What is Strong For Life........is it for me?

Strength as we age.

 "Strength isn't everything but without it we are nothing" - Werner Kieser.

I am a big fan of this quote as it very clearly describes that whilst our whole world does not revolve around strength and training for it, it is very important to our lives. 

From the moment we are born we consider strength to be important, "are we a good eater, can we hold our head up, look how he can pull himself up, she is already standing on her own now" are all thing parents say and think about when our babies are growing. After physical development has passed a certain point such as the ability to walk we tend to focus our attention on the strength of the mind and it's development into adolescence and school. The mind and it's development should never be ignored however I would argue that equal measure and focus should be placed on developing our physical strength........Why?

One normally considers that physical strength should be encouraged for those wanting to persue a sporting career whether at school or college or beyond. In some societies those capable of unique sporting prowess are held up and heralded as special and that is fine but those who choose or dislike the notion of sport tend to shy away or actively avoid activity because of the associated clique. I believe that if a person is made to understand that taking pride in your physical ability is a matter of maintenance similar to brushing ones teeth, taking a shower or combing your hair it is a crucial part of daily life to which ultimately leads to a better quality of life and well being far and beyond the 3 daily activities mentioned above. 

As a teenager our bodies are very good at recovering from physical stress and it is the best time to actively put it under certain quantities of stress to aid and encourage adaptation and strength development. By stress I mean physical activity like running, playing sport or load bearing activities (weight training). If we start at this age we are setting our selves up for a better quality of life without physical limitation, freedom of expression and a conscious perception of weight gain or loss. 

As we age and take our place in the most common position of modern western society ie in a chair behind a desk, then we begin our slow decline to weakness and pain. It is not that every person will suffer from pain to but it is highly likely that you might particularly if you do not maintain even a slight degree of musculoskeletal stress on the body. 

 

This graphic shows you the rise and decline of strength as we age and based on gender.

This graphic shows you the rise and decline of strength as we age and based on gender.

The graph above shows you very clearly the decline of strength as we age and is devided by gender.  

Musculoskeletal stress can involve all sorts of different activities including walking, running or rowing. However these are not the most productive methods for developing longevity in the efficiency/adaptations of the bones, muscles and cardiovascular systems. Differentiation or definition between cardio workouts and strength training can help us to better understand what the pros and cons are of these two very different modalities. Modern research is identifying more and more that measured strength training is the key to longevity of life and improved homeostasis both in a rested state and active one, as well as having a significant effect on the reduction of congenital disease. 

Ask yourself how often do you get your heart rate up intentionally, is it every day, every other day or very rarely? Do you focus on just walking a lot of do you incorporate specific movements to improve your range of motion and energy? 

 

if if you are looking for more advise or information then get in touch and we can devise a safe and suitable programme of exercise to strengthen and prevent degenerative changes in your body as you age , ideally gracefully! 

Why bother stretching? Are you doing it right?

Hello everybody,

very long time, no read. I am really sorry to have been absent from this blog but as you might well know I have relocated my family and myself to southern Spain. As you hopefully also know I have moved abroad but still continue to provide treatment in south west London to my loyal and wonderful clients. 

I am very excited about the coming year and hope to return to my blog more regularly so please enjoy my vlog talking about stretching and how if you aren't doing it right, you might just be setting yourself up for injury. 

Why bother stretching? Will it make any difference to you and how can you perform? The answer is yes but have you been doing right? Did you know that if you do stretches wrong you can increase the risk of injuries. Watch this video to find out how to prevent this from happening.

Thank you for watching my video. please do share and comment if you agree, disagree or just want to know more. I look forward to hearing and seeing you soon.

Kind regards

Marcel Salazar - Physical Therapist

ITB Pain? You might want to Stretch!

ITB (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) is one of the most common aliments of runners. ITB often presents itself as pain on the outside of the knee. Overpronation or underpronation can often be the cause of ITB, but more than not, it's due to inflexibility.

itb-syndrome-stretching-l.jpg

Runners often think ITB is a knee problem. That's because the pain along the outside of the knee is the end result. Actually, the Iliotibial Band is a part of a longer tract which includes the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL) that originates at the iliac crest continuing down to the Iliotibial tract and attaching to the tibia in the lower leg just below the knee. This muscle braces the knee when walking. Without the iliotibial band your leg would collapse. Handy muscle, huh?

The real culprit often causing Iliotibial Band Syndrome is the 9 to 5 job desk job. Think about it, if you sit at a desk for 8, 9, 10 hours, your hip flexors aren't living up to their name. They're not flexing. They're stuck in the same bent position, getting tighter and tighter. Then you hop up and go for a run most times without any stretching before or after. A combination that spells Iliotibial Band Syndrome is coming over time for some.

Stretching is one of the best ways to help recover from Iliotibial Band Syndrome as well prevent it from happening in the first place. Click the link for some great stretching and strengthening exercises for Iliotibial Band Syndrome from Knee Pain Explained.

Therapy

Stretching of course isn't the ITB "cure-all" for everyone, but it is worth talking to your therapist or trainer about it, if you have one. Otherwise strongly consider seeing a specialist about the issue and try to avoid conventional pain killers as these are usually very ineffective. Also, if you haven't experienced ITB problems, starting a regular stretching routine consisting of dynamic stretches before your run (i.e., stretches that are comprised of active movement specific to running such as heel kicks, knee lifts, jump squats, side shuffles, etc.) and static stretches after the run (more traditional stretch-and-hold type movements) will hopefully keep you ITB-problem-free. ITB release techniques provided at Strong For Life might not be the most comfortable to experience but are highly effective at releasing the tension and pain very quickly.

How to stretch effectively

Do an easy warm-up 5-minute jog; then do your pre-run stretch.

  • Don't bounce. The stretch should be slow and gradual.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Do not "push-through" the tightness and never stretch to the point of pain. (Over time, you'll be able to stretch further than you did initially.)
  • Stay relaxed and breathe while you stretch.

Good luck and don't forget to seek support when you need it and ideally before the problem stops you from your running.

Marcel Salazar

Physical Therapist

Strong For Life