Tag: training

Play through the Pain: 5 Tips to Minimize Sports-Related Pain

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – Pain is a part of everyday life for active Americans – whether as a result of their athletic pursuits or due to silly mishaps. Though pain can occur in the blink of an eye, it can linger for years and prevent sufferers from fully enjoying the sports and exercises they so love.

When participating in your favorite physical activity or trying out a new one for the first time, the last thing you want is for pain to live life for you. Ben Shear, performance trainer and Golf Digest fitness advisor, shares his tips on how to minimize and treat pain resulting from physical activity, so you can get back to performing at your best.

1. Warm Up

While warming up is often perceived as something only runners or collegiate or professional athletes need to do, no matter the physical activity you’re partaking in, it is crucial to properly warm up to avoid injury and minimize pain. In fact, according to a recent ThermaCare survey of 2,000 Americans, 45 percent of people feel they have injured themselves due to a lack of stretching or warming up. A good warm-up should increase core body temperature, making the muscles more receptive to stretching, and stretching keeps the muscles pliable and mobile.

2. Stock Up

When aches and injuries strike, it’s important to have items on hand that can combat pain quickly so that you can stay in the game. Be sure to stock up on a quick and effective topical pain reliever, like ThermaCare Ultra Pain Relieving Cream. It’s the first and only formula with four powerful pain-fighting ingredients that provides deep, penetrating relief for multiple types of pain, including sore muscles, joint pain, back pain, arthritis and body aches.

3. Massage Up

Sure, massages are a great way to unwind, but they can also aid with managing pain. Massages can help muscles recover, stimulate blood circulation and alleviate local inflammation to improve mobility and flexibility.

4. Fuel Up

Hydration is crucial when it comes to muscle and joint recovery; however, water isn’t the only fuel source to consider. The foods and drinks we consume can have a direct effect when it comes to minimizing muscle and joint pain post-exercise. Low-fat chocolate milk has the ideal recovery ratio of carbs to protein (4:1), so it can aid in faster muscle recovery. Nuts and seeds, as well as fish like salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. Moreover, they’re packed with lean protein – a key element of muscle restoration.

5. Switch it Up

Yes, you’re a golfer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore other types of physical activity to up your performance on the course. By introducing other types of workouts, like swimming and running, you’ll utilize different muscles and allow overused muscle groups a chance to heal and recover. Moreover, core and flexibility training can actually help you improve your athleticism, whether on the golf course or the basketball court.

For the 78 percent of people that participate in physical activity once or more a week, aches and pains are inevitable. Luckily, being equipped with thorough preparatory and recovery plans can make all the difference when it comes to getting back to feeling and performing your best.

Five Steps to Preparing for an Obstacle Course Race

Posted on by Bernard Doan

(BPT) – With popular obstacle- and ninja-style shows taking over TV, you might be curious what it takes to become a part of the competition. One expert ninja says this curiosity can springboard you quickly to the next level.

“‘I want to try it.’ This is the first thing I said before exploring training,” said John Wilmas, best known as the stair ninja (@stair_ninja on Instagram). He participates in competitive stair climbing with a passion for charity climbs. He also has competed on “American Ninja Warrior.”

“Most people enter this sport with a simple desire to give it a try and have fun,” he said. “If that is you, I encourage you to give it a go. From there, you can take additional steps to develop your skills.”

Wilmas recommends five tips when beginning to train for any obstacle-style event:

1. Find a local training gym or park

As the popularity of the shows has grown, so too has the desire for more obstacle-style training facilities. Research what is available in your area. Indoor gyms and outdoor obstacle parks featuring FitCore Extreme fitness equipment by Landscape Structures Inc. offer multiple whole-body fitness and agility options for children ages 5 to 12 and teens/adults ages 13 and over, so the whole family can participate. Learn more at www.playlsi.com.

2. Use your body weight as a training tool

If you can’t find training opportunities within 30 minutes of your home, focus on body-weight training and calisthenics – the type of training gymnasts do – to build your skills. Keep in mind that even if you can bench a lot of weight, it’s not the same as holding your own body weight. Train by using your own body weight as resistance because that is what will be tested on many of the obstacles.

3. Work on speed, balance and agility

Being agile and having good balance can help you conquer some of the toughest obstacles. Competitors that only focus on upper body strength will slip up on seemingly easier parts of the course simply because they don’t have good balance or speed. The faster you can go, the less energy you’ll expend, which means you can go further without getting tired. Speed can also be an alternative to balance. If you can go through some obstacles quickly, you’ll not have to rely on stellar balance skills.

4. Find friends and build camaraderie

What makes obstacle- and ninja-style competitions unique is everyone supports each other. It’s a competition, but competitors have strong bonds and encourage the success of each participant. When you start training and decide you enjoy the sport, try joining some local groups so you can build your own camaraderie. The support you’ll feel is incredible. You can start by researching local meetups on the Facebook group American Ninja Warrior Comrades.

5. Explore mental training

A big part of succeeding at this sport is mental strength. Believe in yourself and envision yourself successfully completing a challenge. A mental block is always the hardest obstacle, so if you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Repetition helps you gain confidence so your mind trusts your body. Then you can just go without overthinking it. The mind is your biggest asset if you use it to your advantage, but can also be your biggest hurdle if you let worries overtake your abilities.