Thanksgiving Survival Guide


By: Sue Fogarty, MS RD

According to the American Calorie Council, the average American consumes 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat at their Thanksgiving meal!

What are some ways you can reduce the number of calories eaten over Thanksgiving?

  • My first suggestion is to cut back on portion sizes. Do you really need 2 scoops of mashed potatoes?
  • Eat slowly. This is not the meal to “gobble” down! Eating slower will help you consume less food because the signal that tells you that you are full will have a better chance of reaching you before you over-eat!
  • Do not fast before the big meal! It sounds like a good idea to conserve calories before the big meal, but being overly hungry will only lead to eating more and possibly lowering your ability to make healthier choices.
  • Drink water with your meal, save the cider or wine for after the meal.
  • Take a “sliver” of pie and skip the “a la mode”. You should enjoy desserts during the Holidays, but over indulging can pack on unwanted pounds.
  • Be sure to get activity in during the day. Take a walk, organize a football game, play a dance game on a video console! Be creative, but be active!

It’s important to enjoy time with family and friends and food is often the center of what brings us together.  Using the suggestions above you can still “have your cake and eat it too”!

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Athletes With Hypertension

By: Brittany Ferguson, MSEd, ATC

Athletes are normally thought to be free from hypertension or cardiovascular disease due to their high levels of training. Hypertension is often detected in early adulthood and becomes more prevalent with age. However athletes should be screened in pre-participation exams for hypertension and be treated appropriately.  About 80 percent of adolescents have been found to have a blood pressure above 142/92 mm Hg during pre-participation exams.  An optimal blood pressure is <120/<80 mm Hg.  Normal blood pressure is <130/<85 mm Hg. Hypertension is when a person has a blood pressure >140/>90 mm Hg.

Risk Factors

Possible risk factors for hypertension athletes are:

  • High sodium intakeBP Blood Vessel
  • Anabolic steroid use
  • Stimulant use
  • High stress levels
  • Male gender
  • Race (African-Americans)
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Family history of hypertension or cardiac disease


There are different treatment options available for treating athletes with hypertension and should be done and monitored under the supervision of a physician.

Possible lifestyle changes include:Blood Pressure

  • Decrease sodium intake
  • Increase potassium intake
  • Losing weight
  • Avoid stimulant use
  • Stress relieve techniques
  • Aerobic exercise

Hypertension can also be treated by medication and these athletes need to be monitored for side effects since antihypertensive drugs may have adverse effects. Also, physician and the athlete need to be aware of the NCAA banned substance list since a number of antihypertensive medications are on the banned list. A small number of athletes achieve targeted blood pressure where medications can be reduced or withdrawn. If target blood pressure is not met, medication dosage may be change or a second medication may be added. Blood pressure in hypertension athletes should be controlled before participation in athletics.


  1. Leddy, JJ, Izzo J. Hypertension in athletes. Journal of Clinical Hypertension. 2009 April;11(4):226-233. doi:1111/j.1751-7176.2009.00100.x
  2. Niedfeldt, MW. Managing hypertension in athletes and physically active patients. Am Fam Physician. 2002 August 1;66(3):445-52.
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Don’t Lose This Flu Season

By: Hershel Mack, ATC

Keep Calm Flu ShotAs sports fans and athletes, we prepare to take part in the upcoming sports season. We prepare for baseball and softball in the spring, football and field hockey in the late summer, and basketball and wrestling in the winter. As athletes, we work hard to prepare our bodies and habits for our sport’s season. Well, there is another season that athletes need to prepare for and keep on their radar: flu season. We mark the start of flu season around the beginning of October and it can last through the end of May, but overall it is very unpredictable. It is very important that athletes take precautions against the flu and other similar illnesses. We all would prefer to be on the court or mat rather than in bed sick for days and/or weeks. The CDC recommends three main steps to stay healthy during flu season.

Get a flu vaccination yearly.

  1. Flu vaccine dramatically decreases the chance of getting the flu.
  2. The flu vaccine is prepared to develop antibodies to defend against the predicted three most prevalent flu strands of the year.
  3. Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
  4. Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations.
  5. A recent study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
  6. One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.

Take precautions in your daily tasks.

  1. Avoid sick people/players
  2. Wash hands often. Especially before meals and after being around groups. If soap and water are not available use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  3. Refrain from touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth.
  4. Do not share food or drinks. Bring your own water bottle or cups to practices and workouts.

If you do become ill take proper steps to heal and not spread your illness.

  1. Ask your doctor about antivirals which could make your illness milder and shorten the duration of sick time.
  2. Cover nose and mouth with disposable tissue and discard after use.
  3. Do not return to school, work or playing environment until you have been fever free for 24 hours without medication.

Many athletes work hard to stay healthy. They follow these precautions as well as eating a good diet, getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night and decreasing their stress levels. Despite this, they may still fall victim to illnesses. If this happens, please do not try to be the super hero and show up to practice ill. Because athletes are close together during their season it is easy for an illness to pass to every player. Wait until symptoms decrease before returning to practice and do not come at all if there is still a fever present. When you are ready to return, engage in a recovery practice where activities are modified to ease your body back into competition while your body is still fighting the illness. A good rule of thumb is if your symptoms are above the neck, take it moderately and if they are from the neck down, stay away and rest some more. Good luck as you prepare to become a champion during your sport’s season and this flu season.


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Sports Performance and ACL Injury Prevention Program

Are you a local athlete? Are you looking to increase strength? Run faster? Jump higher? Improve agility? Then, this class is for you! Use this program to work on your weaknesses during the off-season. Use this program to get ready during pre-season. Use this program to stay injury-free during the season. No matter what sport you play, this program is for you!

ACL Program 11-2015This class meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays (except Thanksgiving).

Go to to register.

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Preventing and Caring for Knee Pain

By: Christine Moore, ATC, VATL

Fall has arrived, not necessarily indicated by the continued hot weather, but by the number of kids outside playing with their school sports teams, club teams, select teams, etc…you get the picture.

In most cases, kids are not only playing on multiple teams, but also playing multiple sports during the same season.  Sure, active kids are staying fit and getting their recommended 60 minutes of activity per day, and in some cases they are getting twice that or even three times that much activity in a day. In most cases, extra fitness and activity are positive things; however in some cases, it can cause problems.

Knee PainThe area of the body that tends to be most susceptible in the multiple sport era are the tibio-femoral joints and the patella-femoral joints, aka the knee. Because of its lack of bony stability, the knee joint is susceptible to many injuries. The knee relies heavily on the muscles that surround it for support and when those muscles get tired (which frequently occurs in the kids that are shuffling from one practice to the next) they can’t effectively do one of their most important jobs: keeping the kneecap in line during running and jumping activities.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common causes of knee pain in young athletes. The condition is an overuse injury that results from activities that cause pressure or friction on the cartilage behind the kneecap. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a general term for pain in the front of the knee and can be caused by trauma to the underside of the patella, overuse, and or poor patella pull or alignment.  Bottom line, the athlete will complain of pain in the front of their knee that starts after about 30 minutes of activity and continues even after activity.

PF 1PF 2







Treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome involves limiting running, jumping, squatting, or other pain-causing activities. Ice and anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain. The key to resolving patellofemoral pain syndrome is identifying and correcting the causes of the pain. Your doctor, a physical therapist, or a certified athletic trainer can help you identify causes and recommend specific treatments. They can also help monitor recovery and provide guidance for a gradual and safe return to sports activities.


“Knee Pain and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.” American Academy of Pediatrics, 15 Aug. 2015. Web. 05 Sept. 2015.

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