Posted 5 April 2019 by prehab
At Prehab, our passion is working with runners and athletes to help them achieve their goals and stay injury-free doing it. Today, we’re shining our spotlight on Sharon Armstrong, aka The Pineapple Yogi.
Sharon and her fiance, running coach Kai Ng, joined the Prehab family of runners last fall. She’s been working with our team to improve her performance and prevent injury as she kicks up for her Boston Marathon training. With the race coming up on April 15th, we’re helping Sharon through our Running Analysis, Air Recovery Boots, targeted strength training, and more so that she can bring her best to Boston.
Between yoga retreats and training runs, Sharon took the time to share more about herself as this month’s athlete in our Spotlight:
Annie: Where are you from, and how did you wind up in New York City?
Sharon: I’m from upstate – Albany, NY. I spent a phase of my life living in the Caribbean in St. John US Virgin Islands, and after living on a remote island with a 4,000 person population, I realized I was ready for something different. That led to my desire to immerse myself in the polar opposite of remote – moving to the Big Apple! I moved here to focus on growing my health and fitness career.
Annie: Did you always want to be an athlete?
Running 45 or so miles per week!
Sharon: No, but I always cared about my health and fitness, and I started to really focus on it about 10 years ago. I used it as a way to be productive and do something good for myself while also releasing stress. I never actually truly considered myself an athlete, more so just someone who worked hard and therefore was able to see rewarding results.
Annie: What’s the next big goal you’re chasing in your sport?
Sharon: For running, it is running the Boston Marathon this April and PR’ing. I’m aiming for a 3:20 marathon. After that, my goal is to do a Tri, which I’ll absolutely have to get into a swimming regimen for, as living in NYC it isn’t as easy to just swim. And doing a press handstand/holding a handstand for 1 minute or longer can be considered a goal…I never really time mine but…that’s definitely a goal!
Annie: Who are your inspirations and role models?
Sharon: So many – it depends on the sport. Instagram is always feeding my soul with inspirations and motivation. For running I find constant inspiration from Stephanie Bruce, Olymian Brenda Martinez, Karina Elle, Bethany Myers. For yoga: Erin Kelly Art, Tamar Levi, and Morgan Tyler. Also my fiancé, Kai (Coach Kai) is a running master. He is always inspiring me and showing me how to believe in myself. Sounds biased (it is) but it’s still true!
Annie: What are the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome on your journey to peak performance?
Sharon: Mental strength. Learning the power of my mind and mindset has been the biggest thing for my all around.
And as of recently, leaning that my body isn’t perfect and that it, too, will fatigue, causing troubled areas in my hips and aches and pains that I didn’t have until just recently. This is an eye opening, humbling experience. Overcoming those challenges when my body physically has aches and pains, pushing through and doing so safely are the things I am working on today!
Annie: What does an average week of training look like for you?
Sharon: As of right now? Training for the Boston Marathon looks like this right now—:)
Mondays- Rest Day
Tuesdays- Speed work (or hill repeats) + Yoga
Wednesdays- Recovery Run
Friday-Speed work #2 with higher mileage
Saturday-Rest Day + Yoga
Sunday- Long Run (14-22 miles
Physical Therapy 1x per week and on my own once or twice (if i’m really disciplined!)
Because I am in peak training times here, my strength training and yoga has taken a backseat to accommodate for all of the running and time needed for that!
When not training for a marathon, my focus is strength training, aka lifting heavy! Yes – heavy! Getting strong(er). And focusing on yoga, which is my passion and first love (sorry to my fiancé).
Annie: Where is your favorite place to run?
Sharon: In nature or parks! Brooklyn Bridge Pier is a favorite also, due to proximity and views/terrain!
Annie: What are your most important off-the-track habits, and have you added any new ones since working with Prehab?
Sharon: SLEEP, fueling with proper nutrition (and enough of it!!), staying hydrated, and giving myself true proper rest. Meditation really helps me stay focused and build mental clarity and strength. Also taking time and creating more patience by incorporating the tools Prehab has given me to maintain my health!
Annie: What is the most helpful tip or insight you’ve learned by working with Prehab?
Sharon: I think it’s all about creating habits. I really have enjoyed how Prehab focuses on runner specific things. Their knowledge is beyond helpful and I am grateful to have them as my PT’s!
Annie: How would you describe the Prehab team?
Sharon: Amazing! Professional yet personal, knowledgeable and super helpful for athletes.
Annie: What are your favorite pre and post race meals?
Sharon: Pre race-usually races are super early. I am a breakfast person and need a full meal before racing. Classic American breakfast if I could pick it! (doesn’t typically happen BUT!)
Post race – Smoothies! I devour them every time, my body craves the hydration!
Annie: What’s your favorite movie?
Sharon: I don’t really watch TV or movies….if I had to pick one it’s likely Wedding Crashers?
Annie: Who is singer or band?
Sharon: This is always changing every few years – right now I’m digging R3hab in any song!
Annie: What’s your favorite sports team?
Sharon: Don’t have one!
Posted 10 September 2018 by prehab
Chances are, you are familiar with Turmeric, that vibrant yellow spice that is now having a big moment in the wellness world. The benefits of Turmeric are long-celebrated but it is just now making its way into mainstream wellness products. The active ingredient in Turmeric, called Curcumin, gives the spice it’s yellow hue and its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation plays a key role in chronic diseases, as well as physical injuries and brain health, so upping your turmeric intake has potential to help treat and prevent a large number of different conditions! Dr. Gometz recommends Curcumin for our concussion patients as well, to reduce inflammation of the brain. Additionally, studies show the spice has powerful potential to protect against different forms of neurodegeneration. We highly recommend cooking with turmeric (add some black pepper to help absorption) or taking a Curcumin supplement. In fact, one of our patients came in recently just to tell us that taking a Curcumin supplement greatly reduced her inflammation better than the over the counter anti-inflammatories she had been trying! What a wonderful, natural supplement to add to your diet! For more information on the benefits of Turmeric/Curcumin, check out this wonderful article from MindBodyGreen
By Caitlin Goldie, Holistic Health Coach
Posted 27 August 2018 by prehab
Knowing how to fuel your muscles properly before and after exercising is paramount when you’re active, especially if you are an athlete. There are a lot of mixed messages out there about what you should be eating and when. The bottom line is that everyone has their own nutritional needs. When it comes to making the right choices for our bodies, we must be willing to try new things and to cultivate a true practice of listening to how we feel after different eating choices. Whether you are working toward muscle building, weight loss, cardiovascular health, hormone balancing, physical toning, or anything else, what you eat is truly a game-changer.
The best, universal tip for fueling and nourishing our bodies is to eat unprocessed foods and to avoid added ingredients that we don’t understand (or can’t even pronounce). However, beyond eating fresh whole foods, we must also look at nutrient value to support an active lifestyle and to reduce inflammation. Who doesn’t want to maximize their energy? What you put into your body is what you get to burn! With the right foods in, you’ll have an influx of energy! Some of the best pre-workout foods include: Beets, cordyceps (a type of mushroom, often available as a supplement in powder form), coconut oil, antioxidant-rich berries, quality (and organic) protein, chia seeds, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables. Consider adding some coconut water to fuel your workouts as well for electrolytes and a great boost of quick energy. Note that for all foods, organic is better. You could still get nutrients from non-organic foods. However, our body’s natural filtration system will be working extra hard to filter out chemicals from non-organic food. These chemicals can slow us down and build up in our bodies over time. If you’re serious about your health, start to incorporate more organic foods into your diet. Your body will thank you in the long run!
For a breakdown on the nutritional benefits of the foods listed above, check out this great article from Dr. Axe, written by Rachael Link by Clicking Here
By Caitlin Goldie, Certified Holistic Health Coach
Posted 9 August 2018 by prehab
1. Start Your Day With H2O
Do you drink a big glass of filtered water every morning to start your system? If not, make that part of your morning routine. Try squeezing some fresh lemon in it to stimulate the liver and keep detoxification pathways going strong.
2. Filter Your Water
Invest in a high quality water filter (and not the kind that just sits in your fridge). Even if the tap water in your area doesn’t make you sick, there are always many extra particles in tap water. Whether it’s residue from your piping or other bits of inevitable pollution, you don’t want to ingest it.
3. Use A Glass Bottle
Get yourself a glass water bottle. Yes, glass. There are many glass bottles out there with rubber cases (so they don’t break). Many studies show that when we drink from plastic water bottles, especially if they’ve been in the heat, we are ingesting estrogen-mimicking components that throw off our hormonal balance. Thiscan cause a laundry list of health complications that none of us want to face. So, to give your body a well-deserved break, drink from a glass bottle whenever you can. If you’re going on a run with a water bottle, look for metal bottles that are touted as being safe from dangerous metals. Glass is better for everyday use but, of course, can be heavy.
4) Add In Electrolytes
Ok, now think about adding electrolytes to your water. Sports drinks tend to be super high in sugar, so we recommend staying away. However, there are other electrolyte supplements out there! We recommend electrolyte drops that you can add to water. Also, adding some Himalayan Pink salt to a glass or two of your water each day will actually help your body retain hydration throughout the day.
5) Listen To Your Body
The best way to determine if you are drinking enough water is to listen to your body’s natural signs. Isyour mouth dry? Are you light-headed? Have you been sweating today? Do you have headaches? Are you having regular bowel movements? If you’re fighting some sort of infection you will also need to up your water intake. There are lots of signs our body needs more water and we often ignorethem. If you’re training for a marathon, or upping your running routine, be aware of how much you’re sweating. If all of a sudden, you notice you’re sweating less, you could actually be dehydrated.
For more information about Hydration, specifically for runners, check out this great article by Holly Martin at: https://draxe.com/hydration-tips-for-runners-including-race-day-prep/
By Caitlin Goldie, Certified Holistic Health Coach
Posted 30 July 2018 by prehab
In this day and age, many of us experience a high level of stress. Short-term stress can help us achieve goals and stay motivated. However, our society is seeing a large increase in chronic stress levels, which play a negative role in our personal health. When we experience chronic stress, our sympathetic nervous system is consistently activated and we go into “fight or flight” mode. Cortisol pumps through our bodies in order to better prepare us to run. Our nutrient absorption is compromised, as blood flow goes from our digestive organs to our muscles, literally preparing us to run from danger. Of course this is not our brain’s intent, but our bodies don’t know the difference between active, physical danger and mental and emotional stress.
Cortisol abundance is actually one of the biggest challenges for people who are trying to lose weight. Do you exercise regularly and still have “stubborn” belly fat? Oftentimes, we see patients who are active, love doing cardio multiple times a week, have high-stress jobs, eat healthily, and still have weight to lose around the middle. These same people often have some level of inflammation throughout their bodies. For these patients, a fast-paced life often feels right–it is how they feel they are wired and they are often reaching amazing goals in their lives. However, we must all remember that constant stimulation (both physical and mental) increases cortisol surges which play a key role in weight and inflammation. Phew! How do we balance out without compromising our obligations and achievements?
The answer is multifaceted. However, changing your exercise routine is a wonderful place to start. We like this article from The Poliquin Group, highlighting possibilities for some weight bearing and light cardio, plus the addition of yoga, acupuncture, meditation, or other practices that slow down the sympathetic nervous system. If you are struggling with stress management and weight issues, feel free to reach out to us too. We have a full team of wellness practitioners at Prehab who specialize in creating health and lifestyle plans that meet you where you are, to elevate you to the optimal health we know you can achieve.
By Caitlin Goldie, Certified Holistic Health Coach
Posted 2 July 2018 by prehab
If you’ve been to our wellness clinic on the Upper East Side, you’ve probably seen our foam rollers—(you know, those long cylindrical pieces of foam that somewhat resemble rolling-pins for baking). Well, they actually serve a similar function for our bodies….ok, hear me out: when you put your weight on them and roll them along your muscles, they serve a variety of purposes, including a sort of self-massage that can be highly relaxing. So what exactly is this foam “rolling-pin” doing to our bodies? A big component is myofascial release. Fascia is a system of collagen fibers that surround our muscles, nerves, and organs. When we exercise or if we have old injuries, the fascia can become sore and restricted, causing discomfort and increasing our risk for injury. Foam rolling over tight areas can help release the fascia and helps allow it to repair. Think swifter recovery and heightened detoxification abilities. Be careful not to push it too hard, as foam rolling can be painful depending on how tight you are. Test the waters a bit and don’t dwell for too long on painful spots. You may need to work your way up to certain areas that are too tight. If you have an injury, ask your physical therapist if foam rolling is right for you. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have regarding foam rolling. We’d love to help clear up any confusion and demonstrate proper technique!
Here are some other great benefits of foam rolling:
- Reduction of cellulite
- Stimulation of lymphatic system/better immune system
- Stimulation of circulation
- Stress reduction/lower cortisol levels
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Faster recovery from exercise
- Injury prevention
Check out this article from Dr. Axe to read more in-depth about the benefits and techniques of foam rolling: https://draxe.com/foam-roller-exercises/
Posted 11 June 2018 by prehab
What do you think of when you hear the word: “meditation?”
Until recently, I thought of meditation as sitting, legs crossed on a pillow on the ground and staring calmly at a wall for 30 minutes or more. My image of meditation was boring and frankly, seemed impossible to get into. However, with all the recent hype about meditation within the wellness community, I decided to give it a try. I now use an app on my phone called “Headspace”…. and I love it. You can download this or other apps (there are so many!) and test it out free of charge. The apps provide what is called a “guided meditation,” meaning a calm voice explains the principles of meditation and reminds you to pay attention to your breath. You can select the level of meditation you are comfortable with from Beginner to Advanced. Rest assured that you will not be overwhelmed as a beginner—it’s easy to start for a handful of minutes! What I’m learning is that the key to meditation is not necessarily the amount of time you spend, rather it’s your consistency with it. I started with a daily 3-minute session and gradually worked my way up to 5 minutes a day. Personally, I change the time of day based on my schedule, but some people find a consistent meditation schedule to be helpful in holding them accountable. I promise you, you can carve out 3 minutes a day to help your body and mind. And with all the AMAZING, scientifically-proven benefits listed in the article from “Live and Dare” below, why not give it a try? Check this article out!
Posted 24 May 2018 by prehab
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL is a ligament in the knee joint, which supports the knee during jumping, landing and cutting tasks that are common in most sports. It is estimated that 100,000-250,000 ACL injuries occur each year in the United States frequently leading to reconstructive surgeries and 6 months to 1 year of rehabilitation to get back to sport.
So, why rehab when you can Prehab?
Research in the field of preventative programs has demonstrated a reduction of ACL injuries in female athletes by 74%. Female athletes are 2-10 times more likely to sustain an ACL injury as opposed to their male counterparts. This statistic is most evident in the 2017-2018 Notre Dame Female Basketball Team, which has lost four athletes to ACL injuries this season.
A recent 2017 study by Pollard et al in The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine demonstrated an improvement of Hip and Knee mechanics of female soccer players with participation in the Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance (PEP) Program, which was developed by the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Research Foundation. This study demonstrated improved use of hip musculature during landing tasks, which protects the ACL instead of relying on ligamentous support and quadriceps extensor moments, which have been associated with ACL injury. Enhancing athlete performance and decreasing ACL injuries can be the difference between a mediocre season and a championship run. Coaches and trainers at all levels of sports across the country are now incorporating Prehab programs for their athletes.
Could your athletes gain a competitive edge this season with a comprehensive performance enhancement and injury prevention program?
Stay tuned for more information about our ACL Prehab and Perform Program, which incorporates evidence-based PEP Program with the standardized Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) for a customized approach to athlete performance enhancement and ACL injury prevention.
For a free Prehab report of 7 secrets to stop knee pain follow the link below:
Check out the links below for more details about the study and statistics mentioned in this post:
By Dr. Arsen Virobyan, DPT
Posted 9 May 2018 by prehab
Our red wine fans out there: rejoice! In moderation, red wine is a powerful source of one of the best antioxidants out there—Resveratrol. With such a wide variety of benefits such as reducing risk of cancer, dementia, reducing high LDL (the bad cholesterol), reducing inflammation in all areas of the body, and more, there is no reason not to include Resveratrol in your everyday diet. However, as a health coach, I don’t recommend over-doing the red wine. While Resveratrol is an anti-inflammatory agent, alcohol itself is inflammatory so drink moderately and really enjoy every sip…there is medicine in the enjoyment, you know! So where exactly does this Resveratrol in wine come from? You can find it in the skins of deep colored fruits (mostly berries), including grapes. There are actually low levels of Resveratrol in white wine as well but since it spends less time in contact with the skin, red wine is much more powerful in terms of antioxidant content. I encourage you to include organic blueberries, cranberries, mulberries, or other dark colored berries, pistachios, and raw cocoa (not high in sugar, please) in your regular diet because these are also excellent sources of our beloved Resveratrol. A little dark chocolate with a glass of red wine? Enjoy! Rest assured that you are ingesting some powerful anti-aging and anti-inflammatory elements. Still curious? Read a fabulous article by Dr. Axe below:
Posted 19 April 2018 by prehab
We’ve all heard that drinking Green Tea is good for us. Probably, we’ve heard that it is a good source of anti-oxidants and has a low-caffeine level that still gives us energy. However, did you know about the highly valuable, calming amino acid, L-theanine that green tea holds? L-theanine promotes alpha-wave brain production, causing us to have a similar brain activity to that which we experience after a meditation session. Basically, L-theanine changes our brain waves enough to improve cognitive function and create a sense of open-minded calm. Preliminary studies show promise that L-theanine can help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, schizophrenia, sleep troubles, and more. Get your L-theanine from green tea or matcha tea. Read more in this fascinating article by Klara Mudge: