By TRICIA HILL
When working out has it ever felt like it is not doing any good or that you’re stuck in a rut? To address those questions Boscobel Area Health Care’s Physical Therapy Department presented to a group of people ideas on how to stay “Fit for Life.” The “Fit for Life” presentation was held on Monday at 5:30 p.m. in Boscobel Area Health Care’s cafeteria and was presented by Physical Therapy Assistant, Galton Barker.
The focus of the presentation was to help the guests learn how to start getting into shape, stretching, and how to prevent injuries.
When to start?
According to Barker the first step when starting to work out is setting up a plan. However, even when the plan is set up it can always be changed. When making the plan though, make sure that there are always a couple days scheduled for a day off from the normal routine. For example, if running is what your training entails, take a few days off and try biking; by doing this you’re working your legs in a different direction.
“Don’t be afraid of trial and error,” said Barker.
Once the workout plan is made, start putting the plan into action. Remember to always start slow and gradually start working harder.
“Your body will tell you what it can do and what it can’t, you just need to listen,” Barker said.
What Barker means by this is if running and a back pain appears that is causing an unbelievable pain, then the runner’s body is telling the runner to back off some and not push so hard.
Another problem that people run into when working out is that after a while they seem to hit a plateau, where they stop losing weight. According to Braker this is happening because their body has become accustomed to their routine. A way of stopping this from happening is by changing up the plan made in the beginning. Add workouts into your routine that work another part of the body. If a runner is starting to feel stuck, they should do something that works a different part of their body besides their legs, such as their core area.
Barker also presented the importance of stretching to the audience by talking about what stretches work the best and how to perform them. Barker told the audience that when stretching after a workout they need to hold each stretch for 30 seconds. By doing this, it will help the muscles relax after tightening up during the workout.
“Stretching is something that everyone should do throughout the day and not just after a workout, to prevent injuries from happening,” Barker said.
As important as stretching is, Barker also expressed the importance of making sure the stretch is being done properly. Barker demonstrated how certain stretches are properly done. For example, he demonstrated a squat by using the wall as a way to keep his back straight. By doing this, it will keep the person from hurting their back by stretching it in the wrong direction. Another option he gave to make sure that the person is stretching properly is to stretch with a friend or in front of a mirror to see what is being done wrong.
The final point Barker discussed was how to take care of an injury properly. If after a few days of working out, there starts to become tightening in the muscles, always remember to ice. Icing will help the tightening numb and eventually make the muscle pain go away. If the icing doesn’t seem to help, then another option would be to take a wet towel and wrap it around a heating pad and then place it in the location of the pain. This will then help by deep conditioning the area, both numbing and relaxing the muscle.
Barker often sees injuries that are caused not only from people not stretching after a workout but also from the types of shoes that are being worn when working out.
“If the shoes being worn are not supporting the right areas it can cause pain in both the feet and the calves,” said Barker.
So always remember when buying shoes don’t just buy the cheapest pair available. Make sure that the shoe is going to give the support that is needed; however, the shoe may end up being more costly. When buying shoes for working out Barker recommended Saucony, Brooks, and Asics.
The “Fit for Life” presentation had a wonderful turn out and brought some new information to the audience. If interested in more information from the “Fit for Life” presentation or on any of the fitness aspect, contact Mary Sprosty at Boscobel Area Health Care.