,

Fitness Question: neck Surgery, can I still exercise?

I just had a procedure done ( a herniated disc between the sixth and seventh vertebrae.) The bulge has been removed at the back of the neck. I had nerve failure in my left arm because the nerve was blocked by the herniation. Now I have one problem: I walked an hour two or three times a week, but according to the GP that is not so good for my neck, because I have osteoarthritis between my sixth and sixth cervical vertebrae (strongly narrowed intervertebral space with slight disc herniation and the other neck vertebrae have a small disc protrusion).

My question now is, whether it is wise to buy a cross trainer and keep my fitness level, or are other sports suitable? I mainly did fat burning and endurance. I am 50 years old and still want to be active.

-Christine

Mark Chen, Physiotherapist

I think it is certainly a good idea to keep the condition maintained with a cross trainer. I would also put the advice of the GP to the test. The idea that osteoarthritis should be a reason to be careful is very old-fashioned.

Recent scientific research has tested the causal relationship between abnormal findings and pain by allowing people without symptoms to take an MRI scan. These studies show that there is a huge percentage of deviations that in these cases are totally unpaired with pain or discomfort. For example, for a disc protrusion or a “bulging” as you describe, 87 percent. For degenerative changes of the discus, such as dehydration / narrowing, as many as 96 percent of the older population. This group, please note, does not experience any complaints.

This should be a reassurance. The findings in your neck are normal, and not necessarily responsible for any complaints. Of course, from my position, I can not determine whether there is actually a connection!

My advice would be to find a passionate sports physiotherapist who can help with this process. The neck must be tested calmly to see what is and is not possible!

That way you will probably be surprised at what is possible. The idea to reduce a basic activity such as walking at such a young age (provided there is a good reason for this) does not seem sensible to me.

I hope this helps!

, , ,

Step #5 of the Ketogenic Diet Guide : Breakfast (+Options)

What’s up #KetoCorporal.

Here’s a new assignment: Breakfast options.

Goal:

Prepare a Ketobreakfast and come up with 3 other options for the week

What to make:

This is an all-time favorite when it comes to Keto breakfasts. And what’s not to love?

We’ve got eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and maybe a bit of cheese thrown in?

Delicious.

The site I’ve directed you to is awesome because it’s like a google specifically for Keto Meals. Just note what the main ingredients to a dish should be, click “keto only” and BOOM. Plenty of options.

What to do : Use the link provided to come up with 3 meals to make over the week.

 

Show me your commitment and inspire me by posting your favorite recipe on the page here

 

 

 

https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/classic-bacon-and-eggs

, , ,

Keto Diet Step by Step guide step 4: Start Strong with Keto Coffee

Goal:

Make yourself a batch of Bulletproof Keto Coffee and start the day right

Why:

This delicious coffee packs a meal-worthy  300 calories and combines the power of caffeine with healthy brain-assisting fats and vitamins from the grass-fed butter

How:

  • brew a strong black coffee
  • Put 2 tablespoons of Grassfed butter in a blender
  • add 1 tablespoon of MCT oil (I use coconut oil)
  • Pour coffee in
  • Blend until thick and cream
  • Enjoy!

Additional Assignment:

Start burning some fat on a cardio machine of choice and watch this video

 

Show me your commitment by posting 1 thing you’ve learned from the video on the Facebook Page with the tag #KetoCoffee

 

Ready for the next Challenge? Click here

, ,

Keto Diet Guide Step 3 : Shopping

Hi there #KetoCorporal .

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably come from step two of the Keto Diet Guide.

*If not, please go here first. It’s important before moving on.

Shopping Assignment “Preparation is key”

Goal: Making sure you have the right foods to eat

The Why:

If you only have Ketogenic foods, chances of you reaching out to something out of habit, or “not having anything Keto” is extremely diminished.

What do to: 

Go Shopping! Use the list below to get enough foods for the entire week. Don’t worry about recipes too much yet. As long as you have the right items, we’re good.

I’d say the following are eggssential 😉

  • eggs
  • bacon
  • ham
  • cheese
  • milk
  • full fat cream
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • garlic
  • onion
  • cooking cream
  • butter (grass fed)
  • tomatoes
  • almonds

Let me know what you bought with a photo of your bought items on the Facebook Page

By the way, have you checked out the Patreon Page? There are Daily workout challenges over there for just 1$ per month, while supporting a person in need. Come check it out

 

 

And when you’re ready to move on and learn about how to make your morning coffee Keto and awesome, click here

, ,

What to do with a torn Meniscus

knee pain fixed

“I am 64 years old and heard a ‘crack’ in my knee when my upper body turned to the left. My knee stopped and locked. I’m worried that I may have torn my meniscus, or maybe my cruciate ligament.  I read on the internet that surgery is not done beyond a certain age. Is this correct? Which exercises do you recommend to have my thigh muscles take over the function of the cruciate ligament?”

The diagnosis has not yet been made, this is based on my own assumption. I lead a quiet life without sport, but I do cycle.

What should I do with a torn meniscus? My outer meniscus was removed forty years ago.”

Sent by: Ineke

Mark Chen,  Physiotherapist:

Whether or not the operation is done depends more on the general health and functioning of the knee rather than on age. In order to know this for sure, you could briefly consult with the GP or the orthopedic surgeon, or who would be the designated person to perform any procedure.

You indicate that the diagnosis has not yet been made. It seems like a good idea to at least have the knee examined by a specialist and have the cruciate ligament tested. If they turn out positive then there is a considerable chance that there is actually a tear. In the case of a “crack” or a hairline tear, an intervention is probably not necessary.

The cruciate ligaments are mainly needed for fast movements and when we change direction. Think for example of tennis or football. When cycling and walking cover the largest part of your exercise activities, there is a big chance that you can continue to function completely without problems, even without a cruciate ligament.

I recommend visiting the physiotherapist to at least have the knee examined. He/she can immediately give exercises to strengthen the knee if necessary.

I hope this helps!

 

 

Ps. we have a team of experts that can help out with almost any questions related to health and fitness. Have a question? Send it in!

https://www.gezondheidsnet.nl/experts

 

, , ,

Fitness Question: Exercising with worn joints?

I have lost cartilage in my knee and a little bit in the hips, can I still do spinning? I’ve been doing it for years.

-Diny

Mark Chen, physiotherapist

The advantage of spinning is that it is not a weight-bearing activity (except the standing parts , of course). That makes it a ‘safer’ option than, for example, running, in which your knees and hips have to endure huge impact for miles. So if you look at it purely from a mechanical perspective, no problem at all.

You indicate that you have been doing spinning for years.

Could it be that the amount of years and intensity have contributed to the amount of wear?
Ultimately, spinning is  a very one-dimensional and repetitive form of sport. Do you clearly have more issues immediately after spinning, or the morning after? In that case you can question how beneficial spinning is for your body.

I am personally in favor of variety, not only because I like to do different things myself but also not to stress my body too much in one way. I also recommend this to the majority of my clients. Ask yourself the above questions and if spinning does indeed cause issues to you, then consider reducing or varying with a different sport.

 

Mark Chen

Physiotherapist / Personal Trainer / Nutritionist

, ,

The Tess Holiday Issue and What I should have done better

I got a lot of backlash from the Tess Holiday post I did this week. Even though the initial post said “This cover can be called controversial”, which is obviously is looking at all the discussion that followed, I instantly felt regret posting it.

The conversations that followed were intense. There was no, or very limited, intellectual debate. Instead, there was a lot of attacking, generalizing, taking things out of context, and projecting of some of my friends’ own problems on the issue.

As Corbett mentioned correctly, Facebook is not the place to have this discussion. However, there are some points that I’d still like to make and there are some things that I should rectify. (And thank you, Rachel, for bringing this to my attention).

My problems with the Tess Holiday issue:

  • My problem is not with Tess itself. Even though I do believe that she is not sincere. I know many overweight people that do, in fact, embrace their heavier frame and they are okay with that and I believe and respect that. They also do not celebrate or promote their weight, and they definitely don’t tell me or other people to quote “Kiss their fat ass”. Tess pretends to fully embrace her weight and pretends to be proud of “who she is and how she is”, but at the same time, she is on a Cosmopolitan cover wearing make-up and heavily photoshopped. The hypocrisy here is flat-out annoying to me and it’s a big part why I simply do not buy into the facade.
  • Obesity should not be promoted or embraced. I’m just baffled by how I need to explain to people that the being morbidly obese is a disease. It’s affecting the quality of life, decreases lifespan, affects people around them and costs an INSANE amount of money, and this is in the states alone. And this is 100% preventable.

What I should have added:

  • I’m all for accepting a wider view of what’s “normal” when it comes to beauty standards. I don’t think that our former standard with overly skinny catwalk models was healthy at all. Maybe I should have stated this but haven’t we long passed this idea?
  • Rachel brought up to me that I could be sending out the wrong signal and brought Ashley Graham to my attention. I’ve looked into her and I think she is the perfect example of what being a plus sized model that can also still portray a healthy lifestyle.

 

My view on the Cosmopolitan issue stands. I think they’ve pushed the narrative too far to the extreme by putting Tess on the cover. Being overweight to the point of killing yourself from the inside is not something that should be glorified. Instead, attention should be more towards women like Ashley Graham that can demonstrate self-acceptance, health and a couple of pounds more.

 

Always appreciate thoughtful discussion,

 

Mark

 

 

, , ,

Cambodia makes Jiu Jitsu History

Jessa Khan makes history as she is the very first athlete to put Brazilian jiu-jitsu on the map. This is a major event for sport in the country and hopefully will give some momentum to young athletes and especially women to pursue a career in sport.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with both Vivadhana Khou and Jessa Khan in their final preparation weeks in which the goals were very clear:

The icing on the cake

 

Let’s make one thing clear: Jessa was already READY when she came in to finalize the strength and conditioning

 

Finalise the strength and conditioning without the athletes getting injured. This, from my perspective is a MAJOR point and is too often overlooked. In the last 2-3 weeks of competition preparation, you won’t get significantly stronger on your squat, deadlift or bench. In other words, there is no significant GAIN in strength that can be translated into better performance on the mat. Pushing it in those weeks, especially after a long camp, will, however, increase the chances of overload and possible injury. The trick here is to work on the “icing on the cake”. Focus during training was a lot more on neuromuscular control, mobility and tensegrity. In other words, how the body and the mind work together.
With the right training dosage and exercises that are challenging without being too stressful on the body, the athletes can prepare safely and arrive on competition day with the ability to perform optimally.

 

Relax the body and the mind

 

Personal Trainer Mark Chen works with Jessa for Asian Games preparation

 

This is where I teamed up with my friend and mentee Sokvat Van. At the start of the preparation, both athletes were screened on existing injuries or risks for injuries by identifying muscles that are possibly overworked.
The talented masseur would unleash his healing hands on the muscles immediately after training and even though the athletes had to grit their teeth at times, came through with a smile and a supple body and mind.

Weight Cut

A lot of effort went into this, by means of water-flushing, sauna, running, Tabatha and all without any water or food intake.

 

Not many people understand how tricky it can be to manipulate your body weight at the right amount at the right time. This is of crucial importance though, since many athletes are on a different weight when they go through their daily life “walk around weight” compared to when they weigh in. Depending on the case, athletes can sometimes drop 5-10kg in a matter of days. This takes an extreme toll on the body and has to be done with a thought-through process.

The actual work

It’s as tempting as it is easy to toot my own horn when it comes to the performances at the Asian games and even though I’m proud, I realize my part of the journey was very small. The real credit belongs to Jessa and her team of coaches that have been able to detect this massive level of and cultivate it.
Another huge part of it is Vivadhanna Khou with his H/art Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy. Not only did he start the momentum of BJJ in Cambodia and get the first Athlete to dominate the Asian games here, no.

He put together a group of like-minded, passionate people who are not only dedicated students but also friends. While he has been “living his dream” building this all, he has dedicated so much time and energy to it that it is hard to even experience the dream.
His effort deserves to be seen and respected.

I’m happy to have been part of this and am excited for what is to come!

 

Want to try BJJ in Phnom Penh?  Here are some reasons why!

, ,

Fitness Question: Hardcore boot-camp training bad for me?

“Do you train your muscles better if you first ensure that you are experiencing fatigue and then go all out? We do this at my Bootcamp class: first, we have to feel fatigue in a squat and then we sprint at full effort. I find this very heavy. Is it really better?

-Maartje

Bootcamp Training

Mark Chen, Physiotherapist

‘Better’ is a difficult word, because that depends entirely on the goal you want to achieve. Still, I can be quite clear about creating fatigue in preparation for an explosive effort. Don’t, unless there is a very good reason for it.

Fatigue in a muscle involves a number of physiological changes in the circulatory system around the muscles. Simply put, it negatively affects the control of the muscle and therefore it will function less efficiently. You’ve probably felt that already!

Muscles with fatigue also lose their ability to contract and relax properly. If you demand an explosive action in that state, the performance you can deliver will always be below your actual capacity. I can even go one step further and say that at such moments, strains and tears occur most often. Take a look at football matches and the number of cramps and injuries that occur in the later stages of the match. It’s a very obvious percentage.

Creating fatigue in the muscle system can certainly have positive aspects, but should usually be kept until the end of a Bootcamp class. Ask yourself if your trainer has a good reasoning for this way of training. It is difficult for me to estimate how far your athletic ability reaches! If he can not explain it in a way that is sensible, I would be very careful with this combination. Listen to your own body and play the long game, don’t risk an injury.

 

 

, ,

“Knee Pain, what to do?” – Readers Question

knee pain fixed

“I have osteoarthritis in my knee but am a fanatical athlete. Running I have to give up, but otherwise, I do everything from strength training to spinning, and daily cycling to lubricate the knee. Lunges are too stressful just like certain yoga exercises. Doctors advised me to do a procedure. But I am not ready for that yet,  although the pain comes back more regularly. I am 53 and my weight is fine. Do you have any more tips to improve my knee condition?”

– Caroline

 

Mark Chen, Physiotherapist:

A number of factors are important in the discomfort caused by osteoarthritis. Of course, the way of stressing the knee is very important and also the amount of rest that the joint gets to recover. Running is an activity that generates enormous impact on the knees. It is therefore not very surprising that you get a lot of problems with that particular choice of sport.

Strength training is indeed a good way to relieve the joint. You describe that lunges are too stressful, does the same apply to squats? If so, are you sure that the technique is correct? A large part of the load on the knees can be reduced by making these kinds of exercises more hip-dominant versus knee-dominant. If you use the hips more, the knees will taxed less. A good trainer can advise you and adjust if necessary.

Another option is so-called ‘open chain’ exercises. Thanks to machines, these exercises can train the muscles without having to carry the whole body weight. A disadvantage is that this way of moving often does not match how you use the knees in daily life (rising from a chair, climbing stairs). We call these exercises “non-functional” but that doesn’t mean they are not valuable.

Nutrition is also important. There is more and more research that shows that a balanced diet has a big effect on the discomfort that arthrosis brings with it. Consume a balanced diet and try to supplement with a multivitamin and possibly glucosamine. In the field of glucosamine, scientific studies are contradictory, but I have seen that a good quality glucosamine supplement can definitely add value.

A final option is an injection with Fermathron (hyaluronic acid). This is a kind of gel that can be injected and acts as a pad. It can both reduce pain and increase mobility and lasts for up to six months

If you’d like some extra help with your knee, make an appointment here!

I hope that helps,

 

Mark Chen