When we think of cardio, running is often the first thing that comes to mind. Running is a great form of exercise, however, it isn’t the right solution for everyone. From beginners who haven’t built a base of strength yet to those with arthritis, high impact movements like running aren’t a good fit.
Cardio, by definition, actually means “from the heart.” Therefore, from an exercise perspective, it is anything that gets your heart rate up. This means there are plenty of low- or no-impact activities you can do to accomplish this goal. Make cardio easier on your knees while still benefiting your heart with these five moves.
Walking is a great form of cardio that we already know how to do, but you have to do it briskly or find a way to push yourself. The heart is a muscle and, like your biceps, gets stronger only with challenge. Make your walk more challenging by increasing the incline on the treadmill or wearing a weighted vest on your outdoor walks.
Dance lets you sweat and de-stress. Have you seen the transformations on Dancing with the Stars? If ballroom isn’t your thing, try a hip-hop or swing class. You can always crank up your favorite tunes and get crazy in your living room.
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If you’ve ever experienced foot, back or knee pain, then you know how debilitating it can be and how comforting a good pair of shoes can feel.
Still relishing in my “invincible youth,” I often neglect the need to take better care of my feet which translates to inadequate footwear – think $2 Old Navy flip flops. However, the older I get the more I realize that what I put on my feet directly affects my arches, joints, posture, and ultimately my ability to remain active over the course of my life. So when we recently received an offer to test out some Vionic Sandals from Orthaheel, I jumped at the chance.
Ironically enough, the week before my sandals arrived I started getting a sharp pain in my left heel that was sidelining me from my morning jogs. When the Vionic sandals arrived, it was like a big, comforting hug for my well-worn feet.
As we shared in a story earlier this year, Orthaheel is a collaberative project of Dr. Andrew Weil and Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli. Together, the pair saw a need for a fashionable shoe line that provided support for those experiencing foot, back or knee pain. The shoes are not only designed to correct alignment and posture problems, but also help prevent future pain and injuries from occurring.
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Just like any hobby or interest, there’s a certain jargon to accompany and running is no exception. We speak in a foreign language at times. Runners will talk of BQs and PRs. We’ll discuss pronation, tempo pace, or Gu. Perhaps one of the oddest topics to dissect is when runners speak of their injuries. They may refer to their IT band or their need to go home and R.I.C.E.
We runners all can share a war story of an injury as the sport can demand a lot from the body. Next time you catch a runner slip into an obsolete vernacular about running injuries, here’s a heads up as to what they’re probably taking about.
Below is a list of some of the most common runner’s injuries. There seems to be an overarching theme behind the cause of most runner’s injuries: over-use, improper footwear, or lack of stretching.
1. Shin Splints
Shin splints are typically felt as a pain on the inside of the shin. Most splints are caused by a biomechanical flaw in one’s running gait, however many times a proper fitted shoe can correct those flaws. Other major culprits in the cause of shin splints is over training or overuse and tight calf muscles in need of stretching
2. Plantar Fasciitis
Often runners will refer to the annoying pain in their foot as PF. PF is a pain in the middle of the foot arch. Again, tight calf muscles are partly to blame. Other causes are an abnormal motion of the foot called excessive pronation. In long distance running the foot should strike the ground on the heel and roll forward to the toes and finally inward to the arch. If the arch dips too low excessive pronation is taking place and easily going to stress that tendon causing PF.
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There are two things I’ve learned since moving into my new home.
1. I had no problem meeting my step goal from Miss Courtney Crozier’s summer challenge since I now have 3 sets of stairs to go up and down all day.
2. The creaking noise I’m hearing is not from my stairs, it’s from my knees.
I’m not sure what caused it: whether it’s my years of sports playing goalie and catcher in high school or rugby in college. It could be the stress on my body from the extra 120 pounds of weight that I had less than a year ago. Maybe I’m just getting, dare I say it, … getting old??
The good news is I’m not in pain…yet. However, this could be the warning signs of something greater and as a health care professional I should not be ignoring things. I am considering taking some supplements to help lubricate my joints like I’m the tin man in the Wizard of Oz.
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Knee Pain is a common occurrence and can be controlled if properly taken care of. I am a runner and sometimes have knee pain after a long run. But that can be taken care of by a good icing for about twenty minutes. For those of you who have real knee pain I have a list of exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles around the knee to help with the pain. I also recommend taking a glucosamine supplement as well. I recommend doing three sets of twenty repetitions at a low weight for rehab purposes. Due to the fact that every body is different, if any of these exercises bother the knee, please refrain from the exercise.
Top Exercises To Help Eliminate Knee Pain