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....
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...
A gorgeous beach day on Naples Beach - June 11, 2023!
Classes such as Yoga and Pilates are fantastic because they incorporate strength and stretching into each pose.
Our lifestyles involve more sitting than ever.
The less we move, the tighter our muscles become, and as a result, many people suffer from pain and dysfunction, commonly associated with office based work and a generally sedentary lifestyle.
Often those in pain turn to physical therapy and massage which offers much needed relief, until old patterns begin to repeat themselves again and the pain or muscle tension inevitably returns.
Enter your daily stretching routine!
Stretching is a cost free, self-empowering, time efficient and simple way to maintain healthy muscles.
A comprehensive five-minute stretching routine could potentially change posture, reduce pain, promote tissue repair, lubricate stiff joints and improve training recovery.
The physical benefits of safe stretching are undeniable and are too often ignored by...
A beautiful day for a early Spring Run in Lakes Park, Fort Myers! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
You hit the ground running.
Running five times a week.
You’re feeling good and setting new personal bests along the way.
Then it happens …
After a few weeks, you start to notice that little niggle has developed into an ache in your shin, or a stabbing pain in your knee or burning at the back of your heel.
It’s upsetting, even common, but it can be fixed.
When diagnosing this pain, it’s important to acknowledging that you aren’t in pain because you’re running, it’s how you are running.
When starting any new activity, you should gradually ease into it. Every structure within your body has a specific capacity to resist stress and load.
When too much stress is applied without enough time for your body to adapt, pain will occur. As running is essentially repeating the same movement over and...
A beautiful early March sunset in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
It’s 5 a.m. and your alarm goes off. You immediately begin the battle of whether to get up and exercise or not.
You know you’ll feel better if you do, but why?
This is your brain on exercise.
The reason that we feel so good when we exercise and get our blood pumping and our muscles firing is that it makes our brain feel good.
Essentially, building muscles and conditioning the heart and lungs are bi-products or side effects from exercise as there is a biological relationship between the body, the brain, and the mind.
It can be said that a key point of exercise is to build and condition the brain.
The relationship between food, physical activity, and learning is hardwired into the brain’s circuitry and therefore to keep our brains at peak performance, our bodies need to work hard.
Fitness: What to do when your workout stops working
The reason physical activity is...
A gorgeous February day on Naples Beach in Southwest Florida - Feb 19, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
With almost 2 months of the new year gone, how are you doing with your big year goals?
For many, weight loss was at the forefront of our minds and you may or may not be feeling successful.
Although weight loss is a great goal, it is an outcome-based goal which relies on behavioral change.
As important as it to maintain a healthy weight, it is also important for us to incorporate non-scale goals which can help modify our behavior.
Ultimately, these will help to support the intended long-term outcome of weight loss.
With that in mind, try incorporating non-scale goals to help reach your ultimate outcome.
Water is an important nutrient that every cell in our body requires to function optimally.
Through daily natural physiological processes like breathing, digestion, sweating, we lose water that must be replaced. Studies show that an increase in...
Enjoy exercising with family & friends by pedaling in the new Swan Paddle Boats in Lakes Park (January 2023)! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
If you’ve experienced a bad injury, you know how frustrating it can be to not be able to work out.
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 the first stage of healing, the inflammatory stage.
If you’ve had a sprain or strain in the past, you might remember the first 3 or 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:
Heat: Avoid any heat packs, prolonged hot showers or hot baths.
Alcohol: The less the...
With so many ways to maintain fitness, people are looking for alternative ways to get in their exercise...
Remember, "variety is the spice of life", right?
That said, what better way to enjoy the fabulous outdoors than on a bike?
And, the mere act of being on a bike ensures you are practicing proper social distancing. So, grab your helmet and let’s get going.
Like all forms of moderate intensity exercise, regular cycling (3 to 5 times a week for a total of 150 minutes) will reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your overall health, and may even reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
Cycling will improve your endurance and aerobic capacity, while toning the muscles of your lower body like the calves, thighs and buttocks.
An hour of cycling can burn between 250 and 700 calories depending on the intensity and it is an excellent way to reduce stress.
In addition, for anyone carrying extra weight and/or people who have joint problems who may find it...
A gorgeous run on Naples Beach on a cooler, less humid fall Florida day. Photo Courtesy of Charly II.
Professionalism and know-how are vital in the fitness industry.
To achieve your full fitness potential, you need proper guidance from your trainer.
With that being said, you need to be mindful of the advice you are given.
Considering the uptick in group personal training sessions (is group personal?) and the more recent ‘fitness scandals’ - I’ve compiled a few do’s and don’ts to help you navigate working with a trainer:
A personal fitness trainer MUST stay current.
The fitness industry is always changing and evolving, so it’s important your trainer stays current with their certifications.
Not only is it a manner of professionalism but it also helps them serve you better.
With a plethora of courses constantly offered in person and via distance learning, look for someone who actively pursues continuing education, conferences, and reads...