Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Getting Stronger – When is a good time to start?


One of the questions I have commonly received a great deal as an athletic trainer is when is it safe to start strength training with young athletes?  A great starting point is to define what strength training actually is, which implies some sort of action by the body’s muscles exerting or resisting some force.   Strength training does not necessary mean going to the conventional gym and power lifting with large amounts of weight.  Strength training especially for younger athletes can involve pushups, body weight squats, lunges, or sit ups.   A safe age to start a strength training program can … [Read more...]

Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears – how to tackle such a common injury


There are certain injuries that will occur with athletes and seem to bring some familiarity to parents when they hear the diagnosis.  One such injury that seems to be more prevalent than most are Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears in our youth athletes.  It seems that more athletes have been dealing with this injury at a younger ages in middle school and very commonly in high school.  Although the majority of these ACL tears seem to be targeted towards young female athletes as compared to their male counterparts the problem is still too prevalent. The rise of such injuries seem to be … [Read more...]

Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Concussions – Nutrition, when hunger strikes, what’s the best fuel?


When it comes to food and choices of what to eat before and after competition the views are varied across the board depending on who you speak with.  When it comes to the proper nutrition of young athletes I urge parents to think simple.  Young athletes are still growing and need a variety of nutritional foods from their daily intake. Ideally staying away from foods containing high preservatives and fast food meals are the obvious starting points.  The problem with many young athletes is they don’t exactly have a high tolerance for trying new foods. The best tips for parents when it comes … [Read more...]

Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Concussions – not an injury to play through


Probably one of the most serious injuries that occur during organized sports are concussions.  Often times for parents and coaches, it is more difficult to identify the injury and know its severity.  Unlike a broken bone or a sprained ankle that is visually easier to identify, a concussion can be less obvious to the untrained eye.  Concussions are caused when the head is struck, and the force of the blow causes the brain jostled within the skull. With concussions most people think of an extreme play in hockey or football where an athlete is laid out and appears unconscious.  There is actually … [Read more...]