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Archive for the ‘Triathletes’ Category

Exercise Habits as You Age

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

An important topic for athletes to consider are the changes to make in your exercise habits as you age. Though my older friends disagree, when I divide 90 by 3, it puts in solidly in the middle aged category. Personally I think their disagreement is their own denial but it makes for a lot of fun conversations. As I have gotten older, I have had to change my exercise habits to keep the injuries at bay and feel good post workout.

When I was in grad school, it was nothing for me to go to a step aerobics class in the morning and a high impact aerobics class in the afternoon. Exercise is my Prozac and increasing the stress levels, just means I need more exercise to combat it. Fifteen years later, even one step aerobics class would probably leave me sore and twisted up for a week so I have needed to change my exercise habit as I have aged.

As I have started rounding the corner on 40, I have to add in activities that keep me limber and strong. Cross fit and old school weight lifting have gone away and I have replaced the 140lb squats with one legged squats on unstable surfaces or using TRX bands. I have also added in a pilates class at least once a week. If you haven’t tried pilates, it is hard as heck.. It took me going twice a week for two months before I was strong enough to not have back pain afterwards. If you have done pilates and it didn’t kick your butt, you weren’t paying attention to form and you were doing it wrong.

As far as running is concerned, I love running. Not because it feels good on my body, but because its very nature calms my mind. When I developed an awful case of plantar fascitis a few years ago, it was time to change that up. Obviously, I couldn’t run for awhile however, I fell in love with biking. I still run on occasion with my big dog trotting not too far behind but mainly I bike. My feet, knees and back feel better now and I find it a great stress reliever.  As you age, runners need to focus on strength building and rest days from running.

As for feeling better in the morning post exercise, we really need to stretch after our workouts. When you are younger, you can get away without stretching for a short time but take advantage of that too much when you are young and you develop really shortened muscles and a lot of stiffness that doesn’t have to be there. Does stretching always feel good? Absolutely not but you still need to do it. As far as how far to push yourself; if you can’t breathe there, you shouldn’t be there.

One last thing, don’t underestimate recovery days. I fully subscribe to the theory of “everyone needs to break a sweat every single day”. However, some of those days I do it by hitting up a big Three Rivers Park and going on a seven mile walk. Though I would feel as if I cheated the workout gods when I was 23 by walking, now, that definitely counts as exercise.

The biggest thing you can do to keep your body limber, fit and injury free is to change what you do every day. Using different muscles and joints in different directions is the key to spreading out the force and keeping your body healthy as you (we) age.

Exercise and Back Pain

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Exercise and back pain: after new years resolutions start, pain isn’t far behind.  Far be it for any chiropractor to discourage new business. However, I’d rather see you when you are feeling good than when you are buckled over and dragging a leg behind you. Injuring yourself having fun is not fun!

In the 13 years that I have been a chiropractor, I have seen everything. I have had patients crawl out of the back of a Suburban like a big St Bernard after being driven to my clinic by their wives. People have called me from their toilet after sitting down and not being able to get up. You name it, I’ve seen it.

Since last month’s article was worthless after two feet of snow fell. (It was on yard work and biking) I’m going to take another stab at giving you tips to not hurt yourself having fun.

#1–Runners-You are probably expecting me to tell you to not run, it is bad for your joints. I love to run. Run your little hearts out. Just remember that rest days and cross training are essential for athletes of all sports. If you are going to train 15 mile weeks, concentrate on three separate five mile runs, not five three-mile runs.

#2–Cross Train-Whatever you do the most of, your body will mold in that position. That is why we see so many bikers with neck pain, desk jockeys with pain between their shoulder blades and yoga junkies with bad knees and shoulders because their bodies get too flexible. Without each element of fitness: cardio, strength and flexibility, your program is not complete.

#3–Include low/no impact activities to keep yourself strong and injury free. Yoga, pilates, paddle boarding…all wonderful things to mix into your cardio and strength training. They are also the most frequently missed aspects of a workout program. All incorporate a lot of stretching and strength of the little stabilizer muscles in your core. You would be surprised how much better your back feels after paddleboarding or pilates.

#4–Don’t forget the weights. I was playing tennis last summer at the Bell Courts. There was a great group of 70 year old ladies playing next to my friend and I. The ladies that were in great shape and still able to play tennis, were the ladies with the muscles. Strength training helps with posture, osteoporosis, your clothing fitting better, looking great on the boat this summer and simply feeling strong and confident.

If you have managed to wreck yourself already this year, I love seeing new patients. You can call my Plymouth office at 763-553-0387 and speak with me personally. We can figure out what you need to get back to having fun.

Workout Snacks by Health Guru Jina Schaefer

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Discover Health

Looking for healthy workout snacks?  More and more of my clients struggle to find more natural food choices to keep them fueled during or after an endurance event or longer training sessions (over 60 minutes) since most of the options seem pretty processed. When it comes to endurance events or longer training sessions, it’s best to stay hydrated and fueled. Think replenish instead of replace. Below are some ideas for you to stay fueled and hydrated during and right after your endurance event:
• Frozen grapes are sweet and refreshing and can easily be carried with you in a small sandwich bag. They are also easy to eat on the go. To prepare the grapes, cut them in half and then freeze. During the event or training session when you are ready for a snack, pop one in your mouth and slowly eat. It’s like a snack and a bit of water rolled into one!
• If you like to use energy gels an alternative would be some local, natural honey. Not only will it help you refuel, but it will also give your immunity a boost.
• To replace electrolytes after a longer training session or event, replenish your body with 100% natural coconut water Instead of Gatorade, Powerade or other juice. These drinks can be loaded with artificial sweeteners among other questionable things.
Your body can process about 200-300 calories into energy per hour. Think of this when determining portion sizes and how often you should eat during the event or training session.

Jina Schaefer, founder of Discover Health, has been helping people reach their wellness and weight loss goals since 2002. Check out her company’s website for more information on Jina and her programs.

Hitting the Plymouth Bike Trails?

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Most of us spend more time working on the front of our bodies than the back. Blame it on only being able to see the front of yourself in the mirror…maybe.  You see proof of this when you stand up and instead of the palms of your hand facing in front of you or even towards your legs, they face behind you. Blame it on long hours spent driving, reaching towards your computer or a big desire to build up your pecs while not spending the same amount of energy doing back exercises.

While it is very common to have upper body imbalances, it is just as common to find someone who has overactive quads and under active hamstrings. Some of these problems are caused by the hamstrings being too tight and shutting down—yes—stretching does help this. I have seen men who couldn’t bring their hands to their knees be able to reach their mid calves with consistent effort over time. Flexibility is definitely something you can recover as you age, IF you work on it.

It is really common for cyclists to have these imbalances. It is critical that if you are going on long rides, that you are using your hamstrings to pull your pedals up instead of only pushing down with your quads. This can really only happen effectively if you are clipped in to your bike. If you have been free-pedaling with your tennis shoes and that sounds too intimidating, start with cages. Eventually it’s going to be important to transition from cages to clips, especially if you are going over 25 miles. Regardless of how you are contacting your bike, make sure there is push and pull through all parts of your pedal stroke.

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