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As the weather warms up many plan to hit the trails for a season of walking, and running.  Let’s make sure to put your best foot forward and care for your feet to avoid pain and keep you moving your favorite speed!

Freshen up your footwearFeet

Look at the tread of your shoes.  If it’s beginning to smooth out, then the compressive elements of your shoes are nearing their end.  Don’t let those shoes get too far gone or you will pay for it with pain.  Make a trip to a shoe store that has experts in fitting you for shoes specific to your activity.  It matters.  The folks at Endurance House, located in Zionsville’s

South Village, are doing it right for runners and walkers.  Shoes not quite done?  Replace your socks.  It’s a cheaper option and it really makes a difference.

Ramp upslowly

Trying out a new activity?  Whether walking, running, hiking, or other,
please take some time and increase your intensity and distance a little at a time to allow the tissue in your feet to adapt.  Running or walking 5-10 miles the first time out is a great way to create very sore, potentially chronic foot problems.  When starting a new activity plan, I suggest taking distance completely out the equation and using time as your gauge.  For example, try walkihikingng/running for 15-20 minutes a few times the first week, then increase your time by 5-10 minutes the next week.  After 4-5 weeks of this, you can focus on distance and pace and have a great base to build on with healthy, cozy feet.  Ramping up your duration and distance is especially true when transitioning into Vibram’s Five Fingers.  Skip the ramp-up with these and even experienced runners will get nailed with foot pain.

 

Hydrate

Proper hydration is needed for healthy performance, quick healing, and preventing swollen feet and ankles.  Give your hydratebody what it needs and pump in the water.  How much?  Start with the recommended 64 ounces and go up from there as your activity increases.

Stretch

Keeping the muscles surrounding your lower leg, particularly your calves, flexible helps take tension off of the ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue of the feet and ankles.  Try this simple stretch:  Wearing shoes, hang on to a solid structure, and place the arch of your feet on a step or curb.  Lock your knees, then lower your heels towards the ground and relax.  Hang there for 5-15 seconds, then raise up onto your toes, and repeat 3-4 times.  Adjust your feet forward or back if there is no stretch or too much pressure.  Bend your knees slightly to shift the stretch lower on the leg near the Achilles tendon.

As with many things, prevention is the best option when it comes to keeping your feet feeling great and moving you forward.  Don’t stall out your fitness momentum and springs sports.  Be proactive and get moving!

If you are are wearing the same shoe for lifting, walking, running, and doing errands, it’s time to think about protecting your feet with the proper shoe for each activity. Check out this quick video to on what type of shoes you need.

“Do as I say not as I do”.   This familiar statement might work in a pinch, but we all know it doesn’t work in the long run.  Kids watch adults, more specifically, they watch to see if what they say is reflected in their lives.  Then, they will only believe and respect what they see.  Sure, we’re all guilty of this with our little ones to some extent, but if you find your health behaviors conflict with what your “Mom” or “Dad” voice proclaims, then it’s time to act like an adult.  See if any of these challenge you.Funny-Fitness-McDs-W630

“Don’t eat junk food.  It’s bad for you.” Does our community really need  a double-drive through at McDonalds!  I know fast food and junk tastes good…it’s engineered that way!  I know it’s convenient and you’re busy…that’s what refrigerators and day planners are for.  It’s time to think ahead, both to the upcoming week to make a food plan, and to the future to think about your family and your health.  We know better and need to do better about fueling our bodies with crap.  Need suggestions on healthy fast foods?  Read “Feeding Families on the Fly” on the Times Sentinel web page.

“It’s  time for you check up at the doctor.” When was the last time you went to your doctor for a physical?  We sprint there with our kids so why not ourselves?  Some say it’s because they are scared of what the doc might say.  That’s what a kid says.  Now get in there!  What you don’t know CAN hurt you and the ones you love.  If you’re over 40 and haven’t had a check-up in the last 2 years, call and make an appointment today!

“Eat yourat the doctor vegetables.” We expect our kids to try and eat many vegetables in the hopes they like them.  News flash:  They probably won’t.  Most of us will never crave veggies like we do other foods.  This doesn’t mean we don’t learn the value and discipline of eating them.  Colorful veggies are the key to human awesomeness!  The vitamins and minerals in those plants allow all physical action to happen.  So eat your colorful veggies and DISPLAY to your little people their importance.

“Go outside and play.” Above all the others, I believe this one is needed the most!  We encourage our children to play and be active outside.  Do you notice how it fills their tanks?!?!   It brings out their best.  They eat better, sleep better, think better, communicate better, etc.  ADULTS NEED THIS TOO!  Go outside and find something fun to do.  It doesn’t even need to be with your kids.  Play ball with some friends, throw a frisbee, chop some wood, go fishing.  Whatever fills your tank!softball

Were you challenged by any of these areas?  Me too!  Now let’s make some simple changes to live healthier  lives, and set a better example for the next generation.   Then you can change your statement to “Do as I do.”, except you won’t need to say anything.  Your actions will speak for you.

Is 60 the New 40?

March 6, 2017

60 year womenIf you are about to skip this blog thinking it doesn’t apply to you, keep reading.  This information is important for all ages!

But first, let me tell you a quick story.

10 years ago, I began training a group of women that were all closing in on 50 years old.  They weren’t athletes, in fact, they hadn’t really been very active ever and as newly “empty nesters” were ready to focus on themselves.

And that is exactly what they did!  They dropped body fat and inches, developed beautiful, strong, feminine muscle, all while having fun.  But the fun for them wasn’t in the work, it was in the results!

Now, 10 years later, these ladies are nearing 60 and screaming a new motto:  “60 is the new 40!”  Actually, I have heard this several times recently from both men and women, all of whom have been caring for themselves.  What is this trend and why is it happening?  Is there a legitimate reason or are they delusional folks fighting a predetermined battle?

60

The short answer:  Your body will respond to exercise at any age.

Here are a few ways this group improved their health.

Resistance Training improves…

  • The density of bones by causing them to absorb more calcium, counter-acting and staving off osteoporosis.
  • The strength of connective tissue (ligaments and tendons) around joints, allowing for more integrity.
  • The amount of skeletal muscle on your body for increased overall strength, a higher metabolism, and a lower risk of injury.60 exercise

Aerobic Exercise improves…

  • Your heart’s ability to pump blood to itself and the rest of the body.
  • The strength and condition of the major arteries and vessels that deliver life-sustaining resources to the cells of your body.
  • The overall quality of your blood, allowing you to do work while decreasing your risk factors for many diseases.

In addition to these physical benefits,I often witness a change in attitude as people improve their bodies.  Some call it perspective, some call it swagger.  Either way, it’s a change in confidence that only comes from one thing:  knowledge and victories.  These folks know what their bodies are capable of because they ask it to perform regularly, and don’t walk around timid or in fear of the next injury or disease.   Instead of surrendering to the aging process, they embrace it, work with it, and defy it…at least related to common belief.

With this in mind, I ask all of you to broaden you vision and look down the road.  Like the principle of compound interest, the earlier you start, the greater your return over time.  Exercise is an investment that will deliver immediate benefits, but it’s the long term pay-off that is huge!  So, whether you are 20, 40, 60, or 80, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s too early to start, or too late either.

I’m looking forward to hearing how these ladies feel 10 years from now.  Will 70 be the new 50?