During the current climate it may be difficult to find the motivation to train with no gyms or sports clubs open for business. However, regular physical exercise can still be done which will have significant benefits for your health and will get your body prepared for when sport starts up again.
Evidence shows that the benefits of physical activity and training in the senior population continue to grow. These benefits include that people have fewer falls with injury, improved muscular strength and endurance, a decreased incidence of coronary artery disease, and a lower risk of cardiovascular related mortality.
Senior athletes can enjoy participating in a variety of athletic or sport related activities including running, walking, swimming, golfing, lifting weights, cycling and tennis.
Based on the activity you are training for, the training regimen should be specifically designed to produce both metabolic and physical adaptations aimed to improve health and performance.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends the following training guidelines for senior athletes:
•Train 3-5 days per week
•20 to 60 minutes of continuous or intermittent aerobic activity
•Any activity that engages the large muscle groups like walking, jogging, running, cycling, rowing, stair climbing.
•Perform resistance training: One set of 10-15 repetitions for major muscle groups, two to three days per week
•Perform flexibility training: stretch major muscle groups at least four times each for a minimum of two to three days per week
If you need help with planning a physical activity routine or have any pains when exercising feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
💥Have you had overly tight calves for a long time? Hip extension may have something to do with this.
🏃🏻 Your hip and ankle are key components in your gait/running cycle. Normal range of motion is 10 degrees for hip extension and 40 degrees for ankle dorsiflexion.
💥If you are restricted in these movements then there may be long term effects of your running performance and you could incur injuries or overly tight muscles along the way.
💪🏽There are 2 main muscles in your calf. The Gastrocnemius and the Soleus. The main firing of these muscles is when your heel lifts. The gluteus maximus at the back of your hip stops firing just before your calf muscles, this acts as a one two punch that propels you forwards.
💥Normally ankle dorsiflexion should be equal to hip extension. So if your ankle is restricted in movement, then you will not be able to access your full hip extension and therefore affect performance and increase your susceptibility to injury. This is termed the Z angle.
✍🏻 It has been shown if you can not get into full hip extension then your calf has to fire early to still help you move forward while running. So, your calf is being loaded for a greater amount of time so runners can be symptomatic of calf pain for days after a run because of this.
💥Also, if you can’t get into full hip extension, when the calf contracts it will drive your weight upwards creating a vertical phenomenon, meaning your calves have to work harder.
How can we help at the Lawlor Clinic?
During an assessment we can see if your hips ankles or other parts of the body aren’t moving properly or to see if you are compensating in other areas.
Once we have found the problem areas , we can mobilise and manipulate them. This should increase the range of motion in the area.
Then we will give exercises in the clinic and for you to do at home that will help get the muscles surrounding the joint to work well functionally while you move.
👌This will mean you can get into the previously not possible range of motion and keep it there so you will be out of pain for longer and performing better.
If you would like to book in for an assessment then contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Plantar fasciitis is one of those phrases that gets thrown around a lot in conversations. But do you know what it actually means? What is the plantar fascia, what causes irritation to it, and how can you prevent and treat the cause of the problem using Active Release Techniques?
What is the Plantar Fascia?
The plantar fascia is not a muscle or tendon, it is actually a connective tissue structure that supports the bottom of the foot. It runs from the heel bone to the toes and lies on top of the deeper muscles of the foot. But it is not the plantar fascia on its own that causes the problem. The fascia works in conjunction with the flexor digitorum brevis and quadratus plantae muscles, both are flexors of the toes.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
An irritation and inflammation to the previously mentioned tissues and muscles, to state it very basically! But what causes the irritation? Biomechanical issues in the foot and ankle, tightness or damage in muscles of the feet or calf, sudden increase in activity that is too much too soon, some even say too much sitting around (underactivity) can cause the problem.
But when you do get it, you want it to go away as fast a possible because it can be very painful!
Some common symptoms include:
Pain at the heel or anywhere along the bottom of the foot
Cramping at the bottom of the foot
Pain worse first thing in the morning
How can ART® help plantar fasciitis?
Active Release Techniques ART® is a hands on technique for helping to restore normal function to the soft tissue. So release of the plantar fascia and other contributing muscles in the foot, might be uncomfortable but the results will be noticeable within 3-4 treatments.
Along with ART®, manipulation of the joints in the foot using Chiropractic techniques can help to restore normal biomechanics to help prevent this from recurring in the future. To help speed up the healing process we commonly use Laser Therapy and you will always be given exercises and stretches to do at home.
If you think you might have plantar fasciitis, don’t keep suffering, give us a call today to see if we can help you get on the path to healing!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic | Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
Our feet play an essential role in how we transfer our body weight when we move, provide vital information to our brains for position awareness and sometimes are even called upon to help out our weak cores. We need to look after them and have them strong enough to meet these many demands. Modern foot wear, orthotics and lack of time walking around bare foot all contribute to weak intrinsic foot muscles and it is these which we need to strengthen.
Try the following movements shown in the video below to see how strong your feet are
1. Foot Crawl
2. Big Toe Up while keeping other 4 down
3. 4 Toes Up keeping big toe down
4. Toe Pianos
5. Toe Spreads
“In order to master it you need to practice it”
Start with doing any weak or difficult movements everyday for 1 minute
If you would like to book an appointment please contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can help!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Chiropractic, Golf & Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)
FRC® is a comprehensive joint training system backed by science and research.
Whether you are experiencing joint/ muscle tightness or not, the FRC® approach will help you achieve increased mobility while also aiding to reduce inflammation and pain.
It utilises various types of exercises for example Controlled Articulated Rotations (CARs) to promote joint health, mobility and control, and Pails and Rails which uses isometric holds to strengthen the target joints.
3 main goals of FRC®
What is FRC® used for?
Joint health and maintenance
The Functional Range Conditioning concepts can be used on clients of all ages and all abilities and has proved to be highly successively with patients of the Lawlor Clinic.
If you would like to book an appointment please contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can help!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Chiropractic & Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)
Everybody knows how important sleep is. Runners need more sleep than most people. Running sleep deprived can be as dangerous as driving intoxicated! You probably know someone who brags how he only needs five hours of sleep a night and another who insists on eight hours — and it’s true, sleep needs vary.
As an athlete, getting enough sleep is as important as your food and exercise choices. Cheating on sleep makes it hard to concentrate at work, may impair your appetite and causes irritability. A sleep debt can negatively affect your running. The National Sleep Foundation says that “sleep is as essential as diet and exercise. Inadequate sleep can result in fatigue, depression, concentration problems, illness and injury. Sleep helps general protein synthesis, cell growth and division, and tissue repair and growth.”
So, what happens during sleep that is so important?
One of the most important ways sleep can help your running is water reabsorption — especially during the summer months when you sweat more and dehydration is more of a concern. During sleep, the kidney balances water, sodium and other electrolytes. Without enough water the kidneys can’t balance electrolytes properly. Being fully hydrated, the kidneys can balance your body’s electrolytes more effectively so that this balance can be better maintained during running.
“Dehydration leads to muscle pain while running and poor performance,” said Joanne E. Getsy, MD, professor of medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Division, Philadelphia, Pa.
Besides making you feel better, sleep is when your body repairs and regenerates damaged tissue from the day’s workout and builds bone and muscle to be ready for the next workout. Distance runners especially need that sleep/repair time to make sure that muscles recover from training.
Research from Stanford published in SLEEP reported that increased sleeping time can improve athletic performance. In the study, researchers had basketball players maintain their regular sleep schedule of six to nine hours for up to four weeks. After that, they were asked to sleep 10 hours each night for five to seven weeks. Speed improved significantly (16.2 seconds verses 15.5 second for 282-foot sprints); shooting accuracy improved and the players said they felt their practices improved after six weeks of lengthening night-time sleep length.
The study suggests that sleep is important for performance and that reducing an accumulated sleep debt can be beneficial for athletes likely at all levels. Sleep should be a high priority in an athlete’s daily training. Sleep allows the body to engage in the repair process.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
During the deeper stages of sleep HGH is released during slow wave sleep. HGH is a natural hormone produced by the pituitary gland and released into the bloodstream. HGH rebuilds damaged tissue while building stronger muscles. It also helps convert fat to fuel, and keeps our bones strong.
“If you don’t get enough sleep, you produce less HGH and it becomes harder for your body to recover from workouts. Too little sleep also leads to an increase in cortisol, which often comes out during times of stress. An increase in cortisol contributes to slower recovery times,” said Shelby F. Harris, PsyD, CBSN, director, behavioral sleep medicine program, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.
If your workouts are hard, your body may release greater quantities of HGH while you sleep. “If you do a harder interval workout as opposed to an easy run, you might have more HGH hormone secreted if you actually need it,” added Benny Garcia, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist at Loyola University Chicago/Gottlieb Center of Fitness in Chicago.
Regular sleep can boost the weight loss benefits of running.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s appetite signalling hormones [leptin and ghrelin] are thrown off. Less sleep leads to more ghrelin [which makes us hungry] and less leptin [which tells us we’re full]. Sleeping a full night regularly helps keep your hunger signals in check and keeps, especially when combined with exercise, your weight down.
For marathoners during taper weeks, regularly getting a solid night of sleep may be even more important than the miles you’re running during that time period.
Endurance athletes find that moderate carbo-loading just before an event can enhance athletic performance. However, if you’re not sleeping enough, your body won’t properly store the carbs you’re consuming [leading to less glycogen stores] and the benefits of carbo-loading may be lost. You might even hit the wall sooner than usual because your glycogen stores will be depleted too fast.
Concentration & Mental Toughness
Runners can be analytical — always trying to figure out why one race went so well and why another didn’t. It takes a few hours after you fall asleep to reach deep, quality sleep, usually into the seventh hour — especially in younger athletes. Concentration can be negatively impaired when a runner races with sleep debt.
Enough sleep helps you tune into your body better, improves your concentration and helps you strategize the rest of the race or for the rest of the run. This concentration is also essential for being able to “push” it at the end of a race.
Knowing this, how can you get the best running from your sleep?
Determine your sleep needs and meet it every night, “Monday through Monday.” Establish a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. If you have a yo-yo sleep-wake schedule, your body never knows when it’s time to shut down. You end up being in a constant state of jet lag without ever leaving home.
Get one long block of continuous sleep at night. Power naps are a last resort if you have to make up lost sleep. Snooze for 10 to 15 minutes — no longer or you might become groggy.
Ensure you are well hydrated, taking in enough water during the day and limiting caffeine, nicotine and alcohol which can reduce sleep quality.
Stop using your mobile phone 1hour before bed – this can help to increase sleep quality.
Try to keep noise levels down and ensure there is no brightness entering your room.
Avoid stressful situations before bed – try reading a book, taking a relaxing bath or practice relaxation techniques, maybe even listen to relaxing music.
Lighten up on evening meals, try not to eat before 8pm. Eating after this can be a recipe for insomnia.
Try to fit your running in early. Exercise helps promote restful sleep if it is done >3hours before bedtime – you will sleep more soundly and faster if you try this.
If you are struggling with sleep days before a race, don’t panic. Research has shown that sleep loss ranging from 16-24 hours does not impair performance during aerobic and anaerobic events. The adrenaline rush of competition appears to override any negative physical consequences of sleep deprivation. Therefore, if you miss several hours of sleep for a night or two before your race, your performance is not likely to be impacted unless you are particularly susceptible to sleep deprivation. Once the sleep loss doesn’t exceed 2 successive nights.
“You might be able to get by with one or two lousy nights of sleep, but your best performance is when you’ve had a good night’s sleep,” said James B. Maas, PhD, a psychologist from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and author of Sleep to Win.
Good luck to everyone running the grueling Dublin Marathon in a couple of weeks time, including our very own Karen, running her second marathon! The weeks leading up to the marathon will be tough, and not only the actual running of the race, but the recovery can be just as painful! So with that being said, here are our top tips for a fast recovery.
Recovery After the Race:
How fast you recover after a tough race depends on a number of different factors including:
Actual time spent in running preparation
How much rest you got pre-race
How good your nutrition was pre-race to fuel your body
Our top tips to aid recovery:
Rest: In the next 7-10 days try to get as much rest as possible, aiming for 8 hours sleep per night. This will help speed up the recovery process after the marathon.
Ice Baths: If you can withstand the cold, ice baths are a great way to help fight delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
Nutrition: For electrolyte recovery try Nuun or BioSteel performance and recovery drinks. With each meal consume some protein (15-30g), take omega 3 supplements, plenty fruit & vegetables especially pineapple which is high in an anti inflammatory called Bromelain. It is advisable to take in essential mineral salts that will have been lost through sweat during the marathon. We recommend Himalayan Salts to help replenish these salts.
Keep moving: Avoid running for the first days after the marathon, but do take short walks and move as much as possible
Laser: Laser therapy is a great post-race tool to help aid recovery. It helps speed the healing process in the tissues
Kinesiotape: Lymphatic Applications and Cut Outs will help the drainage of the legs and to help reduce DOMS.
Sports Massage/foam rolling: Both are good ways to help your body to recover after the race.
For some of you, you may have picked up an injury or two during the race. It is important to have these injuries assessed and treated appropriately. Don’t just let it go! Call us today to see if we can help with your marathon recovery!
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization | Active Release Techniques (ART®)