The Right Run- Your Action Plan

200498101-001Still hell-bent on racking up the miles? Remember there’s a fine line between pushing through and pushing your luck — and only you (and your doctor) will know what’s best when the running gets rough.

By taking a few precautions and planning, you can prevent many common running injuries. Here are some tips for preventing injuries.

To minimize the aches and pains, consider these general tips to help stay on the safe side:

  • Listen to your body: Don’t ignore pain. A little soreness is OK. But if you notice consistent pain in a muscle or joint that doesn’t get better with rest, see your health care provider.
  • Create a running plan: Before beginning a running routine, talk to a trainer. A trainer can help you create a running plan that is in line with your current fitness/abilities and long-term goals.
  • Stick to the 10 percent rule: Don’t increase mileage by more than 10 percent each week. Upping those miles unexpectedly is a major reason overuse injuries happen!
  • Warm up & cool down: Heading for an intense run? Remember to warm up and cool down to ease the body in and out of a workout. This will help keep injuries at bay.
  • Stretch: Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly — especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps. Also, warm up for five minutes — by walking, for example — before you start stretching. Stretching cold muscles may cause injuries.
  • Fix your form: Smooth and efficient is the key. Not only will poor form hinder performance, it could lead to unnecessary pain. So make sure to use correct running technique to prevent injuries, especially shin splints and back aches. Imbalances in the body can also lead to problems down the road, and it never hurts to visit a skilled physical therapist who can help identify and address any biomechanical issues.
  • Strength train: Add weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength. Lifting can increase structural fitness — which helps bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles endure all that pounding. Pay special attention to strengthening hips, since weak hips are linked to higher rates of injury.
  • Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don’t only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.
  • Be sneaker smart: Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, it’s time to get a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts. Keep track of how many miles those shoes have logged, and replace them every 600 miles — if not sooner! It’s also worth swinging by a specialty running shoe store, where they can help you figure out which shoe is the perfect fit.
  • Run wisely: Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity. Avoid running on uneven surfaces that put unnecessary stress on ligaments. And while off-roading is a fun change of pace, rough terrain may make it easier to twist an ankle — so be extra careful on the trails.
  • Know your limit: Make sure to take at least one day off per week, and mix up those hill-repeats with some easier recovery runs. Don’t forget to pencil in regular rest days, too. You (and your body) deserve it!
  • Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.
  • Weather matters: Monitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don’t run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.
  • Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.

Treatment of Common Running Injuries

imagesMost running injuries can be relieved by following these treatment strategies. If pain and discomfort continues, see your health care provider. You may need more advanced treatment to resolve your running injury.

Rest: Take it easy. If you keep running, your injury may get worse. Choose alternative ways to exercise while you heal, such as swimming or cycling.

Ice and cold therapy: Apply ice packs to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Compression: Wrap the affected area with tape and use splints and supports to control swelling and stabilize the affected area.

Elevate: If you sprain your ankle or hurt your foot, elevate it to reduce swelling.

Stretch: To reduce pain and tension of the affected area, gently stretch and massage the injured area.

Pain relievers: Take pain relievers.

Activity levels: Decrease the amount of activity & return slowly to previous activity levels. Don’t try to push through pain. If you notice discomfort, take a break from running. If the pain continues, seek care from your health care provider.

Disclaimer: Remember that none of this information should substitute professional medical advice. Definitely check with a doctor or physical therapist first once those aches and pains arise!

The Right Run- Common Injuries

Running is a great way to stay in shape. But it can take a toll on your muscles and joints. To avoid running injuries, it’s important to take precautions before you set out.

Most running injuries happen when you push yourself too hard. Adding distance or speed to your running routine, running up hills, and interval training are just some of the reasons running injuries occur. Body mechanics — the way your body is designed — also play a role. The hips, knees, legs, and feet are the most vulnerable to injury.Untitled.001

Runner’s Knee

Type of Injury: Overuse injury

Causes: Several. But it’s commonly due to the kneecap being out of alignment.

What to Look Out For: Vigorous activity leads to pain around the kneecap, particularly when:

  • going up or down stairs
  • squatting
  • sitting with the knee bent for a long time

Stress Fracture

Causes: This is a small crack in a bone that causes pain and discomfort. It typically affects runners in the shin and feet. Often due to going too hard before your body gets used to a new activity.

What to Look Out For: Pain gets worse with activity and improves with rest. Rest is important, as continued stress on the bone can lead to more serious injury.

Shin splint

Causes: Commonly occur after a change in activity, such as running longer distances or increasing the number of days you run too quickly.

What to Look Out For: A pain that occurs in the front or inside of the lower leg along the shin bone (tibia). People with flat feet are more likely to develop shin splints.

Achilles Tendinitis

Causes: This is inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

What to Look Out For: Achilles tendinitis causes pain and stiffness in the area of the tendon, especially in the morning and with activity. It is usually caused by repetitive stress to the tendon, often due to increasing running distance too quickly. Tight calf muscles may also play a part.

Muscle Pull

Causes: A small tear in your muscle, also called a muscle strain, often caused by overstretching of a muscle.

What to Look Out For: If you suffer a pulled muscle, you may feel a popping sensation when the muscle tears.

Muscle pull commonly affects these muscles:

  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • calf
  • groin

Ankle Sprain

Causes: This is the stretching or tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle. It often occurs when the foot twists or rolls inward.

What to Look Out For: Pain in & around the ankle.

Untitled.001Plantar Fasciitis


An inflammation of the plantar fascia. That’s the thick band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. People with tight calf muscles and a high arch are more prone to plantar fasciitis. Although it may be linked to an increase in activity, plantar fasciitis may occur without any identifiable reason.

What to Look Out For: Pain in the arches in weight bearing activities.

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)

The iliotibial band is a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.

Causes: ITBS occurs when this ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone, causing inflammation. Long-distance runners are more likely to develop ITBS.

What to Look Out For: This syndrome causes pain on the outside of the knee.


Causes: These are fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin. They are caused by friction between your shoes/socks and skin.

What You Can Do: To help prevent blisters:

  • start using new shoes gradually
  • wear socks with a double layer
  • apply petroleum jelly on areas prone to blisters

Temperature-related Injuries

These include:

  • sunburn
  • heat exhaustion
  • frostbite
  • hypothermia

These can be prevented by dressing appropriately, staying hydrated, and using sunscreen.

Visit Us This Tuesday to Know More on Injury Prevention & Treatment!

The Right Run- Incorrect vs. Correct #Graphically

NOTE: This post explains Biomechanics of Running pictorially.

Which Runner are You?

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Incorrect Vs. Correct

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Achieving Good Running Form

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The Right Run- Foot & Footwear

“The Right Run” is a series of 6 articles, spaced across 2 weeks-

  1. Foot & Footwear
  2. Incorrect vs Correct
  3. Common Injuries
  4. Your Action Plan
  5. A few Exercises
  6. Barefoot vs. Shoe

Running puts a lot of stress on the feet and for this reason runners should choose a pair of running shoes that is comfortable and provides the best support for their feet. When choosing the best running shoes it is important to keep in mind that there are different types of feet and different types of shoes.

Types of Running Shoes

81MpLyVMAIL._SL160_BO1,0,0,0_PA6,6,6,6_Stability Running Shoes– If you are an over-pronator, the best running shoes for you are stability shoes. Over-pronation is when your ankle rolls inward too much whenwalking or running. It can strain your ankles and lead to injuries. Stability shoes provide extra support to prevent or minimize over-pronation.


Motion Control Running Shoes– Motion control shoes are stability shoes specially designed for severe overpronators. They have a special sole unit and upper construction that help lock your foot in position.

91wxWakbDqL._SL160_BO1,0,0,0_PA6,6,6,6_Neutral Cushioning Running Shoes– Cushioned running shoes are designed for “efficient” runners, or runners with normal pronation as well as those with high arches and mild under-pronation or supination. This type of running shoe provides cushioning to distribute the body weight over the entire length and width of the foot. The midsole is typically soft and flexible, providing medium support under the arch. Neutral-cushioned shoes are usually lighter than other types of running shoes and are great for long distance runs.


Minimalist Running Shoes– Minimalist models represent the latest trend in running shoes. This type of running shoe is extremely lightweight and typically have a flat out-sole, no visible arch depression, and no mid-foot structure. A growing number of runners have embraced minimalist or barefoot running because it is said to improve your running form.

Know Your Shoe Type

There’s no single ‘best shoe’ – everyone has different needs. All sorts of things – your biomechanics, your weight, the surfaces you run on, and obviously, the shape of your feet – mean that one person’s ideal shoe can be terrible for another person.

The first step in finding your basic shoe needs is to try the ‘Wet Test‘.

Keep in mind that the best running shoe is different for every person. Find out what type of running shoe is suitable for your feet.


Method of tying of laces also is as important as the shoes you select…


We have seen about shoes, now lets see about the types of Socks. The next time your out shopping for socks look out for characteristics like:

  • Flat Toe Seam
  • Breathable fabric
  • Anti Slip Wedge
  • Cushioned Heel & Toe Box
  • ‘Y’ Heel
  • Arch Band


Now that we have the correct footwear we will next see the biomechanics for running…the incorrect & the correct!


Scoliosis- Contraindications in Exercise

In continuation of our discussion on Scoliosis..

Your doctor can give you a more specific recommendation based on your specific condition, but there are a few things that people with scoliosis should avoid, or at least be wary of.

  • Poor Form: It is important to learn proper form as it allows you to keep an upright posture. Poor form can lead to unbalanced muscles, nerve damage, & can increase your back pain. When you work out work in front of a mirror & strive to maintain level shoulders & hips. Keep your head in line with your neck, & always look straight ahead.
  • High Impact: High impact exercise isn’t good for anyone’s joints. Opt for low- or no-impact exercises like swimming or cycling instead of running or plyometrics.
  • Collision Sports: Collision sports like football, boxing & wrestling can cause damage to your spine. Scoliosis means your spine is already curved — severe impact from any angle can cause tremendous pressure on your vertebrae. It won’t make the curve worse, but it can cause tiny fractures that can weaken the spine over time.
  • Torque Sports: Torque sports involve spinal twisting. It’s a tricky situation, because a gentle spinal rotation that stops within your pain threshold, like a yoga seated spinal stretch, can actually be a good way to relieve back pain. But sports like gymnastics & martial arts that require fast, high-powered spinal rotation can easily force you beyond your comfort zone & end up causing you more pain in the long run. It won’t make your scoliosis worse, but there’s very seldom an opportunity to stop when it hurts or favor a particular side — the rotation is usually part of the mechanics of the stunt, and failing to rotate properly can cause an unsafe landing that definitely could damage your spine.

Living Active at 60+

“What is Age?”


“Just a number!”
It doesn’t matter whether you are 17 or seventy, if you decide to be happy, healthy and enjoy life!
Bright examples of the likes of Pandit Ravishankar who, at the grand old age of 90 is still playing his Sitar so magnificently that his concerts are drawing capacity crowds. Let’s not forget the biggest star of Bollywood Amitabh Bachan who is still acting, even at the age of 60! Lata Mangeshkar is still belting out hit songs, while Gulzaar is still writing beautiful and soul touching poetry along with hit scripts!
Still we see that people have wrong assumptions about the old, when instead ‘Life begins after 40….’. We see ads talking about anti-ageing properties of creams, we see celebrities who go to extreme measures to look young. Everywhere you see there is an obsession of not aging and looking younger. While being young is celebrated, old age is something we feel we need to hide.
The obvious reason why we would all like to defy ageing and remain young is because getting old has been associated with illness, ailments, dependency and a general deterioration in quality of our life.
But we fail to note that old age is not cause of all these; it is ill health that is to be blamed.
So, how do you AGE HEALTHY?Quite Simply … By Being ACTIVE!
Being physically active reduces the onset of many chronic diseases and reduces the physical decline in the elderly.

Benefits of staying Active in Old Age:
  1. Reduced Loss of Muscle Mass: As we grow older, our muscle mass reduces thus we experience reduced strength. But regular exercise can improve circulation and reduce loss of muscle mass.
  2. Prevent Falls: When we are active, we move constantly thus strengthen the joints while improving flexibility, which prevents them from falls or other accidents.
  3. Strengthen Bones: Regular weight bearing exercises- walking maintains bone strength and protects against fractures.
  4. Reduced Risk: For ailments- Blood pressure, Coronary heart disease and delay onset of Diabetes.
  5. Reduced Osteoarthritis Pain: Because of improved blood circulation and greater bone health, you would feel reduced osteoarthritis pain.
  6. Social and Emotional Benefits: Those who are active, feel better about themselves, remain happy, are more sociable because they can go out and visit others, they can sleep better.

Those who are active can maintain their balance, have control over their weight, can move around independently and are able to lift, pull and push things easily. Thus those who are active live a more happy, healthy and fulfilled life.

Avoid Smoking:
We have all heard about the health hazards caused due to smoking, but still many senior citizens continue to smoke. Studies suggest that smoking not only contributes to the fine wrinkles on your face but is also harmful to the health of your heart.

Regular Medical Check Ups:
Senior citizens should very importantly get regular checkups done. This is the best way to prevent chronic medical problems. Regular checkups help to fix whatever problem you have before they get worse.

Keep Busy? How?
Positive attitude helps to keep you healthy. Being positive and thinking about all the good things in your life even when things are not going right helps to remain calm and relaxed. A relaxed mind and a positive approach help to improve your immunity and gain good health.

How to Stay Active?
There are plenty of benefits of staying active in our senior years, but does that mean you have to buy expensive equipment or join gym to do so?– Definitely not.
Doctors believe that any kind of moderate exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, gardening, cycling are excellent to maintain a good fitness levels and also stay fit.
What about being Mentally Active?
According to Help Age International which in an organization working for elderly, “Most people’s mental abilities (memory, learning, creativity, intelligence) remain unchanged as they grow older, especially if they remain mentally active and involved (listening, talking, advising, reading, telling stories).”
Thus unlike what we think, old age is not about weak cognitive and memory, if we remain active and keep ourselves busy, we can definitely keep our wits about us. Further, research also shows that human brain can adapt and grow even in old age. The decline in mental abilities in old age is more because of degenerative diseases rather than old age. The other age related losses like poor memory and cognition is more due to mental inactivity rather than old age per se.
How to stay mentally active?
In old age, more activity equals to better health so like physical activity, more mental activity means increased connections between nerve cells.
A study conducted on 2000 seniors over the age of 65 who engage in exercising, reading and indulging in conversation had 38% less chance of suffering from Alzheimer’sSo, play games (Sudoku, puzzles, board games, card games), read interesting books or magazines, indulge in stimulating conversations, also socializing is also a good way of staying alert mentally.
Exercise: Exercise is the best way to remain healthy and fit at any age. Exercise in form of walking, jogging or even simple stretches can be very beneficial. Exercising, not only helps in preventing many diseases but also in fighting ageing process.
It is rightly said,
‘If you do not use your body, you will lose it.’
Exercise can also improve gait, balance, coordination, reaction time, and muscle strength—even in very old and frail elderly people. It also proves that current physical activity protects against hip fracture, reducing the risk by up to 50. Thus, people who regularly exercise are less likely to fall.

Group Walks: Walking is good, whether the outcome measurement is blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint problems or mental health.
For people in their 60s, regular walking appears to lower the risk of dementia. Walking helps stave off dementia as it improves cerebral blood flow & lowers risk of vascular disease.
Sitting is bad for cholesterol. Its bad for your back & muscles.
Story teller: Old parents make great storytellers. If your grandkids are too young, then you can tell stories to your grandkids very often or every day. And you can help your grandchildren in their studies.
“Books are a man’s best friend” 
is a famous old adage and is very true. Many people like to read mythological books in old age. So next time you pass by a book stall, remember to buy one.
Laughter Club: You can also become a member of the laughter club as we all know that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter raises the serotonin levels in the brain and offers a ‘feel good’ factor. Exercising regularly will not only keep you active but will also decrease your risk of injury and age related diseases.
Kirtans: If you are devotional then go to kirtans and bhajans regularly. Going to kirtans and bhajans will not only keep you engaged but will also help in making new friends of the same age group, which is quite important as it helps you socialize.
Hobby: If you loved doing something but couldn’t do it because of work responsibilities and family then old age is the time right time for you to nurture your hobby. For instance, gardening, painting, writing etc.
Doing plenty of mentally-stimulating activities – such as playing chess, reading a newspaper, or attending a play – in old age helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Going out: Sitting home can be really boring for old people. Go for a stroll in the evening, meet friends. You can also go for plays, picnics etc with your friends.
Volunteer: Many people after retirement join some NGO and volunteer in many activities. If you are really interested in volunteering, join a NGO.

Factors like depression affect your health as you age; hence it is necessary to keep your mind busy and entertained by pursuing a hobby, solving crosswords or Sudoku. Solving puzzles stimulates your brain, improves memory and offers clarity of mind both short term and long term.
You can also learn new things that you enjoy as there is no age to learning, or you can volunteer to share your talents with others.
Working out your brain prevents depression and frustration and offers mental peace and good health.
Growing old is a natural process that we all are approaching little by little each day. By implementing the above mentioned tips in your day to day life will keep your body and mind fit, and help you to age gracefully.
“Be Active, Live Longer and Healthier!”