Active Moms’ Club is thrilled to introduce a new guest blogger and AMC partner today, Shannon Schaeffer, physical therapist and owner of Complete Physical Therapy & Fitness in Lincoln Park. Shannon is passionate about fitness, having run numerous marathons, and she enjoys helping people achieve their full potential through her talents as a therapist. Welcome to the Club Shannon!
With outdoor fitness classes beginning this week, we asked Shannon to provide AMC moms with some tips on how to transition to outdoor activity and remain injury free.
As a physical therapist, I see many different types of injuries that occur from both recreational sports and general fitness, especially in the springtime. A common factor in many of these injuries is pushing oneself too hard too fast and not having your body properly prepared for new challenges. Outdoor activities are ramping up as the weather gets nicer, and here are five tips on how to transition to outdoor activity injury free.
- Start slow. One of the most common mistakes made when starting an exercise program is overloading your body too much in the beginning. Our bodies need time to adapt to new challenges, different activities, and unfamiliar terrain. One of the best ways to avoid muscle soreness and injury is to employ a work-to-rest ratio system. For example, if your goal is to run for 25 minutes, you could start on day one with running for 2 minute followed by walking for 1 minute and repeat for the entire workout. If you feel good the next day, increase the work-to-rest ratio to running 3 minutes, walking 1 minute for your next workout.
- Stretch. Stretching is extremely important when it comes to any activity. Three important stretches to incorporate: calf, hamstring, and quadriceps. The ideal time to stretch is when your body is warmed up, midway through your workout or directly following it. Aim to hold each stretch for 25-30 seconds and perform each one to three times on both legs.
- Listen to your body. Getting in tune with your body is important, especially for moms getting back into fitness post-baby. If you feel something is ‘not quite right’ don’t push through the pain. The old adage, “no pain no gain” is not applicable for recent postpartum moms. Listen to your body and build up muscle strength and endurance in a healthy way. If you have any pelvic discomfort or unusual muscle tightness, talk to your healthcare provider.
- Strength Training. Strength training or functional exercises, such as those exercises in AMC’s programming, is an excellent way to keep your body strong. Cross training is also an ideal means for achieving a healthy, balanced body.
- Pre-hab. Pre-habilitation is an proactive way to remain injury free and avoid prolonged muscle soreness, particularly if your goal is to train for an event that requires extra miles, such as a half marathon, marathon or triathlon. If your body is primed for activity it will respond correctly. The pre-hab program is offered exclusively by Complete Physical Therapy & Fitness. The program uses manual stretching, soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, and other modalities as needed to prepare your muscles for peak performance.
To learn more information on the injury prevention program or information regarding the topics above, visit our website, or contact Shannon directly at Shannon@completeptandfitness.com. Follow on Facebook.
Shannon Schaeffer is a physical therapist and owner of Complete Physical Therapy and Fitness, LLC in Chicago, IL. Shannon graduated from Marquette University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009 and has a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She has a passion for helping people attain their full potential and make a difference in people’s lives through her career. Shannon leads a very active lifestyle, including running marathons. She just completed her sixth marathon this past October in Chicago, and qualified for the Boston Marathon.