In the latest episode of the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life Kyle and Jeff talk about all the wonderful benefits of everyone’s favorite summer-time food, watermelon. Some might even surprise you. Afterward, they visit with Lamar Hudson about the importance of feet health in achieving the active life. Great stuff. Check it out Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life podcast.

Kyle Case:
Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. My name is Kyle Case, and I'll be your host on this amazing journey, as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in the studio today is my copilot, Jeff Harding. Jeff, how are you doing today?

Jeff Harding:
I am well Kyle. I'm doing well. How are you doing?

Kyle Case:
I'm doing great.I'm doing good.

Jeff Harding:
So I throw you off when I do a straight answer, don't I?

Kyle Case:
Well, sometimes. I'm always curious about how you are doing.

Jeff Harding:
Yeah. I bet you are.

Kyle Case:
In more ways than one.

Jeff Harding:
Yeah. You're in the office next door to mine. Yes.

Kyle Case:
Hey, we're right in the middle of summer.

Jeff Harding:
We are.

Kyle Case:
Just like smack dab. It's hot outside. It's a great time of year.

Jeff Harding:
Yes, it is.

Kyle Case:
There are a few things I think that says summer, quite like biting into a beautiful pink watermelon wedge on a hot day.

Jeff Harding:
Oh yeah.

Kyle Case:
Doesn't that sound good?

Jeff Harding:
Oh yeah.

Kyle Case:
Do you like watermelon?

Jeff Harding:
Oh yeah.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. It's good stuff. It's good stuff. Did you know though, Jeff, that there are loads of health benefits of eating watermelon?

Jeff Harding:
You know what? I don't even care, I'm going to eat it anyway. But share the reasons you should eat watermelon though.

Kyle Case:
This was like just icing on the cake for you because not only does it taste good and it's just fun to eat and it's a great summer food. There's lots of good stuff. The experts say that it's not just for kids.

Jeff Harding:
No.

Kyle Case:
It's for everybody. It's not even just for summer for that matter. Dr. Lisa Young who is a registered dietician and an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University says, "Watermelon is good for everyone." And we're going to find out some of the benefits of eating watermelon starting right now.

Jeff Harding:
Well great.

Kyle Case:
Are you ready?

Jeff Harding:
I'm ready. Lay 'em on me.

Kyle Case:
This is all according to Shape online magazine. The first one is that it's low in sugar, but also high in nutrients.

Jeff Harding:
And flavor.

Kyle Case:
Which is a good combination? Right?

Jeff Harding:
Yeah. That's great.

Kyle Case:
And high flavor too. That's right. They say there are only about 46 calories in watermelon per cup. Compare that to blueberries, where there are 86 calories in a cup of blueberries and about 56 per fruit for one peach.

Kyle Case:
So you know, not massive, massive differences.

Jeff Harding:
No.

Kyle Case:
But it's low in calories. Which is good. It's also especially low in sugar for a fruit. And like all fruit, that sugar is naturally occurring fructose, which is way healthier than the added sugar that we see in so many of our foods, especially our processed foods.

Jeff Harding:
Right.

Kyle Case:
In addition to that, watermelon is also high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamins B1, B5, B6, and beta carotene, lycopene, potassium, and magnesium. So there's-

Jeff Harding:
There's enough of it worth of findings there.

Kyle Case:
There's tons of good stuff. Also, I don't know if you know this, but they found that watermelon seeds are surprisingly healthy for you.

Jeff Harding:
And it doesn't grow watermelon and your belly.

Kyle Case:
And it doesn't grow watermelon in your belly. But yeah, the vitamin that you will find in watermelon seeds are vitamin E and also some other phytonutrients. So some of us like to spit those out and I think that's kind of the common way to eat-

Jeff Harding:
Yeah.

Kyle Case:
A watermelon. But hey, if you eat them, eat the seeds.

Jeff Harding:
I usually do.

Kyle Case:
I guess there's some good stuff for you in there.

Jeff Harding:
I usually do. I'm just too lazy to spit them out, so I'll just go along.

Kyle Case:
Just go for it.

Jeff Harding:
I don't bite 'em. I just swallow them whole.

Kyle Case:
There you go. There you go. A couple of other things about watermelon that you might find interesting. It might help fight disease.

Jeff Harding:
Really? Which ones?

Kyle Case:
Yeah. Well, several things because it's high in antioxidants, namely vitamin A and vitamin C that I just mentioned. It may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and even cancer. Some studies have shown watermelon has a more unique kind of lycopene, which is more readily available for your body to absorb, and which may help fight metabolic syndromes like oxidative stress. We mentioned cancer already. It can help you with cardiovascular disease, even diabetes. So there are several diseases that watermelon can help you out with.

Kyle Case:
There was a preliminary research study that they did at Oklahoma State University and the University of Colorado, that even suggests that watermelon may help shift the gut microbiome of both type one and type two diabetic mice. So they haven't, they haven't transferred yet to human trials, but they're finding that it's good for that, that gut microbiome, especially for diabetics.

Kyle Case:
And on top of that, watermelon also contains the amino acid citrulline, which potentially increases nitric oxide levels, which in turn dilates your blood vessels, which in turn helps lower your blood pressure.

Jeff Harding:
Wow.

Kyle Case:
So who knew-

Jeff Harding:
I did not.

Kyle Case:
Of all these great benefits of eating a piece of watermelon?

Jeff Harding:
And, if you've been out exercising, it's great for the recovery.

Jeff Harding:
It is. It is. I'm gonna talk about that in just a second.

Kyle Case:
Oh, that's right.

Jeff Harding:
Before that though, I want to talk about how hydrating it is, which is the one that we all think of. It's, it's got water in the name for goodness sakes.

Kyle Case:
Right.

Jeff Harding:
It must be hydrating, right? Watermelon is made up of over 90% water and is one of the most hydrating foods available. You shouldn't trade in your eight glasses of water for all watermelon juice. You still need to drink the water, that's important. But considering the fruit is most often consumed on hot summer days, it might help you stay hydrated.

Jeff Harding:
Couple of other things that they found about watermelon that I found interesting. In huge doses, it could help you be a faster athlete.

Kyle Case:
Wow.

Jeff Harding:
Is that one you would've thought?

Kyle Case:
No. 'Cause usually when I eat a lot of watermelons, I feel very slow and sluggish.

Jeff Harding:
You slow down.

Kyle Case:
Yes.

Jeff Harding:
It depends on I guess maybe the shape that you're starting in. But in 2015 they did a study in the Journal Of Applied Psychology, and they found that l-citrulline supplements can help improve your oxygen uptake and that improves your high-intensity interval training performance. Now, in fairness, that study that they did, that research study, used tablets of l-citrulline, but watermelon is the most abundant dietary form of that particular amino acid that's out there. And theoretical science does hold up. The amino acid may help increase nitric oxide levels delivering more blood and oxygen to your system like we just barely talked about.

Jeff Harding:
However, it's fair to note that this study only looked at 10 athletes. Just 10. So it's a very small study, and the findings haven't been replicated though they were supported by a 2017 study review. The reality is that you'd have to drink quite a bit of watermelon juice, two and a half liters, which is a considerable amount of watermelon juice to get the citrulline that the athletes had in the study. But it's an interesting thought about, helping you run faster through an amino acid that's available in the watermelon.

Jeff Harding:
And then finally, Jeff, you mentioned this one earlier, watermelon could help you recover from a workout quicker. And so once again, this was a super small study that they did in Spain in 2013. But they found that athletes who drink 500 milliliters of natural watermelon juice and then went out on an all-out hard as you can go exercise bike ride, they saw a lower recovery heart rate and less muscle soreness 24 hours later. And this is probably thanks to that super bioavailable citrulline that we've been talking about in the last two items.

Jeff Harding:
But this study is interesting because the athletes just drank two cups of watermelon juice. So it wasn't the two and a half liters that were required in the other study. Just a couple of cups of watermelon juice and it can help you recover from your workout quicker.

Kyle Case:
Great. And I've used it before and it does work.

Jeff Harding:
Good stuff. So hey, get out there and eat some watermelon.

Kyle Case:
That's right.

Jeff Harding:
Today's guest is a friend of the Huntsman World Senior Games. Mr. Lamar Hudson is a foot specialist. And today we're going to talk a little bit about how important to our overall health and wellness our feet can be. Lamar, thank you for joining us today.

Lamar Hudson:
Happy to be here. Good to hear your voice, Kyle.

Kyle Case:
So you're joining us by phone and I understand that you're on the road a little bit. Where are you at today?

Lamar Hudson:
I just left Detroit, and I arrived here in Minneapolis, and I'm a just pulled into the airport. So I put off so I could talk to you guys and looking forward to talking a little bit about foot problem.

Kyle Case:
Good, good. Well, we're glad you pulled over. That's, that's the safe way to have that phone conversation. So yeah. Lamar, let's talk a little bit about common foot-related problems that are out there. I know that there's a bunch of things. And let's talk a little bit about what they are, and maybe, more importantly, some of the things that we can do to help offset some of the challenges or the problems that come with some of these common foot problems. Let's talk about one that I hear about kind of regularly and that is plantar fasciitis. What is that, and you know, what are the effects, and then how do you deal with it?

Lamar Hudson:
How about 20 years ago I ended up experiencing plantar fasciitis for myself. It's the reason why I became, I got into the foot care industry. Plantar fasciitis, the tendon that attaches the head to the metatarsal, to the heel of the foot, it makes up the bottom portion of the foot. It's called the plantar fascia tendon. And what tends to happen is with repetitive motion, that tendon begins to rip away from the calcaneus. It causes an extreme amount of pain. Most people describe the pain as someone stabbed them in the bottom of heel what a hot nail. Worst case scenario. when you sit down for a few minutes, and then you get back up to walk again, once again, the symptoms kind of exhibits itself.

Lamar Hudson:
There are many ways to treat it. The most effective way that I found, most times people will suggest take a water bottle with ice and roll it and stretch it. There are some boot things that you can wear in the middle of the night that holds the foot in a certain position. But what I found to be the most effective way is controlling the motion when you're walking, or running, and participating in athletic activity. To customize them, actually was the solution that I found for my particular case of plantar fasciitis. And it worked wonders. The problem goes away pretty quick or very fast if you, once it's treated with a customized insole is what I found.

Kyle Case:
And is that, I want to ask two questions. The first one is the, is the insole something that you wear in your everyday shoes? It's just, it's just become a part of your shoe, you put it on and that helps offset some of the pain that you feel? Or do you only use them in specialized shoes?

Lamar Hudson:
Absolutely. You wear with every day. I like to use the analogy that customized insoles and shoes are like a pair of eyeglass frames and lenses. In other words, your shoe is like an eyeglass frame, and we want to put a device in there that corrects your foot problem or your concern. So addressing whatever the biomechanic problem might be. It might be pronation or supination, an overpronation over supination, which creates the problem for you. So customized insoles, that's why the soles are a custom-designed device that we'll address and improve your foot's biomechanics and reduce the injuries that are caused by repetitive motion.

Kyle Case:
So do most people get plantar fasciitis? Are, are most of the people who experienced it, are they, are they athletes or is it just the common every day walking around repetition that creates the problem?

Lamar Hudson:
You know, the funny thing is that right around 40 years old, between 40 and 60 most people started to experience plantar fasciitis. So it's something that happens over a, after the first 20 or 30 years of activity that had happened. And that's just normal activity. Some athletes, professional athletes and otherwise can have it occurred to them sooner because they are adding that much more strain or that much more activity to their feet. So, therefore, they are going to experience it faster.

Kyle Case:
I see.

Lamar Hudson:
So they may be predisposed to it, but the bottom line is, it's a matter of activity in a repetitive motion that creates the problem.

Kyle Case:
So other than just sitting down on the couch all day every day-

Jeff Harding:
With your foot on the ottoman.

Kyle Case:
With your foot on the ottoman. Is there anything that you could do to prevent it? We've talked about the treatment of it, but is there anything that you could do to prevent it? Stretches or I, I don't know what is, is there anything out there?

Lamar Hudson:
The stretching works to a certain degree, but the problem is that inevitably, because we're walking on flat hard surfaces, wearing various types of footwear, it's something that will become a part of like once you turn around 30 40 years old, it hits us and hits people quite frequently at that point. And the best treatment for it is to address the biomechanics of your foot and prevent the damage that's causing that tendon to rip away from the bone.

Lamar Hudson:
Untreated, what tends to happen with plantar fasciitis is, it creates a condition called a heel spur. So in other words, the body, as a tendon is ripped away from the bone, it mends by adding more calcium, and that calcium pools into a spur, which is why people have heel spurs. Then the next stage is going in for surgery, and you start the process over again. So the best treatment is. The best offense would be to find a properly fitting shoe and also find a pair of insoles as a preventative or prophylaxis to address the problem before it becomes a problem.

Kyle Case:
That makes a lot of sense. You're listening to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life, and we're visiting with Lamar Hudson about foot health. We've talked a little bit about plantar fasciitis. Another one that I wanted to touch on is hammertoes. I'm familiar with that. I've seen that in sandals everywhere that I go. What do you do about hammertoes?

Lamar Hudson:
Hammertoes. You know, it was funny when I first heard that, of course, we thought about the great MC Hammer, and I thought it had something to do with what he was doing, the dancing he was engaged in.

Kyle Case:
The great MC Hammer.

Lamar Hudson:
I later found out that no, that was a myth. The reality is that [inaudible 00:13:36] SCI, excuse me, hammertoes are caused by the fact that the toes are dorsal flexing, which causes them to pull up and they look like little mallets, little hammers. So once again, to address that, you have to offload the pressures that you're putting on your foot and that's achieved through a customized device.

Kyle Case:
So when, when you're, when your, your toes kind of have, you said that the tenants kind of pull up and it creates a, a hammer type situation on those toes. When you, if you use a customized device, does that help straighten your toes out or does that just help offset some of the problems that happened with that curling up?

Lamar Hudson:
It is a preventative for the problem, and it addresses the acute condition that people feel in terms of the experience of discomfort. What, the toes are not meant to bear the full body's weight. So what tends to happen is, people, find that their toes are trying to offload the pressure around the head to the metatarsal. So, therefore, putting the proper support underneath the arches.

Lamar Hudson:
Most people think that there's only one arch to the foot, which is the one on the inside, but there's four. There's the medio, the lateral, there's a transverse, which is actually across the metatarsal. And then there's a tarsal bone arch. And then there's also a fifth position of the foot that involves the heel. So the foot needs proper support, and without that, it begins to compensate. So I'd say that hammertoes is a compensatory problem and it's caused by the fact that the toes are digging in, trying to actually help offload and also to help you maintain your balance.

Lamar Hudson:
Your toes the key factor for balance. Your heel hits the ground, but when you get to the end stage of your walking, the toes are there to bits of help stabilize you. So, if you're finding that you're developing hammertoes, it's this an overuse condition, and it's indicative of the fact that the person would need some type of support to help their foot. Not overworking that way.

Kyle Case:
Interesting. Interesting. I, as I said, I've seen that condition. So you're, you're talking about, it kind of just needs to be prevented with an insert, an orthotic insert as you said. Does everyone need to have an insert in their foot or like in their shoe? Or is everyone eventually gonna end up with hammertoe if they don't? Or like how does that work?

Lamar Hudson:
Well, I guess I'd say that if you notice the incidences of hammertoes and also plantar fasciitis, once again, they all happen around the age of 40. hammertoes tend to be a more, it happens a little bit further down the line. So when a person around 50 or 60 years old. Some athletes, once again they experienced it sooner just because of the amount of wear and tear on their feet.

Lamar Hudson:
But yes, having a corrective device like an insert for your foot, and I don't mean to be overbearing about inserts, but I look at it like I said, like a pair of eyeglasses. My vision is important so I need to have a corrective lens. There's no one size fits all shoe that can address a particular problem because I may have one flat foot and the other one is high. Therefore the shoes can't address my individual needs.

Lamar Hudson:
So that's where it becomes the need for, especially if you're an athlete or someone that's competing at a pretty high level, you'll want to take the time and the care to find a properly made pair of insoles to address and prevent the biomechanics that leads to the deterioration. They don't happen overnight. You don't have these problems. You don't wake up one morning and all of a sudden your toes are curled up or you develop plantar fasciitis.

Kyle Case:
Right.

Lamar Hudson:
It is a process that happens over time. So the fact that it happens over time is indicative of the fact that it can be prevented.

Kyle Case:
Interesting. Okay. That makes sense to me. Let's move on to a couple of other foot-related problems that we want to touch on. Achilles tendinitis. What, is it? What are we talking about there, and what do we do about it?

Lamar Hudson:
I know there was a professional basketball, that was playing in the last year or so that had that happen. And it's a really scary problem because what tends to happen is, you may think I'm not doing anything at all. You might be in the middle of a softball game, or at a basketball court and you're playing, and you take a step or you go to jump and next thing you know, pow, someone shot off a gun.

Lamar Hudson:
No, the tendon that attaches to your calcaneus and is the major lifter of the foot rips away from the heel bone, and it rolls up the back of the leg. So the calf muscle's was not functioning properly because it's not attached to it's [insession 00:18:16] point, which is the heel. So that's once again another problem that kind of starts to manifest over 30, 40 years old.

Lamar Hudson:
But it also manifests itself in some short term symptoms. Like people would have what they call Haglund's deformity or they call them a pump bump. You get a little knot around the back of the heel of your foot. That's a precursor it's letting you know that that tendon is ruptured and the body's redeveloping calcium to try to remend it. But if you can address that before it becomes a problem, normally those little twinges of pain and discomfort are the precursors that let you know that this is starting to develop.

Lamar Hudson:
It doesn't come on as something that you gonna know in the next day or two it may happen. It can happen at any point in time. So, the critical thing to do is to make sure that you, once again have a proper pair, a proper pair of footwear that you wear, and we'll talk a little bit about that in a minute. But most importantly, your feet are unique. They need a specific type of correction. So getting a customized device built properly to address that, will address and or preventive it.

Kyle Case:
Excellent. That makes sense. I want to talk about one more problem then we're going to move on to balance and as you said, shoe selection, a couple of other things. Talk about bunions. What are they? What do we do about them?

Lamar Hudson:
It's a, it's a deformity of the forefoot where the first, the first metatarsal ray and the great toe, they deviate. The big toe kind of turns in and the first metatarsal ray points out. Now, bunions have a couple of different phases, but the general nature of them is that, if the calcification of that joint, you can usually identify that you might develop a bunion because, there's a callus that develops on the great toe, right on the side of it.

Lamar Hudson:
And it's all a matter of walking. When you walk, your great toe should bend up about 30 degrees to allow the leg to move properly. When it doesn't, you turn your foot at a slight angle and instead of rising over that joint, dorsal flexing it, you roll off the side of it. And that's what causes the force that bends the joint, creating the bunion.

Kyle Case:
Okay.

Lamar Hudson:
So once again, it comes back to, we have to correct the biomechanics of the entire foot. The foot's pretty complicated. It has 26 bones in it. And there are a lot of moving parts. And they compensate. Your body will adjust and compensate to do to go two goals. One is keeping you upright and keeping you moving as long as possible. So, therefore, finding where to maximize your biomechanical function and prevent those injuries from happening, is the best way to deal with it.

Lamar Hudson:
Once again, bunions also, they don't happen overnight. It may take 20, 30 years to get to the point where you develop it. I was reading an article also about a young lady who said that her entire family, they got together at a family gathering, 20 people stood up. They took the shoes off and everybody had bunions. And she was saying that people would say, "Well, your parents didn't make a good choice in the shoes that you purchased." And so on. And she was frustrated with that. She said, "That doesn't explain why everybody from my grandmother down to my children had this problem."

Kyle Case:
Yeah.

Lamar Hudson:
There's a genetic predisposition that people may have. Your feet may just be designed to actually, that because of the repetitive motion of walking. They would develop. It might be something where you have a second toe that's longer than the first or other factors that we can go into later. But the bottom line is, something that takes a long time to develop, it's caused by the walking. That repetitive motion is the creation of the injury.

Lamar Hudson:
And I call it the third level of injury. The first thing is you get calluses. The second thing is tendon problems like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis. And the third is when you develop problems like hammertoes or bunions, where the bone is changing shape.

Lamar Hudson:
So once again, all of these progress over time and they take more time to get to the bone deformation, versus that of the tendons problems. And then also the short term things, the pain, and discomforts, calluses, and such that you might experience.

Lamar Hudson:
So the short answer to your question is, I always tell people, there are two ways to avoid a bunion. One is to stop walking. The other one has a pair of devices made by an orthotic, made for your foot, a customized insole, made for your foot that actually will address the problem.

Kyle Case:
So we're running a little short on time, but I want to cover two important topics. Number one is, we've talked a lot about getting an insert. Where would people go to find the insert?

Lamar Hudson:
Very good. You know, there's a lot of information out there about inserts and actually, I think in the last 10 years or 20 years there have been companies that come on television and everyone's advertising something or another. To educate everyone who's listening, I would encourage people to do a couple of things.

Lamar Hudson:
One, customized insoles are made based on your foot. So if they make the insole by taking a mold of your foot, well if you have a foot problem that I'm making the mold of the foot, you are copying the problem to a certain degree. Usually, your foot's up in the air, you're not weight-bearing, so there's no indication of what's happening.

Lamar Hudson:
The second way that people get inserts is, usually, they buy them over the counter, off the shelf, or they go to a store and they say, "We have this special insert that's made for your particular feet." But if it's already prepackaged, they couldn't have gotten your feet in that particular box. The short answer, shoes are like eyeglass frames, we want to put a proper lens in them. Shoes have to be neutral to not over correct or under correct a particular foot. So, finding a neutral shoe and finding a corrective device that actually will address your problems would be the best option.

Kyle Case:
That makes sense. I think that makes a lot of sense. Lamar, thank you for joining us today.

Lamar Hudson:
My pleasure. Looking forward to seeing you guys in October.

Kyle Case:
Yeah, we'll see you out here in St George in October. And maybe we'll have you come back and talk a little bit more about the importance of balance and the importance of keeping our feet healthy. Thank you so much.

Lamar Hudson:
All right, thank you. Bye Bye.

Kyle Case:
Bye, bye. Jeff.

Jeff Harding:
Kyle.
In the latest episode of the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life Kyle and Jeff talk about all the wonderful benefits of everyone’s favorite summer-time food, watermelon. Some might even surprise you. Afterward, they visit with Lamar Hudson about the importance of feet health in achieving the active life. Great stuff.

 

Kyle Case:
We're over halfway through July.

Jeff Harding:
Yes, we are.

Kyle Case:
Well over halfway through. You know what that means, right?

Jeff Harding:
That means that we're also getting closer to the games.

Kyle Case:
We are getting close to the games. It's also time to get registered for the games. Remember that you can save $20 on your registration fee if you register before August 1st, which is just a few days away. So don't delay. We're on track for a participation record of this year. Don't miss out. It's easy to register for the Huntsman World Senior Games. All you gotta do is visit seniorgames.net, click on register. The process is simple. It's fast, it's secure, and before you know it, you'll be ready to become one of our more than 11 thousand athletes that will compete this year at the games.

Kyle Case:
The dates for the 2019 Huntsman World Senior Games are October 7th through the 19th. Remember to tune in live next to and every Thursday at 5:30 PM mountain time on am 1450 or FM 93.1 for the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. You can also subscribe to our podcast anywhere that podcasts are found. Once you've subscribed, give us a rating, write a quick review. You can make a difference in helping us spread the word.

Kyle Case:
You can also find this and previous shows right on our website. Which is once again, seniorgames.net, so check it out, Jeff, our inspirational thought for the day. "The moment you think of giving up. Remember the reason why you held on so long."

Jeff Harding:
That's right.

Kyle Case:
Until next Thursday. Stay active. Bye, everyone.