New Orleans has great places to get fit. Even in the dead of winter, you can usually find a place for outdoor activity in New Orleans. City Park of New Orleans is our first stop on best places to exercise. Try walking/running the paths around Big Lake. With the new extension around the Festival Grounds, this path offers smooth surfaces, great views, and miles of inspiration! (See # 14 on City Park Map )
Week One: The Runner’s Foot
If you are a runner who scours the research for what is new and trending in the world of running, I am sure you have come across the barefoot running discussions and the resurgence of the minimalist shoe. I am not here to sway your decision about shoes versus no shoes, but I am here to encourage you to improve the strength of your feet. From years of neglect, too much sitting and a lot of shoe wearing our feet have become weak and reliant on outside sources of support. If we expect our bodies to hold up while running 13.1 to 26.2 miles, we should be able to master the challenges listed below.
Week 1 Challenge: The Intrinsic foot muscles
1. Take off your shoes and look at your feet. See if you can spread your toes apart without lifting them off the ground. Next, try and squeeze your toes together without lifting them off the ground.
Set your kitchen timer for 2 minutes and do this 3 times this week.
2. Arch doming: Press down the first knuckle of the big toes, while simultaneously lifting the arch of the foot. Hold this position for 5 seconds than relax, repeat this 20 times.
Stay tuned next week as we tackle calf strengthening.
How are you feeling about your foot strength? Let us know!
Taryn Cohn PT, MSPT, OCS, COMT
Tip: Keep moving. Walking keeps bones strong & health intact. Helps your systems function better. – Judith C., PT, DPT, from MD
Walking is an excellent way to get back into exercise.
To get started answer the following questions:
- Why do you want to walk?
- What benefits are you looking for by walking?
These answers will help you establish some concrete, specific goals. Goals like I will walk the Crescent City Classic this coming year. Or I will be able to walk 3 miles in 40 minutes by Christmas. Write the goals down and refer back to them often to keep you on track
Steps to Follow:
- If you have been relatively inactive, see your physician for a check up.
- Generally, start conservatively. Walking at a comfortable pace for 15-20 minutes.
- Build the habit of walking, by scheduling walks on your calendar. Start with 2-3 times per week.
- Find a friend to walk with. This will keep you accountable, challenged and is more fun.
- Where a pedometer. A pedometer will help you track your progress and keep you motivated.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends:
- participate in a walk or other moderate intensity exercise for 150 minutes or more a week for health benefits.
- For weight loss, 250 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity is recommended per week.
#FitAfter50 Tip: Walk as much as you can. Remember an object in motion stays in motion. – Linda H., PT, DPT, from MD
Walking is one of simplest and most functional activities. Get off of your inertia and take a walk. For better health, start a walking program today!
Sunday September 4th is the Crescent Connection Road Race.
For those in New Orleans the idea of hills and hill training is almost non-existent. Running hills requires a whole different pattern of muscle activation. It requires more strength, power, and muscle endurance. It even requires it’s own training strategies for maximum performance.
If you are running the race, you should be in your final phase of training, nourishing your body, staying loose, hydrated and mentally ready for the 4 mile challenge up and over the Crescent City Connection. Hopefully by now you have found an overpass or two to train on and have a plan on how to finish.
Some advice for those who are unaccustomed to running hills:
1) Slow the pace down a bit, both on the uphill and downhill.
2) Don’t expect any personal records just plan to finish.
3) It’s still really hot, and your body will be working harder on the hill. Stay hydrated.
In addition, try these run training strategies from the pros to successfully conquer the bridge this Sunday.
Photo credit: reflexblue
August is here and the talk has turned to football. The professionals, the high schoolers, and even the tiny tots will soon be strapping their helmets on soon enough. For those who have kids playing football this year, your biggest concern is of injuries. Here is a good read and a great resource for you related to football injuries and prevention
Move more. Eat less. Walking is a great way to move more. Cheap, natural and almost anyone can do it. This article presents great tips to consider when starting your walking program.
Good health requires a good attitude. See these simple tips for maintaining a good attitude.
And that concludes this week’s edition of Three for Thursday. As always, I’d love to hear what you think about it, ways to make it more valuable to you or maybe just your thoughts on today’s posts.