Martial Arts for Life

On A Quest To Be The Best!

Family Health & Fitness: Dealing With Injuries


“Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again…” – Simon & Garfunkel

Sooner or later if you are participating in consistent exercise or athletic training, you are going to sustain an injury. Sometimes it’s something minor like a mild sprain and sometimes it might be a little more serious like a broken bone.  And if you’ve been active your whole life (or for any sustained period of time) you know the searing kiss of pain from reinjuring something that healed long ago.

Here are 5 keys to dealing with the inevitable injuries that crop up from an active lifestyle:

1.) Don’t ignore it and don’t try to train through the pain. There is an old mentality (that is especially prevalent in Martial Arts circles) that one should train through pain and eventually the injury will heal itself. After all, if you’re mentally tough, you won’t even notice the pain. This is a great way to make sure your injury never heals properly and pave the way to a chronic health problem. Pain is your body’s none-too-subtle way of letting you know that something is wrong. Listen to your body and deal with injuries right away.

2.) Seek professional help. If you have an injury or a nagging ache or pain that is impeding your ability to train, go see a doctor. Some folks are more comfortable seeing a chiropractor or a sports medicine doctor for injuries and that’s fine – just go see some sort of qualified physician. The internet can be a useful educational tool, but please don’t try to diagnose yourself. There’s no quicker way to get to a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan than seeing a licensed professional.

3.) Don’t get down on yourself or the situation. Sometimes it can seem like a devastating blow when you have to shut it down for a while – especially if you are the type of person who trains several times a week or you are close to accomplishing a major goal. It is easy to start feeling sorry for yourself. Try to remember that “this too shall pass” and there are plenty of people with serious health problems who would gladly trade places with you in a heartbeat. Yes it is frustrating and yes it probably happened at the worst possible time, but focusing on the negatives is not going to serve you.

4.) Don’t give up. Some folks use an injury as a reason to give up training altogether. Even when they get better, the fear of getting re-injured or the discomfort of proper rehabilitation can shelve people for life. While it is true, you may need to train a little smarter or temper your workout plan, it is also true you could get injured stepping off the curb or driving a car. Don’t give up on a fitness-based lifestyle just because of a bite from the injury bug.

5.) Get creative.  In most cases, an injury won’t prevent you from doing some form of physical activity. If you have an upper-body injury, concentrate on lower-body workouts for a while (and vice versa). If you refuse to be denied you will find some form of exercise to participate in despite your injury. It may not be your first choice, but remember this concept: “a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.”

One of my favorite quotes is by author and motivational speaker Wille Jolley who says, “A setback is a setup for a comeback!” Remember that you have “comeback power” and while injuries are frustrating you can choose to use them to set up your comeback. Consider NFL quarterback Drew Brees. In the final game of the 2005 season, Brees seriously injured his shoulder by tearing his labrum and rotator cuff.  In 2008, he led the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl victory and was named the Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of The Year. Stay positive, do the rehab and set yourself up for a comeback!

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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March 28, 2013 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part 2

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle: Part Two

“Get Rid of Junk Food”

Welcome back to “Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle” a short series dedicated to providing tips for sensible adults who are looking to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Part One of this series dealt with the concept of “eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure.” In Part Two we will be focusing on avoiding the temptation of junk food by keeping it out of reach.

Listen, when you’re in the process of cleaning up your diet and losing weight, there are certain things that are going to be outside of your control. For example, a co-worker brings in doughnuts, a friend bakes you a cake for your birthday, etc. What you can control, however, is what you place in your shopping cart and your cupboards.

Trust me, if it’s in your home you will find a reason and a way to eat it. Think about the Halloween candy you purchase. If you’re like me, passing by the bowl of mini candy bars is temptation enough to eat one (or two!) and I don’t particularly like candy bars. The point is, if there’s a bag of Oreo cookies in your house or a gallon of ice cream in your freezer 99% of people WILL justify eating it at some point. You know the reasons:  you’ve had a rough day, you’ve been sticking to eating healthy and deserve a reward, having just one cookie won’t hurt, or maybe you’re hungry and there’s no better options. Whatever the reason is, you (and everybody else) will eat that junk food.

But it’s for the kids!

I know, I know, the cookies, ice cream and candy are for the kids! Here’s some food for thought (pardon the pun): A study published in the Health Education & Behavior journal looked at six middle schools over a two year period. In three of these schools the snacks offered did not change, but did so in the other three schools in Connecticut. Snacks that did not meet the nutrition standards set were removed and replaced with water, 100 percent fruit juice, baked chips, pretzels, granola bars and canned fruits.

The train of thought was that when these junk food items disappeared from the schools, the kids would naturally miss them and then go home and eat more. However, the result was actually the reverse — the study showed that when pop and fatty snacks were taken out of schools, the kids did not make up for them at home. Instead, they ate no worse at home and even better at school.

When healthier options are presented, everyone wins. Just as junk food is not good for kids, it is not good for adults. Removing junk food from your home benefits your whole family. Our bodies were not designed to live off unhealthy food. You do not need ANY junk food. Junk food makes you fat, destroys your health, and simply makes you feel bad. Trust me… you don’t need it.

What is “Junk Food”?

Just to clarify, for the purposes of this article I’m  talking about the cookies, sugary drinks, cakes, ice cream, frozen pizzas, and other highly processed foods that most people have in their homes. I’m not talking about a white flour free, dairy free, vegan, organic, “sticks & dirt” type diet. At this time, we’re speaking strictly about getting the empty calories that have virtually  no nutritional benefit out of your home.

Healthier Alternatives: Substitution is the plan

Guess what? It’s a bad idea to cut out unhealthy snacks and replace them by starving yourself. Our goal is to substitute healthier alternatives for chips, candy, cookies, etc. FYI, the less junk food in your diet, the less you will crave it!

Protein Bars: When you’re craving something sweet, a protein bar is good alternative. Most major grocery stores and even places like Target and Wal-Mart sell boxes of all-natural bars (Cliff bars, Zone Perfect, Pure Protein, etc.) These bars are always a better choice than cookies to satiate your appetite.

Fruits & Vegetables: You really can’t beat fruits and vegetables for a healthy snack. Nearly all major grocery chains sell containers of fresh cut fruit that’s perfect for a snack. In the past there has been some debate about the sugar content of some fruits, but trust me that no one has ever gotten fat from eating too much fruit. :0)

Flavored Seltzer or Water with Lemon: As a much healthier  (and zero calorie) alternative to sugary soft drinks, try flavored seltzer or water with lemon (or lime).

Yogurt with fruits & nuts on top: Ice cream can be replaced by non-frozen yogurt. It is highly likely your body is just craving something cold and sweet–so make it extra-refreshing with some generous chunks of real fruit.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. For additional ideas you could Google a phrase like, “Junk Food Alternatives” or “Healthy Snacks.” As a a reminder, any kind of “Low Fat” or “Reduced Fat” cracker or cookie is still probably high in sugar and highly processed – skip these.

As always, Fit or fat? The choice is yours.

This article was written by Rich Brugger. He holds a Strength Conditioning and Weight Training Certification from ISMA and is Black Belt Master Instructor. He co-owns and operates Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, NJ with his wife Michelle (a certified personal fitness trainer, a certified nutritional consultant and Black Belt Instructor).

Martial Arts for Life

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

Martial Arts New Providence, NJ

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January 1, 2012 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment