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5 Ways To Tell If You Have A Bad Personal Trainer

Reasons why you have a Bad Personal TrainerIn the never-ending quest towards fitness, a little guidance and encouragement can be a huge help. That’s exactly what a great personal trainer can provide. But not all PTs are created equal. In fact, many trainers are frighteningly under-certified and under-experienced. Beware of these 5 personal trainer warning signs.

1. Your trainer pressures you to purchase vitamins and supplements.

You deal with it at your barber or hairstylist: shelves of overpriced hair products subtly suggested each time you get you coiffure maintenanced. But that’s only once every month or two. When you’re spending a couple days a week with a trainer, the last thing you need is pressure to spend more money on the latest fitness formula. You’ll discover this a lot in the huge gym franchises because the trainers themselves are getting pressure from their bosses. Still, it’s not something you need to deal with. Sure, your trainer can and should make recommendations if necessary, but the hard sell is obnoxious.

2. Your trainer does anything besides train you.

That means no daydreaming while their spotting you. That means no scoping out eye candy across the room. That means no phone calls. That means no chit chat with other trainers. You’re spending good money, and you deserve complete and undivided attention.

3. Your trainer doesn’t keep records.

This is a big one. Simply put: a good trainer will keep track of everything. Your trainer should be toting a clipboard and jotting down what exercises you did, how much weight you lifted, how many reps/sets you did and how your measurements are changing. Like a chef developing a brand new recipe, if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, how will you get the best results?

4. Your trainer uses cookie-cutter workout plans.

Everybody is different, so is every body. Some of us are shorter, taller, fatter, leaner, more flexible or stiffer than our fellow fitness hopefuls. Thus, every workout plan needs to be specifically tailored for the individual. If your trainer immediately prescribes a regiment without getting to know the specifics of you and your body, it is time to find a new trainer. At 75-plus dollars an hour, it is not too much to ask that your trainer design a workout program just for you.

5. Your trainer disrespects the non-personally trained

Not everyone needs a personal trainer. There is plenty of room at the gym for everyone, including those who aren’t paying a professional. If your trainer insists that you bogart multiple machines or weights at one time, limiting what’s available to others, chances are that disrespect will eventually trickle down to you. Of all people, someone who works in a gym should know proper gym etiquette.

There is absolutely no reason you should put up with a less-than-awesome personal trainer. If that guy or gal you’re paying to push you to the next level of fitness isn’t the right fit, find someone else. There are plenty of great ones out there.

3 Deadly Medical Practices of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Hippocrates wrote his ‘oath’ for doctors sometime around 500 B.C. The oath, still taken in some capacity by 98% of American medical school graduates, declares an intent for honest and ethical medical practice. To be sure, most medical professionals, then and now, have good intentions. But good intentions aren’t always enough. Obviously, medicine has come a long way since the Greek innovators of millenniums past, but it’s even come a long way in the last century. Here are 3 deadly medical practices of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

1. Cocaine

Medical Solutions of 19th centurySherlock Holmes would have loved the plethora of powder and rolled up dollar bills at Studio 54. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famously brilliant storybook detective often injected cocaine to cure his boredom between cases. The difference? In the days of disco, the drug was definitely outlawed, but in the late 19th century it was touted as a medical marvel.

South American natives had been chewing leaves of the coca plant for centuries, but the concentrated powdered version we know as cocaine didn’t hit the streets until about 1880. But once it arrived on the scene, it took the medical world by storm. Sigmund Freud was obsessed with the drug. In 1884, he wrote a 70 page love note to the Bolivian marching powder called “Uber Coca”, claiming prominently, of all things, that it was a perfect cure for morphine addiction. Doctors used cocaine to treat stomach aches, anxiety, asthma and even tuberculosis. It was sold in drinks, ointments, even margarine. Then there was the uber popular, Vin Mariani, a Bordeaux wine that contained 6 milligrams of cocaine in every ounce.

Of course, now we know how dangerous the drug really is. It’s infamously taken the lives of thousands, maybe millions, including John Belushi, Chris Farley and Whitney Houston.

2. Lobotomy

Lobotomy from 19th centuryFrom inception in 1935, through the heyday in the 40s and into rapid decline in the mid-50s, this brain shredding procedure claimed around 70,000 victims in a short period of time. Lobotomy is a word of Greek origin, a compound noun combining ‘lobe’ and ‘cut/slice’. And that’s a pretty literal definition. Essentially, doctors took long metal picks, jammed them into the patient’s eye to get at the brain, and pounded it in with a mallet to scrape away parts of the frontal lobe of the brain.

Short lived as it was, the surgery was thought to be a solution to a wide range of mental illnesses, from super serious conditions like schizophrenia to mild depression.

We know now how brutal this procedure is, but unfortunately it was too little too late. Even when the lobotomy lost favor in the 1950s, it was less about the danger and more about the introduction of easier-to-use antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.

3. Soothing Syrup

Southing Syrup for Medical PurposeIn the 19th century and early 20th century, parents just couldn’t be bothered with fussy children. The solution? Drug ‘em up. Enter ‘soothing syrups’, a preposterous blend of narcotics designed just for the little ones. Take the popular Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup; each ounce contained 65 mg of pure morphine.

Sure, the soothing syrups worked. They also killed children. The worst behaved toddlers were consequently often the most drugged...and most often killed. Medical professionals no doubt blamed the children’s behavior and death on mental illness or the likes. But the truth is, these kids were just acting like kids, and overdosed because of it.

In 1910, the ridiculousness came to an end. The New York Times published a whistleblowing article listing the ingredients of soothing syrups: morphin sulphate, chloroform, morphine hydrochloride, codeine, heroin, powdered opium and/or cannabis indica. Nap time!

Medical advances keep on coming. Who knows? In another hundred years, we’ll be examining the crazy medical practices!


What are these Bumps and Spots on My Child’s Feet?

A common condition that affects children and teens is warts, also know as varruca plantaris. Warts are caused by a virus and tend to like warm, moist environments like the feet. Our feet are enclosed in our shoes and socks all day long, creating the perfect breeding ground for warts. Additionally, gyms, locker rooms, showers, and pools are places that we may not be wearing shoes, and the environments in these places are typically warm and moist. Warts are common in children, as their immune systems are not as strong as adults. Parents often do not notice the warts until a child is limping or complaining of pain. Warts can look like any of the following: raised bumps, callouses, or red dots.

A podiatrist can tell you if the area is actually a wart. If there is a callous or hard skin over the wart, a podiatrist will trim this off to get a better look at the area. This is painless but often causes pinpoint bleeding of the very small blood vessels just under the skin. This is one of the signs of a wart. Additional signs of a wart include some or all of the following: discontinuation of skin lines, cauliflower appearance, dark spots, and pain with side to side pressure. Warts can be treated with a variety of topical medications, acids, freezing, lasers, and surgical excision. Occasionally, warts require a combination of treatments, and the treatment may take weeks or months. Warts can be prevented by keeping the feet dry: changing socks frequently, drying thoroughly after bathing, using powders or sprays to keep the feet dry, and spraying the shoes out regularly with lysol.

Dr. Bender is a podiatrist with Advanced Physical Medicine. She has 12 years of experience in private practice and has been a clinical instructor at William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine for the last 9 years. She practices at the Oak Park and Chicago/63rd St. locations. For an appointment, call 708-763-0580 or 773-776-3166.

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