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 summer evening brisk walk on Naples Beach - Aug 4, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
It is in everyone’s best interests to prevent injuries.
The more we can stay injury free, the greater our opportunity for consistent, uninterrupted training and consistency breeds better results.
Injuries are impossible to predict. It’s also impossible to know when an injury has been prevented (after all, it never happened).
There are many things we can do, however, to significantly reduce our injury risk.
One of the most effective, and arguably simplest, things we can do is to monitor our training volumes and intensities.
There has been a clear trend in recent years towards higher intensities of class-based exercise for everyday exercisers, and that’s not a bad thing.
When people train on their own, research shows they usually select exercise intensities that are too low to elicit the training response they want.
With fitness professionals pushing them safely...
Take time to smell the flowers each day (like this delightfully fragrant Plumeria in Lakes Park). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Maintaining a change in behavior is often more difficult than making the initial change itself because:
Fit people often don’t think of themselves as ‘motivated’...
They think of themselves as ‘consistent.’
The trick is to keep doing something so long that it feels unnatural...
A beautiful July summer evening for a 2 mile run in Lakes Park. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Stretching is traditionally tacked on at the end of an exercise session and only if we have spare time...
However, when we consider all of the benefits stretching provides both before and after exercise, we should really give stretching the due diligence and respect it and our bodies deserve.
I'm sure everyone has experienced the same scenario in one way or another:
After a great workout with a hard effort either in the gym, on the track or in the pool, you've got 5 more minutes set aside for training so you immediately start stretching … not!
Most days you're running late and stretches get scrapped from the routine.
Sometimes you get away with it, but this habit of ditching the stretches is risky and will catch up with you.
Every type of exercise we do involves repeated muscle contractions.
These contractions could result in a muscle remaining in a state of...
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...
An incredible walk on beautiful Naples Beach - November 2022. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, or are looking for something easy you can do every single day, give walking a try.
It’s easy to do, there is no equipment required and anyone can start regardless of their fitness level.
If it’s been a while since you exercised, start by going for a 10-minute walk around the neighborhood and gradually build from there.
Maybe your doctor suggested that you move more, or maybe you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being. In either case, walking is the perfect way to start.
Begin by finding a pair of comfortable shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighborhood.
You could also find a local park with a nice path or head to the beach. If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to the mall to walk or hop on a treadmill.
No treadmill? No problem.
You can even walk in place at home in front...
A gorgeous Florida summer day in Lakes Park to enjoy a walk, run or bike ride! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Bruce Springsteen was right in 1975 when he released his best selling song ‘Born to Run.’
The human body is designed to run.
An individual's running form impacts not only his or her run, but nearly all other fitness pursuits as well.
It is an inherent trait passed down from our ancestors.
It’s a method of transportation, a means for hunting and gathering and a natural weight management system.
Some people just do it better than others. An individual's running form impacts not only his or her run, but nearly all other fitness pursuits as well.
When we talk about running form, we’re referring to our posture, or more simply, the way we hold ourselves placing one foot in front of the other.
This sounds simple enough, but poor alignment or inconsistencies in form can lead to injury and inefficiency of movement.
While there is no one magic...
Enjoy this beautiful walk along the bay in St. Augustine, Florida, getting outside, standing up right, moving your body & enjoying life... (It is literally what your body needs!) Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
The 2020's, or as I like to call it ~ the longest decade in history, has seen many of us working from home, sitting in front of computer screens, and spending more time in one place.
Whether it’s at your home or office desk, driving your car or watching television, long periods of sitting can have adverse effects on your health.
Scientists have identified a new threat from people’s sedentary lifestyles that they call ‘muscular inactivity’.
Sitting has always been regarded as bad for your posture.
Here’s why —
It is physically impossible to maintain perfect posture for your entire seated day.
Sitting invokes what is known as the ’double flexed’ position.
Your body is flexed at the hip and the knee. Flexion...
Hitting the trail in 2022 for an evening run - let's CRUSH our health & fitness goals!
Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
With more than 25 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry, I have had countless clients, friends, and family members tell me about their fitness goals.
Some want to lift more weights, others want to improve their marathon time and of course, the old classic – everyone is trying to lose weight.
One thing they all share is that they are outcome focused.
Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, I rarely see enough people ever achieve their goals.
I often end up in a conversation with someone about where they went wrong.
Was their goal too ambitious?
Were they lazy?
Did something outside of their control derail them?
Of course, it could be a combination of these factors, but I believe the real issue lies in poor planning.
Statistically speaking, only a whopping 3% of people ever actually achieve their...
Getting fit outside, more and more parks, and even hotels offer outside fitness (this photo taken at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, there is nothing more satisfying than reaching your training goals.
However, to do this, you must be training efficiently.
If you’re part of the population who are working out non-stop yet seeing little results, this article is for you.
First, begin every training session or workout with mobility and activation drills.
Warm-ups are typically done haphazardly, if at all.
More often, we see people wander into the gym, walk immediately up to a squat rack and start pumping out sets.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not only drastically increasing the risk of serious injury but are also not exercising to your fullest potential.
Conversely, those who do warm-up, may be doing some cardio and a few stretches, but current...