Tag Archives: Fitness

Are College Athlete Injuries a result of ‘Overuse’?

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Have you ever wondered why injuries occur? If there was a way that you could prevent them or if they are just inevitable when you participate in sports? I myself have been asking this questions for years.

If you are familiar with my blogs, then you are already aware that I myself am a female athlete. I am a proud member of the Women’s lacrosse team at Towson University. I have been playing lacrosse since I was five years old, along with a handful of other sports.

Just recently I obtained a season-ending injury when I tore my ACL in my left knee in our final game of the season on April 22,2012. I can honestly say that the first questions to pop up in my head were why? Why now? If I had done something different would this have happened? How could I have prevented this?

The doctors told me that it was a “ticking time bomb”, and was bound to happen sooner or later in my sports career. But if that were so, then why doesn’t everyone tear there ACL? For those people who don’t then what are they doing differently than me? Those were more questions that I kept asking myself.

So I began to look online to see if I could find some possible answers to my questions. On the Science Daily website there was a recent article from April 12, 2012 posted that was titled,  Nearly 30 percent of all College Athlete Injuries a result of ‘Overuse.’

A study has found was that most often in “low-contact sports that involve long training sessions or where the same movement is repeated numerous times — make up nearly 30 percent of all injuries sustained by collegiate athletes” (Science Daily.) During the study they also found that 62 percent of the overuse injuries occurred in females athletes.

To these results I would have to agree that athletic injuries seem to occur more throughout the female gender. Throughout my athletic history I have found that more of my female friends have sustained injuries such as tendentious, inflammation, sprains and tears.

This new study was published in the current edition of the Journal of Athletic Training, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association scientific publication.The study sample consisted of “573 male and female collegiate athletes from an NCAA Division I institution participating in 16 team sports”  (Science Daily.)

According to the study co-author Tracey Covassin, “Understanding the frequency, rate and severity of overuse injuries is an important first step for designing effective injury-prevention programs, intervention strategies and treatment protocols to prevent and rehabilitate athletes with these types of injuries”  (Science Daily.)

The study found that, “Overuse injuries tend to occur gradually and are caused by repeated small injuries, without a single, identifiable event responsible for the injury” (Science Daily.) Whereas, injuries occurring in high-speed and full-body-contact sports are “more likely to be acute injuries, which result from a specific and identifiable event”  (Science Daily.)

Through my research I found that though I cannot eliminate the possibility of overuse, it is not the main reason for my injury. Through my injury records I had hyper-extended and sprained my LCL three times before actually tearing my ligament. Thus why the “ticking time bomb” explanation was brought up. Throughout each time that I injured my knee, I just loosened the ligaments a little more than they should have been.

In addition to loosening my ligaments, on the actually day I tore my ACL it was raining outside and abnormally cold for the spring temperatures we are normally use too. With the prior injuries and the weather, this was also our final game of the season. That meaning that we had already been practicing almost everyday since January 9th.

So even though lacrosse isn’t considered to be a sport that has a history of overuse injuries, I wouldn’t eliminate that as a possibility because there is repetition is our motions.Whether exhaustion, overuse, the weather or if it was completely inevitable the injury has already occurred. Hopefully soon enough they will find better prevention tips for ACL tears, so that no other athletes have to miss their seasons.

Work Cited

Michigan State University (2012, April 12). Nearly 30 percent of all college athlete injuries a result of ‘overuse’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 7, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2012/04/120412113720.htm

Are injuries increasing among younger generations of female athletes?

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I have been involved in athletics since I was 5-years-old. I have played lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, basketball, dancing, and swimming. Throughout the years I have found that the older I get the more injury prone I am. I know that my body can no longer take the wear and tare that athletics puts on it.

While I am in my third year of being a college athlete, I find every day a new injury forming in a new area of my body. I can only wonder why I feel as if I am a middle aged woman, when in actuality I am only 20. If I had waited longer before becoming as serious with sports I wonder if I would have decreased my injury rates.

Vise versa if I had began my athletic career earlier, would I have had more injuries at a younger age? Today’s studies have found that my second statement is accurate. Now a days female athletes have had an increasing issue with the rate of injuries.  My younger sister is only 13-years-old and she has had a severe concussion, two sprained ankles, knee problems, and wrist problems. So what is changing in the sports world that is contributing these rates increasing?

For one I think that the increasing pressures that parents are putting on their children at younger ages is adding to the problem . Girls as young as 3rd grade are taking on the same responsibilities and tasks that are involved with teams as those of high school or college students.

For example parents have been sending their children to personal trainers when they are only in elementary school. Parents have also increased the amount of teams and sports that their children are participating in at one time. I remember that I was only in middle school I was playing rec. field hockey, rec. lacrosse, club lacrosse, club field hockey, basketball, and swimming all during one year. This amount of pressure on a child’s body  at an early age will increase the chance of injuries as they get older.

The reason that parents are adding more pressure on their children at earlier ages is because the recruiting process to make college and professional teams has become way more competitive. In today’s athletic world, girls are expected to start thinking about getting recruited as early as freshman year in high school. So they are taking all the possible opportunities to get scouted.

But is all the pressure really worth it in the end? Take it from someone who has done it……the answer is no! My best advice is to take care of your bodies and injuries when you are growing up, because they will come back to haunt you as you get older.

Can Warming Up Before Exercising reduce injurys among athletes?

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The part of practice that every athlete hates is the warm up. Most don’t even warm up or stretch, and just begin playing immediately. But it has been found that with the proper warm up that the amount of athlete injurys can be decreased.

Scientists discovered this past fall that coach-led neuromuscular warm-up training before athelets are exposed to playing helps reduces lower-extremity injuries. Cynthia R. LaBella, MD, from the Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues conudcted a study that invited coaches, and out of all the coaches invited 90 completed the study, representing 105 teams.

The warm up combines progressive strengthening with plyometric, balance, and agility exercises. Compared with athletes who were not properlly warmed up, the coaches who implemented the warm up before every practice had a 44% decrease in acute noncontact lower-extremity injuries and a 34% decrease in noncontact ankle sprains among players in the intervention group.

I completely agree with this study. I know from history and tons of experience playing a sport that without stretching you increase your risks at cramping, pulling, tearing, twisting and tweaking anything on your body. Warming up before you become involved in any type of exercise helps to loosen your muscles. It alsohelps to gradually get your body ready to increase the high amounts of energy that it is about to use.

Other experts have found that warming up before a practice is very important for the following reasons:

  • Increased movement of blood through your tissues, making the muscles more pliable.
  • Increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This prevents you from getting out of breath early or too easily.
  • Prepares your muscles for stretching
  • Prepares your heart for an increase in activity, preventing a rapid increase in blood pressure
  • Prepares you mentally for the upcoming exercise
  • Primes your nerve-to-muscle pathways to be ready for exercise
  • Improved coordination and reaction times

As an amateur athlete you don’t spend much time thinking or researching the benefits that warming up can do for your body. Most think of it as tedious and a waste of time. Thats why it is very important to have coaches or any person incharge follow through on making sure that their players are properly warmed up and stretched before they begin to play. This is the perfect way to make sure that your athletes are preparing themselves physically and mentally.

Snag some food at the Liberal Arts Cafe

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The Liberal Arts cafe is one of the newest a-la-carte dining facilities offered at Towson University. This facility is a very  quiet place and is located  on the fourth floor of the new Liberal Arts building. Who knew this awesome place existed? I had no idea, until I did some research!

This place serves mostly grab and go options majority of those are sandwiches and salads. That is perfect for when you are in a hurry to get to class, and starving! They also offer  breakfast sandwiches, paninis and melts, soup, baked goods, bottled beverages, and Starbucks coffee.

This is one of the facilities that is open for a good amount of time, so if you are on campus late than this is the perfect place for you! They are open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. They have some great healthy options at this facility! For the purpose of this blog, I am going to tell you what your best options are.

Breakfast is available from open till 10:30 a.m. This is awesome because you can grab something if you accidentally forgot when you were rushing out the door in the morning! If you are craving a breakfast sandwich then you are in luck, because you can create your own. I suggest getting an egg and cheese sandwich on an english muffin. If you are feeling extra healthy ditch the cheese!

This is also the perfect time to start your day out the right way……with fruit! You can create your own delicious fruit and yogurt parfaits. Try to add a decent portion size of each ingredient! Now lets see what the Liberal Arts Cafe has to offer for lunch.

Lunch is served from 11 a.m till closing time. There is a delicious panini on the menu called the Veggie. This sandwich comes with roasted vegetables, jalapeno humus, and provolone cheese on artisan black olive bread. This is the perfect time to load up on your veggie count!

Another great panini that is offered is the Chicken Breast Panini. This one comes with chicken breast, roasted peppers, spinach, provolone cheese, pesto mayonnaise on rustic sour dough bread. If you want to be extra healthy ditch they mayonnaise and the sour dough bread, and opt for some oil and vinegar and wheat bread!

All the sandwiches come with a side, and you can choose between chips and fruit. You know what I’m going to say, choose the fruit!

There are a lot of delicious and healthy  beverages to choose from for a nice snack or to hydrate. They have tazo tea, and naked juice. The tazo tea has been found to have less than one gram of carbohydrates and zero calories in almost all of the teas! For the naked juice, for the nutritional count it is  100% real juice and 0 trans fat! They both come in great flavors too.

The best drink you can have over everything is water! The number one key thing to being healthy is to try and stay hydrated. So remember that on a daily basis! Also try to stay away from the sodas and Gatorades because these kinds of drinks are filled with all kinds of sugar.

So remember next time that you are in the Liberal Arts building to head on up to the 4th floor and grab a healthy snack, or even make a meal out of it!

Snag some food at the 7720 Café

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The Deli

The 7720 Café is a dining facility at Towson University, that the majority of students had no knowledge it even existed. This is because it is located on the first floor of the Administration Building. Most students are never over at that side of campus, so the majority of the costumers are Towson faculty. This is one of the many a-la-carte style facilities on campus.

If you plan on grabbing a meal at the 7720 café then you better get there early because they are only open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. But luckily you have all school week to try and make it because they are open Monday through Friday.

For this blog I am going to give you some helpful tips on what are your healthiest options to choose from at the 7720 Café! Lets begin with breakfast shall we?

For breakfast you have your choice from hot dishes like eggs, pancakes and more. Or they also serve cereal, yogurt and bagels. If you want a bagel, than I suggest going with the whole wheat bagel, with whipped cream cheese. Both those options have been found to have less calories. What if you want cereal? Perfect because they have whole-grain cereals that you can choose from and fat free milk.

Now lets see what the 7720 Café  has to offer for lunch. At this facility you have many options to choose form like creating your own custom-made sandwich from the deli or picking up something from the daily hot specials, grill selections, full salad bar, soup or desserts.Lets start at the Signature Deli. Here you can choose one of the costume made sandwiches or create your own. If you are planing to make your own sandwich then I have some perfect tips for you. First off ditch the bread and get a wrap instead. Or if you really want the bread, then get wheat bread instead of white bread.

Next, try not to load your sandwich up with meats, cheeses and condiments but instead with tons of vegetables. Not only will the vegetables load up your sandwich even more, but it will also help fill you. They have tons of different salad toppings to choose from too. From lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, pickles, and more.

The healthiest sandwich on the menu is possibly a great panini that is offered that has just tomato and fresh mozzarella on it!

Sandwich toppings

Now lets look at what is available at the Grill! There are tons of great and healthy options here. There is a Turkey Burger, that comes with lettuce, tomato, onions on a toasted roll. Try to limit your condiments and try ditching the cheese! There is also a Veggie Burger that comes on a toasted roll and your choice of toppings. This is the perfect time to load up on those veggies! Lastly there is a Grilled Chicken Sandwich that comes with lettuce and tomato on a toasted roll.

The salad bar

If you are in the mood for an amazingly huge salad, well good thing because there is a huge salad bar that offers all the toppings that you could ever imagine. This is the perfect opportunity to really load up on the veggies. My tips are to stay away from toppings that are loaded with carbs and stick with the green stuff. You can add as much as will fit in the box! Also stay away from the thick creamy dressings, and stick with the light and fat free ones. The absolute best dressings that you can use is oil and vinegar!

All the salad toppings

If you are looking for a quick snack, then they also have prepackaged foods around the room too that you can choose from. There is also fruit all over the facility, so make sure to get your fix throughout the day and grab some. So next time you are around the administration building come on in and snag a great healthy meal!

Come on in to the Brick Street Cafe

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Brick Street Cafe!

The Brick Street Cafe is one of the less familiar a-la-carte dining facilities available at Towson University. It is perfect for those students or faculty in a rush and on the go. It is less familiar because it is on the first floor of Hawkins Hall, which is a smaller building on campus. There for not many students are around or in that building even despite the location of it.

This facility offers Seattle’s Best Coffee, Outtakes grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, and made-to-order deli delights from Leo’s.B. The Café Mattone serves hot personal pan pizzas, calzones, and pastas and there are also breakfast sandwiches, bakery items and sushi.

The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Sadly this is another facility on campus that is not open on weekends, so don’t plan on stopping by on Saturday and Sunday!

This is a great place that has tons of healthy options to pick from! Lets start by looking at whats on the Deli menu, shall we? There are a great variety of sandwiches to choose from. For the purpose of being healthier I say start by going with a wrap over bread. Tortilla wraps tend to be healthier and have less carbs than a lot of breads.

Fruit all over!

For your meats, any of the choices are fine stick with the lunch meat and away from the different salads because they are filled with mayonnaise. With your cheeses try to add only one slice of cheese.
This is a great opportunity to load up on the veggies! Add some lettuce and tomatoes and any other vegetable you like to your sandwich to help fill you up. For the condiments try using little to none on your sandwich, or if you have to only  a small amount.
All the sandwiches come with your choice of a side of chips, pretzels, a piece of fruit or a pickle. You should load up on all the fruits and vegetables you can throughout the day, so I say go with the fruit or the pickle.
If you aren’t feeling a deli sandwich, then try a veggie burger. You are basically eating a cheeseburger but this is much healthier and tastier!

Leo's Deli!

If you are in the mood for pizza then you are also in luck because they have a great vegetable pizza. It’s not the healthiest thing you can eat but it is a healthier option and that is what we are looking for!
The best part about the Brick Street Cafe is that there are tons of pre-packaged food all around. They have ready made salads to choose from too that look amazing! Salad is never a bad choice if you are trying to be healthy.
Sandwiches and Salads!
Even though this us one of the smaller dining facilities and there isn’t a hundred different options to choose from, it is still a great and convenient place to eat at. So next time you are in the middle of campus come check out the Brick Street Cafe!

Come on in to Paws!

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Paws is an awesome hangout place and dining facility for students at Towson University. This extended-hours facility is one of the many a-la-carte  options at the college and provides for great food and entertainment. This is located on the first floor of the University Union, across from the University Book Store.

This dining facility features a variety of custom-grilled selections to baked goods, smoothies, and Starbucks Coffee. The facility is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and from Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The grill makes for great late night food!

Fruit Available!

This is a great place for greasy fried food, but it also offers some delicious healthier alternatives too! For instance, Paws is a great place to grab breakfast when you are on the go and in a rush. The healthiest thing that you can snag is a Veggie Delight which comes with a garden burger, tomato, swiss cheese and is served on an english muffin.

Or try a Southwest Breakfast Burrito. With the right ingredients it can be the perfect choice for a healthy breakfast! It comes on a flour tortilla and is stuffed with scrambled eggs, diced tomatoes and onions, cilantro. For your choice of meat I say choose the ham. It also comes with sour cream and cheese, but ditch them to ditch the extra calories!

Now lets take a look at the Paws Grill menu! To start you could try the Veggie

Paws Grill

Burger, served with a garden burger, cheese, lettuce, tomato on a kaiser roll. You can also try a Flatbread Sandwich with chicken breast that comes with sauteed onions, mushrooms, swiss cheese, tomato, and honey mustard on flatbread. If you are really trying to be healthy drop the cheese and honey mustard and just load up on the veggies!

In the signature wraps there is an awesome choice called the Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad Wrap and is made with grilled chicken with dried cranberries, chopped apples,walnuts, lettuce, onions, and celery wrapped in a flour tortia. The chicken salad is also made with a “light-mayonaise.”

Salad Toppings

Paws also has a great salad bar! I suggest getting the grilled chicken salad over the crispy chicken. Grilled items tend to be much healthier than fried foods! Once you have the lettuce and chicken, load up with tons of vegetables. You have your choice between tons of toppings. I say stick with the veggies and fruits and away from the cheeses and croutons.

Next to the grill there is the Perk’s Place where you can get any smoothie you want! You have your choice from the main ingredients being banana, mango, raspberry, lemonade, peach, passion fruit, wild berry, strawberry, ice cream, hurricane.

Perk's Place

For fourty-nine cense extra you can add in a supplement of any of the following choices: energy blend, multi-vitamin, smart blend, protein, vitamin C, flu fighter, relaxing blend, and especially for college students a hangover blend!

Also at the Perks Place you can get some pre-packaged wraps, sandwiches, fruit cups,and more! There is fruit located all over that you can purchase or grab for a side with any of your meals.

Paws is the perfect college hang out place and has great food. Just remember to try and resist your urges to get the fried-greasy foods, and opt for the healthier grilled options. You can find healthy food anywhere, you just need to look for it!