Body tune-up time is now

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An evaluation of your past injuries, a gait assessment and running-specific exercises that include strength and balance could be just what you need to stay injury free and have a fun year of running.

By Bill Bedford, Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services and Bedford Fitness

“There’s not one body type that equates to success. Accept the body you have and be the best you can be with it.”

—Mary Cullen, Irish long-distance runner

It’s the time of year to get back outdoors. For many that means going for leisurely runs and for others more intense training for 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full marathons. You often get tune-ups for your bikes and cars, but don’t necessarily think about a tune-up for your body. An evaluation of your past injuries, a gait assessment and running-specific exercises that include strength and balance could be just what you need to stay injury free and have a fun year of running.

Often core strength, accessory muscles in your legs such as your hip abductors and adductor, as well as your foot strength, are overlooked when trying to run as many miles as possible. People often do not think about the importance of balance in running. If you land each time off balance, significantly more stress is applied to the bones, tendons and ligaments surrounding those joints.

Research has shown that a longer stride also increases stress on your joints and ligaments in your lower extremities. A simple way to decrease stride length is to run on a treadmill with a speed that is controlled while increasing your cadence. Download a metronome app on your phone and set the metronome to 180bpm (goal cadence) and try to land each step with the beat.

Whether you are new to running or have been running your whole life, we can be the place to give your body that needed tune-up to get you running more efficiently and with less injury. In many cases, health insurance covers the assessment and follow-up appointments.

Call 440-973-4950 for an appointment or visit BedfordPTFit.com for more information. Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services and Bedford Fitness are located at 2 Berea Commons, Suite 10, in Berea.