Plantar Fasciitis

Written By: Dave Patek

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful, nagging and often debilitating condition that affects people of all ages.

It is caused by an inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Treating this condition has not proven easy, and aside from literally poking holes in the fascia to ‘release’ the tissue – and certain surgical techniques…there are several options at Medical West that can assist clients in various stages of plantar fasciitis.

Most of the time, a simple Powerstep Powerheeler Extend insert will immediately give the client relief. The Powerstep is a soft, gel-based insert that replaces the insert provided by the shoe manufacturer. This particular insert has strategically placed gel pads at the heel and forefoot – while rigid support is provided along the fascia itself.

Since plantar fasciitis usually begins as a painful heel condition, it is possible, that a simple heel insert may be all that is needed. In this case, I like to recommend the Gel Step heel pad. In addition to relieving heel pain, the Gel Step is also contoured and low profile so that it will fit into a dress shoe – even some high heels.

For pain that is centered around the mid-foot (a very tough spot to have this condition in), it is recommended that the client wear a good compression sleeve over the actual arch of the foot. In this instance, I suggest the FS06 Plantar Fasciitis foot sleeve. This particular sleeve is designed to relieve swelling – and aids in muscle recovery with the use of gradient compression.

Exercise is always important with every aspect of recovery. Until now, most of the exercises involving plantar fasciitis have been primitive (rolling a golf ball around the bottom of the foot, etc.) The Foot Gym provides a firm, textured roller that can be filled with water. The water can be heated or chilled depending on the preference of the client. Three bands with increasing tension allow the user to plantar flex (flexing the foot downward) and dorsi flex (flexing the foot upward). This allows all muscles of the foot to be used – eventually strengthening the support system for the fascia band.

Grandparents Are The Best!

“I remember my paternal grandfather spoiling us as kids! My dad would get jealous when he allowed us to eat snacks in his car…which was a NO-NO when he was a kid. My paternal grandmother was a spoiler too! She still sends a gigantic box of junk food for Christmas!”  – Jessica V.

“Growing up my family always lived far away from my grandmother, so we didn’t get to see her often. As soon as I had my license and wheels, I drove up to see her all the time. Then in May 1999, after I graduated high school, I got to move in her home and take care of her in her last months of life while she battled her fifth bout of cancer that she lost that August. She was a strong & smart woman raising nine children and stories of she and grandpa RV-ing with ALL of them every summer all over the western states. She lost my grandpa in 1982, yet she was determined to move forward and finally got her own drivers license, started working at Famous Barr in the jewelry department and continued her traveling/camping. I will never forget how close we became and how many memories we were able to make in our last few years together. RIP Dolores Madeline Maffrand 1921-1999. She will always be in my heart.” – Christine R.

“Both of my grandfathers were Naval heroes during World War II. Grandpa Bob was the youngest Pearl Harbor survivor as a 17 year old yeoman on the USS Farragut during the attacks. Grandpa Price survived the sinking of the USS Wasp by a Japanese Sub and received a Purple Heart. These men passed along more than just strong values and wisdom. They were both hilarious, and used humor to offset life’s changing landscape. Though they had seen prolific amounts of death and tragedy, they were able to accurately describe their stories…choosing to bypass the horrific details, and focus on the human courage that took place on both of those days. They have been gone for a long time, and though I have trouble remembering exactly what their voices sounded like, I vividly remember their respective laughs. If you see an elderly man wearing a hat that lists his ship name, military division or war in which they fought, pat them on the back and thank them for their service. I guarantee it will make their day.” – David P.

“Grandparents, a very special gift!
Memories of my grandparents warm my heart! I believe the relationship you can have with your grandparents is very unique. When you’re upset with your parents, grandparents just have a way of making things all better! The time I am most fond of with my grandparents, was cooking with my grandmother. My grandmother was from Italy and would create amazing meals with homemade pastas, special meats and vegetables; and who could forget the Italian cookies, cannoli’s, and pastries! While my grandparents have all passed away, today I enjoy watching my children creating those memories with their grandparents. Whether it is going to Nana’s to be spoiled and well fed or spending time with Papa playing games, their eyes light up and they get excited to spend time with their grandparents. Grandparents are a true gift to be treasured while we still have them with us. Do not miss an opportunity to create those memories!” – Lois D.

Staying Active

Staying Active

There’s no doubt that keeping active makes us feel more energetic. But there are other more specific benefits, including helping to:

  • manage high blood pressure and angina
  • keep you at a healthy weight
  • maintain regular bowel movements
  • stimulate a poor appetite
  • strengthen muscles and bones, reducing the risk of falls and fractures
  • ease discomfort if you have arthritis or Parkinson’s.

Regular exercise also boosts the brain chemicals that lift your mood and make you feel happy – so it can be a good way to deal with stress and anxiety.

The 4 building blocks to being active

Developing and maintaining stamina, strength, flexibility and balance are particularly important as you get older, and can help you carry out everyday tasks more easily, as well as enjoy activities more.

Stamina helps you to walk longer distances, swim and mow the lawn.

Strength helps you to climb stairs, carry shopping, rise from a chair and open a container.

Flexibility helps you to bend, get in and out of a car, wash your hair and get dressed.

Balance helps you to walk and climb steps confidently, stand from a sitting position and respond quickly if you trip.

Any amount of extra activity that’s appropriate for your age group and health makes a difference. If you’re generally fit and have no health conditions that limit your ability to move around, it is recommended that you build up to doing two-and-a-half hours of moderate activity each week, plus two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity a week.

Moderate activities

Moderate activity may leave you feeling warm and a little breathless. It can include:

  • walking fast
  • cycling on level ground
  • playing a motion sensor game on a computer console like a Wii or Xbox
  • hand washing the car.

Exercises that help strengthen your muscles can include dancing, heavy gardening and yoga. Lifting bags of shopping or weights can help to strengthen the muscles in your arms and wrists.

More vigorous activity

If you’re already active, you can improve your fitness and health by doing 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. This can include:

  • running
  • cycling fast or up hills
  • climbing stairs
  • playing tennis or football.

Medical note

If you haven’t been very active before, always build up gradually and speak to your GP before increasing your activity levels significantly.

Everyday activities, such as shopping and housework, don’t count towards your two-and-a-half hours of moderate activity as they don’t increase your heart rate enough – but doing any activity is better than none at all.

You don’t have to be moving around to benefit from exercise. Chair-based exercises, which you can do sitting or holding on to the back of a chair, are ideal for improving muscle strength and flexibility. You can watch videos online that demonstrate chair-based exercises.

If you’re physically able, but find yourself sitting in front of the computer or television for hours at a time, try to break it up and build activity into your day.

Why not go for a short, brisk walk around the garden or in the street after writing an email or finishing another task where you’ve been sitting still.

However, if you have a health condition that makes moving about difficult or painful, such as Parkinson’s, arthritis or osteoporosis, always consult your GP for help in choosing the right exercise for you.

They may be able to suggest suitable activities and may know of special exercises or classes for people with these health conditions.

In some areas, your GP may be able to refer you to a structured exercise scheme, where trained instructors introduce you to exercise over a period of 12–20 weeks.

Article from Age UK

I Need To Gain Weight!

By: Katie Croghan, RD

“I need to gain weight.” In a non-healthcare environment, this may not be something you hear everyday. It’s easy to forget that there are many people, especially the elderly or medically compromised, that struggle with maintaining or gaining weight. For these individuals, being malnourished or underweight can be dangerous. It’s been documented that malnutrition in a home care setting can contribute to increased risk of falls, delayed healing and can possibly lead to an increase in hospitalizations. Individuals undergoing cancer treatments, like radiation and chemotherapy, often experience taste alterations and decreased appetite, which can lead to weight loss and depleted nutritional stores. When these individuals become nutritionally compromised, they have a harder time fending off illness and infection. Therefore, it is imperative these individuals are meeting calorie and protein goals, and maintaining a good weight.

So when should caregivers be concerned? Unintentional weight loss that is significant, can be defined as a loss of greater than 5% of a person’s usual body weight in 1 month, or greater than 10% in 6 months. For example, a 180 pound man losing more than 9 pounds in one month, or greater than 18 pounds in 6 months, would be considered significant weight loss). If caregivers notice this kind of weight change, it is time to intervene. There are several ways to increase calories and protein in the diet using regular, “every-day” foods. For example, one could use milk instead of water in cooking hot cereals, using extra margarine/butter/gravy on foods, and adding cream cheese or peanut butter on bagels/crackers/toast.  A person could also replace non-calorie fluids (i.e. tea, water, coffee) with drinks such as milk, soft drinks, Kool-Aid, punches, or juice to help meet calorie needs.

If still unable to gain weight, there are high calorie supplements available for purchase at Medical West that can help. Supplements like Boost VHC (Very High Calorie) and Benecalorie are great options for adding a lot of calories in manageable serving sizes, and can easily be incorporated into the diet. Boost VHC has 530 calories and 22 grams of protein in just one 8oz. carton. Benecalorie is a tasteless/odorless supplement that can be mixed into soft foods, and it contains 330 calories and 7 grams of protein in just 1.5 oz serving. There are alternatives to “milky-based” supplements if an individual does not like the consistency. For more information about gaining weight, please contact the Nutrition Department at Medical West for additional information or suggestions.

Injury Prevention Through Bracing

Written by: Nate Seiler

Folks, it’s that time of year again. Fall sports are just around the corner and everyone is gearing up to play. That being said, one aspect of sports that is not typically on a person’s mind until it is too late is injury. Unfortunately, a small injury can mean the end of the season for many athletes, but one can avoid this with certain proactive measures. Orthopedic bracing has been shown to be a preventative factor in sporting injuries, and it should be something that every athlete considers.

When people see sporting injuries happen, it is usually in a game setting. However, practices account for the majority of the time that an athlete commits to a sport. That being said, in a study done by Jennifer M. Hootman, PhD, ATC, FACSM, et. al., it was more common for individuals to get injured in games rather than practice, but there were more pre-season injuries than in season injuries. This study was done on over one million individual practices and or games spanning over 16 years targeting NCAA athletes. Injuries happen in sports, and there is data that implies that one can experience injury even before they enter into their competitive season. There are things you can do to prevent or lower the risk of injury, and one of those things is orthopedic bracing.

Some can be skeptical about the benefits of orthopedic bracing. There are studies that do show effectiveness of preventative bracing though. In the article mentioned above, it is stated that more than fifty percent of all of the injuries reported throughout the study were lower extremity. With that fact stated, let’s look at another study done on prevention of ankle injury/ re-injury through bracing and taping techniques. In the study, “Ankle Braces Effectively Reduce Recurrence of Ankle Sprains in Female Soccer Players”, by Sharon R. Sharpe, MS, LATC, et. al., thirty-eight division three NCAA women soccer players, with a history of ankle sprains, were put in 4 groups. Three groups applied preventative measures (bracing, taping, or a combination of both) to the previously injured ankle. One group did not apply any preventative measure in order to act as the control group. After about 2,400 exposures to a sporting environment (games or practices), ankle sprain recurrence rates were calculated and reported. In the group that was taped there was a 25% sprain recurrence rate. In the combination of taping and bracing group there was a 25% recurrence rate of ankle sprain. In the untreated group there was a 35% recurrence rate, and in the bracing only group there was a 0% recurrence rate. This suggests that ankle bracing is the most effective way to prevent ankle sprain incidence.

Buying a brace is a great yearly or once every other year investment when looking at the data. Taping would be a lot lower price, but you would be making the purchase numerous times throughout the year, and things add up. A one time cost versus buying a lower priced item a number of times throughout the course of the year. “But why even try to prevent it?” Well, playing sports is always a risk to health and on previously injured joints there is an even higher risk for injury than normal. You could invest in a one time prevention cost and lower the risk of injury, or you could risk injury that may need to be fixed surgically. There are different ways to look at it, but if you are at high risk of injury you may want to consider preventative measures.

At Medical West‘s Orthopedic Department we know that injuries happen, and we know they are no fun. Let us help you prevent injuries and get you prepared for a long healthy season. We have anything from hinged knee braces, to ankle supports, to shoulder supports, to Therabands and Kinesio Tape. Come see us and let our experienced clinicians help you prepare to prevent!

Hootman, J., Dick, R., & Agel, J. (2007). Epidemiology of Collegiate Injuries for 15 Sports: Summary and Recommendations for Injury Prevention Initiatives. Journal of Athletic Training, 42(2), 311-319.

Sharpe, S.R., Knapik, J., & Jones, B. (1997). Ankle Braces Effectively Reduce Recurrence of Ankle Sprains in female Soccer Players. Journal of Athletic Training, 32(1), 21-24.

My Back Hurts!

Written by: Jenny Dembiec, CO, MBA

Are you experiencing back pain? Well, Medical West can help.

Back pain is very common and affects millions of people. Medical West has many options to address your back pain! We offer several different types of back braces ranging in support level. Also, we have both hot and cold packs which can soothe sore backs. We have cold packs that you freeze, heating pads that can be microwaved, and electric heating pads. Lumbar cushions are available to use in your car or a chair to support your back while seated. Biofreeze is a very popular item at Medical West, which is a soothing menthol pain reliever for temporary back relief.

Fun Facts regarding Back Pain:

1.) There is nothing funny about back pain. Back pain can be very debilitating, and sometimes rest will not alleviate this severe pain. Some back pain can also be associated with muscle spasms, numbness in your legs, and weakness.
2.) Heredity could be a factor causing your back pain; genetic influence may be the culprit. You can blame your parents for that, but be nice about it because they probably got it from their parents.
3.) Being overweight can make your back pain worse. The excess weight can strain and stress the back, causing pain. Keeping your weight down may be difficult, but your back will thank you.

Nutrition For Exercise

Written by: Nate Seiler

During exercise do you ever get the feeling that you are going to collapse? Do you ever feel like your energy disappeared out of no where? If so, you may want to check into your nutritional habits, especially in the time leading up to, during and after exercise.

In recent years, it seems as though we have thrown proper nutrition out the window. We have been getting our information from less than reliable sources, and that has lead us to quick fix diets and buying into clever fast food marketing schemes. That being said, this article is meant to shed some light on nutrition for exercise. Below are some guidelines set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine, and these guidelines are optimal for athletes that are training. In the September issue of the Medical West’s E-Newsletter, we will have an article for people that don’t identify as athletes but want to maintain proper nutrition during exercise.

Before Exercise:

Everyone knows their own body, and we know how we feel after we eat certain things. Before exercise, one should focus on eating some simple carbohydrates. Nothing too heavy as gastrointestinal problems may arise at the wrong time, especially if we are about to exercise within the next two hours. Essentially, just be smart. You know your body the best, so keep it smart in the two hours leading up to exercise. There are a lot of ‘performance enhancing’ and ‘energy’ drinks out there, but nothing beats water.

During Exercise:

Nutrition is key to maintaining optimal performance levels during exercise. It is recommended to consume roughly 1.5 carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight during the first 30 minutes, and then again every 2 hours for the next 4 to 6 hours. It is important to stay hydrated during exercise, so drink plenty of water.

After Exercise:

First and foremost, carbohydrates are very important post exercise. That’s because recovery is essential, and you can’t recover without energy! You need to replenish your muscle glycogen stores as soon as possible. Protein is also important at this point. A common myth is that there exists a 30 minute “anabolic window”. If protein is not consumed within the first 30 minutes, you’ve missed your opportunity to make any gains. This is not true. Muscle protein synthesis happens all the time. The potential for muscle protein synthesis is elevated with exercise (especially with resistance exercise). The elevated potential remains for about three hours post exercise, or shorter depending on age. To get optimal muscle protein synthesis post exercise, one would want to eat as soon as possible after exercise. The golden ratio of carbs to protein for post exercise consumption rests between 3:1 and 4:1. Also, you need to replenish electrolytes and get hydrated post exercise. Water is great form of replenishment, but at this point sports drinks are fair game, just make sure to keep portions under control. It is recommended to drink 16-24 fl oz for every pound lost during exercise.

Here are some daily values recommended by the ACSM:

15-20% of Diet
.8-1.0 grams/ kilogram/ body weight/ day

50-60% of Diet
6-10 grams/ kilogram/ body weight/ day

<30% of Diet
Stay away from saturated fat as much as possible

Thompson, W. (2010). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (8th ed.) Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Surviving The Heat

It is important to watch out for our neighbors during times of extreme heat, especially our elderly neighbors. People 65 or older are more prone to heat stress, and it is important that they have the resources to survive the heat during the summer. Many elderly people are on a fixed income and need assistance to help pay their electric bill during months of extreme heat. In St. Louis, there are different organizations to help with utility bills. If you check on your neighbors, and notice someone needs assistance you can always contact Your friends at Medical West want you to stay safe!

Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

  • Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  • They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
  • They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Skin: may be cool and moist
  • Pulse rate: fast and weak
  • Breathing: fast and shallow

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress:

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Also, avoid extremely cold liquids because they can cause cramps.)
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • If possible, seek an air-conditioned environment. (If you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting an air-conditioned shopping mall or public library to cool off.)
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.

What You Can Do to Help Protect Elderly Relatives and Neighbors

If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, you can help them protect themselves from heat-related stress:

  • Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.

    Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.

  • Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems.

What You Can Do for Someone With Heat Stress

If you see any signs of severe heat stress, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the affected person. Do the following:

  • Get the person to a shady area.
  • Cool the person rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the person in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the person with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101°–102°F
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the person alcohol to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Content source:

Stay Hydrated

Summer fun in the sun! Summer is a great time for being active outside, but we also need to be cautious of the possibility of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can have serious consequences on our bodies and lives, so always be prepared. Your friends at Medical West want you to stay hydrated and enjoy the summer sun! Please see the myths below, and plan accordingly.

Myth: Dehydration is uncomfortable, but not dangerous.
Fact: While most of us will only ever experience mild dehydration symptoms like headache, sluggishness or decreased urine or sweat output, it can become severe and require medical attention. Serious complications include swelling of the brain, seizures, kidney failure and even death, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Fortunately, adults can usually nip mild or moderate dehydration in the bud with some extra fluid, according to the Mayo Clinic. But when not attended to in early stages, adults may develop extreme thirst, dizziness and confusion, and stop urinating. Symptoms should be taken even more seriously in children and older adults, according to the Mayo Clinic, especially diarrhea, vomiting, fever, inability to keep fluids down, irritability or confusion.

Myth: If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Fact: It’s not too late. In fact, thirst is the body’s way of telling you to drink water, and you’re not at risk of becoming dangerously dehydrated the minute you feel a little parched. “When you get thirsty, the deficit of water in your body is trivial — it’s a very sensitive gauge,” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told HuffPost in January. “It might be only a 1 percent reduction in your overall water. And it just requires drinking some fluid.”

In fact, drinking when you’re thirsty (sounds pretty basic, right?) is a pretty fail-proof method of staying hydrated, says Dr. Timothy Noakes, professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and author of Waterlogged. “You don’t tell your dog or your cat when to drink, they’ve got a thirst mechanism,” he tells HuffPost. “Why should it be that humans should be the unique animal in the world who have to be told when to drink?”

He attributes this “you’re doing it wrong” attitude largely to the bottled-water and sports drink industries. “Commercialization and industrialization have told us that humans are weak,” he says, when in reality our ability to run in the heat helped us outsmart our ancient predators like lions and tigers, he says. “We should never have survived, and suddenly we’re told no one knows when to drink?”

Myth: Everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day.
Fact: This general rule of thumb is outdated, propagated today mostly by bottled water companies. So how much do you really need to drink?

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends men get roughly three liters of total beverage intake every day, and women get 2.2 liters, while others say there’s no need to force water consumption if you’re not thirsty.

Keep in mind those suggested intake levels include more than just water alone, says Noakes. “What you should say is glasses of fluid a day,” he says, remembering to sip additional liquids the more you exercise. Coffee, tea, fruit juices, even sweetened beverages provide your body with more water — although we wouldn’t recommend the latter for hydration purposes or much of anything, really. Even food counts. About 20 percent of the average person’s water intake comes from food, according to the IOM, especially from foods with high water content, like watermelon and cucumbers.

At the end of the day, how much water you should drink is extremely personal: whatever quenches your thirst.

Myth: Clear urine is a sure sign of hydration.
Fact: While keeping an eye on your urine output maybe isn’t the most pleasant summer activity, it really can provide a measure of how hydrated (or dehydrated) you are, essentially in real time. But it’s not clear urine that you’re looking for, but rather a pale yellow. Lawrence Armstrong, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and professor at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory, established a urine color chart to model a measure of dehydration. Based on where you fall on the chart, you can adjust your fluid intake accordingly, the New York Times reported. (Keep in mind that certain supplements — and foods — can change the color of your urine.)

Myth: There’s no such thing as too much water
Fact: Overhydrating can be extremely dangerous — but it’s relatively rare.

Drinking too much water leads to what’s called hyponatremia, when levels of sodium in the body are so diluted that the cells begin to swell, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion and fatigue, and can escalate to seizures and coma.

That doesn’t mean don’t drink when you’re thirsty! It truly takes guzzling copious amounts to cause so-called water-intoxication. That’s why refueling marathon runners, for example, are some of the more common hyponatremia sufferers. Of the estimated 2,600 cases of hyponatremia that have resulted in hospitalization that Noakes is aware of, he says there’s “no reason they should have gotten sick.” We only get ourselves into trouble when we drink beyond our thirst, he says, whether that’s because of out-of-date advice or a sports drink commercial.

If you’re still worried, consider this rule of thumb: Try not to drink to the point where you feel full from water alone, reported.

Myth: Exercisers need sports drinks
Fact: If you’re working out for less than an hour, water will do just fine. You don’t deplete electrolyte and glycogen reserves until you’ve been exercising intensely for over an hour. Endurance athletes can benefit from the right mix of sugar (read: energy) and sodium, although today’s sports drinks, with their miles-long ingredients list full of impossible-to-pronounce artificial additives may not necessarily be the smartest pick.

Instead, make your own! Or try some of these foods that can act as a natural alternative to sports drinks. Or consider forgoing it altogether. Many of us eat a diet so high in carbohydrates and sodium already that “replenishing” with an electrolyte drink after today’s workout may just mean excreting it tomorrow, says Noakes.

Myth: Coffee dehydrates you.
Fact: Only if you overdo it. While caffeine is dehydrating, the water in coffee (and tea, for that matter) more than makes up for the effects, ultimately leaving you more hydrated than you were, pre-java. Consuming 500 or more milligrams of caffeine a day — anywhere from around three to five cups of coffee — could put you at risk for dehydration, Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, RD, tells HuffPost Healthy Living, but let’s all agree to know when to say when.

Information from Dehydration Myths: 7 Things You Should Know About Staying Hydrated
Written by: Sarah Klein

A Word From Our Fathers

Medical West dads share their advice or the reasons why they love being a dad.

“I am not one to give advice to anyone – especially when it comes to being a Dad. I have failed more times than I would like to admit…Of all the things I have picked up over the years, I would say that having a sense of humor and humility are the two biggest things I have instilled in my kids. My daughter inherited my musical side and loves to perform. My son has a strong athletic ability and is a better fisherman than most adults. In both cases, I remind them that they will not always be successful – and that being humble is the only way to not be humiliated. Laugh off failure, make mental notes and try It again.” – David P.

“I have been a dad for 43 years and still have much to learn. One thing  I have learned is this… the friends your children choose dramatically influence and shape their lives … like it or not! If at all possible choose your child’s friends. And the best advice I can offer our grown children can be summed up in three words… follow the rules.” – Greg F.

“One if the greatest joys in my life have been fact that GOD has entrusted me with the responsibility to be a father of Three Children!  Eenie, meanie and miney but no more!  It gives me pleasure to see that all of the strong nurturing and raising of the them have rubbed off on them.  I laugh often when I hear some of my words of wisdom borrowed from God  being quoted by them at the weirdest moments. “To whom much is given much shall be required” and my favorite that was recently quoted was “Ready is walking out the door!”  when my eldest son was tired of waiting for his brother to go Six Flags last week.  I truly could not have been the man nor father I am,  if it wasn’t for them!” – Bryan W.

“Being a Father is the best feeling in the word,  patience is key!  Adapt and don’t be afraid to change. Be a constant reminder of what love is don’t just say it. Show it. And most importantly make memories that you will both carry forever.” – Frank G.

“The most important lesson I have learned as a husband and father is that those words are verbs and not nouns – they are something you do, not something you are.

husband  [huhz-buh nd] verb (used with object)

  1. to manage, especially with prudent economy.
  2. to use frugally; conserve: to husband one’s resources.
  3. Archaic.
  4. to be or become a husband to; marry.
  5. to find a husband for.
  6. to till; cultivate.

Becoming a husband is easy, husbanding/cultivating/caretaking that relationship is constant work.

father  [fah-th er] verb (used with object)

  1. to beget.
  2. to be the creator, founder, or author of; originate.
  3. to act as a father toward.
  4. to acknowledge oneself the father of.
  5. to assume as one’s own; take the responsibility of.
  6. to charge with the begetting of.

verb (used without object)

  1. to perform the tasks or duties of a male parent; act paternally I’m sure that each of us would possibly highlight some different words or phrases.

Being responsible for their needs means “exercising the ability to respond to their needs” while guiding their wants so that their needs can continue to be met into adulthood.  That means that if a skill is missing from their skill set and that skill is required for their goals, it is your responsibility to help them develop that missing skill that they will need.” – Todd S.

“I love being a Dad. My children are small but its amazing how quickly they’ve already grown, I would definitely say look for every moment you can get to have fun with them and spend time with your children. Take time to hug them and show affection and remember to say “I love you” everyday. Try to pray, eat  and worship together as a family as much as possible. Be consistent with your discipline and make sure you are on the same page as your wife on this! My kids may be younger now but I plan to always encourage and coach them through life and I pray that as they continue to grow up they look to me for advice and wisdom. I look forward to being a father forever!” – Troy D.

“As we get older we lose the ability to just play. Having two boys allowed me to regain that childlike imagination with them where you are free to pretend and just enjoy life.” – Chris G.

“In the words of the late great singer Warren Zevon (Werewolves of London) “Enjoy Every Sandwich!”  I would add “with your kids” to that.  Both my boys have fled the nest and now, in retrospect, I miss the simple activities. Carrying them on my shoulders as tykes, playing catch, going to their  games as they got older, sitting around a camp fire.  Simple things.  When you’re in the midst of ‘raising them’ it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the daily grind.  My advise is to “enjoy every sandwich with your kids.” – Jim G.

“Being a father softens your heart and opens you to life. No matter how focused you’ve been on getting ahead on your career and success—or how hardened your resolve from your own life circumstances, being a father will melt your heart. I won’t even try to explain it beyond that. At this point you either get it our you don’t. It’s that simple.” – Steve C.

“Being a father to me is the greatest thing that has happened to me, short of being married to my beautiful wife & serving for God!! Before kids I was self centered, childish in the way of not growing up & wasn’t a kid person in the first place. Since having my first child it’s given me the ability to love stronger & bigger than I ever thought I could! It’s about having a hard days work & coming home to a face or faces that brightens my life no matter what kind of mood I’m in. Putting their needs in front of mine & teaching them the ways of God & to bring them as much joy as they have brought me!! With my second child we’ll you might as well call me a wiped puppy cause I always wondered how I could love my daughter just as much as I loved my son, I really thought it was impossible. With that said I found out my heart is big enough for the both of them and look forward to what God has in store for my kids & family!! So being a father is about  3 things God, love & lessons in life.” – Marty W.

“A DADDY isn’t defined as the man who makes the child, but rather a man who’s extends his hands and time to help with the child’s raising and the heart to love the child through anything!!!!! BLOOD doesn’t always make you a DADDY. Being a Daddy comes from the heart.. any fool can make a baby it take a man to raise a child.. clothes, cars, homes and money helps in the raising but does not define a “good father”! Character, Respect, honesty and handling your Responsibilities do!!” – Aaron A.

“I’m really pumped to be a dad in less than 2 months!” – Matt T.

“I’m a father of four (24, 21, 13, & 6), and I can tell you that life moves fast. I am fortunate because my children and I share a passion for outdoor recreation. I enjoy sharing my hobbies with my kids, and value the time we spend in the outdoors. I get such a sense of nostalgia in the outdoors that reminds me of my childhood, and that is a gift I want to give my children. The ability to experience moments without being constantly connected with technology. As a family we actively try to spend more time outside and at the dinner table without the use of electronic devices. My advice as a Dad is to get rid of distraction so you can give each other your full attention at the dinner table or whatever activity you are doing. I know technology is inevitable, and that it will soon be a major way we keep in touch with our children as they grow. However, we need to slow down and disconnect from our devices so we can connect with each other now.” – Jim K.

“Every father should remember the one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice” – Keith E.