Bio-individual nutrition rules the day; Helmet Safety

Episode 17.03 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One: Karen Malkin from Karen Malkin Health Counseling discusses the benefits of Bio-individual Nutrition and a creating a food plan to fit your physiology and biology. It’s easy to get seduced by the prevalence of trendy eating options. Gluten-free, paleo, ketogenic, macrobiotic, low-glycemic, low-carb, dairy-free, vegan, fruitarian, and the list goes on and on….karen  

What makes this even more difficult is that for every physician or nutrition Ph.D. making a claim with science to back it up, there’s another researcher who can debunk it with an equally legitimate study.  

Related Post: Forget One-size fits All

Combat nutrition imbalances by including protein, fiber, colorful veggies and healthy fats in your meals and snacks. Try one of her gluten and dairy free, no added sugar, Transformation Bars. Each bar contains 11g of protein and 12g of fiber. They make a great snack, especially for people on-the-go.

Save $10 when ordering Transformation Bars>> Enter Code: ESPN1000

Segment Two: Samantha Cochran from Athletico Physical Therapy discusses helmet safety when participating in various sports, proper use and fitting of helmets. While all leagues and teams require helmets, many coaches, players and parents don’t know exactly how to choose a helmet that will provide the right protection. Athletico has developed a step-by-step guide to educate parents, athletes and coaches on selecting and wearing helmets.

Proper Fitting Tips for Protective Equipment

  • Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines when fitting any helmet2017 national athletic training month
  • Hair should be wet when fitting any helmet
  • Each part of the helmet serves a purpose
  • Attention to detail and wearing every helmet properly ensures maximum protection
  • Never cut corners
  • Replace any helmet that has been damaged
  • Look for the NOCSAE seal of approval
  • Comfort is key
  • If your helmet is fitted properly but not comfortable, explore other options

Samantha Cochran is an athletic trainer with Athletico Physical Therapy at Malcolm X College within the City Colleges of Chicago. She received her Master of Science degree with a concentration in Kinesiology in 2014 from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. In her time at TAMUCC she served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for Islanders’ athletics from 2012-2014.

Unwrapping the physiology of a Tour de France champion

Image result for tour de france champions born or made where do we take the genetics of performance

Given the current spotlight on sport concerning the use and abuse of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), there is a public interest in athletes providing greater transparency with regard to what makes them elite. In this study, the investigators conducted a thorough examination into the physiological characteristics of a two-time Tour de France champion cyclist.

Several interesting results were found including: 1) some of the highest aerobic capacity values in a cyclist on record; 2) high cycling efficiency; and 3) a higher than anticipated body fat percentage. Collectively, the data demonstrated what may be the required physiological characteristics to be a Tour de France champion. While the data can neither confirm nor deny the use of PEDs, it is perhaps a step in the right direction to publicly demonstrate the type of physiology required to be one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world.

For more information, view the abstract


Your ankles keep you nimble and agile on the basketball court, so taking care of them is critical to how well you play. Not to mention, weak ankles put undue stress on your knees, according to Danny McLarty, CSCS, of

Luckily, there are a number of simple exercises that help improve ankle mobility while strengthening them to protect against injury. Add these exercises into your regular workout routine and practices to improve performance and prevent strains, breaks and sprains.


Working out your ankles in different angles mimics the same type of angles your anklesjump rope encounter during a basketball game. Grab a jump rope and start skipping.

How to: Avoid boredom, and work your ankles from every angle, with this short interval routine.

Standard up-down – 20 seconds
Side to side – 20 seconds
Front to back – 20 seconds

Rest and repeat 2 to 3 times.


The full squat helps improve both ankle strength, mobility and give you power forjump rope jumping up for rebounds or shooting.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge your hips backward, keeping your back straight. Go past the parallel squat point, until your knees are at a 135-degree angle. The key is to keep your heels and toes on the ground. You may naturally pull your heels up, which shows tightness in the calves. Keeping the weight on your heels, and keeping them down, helps improve ankle strength and mobility.

Complete 6 to 8 reps for 2 to 3 rounds.


Lunges work on stabilizing your ankle muscles as your weight shifts when you sprintjump rope down the court or change direction on defense or when driving to the basket.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, and step forward, keeping your back leg straight and your front leg slightly bent-knee should be at a 90-degree angle. Put all your weight on the front foot to push yourself back to standing position. Repeat with the opposite leg to complete one rep.

Repeat 10 times on each leg for 2 to 3 rounds. You can further improve mobility with backward, diagonal and lateral lunges.

Use these simple exercises to improve ankle mobility and strength. Not only will it protect you against injury during basketball, but you’ll also become a stronger, more agile player on the court.


How to Not Hate Running on the Treadmill

Four ways to make the most out of your indoor workouts.

treadmillWhen the weather outside is frightful, the treadmill inside – is boring and monotonous. Sure, you can make basic adjustments like boosting the incline, varying the pace or distracting yourself with a TV series, but you can also take those strategies a step further if you want to emerge from winter an even better runner. Here are four methods that will build strength and help you get more out of your treadmill workouts before the spring thaw:

1. Warm up properly.

Maximizing your workouts starts by prepping your body to run at a more intense pace. Simply jumping on the treadmill and beginning your run won’t get that engine running effectively enough to achieve faster paces and survive rolling hills.

To properly warm up, start walking briskly for four to six minutes. During this time, focus on loosening up your legs, back and arms. You’ll start to feel your body warm up, but you shouldn’t be breathing hard yet. Next, pick up to the pace to a light jog and run for at least two to four minutes. Only now should you start breathing more heavily and sweating lightly. After your easy jog, increase the pace to your typical running workout pace and hold it for two minutes. Finally, do two or three very short intervals – about 30 seconds – at a pace quicker than your running pace. Return back to your typical pace and hold it for one to two minutes. This entire process takes only 10 to 15 minutes, but it primes your muscles for running hard.

2. Raise the incline liberally.

After you’re primed, use the treadmill’s incline feature to simulate hills, which can build a great deal of strength and power. While you should always avoid running on a treadmill at a less than 1.5 or 2 percent grade, which simulates a flat road, if you want to really run hills, you’re going to need to dial it up to 4 to 10 percent.

On a 4 percent grade, which is similar to a gentle hill outside, try to keep running your typical pace for four to six minutes. As you increase the grade to 6 or 7 percent, you’ll start to feel like you’re climbing outside and may need to back off your pace slightly (perhaps 0.5 miles per hour), especially as you start climbing these hills. Hold on to these hills for two to four minutes. Finally, crank up the incline to 10 percent or more for some steep climbs, but stop after about 30 seconds to one minute and back off the pace more if needed.

Mixing and matching the steepness of the inclines and the length of the hills is a recipe for a great hill workout similar to what you’d experience outside. As an added bonus, you probably won’t feel bored as your push through these hills.

3. Train yourself to run faster.

The treadmill is also a handy tool for learning to run faster because you have tight control over the speed and can adjust your pace in very fine increments. At first, you’ll only be able to run fast for short periods of time, but as you build the proper form and strength, you can continue to increase the pace.

After warming up properly, start by increasing your pace in 0.2 mile-per-hour increments and hold the faster speed for one minute. Once you have a feel for how fast you can safely run, run through sets of high-speed intervals that range from 30 seconds to two minutes with a break of one to two minutes in between. The faster the pace, the shorter the interval should be. Start by doing two to four intervals and, over time, try to get up to as high as 12 to 16 minutes of higher-speed running. Once you’re able to hit, say, 15 minutes of high-speed intervals, drop the number of intervals and increase the pace again.

4. Use long intervals and recovery times to build endurance.

The treadmill can also build endurance if you perform a series of long intervals with lengthy recovery times. Start by warming up, and then increase your pace by 0.2 to 0.5 miles per hour more than your typical running pace, and hold that pace for 10 minutes. Back off to 0.2 to 0.5 miles per hour below your typical pace and recover for 10 minutes. For a second interval, increase the pace again, hold it for 15 minutes and recover for 10 minutes. Finally, try to run 20 minutes and recover for 10 minutes.

If you’re training for a marathon, you can add additional 15- to 20-minute blocks to lengthen the workout. These runs take more time and can last one and a half to two hours, so you’ll want to have something to distract you. I binge-watch shows or movies on my laptop during these workouts. The most important aspects of these longer intervals are holding on through them and giving yourself a good, long recovery before doing another.

By Joe English for US News