Author Archives: Shawn Taylor

Exercise or Rest When a Virus Strikes?

exercise or rest with a virusTis the season of coughing, sneezing, and runny noses – not just roasted chestnuts over an open fire and sleigh rides in the snow. The scourge of cold and flu season is here. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) estimates that there are over 425 million cases of the cold and flu every year. In an active community such as ours, the question often comes up as to whether you should exercise or rest while sick. Can you “burn it out” with a good run, or do you just need some serious downtime? The answer is…it depends.

Above/Below the Neck Rule

In short, the general rule of thumb is that if the symptoms are “above the neck” such as a sore throat, cough, runny nose, or congestion then it is okay to continue to exercise. Mild to moderate exercise is best, and as your symptoms begin to resolve, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. On the other hand, if you are experiencing symptoms like muscle/joint pain, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and swollen lymph nodes, it is best to avoid exercise all together. In this case, depending on the length and severity of the illness,  you should take 2-4 weeks before resuming exercise that is more intensive.

Don’t Share

Risk of spreading illness is another consideration to take into account when deciding to exercise or rest while sick. If you are contagious and you do choose to exercise, it is best to exercise individually and avoid close contact team sports. As always, practice good hygiene! Wash your hands, wipe off your equipment with disinfectant, don’t share a water bottle, and cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.

Don’t Stress…or maybe just a little

Exercise is a stressor on the body, but stress can be both good and bad. Research has shown that moderate levels of exercise can help protect the body against illness, while too much intense exercise or not enough exercise can make you more susceptible to getting sick. Therefore, you should find ways to manage your stress and avoid overtaxing your body. If you participate in high-intensity exercise, make sure that you recover fully between workouts. If your symptoms persist or you have a high fever, you should consider seeing your doctor. Once you do recover, ease back into exercising slowly. This process should last about as long as your illness did. For example, if you were sick for three days, you should spend about three days easing back into activity.

Exercise or Rest

Of course, it is best to do what you can to avoid getting sick in the first place. Get your flu shot on a yearly basis, practice good hygiene, eat a well-balanced meal, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep.  If you do catch a cold, the best treatment is rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Over the counter medications can help relieve the severity of the symptoms but do not help you recover faster.  Whether or not you decide to exercise or rest when sick should be the result of listening to your body, not just trying to force your way to health.

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.


American College of Sports Medicine Current Comment: Exercise and the Common Cold. Accessed Online 11/15/2018.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Influenza (flu) including seasonal, avian, swine, pandemic, and other.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].

Precision Nutrition. (2018). Exercise when sick: Should you sweat it out? Or rest and recover? | Precision Nutrition. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].

Meet Our Team – 2018 Fall Line-Up

The Center Foundation team of Athletic TrainersWe are excited to announce our Sports Medicine Program line-up for 2018-19! For the first time, we have dedicated certified athletic trainers at eight of our area high schools; Bend Senior High, Crook County, La Pine, Mountain View, Sisters, Summit, and now Culver and Madras. In addition, we have three new athletic trainers, an athletic trainer supervisor, and a program administrator. As a result, we are now serving more student athletes in Central Oregon high schools than ever before.

How Far We’ve Come

Thanks to YOUR support, we have increased our funding by more than 50% since 2015. Due to this increased capacity, we have doubled the number of high schools we serve and the athletic trainers we employ. Consequently, more than 7,000 students and 3,000 athletes at over 760 sporting events per year benefit from our Sports Medicine Program. But, we have more work to do! Specifically, new Central Oregon high schools are slated for construction in the coming years, and middle schools and club sports teams still need our help. Reaching more young athletes means we are ensuring the safety of kids in Central Oregon by keeping them healthy and active in the sports they love. Most importantly, our Sports Medicine Program is provided at no cost to the students or their families.

Our Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers are the heart of our Sports Medicine Program, and they work hard each day to protect and support young athletes. Sometimes athletic trainers are confused with personal trainers. However, they are vastly different. Highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals, athletic trainers specialize in injury prevention, recognition, and evaluation. Our athletic trainers collaborate with physicians to make appropriate immediate-care decisions for a young athlete’s illness or injury. Additionally, they are responsible for treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning post-injury.

Our certified athletic trainers are highly educated. They have a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and most have a master’s degree in areas related to sports medicine. All athletic trainers employed by The Center Foundation hold national certification from the Board of Certification (BOC) and have obtained registration to work in the State of Oregon by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Drawing on this combination of education and credentials ensures that we are placing excellent athletic trainers in our local schools.

The 2018-19 Line-Up

The Center Foundation is thrilled to welcome our newest athletic trainers, Shantyel Bowman, Shauna Ericksen, and Nicole Porter, as well as our athletic trainer supervisor, Stuart Schmidt. In addition, we are proud to announce our returning team members, Tessa Cashman, Michael Estes, Lindsay Hagler, Courtney Miller, and Alex Walker. You will find each of them on the sidelines of practices and high school sporting events, bringing their vast knowledge and experience to care for your young athlete.

Athletic Trainer Supervisor, Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS
Bend Senior High School, Tessa Cashman, ATC
Crook County High School, Michael Estes, MS, ATC
Culver High School, Courtney Miller, ATC
La Pine High School, Shantyel Bowman, MAT, ATC
Madras High School, Nicole Porter, MS, ATC
Mountain View High School, Lindsay Hagler, MS, ATC, CSCS
Sisters High School, Alex Walker, ATC
Summit High School, Shauna Ericksen, MS, ATC
Per Diem Athletic Trainer, Kathleen Thompson, ATC
Program Administrator, Shawn Taylor

To learn more about our team here.
Find out how you can support the work of The Center Foundation here.


Written by: Shawn Taylor, Program Administrator for The Center Foundation. Learn more about Shawn HERE.

Do Helmets Prevent Concussions in Football?

helmet mouth guard concussions preventionUnderstanding Concussions

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also result from a hit to the body that moves the head and brain back and forth rapidly. When an impact occurs, it causes the brain and surrounding cerebrospinal fluid to move within the skull. Because the brain is similar to Jell-O in consistency, when the head moves suddenly by force, the brain shifts, turns, and twists inside the skull causing chemical and metabolic changes deep in the brain tissue. The resulting concussion produces symptoms like confusion, dizziness, headache, and blurred vision.

So, Do Helmets Help?

The short answer is no, football helmets are not designed to prevent concussions. Rather, their primary purpose is to prevent skull fractures. Even with recent advances in the development of football helmets, they do not prevent the brain from moving within the skull.

Similarly, mouth guards can help prevent dental and oral injuries but not concussions. Research shows there is no reduction in concussion rates for players wearing mouth guards.

What Can You Do?

While there is nothing that can truly prevent concussions in football, there are a few things athletes can do to help reduce their risk of concussion. First, proper fit of the helmet is critical. Although the concussions helmet football athlete injuredhelmet itself cannot prevent a concussion, research shows that improper fit of the helmet can increase concussion symptom severity and duration. Next, proper tackling technique can help to reduce the risk of concussion by using the shoulder to initiate contact instead of using the head. Finally, neck strengthening can also be beneficial to help stabilize the head and dissipate the forces transferred to the head during collisions and rapid head rotations.

Learn More About Concussion Prevention

To learn more about concussion prevention and management, click here. For more on the role of helmets in concussion prevention, watch this TEDTalk by David Camarillo, PhD.

Written by: Lindsay Hagler, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Mountain View High School in Bend, OR. Learn more about Lindsay HERE.


Helmets and Mouth Guards: The Role of Personal Equipment in Preventing Sport-Related Concussions Daniel H. Daneshvar, MA,a Christine M. Baugh,b Christopher J. Nowinski,c,d Ann C. McKee,c,j Robert A. Stern, PhD,c,kand Robert C. Cantu, MDc,e,f,g,h,i,l

Inadequate Helmet Fit Increases Concussion Severity in American High School Football Players Dustin A. Greenhill, MD,*† Paul Navo, MPH, Huaqing Zhao, PhD, Joseph Torg, MD, R. Dawn Comstock, PhD,§ andBarry P. Boden, MD¶