One of the things I have been seeing a lot of in the clinic lately is people who are having pain or discomfort in their Achilles. They usually feel the pain at the top of their heel or at the bottom of the calf. Is is often on the side of the Achilles, but can be in the middle as well. If this is something that you suffer from, what happens is that the calf muscles (gastroc/soleus) are in the calf and turn into the Achilles. This Achilles attaches to the heel bone. The plantar fascia (tissue) on the bottom of the foot also attaches onto the heel. So basically, the heel gets stuck in the middle. In order to help relieve your symptoms, it is usually helpful to stretch the calf muscles, as well as the plantar fascia. In this video I show you hot to stretch the plantar fascia in an easy way. This is also a great exercise to do if you suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I would try this 1-3x/day, ideally 2x/day. Hold for about 1 minute each time.
First off, I don't really feel "stressed" often. I know that stress exists, but I don't get overwhelmed by it often. I think that is one of the reasons I work out so regularly as it helps keep me "grounded" and level-headed.
While I am still not overwhelmed with stress, I thought it was important to discuss, as I am currently taking a course that talks about how stress can effect ones ability to get injured while working out and loading themselves.
You never know what is going on with someone else, unless they really take the time and feel comfortable sharing everything. Even then, some people don't realize that certain things are stressing them, until the stressing factor is gone, and they magically feel a weight lifted off their shoulders. For instance, a patient of mine recently sold a house, and at our session this person expressed that the pain had decreased and that he/she didn't realize how stressed they were, until it was over. Sometimes we don't know, and that is ok. The important thing to notice is that stress exists for everyone and that we need to keep that in mind when it comes to working out, life, and weight-loss. You might even notice that if you are really stressed, the scale doesn't move as much, and that is because we are stressing our bodies and they are trying to cope with everything. Usually that comes in the annoying form of keeping us as weight for a long plateau, or possibly dropping or gaining some weight. The key is that everyone is different, and we need to learn about ourselves and remember that we have things going on that we may not realize are effecting us as much as they might be.
For me, I am starting my own business, just bought a house, and am getting married all within about 7 months of each other. I didn't realize that these things might be stressing me more than I think they are because I am not a worrier. I am very practical and logical, so I take one thing at a time, but my mind and body really might be rebelling because I am more stressed than I realize.
I will keep taking one day at a time, but this is just something to consider in your daily journey, whatever it is.
About a week ago, I decided to take a break from working out for a week. It was hard, but I actually ended up hurting my knee a couple of days later, and it ended up being perfect timing to not work out, so I could work on healing myself. Here is what happened when I didn't work out...
1. Even with a hurt knee, I ended up walking a lot more than I usually do. Whether this was because I needed to get out and do something, or because I had more energy to go out, I do not know. I ended up walking 5 miles on Monday and Tuesday. Crazy.
2. The scale was supposed to move...it went below 180 for 2 days, which was nice, but it is back up again. It's kind of crazy. I was hoping I would have a scale victory with this experiment, but I didn't.
3. I didn't overeat, I ate like normal, but I don't feel as skinny and confident as I did last week. I remember going into work last week and getting complimented on losing weight and feeling really good and skinnier after my workout. Today, I look in the mirror and feel more, flabby, I think is the word I want. I don't feel as good as I did last week.
Putting all this together, I think the only plus side was that I walked more, and got my knee to heal. I am getting back to working out ASAP. Besides the mental health part, where I just LOVE being in my home gym, the pluses didn't outweigh the negatives in my little experiment. Back to working out in the AM!
Cheat meals...it's one of those things that some people say don't every do, others say once a month, others say once a week. I have a little bit of a different philosophy. If you are craving something, you are better off having it. At the same time...that shouldn't be all the time. I keep track that I cheated on my logging template, but I don't beat myself up over it. For instance, I have had company in town for the past week. We went out drinking on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Friday, I decided to just chill with everyone and did not drink. I also ate before we went out and didn't end up indulging that night when they all had burgers and quesadillas. While it was hard, it wasn't impossible. I also knew that it was going to be a hard/long weekend. On Saturday, I did good with breakfast at home, and everything else I just gave in. This was my drinking day. I was ok with that, because I had already decided it the day before by choosing not to drink. On Sunday, I had two tasters of beer at different breweries, but really chose what I wanted. I indulged with food a little, but kept the beer to a minimum. While it wasn't a perfect weekend, I did what I could to manage the situation, not overindulge, and keep things under tabs.
The point is this...if we never indulge, we will just keep wanting it. If we do sometimes, we don't need it as much in the future. At least that is the way I look at it. I probably won't have beer again for another 2 weeks or so and when I do, it will only be a tiny bit. I won't be eating out at food trucks and what not, but rather will stick to my plan at home and continue with my once a week dinner out. That is my plan. If I think too much about it, I will make myself miserable and crazy. If I go with the flow a little more, my overall attitude will be better than if I fore myself to be "good" all the time.
Do what is best for you.
Let me start by saying that I am NOT a miracle worker. I am also not claiming to be 100% better. Let me tell you what happened.
On Thursday, I was on my knees for about 60 minutes, and I couldn't avoid it. I even had my knees on a soft surface.
Friday, when I was in bed, I realized it hurt to bend and straighten my knee in bed. I got out of bed, limped around, and realized I couldn't even activate my knee muscles (quads) without pain. I had to go to work, where I would be on my feet all day, and was not excited about it. When I got to work, I asked my aide if he would be able to help me with demonstrating exercises to patients so that I wouldn't hurt myself further. He was more than happy to help, so THANK YOU to him. I limped around the clinic and tried to stay off of it the best I could. Between every patient that I could manage, I grabbed some ice and elevated and iced my knee. I managed to fit that in twice during my work day. Since I am a Physical Therapist, I knew exactly what to do for my knee. I started with trying to move my knee cap (patella) a little and making sure it still moved. Then I tried activating certain muscles and so forth. I did everything I could think of. I also used some kinesiotape. When I got home, I iced. The method I used for taping my knee pain can be found here.
Saturday, my knee was a tiny bit better. I was still limping around, not doing much. I continued to do the things I mentioned above. This was the same for Sunday. Each day a tiny bit better than the day before.
Monday, my fiancé and I had a friend visiting. I was still limping around, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it was on Friday. I continued to do the same exercises mentioned above.
Tuesday, again, slightly better, able to walk with less of limp, and kept icing and strengthening certain muscles. By today, I was finally able to straighten my knee all the way. YAY!!
Wednesday, like Tuesday, except now I could ALSO go UP AND DOWN stairs almost like a normal person. This was awesome. I am still not 100%, but pretty darn close. Watch the video for my explanation of what my knee felt like and to see how I changed from Friday to Wednesday.
My name's Amanda and this is a blog about my story and my life. My hope is to motivate some of you to get going on your weight-loss journey as well as help people along the way. If you have questions about how to get started, or anything else, feel free to ask.