IT'S OKAY TO LET GO

October 14, 2011Read: Exodus 4

"The Lord said, 'Throw it on the ground." --Exodus 4:3

Moses was reluctant to part with his staff, but when he finally laid it down in obedience, it became the rod of God. Abraham was asked to lay down his own son upon the altar, and Peter was asked to lay down his nets after catching nothing all night. I'm sensing a theme.

You know, we talk a lot about picking up the weights or picking up the pace in our pursuit of a fitter lifestyle, but God is honored most by what we're willing to lay down. And if we're obedient in the most difficult times, He'll bless us beyond belief. What are you holding that's keeping you from living a more abundant life either spiritually or physically? Whatever it might be, just know that Moses, Abraham and Peter know first hand that it's okay to let go.

--J.P.

RECOVER FASTER WITH R.I.C.E. Learn the basics of injury management to get back to your exercise program sooner

When you roll an ankle playing basketball or feel a pull in your hamstring during a sprint, do you wrestle over what approach to take? Is it heat? Or does ice work best? Should you just wrap it up tight and call it a day? If you can remember the term "RICE," you'll never go wrong with treating acute, soft-tissue injuries like strains and sprains. RICE is an acronym that stands for "rest, ice, compression and elevation," a fundamental injury treatment technique used in training rooms everywhere.

R - REST Forget about making tomorrow's pick-up game. Your body needs time to heal and complete rest is the only way to ensure that the injured soft tissue remains immobile until the pain has subsided and the majority of function has returned.

I - ICE We love to hate the cold stuff. Applying an ice pack to the area, usually for 20 minutes of each hour as soon as possible after the injury, helps to alleviate pain and swelling to the area. Care should be taken not to over-ice, as the extended restriction of blood flow can limit the delivery of nutrients and the elimination of waste from the injured area.

C - COMPRESSION Keeping a good elastic bandage on hand is a good idea if you're active, as this simple implement can help to further reduce inflammation. Wrap the affected area firmly, but not so much so that it is overly restrictive and never sleep with it on -- doing either can unnecessarily or dangerously interrupt important blood flow.

E - ELEVATION Gravity is your friend. If possible, keep the affected limb above the heart in order to reduce swelling and to improve the removal of waste products from the point of injury.

What about heat? From the above, you have probably deduced that most of these steps are designed to limit swelling and blood flow to the injury. Since direct heat increases circulation to the point of application, applying heat before swelling subsides (usually 48-72 hours) can be counterproductive, even if it offers some temporary comfort. To these steps, you can also add a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) such as ibuprofen which will further aid in pain management and the reduction of swelling.

>> For more on RICE, visit WebMD.