Category Archives: Advice For Athletes

7 Activities to Keep You Moving This Fall

Autumn is upon us! The temperature is getting chiller and the days are getting shorter so it’s time to get out and take advantage of the mild weather before the winter cold comes knocking. Here are 8 activities to keep you moving this fall!

  1. Trail Runs: Running the same old routes is made a little prettier by the changing of the leaves. But nothing compared to a run on a trail through the woods during autumn. The leaves make a soft barrier on the ground and a satisfying crunch under your feet with every step. Canopies of yellow, orange, and red make every step a little bit more exciting. The sounds and smells of autumn can bring your run to a new level of satisfaction and the natural terrain can make your run a more challenging and varied journey.Woman Running up Trail Steps In Front of the Sunset
  2. Hiking: If running isn’t your thing, natural trails are still a treasure trove of joy in the autumn months. The beautiful scenery and the canopy of colorful leaves make autumn the best season to hike. The chillier temperatures also help to reduce the risk of picking up creepy-crawlies like ticks. You can suit up with a backpack of supplies like water and healthy snacks and set out on day hikes, or even hike to camp sites and make the trip a multi-day experience. You have to take care to pack warm for those cold autumn nights and evenings, and make sure you’ve got plenty of supplies. A night under the stars in the clean autumn air can make for great stargazing.Couple Hikes to Rocky Outcrop overlooking a scenic view of forest leaves changing.
  3. Cycling: It’s too cold for swimming and when cold weather exacerbates joint pain it can make high impact exercises like running too painful to enjoy. Bicycling is a nice, low impact option to take advantage of the cool weather and scenery without putting undue stress on your body. Make sure to outfit your bike with appropriate reflectors or lights, and to wear reflective clothing as the shorter days and scenic routes might have you out past sunset.Man on a bicycle with his dog on the street in the woods among the autumn colors
  4. Rock Climbing: Early fall is a good time to squeeze in some late adventures and exploration. Rock climbing is a great exercise for upper and lower body strength, as well as core strength, making it a full body workout every time. The cooler temperatures can help you go farther and higher in your journey, but make sure you’re still staying hydrated.Female climber dangles from the edge of a challenging cliff against bright blue sky.
  5. Fishing: Fishing isn’t always considered an exercise but it is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh autumn air. If you want a bigger impact on your fishing trip, consider walking or hiking to a new fishing spot. This combines the value of a hike with the relaxation of fishing for a truly satisfying day trip. Make it an outing and invite friends for a full trip of hiking, fishing, and camping to get the most bang for your buck out of the activity.Mature man on a motor boat. Fishing
  6. Join a “Fun-Run”: Holidays are a great time to sign up for 5Ks, mini-marathons, and full marathons. While the spring and summer offer their own events, these themed runs are some of the most fun opportunities in the holiday season. Halloween costumes, wacky outfits, and all sorts of fun activities belong to the autumn season of running events and it’s a great way to motivate yourself to run farther or faster.                                                                                                               Marathon Runners against a black road
  7. Organize a Neighborhood Sporting Event: The holidays are about family and friends, and some of the activities that take place should be too. A fun idea to get to know your neighbors and to help create a close knit community is to organize a neighborhood event or block party, themed around athletics. A community soccer game or a friendly touch football game, or even capture the flag for kids or adults. Community sports are a great way to take advantage of the beautiful weather while getting to know the people around you.

Excited parents with kids running in a green field after a soccer ball

Astym Relief

I had been suffering with plantar fasciitis in my right foot for a very long time, years off and on. Sometimes it was so bad, I could barely walk. Those first few steps in the morning were incredibly painful. I have always enjoyed working out, running and being active. I would have to give up running for months on end at times and had to adjust my routine in the gym to accommodate the pain in my foot. I had seen a podiatrist many times, used custom orthotics in my shoes daily and had cortisone shots in my heel many times. Nothing seemed to work for long.

I began taking Pilates at Back2Normal to incorporate a good stretching routine into my weekly workout schedule in an effort to help all the areas of my body that were limited from tight muscles, including my foot. There I met Lisa Chase, who owns the facility and is an amazing physical therapist. She began treating me for my plantar fasciitis and some lower back pain. Lisa introduced Astym Therapy to my therapy for several weeks. It can be uncomfortable if you are already in pain, but I noticed a difference immediately after each treatment and after several weeks, my foot is almost 100%. I still have tightness if I don’t keep up the stretching, but when I begin to feel it tightening up, I make sure to get in and break up that tissue with some Astym therapy from Lisa. It has made a marked difference in my fitness capabilities and just my daily comfort.

Carol Thornton
Back2Normal Physical Therapy

465 2nd Avenue North, Suite A
Saint Petersburg, Florida

http://www.back2normalpt.com

Top 5 Reasons To Go Running During Fall!

Autumn is a beautiful time of year to be outside. The leaves are changing. The air is crisp and cool. The smell of autumn is intoxicating. And it’s the perfect running temperature for an early evening jog.

Autumn is upon us and here are 5 reasons to go running during fall!

1. The Beautiful Scenery: Especially in the northern part of the United States, Autumn is an unbelievably beautiful season. All the colors of the trees changing make a beautiful backdrop to a run along a wooded trail or along a river front. If you’re looking for reasons to run during fall, this is a great one. A run is made much easier when you can distract yourself with beautiful scenery. The change in colors can also help old running paths feel fresh again and rejuvenate your run.

Autumn sun warmly shining through the canopy of trees

2. Perfect Running Temperatures: The cool, crisp air of autumn is perfect for a nice brisk run. The chill in the air gives you just the right motivation to get moving and it keeps you feeling comfortable as your body heats up from the exercise. Your blood gets flowing but your sweat doesn’t. You feel better and more hydrated all through your run, and at the end you feel nice and warm without overheating.

Young running couple jogging in autumn nature

 

3. Reduce Your Holiday Food Guilt: The holidays are a time of year when we collectively overindulge on food and sweets that normally are consumed in moderation. That’s definitely a good reason to run during the fall season. Getting out and being active this autumn has the added perk of being able to stave off the guilt of too many indulgent dinners and the extra pounds that come with them.

Homemade Roasted Thanksgiving Day Turkey with all the Sides

 

4. Holiday Themed Runs: It’s the holiday season and everyone is just looking to have fun, and that extends to the group runs that are organized this time of year. There are themes, costumes, and all kinds of fun setups to make that 5K seem a little less ominous and that half marathon more tolerable. It isn’t just a race; it’s a great time to have fun.

An aerial view of marathon runners on a black road.

5. It’s a Great Time to Raise Your Goals: Your scenery is new, the air is perfect, the temperatures are cool enough to feel good. Now is the time many set new personal records and become better runners.

Young black woman in a forest checking smartwatch and smiling
Young woman in a forest checking smartwatch and smiling

 

So fall is here and going fast. It’s time to get out there and enjoy it. Soon enough, it’ll be winter. Happy Running!

Patellar Tendinitis No More!

4 years ago, 5 miles into a strong afternoon run, tragedy struck – I nearly collapsed in pain and limped across the street, calling a friend to pick me up. Since then, I’ve attempted running in various ways and at various speeds, never having any success at lasting more than a mile or two – and always with mild to crippling pain. Patellar tendinitis was an obstacle to my overall health and my enjoyment of life!

Astym Therapy is changing everything.

Recently, after signing up for an ambitious half marathon training program, I completed the first morning of speed training and was left nearly immobile – I was limping and couldn’t walk down the stairs on both feet. Typical.

An hour later I was in Lisa’s office for my first PT appointment, where she began her course of Astym treatment, followed by the recommended stretching protocol. Honest to God, I walked away from that appointment literally jumping for joy. By the following day I awoke with ZERO detectable pain. After ONE treatment! We have followed up with consecutive treatments and I have been able to increase my mileage and my training. I am actually running again.

I began running as a way to calm my mind and care for my wellbeing. I have lived with the stigma of having a bum knee for years, constantly being reminded of it’s intolerance for my eagerness to be active. I have regained a huge passion in my life, and I look forward to my first half marathon this November. Thank you, thank you for making this available to myself and others. This is a dream come true.

Jonathon Childs
Back2Normal Physical Therapy

465 2nd Avenue North, Suite A
Saint Petersburg, Florida

http://www.back2normalpt.com

6 Tips for Aging Athletes

6 Tips For Aging Athletes

From sport to sport, the age of “peak performance” varies, but for most of us the effects of aging really sink in in the early to mid-30s. You start waking up with new aches and that morning run gets a little shorter and little slower each time. While Astym therapy can help keep your body feeling young  longer, you can’t outrun time and you shouldn’t try. So here are some tips on how to age well as an athlete.

 

  1. Accept your age, your body, and your limitations.
Middle aged athletic man running with group, smiling and listening to music
Tips for Athletes getting older: Accept your age, your body, and your limitations

You’re getting older, so don’t hold yourself to the standards of your younger self. You are never too old to exercise (as proven by now 91-year-old gymnast Johanna Quaas) but you should adjust your activities and goals to something reasonable for you, and only you can determine what that means.

 

 

  1. Look into low impact alternatives

    Middle aged couple cycling and smiling on open road.
    Tips for Athletes getting older: Try low impact alternatives, like cycling

Consider modifying exercises that are damaging your body. If running becomes too painful or you experience an impact injury, try cycling or swimming for a while to reduce the impact on your body. If you find certain exercises are causing you more pain than they used to, adjust the exercises to reduce soft tissue damage so you can keep active without injury. There are a number of low impact alternatives out there.

 

  1. Sleep More, Eat Better, Drink Water.

    Athletic woman drinks water to hydrate during run
    Tips for Athletes getting older: Drink water, eat healthy, rest enough

While these actions are important for athletes of any age, they are especially important as you age. Most healing occurs during the REM sleep cycle, so it is especially important to get that rest to allow your body to recover. Consuming water, electrolytes, carbohydrates, and protein after exercise is conducive to body hydration, restoring muscle glycogen levels, and repairing soft tissue damage.

 

 

  1. Don’t skip out on strength training.

    Mature man in red shirt lifts heavy dumbbells at a gym
    Tip for Athletes getting older- Don’t skip strength training

One of the most crippling aspects of aging for athletes is the loss of muscle mass and strength with age. Resistance training and bodyweight exercises like pushups and squats can help to maintain and build muscle mass and prevent loss of strength.

 

 

 

  1. Give yourself more time between workouts,
A woman engages in yoga outside on a nice day
Tips for athletes getting older: Give yourself enough time to rest with active recovery or break days

Especially if you push yourself to do the high intensity training of your younger years, you need to take longer rest periods in between. Even though you may be able to accomplish those workouts, it’s better to give yourself a little extra time between them for your body to recover. Rest or active recovery are both options in between high intensity training.

 

 

  1. Listen to your body when it hurts.
A woman receives physical therapy on his left knee.
Tips for Athletes getting older- Listen to your body and seek medical care when it’s necessary. Physical therapy is a great option for older athletes.

Reduce workout intensity, take additional time to rest, or seek out medical care when necessary. Physical therapy and especially Astym Therapy can help keep you healthy and help you exercise better, longer.

 

 

 

 

Age does provide you some advantages. In your years, you’ve gained knowledge and experience. Over time, you’ve come to know your body better than anyone else and what works best for you. You can feel when you’ve accomplished a good workout, even if that workout didn’t beat your personal records. And as long as you feel like you’ve accomplished something in your body, you’re moving toward your goals.