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Finding the Best Exercise Shoes

Finding the Best Exercise Shoes

Exercise and Running ShoesThere is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the best running or exercise shoes, so finding one can be a daunting task. What makes the best exercise shoes may differ from one individual to the other depending on a lot of factors.

People who are out for a low impact evening jog might be interested in a more accommodative fit compared to someone who is trying to build up their speed work, while new joggers might opt for more cushion and structure than runners who are keen on setting new 5K records. Similarly, trail runners would experience difficulties on technical terrains if they went for a substandard road running shoe. On the other hand, track stars need spikes designed for top-end speed.

In the end, every runner wants shoes that are comfortable, lightweight, and have enough cushioning and support. Let’s look at some of the things you should look out for in running shoes.

What to Consider When Buying Running Shoes

Numerous things make exercise shoes good. Of course, high-quality materials mean the shoes will last longer, technical fabrics mean your shoes will be more breathable, and small details such as stitching make them more comfortable.

However, it’s good to mention that everyone’s feet are different, including their pronation, weight, foot-strike, and gait pattern. There are generally three kinds of feet, namely neutral, flat, and raised arches.

  • Neutral feet are considered the most biomechanically sound variation
  • The fallen arches on flat feet make them more tactile and susceptible to some inward rolling motion known as over-pronation.
  • Highly-raised feet are linked to rigid feet that bring about supination, making you to constantly land on the outer edges of your feet.

So, choose what suits you depending on the shape of your feet. Remember, buying running/exercise shoes is like buying a home or car—you’re going to have them for a significant amount of time, so you want something that you will feel comfortable wearing and also one that will make you look good.

Running Shoe Categories

Other than the type of feet you have, you also need to consider the different shoe categories when buying running shoes. There are basically three categories of running shoes based on the kind of activity you intend to engage in:

  • Cross-running shoes are designed for working out at the gym, CrossFit exercises, or balancing exercises where you have more contact with the floor.
  • Road running shoes are particularly built for running on paved paths and sometimes parked surfaces with little irregularities. They come in lightweight and flexible designs and are generally made to cushion or stabilize your feet when running on tough, even surfaces.
  • Trail-running shoes are designed for off-road running surfaces with roots, mud, rocks, and other hurdles. They feature aggressive tread enhancements for strong traction and offer underfoot protection, support, and stability.

In short, there isn’t a single running shoe for everyone. To narrow down your search, ask yourself these questions before buying a particular type of shoes:

  • What are your exercise/ running goals?
  • What is your budget?

So, why is it necessary to choose a proper shoe for running/exercise?

Choosing an appropriate shoe can help you avoid common injuries related to your type of exercise. Good running/exercise shoes will cushion your feet from heavy landings and minimize the effects of your step. What’s more, the right shoes can enhance your performance, for instance, enabling quick direction changes.

Foot Injuries Brought About by Improper Exercise Footwear

Inappropriate exercise/ running shoes can cause various injuries. The most common ones include bunions and corns, and ankle strains and fractures. There are also lesser-known injuries, such as Metatarsalgia, which presents itself as pain in the sole of the foot. This condition can be worsened by wearing poorly fitting footwear.

Whether you are a beginner runner looking for comfortable running shoes, or you are a seasoned marathoner chasing PRs, there’s definitely a perfect pair of shoes for you. Remember, the ideal running/exercise shoe has a lot to do with the shape of your feet and your workout style than it does with the brand/logo stitched on the side.

As a fitness trainer, physical therapist, or yoga instructor, incorporating massage therapy to your profession will not only improve your service delivery but also make you indispensable. Interested in learning more about how massage therapy can help in managing foot injuries? Contact our Seattle massage therapy schools today!

Also try contacting our sister massage therapy schools in Seattle for additional information regarding a career as a massage therapist

Rotator Cuff Tears

Rotator Cuff Tears

Rotator Cuff and Massage Therapy School

What is the Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is a very important part of the body as anyone who has had problems with it will testify. It is comprised of the muscles and tendons that join your shoulder and arm and allows you to move and lift your arms. Pretty major body part, right? As you can imagine it gets a lot of use and sees a lot of action. Unfortunately, it also gets a great deal of abuse from repeated use whether from hard work or play. Or the shoulder may be injured in an accident or awkward maneuver. The rotator cuff can also get worn out from regular use over the years or weakness, aka, advanced age.

What Cause Rotator Cuff Injuries
There are several causes of strains or tears to the rotator cuff which can be a minor or serious shoulder area injury. The major causes are generally overuse or accidental injury. A person may have been dealing with years of pain or may have just been injured in an accident. Accidental injury can be caused by a serious car wreck or it can simply be from grabbing a heavy bag. Either way, an injured person can benefit from a trained massage therapist or a healthcare professional who has massage training in clinical or therapeutic massage therapy. There is nothing better than being able to help people feel stronger and healthier while creating a more viable career for your new life.

Using Massage To Ease Rotator Cuff Injuries
It is important to work with guidance from medical professionals when treating a person who has been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. Depending on the injury, the client may need medical intervention or even surgery. But often the rotator cuff injury can be treated with specific massage techniques and stretching exercises. A careful, gentle, and slow touch is needed to prevent further injury and increase healing. Remember, first, do no harm.

Minor and Moderate Rotator Cuff Tears
Massage treatment is particularly helpful for addressing minor strain and moderate tear injuries. Gentle massage and slow stretching treatments can help increase range of motion, shoulder function, flexibility, and lessen pain. In addition, you can educate your client on exercises to strengthen the muscles. You can also help them prevent additional trouble or injury with tips for the proper use and care of their shoulders. This is critical to prevent damage to the injured shoulder and to protect the other shoulder from overuse injury while it is shouldering more than its share of the work.

Treating Serious Tears of Rotator Cuffs
Understanding your patient’s condition and treatment goals are very important. For a variety of reasons, from recovery hope to scheduling issues to fear, some clients with rotator cuff injuries may not want to have surgery. Such clients will, therefore, want to give alternative therapy a try, and turn to massage therapy. You may be able to help them with their goal to avoid surgery or at least postpone it. You can help them feel better and have more flexibility while they determine if they will need surgery. Your massage treatments can help ease their pain and stiffness and increase their mobility. You can also help clients with the recovery after they have had surgery to repair their rotator cuff damage.

Working with Clients
Healing a rotator cuff injury requires specialized massage treatment, a gentle touch, and a client who is committed to recovery. For most injuries, a series of massage treatments will be needed along with a regime of physical therapy and particular exercise work. As a physical therapy assistant or fitness trainer, you can assist with physical therapy and exercise training to get your client on the road to recovery. You can encourage and educate your client on how to be healthier and take an active role in their own recovery and treatment. Helpful tips like using a ladder instead of reaching overhead can prevent more damage. It is gratifying to help people improve their health and quality of life.

Benefits of Massage Therapy Training
Massage therapy training will allow you to assist your clients as a massage therapist, nurse, physical therapy assistant, Yoga or Pilates instructor, fitness trainer, or nursing home assistant. This training can be an invaluable tool to enhance and grow your current career. Want to take your professional life to a new, higher level? Seattle Clinical Massage School can make it happen. Seattle Clinical Massage School will help you train to be a better health care professional with their expert educational resources. Start your journey to a finer life now with Seattle massage therapy schools.

Massage Therapy & Endurance Sports

Massage Therapy & Endurance Sports

Sports Massage RunnersIt takes strength, stamina, and yes, endurance, to be an endurance athlete. Taking part in these marathons, and triathlons and such sporting events requires training and preparation of both the mind and body.

Post-event, massage therapy is crucial in aiding with recovery. Pre-event, this therapy can significantly influence and impact an endurance athlete’s performance, in the following and among other ways:

Increased Flexibility

Flexibility and being able to stay agile are both important elements of endurance sports. Flexibility will give athletes a wider and more solid range of motion, enabling them to be quick and endure long periods on their feet, or bike pedals.

Massage therapy stretches muscle fibers, promoting and maintaining flexibility. Coupling this therapy with some static and dynamic stretching exercises helps to improve flexibility.

Improved Circulation

Tight muscles do restrict the flow of blood. Deep tissue massage and other massage therapy techniques help to restore and improve this circulation. It also promotes the growth of new mitochondria, which, in turn, increases the rate at which muscles utilize oxygen. The mitochondria are the body’s powerhouses, and as such, the athlete will have more than enough energy to sustain through the event.

Better circulation also ensures that athletes can breathe even more easily. They don’t have to worry about spells of struggling to catch their breath mid-race.

Alleviation of Muscle Pain

Pain, in its different severities from mild to severe, is quite common among endurance athletes. Be it from an old injury or muscle tightening and cramping, dealing with the pain during the event will definitely impair an athlete’s performance. Massage therapy is an excellent non-medicine option for dealing with this pain, helping to enhance performance.

Massage helps to loosen muscle knots and ease cramping that would otherwise cause pain. It also helps in breaking down any scar tissue from previous injuries. This is not to mention that massage therapy stimulates the release of feel-good endorphins in your brain. All in all, the athletes can confidently focus on your sporting event without the pain.

Benefits Beyond the Muscles

Massage therapy has been shown to improve the quality and quantity of sleep that you will be getting. An endurance athlete that is getting enough of sound sleep will definitely be performing at their best compared to one who is dealing with sleep-deprivation or not getting enough restful sleep. How much sleep they are getting, or not getting, will only affect your mental well-being, and this is as important as your physical well-being.

Similarly, massage therapy helps with relaxation, pre-event. Preparation for the event can be overwhelming, and it is not uncommon for athletes to have anxiety attacks, and especially so close to the event. The mental strain that comes with feeling overly anxious will only stand in the way of the athletes performing at their most optimal level.

The Need for Professional Massage Therapy Services

Athletes may be able to massage their legs or arms, but more likely than not, the experience will not yield the highlighted benefits quite as well as if a professional took on the job. It takes specialized training to deliver the kind of massage therapy experience that will prove beneficial for the body and mind of endurance athletes.

Sports massage therapy is a well sought-after service among endurance athletes. This is, of course, on account of the many benefits that the therapy bestows. Some athletes go for a session a week, others schedule multiple sessions every week, so the demand for the service is definitely there.

Do a great job with clients, and you can confidently look forward to more looking for your services. This is because athletes maintain a tight-knit circle or community, and you stand to benefit from referrals.

At Seattle Clinical Massage School, you can get started on your journey to becoming a sports massage therapist, or receive additional training on the same. You get to enjoy a flexible schedule that will not disrupt your lifestyle or schedule. You will also be learning from a diversely-gifted and experienced team of instructors, including massage therapists and chiropractors.

If you are interested in helping endurance athletes to experience and enjoy the benefits of massage therapy, among others, do not hesitate to sign up for your class today.

For additional Seattle massage school options check out our partner school Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts