consume smaller meals throughout the day. This will help ensure that the excess calories are used for the muscle-building process and not stored as fat. Eat a meal consisting of both protein and carbohydrates within 30-minutes after completing each of your weight training workouts. You can significantly increase protein synthesis by getting in fuel during this short period after your workouts, said Chromiak.

The Average Score of College Basketball Games

On average, NCAA Division I men’s teams manage 67.875 points in a game. NCAA Division I women’s teams score an average of 60.937 points each game. These figures are calculated by adding 16 teams’ point totals together on a particular night and dividing that number by 16. The Best Basketball Tips website points out that scores are typically in the 60s or 70s. NCAA basketball games are generally lower scoring than professional games, and several factors contribute to the difference in scoring.
NCAA men’s Division I games consist of two halves, each 20 minutes long. An NBA game is four quarters, each 12 minutes in length. NBA players have more time to generate a greater number of points, resulting in higher scores. Also, NCAA players are allowed only five personal fouls in a game before they are ejected. An NBA player is allowed to commit six before disqualification. If an elite NBA player, responsible for the majority of his team’s scoring, has committed five personal fouls but not six, he can remain in the game and continue to rack up points.
College basketball emphasizes team play more than the NBA does. The NBA focuses more on one-on-one matchups, such as Lebron James vs. Kobe Bryant. NBA coaches design plays specifically for their superstars to showcase their abilities. A college basketball team with skills inferior to those of its opponent may use a strong defensive game plan to limit its opponent’s scoring abilities. This type of strategy will result in a lower-scoring game. Another factor that contributes to lower scoring in NCAA play is the 35-second shot clock. The NBA uses a 24-second shot clock, which forces professional players to make shots more quickly and more often, leading to higher point totals.
On average, NBA players have greater strength and athletic ability than college players. Several NBA players were once college superstars and several of them may play on one NBA team. This skill level results in greater point totals. Since NCAA players are younger, between the ages of 18 and 23, they are also more prone to miss three-point shots and tend to give the ball away more often than NBA players. Also, NCAA players must attend school and worry about academics. NBA players can spend all of their free time perfecting their skills on the basketball court.
The NCAA has no limits on what type of zone defense you can play. Players can cover whatever area they wish, making it more difficult to score. In zone defense in the NBA, players can stay in a specific lane for a maximum of three seconds. This type of game play would open up more room for defensive breakdowns in the NBA, leading to higher point totals. Until the 2001-02 season, zone defense was completely illegal.

The Best Diet for Running Cross-Country

Cross-country runners have different nutritional needs than nonrunners. They require an increase in certain nutrients to provide sustained energy for long distance runs. The best diet for running cross-country consists of a precise ratio of protein, fat, carbohydrates and iron. This mix enables a runner’s body to operate at peak performance.
First and foremost, cross-country runners must remain hydrated. According to Purdue University, cross-country runners should consume a great deal more water than nonathletes. When you run, energy is released as heat. Your body uses water to sweat and cool itself to prevent overheating. Water also helps prevent muscle fatigue and cramping. Cross-country runners lose four to eight pounds of water every hour. To find out how much water you need to drink, weigh yourself before and after training. For every pound you lose while training, drink 16 ounces of water.
A cross-country runner’s diet should include iron-rich foods. According to the University of Chicago, iron helps produce red blood cells and carry oxygen throughout the body. This is essential for maintaining athletic endurance. Iron-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, leafy green vegetables, beans and whole wheat bread. Do not take iron supplements unless your doctor recommends them. Too much iron can lead to constipation.
Load up on carbohydrates if you’re a cross-country runner. According to Colorado State University, carbohydrates produce more energy than the same amount of protein. Cross-country runners have more endurance with ample amounts of carbohydrates stored in their bodies. Complex carbohydrates last longer than simple carbohydrates derived from sugar. Cross-country runners should get 70 percent of their energy from complex carbohydrates. A diet that includes whole grain spaghetti, potatoes and whole grain bread eaten two to three days before a race will fill up your glycogen storage spaces.
Protein is also essential in the diet of cross-country runners. While the primary energy comes from carbohydrates, protein is burned as well. Protein is also essential for muscle repair and recovery. According to Greg Crowther of the University of Washington, runners require more protein than sedentary people because of the intense demands they place on their bodies. At least 15 percent of your calories should come from protein sources like meat, eggs, tofu and low-fat dairy products. Endurance athletes should eat about 2.5 grams of protein per day for every pound of body weight.
Don’t fear the fats. If you run for more than one hour, your body will turn to fats for most of its energy. Cross-country runners must train their bodies to efficiently utilize fat for energy. To do this, they must consume good fats like omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. These are found in olive oil, fish and vegetable oil. Avoid bad fats like trans fats and fatty red meat.

Does Playing Sports at a Young Age Affect Bone Growth?

Boys and girls have been playing sports for generations. Recently, doctors and exercise physiologists have realized that youth sports represent both positive and negative impacts to bone growth. Certain injuries carry the potential for long-term damage but usually are preventable. On the other hand, even moderate levels of sports and physical exercise reward young participants with improved health, including sturdier bones and stronger muscles.
According to the Center for Kids First, 30 to 40 million American children participate in some form of organized sports. About one-fifth of these children are members of school-based athletic teams. Nearly half of eligible children participate in organized non-scholastic sports such as Little League or Pop Warner football. Despite Title IX legislation in the 1970s, boys still have greater opportunities to participate in sports and therefore outnumber girls at nearly all levels, according to “Youth Sports in America: An Overview.”
Children’s bones are constantly growing. Growth accelerates during puberty before coming to an end in adulthood, but bones add material only in special regions called growth plates, located near the ends of bones and points where tendons and ligaments connect to the bone. Growth plates resemble cartilage in their structure and texture before transitioning into mature, solid bone. The longer bones of the legs and arms experience the most pronounced growth, while growth plates located elsewhere influence the contours of bones. Bone fractures that extend into the growth plate run the risk of causing permanent deformity or stunting. In most cases, however, doctors are able to set the bones properly and restore normal blood flow. Crushing injuries, though relatively rare in sports, represent the greatest potential for permanent disability.
Research has shown that even modest levels of physical exercise during the growth years has a measurable, positive impact on bone strength. One study in particular determined that active children accumulated as much as 10 percent to 40 percent more bone mass in certain areas than nonactive peers. However, the intensive and weight-conscious sports such as gymnastics and wrestling might lead to slower bone growth. Both female gymnasts and male wrestlers have later onsets of puberty and are shorter than children of the same age. Scientists suspect that a combination of high-intensity workouts and a restricted diet might work to slow overall development and bone growth.
Light resistance training performed under appropriate supervision both improves performance in young athletes and protects against injury. The important point is that youth training should focus on technique rather than building muscle. Lifting more than the body is prepared for does increase chances of strains and other injuries. Expensive workout machines or a gym membership are not necessary for a quality strength training routine. Many resistance workouts incorporate thick elastic tubing or the body’s own weight as an exercise tool.
The fear of injuries or delayed growth is no reason to discourage young children from sports participation. Most injuries can be prevented if children follow some basic fitness guidelines, such as warming up properly and stretching the major muscles groups. Sports build valuable life skills such as teamwork and leadership and bolster a positive self-image. The benefits of good physical fitness last a lifetime. Good habits start early and it’s almost never too early to push for a lifestyle of exercise and healthy competition.

Football Stretches & Warm-Ups

Warming up before a game or practice helps prepare you physically and mentally for exercise and competition. Before running hard, throwing deep passes and tackling opponents on the football field, you should be warmed up and loose to avoid injury and increase physical ability. It also allows for quicker muscle contraction and relaxation, increased force production, better reaction time, improved muscular power and strength, increased blood flow to muscles and enhanced metabolic reactions.
Football players need to loosen up their hips, backs, shoulders and leg muscles before engaging in practice or playing a game. The NSCA recommends dynamic stretching prior to any physical activity. It actively prepares the muscles, warms up the body and takes the muscles through their full range of motion. Dynamic stretching is a functionally based exercise that uses sport-specific movements to prepare the body for activity. While players are lined up, have them perform: walking knee hugs to stretch the hips and glutes, walking leg pulls behind the back to stretch the quads, pump stretches for the calves and low back, the Spiderman stretch for the groin and hips and the inchworm stretch for the hamstrings.
After dynamic stretching, proceed to the warm-up. Warm-up motions can involve stretching, too, but are designed to gradually increase heart rate more so. Start with simple motions as jogs, lateral bounds, high-knees, backwards pedal and butt kicks between five and 15 yards, instructs Mike Gentry, author of “A Chance to Win: A Complete Guide to Physical Training for Football.” Have players increase the dynamics of the warm-up by incorporating different motions into one — have them backpedal until they hear the coach’s whistle, signifying that they must quickly turn and run the rest of the distance forward.
Move to specific warm-ups, or, in this case, position drills. This can be a good transition into the practice itself. It will also bring players together for specific questions and last-minute tweaks with their position coaches before the game. During this warm-up time, for example, running backs practice their steps and hand-offs, defensive lineman practice engaging and releasing from blocks, and quarterback and receivers go over passing routes.
Static stretching before practice or a game is traditional habit for sport, but may not be beneficial — or even detrimental — to athletic performance. The NSCA reports that static stretching before activity can compromise muscle performance. Static stretching prior to activity has been shown to decrease force production, power output, running speed, movement time and muscular endurance — all integral components of performing well, physically and skillfully, in the game of football. Static stretching after activity is more practical, and will allow the muscles to cool down and relax after engaging in exercise.

The History of Sports in the United States

Sports have been a big part of American culture for many years. Professional sports like baseball, basketball, football, and hockey have become massive industries and the economic center of many cities. Sports are also a big part of growing up in this country since these sports and others are prominent in youth leagues, high schools and colleges. The popularity of sports is a big part of the history of the United States.
Baseball is considered America’s national pastime. Major league baseball is a central part of American sports and attracts more fans and sells more tickets than any other professional sport in the world. It is believed to have been developed based on sports like rounders and cricket. For many years most fans believed that Abner Doubleday created the first set of baseball rules, but others suggest the first official set of rules was created by Alexander Cartwright of the New York Knickerbockers. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first official professional baseball team, and soon there were several different leagues. The American and National Leagues are the major leagues today. There are also hundreds of minor and independent leagues. In the 1920’s, a more precise set of rules was created which made the sport more organized and less physical. Until 1946, African-American players were not allowed in the major leagues, but today the sport is played by athletes of different ethnicities from countries around the world.
The sport of basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-born physical education instructor at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. While teaching at the YMCA, Naismith wanted to give his students something active to do while inside on a rainy day. After many ideas, he eventually came up with the sport by hanging a peach basket from the elevated running track, 10 feet above the gymnasium floor. The game evolved over the years from Naismith’s original rules. Many more rules and new equipment helped to perfect the game. Eventually professional teams and leagues were developed. The sport also became quite popular on playgrounds, especially in thickly settled urban areas. Today, the National Basketball Association, or NBA, is one of the most popular sport leagues in the world.
In the 1870s rugby was becoming a favorite sport played by college athletes in the United States. In 1876, Walter Camp developed a new sport based on rugby and called it football. In the 1890s the sport gained interest and started to become a professional sport. The Allegheny Athletic Association was the first completely professional team and played a short two-game season against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. In 1902, baseball’s Philadelphia Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies formed professional football teams, along with the Pittsburgh Stars, and formed the first professional football league, the National Football League. Through the years the rules and scoring of the sport changed several times. The American Football League, or AFL, was also formed in 1960 as an alternative league considered by some to be inferior to the NFL. But in 1970 the two merged with the AFL teams becoming the American Football Conference, or AFC, and the NFL teams becoming the National Football Conference, or NFC, The top team from each conference would compete yearly in the Super Bowl for the NFL championship. Today the NFL, is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, and the Super Bowl is one of television’s most watched events.
The sport of hockey, considered by many to have been invented in Canada after a game called “shinny,” has history dating back to the late 1800s. A similar sport, originally called “ice polo,” was already being played on American college ice rinks. Ice hockey started to become more popular, and professional leagues started popping up in the United States, the first being the International Professional Hockey League with teams from Pennsylvania and Michigan. In 1910, the National Hockey League, or NHL, was created in Canada. It was called the National Hockey Association until 1917, and later expanded to include American teams in 1924.

What Is an Illegal Shift in Football?

Nothing frustrates a football coach more than penalties, especially when those penalties are unforced or mental errors. An illegal shift is an offensive penalty that is unforced, meaning the offense commits the violation before the play begins without the defense having an effect on the foul. Illegal shifts can happen in a couple of offensive scenarios, so understanding the rule is important to eliminate the mistakes.
Illegal shifts are a type of motion penalty that occur when more than one player on the offense is not set before the snap. A shift is a pre-snap movement where two or more offensive players change positions. The movement becomes illegal and results in a penalty when those players do not reset and establish position after the shift. According to NFL rules, illegal shifts result in a 5 yard penalty and a replay of the down.
Illegal shifts are common with teams that use pre-snap resetting to confuse the defense. The idea is that the defense will be based on the original lineup and will not be able to realign in time after the shift. In addition, shifts can occur when teams audible to change the original play at the line of scrimmage. After the play is audibled or changed, the offensive team often has to change its formation to run the new play. Snapping the ball too quickly before everyone has set and finished moving can result in an illegal shift penalty.
The best way to prevent illegal shifts is to limit tricky pre-snap motions, which can throw off the offense almost as much as the defense in many cases. In addition, breaking the huddle earlier can eliminate penalties that are caused by running out of time to complete the shifts. Signaling in the plays faster from the sideline is often an issue with the shift and the slow huddle break.
Illegal shifts are often confused with illegal motion penalties as the Team Speed Kills website calls them sister penalties. Shifts are a team foul with multiple players, while an illegal motion penalty is called on one player, usually for a player moving toward the line of scrimmage before the snap of the football. According to Team Speed Kills, a player moving toward the line must get set for one second before the snap.

Bad Breath and Stomach Problems

Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem. Often, brushing your teeth is not enough to get rid of odors in your mouth. Your mouth is only one part of the digestive tract. The stomach can have an effect on breath, too. It is not uncommon that problems in the stomach can lead to halitosis.
Bacteria don’t just live in your mouth. According to BadBreathstomach.com, helicobacter Pylori is a form of bacteria that is a root cause of stomach ulcers. While it has not been proved that helicobacter Pylori is accountable for mouth odor, it is certainly considered. On the other hand, having levels of bacteria in the stomach that are too low also can cause bad breath. According to HSP Online, “When lactobacillus levels are low in the colon, partially digested food decays, producing foul gas, toxemia, and consequently bad breath.” Without bacteria to break it down, food sits in your stomach for years and becomes toxic.
To prevent halitosis, it is recommended to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth daily, flossing, and visiting a dentist every six months for a routine check-up and cleaning all help to prevent bad breath. In addition, brushing your teeth after every meal is recommended. However, preventing halitosis does not end with oral hygiene. Again, the mouth is only part of the digestive system and it is important not to neglect what we put in our stomachs. Avoid consuming spicy and strong-smelling foods such as garlic and onions. Stay away from alcohol and cigarettes, as well. Belching can bring up these odors.
In addition to visiting your dentist, it is wise to see your doctor about foul-smelling breath and your stomach conditions. According to Consumer Reports, any problem with your digestive system can affect your breath. Heartburn, for example, may cause stomach acid and gas to travel back up into your throat and cause odor. A doctor will be able to provide advice and medication for a specific digestive disorder that may be affecting you.
While it is recommended to see a doctor about your halitosis and stomach problems, some chose to treat their problems naturally. Natural-HomeRemedies.org recommends eating rock salt and crushed celery leaves to treat stomach disorders. Another suggestion is to drink lemon and ginger juices for relief. Other tips are to keep your diet simple and eat lots of leafy greens and enough fiber for digestion. Don’t overload your stomach and only eat to your capacity. These things will help to keep your digestive system regular and prevent sources of bad breath from the stomach.
If you are brushing your teeth several times per day or using mouthwash and other breath-freshening products but your halitosis prevails, it may be an internal problem. Bad breath can also be a sign of other serious health problems such as gum disease, sinusitus, diabetes, and even liver or kidney disease. Consult your dentist and doctor if you have concerns about bad breath.

How to Take Syntha-6

Syntha-6 is a supplement used to increase the amount of protein in your diet. It was developed by BSN and is designed to help individuals develop lean muscle and recover after workouts. Ingredients found in the supplement include whey protein, milk protein, sunflower, soy and wheat. Men and women will take Syntha-6 differently. Keep in mind that none of the effects stated by the manufacturer of Syntha-6 have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Purchase Synth-6 in concentrate form from a nutritional product supplier. Stores like GNC sell Syntha-6, or you can buy the product online through retailers like Drugstore.com. Flavor choices include chocolate, banana, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, and chocolate mint.
Take Syntha-6 after workouts. Doing this helps you recover from the workout. Syntha-6 can replace your usual post-exercise meal. Try to drink the shake no longer than an hour after you have finished working out.
Add a scoop of the Syntha-6 powder to 4 to 5 oz. of water. You can substitute the water with any type of beverage, including milk and juice. Mix with a spoon or place the ingredients in a blender until completely dissolved. The manufacturer recommends milk to increase protein intake and improve the consistency of the shake. If you are a man taking Syntha-6, you should instead use two scoops of Syntha-6 per serving and add it to 8 to 10 oz. of any liquid.
Drink two to four servings of Syntha-6 daily. Men will continue to use two scoops for each serving while women use only one. Women will take in 22g of protein per serving while men will have 44g of protein.