Friday, January 04, 2013

Cut injuries from exercise and sports in half....

Today's Post:  Friday, 1-4-2013

Most of you reading this are far more likely to do strength training or interval cardio than sports.

However, in doing strength training or interval cardio sometimes when you have gradually built up to really vigorous efforts or are trying to make progress, it can really cause you grief to get set back or be forced to stop temporarily by an injury.  It’s happened to me! 

But those of you who have gotten injured in an occasional try at a competitive game, as I once did, should realize that the strong occasional extra effort you exert has a high potential for injury. 

(Doing sports also is a great way to get health benefits if you can do things like play basketball or tennis regularly as part of your exercise program because that extra effort causes a great interval cardio effect & burns extra calories too.)  But the injury side of it is no fun at all!

And as is commonly known, one of the sports most likely to cause injuries is football.

That means that something that cuts the rate of injuries in HALF for a football team likely would do even better for regular exercisers!

I just found out that exact thing exists and is quite doable and even has other health benefits.

This week I found it! – in an article titled, “Vitamin D: Wonder Pill for Top Athletes – and the Rest of Us”   A woman called Lynn Allison wrote it.

A high school in Georgia, has a very strong football program and regularly sends their better players on to top football colleges.

But as is normal for football players, their players had injuries including broken bones and concussions.

Then a Dr. L. Ray Matthews, director of critical care at Grady Hospital in nearby Atlanta, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers in vitamin D, suggested that giving their football players the 2,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 we now know is actually close to the optimum amount of vitamin D3 might help.  (That’s because when people mostly worked ONLY outside and got sun exposure, they used to always get that much vitamin D3 -- closer to 2,000 a day in the winter and 5,000 or more in the summer.)

He knew that giving 5,000 to 10,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 to people who are injured, particularly with broken bones helped them heal better and faster.  So, he thought it might prevent the injuries too.

It did!  It cut the number of injuries for that football team in HALF!

He knew that in the patients he treated in his hospital practice, that giving them that amount of vitamin D3 helped them heal broken bones faster and recover their energy faster from being sick AND get over infections – including serious ones like pneumonia faster!

And, as we’ve already posted on that means that if you take vitamin D3 and get your flu shot early each fall, the flu shot is more likely to work and any colds or flu you do get will be milder and shorter.

The impact on being able to keep up a regular exercise program and on sports teams doing these two things can be extremely large!

In that football team there were HALF as many injuries and the recovery time for the injuries that did occur was shorter and faster.

And even without getting the flu shot, those players had less effective playing time lost to colds and flu because of the vitamin D3 they took.

Imagine the competitive advantage an already good football program got from that much of an effect!

They had fewer of their best players out with injuries at bad times and fewer of all their players playing a less than their best because they had colds or flu!

(Adding getting the flu shot early each fall to taking the vitamin D3 would add even more competitive advantage because in the late season games where a football team is playing in play offs or to get into the playoffs is EXACTLY the time that the flu often shows up.

So doing that too could double the competitive advantage for good teams.)

If you do regular exercise or play sports, you can have that advantage too!

For less than $10 you can get 100 capsules with 1,000 iu of vitamin D3 from a company called Carlson online or at most health food stores.  If you take 3 a day that will last you a month! Taking 5 a day will average about $15 a month or less!   

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