Feeling a stabbing pain near your heel when you step out of bed in the morning or when you get up from your desk? You might have developed plantar fasciitis, one of the most common foot injuries facing athletes today. “It’s the complaint that brings patients to a podiatrist’s office the most often,” says Megan Leahy, D.P.M., podiatrist at the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute in Chicago.
In fact, about one in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis during their lifetime.
What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. Normally this tissue absorbs shock and supports the arch of the foot, but if it is overstretched or strained, small tears in the tissue can lead to inflammation, causing pain and discomfort—especially where the fascia meets the heel bone or at the arch on the bottom of the foot. Most of the time, plantar fasciitis won’t affect you during exercise—you likely won’t feel it until you get home from the gym and are walking around your house or when you get out of bed first thing in the a.m. And the more you walk around on it, the better it starts to feel.
How does it happen?
Both athletes and sedentary individuals can develop plantar fasciitis, notes Leahy, since it can be brought on by weight gain, a sudden increase in intensity of activity, or even wearing wornout shoes. Runners are among those who suffer the most often, especially if they are suddenly adding more weekly mileage to their routine. But even frequent HIIT workouts can be to blame, since the pounding of some high-intensity exercises creates more stress through the foot. Other activities that place stress on heels can also create problems, adds Leahy.
But it’s not just your workouts that can cause trouble. Consider your footwear choices: “Constantly squeezing into narrow shoes can prevent the front part of the foot from moving,” explains biomechanist Katy Bowman, author of Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear. That means the smaller muscles of your feet, which should be helping to support the arch as well as dealing with the changing terrain as you walk, are weak, which in turn can stress the plantar fascia. Your toes may also be clenching as you walk, which can further stress the bottom of your feet.
Treatment options for plantar fasciitis vary depending on the severity of the injury. For mild to moderate cases, stretching, rest, and modifying your activities, along with using anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, may provide help to alleviate the pain. It can also help to apply ice or cold therapy to the affected area. Some patients swear by a technique called ice massage: Simply freeze a water-filled paper cup and roll it along the bottom of your foot for about five minutes at a time.
More severe cases may need a supportive boot, cortisone injections, physical therapy, or surgery.
“It’s important to see a doctor soon after the onset of pain so the injury doesn’t become a chronic issue,” says Leahy. Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can linger for years, creating a partial tearing or even a full rupture of the fascia.
In addition to reducing inflammation, it’s also crucial to address the underlying reason for the injury. Bowman advises strengthening the small, intrinsic muscles of the feet, which can help reduce the load placed on the plantar fascia.
Mindful barefoot practice at home and doing moves like lifting your toes one at a time can reduce weakness in these small muscles.
Other devices, such as inserts or orthotics, can help modify biomechanical issues, such as rolling your foot in when you walk, notes Leahy. Talk to your doctor to find out whether you might need additional support or physical therapy to address any imbalances that may have contributed to the development of the injury in the first place, she adds.
When it comes to working out, serious lifters are serious about their protein. Getting the right amount of the highest quality protein is integral to the success of those looking to build more lean muscle. A quick comparison of top-selling proteins shows Rule 1‘s protein per serving beats the pants off pretty much everyone. Their mission is to offer the best formulated and manufactured protein powders available on the market.
So what makes Rule 1 proteins superior to all others in the crowded sports supplement field? It’s actually very simple, and we break it down with some simple facts you should know.
6 things you should know about Rule 1 proteins.
1) 100% Whey Protein Isolate and Hydrolysate: The best way to go for optimal muscle-building and recovery support is 100% whey isolate and hydrolysate. These forms ensure the purest formulation of protein, allowing you to get more protein per dose than those inferior concentrated formulations. In addition, Rule 1’s formulation delivers less calories, carbohydrates, lactose, fat and cholesterol than those whey products in concentrated form. And when it comes to fast absorption, no other whey protein source digest faster thanks to its hydrolyzed process that exposes the protein to heat, acid or enzymes that break apart the bonds linking amino acids.
2) 87% Protein Ratio: It’s all about getting more quality protein per serving, which is why Rule 1’s protein ratio of 87% is so pleasing to the palate of muscle-building enthusiasts. Numbers don’t lie! If a high protein ratio is important to you, Rule 1 protein is the place to plant your scoop.
3) Zero Gums, Creamers or Fillers: Do you know what’s in your protein powder? You may not want to, as many popular brands use unhealthy additives with a hot of negative side effects. Why take the chance of ingesting these harmful ingredients on a daily basis? With Rule 1 protein you can rest assured that none of these artificial additives are included in any of the formulations.
4) Zero Sugar: Many protein powders also contain added sugars, which may decrease or reverse some of the beneficial effects of your protein intake. If you haven’t already heard, sugar is not really good for you and the less you consume the better. Rule 1 uses NO sugar in any of their products… period!
5) 100% Instantized: Whether you’re using a blender, shaker cup or basic, spoon-and-glass technique, you’ll want to be sure your protein powder has been instantized for easy mixing. Rule 1 has gone above and beyond in its manufacturing process to ensure the particle size has been reduced to the smallest levels for optimal results when mixed with liquid.
6) 10 Amazing Flavors: Looking for some variety when it comes to your protein’s flavor? Look no further than Rule 1. With 10 delicious flavors to choose from, you’ll easily find a formula to satisfy your taste buds. Experience the mouth-watering spray-dried flavors for deeper, richer flavors that don’t fade.
Plus don’t miss the opportunity to score some amazing prizes in the…
Rule 1 Protein Sweepstakes
Six (6) winners will be awarded a $75 credit voucher good for any Rule 1 purchase at www.ruleoneprotein.com.
One (1) winner will be awarded a VIP trip to the 2017 Olympia weekend, valued at $2,000.
Round trip airfare for two (maximum $500.00 per person)
Two (2) Olympia Weekend V.I.P. packages
Hotel accommodations for two nights
Two (2) Rule 1 Swag Bags complete with T-shirts, shakers, product samples, and more
V.I.P. treatment at the Rule 1 booth with front of the line access to meet the team
Enter Now for Your Chance to Win! Sweepstakes closes April 30.
WWE today announced that Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum international icon Pitbull will take the stage at WrestleMania 33 joined by Flo Rida, Stephen Marley, and LunchMoney Lewis on Sunday, April 2, in front of a sold-out crowd at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, and live around the world on WWE Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
In a medley performance, Pitbull will perform his newest hit single “Options” with Stephen Marley, before being joined by Flo Rida and LunchMoney Lewis to finish the act with his popular single and WrestleMania 33’s theme song, “GreenLight.”
“WrestleMania is the ultimate stage and WWE is a global brand,” said Pitbull. “It’s an honor to partner with WWE. We are excited to get back into the ring with GreenLight and Options, Dale!”
“WWE has a long tradition of attracting the world’s most talented artists to perform at our biggest event of the year,” said Neil Lawi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, WWE Music Group. “It’s an honor to have Pitbull, Flo Rida, Stephen Marley, and LunchMoney Lewis join the WWE family and add to the entertainment spectacle that is WrestleMania.”
Pitbull is a Grammy-winning global superstar and business entrepreneur. Landing No. 1 hits in over 15 countries, 9 billion YouTube/VEVO views, 70 million single sales, and 6 million album sales, Pitbull does not stop. His social networking channels include nearly 90 million combined Facebook (@Pitbull), Twitter (@Pitbull) and Instagram (@Pitbull) followers, plus more than 8 million YouTube subscribers (PitbullVEVO and PitbullMusic). Making global music, Pitbull flaunts a style that’s indisputably his own.
Grammy-nominated Flo Rida is one of the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 80 million records worldwide. Part of the WWE family, Flo Rida has previously performed at WrestleMania, hosted Monday Night Raw, and participated in WWE’s Tribute to the Troops. Originally from Carol City, FL, his 2008 breakout single “Low” was number one for 10 weeks in the United States and broke the record for digital download sales at the time of its release. His 2014 single, “My House,” became his tenth top 10 hit in the United States. His catalog also includes the international hit singles “Right Round,” “Club Can’t Handle Me,” “Good Feeling,” “Wild Ones,” “Whistle,” “I Cry,” and “G.D.F.R.”
Stephen “Ragga” Marley is the second-eldest son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Rita Marley. He was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and started singing professionally at the age of seven with his elder siblings Ziggy, Sharon, and Cedella as The Melody Makers. The singer, songwriter, musician, and producer has consecutively landed No.1 on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Album Chart for all of his solo albums and has earned a total of eight Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album.
LunchMoney Lewis is a singer, songwriter, and producer. He is best known for his 2015 single “Bills,” which topped the charts in Australia and peaked within the top 10 in New Zealand and the U.K. Lewis began working with Dr. Luke as a producer and first broke into wide recognition as a rapper after appearing on the song “Trini Dem Girls” from Nicki Minaj’s 2014 album The Pinkprint. He also co-wrote Jessie J’s single “Burnin’ Up” from her album Sweet Talker, and Fifth Harmony’s single “Bo$$” from the album Reflection. In 2015, he released his debut single as a solo artist, “Bills,” which peaked at 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number one on the ARIA Charts.
CrossFit’s popularity has opened our eyes to the different modalities of training that the sport encompasses—specifically, Olympic lifts like the snatch and the clean and press.
No longer used just by Lithuanians named Didžbalis, everyday lifters implement Olympic lifts into their training for increased strength and power production. And like more mainstream lifts, such as the deadlift, most guys reach a point when the weight is too heavy to control with a standard overhand grip. When that happens, lifters often turn to lifting straps. The problem with straps, however, is that they do too much of the work for you—securing the bar without maximizing the use of your own grip muscles.
SEE ALSO: Build Muscle with the Reverse Grip
Enter the hook grip. Push your palm into the bar, then wrap your thumb around it. Now wrap your fingers over the bar—your index and middle fingers will layer over your thumb. From now on, the bar will never slip out of your hands when the weight gets heavy, and it won’t go flying when you thrust it overhead. Use straps on heavier sets until you’ve adapted, but work toward phasing them out entirely.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
One caveat: The hook grip hurts like hell for the first few months, but wrapping your thumbs in athletic tape will help.
Left: Courtesy of Nikki Griggs; Right: Jaquayan Photography
Sometimes tragedy sets us down a dark path from which we’re challenged to bounce back. In 2007, Nikki Griggs unexpectedly lost the love of her life to sudden cardiac arrest—at just 27 years old. “While grieving, I felt that I had lost all control of my life. I was drinking, smoking, and neglecting my health on every front,” she says. In 2010, weighing 151 lbs at 5’4″, “I realized that I needed to start living again, not just existing,” Griggs says. In a little over a year she dropped 30 pounds and is now a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist.
Accentuate the positive
When she first started to get back in shape, Griggs set a goal of completing a 5K race. Her workouts at the time were split between running, jogging, and light weight training about three days a week. “I started out doing more cardio than strength training, but that began to change when I noticed that the stronger I was, the better and faster I ran, with less aches and pains.” She now hits the gym five to six days a week, for an average of two hours each visit.
Eat right for your goals
At first, Griggs was discouraged because she was running and working out but not seeing much change on the scale. She then decided to heavily alter her diet. “After doing some research, I threw out all processed and packaged food. That’s when I began seeing results,” says Griggs. She now eats five to six clean meals throughout the day. “I also switch up my diet regularly to avoid food aversions, but I don’t really track calories. I pay more attention to my daily macros,” she says.
SEE ALSO: The Transformation Meal Plan
Train for peak physique
At the start of her fitness transformation, Griggs was running either a 5K or 10K every month. But soon she wanted a different challenge, so she signed up for her first NPC bikini competition in 2013. Since then, she’s entered 13 shows, with top-three placings in all but four of them. “I truly fell in love with the sport and the process of sculpting my ideal physique. I recently won a first place and an overall title in the figure division,” says Griggs.
Be a goal digger
Her advice to other women is, “Be a goal digger. Set SMART [Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound] goals, and as you achieve them, set more.” She also recommends starting slowly. “If you are just starting out on your fitness journey, don’t try to change your entire life overnight. Start out with one or two goals, like eliminating sugary drinks from your diet and walking 30 minutes a day for three days. Once that is no longer a challenge, build upon that.”
How she does it: A typical shoulder workout
- Warmup: DB External Rotation 3×12
- DB Military Press 4×10
- Cable/DB Front Raise 4×12
- Cable/DB Lateral Raise 4×12 Rear-delt DB Flye 4×12
- Barbell Upright Row 4×10
Nestled between the mountains, the ocean, and the homebase of tech titans like Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing, Seattle is full of contradictions. While busy workers often stress their brains more than their biceps, easy access to the great outdoors encourages all those engineers and programmers to paddle, hike, and climb in their free time. A year of temperate weather—never blazing hot, hardly ever freezing—means there’s no down season. Seattle is relatively young, with its highest concentration of residents between ages 25 and 34, but all ages like to get out and play, even on those Northwest rainy days.
Gyms are scattered throughout the city, but just as often residents take to the water on Lake Union, Lake Washington, and in the Puget Sounds to row, sail, and paddleboard. Nearby mountains and trails are havens for hikers and trail runners, and the paved BurkeGilman Trail, which travels from Ballard all the way east to the wineries of Woodinville, is often crowded with runners, walkers, and bikers.
Local is the watchword in Seattle, where the city’s great access to seafood and produce makes for healthy farmers markets and thoughtful chefs. Though Pike Place Market, the city’s famous hub, sells its share of fresh foods, locals flock to the weekly Ballard Farmers Market to fill their pantries with crisp veggies from local farms and prepared foods. The city hosts a number of groceries and co-ops that focus on fresh, healthy food including Metropolitan Market, PCC Natural Markets, and Portland’s newly-introduced New Seasons. When eating out, Seattle diners can find all-local cuisine at Local 360 (the majority of ingredients come from within 360 miles), the fine-dining Sitka & Spruce, or longtime vegetarian spot Cafe Flora.
SEE ALSO: Fittest Cities in America: Minneapolis
5 fun, fit things to do in: Seattle
- Grab a paddle and kayak or try yoga paddleboarding on Lake Union.
- Lace up for a trail run or hike at nearby Cougar Mountain.
- Drop in for a WOD at Level4 CrossFit Seattle, billed as the first CrossFit affiliate in the U.S.
- Go for an indoor climb at Seattle Bouldering Project, which has more than 35,000-square-feet of climbing space.
- Face off against an opponent at Krav Maga Seattle, which mixes hanging out with high kicks.
Boy, do we have a prize for you! You could win a trip to this year’s Mr. Olympia, which takes place Sept. 14–17 in Las Vegas. The winning package includes reserved VIP seating, early entry to the Olympia Weekend Expo, early entry to Meet the Olympians, hotel, airfare, and more! What more could any bodybuilding fan look for?
Enter Now for the Chance to Win!
Turns out your stick-to-itness at the gym may actually help change the way your brain exercises control in other areas of your life. New research published in Frontiers in Neuroscience found that living a healthier lifestyle may increase executive function in the brain—the part that has the ability to exert self-control and set and achieve goals, as well as resist temptation and solve problems.
Scientists analyzed data collected from 4,555 adults via the “English Longitudinal Study of Aging.” They concluded that exercise and executive function were closely interlinked, even after controlling for other factors like demographics and health characteristics.
Those with poor executive function had subsequent decreases in participation in physical activity, while older adults who took part in sports or other forms of exercise had higher levels of executive function over time. Physical activity and executive function work together to create a positive feedback loop.
Running may be associated with sore knees, but a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology says otherwise. Researchers out of Brigham Young University suggest running may reduce inflammation in joints, particularly in your knees, and can delay the development of osteoarthritis.
Researchers measured inflammation markers in knee joint fluid both before and after running. In participants aged 18-35, the concentration of those markers had actually decreased after 30 minutes of running.
“What we now know is that for young, healthy individuals exercise creates an anti-inflammatory environment that may be beneficial in terms of long-term joint health,” study lead author Robert Hyldahl, BYU assistant professor of exercise science, told BYU News.
SEE ALSO: 10 Tips for Endurance Training