The season of spring not only wakes up hibernating animals from their slumber, but hibernating athletes as well.  The rise in temperature brings out more people being physically active outdoors.  This is a wonderful thing, but please take this word of advice:  Although your mind may feel that your body is as fit as it was in its “Heyday”, it may not be.  If you haven’t been consistent with your training, the reality is that your muscles atrophy (shrink) and your flexibility reduces.  The same thing applies to your cardio. Your heart is a muscle and if you don’t do endurance training regularly, your ability to exercise for longer periods of time will reduce.

In a nutshell, take the following steps so that your Spring enthusiasm doesn’t lead you to injury:

  1. Be realistic with your goals. If you ran 10K regularly in November, you may not be able to do that today.  Find a training book that will give you a program to gradually increase your mileage safely.
  2. Mind your posture. Your back, abdominals and gluts stabilize your spine and pelvis and maintain proper alignment in any activity.  If these muscles are not well conditioned, you can develop injuries such as low back pain, I-T band syndrome, etc.
  3. Cross Train. Your body adapts to the stimuli that you give it.  If you sit most of the year, your body has adapted to this and will not be able to handle a new burst of activity.   Engage in full body resistance training, dance, pilates/yoga and cardio to give yourself a strong and leaner body.
  4. Get new shoes. Those kicks from the ’80s are not going to cut it.  Find a good shoe that provides cushioning and support and that is SPORT SPECIFIC to your activity.
  5. Enjoy! Don’t be too hard on yourself if your body doesn’t seem to be as strong as it was before.  Realize that the body adapts and will improve with consistent training.  Enjoy the wind and sun on your face as you play outdoors!  Re-awaken your senses.

by Dr. Blessyl Buan, Chiropractor & Pilates Expert

copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan
copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan

 

They say that you can’t truly give love to another or to your work until you love yourself.  Inner peace, joy, health and true happiness will not unfold until you make the steps to live a healthy lifestyle. As a treat for Valentine’s Day,  I’d like to share with you two personal images that have definitely opened my eyes.

Whenever I feel balanced in my life, hearts show up in my food. The above pictures are two examples of this and are NOT products of photo post production! It started when I was pregnant with my daughter 2 years ago and ever since, they show up in waves.  Now, they even show up in my surroundings.

We all have personal signs that resonate inner happiness.  For me they are hearts. 

Take care of your body. Slow down, BREATHE, take a moment to journal, DE-CLUTTER your mind and surroundings, EXERCISE, stretch, and receive BODY WORK like massage, chiropractic or acupuncture that will help you to get IN TUNE with your body.

BALANCE the mind, body and soul.

running-outside-with-waterbottle1

It’s easy to believe that you can continue at the same pace and intensity from where you left off last spring when you haven’t trained all winter. The weather is warmer and you may have registered for some races to motivated you.  Here are some tips to keep your goals realistic and increase activity in a healthy way.

1. Are your shoes still good?

Even if they look good they may have run it’s course (no pun intended).  Running/walking shoes should have a cushiony and supportive upper (ball of the foot part of the shoe). There should be some resistance when you bend your shoe in half from the sole.  If you can do this too easily, then you need new shoes! The more mileage you have, the more often you need to replace them. Even if you are a minimalist runner, meaning you are anti-cushioning, running footwear must still be up to date.  This will not deter your ability to feel the road.

2. Be realistic. 

If you’re a bit rusty, be honest with yourself and don’t pick up from where you left off last spring. Increase your level of intensity in a gradual way. There are many apps and resources that can help you with a running training program.  When you use an objective method to increase your running distance, injuries can be prevented. If you signed up for the Toronto Nike 15K run in June, Nike has great information here: http://content.nike.com/content/dam/one-nike/en_us/running/nwes-toronto-15k/training-program.pdf The information integrates information on how to safely increase your running distance and incorporate cross training.

3. Cross Train

Strength conditioning of your core muscles like transverse abdominus, obliques, glut medius and pelvic floor will help prevent IT Band issues, low back and knee pain that often develop from an unstable lumbar and pelvis. Remember, distance running is about endurance not power, so make sure that your muscles are ready for the distance.  Overall resistance training of upper and lower body will also improve performance.

4. Stretch it out

Working out new muscles will cause muscle soreness as your body adapts to your new activity. Stretching will reduce muscle stiffness and pain. Keeping the fascia mobile will help to prevent injury and improve motion. Also, don’t just focus on your legs.   A loose jaw, neck, chest and hand help to ensure that breathing is effortless during your runs.

5. Begin!  A body that hasn’t run in a while will think of many excuses. Just get started and remember you run for the joy.  Enjoy being outside.  Running is fun.

If you need help with your alignment. I am happy to get your body back into shape.  A body that is aligned can absorb shock better and injuries can be prevented.  Chiropractic, acupuncture, myofascial release and kinesiotape are all tools to keep you moving. Email info@dblessyl.com for more information.

Realign. Strengthen. Live your Life.

runner-stretchDid you know that your muscles adapt to the level of activity that you do? The heavier you lift, the bigger your muscles become.  Likewise, the more you stretch the longer your muscles become.

For example, when you sit for most of the day, your hip flexor muscles shorten. You may think that this is not be a big deal , but when you want to start to become physically active, you become more prone to injury because your body is not used to being lengthened, especially if the range of motion is ballistic (quick spurts).

To prevent injury, stretch once a day and hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. 

 

 

Ask Dr. Blessyl

ITB SYNDROME

 

Do you ever get a dull pain on the outside of your knee after running for approximately two kilometers? Chances are you may have I-T Band Syndrome. 

 

The Iliotibial band is a connective tissue that attaches from your illiac crest to your knee.  When this band becomes tight it tugs on the knee causing pain. 

 it-band

Causes:

The cause of IT-Band syndrome is multifactorial.  Here are some of the potential causative factors:

  • A sudden increase in running distance
  • Running with old running shoes or shoes without the proper support
  • Starting hill training
  • Feet that over-pronate (roll-in) or over supinate (roll out)
  • Weak core musculature most especially gluteus medius
  • Treatment:
  • Ice the area that feels painful.
  • Stretch the IT-Band after your run or workout
  • Strengthen your core musculature
  • If the pain is too intense while running. Remove running from your training schedule until you heal.
  • See your health care provider to treat your symptoms. 

 

When should I ice or use heat on my injury?
Heat is used for chronic (> 3months) injuries. Heat improves circulation to the muscles therefore reducing spasm and pain.Ice is used for acute injuries (short period of time).  The cold temperature causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict reducing swelling in the area.  Always use ice after an injury, after working out or after your chiropractic treatment to flush out the swelling.