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Neck and Back Pain- Exercise, Stretching and Yoga…Cures!!?? November 24, 2017

During a recent conversation with a friend we discussed her headache and neck issues. The focus was on non-medical efforts to relieve her pain and prevent it in the future. The pain always started in or near the neck and her jaw.

We discussed a few stretches and exercises and discussed yoga. I looked for a couple of  articles that would describe moves/poses that can provide comfort to painful neck and head.

The following are some goodbasic moves/poses for the body and specifically the neck.





These are a bit more broad brush. Effective for the body and ultimately for the neck.







BROKEN HEART FITNESS – Fitness Group for Cardiac and Heart Patients  June 15, 2017

Broken Heart was the first name that came to mind. It doesn’t say the heart is done, just that it is broken in some way and can be improved or maintained. 

A fitness club or workout group that is focused  on cardiac issues relating to diet and exercise is an obvious group and many fitness clubs and groups address cardiac wellness and health in general . A group of this nature would focus specifically improving and / or maintaining the heart health , especially after a diagnosis of heart failure or heart disease.

Organizing, leading or supporting a helpful group provides the volunteers (some that are experts – interested patients or family members ) the opportunity to give back while also improving personal cardiac health and strength as needed. Service in the support of others is what we are here for.

God designed us to give or lend strength to others and those in need. It is one of the ways we fulfill His great Commandment : love other people as much as we love ourselves .  Heart Patients, heart experts and other interested persons can assist a group in organizing and succeeding.

The club/ group is being formed with the goals of :

  1. Assist all members in achieving fitness goals
  2. Promote best total health for all members
  3. Provide diet and food guidance and support
  4. Support lifestyle changes necessary for recovery and strength

If interested please follow up with comments and we will reply via email. 


A FIB, Atrial Fibrillation – Getting the Rhythm Back June 11, 2017

I have been writing lately about my diagnosis of heart failure / Atrial Fibrillation {A Fib} and the reasons I was unable to breathe comfortably at the beginning of March ( actually I was struggling and living a risky life for a few weeks before). Now that the diagnosis is in, I have the opportunity to overcome the problems that led to it and prepare for and live a healthy life.

The first situation was a 10 day stay in the hospital where the primary concern was helping me breathe easily again. This was achieved through an intensive medical regimen-centered on diuretics to flush my body of excess fluids. I lost nearly 50 pounds of fluid during the hospital stay. I continued to flush and lost more than 100 pounds.

What else was done or is done to treat and /or deal with heart failure and AFib ? What was prescribed for me?

  1. Medical- While in the hospital the doctors tried a handful of medicines to see what would work and eventually I ended up with prescriptions for 2 blood pressure medications(anti-hypertensives) One and A.C.E. inhibitor and a Calcium Channel blocker. I have also been taking a baby aspirin as a blood thinner(platelet thinner) As well as continued use of a low dose diuretic to reduce fluid build up.  I have also been taking magnesium and potassium since these valuable electrolytes are often flushed with diuretic use.
  2. Exercise- Though it was not specifically “prescribed” I was determined to get back to working out and the doctors seemed to let me go. I was essentially starting over so I was not able to overdo things at the beginning, and now almost 3 months later, I still can not really overdo it when I walk or ride or row BUT I have been tempted to push it a little with the resistance exercises ( lifting weights/machines)  I have experienced an increase in strength and fitness as I do the work and have even felt the cardio-vascular fitness improve. I have short and long term goals that include completing another marathon….but today I hope to be able to walk 2 1/2 miles in the next few weeks.
  3. Lose Weight- The goal here is to reach a weight that puts my BMI in the right zone, allows me to walk and run with little or no pain in my knees and I can wear clothing sizes I have not looked at in years.  Though I have listed this as a separate prescription it goes hand in hand with #2 and #4- [exercise and diet] I also got  nice head start with the 100 pound fluid loss , reduce stress on knees and body and allow me to keep moving. I recently started using a Heart rate monitor(I will write about using it later).
  4. Diet- The dietary recommendations were simple….NO SALT….NO SALT…NO SALT with a secondary focus on limiting fluids to 64 oz a day and a final focus on eating a low fat, low sugar diet with a focus on veggies and fruits and whole grains. I have just started on a specific popular program for weight loss and heart health and will write about it later.                                 AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST
  5. CARDIOVERSION TREATMENT -Cardioversion is a medical procedure done to restore a normal heart rhythm for people who have certain types of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias). Cardioversion is most often done by sending electric shocks to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. This may also be accomplished with medicines. This treatment will take place this week and i an eager for the results. I am curious how my fitness activities will feel when my heart is beating in a normal fashion.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Cardioversion_UCM_447318_Article.jsp#.WT1lTozyuM8




My Knees …Hey they feel Better April 12, 2015

As a football player…in my questionable youth… I did some damage to my knees { shoulder, head, ankle, elbow….} but I have been fortunate to keep them useful and supple by remaining active for the 30 years since I last strapped on knee braces and gold helmet.

I am constantly asked , “you run?” Then invariably the next question is isn’t it bad for the knees?    I ALWAYS chuckle and then tell them of my pre-running knee history but I quickly follow that running for fun and fitness from the time I finished playing football has kept my knees in useful condition.

A recent conversation with a friend led to this posting and hopefully will help her and maybe some others.

One thing I learned ass that injured body parts need to be used as soon as possible, even if in a light REHAB mode.  I found that keeping the knees supple was a matter of :

A. Smart exercise – regular but easy walking and running ( I have run many races ,including marathons BUT I do it easily and have fun) almost all NO 99.9% of running injuries are caused by running and training at limits without proper rest, recovery and balance.

Many people talk of overtraining but I see much more UNDER-RESTING.

More on this later….

Some other info to share.

The following is a few exercise s that are helpful for a many people. They are especially helpful if you are active or wish to be active again.


** A specific and useful exercise for knee pain and stability. It has the added benefit of increasing positive between hips,low back and knees. This all important triad can lead to long term comfort.




Training for Runners and Running – More than Roadwork March 9, 2014

As spring roles around and the 1st hit of spring is clocks SPRINGing FORWARD tomorrow- we think of training and fitness for the whole year and whole season. Cross-Training, strength Taining and flexibility are all key components of a total package and complete plan.

So few of us can or should race / compete in many races. We can participate in races and enjoy the camaraderie and the fitness and the spirit. Have fun, run, sweat stay fit but DO NOT TRAIN- like an Olympian. We work too many hours, have too many outside obligations and therefore insufficient time to rest and recover from hard Training workouts , We will have time to rest from easy 5-7 day/week runs.

*^What else to work on for Cross Training and fitness. Thoughts of specificity are foolish when talking to and about recreational/fitness runners


* Training for Runners- Total body fitness.


* Warm-up / Stretching / Prep to Run



Injuries and Soreness- What to do to Prevent and Treat March 1, 2014

Filed under: Cross Training,Health,Injuries,Injury-Rehab,Recovery,Rest,Running — bigfootmarty @ 7:38 pm
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There is always the non-stop convcersation / debate about the safety of running , or that running is bad for the knees…. I disagree as tot he safety or cause of injury.

RUNNING DOES NOT CAUSE INJURY !!  At least for most people. How they run is what causes most injuries.


-inappropriate training

-too much training

-Build up base level too fast

-Insufficient rest/Recovery

-Running when Injured

– and a few others BUT NOT Running per se ( I like saying/typing per se…)

Most runners should not TRAIN.  By that I mean they should workout- have fun maybe even prepare for marathons or half’s but following the published training plans is usually the cause of injury for runners that work the typical 40-50-70 hour work week.

The biggest cause of injury in runners is- INCOMPLETE REST AND RECOVERY .

If you get hurt what tools can help?

This item is my favorite. It bought mine over 20 years ago and use it to this day. I have big thick calves and this has helped prevent the troubles I was having in the early days of running.

ProStretch Normal size

   ProStretch Normal size

When I first got this I broke it after a month and then retailer realized they made a bigger one and he replaced mine and I have that one ever since-

This is a web pic of the wooden one that I have- but mine looks very much like this after 20+ years.

Prostrtch Large- Feet bigger that 13

Prostrtch Large- Feet bigger that 13




The next favorite tool is as et of rubber balls that are helpful in foor ( and hand) health. The M.E.L.T Method is useful in dealing with foot pain but also useful for the rest of the body.  Find an expert near you.

The foot treatment kit comes with video and instruction booklet-as well as the full set of rubber balls.

MELT Foot 1           MELT foot


Finally is the ever popular foam roller- There are some many different options- I only show 1 set here.

Some Foam Roller Options

Some Foam Roller Options


Pain Free and Injury Free ( at least new Injuries) Running and Fitness February 28, 2014

I have become a fan of the ideas in Chi Running. After running for 20+ years with football knees the skills in the book (and DVD/website) really help eliminate/limit pain and injury.-


One really good example of the wisdom of the Chi Idea.-


There are lots of ideas and theories about staying pain-free- The basics are- TAKE IT EASY, Get REST, Eat Right- Have Fun.

This site has lots of great posts and stories-



Tight back from Long SLOOOOW Run! December 7, 2013

Filed under: Injuries,Recovery,Rest,Walking — bigfootmarty @ 4:15 am
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Tight back from Long SLOOOOW Run!

I have not had back pain running in the past- but did a recent longer run- lots of slow walking ( leg hurting) and starting tightening up in low-Mid back.

Even tried my usual walking backwards and couple of handy stretches….

Some research-

How about Hip Flexors?


Great stretches- especially when combined with good basic set of flex exercises-





Stress, Recovery, Fitness and Exercise October 22, 2013

Filed under: Cross Training,Injury-Rehab,Recovery,Rest,Training — bigfootmarty @ 2:28 am
Tags: , , ,

Stress, Recovery, Fitness and Exercise

Like what I read about stress and recovery.

I am a big fan of proper exercise, training, food , REST and recovery.

I fully believe that nearly 95% of the running injuries people complain about at 5k’s and in running stores are self inflicted because the runner in question did more trained that she could handle , given the time available for proper rest and complete recovery.

There is often talk of overtraining but most of that is in reality UNDER-Resting.