Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Focus on Concussion Screening in Youth Sports

Lately in my practice, I hear more and more parents asking the question: Are youth sports safe?  Are the risks simply too high for our kids?  While we understand the rewards of children socializing, exercising and learning important life lessons on the field, parents are scared.  The recent media focus on the cumulative effects of "mild" concussions, particularly in the professional football, boxing and soccer communities, is causing mothers and fathers to take a time out.  Coaches are equally concerned; how can an untrained, non-medical sports educator make the toughest calls of all?  When is a simple bump on the head a pathway to degenerative brain disorder?

The latest recommendations from the medical community suggest that after a hit to the head, every youth player should immediately stop playing or practicing and get checked by a doctor before return to play.  Unfortunately, pressures from parents and the students alike can combat these best practice guidelines.  The "professionalization" of youth sports sometimes creates an unhealthy competitive nature amongst even the youngest of kids.  Every minute off the field is one less minute to shine and be noticed.  "Benched," even for health reasons, is a dirty word.

Adding to the conundrum is the fact that concussion symptoms rarely appear right away and may often be non-existent.  Resultant headaches, loss of concentration, blurry vision and/or loss of balance may or may not show up in the hours, days or weeks post trauma.  If the idea of bringing every youth sports player to the emergency room or physician's office after a hit seems untenable to you, you are not alone.  Even the most cautious coaches, parents and student athletes many times resist doing just that for practical reasons.

What is the solution beyond awareness, education, and coach training?  Perhaps sideline screening is the answer.

I recently attended a concussion symposium at Hospital for Special Surgery, where emergency room and clinical interventions were discussed.  On-field strategies were presented, but a user-friendly method was still lacking. Enter Maria Bailey and BSM Media.  I was intrigued by my introduction to The King-Devick Test from Remove From Play Testing and was excited to share the news. Now SIDELINES ARE THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE!!

Through a series of timed, rapid number naming tests, The King-Devick Test can be used to identify head trauma right on the field and with immediate results.  Since rapid eye movements and attention have long been known to be head trauma indicators, using these visual pathways is a powerful tool.  By comparing pre-season and post-trauma test times, either on the bench or in the locker room, concussions are identified and an athlete is removed from play.  (See TRAINER DEMONSTRATION.)

Now, team moms, dads, concerned teachers, coaches and athletic trainers can take responsibility for protecting our kids.  BSM Media has developed a Remove From Play Team Mom Playbook for adults to use and share; it is "the ultimate tool for any team mom to use in assisting her to bring this affordable concussion-screening tool to her child's school or team."

Take The RFP Team Mom Playbook to your team coordinator, your proactive intervention can save a mind.

Need more information?  Follow @RemoveFromPlay on Twitter and Like Remove From Play on Facebook.  Thank you, Maria for protecting our kids!!

**  I received neither product nor compensation for this post.  I share purely out of passion for the topic and a desire to make grassroots changes in concussion management of our student athletes.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Running Through Beverly Hills and Other Inspiration From Jeff Galloway

Living the good life; the trinkets of Rodeo Drive, the in-crowd at The Ivy, afternoon tea at the Beverly Wilshire.  A girl could get used to this.  Our week in Beverly Hills was filled with temptations and Southern California trappings.  Indulgent?  Yes.  The highlight of our trip?  Not even close.  An early morning run (the benefit of staying on East Coast time) through "the neighborhood" was my spree.  Tiffany's had nothing on that blue sky.  The racks at Escada were no match for the rolling mountains.

Jeff's latest tips had arrived just in time.  He reminded me that the best souvenir Hollywood could offer waited outside my window...  The road.

Four Ways to Energize Your Day & Clear Your Brain
By Olympian Jeff Galloway

It's natural to become focused on the big things in life and worry about outside forces, building stress.  A few simple lifestyle adjustments can result in greater control over attitude and energy, while reducing stress and fatigue.   Yes, you can exert more control over your life, produce attitude hormones, and blend together body, mind and spirit by planning and taking action.

-  Walk or run, one day and a walk (or cross train) the next.  While the exertion will wake up the muscles, you're away from the phone, allowing the mind a little freedom.  Most who start with a blank mental state, finish their exercise session with the day planned, and a few new ways to deal with problems.  Others like to walk/run during the lunch hour, while munching on an energy bar.  This can clear out morning stress and prepare mind-body for the challenges of the afternoon.  Many evening exercisers believe that the weight of the day's stress is erased or contained with the after-work workout.  Scheduling these outings gives you control over your existence.

-  Don't sit-- walk!  The addition of a few extra short walks throughout the day will energize the body and activate the mind.  Park farther away from work, the food store, the transit station, etc..  Many of my clients use a step counter for motivation and calorie counting.  It helps to find one that is consistent and reliable (usually $30.)  Shoot for 10,000 steps a day.  You are rewarded for getting out of your chair (or the couch) more often.  These short walks burn fat, which adds up.  (Up to 30 pounds per year!)  The best reward is the headclearing effect, which can power you through the mid morning or mid afternoon energy crisis.  Even a 3-4 minute "recess" walk at work can result in clearer thinking, more energy, and greater self-confidence.

-  Eat more frequently.  Each time you eat, even a small snack, you'll boost your energy level.  Te longer you wait to eat, the more likely your metabolism will slump into drowsiness and laziness.  This also means that you're not burning many calories.  If you divide up your daily calorie budget into 6-9 snacks a day, you'll burn more fat (up to 10 pounds per year.)  Eat a snack every 2-3 hours and you can feel better all day.  It helps to choose foods that have (percentage of calories vs. total calories) about 20% protein, about 15% fat, and the rest in complex carbohydrate.  This combination will leave you satisfied longer with fewer calories consumed.  To experience fat loss, consumption can be managed through websites or journals.  For more information, see A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO FAT BURNING by Jeff and Barbara Galloway.

-  Help someone exercise.  The psychological benefits are significant when you help someone improve the quality of their life.  Offer to walk (run, hike) with your spouse, parent, friend, co-worker, child- or all of the above.  My books WALKING & GETTING STARTED have proven programs with motivation which can lead you and your "coach-ee" through the training.

Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 with your exclusive blogger ONLY discount code.
Use code JGBLOGGER for $10 off.
(This could is for personal use only.)

**I received nothing - neither product nor compensation- for releasing this information to my readers.  I do it out of pure admiration!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Black Widow & The Blustery Day Or The Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

National Weather Service, November 16, 2014: "Weather experts have ussued a red flag alert, warning Southern California residents of strong Santa Ana winds and critical fire conditions; wind gusts of up to 60 mph are expected to start in the mounatins and pick up in the valleys and coast."

Thankfully, the only fire that broke out that day was in my Iliopsoas.  On the morning of the inauagural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, Black Widow had seemingly forgotten her world class athletic and tactical super powers.  In fact, she got her butt kicked.

But, that is a tale for mere mortals.  For this first-time event, MARVEL fans came out in force to welcome Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and a bona fide Black Widow to the runDisney troop of characters.  The all-new course looked something like this:

Moving on all cylinders through a Christmas-y Cars Land.

Given my normal snail's pace and fairly high corral placement, the winds starting whipping as I exited Disney California Adventure, leaving a looooong 11 miles ahead
Charging past Haunted Mansion Holiday.
The Seven Dwarfs Assemble on King Arthur Carrousel.
More MARVELous Christmas decorations greet runners along Main Street, U.S.A..
WOW- the Crystal Palace at dawn!
My, the challenges really started piling up at about Mile 5.  The following shots I call, "ode to a beaten mile marker."

Perhaps the toughest part of the course was the run alongside the Santa Ana River Trail; dust was flying and runners dodged airborne brush and garbage.

How perfect are these race costumes??

Enter Club Cosplay to the rescue!  They lifted our spirits and supercharged us for the remaining miles to come.

 Running through Angel Stadium is not particular to this race, but it provides a class A thrill every time.

By far, the premier part of every Disneyland race is the Anaheim spirit; the hundreds of folks who line the course once it exits the parks.  Every cheer, sign, song and hoot braced us against the archenemy- the Santa Ana headwinds.

I survived the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon with a little help from my new friends.  Make that a lot of help.  (The dirt inside my running shoes attests to the battle at hand...)

This "super" hero ended up with dirty, swollen feet.
BUT, she earned a medal. Or two.  With tested mettle, wounded pride, and an "oh, bother," I took my licks and set my sites on training smarter for the Rebel Challenge.  I lived to fight another day!

Next time I Smash the Half?  I'll bring my S.H.I.E.L.D.!!

**Interested in additional details about the Avenger's Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend?  Visit my post on Babes In Disneyland:  Runners Assemble to Register for Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Top 3 Things to Learn at a Type-A Parent Conference

Type-A Parent 7th Annual Conference (Atlanta, October 8-10, 2015)

Surely you've heard.  Type-A Parent is the "A number-one" resource for networking and blogger conferences.  Though the mantra "blog hard, play hard" fits like Cinderella's glass slipper, the annual Type-A Parent Conference and Type-A Bootcamps cater to veterans and newbies alike.   The world's largest conference for influencers could not have gained that title without a stellar reputation and word of mouth buzz. Enter DIStherapy.  Let me share what I learned last year:

1.   How much you don't know.

Though I had blogged intermittently for three years when I attended the 6th Annual Type-A Parent Conference (my first) last year, I knew I had much to assimilate.  As with many things in life, education is meant to be mind-opening.  My, oh my, there's a great big beautiful blogging world out there!  My tiny corner of the blogoshere was so infinitesimal that I didn't know how much I didn't know until I learned a little.  Does that make sense??!  The depth of information available in the 3-day conference was staggering.  That stated, you are able to freely choose what and how much you take part in.  Six months later, I am still referring back to my notes to process and digest.  It's the conference that keeps on giving!

2.  How much you DO know.

If you own a blog, or are even thinking about starting a blog, you've been inspired to tell your story, share your life's perspective, and/or teach perfect strangers.  There is a common link, a bond, between women and men willing to share themselves so openly in the virtual public square.  That commonality trumps the varied levels of writing abilities, networking skills, and affiliate paydays.  The sense that you belong is profound.

3.  "One Little Spark."
I've attended more medical conferences than I count at this point in my life, but I'll never forget what my NYU dean told me 35 years ago; if you come away from an educational event with just one quality actionable point, you've spent your money and time wisely.  My light bulb moment came during last year's conference during the final speaker's presentation.  I was so inspired by Thom Singer's "Power of Community" and "Cooperative Significance" talking points that I penned Hop On the #PinItForward Movement.   My "one little spark" of imagination came when I least expected it.  (Is it any wonder that Disney Parks have been consistent Type-A Parent Conference sponsors?)

Where will your spark come from?  The 7th Annual Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta held October 8-10, 2015?  Or perhaps the Type-A New York City Bootcamp #TYPEANYC on Saturday, August 1, 2015?  Both??  I can help!  I am SO excited to be an Official Conference Partner for Type-A Parent!!

Type-A Parent New York City Bootcamp (Focus: Brand-Blogger Relations)

Type-A Parent, founded in 2007, hosts the world’s top conferences for mom and dad bloggers. This year, Type-A Parent has a New York City Bootcamp (focus: brand-blogger relations) plus our 7th Annual Conference in Atlanta. Type-A Parent has a well-established reputation for outstanding learning with actionable takeaways. It features power networking with the best and brightest parents who blog plus the major brands and firms who want to engage them. Type-A is where influential digital parents grow their business and connect. Register HERE. Use CODE PARTNERSPECIAL to get 20% off the conference or bootcamp for one week only!

**   This post contains an affiliate link.  I was not compensated in any other way for sharing the Type-A buzz!