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Prevention of Running Injuries

25 Mar

Here is a great post by Jeff Cubos of JeffCubos.com. It is titled:

New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries (Course Summary)

 

Here is a quick graphic:

quantifying-mechanical-stress

 

 

The Stick Makes a Perfect Gift!

8 Dec

Why does The Stick make a perfect gift?

Selection

Here is why The Stick makes the perfect gift:

  1. Personalized – One size does not fit all!  Each person has a different body, therefore there are many different Sticks to meet each persons individualized needs.
  2. Easy to Use – The Stick comes with very easy instructions.  You do not need to go to the floor and you control 100% of the intensity.
  3. Keeps on Giving – The Stick does not wear out.  It is extremely durable and expertly made.
  4. Portable – The recipient of the great gift can take it anywhere!
  5. Prevention/Rehabilitation/Prediction/Identification – That’s right….when used often, The Stick can prevent, rehabilitate, predict and identify soft-tissue injuries.

Give the gift that keeps giving!!

Feeling Tired? Try These Natural Remedies for Fatigue

13 Oct

Here is a great guest post by Kim Willington!

Most of us are trying to juggle too much and squeeze the most out of every minute of the day. We are working too long. We are not taking time for ourselves. And we are not getting the sleep we need.

It’s not wonder most of us are so tired all the time.

While fatigue could be a symptom of an underlying health problem, for most of us, it’s just a symptom of our unbalanced lives. You don’t need prescription drugs to help you get more pep in your step. Try these natural remedies to help you fight fatigue:

Massage

Fatigue can be caused by an imbalance in your body, which can often be created by having too much stress. Massage can provide relief and help you to counteract the effects of stress, helping you to restore balance in your body and improve your energy levels. Massage also promotes healthy circulation, which can improve energy levels.

Exercise

How do you feel after you jump off the treadmill? You may be tired, but chances are you aren’t interested in taking a nap. While exercise may make you feel physically “tired” from working your muscles, it will improve your energy by revving up your heart rate and increasing levels of feel-good hormones.

Aim for about 30 minutes a day to get the benefits. Longer periods of exercise, or very intense periods of exercise, can contribute to your fatigue by overworking your body.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The wrong kinds of foods can contribute to fatigue. For example, sugars and simple carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to become out of balance, spiking and crashing energy levels. Excessive fats can overwork the liver, leading to fatigue.

Stick to a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats, and you will maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. Also be sure to drink plenty of pure water.

Take Supplements

Often, fatigue can be caused by a deficiency of some vitamin or nutrient in your diet. You can correct these deficiencies by taking a good multi-vitamin to start and then looking into other possible supplements. Some key supplements that influence energy levels include Vitamin B12, magnesium, Vitamin C, and Coenzyme Q10.

Sleep

The most obvious remedy for fatigue is to get more sleep. Your body needs a minimum of 8 hours each sleep each night, but most Americans do not get the recommended amount. Slowly make more time for sleep by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night or waking up 15 minutes later each day. Continue to adjust your time until you are getting the right amount of sleep.

Power naps can also help you to get the sleep you need. Be careful not to oversleep in the middle of the day as it could cause you to stay up too late at night and throw off your sleep cycle.

If you try these natural remedies for fatigue and you still don’t have more energy, you may need to see a doctor to find out if there are any underlying causes for your fatigue. Emotional problems like depression or chronic stress can also lead to chronic fatigue. Be sure to talk to a healthcare provider to better understand what might be causing your fatigue and find out how you can combat it.

What other natural remedies do you use to fight fatigue? Share your tips in the comments!

Kim Willington is a freelance writer and researcher for Helpdesksoftware.org, where she has recently been researching help desk software. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking long walks with her retriever, Spencer.

Thank you Kim…I would like to add that The Stick is an excellent tool for self-massage without breaking the bank account.

Quads

Traveling with The Stick – A Stick Testimony

6 Oct

Here is a fun little video testimony about Traveling with The Stick.

We posted more information here about travelling with The Stick.

What has been your experience when travelling with The Stick?  Post a comment below.

Massage is a Great Way to Relax

17 Jul

Today we have a guest post from Melanie Bowen.  Melanie  joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives.

Massage is a Great Way to Relax

Studies repeatedly show that massage therapy is one of the best ways to increase quality of life amongst cancer patients. People often overlook the benefits of massage when it comes to decreasing pain and improving mood. Massage is a great way to unwind from stress and provides long-lasting results.

Dealing with cancer issues can put pressure on anyone’s life. It is always good to discover multiple ways to unwind and get perspective without always relying completely on medication. Add massage to your therapeutic arsenal. Many doctors agree that massage is a great adjunct to conventional therapies. It can also be modified easily to any patient’s particular needs.

Pain and stress are typically immense factors when dealing with cancer issues. This is a good time to consider massage therapy. It does not interfere with other treatments and takes minimum effort. This means that a wide range of cancer survivors can benefit from this trusted form of hands-on relaxation. Studies show that the expert touch of trained personnel can help pain and stress fall away. Sometimes this benefit can even be obtained within just one session.

One of the best things about massage is that it is readily accessible. Massage is one of the most popular ways to relax. There are many certified massage therapists available in any given area. It is even a part of outpatient and clinical therapy programs. It is a good idea to bring up the idea of massage therapy with your physician. This way you can find out if massage therapy is a good match for you. They will often be glad to help you find the right program for your needs. Massage is just one those kinds of therapies which nearly everyone can benefit.

Cancer patients that undergo massage for just minutes a day can see quick benefits. They often notice decreased pain and better mood. Having professionals work stress out of painful joints and muscles is a plus in anyone’s book. Today’s massage experts have a range of therapeutic techniques that can be modified for your needs and requirements. Even mesothelioma patients benefit from this non-strenuous therapy with specialized care. Everyone has heard about the healing power of touch. Have professional massage and feel the benefits for yourself.

Consult your doctor and find a therapy that will work best for you and your treatment because professional therapists know how to work that tension out right away. It is good to take moments during the day to relax. Massage therapy is not a cure but is a great addition to a multifaceted approach. It goes along with other forms of exercise, especially after a strenuous workout.

Just think about how nice it will be to get expert attention to aching muscles. Tension can melt away in just minutes. Contact your physician and find out more about how massage can benefit you. Give your mind, body and spirit a vacation from some of life’s everyday stressors and get out there and soak up all the benefits massage therapy has to offer!

Thank you Melanie!

The Stick is on Pinterest!

27 Mar

! !

 

We are now on 

The Value of The Stick

14 Sep

I had an order come in the other day for a Travel Stick to be shipped to Quebec.  Like any other order, I replied with shipping and payment options.  It looked something like this:

Hello….

Thank you for ordering a Travel Stick.

I have inserted some shipping quotes for you below:

–          3 Business Day (Xpresspost) = $19.00

–          7 Business Days (Expedited parcel) = $14.82

You are probably thinking ” Why not just automate the process”.  Well the answer is….I like the personal touch.  Our order form is a purchase order form where you place an order and you get a real person (me) sending an email back with shipping and payment options.  I know some people love the process because I often have a phone conversation with them about The Stick and health in general.  I also know some people just want to hammer in their credit card information and be done with it.

Anyway, I was a little surprised to learn that the person who wanted a Travel Stick thought that the shipping was too expensive for a $30 item.  The buyer also did not like that the shipping cost did not happen right away.  I explained in my email back that each Stick(s) ship differently in size and weight.  Instead of estimating or guessing what shipping might be I pump in the postal code and dimensions of every order into Canada Post’s online shipping website.  I therefore get a 100% accurate quote.  Some companies make money on shipping costs…. we do not.  I also have shipped to Quebec before.

I was not hurt or upset, but it got me thinking.  The buyer was correct.  The price for shipping (BTW Canada Post is the most cost efficient) was half the price of the Travel Stick.  That does seem expensive.  However, the VALUE of the Travel Stick is what gets me excited.  The Stick has been around for 19 years and is proven to be an effective tool.  Yes, the shipping was a little expensive, but I could not hand deliver the Travel Stick to Quebec from Alberta, for that price.  That is what I love about all The Sticks.  They are very affordable for the job they do over and over and over again.

To be honest, distributing The Stick is not like distributing something like batteries or toilet paper or some other consumable product.  The Stick is a one time purchase in most cases.  Consumable products like batteries and toilet paper need to be purchased over and over again.  The Stick is simply a fantastic tool with loads of value.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

The Benefit of a Functional Warm Up for Runners

31 Oct

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Here is a guest post that is sure to give you the most up to date information of the importance of a warm-up for Runners.  Jon- Erik Kawamoto has been a featured columnist in Impact Magazine, Canadian Running Magazine and BC Coaches Perspective magazine.

The Benefit of a Functional Warm Up for Runners

By Jon-Erik Kawamoto

http://www.StrongerRunner.com

Traditionally, the warm up had the focus of improving flexibility.  Static stretches would be performed on all major muscle groups with hopes of reducing injury risk and preparing the body for exercise, in our case a running workout or race.

The idea of a flexibility-based warm up has been proven to be ineffective and actually detrimental to subsequent power development and endurance running performance.  Static stretches are an important component of a strength and conditioning program, but it shouldn’t be placed prior to a running/gym workout or an intense race.

Having said that, the focus of the warm up needs to change.  A more appropriate warm up will focus on actually preparing you for that tough workout by increasing your internal body temperature and priming the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

The warm up should contribute to the development of balance, coordination, running mechanics, core strength, tissue quality and muscle activation.

A proper warm up should prepare the body physically and mentally for the intense workout or race that follows.  An active warm-up will enhance performance by improving:

  • range of motion
  • joint lubrication
    • oxygen uptake because of increased oxygen delivery to the working muscles and via an enhanced utilization of oxygen from the blood
    • the speed and force of muscle contractions because nerve impulses travel faster in a warm muscle compared to a cold muscle

A runner can start with foam rolling and/or The Stick, otherwise known as self myofascial release prior to starting his/her easy jog, typically lasting 5-20 minutes.  Foam rolling or The Stick will promote tissue quality and higher quality muscle contractions.  After this general warm up, it’s a great opportunity to perform dynamic stretches – stretches that are held for 2 seconds max, which are performed in a slight ballistic fashion, but under control.  Check out my ebook titled The Best Mobility Drills for Runners – get it FREE from www.StrongerRunner.com.  I go over several dynamic stretches that runners can do while warming up for an intense workout or race.

After the mobility drills are performed, your body should be quite warm now.  This is a great time to perform some muscle activation drills.  One of my favorites for runners is a single leg hip bridge – one variation I like to perform is called the knee hug hip lift.

After the muscle activation section of your warm up, proceed to your form drills and running strides.  This is the last phase of your functional warm up.  Stay tuned for a future blog post describing the best form drills for runners.  After your running strides you will be ready for a great workout!

But remember, don’t fatigue yourself before you even start your workout/race!  Take it easy in the warm up and take many breaks.  Remember, the warm up is supposed to prepare you for the workout/race, not tear you down!

A movement focused cool down is also beneficial to the runner to promote recovery after the intense workout/race.  Blood will be drawn back to the heart to prevent venous pooling and nutrient rich blood will be delivered to the broken down muscles.  The body’s internal temperature will drop and slowly return to the pre-workout/race state.  This usually consists of a 5-20 minute easy jog.

A flexibility focused cool-down following the easy cool down run will further lower the body’s core temperature while promoting proper muscle length.  This is the perfect time to promote flexibility – while the muscles are warm.  So hold each stretch for roughly 30 seconds.  Runners would benefit from stretching their upper and lower calf muscles, quads, hip flexors, hip rotators, hamstring muscles, chest and/or lats.

Thanks for reading,

Jon-Erik Kawamoto, CSCS, CEP

My name is Jon-Erik Kawamoto. I’m a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS – with the National Strength and Conditioning Association) and Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP – with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology). I specialize in helping middle-to-long distance runners become strong and powerful. I have authored many articles on strength and conditioning for the endurance athlete in magazines such as Canadian Running, IMPACT, Canadian Cycling and the BC Coaches Perspective.  Get your FREE DVD titled 10 MIN to a Stronger CORE at www.StrongerRunner.com.


Chasing Atlanta ** Stick 101** Post – Free Giveaway!

19 Sep
This post is a copied post from Leah of Chasing Atlanta.  Leah is a massage therapist and an avid runner in Clarkston, MI, USA.  She is also a huge advocate of The Stick.

As you may have figured by the amount of times I mention it, I’m a big proponent of the self-massage tool known as the Stick. It’s one of my can’t live without running essentials, and I also recommend it to my massage clients all the time. I’ve had the opportunity to work the Stick booth at a few race expos and I thought I’d share a little Stick 101 before getting to the details of my giveaway of, yes, you guessed it, a Stick!
The picture above shows my own Stick family, of which each piece has it’s own role. The gray-handled Sprinter Stick is my go-to Stick for day-to-day maintenance. This is the one I use most often before and after my runs and it’s also the one that I travel with, whether to a local or out of town race or just to the track. The Sprinter Stick is the top seller at expos and is of medium flexibility. The stiffer the Stick the deeper the massage.
Speaking of stiffness, the longer black-handled Stick above is the Stiff Stick, the big daddy, the stiffest of Sticks. This is the one I use when I need some really deep work. It’s the second most popular model at expos and great for those with denser muscle mass and/or those who prefer deeper tissue massage.
The Travel Stick (red handles above) is sort of the red-headed stepchild of my Stick family in that it often gets neglected. This was my first Stick and I bought it before I knew there were other models. The Travel Stick is more flexible and generally doesn’t have enough oomph for me. It isn’t all that much smaller than the Sprinter so it’s size isn’t really an advantage. I tend to use this one only when my muscles are super, super tender. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of specialty running stores and online retailers only carry the Travel Stick and the ill-named, yellow-handled Marathon Stick (not pictured, the softest Stick of the lot). These are the two Sticks we sell the least of at expos. In fact, I’ve never sold one of either.
The smaller black-handled Stick in the picture is my Little Stick. I love this Stick and think of it as the over-achiever of the family. It’s lack of length makes it less than ideal for bigger muscle groups such as hamstrings and quadriceps, but since it’s so short it isn’t very flexible. Consequently, you can do some really thorough work on smaller areas such as calves and IT bands. This Stick is great for on-the-go work. Last week when my calf was in such bad shape I tossed it into my purse and took it to work with me. I also like to stash my Little Stick in my gear check bag so I’ll have it right up to a race and immediately afterwards.
There are longer Sticks available for those who want to do a lot of upper body work and need the extra reach. Of the longer Sticks, the Body Stick is more flexible and the Power Stick is stiffer. The Foot Wheel is a great tool for plantar fasciitis and other foot issues and the Trigger Wheel helps with those pesky shoulder knots and tight neck muscles. You can find out more about these and all the Stick products here.
Before I get to the giveaway I wanted to address one other issue, since it’s the most common question I get at expos: “What makes this better than a foam roller?” The Stick isn’t necessarily better than a foam roller, but they do work in different ways. I have a foam roller also and I love it, but I feel the Stick has some distinct advantages, aside from the obvious portability and contortion issues. A foam roller is great for quads and IT bands, but I find the Stick is better at getting at trickier muscles such as the hip flexors, adductors and tibialis anterior. Also, since you’re using your own body weight with a foam roller the pressure is never really going to change. With the Stick you can use as much or as little pressure as you want.
Okay, giveaway time!
I have up for grabs a Little Stick! Here’s how to enter:
  • Become a follower and leave a comment on this post to let me know you have (or let me know if you are already a follower). – Chasing Atlanta
  • Also let me know in your comment if you’ve ever used the Stick before. If so, which one?
For a bonus entry:
  • Link this giveaway on your own blog, facebook, etc. and post another comment letting me know.
Entry deadline is Wednesday, September 29th. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Thursday, September 30th.
– Posted by Leah
I will also honor this post by giving away a Little Stick to our Canadian readers.  All you need to do is make a comment on this post about why you “like” The Stick or if you have never used The Stick before, why you think you may “like” the Stick.  Speaking of “liking” the Stick, I also have a Facebook page that you may want to “like”  the Stick!

Relieving Sore, Tired Legs with The Stick

6 Apr

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I knew that when we took our kids to Disneyland, we would all have sore, tired legs at the end of each day.  That is why we packed a massage stick before we left.  My wife loves the Marathon Stick, I like it too and it has the perfect flex for working on our kids legs.  Now you are probably wondering how one Stick can help 4 different people?   

It is easy, my wife prefers the Marathon Stick because she can flex the stick around her muscles.  The Marathon Stick has lots of flex, so it is gentle for our 6 year old twins.  I like a deeper massage, so I simply slide one of my hands up the spindles to make the Marathon Stick more stiff.  

Marathon Stick

 

 Once we returned back to our hotel room, we would all take turns rolling out our legs before we went to bed at night.  Not only did we sleep well, the kids did not wake up complaining that their legs hurt.  This meant my wife and I got more sleep and were able to deal better with the mayhem at Disney.  In addition, when we woke up for the next day(s), our legs were refreshed and ready to go!  

 Needless to say, we do not go anywhere with a Stick!  

 On a side note, we did forget to bring the FootWheel, which would have relieved our sore tired feet better than using The Stick.  

The FootWheel

Here is a picture of how to use The Stick on your feet.  Just raise it off the ground or leave it on the ground and roll your feet over your Stick.  

Rolling your feet out using The Stick.

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