Archive for October, 2014

Healthy Halloween

October 29, 2014

halloween2Halloween launches the holiday weight gain season but it doesn’t have to be that way.  You CAN have a healthy Halloween! It’s easy to be tempted by candy, treats, parties, dinners but if you’re proactive, you can maintain your fitness routine and healthy physique for the next 2 months and eliminate the need to start from scratch or reverse a lot of damage on January 1st.

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Running Program Week 11

October 20, 2014

471451_Girlfriends_run_17_t760x500It’s Race Day – Steps Leading Up to Your Race

If you’ve followed along with this running program series, you’ve learned about proper running progression, correct running technique, important strengthening exercises for your core, hips, and feet as a runner, key stretches and muscle release techniques and more.

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Running Program Week 10

October 13, 2014

Foam Rolling to Release Muscle Aches and Pains

Over the last two months, I’ve focused this column on running programs. Well, the running community is probably a little stiff right now with thousands completing the Portland Full and Half Marathon on October 5th and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure on October 12th as well as many other local runs.  So we’ve probably got a number of people feeling a little tight and walking a little funny. So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss the merits of Self-Myofascial Release using Foam Rollers – a perfect way to help release tight areas for runners and athletes of all kinds!  I’m a firm believer in the importance of body work such as massage as well as daily foam rolling if you are extremely active. It’s the support your body needs to be able to continue doing what you want for years and years! You can purchase a foam roller at most fitness equipment retailers as well as many department stores.

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Running Program Week 9

October 6, 2014

During the last 2 months, we’ve discussed general running guidelines to help you design a running program to prepare you for the local, popular runs including the Girlfriends Run for a Cure that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest in the next few weeks.

Last week, we reviewed the importance of running technique and discussed how muscle tightness can affect your running mechanics.  So this week and next, we will focus on various mobility and release techniques to keep you running strong and injury free. Today, I’m going to start with wall stretching which is a very relaxing way to release and since most runners are super tight to begin with, they are more likely to do it since it’s not so painful!

Complete the following stretching program after each run or workout.  Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds – ideally longer.  And remember, hold each stretch to the point of tension – not pain!

stretch wall hamstringsHamstring on the wall: Lie on your back with your hips close to the wall and your legs positioned straight up against the wall. To make the stretch less intense, move your hips a few inches away from the wall.  To make the stretch more intense, keep your hips positioned right up against the wall and wrap a towel around your feet and lightly pull your legs a few inches away from the wall.  Feel your stretch in the muscles at the back of your upper leg.  Hold this stretch for as long as you feel comfortable – minimum 30 seconds each leg and ideally longer.  Try to relax and breathe in to the stretch.  Feel free to read a magazine or watch T.V. while holding this stretch.  This is a great stretch to do after a run because it assists in the recovery process as blood is flushed from the legs back to the heart. Read more on Running Program Week 9…

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