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BLOG (November) – Welcome the Burn
“Welcome the Burn”- Harry Otto, Fitness Instructor at Lifetime Athletic Health Club
In my last blog, I discussed the challenges of being a “lighthouse parent”. To review, lighthouse parenting as described by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg in his book, Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust: The Lighthouse Parenting Strategy allows children to ride the waves, while providing guidance so they don’t crash into the rocks. This style differs from helicopter parents who are constantly hovering anxiously overhead, or snowplow parents who would remove the rocks from the ocean. I think we all can agree that hovering and plowing are not best, but rather being a lighthouse parent is something we should strive for. Despite the fact that I am a child psychologist and a relatively mindful human being, I struggle in my ability not to nag, hover, or snow plow when it comes to my own parenting style.
So the question is why? I think the reason is that I struggle with the “burn”? What do I mean? When I start to let go or not hover, I start to feel anxious and instead of embracing the nervousness (the burn), I want to do something to get rid of it (i.e., nag).
However, I don’t do this in all aspects of my life. In contrast, when I am at the gym and taking a class like “Extreme Limits”, I welcome the burn. I don’t drop the weights, but instead I see the burn in a positive light. I see it as evidence that my body is changing (in the right direction).
So how can we apply this to our parenting?
1. See the burn associated with letting go and not hovering as a positive, as a sign of growth. Reframe the experience of anxiety in a positive manner. See for example, your heart pumping and the tightness in your stomach as a sign that you are going in the right direction. Yes, it can feel scary to let go, but we always need to remember the very big picture (the 50 year plan we have for our children).
2. Just like I wouldn’t take on too much all at once at the gym (I don’t pick up 40 pound weights when I am only used to 10 pounds), similarly start small. So for me, maybe, I will still nag and hover about the bite plate (equivalent to 40 pounds for me), but I will try to step back about what socks my son has chosen to wear (10 pounds).
3. Although you need to start small, you can’t go too small (reducing hovering by .1%). Lifting 1 pound weights at this point won’t change my body. So although starting small has merit, if we go too small, we won’t achieve the changes we are looking for.
4. Remember that by picking up the weights regularly, it gets easier. I remember when I could only pick up 5 pound weights, but now after consistently doing the work, I can lift more. By consistently making an effort to hover less, it will be easier to parent more effectively.
5. I will follow Harry’s instruction to “pick up the dumb bells in order to make my arms lighter”. Now on the surface that doesn’t make sense. How does adding weights to your arms make your arms lighter? However, Harry was right. When I first did the exercise with the weights and then did the exercise without the weights, my arms felt not only noticeably lighter, but stronger. So how does that translate to parenting? If we do the hard work now, later on it will be easier.
In summary, we need to reframe the burn we feel when we let go (not hover) as a sign that we are on the right track. We need to make a commitment to the work, knowing that eventually it will get easier. Furthermore, we need to remember that the burn may feel uncomfortable, but if we embrace it and don’t drop the weights, we (parents and children) get the positive results that we all are looking for.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Please check out my website at drbaruchfeldman.com for additional blogs and articles and follow me on twitter at Caren Feldman@carenfeldman.
If you are interested in learning more about lighthouse parenting I recommend, Dr. Ginsburg’s book, Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust: The Lighthouse Parenting Strategy.
In addition, great news, if you missed my flash webinar: Be a Beacon: Lighthouse Parenting for All it is now available online at Expert Online Training’s website.
Simply put, 25 participants, divided into 5 groups of 5. The group that changed their leg routine every workout but kept their max weight goals constant showed the greatest gains in size and strength. This was a small control group size but a well put together study.
Although blood-flow restriction weight training uses light weights, it puts a lot of strain on your muscles. Sometimes too much, Norwegian physiotherapists suggest in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. They describe the case of an athlete who developed such bad muscle damage after one session of blood-flow restriction weight training that he ended up in hospital.
The Norwegians refer to a 31-year-old ice hockey player who had been operated on his kneecaps 11 months earlier. They were helping the athlete to regain his strength, but didn’t want him to use heavy weights for strength training. They were worried that his cartilage and knee joints wouldn’t hold up.
So the therapists decided to to try blood-flow restriction weight training with the athlete. They restricted his upper leg muscles with a cuff and got him to do leg extensions: first a set of 40 reps with 12 kg, and then another 4 sets of 15 reps at the same weight. The man rested for 45 seconds between the sets.
Two days after the training session the man developed extreme muscle pain and was admitted to hospital. When the doctors measured the concentration of creatine kinase in his blood it was 12,400 units/litre. A count of 10,000 is usually when doctors sound the alarm. This is the level at which the amount of muscle protein released by damaged muscle cells into the blood is enough to start causing kidney damage. Doctors call this rhabdomyolysis.
The man stayed in hospital for 3 days, during which time the doctors put him on a fluid and electrolyte drip and encouraged him to drink a lot. Once his creatine kinase level started to drop the athlete was allowed to go home.
The researchers think that blood-flow restriction weight training can lead to “high metabolic muscle stress”. Even after regular strength training some beginners experience a rise in creatine kinase levels. Apparently this can also happen with blood-flow restriction weight training, even though very light weights are used. Looking back, the athlete should probably have done fewer sets, the therapists suggest. They should have built things up more slowly so that his body had more time to adjust.
The Norwegians were inspired by the Kaatsu training principles which were developped by the Japanese sports scientists Yoshiaki Sato. They read about Kaatsu, and tried the approach for themselves. Sato himself also learned that Kaatsu training is not without risk, and wrote about his experiences in The History and Future of KAATSU Training. [Int. J. Kaatsu Training Res. 2005; 1: 1-5.]
Sato discovered Kaatsu in 1966 when he had to remain kneeling during a Buddhist ceremony for so long that the blood supply to his calves was cut off. He realised that the sensation in his calves was similar to that felt after training – and so he came up with the idea of training with restricted muscles.
In 1967 Sato almost died as a result of following his own training method: “Numbness in my leg due to my reckless Kaatsu training routine became so severe that I was hospitalized”, he writes. “Up to that point I had ignored the numbness in my legs during training and continued with my training despite the discomfort. At one point, however I began experiencing an acute attack of shortness of breath. I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism.”
The training had led to the formation of blood clots, which blocked the blood vessels in his lungs.
Restricting the blood vessels is a fine art, Sato writes. “When too much pressure is applied, the skin may turn pale, and if exercise is continued while too much pressure is being applied, thrombosis may occur. It is quite difficult to reduce blood flow by the appropriate amount in order to achieve beneficial effects.”
Over the course of the years Sato has learned by trial and error what works and what doesn’t work for Kaatsu training. In 2003 he developed the Kaatsu Master, a set of equipment “which allows more precise pressure control and safer training instruction” [see above]. When Sato wrote his article there were 240 certified trainers working in 140 institutes in Japan who were capable of giving instruction on Kaatsu training. If you are still thinking of trying out blood-flow restriction weight training, it might be an idea to get in touch with them first.
Chewing Gum, Bloated Stomachs and Flawed Studies.
I keep reading studies that are showing up in PubMed, Medline & Springer that group artificial sweeteners with sugar and HFCS but they’re missing the boat with something important that no one seems to be catching; the participants “over all diet”. I’ll come right back to this.
When the plumber walks in to a gym to fix the boiler, he won’t necessarily experience any impact from a biochemical standpoint. When your local bodybuilder walks in for leg day, the mere sight of the equipment fires up a set of reactions, one of which in an actual rise in blood sugar, preparing the body even before he’s started his warm up squat.
When I walk in to Morton’s and smell the steaks, my mouth begins to water, ghrelin (the hunger hormone) gets released and, most importantly, my body begins to release a very slight amount of insulin. I say “slight” because I don’t consume any sugar whatsoever. When a vegetarian walks in, one that hasn’t touched meat in 20 years, and despises the thought of meat, his response would be similar to the sedentary plumber walking in to the gym; nothing (unless he knows he’s making a lot of money from the service call, which in this case, dopamine gets released).
What about gum? When I chew gum, my body does very little because it knows by now, after years of not eating sugar, that regardless of what food I digest, they’ll never be a dangerous influx of blood glucose requiring it produce massive and toxic amounts of insulin. And yes, I said toxic, as toxins, by definition, are compounds produced by mammals. But what about the person that drinks a diet soda or chews a sugar free stick of gum? How do you think their body would respond to the “trick” that’s being played on it? The mouth keeps chewing and chewing, the tongues millions of taste receptors keep receiving “sugar signals” yet there’s nothing for the insulin flooding the bloodstream to “bind to”. This is where the damage begins.
All the studies that claim diet products have the same damaging effects as those loaded with sugar are neglecting to take the participant’s lifestyle in to account. If you lead a sugar free life, the effects of sugar free products, like Splenda or Stevia, are negligible at worst. If you chew gum and experience any bloating or growling, your body doesn’t appreciate you playing David Copperfield with it. Get it?
At the end of the day, you need to either lead a no-added sugar lifestyle (say goodbye to orange juice and Pepsi), or stop making believe, thinking a diet soda will save you after you’ve banged down a pint of Häagen-Dazs.
This article has references omitted as it was written on an iPhone while sitting in H-Mart eating sashimi. More to follow.
I like Dr. Peter D’Adamo (author of the sham diet books). I like that he and his dad did their own little studies with 5 people and keep referencing them over and over in their writings. I love marking up their books and finding mistakes that are evident to any middle school student. Anyway, here’s a handy reference guide that summarize my version of the diet, if you feel the need to try the diet.
BUT FIRST. JUST IN CASE. BLOOD TYPE HAS NOTHING DO WITH NUTRITION. IT DEALS WITH ANTI BODIES AND ANTIGENS THAT ATTACK AND DEAL WITH ISSUES IN YOUR BLOODSTREAM.
Type O blood: A high protein diet relying heavily on meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. No grains (unless its a cheat day), beans and quinoa. Type O’s have cravings sometimes but rather than sugar foods, try a few sprints on the treadmill instead. Try and stay away from foods with more than three ingredients and where you wouldn’t want to eat those ingredients by themselves, raw.
Type A blood: Look for foods that have no added sugar and don’t come from a factory. Baked salmon and green beans should be your staple. Your breakfast every morning should be eggs and some green tea or coffee with half & half. Avoid foods that are advertised on TV and have raw salmon once a week.
Type B blood: You’ll respond best to a diet of grilled chicken and poached salmon with broccoli. Plenty of eggs and no foods with added sweeteners of any kind. Avoid food from Nabisco, Kraft, Monsanto or supplements recommended by Dr. Oz at all costs.
Type AB blood: AB blood does best with medium rare steaks and sashimi with no rice, ever. Your carbohydrates should be vegetables and you shouldn’t be worried about gluten because foods that contain gluten are junk anyway. No sugar & HFCS. Avoid foods from Post, Kellog’s (Kashi) and companies where workers wear lab coats and mesh hair nets.
IN CLOSING. JUST IN CASE. BLOOD TYPE HAS NOTHING DO WITH NUTRITION. IT DEALS WITH ANTI BODIES AND ANTIGENS THAT ATTACK AND DEAL WITH ISSUES IN YOUR BLOODSTREAM.
OK now we’re all clear.
Inside your prescription bottle are three ingredients; treadmill, heart rate monitor and 22 minutes. Can you trust me with this one?
This variation is a slightly kicked up version of what I usually do, meant to get you to Lord & Taylor as quickly as possible.
Adjust your treadmill to a 2.5 degree incline. This adjusts for coefficient of drag.
Walk for 5min at 3.3mph – great warm-up pace.
After your 5min warmup, try for an 8mph pace, run for 30seconds and record your ending HR.
Allow your HR to return to between 110-115. The lower the number, the more time you’ll have to goof off so choose wisely here.
Repeat process adding a half-mile per-hour each time.
For example, start with 8mph, then after min HR recovery do 8.5mph for 30 sec, recover, do 9mph and so on.
Don’t exceed your max HR, say 170bpm. Although this may prevent you from reaching top sprint speeds of 12+mph, the point of the routine is continually looping your heart rate, not cardiac arrest. This is where heart health (the magic) is created. And, at your peak HR moments, you’ll create enough dopamine to deal with even the worst traffic on i287.
Please, just get through the first 5min warm up and 8mph run. Your brain will trigger and you’ll want to continue – trust me.
Music selection suggestion:
Warm up with Tikai from E.S. Posthumus.
Sprints to Metallica; And Justice For All, Sprints at 2:06 & Harvester Of Sorrow, Sprints at 1:35.
Cool down to Josh Groban; When You Say You Love Me – puts me in a special place.