Claochlú Coirpe #2 – Méadú Meachán, Sláinte, agus Ithe Glan

Sa chéad cuid den sraith seo, phlé muid cailleadh meachán. An gá dúinn muid féin a mharú le traenál dian mar a fhéicimid ar clárthaí teilifíse ar nós The Biggest Loser? Nó an bhfuil bealaigh níos éifeachtaí is níos slaintiúla ann cúpla punt a chailleadh? Caith súil siar ar Claochlú Coirpe #1 . Inniú, beidh muid ag caitheamh súil ar an taobh eile den bonn. Cad faoi siúd atá ró-thanaí agus atá ag iarraidh meachán a mhéadú? I sochaí an lae inniú, bíonn an-béim curtha ar íomha coirp, agus brú mór ar mhná óga ach go háirithe an íomha tanaí a chomhlíonadh. Ach cuimhnigh nach ionann tanaí agus slaintiúil, go minic is a mhallairt an chás. Cén sort aclaíocht is éifeachtaí le haghaidh méadú meachán, agus cad é an bia is fearr ithe I dtreo an sprioc seo? Sa chéad dul síos, ba mhaith linn bheith níos cruinne nuair a phléimid meachain a ardú. Tá sé measartha simplí againn éirigh níos ramhaire; ná bog móran agus ith cuid mhór pizza agus uachtair reoite! Tá sé tábhachtach idirdhealú a dhéanamh idir seo agus meacháin a ardú ar slí atá slaintiúl. Ní hé sin le rá gur droch rud i gcónaí é an leibheáil saille sa chorp a ardú má tá sé an-íseal, ach ba mhaith linn díriú ar meatán a mhéadú. Chun na meatáin sa chorp a spreagadh chun fás, caithfidh muid cur ina luí ar an chorp go bhfuil tuilleadh meatáin de dhíth orainn. Is féidir linn seo a bhaint amach go héifeachtach le haclaíocht neartaithe; tógail meacháin mar a luaigh muid cheanna féin, luailí gleacaíochta, nó fiú obair sa fíor saoil a thugann orainn...

Managing the Never-Ending Sporting Season

As we move into another winter winter, we reach the period of the year for many GAA players where one season blends into the next. Whether your club is lucky enough to have navigated its way through the County championship into the Provincial and All-Ireland series, or you are a student playing for your school or college, you probably haven’t been afforded much of a break this year. Des Ryan, Head of Athletic Development at the Arsenal Academy, speaking at Setanta College’s ‘Developing and Maximizing Youth Potential’ Conference in Thurles, warned that the physical demands on young GAA players are not sustainable. He wasn’t joking. I was speaking recently to one of this year’s Limerick minor hurlers who said he could do with a break. He wasn’t joking either. Let’s take a quick look at his year so far: He started training with Limerick in January, playing through to the All-Ireland quarter final in July. Somewhere in-between he managed to win a County u21 title in April. When the minor’s season ended, he joined up with the county U21 team who went on to win the All-Ireland final in September. He played with his club in the county minor championship as far as the final in October. The club senior championship started in April and culminated in final success in October, which sent them into the Provincial championship; they won that in November. Of course, back to school in September and straight into the Harty Cup, they topped the group this week and go into the quarter final in January. A brand new year. The club’s senior team continue to...

Physical development of the young athlete: Doing it right Part 3

The first part of this series looked at the importance of providing the young developing body with lots of varied physical inputs, the pitfalls of sedentary living and early sports specialization. The second installment looked at gym training and how moving away from the conventional approach might serve us better in the long run. This third and final part will discuss nutrition; how our physical capacities are inextricably linked with what we eat. We understand that a good diet can reduce the likelihood of developing degenerative cardio-vascular diseases, but do we realize the effect our diets have on our movement? Less Grains, Please. The food we eat affects our organs, and our organs affect our movement. Paul Chek describes this connection in detail in this article: “Most people have little or no understanding of their organs in general, and because of their ignorance of what is inside them, they make diet and lifestyle choices that create stress on their organs and glands that disrupt almost every aspect of their body and mind” The practice of segmentalizing the body into separate pieces may be useful in terms of putting labels on body parts and teaching anatomy, but it has mostly served to diminish our appreciation for the oneness of the human body. Organs talk to and control muscles. Thus, Chek believes that you would be wise to look inward when dealing with chronic problems, describing how he has rehabilitated athletes with chronic muscloskeletal pain that could not be resolved until function was restored to the related glans and organs. The mechanism for this is explained as such: If an organ overheats...

Physical development of the young athlete: Doing it right Part 2

I have been taking a thoughtful look back at my athletic journey, from the day I first lifted a hurling stick as a youngster to the injury mire of recent years. Not-traumatic injuries don’t occur for no reason, so somewhere along the way my physical development was clearly hampered by some inefficient inputs to the system. Tracking back over the years to see what I could have done differently may selfishly help guide me going forward, but might also save others from making similarly perilous decisions themselves. The previous post focused on the need to supplement your sport with lots of fun and varied movement, and the injury-laden consequences of combining a sedentary lifestyle with participation in high-intensity sports.  As you become older and take your sport more seriously, naturally the more committed you are to improving, training harder and for longer. Paradoxically, in my case, that probably expedited my dates with the surgeon as I built strength on top of dysfunction. This brings me to those years between 17 and 23 where I trained the hardest and ploughed on through pain signals that were trying to tell me something, until I finally surpassed the body’s breaking point. If I could turn back the clock, here are some things I would do differently.   Body before Barbell I began to get stuck into weights when I went to College, and was lucky enough to have excellent guidance in the UL Arena. My goal was to improve my hurling by getting strong, and get rid of the crippling low chronic low back pain that had been a constant for years....

Saturday Movement

Here is a little movement session that I did today. Having not trained in a while, the aim of this low-intensity session was to just re-connect with the body and get going again. My current training goals are primarily to get back to pain free movement, working through hip and shoulder issues; so mobility training has been the main focus of my recent efforts. As well as working on the soft core, or inner unit as Paul Chek calls it. I actually spent longer on the Prep part of the session, around 35 mins, working on mobility and control: The squat hip rotations are from Ido Portal’s Squat Clinic. I used 6 adjustable Smart Hurdles for the over-unders, which my hips are really enjoying. Working on range of motion and control. I have been dropping in the Jefferson Curl every now and again to load the spine in flexion. I used a barbell @ 30kg, standing on a plyo box. Great stretch in the hamstrings too. Inspired by Gymnastic Bodies’ Coach Sommers who is a big fan of this movement. I used a broom with a 2.5kg plate in the middle, lying prone on the floor. Rolling Patterns are some of the foundational movements of the FMS corrective system for the soft core, described as a low threshold strategy that depicts asymmetries and deficiencies in a primitive pattern. I focused on not forcing the movement and not letting the lower body contribute to the roll. The Cossack Flow is an FRC movement. It was challenging to keep the movement fluid and really challenged my hip mobility. I chose four bodyweight strengthening/core movements and spent about 25 minutes rotating through them in...

Claochlú coirpe #1: Cailleadh meachán

Braitheann an corp agus an sláinte atá bronnta orainn go formhór ar an slí maireachtála a leanann muid. Mar sin de, chun athrú mór a chur i gcrích, níl aon draíocht i gceist; caithfimid ithe mar is ceart agus slí maireachtála níos gníomhaí a chruthú. Bíonn an corp agus anam faoi bhláth nuair a chothaíonn muid an corp le bia glan agus bogadh flúirseach. Sin é. Chuir Ailbhe Ní Riain cúpla ceist orm ar na mallaibh le haghaidh tionscnamh ollscoile. Seo thíos an chéad ceann; tá súil agam go gcuidíonn sé le dhaoine aicsin a ghlacadh inniú. Cén sórt aclaíocht is éifeachtaí chun meachán a chailleadh, agus an bia is fearr ithe? Go hiondúil nuair a bhíonn sé mar sprioc ag daoine meachán a chailleadh, tagann rud amháin ar intinn: rith. Don chuid is mó ní hé seo an bealach is slaintiúla ná is éifeachtaí seo a bhaint amach. Cinnte, oibreoidh sé ar feadh tammaill, oibreoidh aon sort aclaíocht ar dtús nuair nach bhfuil an corp cleachtaithe leis. Ach an rud a fhéicimid go minic ná go bpiocann daoine suas gortaithe as bheith ag cur isteach na mílte fada ag rith, tagann srian ar dul chun cinn ar ná scalaí, agus éiríonn an duine díomuach. Ag an am céanna, thiocfadh leat a rá gurbh é an módh aclaíochta is éifeachtaí ná an ceann a bhaineann tú sult as agus a chloífidh tú leis sa fad téarma. Marsin más é rith do rogha, thar barr. Ach ní gá mothú go mbeadh iachall ort rith má tá tú ag iarraidh crut a chur or do chorp. Tá beallaí eile ann atá níos cinéalta ar na géaga, agus b’fhéidir...

Aipeanna don Aclaíocht agus Sláinte

Bhí mé ag comhrá le Lisa Madden agus Pádraig Ó Conghaile ar an Bricfeasta Blasta @ Radió na Life ar maidin maidir le aipeanna sláinte agus a leithéad. Seo thíos beagán forbairt ar an ábhar cainte a bhí a phlé againn. Tá an domhan ag titim síos le aipeanna na laetha seo agus an cuid is mó acu ag feidhmniú mar ábhar seachráin ón réaltacht. Sin ráite, is féidir linn buntáiste a bhaint as an teicneolaíocht seo chun saoil níos gníomhaigh agus slaintiúla a chaitheamh, má bhaineann muid úsaid mhaith as. Tá poitensiúil cumhachtach ag an gúthan cliste bheith mar thraenalaí pearsanta agat féin; is féidir leis treoir a thabhairt dúinn ó thaobh aclaíochta de, is féidir leis gréasan shóisialta a bhunú chun tacaíocht agus inspreagadh a thabhairt duit, is féidir leis cuidiú linn nósanna slaintiúla a chothú. Tá sé an-éasca agus mealltach an app is úire agus is deise a íoslódail achan cúpla seachtain, ach caileann muid amach ár comhsheasmhacht sa chás seo agus ní bhíonn éifeacht leanúnach aige ar do chuid dul chun cinn. Cosúil le achan rud a bhaineann le aclaíocht agus sláinte, coinnigh simplí agus seasmhach é agus bainfidh tú tairbhe as. Seo roinnt de na bealaí is fearr chun do ghúthan cliste a úsaid ar bhonn aclaíochta agus sláinte. Roghnaigh an ceann a oireann duit agus bain trial as.   Rianú Iompraíochta Tá aipeanna ann a ligeann dúinn rianú a dhéanamh ar ár aistear féin-feabhúschan. Piocann tú nós nó dhó atá tú ag iarraidh a chothú, iontráil cá mhéad uair sa lá nó sa tseachtain atá sé mar sprioc agat an iompraíocht a chur i...

Physical development of the young athlete: Doing it right

If you could turn back the clock and begin your athletic journey again, what would you do differently? This is a question I often ask myself, and the more I learn and experience as a coach in the physical development of young athletes, the more apparent the answer the becomes: a lot. My current journey is one of restoring my body back to pain-free movement after years out of sport with injuries and surgeries, with an increasing appreciation for the complexity of the human body. There is a lot to consider; the nervous system, somatosensory and circulatory system all working together to help restore quality function to the musculoskeletal structures, while resisting the conventional model of compartmentalizing the body into muscles and isolated actions. The body always finds a way to work around restrictions in joints and tissue, until it is eventually unable to positively adapt to the inefficient stressors causing mechanical failure, and pain joins the party. But what causes these compensatory and patterns non-traumatic symptoms in the first place? Why is there a pandemic of hip and knee injuries in the young GAA playing population? You won’t get a straight answer for these questions with a Google search but they are certainly worth investigating, some other time. For now, we can agree that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. While I don’t have all the answers on how to get out of pain, taking a look back at my training practices over the years and what was missing, based on what we know now, might shed some light on the matter. If...

What’s the Hot Fuss with Bikram Yoga?

Yoga has always piqued my interest as a potentially useful tool to help unwind years of unyielding stiffness and poor mobility. Although modern yoga is not a complete movement practice, any method of training that has survived for thousands of years and is used by many of the world’s best movers has something going for it in my book. The use of heat for the purpose of improving health is also centuries old, with a strong tradition of Sauna in the Nordic countries and Germany. Rhonda Patrick, a PhD in biomedical science, is a strong proponent of hyperthermic conditioning (sauna) for improved endurance, increasing muscle mass and formation of new brain cells, amongst other things. In this report she cites 37 studies to back up her claims that sauna is good for us. With these things in mind, and with the increasing popularity of Bikram yoga, Sara and I decided to give it a go last week. Of course, it is usually unfair and impossible to judge a particular method after only one attempt. So, this blog is in no way a definitive judgement of Bikram yoga, rather, my thoughts after the first experience. Read on to find out if it was also my last.   The Script As we took our place in 40 degree room, with the instructor standing on her podium at the top of the room, it didn’t take long to realize that the whole session was an ad-verbatim recital of a Bikram yoga script. It turns out that the script is standardized and instructors are told not to deviate from it, which made me feel like we were...

Recipe: Cashew Protein Balls

    Snacks and treats are often where people deviate from an otherwise healthy diet and succumb to sugar-laden temptations. But not anymore with this recipe from our resident foodie, Connie, passed down by another great lover of good food, Jerry Flannery. The only risk with creating these balls of delight is that you may eat them all in one go, so I would advise coming up with a strategy in advance to avoid this. A lot of recipes for delicious treats are complicated with long and obscure ingredient lists. This, on the other hand, is simple and quick. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup (200g) pitted dates 1 cup (120g) vanilla protein powder 1 cup (200g) raw cashew nuts 10ml almond milk 1 1/2 cups (300g) dark chocolate Preparation: Blend the pitted dates. 2. Add the vanilla protein powder to the blended dates. Blend again.   3. Add the raw cashew nuts and blend it all up again until a firm dough is created.   4. In order to roll the balls add the almond milk. If the dough appears too moist, add a few linseeds and blend the dough again. Roll little balls and place them on a tray with parchment paper.   5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. (A good way to do this is to rest the bowl of chocolate in a pot of boiling water and stir as it melts).   6. Bath the balls in the melted chocolate and place them on the tray with parchment           7. Place the balls in the fridge for at least two hours. Keep...