We are so excited to have a word this week from master Physical Therapist, full-time health professional, part-time trail runner and constant-time Human, Dr. Phil Lombardo, Board Certified Doctor of Physical Therapy. He shares a few simple tips on tracking toward physical well-being.
I was at exactly mile 12.2 of an 18-mile trail race up and down a significant incline when my calves and hamstrings started to seize up on me. We’ve all been there. I could jog, but only for about 30 seconds until they would lock up and fight back reminding me I could only walk. How emotionally painful it was to walk the last 6 miles of a race after spending the last 6 months training. I had a goal, but I knew then and there I was not going to achieve my goal that day because I had not prepared properly.
Dr.Phil Lombardo, Board Certified Doctor of Physical Therapy
I achieved my doctorate in Physical Therapy from NYU 15 years ago and have since compiled a long list of certifications. I am most proud of being one of only about 20 doctors Board Certified in Sports Medicine. I can recommend literally dozens of books on how to train, including movement strategies and corrective exercises, training protocols, footwear recommendations. You name it.
The one thing I see most common among almost all athletes is an inability to truly care for their body and a dedication to proper recovery during times of intense training. After a disappointing finish in the most exciting event of my life I was able to get myself past the common lies that tie us down, such as "I don’t have the time for this" or "I don’t want to spend money on this.” I did it by changing the only thing I actually could, my own mind. I turned “I have no time” into “I can’t waste my time anymore” and “I don’t have a choice but to do this if I want to achieve my goals!”
I truly feel that if you’re not doing the basics, you shouldn’t even don’t bother with the highly scientific processes.
"Simplicity is the glory of expression." Walt Whittman
So without further delay, here’s a short list of strategies I've found success with:
Food Ha! Simple...Processed food equals inflammation and Whole Foods equals a happy, clean and strong engine.
Natural Movement Training MovNat lays out a fitness program and philosophy that will allow you to forever reconcile with your body and natural motion. I practice MovNat without fail and so should you. Make yourself more human! Yeah, you heard me right.
Dr. Lombardo opened the first MovNat licensed facility in New Jersey at Axiom fitness
Reivnenting the Warm-up
iON's CHARGE All -Natural Warm-up Rub
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Cryotherapy If you’ve ever been interested in cryotherapy but were hesitant, start today. I never had any interest in cryotherapy, until I started. Hands-down it is a once a week part of my training regiment, no excuses! I highly recommend CryoRevive in Riverdale.
Team Approach Have a strong team behind you, always. I humbly consider myself an expert in multiple areas, but I know there are still many areas where other people know more than me. I have my own doctor of physical therapy take care of me the minute something starts barking at me. I have my own personal MovNat trainer, another coach for my running program and another trainer coaching my strengthening program. They're all AWESOME!
Meditation WTF...I should have made this rule number one! Physical performance improves in every study that is published regarding mindfulness and meditation. Sleep helps to flush out toxins from your brain, but meditation helps to rewire and reconfigure your brain for optimal performance. Perfectionism, self-doubt, overtraining, and emotional fatigue all lead to lower levels of performance.
Don’t forget to have fun! Do something physical for your body that’s fun. It’s called playing. You used to do it every day for about the first 10 years of your life. Get creative.
Floating Lying flat on the floor is one thing, but if you really want to decompress your joints, give your muscles a well-deserved snooze, and resent your nervous system...this is the way to go. I recommend CloudAquatics in Wyckoff.
These are a few strategies that I've found success with and I’m confident that if you give them a try, you will, too!