August 2021 COVID Update – COR continues to follow COVID safety protocols

How to Start Running: A PT’s Guide for Beginners

How to Start Running

Running is an excellent exercise for maintaining health and well-being. Whether you have marathon ambitions or want to improve your health, knowing how to start running gets you on the right foot. Keep in mind that every runner is unique. We all have our own goals, skills, and fitness levels. So, be kind to yourself when just starting — don’t hold yourself to someone else’s standards. 

How do I start running if I’m a new runner?

Consistency and planning are critical for new runners. When you decide to start, create a training plan you can stick with. Bear in mind that your body needs time to adjust to any new activity. So, build planned rest days into your schedule. Many people benefit from using a walk/run program that eases them into running. There are many pre-designed programs and apps that can help you start running. If you have any cardiac history, check with your primary care doctor and/or cardiologist to make sure that running is a safe exercise for you.

Training Frequency and Intensity 

When creating a personalized running regimen, consider the frequency and intensity that feels right for your fitness level. Frequency is how often you exercise, and intensity is how hard you run. For example, beginners may benefit from a walk/run program that can also incorporate jogging into their training program. In addition, it’s vital to build cross-training into your schedule. For example, you can always work on strength training and conditioning on days you’re not running. 

Injury Prevention

New runners unfortunately tend to get injured more easily, and we see a lot of preventable running injuries in the clinic. So, injury prevention is crucial to a successful running career. One straightforward injury prevention technique is to start slow. Increase your weekly distance slowly because pushing yourself too hard could quickly end your running journey. Likewise, listen to your body. If aches and pains hinder progress, it’s okay to return to your previous mileage. In addition, repetition can lead to injury, so strive for variety in your training. For example, change up your daily distance or run on various surfaces. Make sure that you include another form of exercise in your weekly exercise regimens, such as yoga, biking, swimming, or strength training. Running is a great exercise, but only using running as exercise can increase your risk of injury.

Importance of Individualization 

No two runners are the same. What works for one person may not work for you. If you decide to use a pre-designed running program, you can modify the plan to fit your needs. If you’re wondering how to start running, we suggest creating an individualized program tailored to your specific goals and needs. 

The COR Running Program offers a personalized consultation with a physical therapist to put you on the path to success. Our unique biomechanical analysis process gives invaluable insight into your gait and cadence. Running is a fun way to exercise and stay healthy. So, we’d love to help you get started on your running journey. Schedule a consultation online today

The Dangers of Overtraining are Real

Dangers of Overtraining

Dedicated athletes train hard and push their limits. But there’s a fine line between a strenuous training load and an overreaching one. So, it’s important to understand the symptoms and dangers of overtraining syndrome. Amature and elite athletes alike run the risk of health complications and injury from overtraining. In addition, if you don’t get enough rest and recovery, you can see a decline in performance.

What is Overtraining Syndrome?

Essentially, overtraining syndrome is your body’s response to excessive physical activity without proper rest and recovery. As a result, a combination of neurological, hormonal, and biological factors leads to fatigue and lower sports performance. The loss of performance could last for several weeks or months.  

Symptoms of Overtraining 

The main symptom of overtraining syndrome is performance loss. Athletes may notice a decrease in strength and conditioning despite increasing their training regimen. Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Disrupted sleep 
  • Mood swings
  • Behavior changes
  • Decreased urination
  • Increased infection risk

Overtraining Factors 

Numerous factors can trigger overtraining, and no single element is the sole cause. For example, we know that athletes who neglect their nutrition, sleep, and recovery are at risk for overtraining syndrome. In addition, there is a long list of behavioral, external, and internal factors, but experts lack a clear understanding of the root cause.

Behavioral Factors

  • Poor nutrition
  • Bad sleeping habits
  • Inadequate rest and recovery
  • Prolonged or monotonous exercise
  • Increased training load

External Factors

  • Life stressors
  • High Altitude
  • Distrusted sleep
  • Too many competitions
  • Heat-related injury

Internal Factors

  • Previous illness
  • Overworked muscles
  • Low muscle glycogen
  • Reduced glutamine 
  • Increased oxidative stress 
  • Hormonal changes
  • Decreased serotonin levels
  • Low sympathetic nervous activation

When should I rest from sports training? 

Sometimes athletes can push themselves too hard. Depending on your level of training, take a rest day every three to five days. Or more frequently if you’re starting. Likewise, it’s vital to rest at least 6 hours between workouts and limit each bout to under 2 hours. You should also rest from exercise following illness or injury, after heat stroke, and during stressful life events. 

Avoiding the Dangers of Overtraining  

They say prevention is the best medicine. Athletes who maintain balanced nutrition, rest, and exercise will likely prevent complications from overtraining. For example, an experienced runner knows to taper before a marathon. Essential prevention tips are:

  • Adjust volume and intensity 
  • Eat enough calories 
  • Drink enough water
  • Get enough sleep
  • Rest and recover

These tips represent a holistic approach to their overall health, including balanced nutrition, sleep, and recovery. With proper guidance and direction, you can avoid the dangers of overtraining. 

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we work with athletes to develop goal-driven plans that achieve optimal results. Schedule a free consultation today.

Physical Therapy Treatments for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Following Childbirth

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Following Childbirth

Women have a high risk of developing pelvic floor dysfunction following childbirth. These are complex disorders of the ligaments and muscles that support the pelvic organs. Often, postpartum patients experience weak pelvic muscle tone, leading to further complications. Fortunately, physical therapy can help patients recover faster and improve health outcomes. 

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Following Childbirth 

Disabling pelvic floor dysfunction negatively impacts the social, emotional, and physical aspects of patients’ lives. Family duties associated with raising a newborn compound these adverse effects, causing extra stress and ailments for many new mothers. Often, these patients experience pain, numbness, or pressure in the pelvis. For some, the pain causes difficulty in walking and performing activities of daily living. In addition, if left untreated, pelvic floor dysfunction can progress to organ prolapse, unitary incontinence, and sexual dysfunction. So, patients need pelvic floor physical therapy which supports recovery through manual manipulation and exercises for stretching, conditioning, and relaxing pelvic floor muscles. 

Physical Therapy Following Caesarean Sections

Many women in the US give birth via C-section. According to the CDC, over 31% of deliveries in 2020 were Cesarean. Despite their common use, these are complex surgeries with complications such as diastasis recti, postoperative pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction. In addition, Cesarean deliveries cause prolonged pressure in the abdomen and excessive stretching of the pelvic organs, ligaments, and muscles. Fortunately, physical therapy treatment can help the pelvic floor recover after abdominal delivery. According to a report published in the Journal of Physical Education and Sport, c-section patients who received physical therapy showed statistically significant improvements compared to those who recovered independently. 

Physical Therapy Following Vaginal Birth

During vaginal delivery, the pelvic floor lowers and expands. Stretching of the perineum can lead to tears, a substantial risk factor for pelvic floor dysfunction. A recent systematic review suggests that pre- and postpartum pelvic floor muscle training improves patients’ quality of life. In addition, it helps reduce the risk of more severe complications. For example, Kegel training strengthens muscle tone and reduces pelvic floor disorder symptoms.

How long is pelvic floor recovery after childbirth? 

With proper treatment, most women recover within six months. However, actual rehabilitation times depend on several factors, such as severity and treatment. Early intervention leads to faster recovery and a rapid return to a full and healthy life. 

Postpartum Pelvic Floor Care

Postpartum care is about ensuring the well-being of the mother and newborn. And the pelvic floor needs special care because it changes significantly during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Likewise, a patient’s musculoskeletal system is vulnerable after giving birth. Regardless of the delivery method, physical therapy is essential to a postpartum treatment plan. Therefore, OBGYNs are wise to prescribe pelvic floor physical therapy starting on the first day of recovery. 

Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation offers a robust women’s health program for treating pelvic floor dysfunction following childbirth. To refer a patient, call our office at 201-833-1333.

Strength Training and Conditioning for Peak Performance in Elite Athletes

Strength Training and Conditioning for Peak Performance

When someone starts sports, they get faster and stronger with practice. However, they eventually reach a plateau and have to do more to see the same gains. That’s why elite athletes use highly specialized programs for strength training and conditioning for peak performance. Practice isn’t enough; they need to focus on technique and target muscle groups to reach peak performance. 

How do you train like an elite athlete?

Training is more than just following an exercise routine. It’s a process that prepares elite athletes to achieve peak performance. Multiple factors go into one person’s training—age, gender, size, shape, past injuries, etc. Therefore, you can’t just copy someone else’s plan and expect the same results. A good training plan is unique and designed to meet each person’s needs. 

Frequency, Volume, and Intensity

Consider frequency, volume, and intensity when designing an individualized training plan. First, frequency is how often you’ll train each week. Next, volume represents the amount of work, such as the number of sets and repetitions. Then, intensity is the workout’s difficulty. For example, a higher weight or resistance is more intense than a lower weight.

Individuality and Specificity 

Everyone responds differently to training. For example, imagine you see an ad for an online program. However, you don’t see the same gains when you try it. So, was the program a fraud? Maybe, or maybe not. You are not the person in the ad. So, your body responds differently to the regimen. 

Elite athletes train with specificity and individuality. They adapt exercises to meet their metabolic demands. Likewise, they prepare for a specific activity or goal. For example, a swimmer may focus on the lats and back because these muscle groups are the main driver in the water. 

Strength Training and Conditioning for Peak Performance 

Strength training and conditioning for peak performance puts a lot of demands on the body. And the results are worth it. Achieving peak sports performance means following an individualized program that targets the specific muscle groups you need. At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, each Elite Athlete Performance Plan is designed for individual gains. Work with us to achieve your goals. Schedule an appointment online. 

The Effects of Running on Major Health Indicators

effects of running on major health indicators

Many Americans live very sedentary lives, leading to adverse health outcomes. In fact, inactivity is a significant risk factor for mortality. So, clinicians want to get people moving and often promote running to improve health. It’s important to properly understand the effects of running on major health indicators so that we can get the most benefit out of running.

What are the effects of running on the body?

Inactive adults can use running to improve their health. According to a meta-analysis published in Sports Medicine, runners see improvements in several prominent health indicators such as body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, and blood serum indicators. Plus, the more runners train, the bigger gains they typically see.  

Body Composition 

Over time, endurance running increases lipid metabolism, which reduces body fat. In fact, the meta-analysis found that after a year of training, runners lost 2.7% body fat and 3.3 kilograms of body mass on average. In addition, men tended to lose more than women for both measures. However, the article found no statistically significant change in lean body mass and BMI. Therefore, the reduction of body fat percentage and the consistent lean body mass contribute to a decrease in body mass.

Cardiorespiratory Health

Regular exercise increases blood volume and cardiac output, which, in turn, delivers more oxygen around the body. So, running improves both resting heart rate and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). However, these improvements tend to affect males more than females. Still, the more you train, the greater the gains in both resting heart rate and VO2max that you tend to see.

Blood Serum Indicators

Research shows that running programs reduce triglycerides, the most common form of fat in the bloodstream. So, a reduction in body fat contributes to lower triglyceride levels. In addition, running increases high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol in the blood. However, there’s no evidence of it reducing low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol.

The Effects of Running on Major Health Indicators

Health care practitioners can use this information to advise patients. Running can one of many effective ways to address high body fat and elevated triglycerides. When people know the effects of running on major health indicators, they are more likely to incorporate this activity into their routine. 

The COR Running Program offers individualized feedback to any runner — from beginner to elite athlete. Call our office to refer a patient at 201-833-1333.

Before starting any running program, you should talk to your primary health care provider about the safety of running.

4 Ways to Qualify for the NYC Marathon

Qualify for the NYC Marathon

The New York City Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest ones to qualify for. Many runners see it as a personal challenge to run in this event. There are several different ways to qualify for the NYC marathon, such as qualifying based on time or entering through New York Road Runners.

Qualifying by Time

Competitive runners of all ages and genders can qualify for the NYC marathon based on the time they take to run other qualifying races including half marathons and marathons. The New York Road Runners (NYRR) website lists qualifying charts for full and half marathons for men, women, and non-binary based on age groups. For example, men ages 18-34 have a qualifying time of 2:53 for the full marathon and 1:21 for half. On the other hand, women over 80 need to come in at least 6:35 for a full marathon or 2:50 for a half marathon.

Road Runners Club 9+1

Local runners have the opportunity to also gain entry through the 9+1 program. Each year, the Road Runners Club hosts over 30 opportunities designed to enable runners to earn their spot. NYRR members need to compete in at least nine qualifying races and volunteer at one event for guaranteed access. 

Lottery Drawing

The NYC marathon accepts rolling applications year-round. Then they hold random drawings every two months. There are three drawing pools for local, national, and international applicants. Having different pools allows coordinators to ensure the geographic diversity of runners. The chances vary from year to year, depending on how many runners apply for the lottery. For example, in 2020, applicants had a 2.3% chance of winning the drawing. 

Partnerships

Runners can also gain entry through charity and international partners. Participating charities offer some spots in exchange for fundraising a certain amount. In addition, the global Travel Partners Program guarantees entry for those living outside of the US with the purchase of the Travel Package of flights and hotel stays in the New York area. International runners can buy the package from an official International Tour Operator.

Preparing for the Marathon

Training for a marathon takes dedication and top physical fitness. Our COR Running Program features personalized biometric feedback from a professional physical therapist. We’ll work with you to design an individualized training program based on your specific needs. Schedule a consultation online today.

What is The Effect of Aerobic and Anaerobic Fitness on Sports Performance?

aerobic and anaerobic fitness

Athletes need high levels of aerobic and anaerobic fitness to achieve maximum sports performance. Both types of exercise benefit the body, but they use energy differently. For example, aerobic metabolism uses oxygen to produce ATP energy for the cells and boosts cardiovascular health. On the other hand, anaerobic metabolism is a non-oxidative process that results in lactic acid. As a result, an athlete who uses both types of training achieves greater benefits. 

How Does Aerobic Capacity Affect Performance? 

Peak oxygen uptake, also called maximum oxygen volume (VO2max), is a good indicator of aerobic fitness. An athlete with higher peak oxygen uptake can use oxygen more effectively and generate more ATP energy. Aerobic, oxygen-dependent, metabolism supplies most of the ATP energy used in sustained cardio exercises such as jogging and cycling. Increasing aerobic capacity enhances an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness. Better blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to muscles, improving flexibility, endurance, and overall sports performance

How Does Anaerobic Fitness Affect Performance?

Anaerobic exercises include intense physical activity for short bursts such as sprinting, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and resistance training. When athletes perform these muscular activities, the body uses energy already stored in the muscles. Anaerobic metabolism makes much less ATP and causes lactic acid build-up instead. As a result, anaerobic training improves muscle endurance by increasing tolerance for lactic acid and strengthening fast-twitch muscles.

What is the Relationship Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Fitness?

Some sports involve short sprints and sustained movements, such as soccer and basketball. With such activities, the body switches between anaerobic and aerobic metabolism. Research shows that a combination of aerobic and anaerobic training may improve endurance more than one alone. For example, distance runners who also use resistance training tend to have better overall running economy.

These two types of metabolism affect each other in mutually beneficial ways. For example, anaerobic exercise can positively impact an athlete’s aerobic capacity. Likewise, aerobic capacity helps muscles recover after anaerobic workouts such as HIIT training. 

Sports Performance Training

When working with elite athletes, providers are always looking for ways to maximize performance. One way to do that is by maximizing aerobic and anaerobic fitness. An experienced physical therapist can work one-on-one with patients to develop an individualized training plan. Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation has the experience and know-how to take sports performance to the next level. To refer a patient, call our office at 201-833-1333.

How Fear of Movement Impacts Sports Performance

Fear of Movement Impacts Sports Performance

The old adage says if you fall off a horse, get right back on. But it isn’t always easy for recovering athletes to return to the game. Fear of movement impacts sports performance more than people may realize. When patients are afraid of re-injury, they compromise their athletic conditioning and rehabilitation. Thus, a person-centered approach considers psychological and physiological factors when treating injured athletes. 

What is the Fear of Movement? 

The fear of movement (kinesiophobia) is when an athlete is afraid of re-injury. This fear leads to avoidance and escape behaviors which negatively impact sports performance. Kinesiophobia was first defined by Kori et al. in 1990 as “an excessive, irrational, and debilitating fear of physical movement and activity resulting from a feeling of vulnerability to painful injury or re-injury.”

Two Paths: Avoidance and Confrontation 

There are two paths an athlete can take following a painful injury—avoiding pain or confronting pain.

Avoidance 

It is natural to want to stay away from pain. Fear-avoidance, however, is a maladaptive response to injury. When the fear outweighs the risk, it negatively impacts recovery and performance. Research published in Clinical Orthopaedics found that “an increase in athletes’ fear-avoidance was associated with a decrease in physical function.” Therefore, the authors suggest that clinical interventions take the impact of fear-avoidance into account when treating injured athletes. 

Confrontation

Fear of movement is a barrier to recovery. As clinicians, we need to encourage recovering athletes to get back in the game and be as physically active as their condition allows. Start by educating the patient to explain the cause of the pain. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), alongside Physical Therapy, can help them face their fears and return to normal functioning. 

Measuring Fear of Movement

Clinicians use various scales to measure athletes’ emotions about returning to sports and identify psychological barriers to recovery.

  • Athlete Fear Avoidance Questionnaire (AFAQ) is a 10-question self-assessment that rates thoughts and feelings about injury on a scale from 1 to 5. 
  • Injury-Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport Questionnaire (I-PRRS) is a self-report on athletes’ confidence on a scale of 0-100
  • Re-Injury Anxiety Inventory (RIAI) covers 28 statements about anxiety about returning to sports.
  • Emotional Responses of Athletes to Injury Questionnaire (ERAIQ) evaluates fears about returning to sports. 
  • Return to Sport after Serious Injury Questionnaire (RSSSIQ) measures how fear of re-injury has interfered with sports performance after returning. 
  • Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) includes statements rated on a 5-point scale (0 to 4) related to fear of injury.

Fear of Movement Impacts Sports Performance 

Fear of movement impacts sports performance and rehabilitation outcomes. A person-centered approach to physical therapy recognizes that there is more to healing than physical recovery; athletes need to feel safe as well. At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we consider the whole person. We work with patients one-on-one to determine an optimal treatment plan that meets their physical and emotional needs. To refer a patient, call our office at (201)-833-1333.