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Posts tagged ‘injury’

How to Start Running! I am not a Runner, I just Play one!

 

I am NOT a runner and by no means, will I claim to be an expert! BUT, what I will have to share is the aspect of just getting out there, no excuses, and just following through.

When it comes right down to it, when I am sitting comfortable in my chair, and I say in my head, “I’m gonna go running”, there’s a SMALL window that can easily derail my efforts.  Being careful to not sit down at my computer, if taking too long to figure out how to get Pandora to work on my iPhone, or even just not finding the perfect pair of sneakers, all can be an easy excuse for me to say- Oh well! I just won’t go. I WISH I established that “runner’s high!” What is that? HOW do you actually get that, can I buy it so this becomes easier???

I have decided to start my days at least with a quick jog around the block. Cross Training is very important, especially when your body gets used to doing the same type of work outs all the time.  I’m normally not a runner, I really should be saying jogger. To be very candid and honest, most of the time it’s because I just hate getting those shin splints and so sore!

So in my ventures to stick this out and start “jogging” more, I started to do some research on how to avoid those shin splints. I have found I tend to be a heel strike runner. Eh, that’s what I get for being a novice! And after watching many training videos on how to land more on your ball of your foot and roll onto your toes, it just doesn’t come that easy. I could have SWORN my high school track teacher says long distance runners run heel/toe and sprinters run on their toes. Well, we know I’m not going out for any records, so feel comfortable on the heel. But, those darn shin splints come fast!

So I watched videos, read articles, and they suggest landing on the ball and rolling off to toes.  I understand this will take practice, just like everything does, but the morning I ran this way I felt slower, it was harder because I had to keep thinking, “Stay off your heel”, “don’t point your toes” “just land neutral” “just be loosey goosey”….seriously, everything was rolling through my head to try and make that happen.  Eh, not sure if I succeeded or not, but I did wake up the next day with my shins and calves more sore. Could it be because of 2 days running in a row or because of my challenge in foot position?

My 3rd day, I snapped some pics while running, and what do you know, the proof is in the picture. 

I’ll keep working at it. It’s something I know I just have to keep practicing. As with everything, you will get better with practice, and I may just find that I might practice this so much, I may actually start to enjoy this!

Well, to tell the truth, I should whisper and tell ya, It’s actually been kind of enjoyable!”

I grew up in a small country town in upstate NY. To find myself in a place where I have been able to actually enjoy my scenery, and put myself back into the world of nature that I actually enjoy, has been nice!  I have been able to figure out that Pandora account on my iPhone, take in the lush scenery around me, get some sun in which I enjoy, and feel good about actually following through with doing what I said I would do!

What is really cool is living in an area that brings me joy! All the things that I have been building up to, and finding a moment of peace in my day to take in the scenery, enjoy the sun, listen to my favorite tunes, and not feel the pressure of constantly feeling like I should be doing something for work or for someone else.

I enjoy that the park across from my road and is the same name as my father’s name. I look forward to seeing that everyday as a mark of completion.

These are my moments, and I should protect them.  Who know’s if I’ll ever become a “runner”, but just to enjoy something different for a moment has been nice!  Being able to step out of my comfort zone and to be vulnerable as a novice.  There is no excuse.  Even if you only have a spare moment in time to do something quick for your work out, those 10-15 mins is better than nothing.  No excuses! You have your gym equipment. You have your gym membership. It’s free.  Just open your front door and go! Squats, walking lunges, and push ups are an extra BONUS!

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Stretch Much?

Ok, so maybe Stretch Armstrong is a little stretch of the imagination of how flexible we may be, but ya get the point. A question I get a lot is how and when to stretch.

There are several different types of stretches, as well as different techniques so I’m not going to dive into the fine detail and definition of all of the possibilities.

Some common categories of stretching that you can do on your own (without a partner pulling or pushing to create a stretch or force) are ballistic, dynamic, & static.

The first stretch I mentioned, ballistic – don’t do it. It’s basically been banned due to the injury possibilities and no beneficial effect over other, safer, forms of stretching. Ballistic stretching is the bouncing type of stretching, where you take the muscle to near its limit and then bounce to stretch it further using momentum. For example reaching over to touch your toes and bouncing to increase the range even further. this kind of stretching can injure vital muscles and nerves with the sharp jerking movements.

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. There is no bouncing, quick movement or jerking. It is slow and controlled; such as slow, controlled leg swings, arm swings, or torso twists.

There is also static stretching, which is the most commonly used type of stretch. This is when you reach into a stretch position, stretching to your farthest point and hold the stretch for a length of time. You feel a stretch in the ‘belly’ of the muscle, not in the joints.

So – do you stretch right off the bat before you get going into your workout or sport to get your muscles ready to go? Research shows that stretching immediately before your workout or sport can actually hinder your activity and can even cause injury.

See. there is a difference between warming up and stretching.

Our muscles are like taffy. If you left a piece of taffy sitting in the cold for a while, then grabbed it and started stretching it – what happens? SNAP! But if you warmed it up first, and then started stretching, now we’re talking Stretch Armstrong flexibility.

So get warm first. And warm ups will vary, depending on what you’re warming up for. You may want to mimic the type of activity you’re going to be doing, but in a slower, controlled way. For example with Turbo workouts, the warm up starts out with controlled punches, knee lifts, but some stretching is then integrated in the form of squats, shoulder rolls, etc to get the blood flowing to the major muscle groups as well as to prepare them for what’s coming.

Then rock your workout or play your game hard. And then cool down.

And THEN stretch. A lot of the studies haven’t really confirmed whether stretching prevents injuries or improves performance but may reduce soreness and help with flexibility. So whatever your reason for stretching – just make sure your body and muscles are warm and you are careful in your technique.

“You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~Bob Harper ;~}

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