Prevent Injuries with Proper Running Technique

runners

Running is obviously a popular form of exercise where some 40 million people run in the USA each year. This statistic is easy to recognize as running is a convenient, socially oriented way of burning extra calories while improving the health of your cardiovascular system. Although running may seem like an intuitive process, improper form can, over time, cause painful injuries. Some of these common injuries include iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, stress fractures, and more. During the course of a mile a typical runner will land on each leg 500 – 1000 times. If improper form is used, wrong forces will be applied to your joints thousands of times over leading to injury. A runner may reduce the discomfort by altering his or her stride (compensate) which will compound the problem even further.

To evaluate your running technique, start by reading the article “The Perfect Form” located at the Runner’s World website. However, preventing injuries doesn’t stop with technique. Wearing the right shoes, stretching, strength training, and managing your intensity are some of the major factors allowing for a pain free and more enjoyable running experience.

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Another Reminder of Risks Associated with Heart Disease

heart disease

Last Sunday a study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association showing that men over 40 have a 1 in 8 chance of having a sudden cardiac death over the remainder of their lifetime. This study is just another stark reminder of the risks associated with heart disease and underscores the importance of using exercise as an approach to combat it. Through a litany of research and press, we have all been conditioned to see the link between exercise and a healthy heart, however, to help solidify this notion the following are some key points in regard to how aerobic exercise specifically impacts our cardiovascular system in a positive way:

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise to the Cardiovascular System

  • Adaptations to the heart and peripheral blood vessels allow the body to intake and use oxygen more efficiently. This adaptation can lead to a lower resting heart rate.
  • Decreases in blood pressure occur.
  • Increased capillary density in skeletal muscle allows for better oxygen delivery to the associated areas.
  • HDL or “good cholesterol increases; levels of fats in the blood decrease.
  • The ability to process sugars and carbohydrates is improved leading to reduced insulin needs and improved glucose tolerance. (Diabetes is a risk factor in developing heart disease)
  • Blood clotting is reduced.

For more info on heart health visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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Corrective Exercise Helps with Optimal Muscular Balance and Joint Function

resistence band trainingMany of us suffer from chronic pain associated with various ailments such as low back pain, joint dysfunction, muscle or tendon strains, bursitis, tendonitis and more. These injuries are often directly caused by muscular imbalances. Muscular imbalances are the basis of movement dysfunctions associated with abnormal length or strength of muscles surrounding a joint which, in turn, alters the biomechanical motion of the joint. This movement dysfunction increases stress on the tissues of the joint and eventually leads to injury. Throughout our lives we have accumulated various imbalances due to impact trauma, disease, sedentary lifestyle, and/or repetitive stress from overusing a muscle group. Assessing and correcting movement dysfunction is often an overlooked and misunderstand component to one’s overall fitness. In order to assist my clients (myself included) in this area, I have recently obtained an advanced accreditation of Corrective Exercise Specialist thru the National Academy of Sports Medicine which is a leading sports medicine and exercise science organization. This knowledge has provided a framework for which to apply specific corrective exercise to the needs of each individual to achieve better muscular balance and thus, optimal joint function. Feel free to contact me to see how I may help you improve in this area of fitness.

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Evidence Confirms Important Role of Exercise for Achieving Weight Loss

results

Contrary to assertions made in a recent Time magazine article, the majority of scientific literature does in fact show that exercise plays a major role in improving long-term weight loss outcomes. In fact, participation in an exercise program has proven to be the very best predictor of maintaining weight that was lost. However, the Time article would have you believe that physical activity is ineffective in this regard because they claim it leads exercisers to overeat. Contemporary research and common sense disproves this notion. No doubt, weight management is most successful when careful attention is given to both physical activity and proper nutritional intake. For more specific points that debunk these distortions please refer to the following news release from the American College of Sports Medicine: http://www.acsm.org/

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First Blog Post

Welcome to my blog. When you visit I hope you’ll find an abundance of items that are relevant to your quest for better overall fitness and health. I’ll begin to post items periodically on the blog, so please check back with me from time to time.

Ciao,

Rich

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