A gorgeous February run through the freshly updated Children's Garden in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
An active lifestyle full of exercise can sometimes leave you feeling a little sore, depleted and, on a few occasions, injured.
Fortunately, we live in an age in which a plethora of tools and technology are available that promote a more active recovery!
If you find yourself tired, sore or injured, you may want to consider the following to help fast-track your road to wellness.
Cryotherapy is any treatment that involves the use of freezing or near freezing temperatures. Doctors have long recommended using ice packs on injured and painful muscles. Blood circulation is increased after the ice pack is removed, promoting healing and pain relief.
While stepping into an ice bath or freezing chamber may not sound like your idea of a good time, it can significantly speed healing, reduce inflammation and flush out lactic acid....
Movement is the answer! Get out and enjoy nature! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Upper back and shoulder pain is a common ailment for many.
Office workers, delivery drivers, and anyone staring at a screen for hours at a time all know the tightness that comes from slouching.
While many people complain about their shoulder pain, one’s posture may in fact be the culprit.
When it comes to postural deviations, often the problem starts with tired muscles.
Holding any one position for too long, including “perfect” posture, will tire the muscles.
We naturally off-load tired muscles, distributing the load of the body through other structures, such as ligaments. This means that the body hangs off these other structures, rather than being held in position by muscles.
Slouching sets in, the back-bends forwards, the shoulders round and the muscles that hold these in place become stretched.
Pain from slouching doesn’t just come from that one source.
A gorgeous January day for running, walking or biking in the warm Florida sun!
Pain is one of the most primal signals that our body sends to alert us that something is happening, and its discomfort prompts us to take the action necessary to make it stop.
In most cases, the pain is signaling the presence of harm and the risk of injury.
However, there are the people who subscribe to the old-school saying of:
‘no pain, no gain’
a mantra that can get people into trouble if taken too literally, as not all pain is sending the same signal.
While it is fair to say that everyone who exercises regularly does so to improve their overall health status, it is also pertinent to recognize that a positive health status or outcome cannot be achieved without safety being a primary objective.
First things first, identify the pain.
If you begin experiencing pain, your immediate priority should be to obtain as much information as possible about it.
For example, ask the following...
A Beautiful January Evening in Lakes Park, Fort Myers. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Calisthenics — better known today as body-weighted exercises - are a form of exercise that utilizes your own body weight for resistance and requires minimal equipment.
Its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece (the word "kallos" means beauty and "sthenos" is strength) where it was an integral part of physical education for warriors and athletes.
The Greeks believed that a harmonious blend of strength and aesthetics was essential for a well-rounded individual, hence the name.
In recent decades, body-weight exercises have experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly in the fitness industry.
There are several advantages that appeal to modern fitness enthusiasts.
First, it requires minimal equipment, making it accessible and affordable for anyone interested in improving their physical fitness.
Second, it emphasizes functional strength and body control, which translates to...
Reflection time & sunset on the beach, after a reflective, fruitful and brisk 2 mile beach walk!
Over the years, society has increasingly understood the importance of maintaining physical well-being throughout life, and the fitness industry has responded with tailored programs to meet the unique needs of older adults.
In the mid-20th century, the perception of aging began to shift.
Previously, older age was often associated with frailty and inactivity, but this perspective started to change.
Thanks to pioneers like Jack LaLanne, older adults began to understand they could remain physically active and vibrant well into their senior years.
The 1990s witnessed a boom in fitness programs designed for older adults.
Gyms and community centers started offering specialized classes, such as water aerobics, yoga and Tai Chi, to cater to this demographic.
These programs not only helped seniors stay active but also provided them with social opportunities, combating feelings of isolation...
Enjoy a run on the beach - Naples Beach, Naples Florida (Nov 2023). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
As mental health continues to garner attention, finding effective strategies to improve wellbeing has become a top priority.
While therapy and medication are crucial components of mental health treatment, an often overlooked and powerful tool is exercise. Engaging in regular physical activity not only enhances physical fitness but also has a profound impact on mental well-being.
Cardiovascular exercise, characterized by activities that increase heart rate and breathing, such as running, swimming, and cycling, is widely recognized for its numerous physical health benefits.
However, its impact on mental well-being should not be underestimated.
Engaging in cardio exercise triggers the release of endorphins, commonly referred to as the feel-good hormones.
These chemicals interact with receptors in the brain, reducing stress, enhancing mood, and promoting an overall...
A beautiful October evening run on the beach, just in time for sunset! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Is there ever enough time in a single day?
Like the U2 song from 1987, “ Race Against Time,” each day is a constant effort to get as much done in 24 hours and still find time for sleep.
When we become overburdened, our health and well-being get pushed to the back burner.
The trick isn’t needing more time, but rather being able to get the most out of time you do have without burning yourself out so you can maintain your health and well-being.
First, create a to-do list.
If something needs to get done, write it down.
The stress of carrying chores around in your head will only keep you awake at night and there is a good probability that you will forget them while focusing on other tasks.
Keeping a notebook handy is a great way to track and prioritize tasks so they get done, leaving more time for you and your bike ride after work.
This is a great technique I...
Sunset on Naples Beach - Saturday, Oct 7, 2023 - Many were running on the beach, too! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
When you invest your time and money in personal training sessions, you expect results.
To maximize those results, practice a few good habits and you’re ROI (Return On Investment) will pay huge dividends!
Personal trainers work with a variety of clients, from all different backgrounds, and fitness abilities, but one constant that remains the same across all backgrounds is the EXCUSES.
One of the biggest and most over used excuses being,
‘I have no time!’
In today’s fast paced, multitasking world, we are all busy, everyone is crunched and time is a challenge we all face, no matter what we do for a living.
However, if you don’t have time to exercise three times a week, you better make time to be sick, go to the doctor and possibly the hospital.
Instead of making the excuse, change the vocabulary and say ‘I...
A gorgeous afternoon to beach comb - Naples Beach @ 5 Ave S - Friday, Sept 22, 2023.
Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Coping with stress is a major life challenge.
Without some stress, life would be dull, but you need to make certain your stress is working for you, not against you.
When you begin to feel the walls closing in, it’s time to take a break and get away from it all to maintain a healthy life-fitness balance.
Take these opportunities to practice healthy habits that not only reduce your stress but also leave a positive impact on your general well-being:
Breathe purposefully —
Did you know the average person takes a breath 20,000 times a day?
For such a practiced activity you would think we would have it perfected. But just because we do it all the time doesn’t mean we’re good at it.
Do you breathe well?
If you find your heart rate racing and your breaths become shallow, breathing from your chest, you could benefit from purposeful...
Enjoying a beautiful Florida summer bike ride - Fort Myers, Florida - August 2023.
If you’ve experienced a bad injury, you know how frustrating it can be to not be able to workout.
This is especially true when training for an event.
There is also a lot of conflicting information about what to do and when.
Let’s clear up the confusion.
In the first few days after an acute injury, the body will go through the first stage of healing, the inflammatory phase.
If you’ve had a sprain or strain in the past, you might remember that the first 3-4 days are usually the worst in terms of pain, stiffness and swelling.
To protect the injured tissue from further damage and avoid any subsequent bleeding, the advice is to avoid ‘HARM’ for 72 hours.
The acronym HARM stands for: