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10 Ways to Stay Motivated and Focused on Fitness Goals

runner at sunset

Medi-Dyne’s Athlete Ambassador and Guest Blogger, Meghan Kennihan,

has 10 tips for staying on track with your fitness and health goals!

Did you make a training goal for 2017? Sign up for a spring, summer, or fall race? Have you already lost your motivation? If so, I am here to help. Don’t despair! Here are 10 tips to get your MOJO back and ACHIEVE your goals.

 

  • Get Paid! : Money is the ultimate motivator. The best way to sustain motivation is immediate gratification. Put a dollar in a jar every time you workout for more than 30 minutes.  Use the money at the end of the month to reward yourself with a night on the town, massage, or spa treatment.
  • Get Help! : Enlist the help of a personal trainer or run coach. Not only will they be able to show you the best exercises for you but they also will teach you proper technique to avoid injury and hold you accountable for your goals.
  • Get Happy! : Exercise has a wonderful ability to flood your body and brain with “happy” endorphins but you will counteract this benefit if you are dreading every step. Choose a workout you enjoy. There are so many ways to exercise. If you don’t like running take a cycling class or kickboxing class. If you like to be solo jump on the elliptical machine or stairclimber. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you’ll be to stick with it.
  • Get Real! : Set realistic goals and write them down. Don’t just say “I resolve to lose 20 lbs” or “I will go to the gym more often”. Make your goals specific. Write down a series of smaller goals leading up to the “big one”. Set a time table to accomplish them (i.e. “I will go to the gym 3 days a week to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise”). Writing your goals down lets you monitor your improvements and is a good review when your motivation is waning.
  • Get Social!: Make an appointment to meet up with a friend or neighbor to exercise. If you have someone relying on you to go to the gym or go for a run you’ll be less likely to cancel. Also, if you like to bike, run, or swim, join a club. The social component makes it fun and the group will provide accountability. Similarly, sign up for a class, if you paid you might as well get your money’s worth and your classmates will notice when you’re gone.
  • Get Techy!: There are so many tools to help you achieve your fitness goals. Heart rate monitors, pedometers, calorie trackers etc. make exercise more exciting because you can see the results of your efforts. For example, make a goal of 10,000+ steps a day and your pedometer will tell you if you have been negligent
  • Get Rest! : You have to allow your muscles to rest and rebuild. Exercising hard everyday is just as detrimental as not exercising at all. One of the biggest reasons people stop exercising is because they go out too fast and push too hard and get injured. Listen to your body and if you are having an off-day, take it easy and rest.
  • Get Loud! : Make a workout playlist with your favorite upbeat songs. Studies have found that men and women who do their workouts to music, workout longer and at a higher intensity than those who workout in silence. Music helps the person working out not to concentrate on the discomforts of the exercises, thus allowing them to exert more or try new things in the working out process.
  • Get Variety!: Cross-training is the key to staying injury free and keeping your body continuously challenged. If you don’t change your workouts your body only trains one set of muscles, your muscles will adapt to the monotony and you will stop seeing results. To avoid a fitness plateau make sure you incorporate different strength training, cardiovascular, balance, and flexibility exercises into your workout.
  • Get Healthy!: All your hard work will go to waste if you eat all the calories you just worked so hard to burn off. It’s a simple equation, in order to lose weight, calories in have to be less than calories out. Try to eat mini meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going strong. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods just think moderation. So, instead of having your own super-sized French fry, have a few from your child’s Happy Meal.

 

Now …..GET GOING!

MeghanKennihan-bio_pic  About Meghan:

Meghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy   of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also an   experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds   multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com

Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.

2016 Holiday Fit Gift Guide

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

By Medi-Dyne Ambassador & Guest Blogger

Jen Haught

Happy Holidays Red

 

The holiday season is once again upon us and if you are like me, you struggle with what to get your loved ones. I always want my gift to be well received, but I look for other details as well; for example, can I get it from a local business? Is it made in the USA? Would it be useful to them? Would they even want it? No wonder people say the holidays are stressful!

 

I picked out ten gifts that I think your favorite athlete would enjoy and secretly won’t return behind your back.

 

 

Five1Five Signs

 

I stumbled on Five1Five Signs medal holders a couple years ago and am a huge fan. Their signs are unique because they are hand painted carved wood signs, not just vinyl letters like most other signs. I have one in my office and I have given out a few as gifts and people really love them. These signs aren’t just for runners, but for swimmers, gymnasts, triathletes and more. Contact Andy and you can have it personalized so your favorite athlete can hang their medals proudly!

 

 

 

 

TigerLady

 

When I was a runner, I would do the majority of my running in the dark by myself, especially when the time changed in November. I was ALWAYS decked out head to toe in reflective gear, lights, and bright colors, but all that gear wouldn’t have saved me from an attacker. Tiger Lady is safety at your fingertips. It is small, light weight, and needs no batteries or charging. I had no issues running with it and it made me feel A LOT safer no matter where I was. I carry it when I’m not running as well so instead of holding onto my phone in my hand, I replaced with a Tiger Lady. No one coming up to attack me would suspect that I had a self defense claw in my hand. To activate the three claws, all you have to do is close your hand and make a fist. The retractable claws protrude between your knuckles ready to meet your attacker. I feel confident and very Wolverine-like when I have my Tiger Lady.

 

 

 

RangeRoller

 

The RangeRoller is no joke. It gives you a a deep massage that you wouldn’t believe! The roller gets in the inner and outer layers of muscles and tissue to help break up and eliminate scar tissue, increase circulation and is effective getting out those nasty knots from just about anywhere. My husband, myself and even our dogs love it!

 

 

Road ID

 

I think Road ID is probably the number one item that every athlete should have because it can save your life. They make these bracelets for adults and children and they make them in a variety of styles and colors. Your personal and medical information can be accessed from medical personnel through their website. They will be able to access your emergency contacts, your doctors, insurance information, medications, allergies, surgeries, and so much more. You can go online and update it anytime you want. If you don’t have one, GET ONE! It will give you and your loved ones piece of mind when you are out on the roads.

 

 

CopyCat Yoga Mat

 

I came across the Copycat Yoga Mat on Etsy and I thought this was such a cool product. I was a disaster at yoga and never knew where to put my hands and feet for poses. I’d feel frustrated and miss instructions on breathing or other information. In class, I felt self conscious and I think this mat will really help adults and children learn yoga with confidence. Not only does the mat show foot and hand placement, but it shows different poses like Triangle and Halfmoon. The mat is non toxic, eco friendly, phthalate and latex free, SGS tested and certified. It is extra thick (1/4″ which is twice as thick than a standard yoga mat), extra long (72″ x 24″ which is 4″ longer than a standard yoga mat) and self adjusts to work with any height.

 

 

 

 

Pro-stretch Plus

 

If your favorite athlete complains of achilles tendonitis, ankle pain, back pain, calf strain and tight calf muscles, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, ball of foot pain, tight hamstring pain, IT band syndrome, and/or shin pain, then the Pro-stretch Plus is going to help them. It helps give you an effective and comfortable stretch that will help prevent future injuries. You are going to save them so much pain, aggravation, and frustration, plus YOU won’t have to hear them keep complaining about their pain every time you talk to them. It’s a win-win!

 

 

 Shwings

 

I came across the Shwings a few years ago and immediately fell in love with them. They have over 150 styles in all different colors and will make all your shoes look unique and fun! They have wings, lighting bolts, skulls, butterflies, and even mustaches! They have been featured in magazines such as InStyle, UsWeekly, Parents and more. They are a perfect stocking stuffer for kids and adults of all ages. I have three pairs myself!

 

 

 

 

“The Long Run” by Matt Long

 

I’m constantly talking about Matt Long and his inspiring book, “The Long Run”. While bike riding, Matt was hit by a twenty ton bus making an illegal turn and his bike “sliced him open like a can”. He needed sixty eight units of blood 10 hours after the accident and was in the hospital for five months. Every bone in his left leg was broken, the right side of his pelvis was shattered, as well as his right shoulder and severed multiple arteries. He would endure over forty operations and the doctors weren’t even sure he would walk again, let alone compete. Matt’s book describes his intense and painful recovery and how he was able finish the NYC marathon three years after the accident. This story is incredible and I’m not lying when I say that I read it at least once a year.

 

 

 

 

 2Toms SportsShield Towelette

 

Ah, chafing, every runners nightmare. Since I was bigger runner I had lots of chafing issues and after a particular run while training for the NYC marathon last year, I realized BodyGlide wasn’t going to cut it. As I silently screamed in agony in the shower after a long run, I decided to try some new products. I came across 2Toms SportShield Towelettes during a Runchat, looked at their products and decided to try their towelettes and roll on. Since I’ve tried them, I haven’t had any chafing issues.  NOT ONE. I’m particularly fond of the towelettes because they are small and portable. I had been known to unwrap one and stick it down my bra for long runs just in case I’ve missed a spot.

 

 

 

 

 

BackBeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones

 

I actually won a pair of these BackBeat Fit headphones and I’m a huge fan. When we joined Rex Wellness Center earlier this year, I wanted a pair of wireless headphones because my wires kept getting caught on the machines and weights, it drove me crazy. It was easy hooking them up with my phone so I was happily watching Parks and Rec while on the bike or listening to JT while using the weight machines.  I found they were easy to use, comfortable and the sound is fantastic. It definitely drowns out crying babies and overly talkative adults on airplanes.

 

 

What is on your wishlist this year? 

jenhaught_biopicAbout Jen Haught: Jen grew up in Manchester, NH and then moved to the Raleigh, NC area in 2003 with her husband and two dogs, Jager and Sammy. She likes reading, make up, coloring, hiking, hockey, working out and being lazy.

Jen has overcome her share of injuries and  health and fitness struggles, but enjoys inspiring others to live their best happy, healthy lives.

You can reach Jen on Instagram @JenHaught or Twitter @JenHaught79. We are honored to have Jen as our November Guest Blogger and a Medi-Dyne Ambassador.

70 Ways to Use SportShield

70 Ways to Use SportShield

2Toms_SportShield_ShieldYourself

Here at Medi-Dyne, one of our most popular products at is our 2Toms SportShield. We have heard some pretty wild uses of SportShield so I went around and asked our coworkers, our friends, and our families to tell me the various uses of our 2Toms SportShield. The answers we got, some serious, some not so serious, were great! So without further ado, here are 70 ways to use SportShield!

  1. Nipple Chafing
  2. Inner Thigh Chafing
  3. Jeans Rubbing Your Legs
  4. Armpit Chafing
  5. Biking
  6. Under Boobs
  7. Neck Chafing
  8. Waist
  9. Swimsuit/ Bikini Chafe
  10. Stomach Chafe
  11. Wiping it all over your body and then going down a water slide
    Child on water slide at aquapark show thumb up. Summer water park holiday. Outdoor.
    11. Going down a water slide
  12. Using it to make somebody slip as a prank
  13. To Keep your doors from creaking
  14. Perfect for an ideal slip’N’slide
  15. To avoid getting tackled in football
  16. To stop soccer shin guard chafe
  17. Stop brakes on a car from squeaking
  18. Put on a wetsuit
  19. To avoid the various surfing chafes
  20. Stops Disney Land/ theme park chafing
  21. Neck Chafe from Dirtbike helmet
  22. Prevent chafing during Pokemon Go

  23. Ballet feet
  24. Substitute for banana in Mario Kart
  25. Prime MoonWalking
  26. Horseback Riding Chafe
  27. Slick up your body for MMA
  28. Put on a door handle and make it tough to grip
  29. Put on the back seat of your motorcycle to ditch a bad date

  30. To be slick in boxing
  31. Slick Fireman’s Pole
  32. Pool Cue Slick
  33. Mud Wrestling
  34. Protect Puppy Paws
    adorable seated labrador retriever puppy dog on white background
    34. Protect Puppy Paws
  35. Put on Snowboard or Skis to go faster
  36. Putting on tights
  37. Putting on a swim Cap
  38. To keep your headphones from getting tangled
  39. To make sure your sunglasses don’t chafe your ears
  40. Sequin Chafe
  41. To keep your back from sticking to a floatie

  42. Neck chafe from football helmet
  43. Under your watch to keep it from chafing
  44. Put on clothing tags
  45. Seatbelts in a racecar
  46. To put on a wakeboard or a water ski
  47. Help put on latex gloves
  48. Back of ankle with high heels
  49. Bluetooth earpiece chafe
  50. (For horse) To stop saddle chafe
  51. Stop necklaces from chafing
  52. To glide through the water in a swimming race

  53. Stop short drawstring chafe
  54. Prevent cauliflower ear in wrestling
  55. Divers to minimize splash
  56. New shoe chafe
  57. Removing rings from your hand
    isolated young man with using crutche

    70. Chafing from crutches

  58. Sliding into home plate
  59. Doing the Cha Cha Slide

  60. Earring insertion
  61. Skateboard wheel lube
  62. Keep pimple from rubbing on clothes
  63. Body massages
  64. Bicycle Chain Lube
  65. Keep puppy hair from knotting

  66. Climbing a tree
  67. Keeping a lei from chafing
  68. Scuba Diving Gear
  69. Dance floor chafing
  70. Chafing from crutches

What we found out is that SportShield can apparently be used for almost anything! While they all certainly sound fun, we feel the need to say try at your own risk! We hope you guys enjoy all of the different SportShield uses as much as we do!

Did we miss any new uses? Let us know!

Read more about SportShield here!

SCARIEST Word for Runners: INJURY

SCARIEST Word for Runners: INJURY

Runner with ankle injury has sprained and strained ankle.

Here is how to NEVER hear that frightening word.

Medi-Dyne is proud to welcome back Athlete Ambassador Meghan Kennihan as our guest blogger.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Every runner has an injury threshold and it is different for everyone. Some people can run 120 miles a week and some can only run 20, but if you exceed your threshold you are asking for injury. Most runners get injured because they do too much, too soon, too fast. Training errors are the number one cause of self-inflicted running injuries. When you rush the process of building up mileage or try to run too fast your body does not have time to recover and handle the increasing demands you are inflicting on it. Most doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors will tell you to build your mileage by no more than 10% a week, which is a general rule, however, you may only be able to build by 5%. Each runner is different so make sure you listen to your body and KNOW YOUR LIMITS. It’s a good idea to alternate hard and easy days to give your body the recovery it needs from speed workouts, long runs, hill training etc. Make sure you incorporate rest weeks into your training plan every three weeks and keep a detailed log of your mileage and how you feel after your runs so you can recognize when problems start to occur.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Don’t run through pain. The majority of running injuries come on gradually and can be stopped if you catch them early. This means a shorter recovery period. Aches and pains do come with running but persistent aches and pains do not. If a pain causes you enough discomfort that you alter your gait, it’s time to stop. Take 2-3 days off, cross-train if you need to and then test out your “injury” gradually. If you’re pain free, get back to your normal routine. If it still hurts, you may need to see a doctor and find out the root cause of the pain, or you may just need more time off.

STRENGTH TRAIN

It is very important for runners to have strong hip and core muscles. When you strengthen your inner and outer thighs, your butt, and your transverse abdominis (stabilizing abdominal muscles) you increase your leg stability all the way down to your feet. Lying leg raises, inner thigh raises, clams, planks, and side planks are great exercises to add to your training program.

R.I.C.E

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are great when you have aches and pains in your muscles and joints. These four things can help relieve your pain, reduce swelling and send blood to those tissues to help speed the healing process. However, many runners neglect the REST part of the equation and continue to run then ice, then run the next day and ice again. This may take the pain away for a short time but you are not giving the tissues any time to heal before you are pounding away at them again. Elevating and compressing the area with a bandage or towel will also help reduce the inflammation. Then make sure you REST the next day and give your body a chance to heal, rather than running and prolonging the injury. Do not take NSAIDs except for acute injuries; instead try turmeric pills or anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, blueberries, or leafy greens.

VARY RUNNING SURFACES

If you are always running a cambered road you are putting more pressure on your one leg over and over and over which can easily lead to hip and knee problems on that side. Also the road has no give to it and when you land all that impact (2-3x your body weight) is going right back into your legs. Try to do some of your runs, especially your long runs, on level surfaces and if possible soft surfaces such as crushed limestone, trails, even a bike path. The treadmill can also offer a forgiving surface if you can stand the boredom.

Sports Knee pain

TOO MUCH SPEED

There is such a thing as too much speedwork and too much racing. Those efforts are near max and can be very hard on your body and your mind. Doing speedwork twice a week then racing on the weekend does not give your body or mind sufficient rest. Even elite runners limit their speedwork to no more than 5-10% at 5K pace and no more than 20% at tempo or threshold pace. A good rule of thumb for racing is to take one day of recovery for every mile raced.

CROSS-TRAIN

Running is very hard on the body, 2-3x your body weight with each stride, make sure you take at least one day of rest each week and consider making one of your run days a “cross-training” day. Cross-training can improve your muscle balance and work muscles that you never knew you had. Activities such as swimming, cycling, elliptical and rowing will improve your aerobic fitness and even help your running.

YOU’RE INJURED, NOW WHAT

If you have an injury, take this opportunity to make the best of it. Ask yourself what can I learn about myself? How can this time off help my running in the long term? What CAN I do… swim? Bike? Strength? PT?

Try to find the cause of your injury, muscle imbalance? Shoe? Training? Nutrition? But be prepared to come up empty and to heal up and return to running without knowing the cause of the pain that made you stop. This mind set will enable you to get through your injuries with less stress and anxiety. The most important thing is to accept that time is the only real healer, and try not to layer extra stress and anxiety onto the injury experience by grasping at healing measures like ultrasounds, electric stem, graston, steroids, acupunture etc. and expecting miracles from them.

Disclaimer: Please consult your physician before continuing to exercise through any pain or discomfort. The training tips and treatments in this article are suggestions based on years of training and experience, but should not replace a treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.

About Meghan:

Meghan Kennihan - Athlete AmbassadorMeghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also an experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com

Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.

Summer HEAT: How to Run, Train, and Race!

Summer Heat: How to Run, Train, and Race!

Ambassador Blogger: Meghan Kennihan

MeghanKennihan-bio_pic

 

Medi-Dyne Ambassador: Meghan Kennihan

@TrainWithMeghan

It’s that time again. The hottest part of the summer.  Heat is probably one of the worst uncontrollable elements runners face. The effects of heat and humidity on your training and racing not only cause suffering in the moment but also hinder your recovery.

The Problems with HEAT:

Sweat and Fluid Loss:

Running in the heat causes your core body temperature to rise which means you start to feel worse and worse just like when you have a fever. Heat impacts runners at a physiological level through dehydration, increased heart rate, and reduced blood flow/oxygen to the muscles used for running. Your body cools itself and maintains balance through sweat. Sweat has a cooling effect on the body because it removes excess heat through evaporation. However, the rate of evaporation and how well the body is cooled depends on the humidity. When humidity is low, evaporation increases and you will be able to cool yourself better but you will be losing fluid quickly. When humidity is high, evaporation decreases, less cooling occurs and you suffer even more. The fluid loss and dehydration from fluid loss also effects running performance, a loss of 2% of body weight leads to about 4-6% drop in performance.

Heart Rate and Blood Flow:

Another problem is that temperature and humidity increase your heart rate and amplify these effects. At 60-75 degrees your heart rate increases by 2-4 beats per minute. From 75-90 degrees it can increase up to 10 beats per minute and the humidity will make it increase even more. Rate of perceived exertion are much greater as temperature and humidity rise too. Making matters worse is that when you sweat your blood volume decreases which means  less blood returns to your heart, less reaches your hard working muscles and  you produce less energy. This will cause you to run slower at a given effort level.  For every 10 degree increase in air temperature above 55 degrees there is a 1.5-3% increase in average finishing time for a marathon. (i.e. An extra 3-6 minutes for a 3:30 marathon with every 10 degree increase).  Another issue is that when the heat needs to be dissipated, a lot of the blood also gets diverted to the skin.  Again, the oxygen is redirected via blood flow to your skin instead of your muscles, thus you have less energy for running and your heart and lungs have to work harder to make up for the loss. Higher heart rate at a set pace and higher perceived exertion are the result.

Slow Recovery:

Heat and humidity effect your recovery too! After you exercise in hot conditions, your body needs to spend more energy on cooling itself rather than delivering nutrients to your muscles who need the repair. The muscles have been damaged by the workout but  can’t get the nutrients they need to repair  and recovery is slower. Slower recovery can mean that you might not be ready for  your next hard workout or race.

Enough of the BAD NEWS! Let’s figure out what to do about it!

Train in the Heat:

Training alone provides a bit of an adaption because a side effect of running is an increase in total plasma volume and blood which plays an important role in the cooling process, so the fittest athletes typically have the highest plasma volume and can therefore adapt more easily to heat. Running in hot conditions can result in making it easier to maintain a faster pace, reduce rate of perceived exertion, higher blood plasma volume, increased sweat rate, decrease in salt in sweat, reduced heart rate at a given pace and temperature, and a quicker onset of sweating.  How about that for some great changes just from training? And bonus! it only about 2 weeks of heat exposure. Still, heat acclimatization can only take you so far…

Adjust Your Pace Expectations:

It is smart to adjust expectations when running in the heat… learn to adjust the level of effort or intensity based on what your body is signaling to you.  It’s important that you find ways to adjust your workout times and race paces to reflect how you’ll perform in hot conditions. There are plenty of “temperature” calculators for running where you enter your race times and the temperature and they will adjust your expectations for you. Thank you technology!

Hydrate Properly:

Staying hydrated is essential to your run performance and training.  Dehydration in athletes leads to fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping. In extreme cases heat exhaustion and heatstroke, can occur. Runners need to pay attention to what and how much they’re drinking before, during and after exercise especially in the hot summer months.

 Before Your Runs:

If you are training or racing for an hour or more it’s important to make sure you are well hydrated for a few days before. How do you know you are well-hydrated? You should eliminate pale urine at least six times a day. In days leading up to your long run, race, or hard training day make sure you drink plenty of water and nonalcoholic beverages. Alcohol Before your run drink about 16 ounces of water or electrolyte drink like Nuun or coconut water.

During Your Runs:

Drinking on the Run is EASY just drink to thirst. Scientific evidence says that drinking when you’re thirsty can help prevent underhydrating or overhydrating.

Research has shown that sports drinks enhance performance significantly more than plain water in high-intensity and long-duration runs and races.
Some good sports drinks are Nuun, Osmo, Skratch Labs, and Hammer Nutrition.

Your Unique Sweat Rate:

Everyone’s fluid needs are different. The above guidelines are general but some sweat more than others. If you want to get scientific about your hydration needs. You can determine your sweat rate by weighing yourself naked before one of your training runs, and then again after. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss. Calculate your sweat rate and use this to determine your fluid needs during a run or race. For example, if you lose 3 pounds during an hour run, that’s 3 pints or 48 ounces. So having about 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes would be helpful to your performance. Weather conditions will also affect your sweat rate and hydration needs so doing this test in different temperatures will provide you with even more accurate results.

After Your Run:

Drink 20 to 24 fl oz. of water for every pound lost after your run. If your urine is dark yellow, you need to keep rehydrating. It should be a light lemonade color.

Dress the Part:

 Dress appropriately for the weather. Your running clothes including your socks should be light in color and made of a wicking technical fiber. Technical fabrics pull moisture away from your body, keeping you cooler. Try to avoid 100% cotton, these fabrics absorb sweat and do not dry quickly which weighs down the clothing and can cause chafing. Make sure you apply 2Toms to all possible chafing areas like toes, heels, nipples, between the legs to ensure a comfortable run.

Pre-Cooling:

Another technique is pre-cooling. Pre-cooling is a technique that is used to lower your core body temperature before running. This ideally extends the amount of time you can run before your core temperature raises so high that it hurts your performance. Recent studies have shown that pre-cooling can significantly improve performance in hot and humid conditions. One study reported that pre-cooling can boost performance by 16%.  The best way to pre-cool is with a cooling vest that you wear 10-20 minutes before your run or race. However, if you don’t have the money for a vest you can eat a freeze pop or frozen sports drink slushy 10-20 minutes before your run. Another option is using frozen towels on your head and neck on your way to the track or trailhead.

You can do EVERYTHING I have mentioned above but when it comes down to the bottom line. It’s YOUR ATTITUDE. Instead of getting discouraged because you have to train, run, or race in the heat realize that everyone is dealing with the same conditions and have faith in yourself and have FUN! Be grateful you are running!

 

About Meghan:

Meghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also an experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com

Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.

How to Avoid Swimsuit Chafe, Wetsuit Chafe and PFD Chafe

2Toms Swimsuit chafe preventionWhen we think about water activities its’ often a cool laps in the pool, the thrill of riding the waves, or even the excitement of the bang of the starting gun – but it’s not chafing.

Swimsuit chafe, wetsuit chafe, or life vest (PFD) chafe are certainly not part of the image but they too often become part of the reality; a reality that often interferes with training, change the mechanics of your stroke and can certainly spoil the fun.

Chafing happens due to friction, whether it’s skin-to-skin rubbing or friction between your skin and fabric such as your swimsuit, wetsuit or life vest. Regardless of the reason, the net result is often a painful burning or stinging sensation that can come on quickly and eventually escalate to becoming a bleeding open wound. These swimsuit chafe abrasions can become painful, the burning sensation become intolerable resulting sidelining you from your favorite activity.

Saltwater often accelerates the on-set of swimsuit chafe.  When you think about it, it makes sense. 2Toms Wetsuit chafe prevention Sea salt is often use for skin cleansing or even therapeutic baths but they’re never left on the skin for prolonged periods of time.  The continuous skin friction of an open water ocean swim, surfing or other salt water activity is prime conditions for swimsuit chafe. Saltwater swimsuit chafe or PFD chafe can escalate more quickly than in fresh water. Once the skin is broken, the salts and ions in the salt water cause cells to break open exposing more cells underneath to damage and the bacteria found in open water.

2Toms Wetsuit chafe protectionWhether you’re in the water for fun, competition or exercise, preventing swimsuit chafe before it starts is a priority for anyone planning on spending time in the water.

Recommended steps to preventing swimsuit chafe:

 

  1. Wear a bathing suit that fits well, one that stays in place but is not too loose or too tight. This applies to PFDs as well.
  2. Keep your bathing suit clean and dry. Remember to rinse it in fresh water after every use and put it back on after it dries. Dirt, debris and dried sweat increase the possibility of friction between your bathing suit and skin. Gentle, effective detergents like 2Toms StinkFree Detergent can be used in a sink, bucket or washing machine and are designed to deal with high-performance fabrics.
  3. Hydrate yourself so you can sweat freely.
  4. Rinse your body with fresh water to avoid sweat from sitting on your skin and forming salt crystals.
  1. Prevent chafing before it starts with 2Toms SportShield and SportShield for Her! Both of these products are designed to form a long-lasting, odor-neutral barrier that protects you from skin-to-skin and skin- fabric chafing.  SportShield will not affect the stitching of swimsuits as do some other petroleum-based products.
  2. To prevent swimsuit chafe, apply 2Toms SportShield anywhere there is a seam on the swimsuit or anywhere the PDF touches the skin.

So, next time you’re getting ready for a day of surfing, watersports, or a long pool training session, take a few minutes to shield yourself from swimsuit chafe!

2Toms SportsShield & SportShield for Her! Available in travel size!

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Ready to have a #StinkFreeSummer?

2Toms_StinkFreeSummer

Ready to have a #StinkFreeSummer ?
SF Det 30oz

Running clothes, high-performance fabrics, and sports gear are great but wow can they stink!

2Toms® Stink Free® Sports Detergent is GUARANTEED to remove  odors  & stains in your high performance athletic apparel! Using a revolutionary residue lifter, Stink Free restores clothing performance and breath ability.

No dyes or perfumes.

Stink Free Detergent doesn’t mask odors it eliminates them! With just 1 – 2 ounces your clothes come out of the wash smelling, well, like nothing!  Just clean & fresh.

100% Guaranteed!

Stink Free Sports Detergent is guaranteed to remove odors and stains in your high performance athletic apparel & any gear you can wash or soak including: Hockey pads, Shin Guards, Shoes, Cleats, Sleeping Bags, Pillows, Tents, Sleeping Mats, Hiking Boots, Backpacks, Hydration Packs, Motorcycle Gear, Yoga Mats, Towels, Uniforms, and much more!   Learn More

Get a sample & see for yourself!2Toms_StinkFree_Detergent_Sample

Take the 2Toms #StinkFreeSummer Challenge and see for yourself just how well 2Toms StinkFree Detergent works!

Click here to get your sample

NOTE:  Samples are limited to one per household. Available only while supplies last. Limited supply is available. Unfortunately, we cannot ship outside of the US.

 

Stinky Shoes & Gear?  Try 2Toms Stink Free Spray!

StinkFree-Spray-2012-SM

2Toms® StinkFree® Spray is guaranteed to remove, not mask, odors caused by sweat left in your shoes, boots, gear, gym bags, pads/guards, gloves, lockers, etc.  Our technically advanced formula cleans the pores that trap the odor in shoes and gear.  Stink Free Spray has no perfume in it’s formula, therefore it leaves behind no smell once dry.

StinkFree Spray is safe to use on canvas, leather, satin, and denim and shoes.

Can’t wash it?  Need a quick fix?  Stink Free Spray is guaranteed to remove odors in shoes and gear including:
Hockey & lacrosse pads, Shin Guards, Shoes, Hiking Boots, Running Shoes, Cleats, Camping gear, Backpacks, Hydration Packs, Motorcycle Gear, Yoga Mats, Towels, Uniforms, and much more!  100% Guaranteed!

Learn More

 

 

Read what others are saying:

I’ve saved a fortune on clothes & bags using this stuff! — read more

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IT Band Syndrome: Relief and Prevention

Upper Leg Pain ExercisesRecent Studies on IT Band Syndrome (ITBS):
A Look at Hip and Knee Mechanics

Illiotibial band syndrome (IT Band Syndrome / ITBS) is one of the leading causes of pain in athletes whose sports involve running.  The estimated incidence rate for athletes is believed to be between 5% and 14%.

Traditionally, believed to be an overuse injury, IT Band Syndrome is often described as being caused by friction or rubbing of the  iliotibial band (ITB) over the lower part of the femur as the knee extends and flexes. Sufferers of ITBS typically experience pain along the outside of the knee joint.  This pain is sometimes accompanied by a clicking sensation which is the result of the IT band tightening and snapping across the joint during physical activity.  ITBS usually starts with tightness, and untreated, can become very painful.  Pain from ITBS is typically experienced on the outside of the knee or lower thigh and can be made worse by activities like climbing up and down stairs, getting out of a car, or running up or down hills.  A person with ITBS may also feel tenderness in the knee tissue when applying pressure.

It’s believed then that the continual rubbing of the IT band over the outside of the femur may cause swelling, pain or a stinging sensation on the outside of the knee.  Recent studies, however, have focused on the frontal and transverse plan mechanics of the knee and lower extremity, suggesting that atypical hip and knee mechanics are the primary factors in development of ITBS.

Studies comparing runners with IT Band Syndrome to healthy runners found that the IT Band Syndrome group exhibited significantly greater hip adduction and knee internal rotation than the control group, leading researcher to reconsider the role of hip and knee in running mechanics. Subsequent studies have focused on the importance of running mechanics, providing evidence that gait re-training with step rate manipulation may be important for the treatment of IT Band Syndrome. The jury is still out on whether gait re-training is the key to curing ITBS, however, most reports did find that traditional strengthening of the hip abductors and flexibility exercises do contribute to a successful outcome.

ITBS Prevention & Remedies

Because the most notable symptom of IT Band Syndrome is typically swelling and pain on the outside of the knee, many runners mistakenly think they have a knee injury. It’s critical to rule out a knee problem or other serious injury. Ensuring proper gait as well as strength and flexibility of the hip abductors can be the most effective ways to prevent IT Band Syndrome.

IT Band Syndrome can become extremely painful and debilitating and can sideline a runner completely if not treated in its early stages.

Some risk factors for developing ITBS are:

  • Physical factors like stiffness of the IT Band tissue, unequal leg lengths, or extremely flat feet or high arches
  • A sudden increase in running routine intensity
  • Inadequate warm ups before or cool downs after running
  • Women are more likely to suffer from ITBS than men

ITBS Prevention

To prevent being sidelined with ITBS, it is best to prevent ITBS before it happens or to identify it in its very early stages.  Suggestions for preventing ITBS include:

  • core_comboRun on level surfaces – Running on flat surfaces can help avoid injury. If athletes are running on roads, it is important that they run on both sides of the road as many roads are higher in the center and slope to the sides. This slope can cause one foot to be lower than the other, resulting in the pelvis tilting to one side and stressing the IT band.
  • Avoid running on concrete surfaces – If running on a track, it is a good idea to change directions periodically.
  • Balance training – Runners should make sure that they include strength training and flexibility exercises in their workout routine and build in rest and recovery time into their training schedule.
  • Stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the IT band – Athletes can help prevent and treat ITBS by using the CoreStretch to strengthen weak hip and core muscles. The CoreStretch uses the body’s natural traction to safely and effectively stretch hamstrings, lower back, hips, piriformis, and glutes.
  • Only wear athletic shoes that are in good condition – If shoes are worn along the outside of the sole, they should be replaced.

ITBS Treatment

If an athlete begins to notice IT band pain, they should take steps to treat their ITBS before the pain increases.  Some steps to treat ITBS include:

Step 1:  Immediate Relief – Reduce Discomfort

  • Rest from training activities – Runners should decrease mileage or take a few days off if they feel pain on the outside of the knee.
  • IT Band Syndrome StrapUse a strap like the Cho-Pat IT Band Strap to compress the area and assist with ITBS healing. The Cho-Pat IT Band Strap provides Dynamic Pain Diffusion at the point of injury to alleviate the pain and discomfort of ITBS.
  • Ice massage – Freeze water in a small paper cup and rub the ice directly on the area of pain for about 15 minutes or until it gets numb. With ITBS, it is best to ice immediately after a run, but even icing it well at least once a day will help.
  • When you’re ready to go back to activity, cross train! Substitute other activities like swimming, cycling, and rowing while taking a break from running.

Step 2:  Long Term Healing:  Stretch, Strengthen & Massage

STRETCH

stretchrite_piriformis_stretchGiven the relevance of gait, hips positioning and knee rotation to ITBS, it is important to keep the posterior chain strong and flexible with a goal of improving alignment and restoring the workload back to the appropriate muscles.

Stretching exercises targeting the gluteus medius, piriformis, vascus lateralis, gastroc and soleus will help to ensure flexibility along the posterior chain.

The patented StretchRite features a non-elastic strap which makes it easy to perform each stretch properly and effectively.

STRENGTHEN
Strengthening exercises include focus on the hip abductors, which can include: lateral leg raises, clamshells, hip thrusts, and side
steps/shuffle.

MASSAGE

RangeRoller_ITBS_Solution

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medi-Dyne’s Advanced ITBS Solution available at the Medi-Dyne store.

advanced_ITBand_Solution Medi-Dyne

Runner’s Knee: Immediate Relief & Long-Term Healing

Runner’s Knee

Medi-Dyne_Knee_Pain_SolutionsRunners knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is the term used for non-specific pain that involves pain behind or around the kneecap, pain when you bend the knee, especially when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or getting up from a chair and in some cases, pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill. Pain can be sharp and sudden or dull and chronic. Not just found in runners, this syndrome is one of the most widely diagnosed in individual whose work or activities involve significant running or knee bending.

Functional risk factors for Runner’s Knee can include:
• Over use
• Prior injury
• Biomechanics
• Overpronation

Reducing the Pain of Runner’s Knee

An extremely common condition, a diagnosis of Runner’s Knee (PFPS) covers a range of usually vague symptoms of pain ‘in’, ‘under’ or ‘behind’ the kneecap. While there is no consensus on exactly what causes PFPS, a recent study in Medicine & Science in Sports &
Exercise found hip weakness and instability to be a contributing factor.  Additional research supports initial rest, minimizing impact, and
stretching and strengthening the supporting muscles can reduce pain. In the case of runner’s knee, research shows positive results from
introducing routines focused on glute, hip flexor/extensor and quad strength as well as hamstring and hip flexibility.

Individual experiencing early stages of Runner’s Knee pain can take steps to provide immediate relief and long-term healing.

Step 1:  Immediate Relief – Reduce DiscomfortCho-Pat_Origina_Knee_Strap_Runners_knee

For reducing the pain of Runner’s Knee, after initial rest, reducing discomfort during activity becomes an important aspect of recovery.
Cho-Pat’s® Original Knee Strap™ stabilizes and tightens up on the kneecap mechanism by applying pressure upon the patellar tendon below the kneecap. For many suffering from Runner’s Knee, this compression reduces or eliminates inflammation and helps prevent knees from giving out while still allowing full mobility.

Cho-Pat_Dynamic_Knee_Compression_SleeveFor others looking for greater coverage and support, compression sleeves like the Cho-Pat® Dynamic Knee Compression Sleeve™ provides light-weight support-oriented compression in a sleeve that both stabilizes the knee and reduces the inflammation caused by Runner’s Knee.

Step 2:  Long-Term Healing – Stretch, Strengthen & Massage

STRETCH AND STRENGTHEN

StretchRite for Runners KneeFor Runner’s Knee, stretching exercises targeting the gluteus medius, piriformis, hamstrings, and quads will help to ensure flexibility along the posterior chain are important.

The patented StretchRite® features a non-elastic strap which makes it easy to perform each stretch properly and effectively. Six ergonomically-shaped handgrips offer a comfortable non-cinching hold and make it simple to adjust tension during the stretch. The handgrips also serve as visual feedback helping athletes safely stretch and monitor their progress.

Strengthening exercises should include focus on the hip abductors.
1. TFL/Glutes (lying side leg lifts, resisted side steps; glute bridge)
2. External Rotators (lying clam raise)
3. Quadriceps (straight leg lifts)
MASSAGE
RangeRoller_ITBS_SolutionFor Runner’s Knee, massage and myofacial release can often relieve muscle tension and create tissue mobility contributing significantly towards increasing flexibility. RangeRoller®’s unique design allow you to use both the TriggerTreads™ for increasing circulation as well as the end of the RangeRoller handle for releasing trigger points. For increased flexibility, circulation and performance consider massaging the:
• Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL – at the bending point of the hip)
• Vascus lateralis (outside quad)
• Glutes

 

 

Medi-Dyne’s Advanced Runner’s Knee Solution available at the Medi-Dyne store.

Medi-Dyne_Advanced_RunnersKnee_500-500x500

An Athlete’s Guide to Jumper’s Knee

Jumper’s knee can affect athletes in many sports.

Runner's Knee

Athletes who participate in sports in which they do a lot of jumping like basketball, volleyball, and long jump may experience a painful condition known as Jumper’s Knee.  Jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis, is pain in the tendon which attaches the knee cap (patella) to the top of the shin bone (tibia).  Jumper’s knee is typically an overuse injury caused by repetitive strain placed on the patellar or quadriceps tendon during jumping but can affect athletes in “non-jumping” sports as well.

Some of the risk factors that contribute to jumper’s knee are increased body weight, being bow-legged or knock-kneed, having an abnormally high or low kneecap, and having legs of unequal length.  Males are twice as likely as females to be afflicted by jumper’s knee.  An athlete who has tight leg muscles and reduced flexibility in the thighs and hamstrings can have a muscle imbalance which can cause jumper’s knee pain.  Other factors that can contribute to jumper’s knee are the use of steroids which often results in weaker muscles and tendons and being afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis which causes inflammation of the knee joint.

Jumper’s knee typically consists of pain at the bottom front of the kneecap over what is called the lower pole of the patella.  The bottom of the patella will be very tender when pressing in, and activities like jumping are painful.  An athlete suffering from jumper’s knee is likely to experience aching and stiffness after exercise and it is possible that the affected tendon may appear larger than the tendon on the unaffected side.

Jumper’s knee can be categorized into four grades of injury:

  • Grade 1: Pain is experienced in the patellar tendon after training only.
  • Grade 2: Pain is felt before and after training but eases up once the knee is warmed up.
  • Grade 3: Pain is experienced during training and limits athletic performance.
  • Grade 4: Pain is felt even during every day activities.

It is important to pay attention to knee pain.  Jumper’s knee may initially appear to be an annoying minor injury that is not very concerning.  As it may not be a debilitating injury, many athletes may continue to train and compete on it.  However, neglecting jumper’s knee can cause this minor knee pain to become chronic and difficult to treat.

Jumper’s Knee – Prevention

Ideally, athletes should prevent jumper’s knee pain before it starts.  Suggestions for preventing jumper’s knee include:

  • Athletes should pace themselves. It is important to schedule days off from training so the body can heal and regenerate.
  • Improve hip flexibility and mobility by using a tool like the CoreStretch. The CoreStretch allows tissues to elongate, stretch, and relax. The CoreStretch uses the body’s natural traction to provide a deep, effective stretch of the hips, hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
  • An athlete should avoid playing and practicing on hard surfaces when practical.
  • Wearing shoes designed for the sport and that are in good condition will help avoid injury.

If an athlete is experiencing early stages of Jumper’s Knee pain, they can usually treat themselves.  A more severe injury may require longer rest and could result in surgery.

Jumper’s Knee treatments includes:

1. Step 1:  Immediate Relief – Reduce Discomfort

  • Rest or adapt training to reduce impact and jumping activities.
  • Apply ice on a regular basis during the first 24 to 48 hours after experiencing pain and after any form of exercise.
  • Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee StrapWear a knee strap like the Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap to reduce pain of Jumper’s Knee and ease the strain on the tendon. The Dual Action Knee Strap delivers support both above and below the knee. This dual support provides Dynamic Pain Diffusion to reduce the amount of force that is placed on the knee, decrease the chance of misalignment or displacement, and improve tracking.
  • cho-pat_dynamicknee-500x500Use a compression sleeve like the Cho-Pat Dynamic Knee Compression Sleeve which combines warmth, compression, and reinforcement to help reduce pain and discomfort and promote healing.

2. Step 2:  Long Term Healing:  Stretch, Strengthen & Massage

Targeted muscles for healing and preventing Jumper’s Knee

• Gluteus medius
• Piriformis
• Psoas
• Hamstrings
• Quads
• Gastroc

StretchRiteStretching exercises targeting the gluteus medius, piriformis, hamstrings, and quads will help to
ensure flexibility along the posterior chain and can help to prevent future Jumper’s Knee issues.

The patented StretchRite® system features a non-elastic strap which makes it easy to perform each stretch properly and effectively. Six ergonomically-shaped handgrips offer a comfortable non-cinching hold and make it simple to adjust tension during the stretch. The handgrips also serve as visual feedback helping athletes safely stretch and monitor their progress. The StretchRite offers a comfortable, more effective stretch which improves flexibility and promotes healing in the knee.

Successful strengthening programs for Jumper’s Knee have focused on gastroc & soleus muscles as well as proprioceptive training.

Massage and myofacial release can often relieve muscle tension and create tissue mobility contributing significantly towards increasing RangeRoller-2194flexibility and reducing the occurrence of Jumper’s Knee . RangeRoller®’s unique design allow you to use both the TriggerTreads™ for increasing circulation as well as the end of the RangeRoller handle for releasing trigger points.
For increased flexibility, circulation and performance consider massaging the:
• Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL – at the bending point of the hip)
• Glutes
• Quads
• Gastroc & soleus

Spring Track Running Injuries

Foot Pain ExercisesSpring Track Running Injuries

Spring is here which means track season has started for thousands of students.  It also means that student athletes are at risk of getting hurt.  Every spring, young athletes begin intensive training for track season, and within weeks, many are halted by common running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, IT band syndrome, runner’s knee, and shin splints.

Plantar Fasciitis – Since our feet absorb a force several times our body weight with each step, it is not surprising that approximately 15 percent of all running injuries affect the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports the arch, and is usually the top foot complaint among runners.  The pain, which typically feels like a stabbing pain on the bottom of the heel, is usually worse first thing in the morning or after periods of inactivity and can intensify after standing for long periods of time.

What starts out as a fairly easy-to-treat injury, when ignored, can result in an extremely painful condition that can sideline track athletes.  Runners who have very high or very low arches are vulnerable because both foot types cause the plantar fascia to be stretched away from the heel bone.  Other risk factors are extreme pronation (foot rolls inward excessively) and supination (foot rolls outward excessively).

Maintaining good flexibility throughout the inter-connective chain of the lower leg including the ankle, Achilles tendon and calf muscles is the best way to prevent plantar fasciitis for track runners.  Preventative measures for plantar fasciitis are similar to that of treatment so it makes sense for athletes to use preventative measure to avoid the pain.

Medi-Dyne’s 2Steps plantar fasciitis solution recommends:

Orthopedic-Shoe-and-Podiatry-Markets_08Bio-mechanically designed Tuli’s Heel Cup provides immediate relief by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the calcaneus (heel bone) to take pressure off of the Achilles tendon, lessening the tension and allowing for a regaining of flexibility.

The ProStretch Plus has been proven to provide a deep stretch that increases flexibility along the entire inter-connective chain, delivering the long-term flexibility needed for both the prevention and treatment of plantar fasciitis.  Read how to use the ProStretch Plus to prevent plantar fasciitis.

Achilles tendonitis – The Achilles tendon connects the two major calf muscles to the back of the heel. When overused, the tendon tightens and becomes irritated.  Achilles tendinitis is responsible for approximately 11 percent of all running injuries.  Runners who dramatically increase their training at the beginning of track season and who have tight, weak calves are vulnerable to this injury.

Many people suffering from Achilles tendonitis symptoms experience swelling and mild to severe pain in the ankle area.  Achilles tendonitis symptoms typically begin as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activity.  Pain may come on gradually or may only be felt when running or walking.  Episodes of more severe tendon pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing, or sprinting.

Athletes in sports which use a pushing-off motion like track are no strangers to Achilles issues, and calf flexibility is critical to the health of the Achilles tendon.  As with plantar fasciitis, an athlete can prevent and treat Achilles tendonitis by using the ProStretch Plus for a safe and gradual stretch of the lower leg.  Another way to prevent or treat Achilles tendonitis pain is to use shoe inserts like Tuli’s Gaitors and heel cups like Tuli’s Heel Cups.  Both of these items can be placed in a runner’s shoes to promote stability and proper alignment as well as provide long-lasting relief from Achilles tendonitis pain.

cho-pat_achillestendon-500x500A support straps like the Cho-Pat Achilles Tendon Strap can also help alleviate the pain and discomfort of Achilles tendonitis.  Developed in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic, the patented Cho-Pat Achilles Tendon Strap reduces stress on the Achilles tendon by gently lifting the heel, and it can be worn in all shoes or barefoot.

IT Band Syndrome – IT Band Syndrome is the one of the most common overuse injuries for runners. The IT Band lies along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee and is designed to assist the hip muscles in the outward movement of the thigh and to stabilize the side of the knee. The knee flexes and extends when running and this can cause the IT Band to rub on the side of the femur. Track athletes who take up their mileage too quickly at the beginning of track season can be susceptible to ITBS.

Runners suffering with ITBS experience pain along the outside of the knee joint, sometimes accompanied by a clicking sensation.  ITBS typically starts with tightness, can become extremely painful on the outside part of the knee or lower thigh, and can be made worse by activity. Runners who do not cross train many suffer from weak hip abductor and gluteal muscles and could be at greater risk for ITBS.  ITBS can be a debilitating injury to a track athlete and can become so painful that a runner is unable to train at all until it heals.

The best way to provide immediate relief for ITBS pain is the Cho-Pat Iliotibial Band Strap.  The Cho-Pat- IT Band Strap compresses the area to begin healing and prevent further damage. This strap delivers Dynamic Pain Diffusion™ to absorb and diffuse stress and provides comfortable support even when running.

For long-term healing and prevention of ITBS, a track athlete needs to stretch and strengthen weak hip and core muscles.  The CoreStretch is an effective tool to stretch and activate the entire interconnected chain of core muscles like hamstrings, lower back, hips, piriformis, and glutes.  Watch how to use the CoreStretch here.  In addition to the CoreStretch, the RangeRoller can be used to deliver a deep tissue massage and increase the blood flow along the full length of the IT Band.  The RangeRoller increases circulation, relieves knots, warms muscles, eliminates scar tissue, and improves an athlete’s overall performance.

Runner's KneeRunner’s Knee – Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or “runner’s knee” is the irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella (kneecap).  Approximately 40 percent of running injuries are knee injuries, and it is a common complaint among track athletes.   Runner’s knee typically flares up during or after long runs, after extended periods of sitting, or while descending hills and stairs.  It is usually starts as a dull pain in the front of the knee and often worsens over time.

Athletes can get immediate relief and support from a couple of Cho-Pat® products.  The Cho-Pat Original Knee Strap stabilizes and tightens the kneecap mechanism and provides track athletes with mobility, comfort, and support.  The Original Knee Strap can be used to reduce pain, improve tracking, and is doctor recommended for over 30 years.  The Cho-Pat Dynamic Knee Compression Sleeve is a light-weight compression sleeve that reinforces the knee, stabilizes, reduces inflammation, and promotes circulation.

For long-term healing and prevention of runner’s knee, a runner should stretch and strengthen glutes, hamstrings and quads.  The patented StretchRite system features a non-elastic strap which makes it easy to perform each stretch properly and effectively.  Watch how to use the StretchRite.

Shin_Splints_PainShin Splints – Shin splints refers to medial tibial stress syndrome, an achy pain that results when small tears occur in the muscles around your shin bone.  Shin splints make up approximately 13 percent of running injuries and results from overuse or an overload of stress. This overload of stress can be due to taking on too much too fast, over-pronation or by calf, foot or Achilles tendon inflexibility.  Athletes who are involved in a sport like track are very likely to experience shin splints pain at some point.

Shin splints sufferers experience pain along or just behind the inner edge of the tibia. The pain typically increases during activity.  It’s important to employ R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and adequate stretching to both reduce pain and remedy shin splints.  For additional immediate relief from existing shin splints pain and added support, a product like Tuli’s Gators will cushion and disperse stress on shin bones.  Tuli’s Gators not only provides good arch support, but it adds light-weight shock absorption to help prevent shin splints pain.

For preventing and treating shin splints, it is important to increase flexibility in calf muscles and feet.  Athletes who stretch their calves daily will increase calf flexibility and dramatically reduce the risk of a muscle imbalance injury like shin splints.  The ProStretch Plus is a very effective tool for stretching and strengthening your calves and increasing lower leg flexibility.

For the runner experiencing shin splints, the Cho-Pat Shin Splint Compression Sleeve is a highly effective tool for alleviating shin splints pain when exercising.  It combines compression and shock absorption to support muscles, stimulate circulation, and maintain warmth to alleviate the pain of shin splints.

 

BlisterShield and SportShield – The Race Guards Preferred Blister and Chafing Relief

RaceGuardsYou train for weeks, often months for a race.  With the finish as your goal, you plan for everything – except mid-race injuries.  Sure, every race has 1st Aid Stations but often they are not anywhere near where you are when you need help.  But RaceGuards are!BlisterShield Trial Size

Race Guards puts CPR/1st Aid trained (often medical professionals) staff on the course, running right alongside those who need them – wherever they are along the course.

Founder Andy Voggenthaler, an endurance sports enthusiast for over 20 years, has seen a lot of injured and fatigued runners along the way.  It was his stopping to help a fellow racer who later passed away that started him thinking about how he could help.

Voggenthaler, a San Diego resident, originally tested the idea in March 2012 at the Finish Chelsea’s Run in San Diego. Sent out in teams, Race Guards paced the race with the runners so that help was right there when needed.  Thirteen runners were assisted by the EMT’s, physician assistants, and doctors who volunteered during that initial race.  “The interesting thing that happened at that race was that the Race Guards were all so enthusiastic and excited to have helped,” said Voggenthaler.

Once the need was determined, he proposed the idea to his then employer AIG who provided a scholarship to get the concept off of the ground. Today, Race Guards works with “blue chip” partners and sponsors to staff races across the US.

The Race Guards goal is simple:  Get more people to the finish line.  Race Guards must be certified in First Aid, CPR and AED operation.  They serve as first responders to get participants back on track to finish the race whenever possible.  Every Race Guard 1st aid kit contains 2Toms BlisterShield and SportShield.  “We use 2Toms all of the time,” noted Voggenthaler, “If we can get to racers when it’s a hotspot – before it’s a blister – it’s perfect.”

SportShield Trial SizeRaceGuards relies on BlisterShield and SportShield but the truer testimonial may come from the RaceGuards staff.  Andy Voggenthaler and fellow RaceGuards personally use the product.  “I swim in the cove a lot,” noted Jeff “BodyGlide used to be the product of choice until I tried 2Toms SportShield. Now, that’s all I use under my wet suit.  I now use 2Toms BlisterShield in my shoes to prevent blisters and SportShield to prevent chafing when I run”.

Next time you sign up for a race ask if RaceGuards will be there!

Medi-Dyne is proud to have the 2Toms brand as part of the RaceGuards team.

Back to School: Children’s Heel Pain Prevention

Prevent children's Heel Pain Heel pain in children is becoming increasingly common — especially in young athletes.  Their bodies are growing and changing more rapidly than their style choices.  This is the time when they need the most protection. One customer recently wrote to us about why Tuli’s Heel Cups are on her back-to-school shopping list:

Back to school means two things in my male dominated household:  it’s time to return to the classroom and more importantly (to my boys-not their mom), it’s time to return to playing sports!

Football, baseball and basketball reign supreme at my house, and my boys love training and playing hard.  While training hard may help them get better at the sports that they love so much, it sometimes can cause injuries to their young and growing bodies.  We have had our share of broken bones, sprains and bruises.  We have learned the hard (and sometimes expensive way) that it’s better to take steps to keep our young athletes injury free than to pay for it later with doctor visits and lost playing time.

One of the biggest issues my boys have experienced is heel pain.  My oldest son suffered greatly with debilitating heel pain during football season when he was 11.  The podiatrist’s diagnosis was Plantar Fasciitis.  Unfortunately, that was not the end of the story for him.  A year later he had more heel pain and was diagnosed with Sever’s Disease.

While I had heard of Plantar Fasciitis, Sever’s disease was a new one to me.  Apparently, it is more common in boys and typically occurs when a child is between 8 and 13 years old.  The podiatrist told us to rest, ice, massage, stretch his calves on daily basis and the use of a quality heel cup in their shoes and cleats. Specifically, the doctor told us to get Tuli’s.

Having learned my lesson with my older son, I was immediately on high alert when the younger child (now 11) mentioned heel pain after basketball practice.  I was determined not to let this child suffer like the older one had!  We immediately purchased Tuli’s heel cups for his basketball shoes and every day tennis shoes.  On top of that, we started a vigorous routine of icing and lower leg stretches using the ProStretch Plus.  These tools had helped his older brother recover from his Severs and now we were using them to prevent Severs from developing for him.

Within a week, my son was experiencing very little heel pain.  Within 2 weeks, we never heard him mention it again.  The heel cups became part of his every day equipment, and the stretching routine continued to keep him symptom free.  We have been able to keep him out of the doctor’s office, on the playing court, and most importantly-pain free!

The minute any of my friends mention their children’s heel pain I tell them to get some Tuli’s Heel Cups and start stretching!  In fact I tell everyone to put it on their back to school shopping list.  It’s the best preseason investment I make!

Julie D.

 

Get the Stink Out of A Rancid Lacrosse Bag with 2Toms StinkFree Detergent

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2Toms StinkFree – got the stink out of a rancid lacrosse bag!

Lacrosse bags stink.

After both a full high school season and a sun-baked summer season the smell is absolutely revolting.

I’ve asked around and have been told that hockey bags, baseball bags, soccer bags – most equipment bags can emanate a distinctively disgusting smell. And while most of us have “tried everything” nothing really works.

They just stink from the sweat.  Players throw their stuff in and leave it there so that millions of living organisms (sweat bacteria) can multiply, grow, even party.  Based on the stuff I’ve found in my son’s lacrosse bag and the way it smells — it’s been one heck of a party!

I’ve talked to dozens of moms.  We’ve tried Febreeze, Lysol, regular detergent and bleach but it mostly it masks the odor and doesn’t really get rid of it. We end up with a perfume-enhanced smelly bag, which is actually worse.

The last straw came a few weeks ago on a crowded rental car bus. In a standing-room-only situation, my son lifted the bag over his back, holding it at my nose level.  I was able to fight the initial gag reflex but the 10 minute ride caused me to retreat into my shirt breathing through the fabric, hoping to make it out alive.  I wanted to apologize to every person on the bus instead I snuck out the back like a coward; distancing myself from my son and the bag.

My initial plan was to throw the bag away when we got home and start fresh but at $70 – $150 a bag that’s just not the option.

Someone suggested 2Toms StinkFree detergent. For $15 trying it seemed a lot better than the alternative.  I used a couple of capfuls (admittedly, I didn’t measure.  I just poured some into the detergent container in the washer) and put it on the “soak” cycle with warm water.

The result: Nothing short of a miracle.
Seriously!  That’s why I wrote this.  The bag smelled so…well, it didn’t smell at all!  No flowery smell, go glove or pad smell, no shoe smell. Even my son couldn’t believe it.  He walked around the house to every family member doing his own version of the “smell my bag” challenge.  He didn’t have any takers but he clearly got his point across.

This last trip he traveled with the StinkFree Spray.  Can’t wait to see how that worked when he gets home!

Theresa V.
Lacrosse, soccer, tennis and cross-country mom

2Toms StinkFree Spray

2Toms StinkFree Spray

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2Toms StinkFree Detergent

 

 

 

2Toms SportShield® Takes on BodyGlide®

We recently received from incredible feedback from a new 2Toms® SportShield that we thought we’d share…

Meg_BlisterShield_User

I was going to pick up a roll-on tube of the 2Toms® SportShield, but I wasn’t sure if it would work for me because I knew BodyGlide would do okay for me for the marathon.  You told me to not worry, and you gave me a sample towelette to try for my next long run.

 The results are in– your stuff is amazing.

I tried my sample about a week ago and had no problems whatsoever in an intense workout, running, rowing, heat, humidity.  Zero problems.  Felt great!  My thighs refused to chafe or become uncomfortable… an awesome experience!!

 All the best, Meghan

 

Thanks Meghan!  We love hearing from people who’ve taken the 2Toms® Challenge®!
But mostly, we love hearing that SportShield works for you!

Curious about just how good SportShield is?  

Try it for yourself with the 2Toms® 100% Guarantee!

You’ve Got Questions About Insoles? We’ve Got Answers.

RoadRunners InsolesA lot of our customers want to know more about insoles, whether they are suffering from foot pain or they simply want to feel more support in their shoes when running or participating in some other type of workout. Insoles serve many different functions, including pain relief, shock absorption and more. People with plantar fasciitis, for instance, often find relief from using them.

In order to provide as much information as we can, Medi-Dyne recently added a section on insoles to the Frequently Asked Questions of our website. The questions include:

Questions to Ask Yourself

In order to find the right insole that meets your exact needs, however, you have to ask yourself a few questions as well, such as:

  • Does the cushioning in your shoes wear out too quickly?
  • Are you having trouble finding shoes that provide enough support?
  • After you run are your feet sore on a regular basis?
  • Are you limited to buying two or three pairs of running shoes each year due to budgetary limitations?
  • Do you run on asphalt or concrete most of the time?
  • Are you looking for more of a cushion in your running shoes?
  • Do you suffer injuries often while working out?

If, for example, you have some sort of structural misalignment in your foot, you may want to look for insoles that provide more support. Even if you don’t have foot problems, the chances are good that you’ll still benefit from added support.

Medi-Dyne’s RoadRunners insoles both store and release energy, helping to improve your performance by reducing fatigue and protecting your feet from shock. If you would like more information or order a pair, visit our e-store or call 1-800-810-1740.

 

What do Heel Spurs Feel Like?

Heel SpursHeel spurs can be extremely painful, basically causing the ligament that attaches to your foot (the plantar fascia) to separate from the hell bone. The condition is caused by excessive bone growth on the heel and can affect both athletes and non-athletes. But how do you know that you actually have it? Here are some ways to find out, plus some ways to deal with the problem.

Signs You Have Heel Spurs

If you have chronic pain in the heel area of your foot – especially when your feet first hit the floor in the morning – and the pain eases a bit once you’ve walked around for a little while, that is a pretty good indication you have heel spurs. Also, you may have them if you find that you’re altering the way you walk in order to reduce pain.

Here are some other ways to tell if you have heel spurs:

  • You feel a small growth of bone around your heel.
  • The pain you’re experiencing is located in the front portion of your heel toward the arch.
  • Your heel is red and swollen but the rest of your foot is not.
  • You’ve developed knee, back, hip or ankle pain after your heel problem. This is likely happening because you’ve changed the way you’ve walked and other joints have become inflamed.

What to Do About it

Try putting an icepack on your heel for 15 minutes two times a day and try taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You should also stay off the problem foot as much as you can for about a week. There are also some exercises you can try to strengthen that area of your foot, including calf and plantar fascia stretches.

Medi-Dyne offers products that can bring both immediate relief and long-term healing. Our Tuli’s® Polar Bear Gel Heel Cups have shock absorbers that cradle the affected area of your foot while distributing pressure to the outer portion. In addition, our ProStretch Plus™ provides a deep stretch along the bottom portion of your foot as well as up into your ankle. If you want more information or would like to order these or any of our other products, visit our e-store or call us at 800-840-1740.

Why Your Feet Hurt When Running

Feet Hurt When RunningIt’s the bane of runners everywhere – painful feet. Sometimes, it can get so bad that you wonder whether it would really be worth it to pursue the activity you love. By knowing the reasons why your feet hurt when running you can be proactive. If you understand the problem and take the right action, you can get back in the game instead of staying on the couch. Here are three common reasons this problem occurs along with ways you can get past it.

Reason 1: Plantar Fasciitis

This is one of the most common – and most painful – reasons why your feet hurt when running. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs from your heel to your toes. It typically results in a great amount of discomfort that is especially pronounced when you first get out of bed in the morning.

Our ProStretch Plus is a technologically advanced tool that provides a deep, effective stretch. It can substantially increase the flexibility in your feet as well as in your calves. Increased flexibility is key to not just helping to treat injuries, but in preventing them as well. If you have the proper amount of flexibility, you’ll be better able to reach your peak physical potential.

Reason 2: Heel Spurs

A heel spur happens when projections of bone occur along the edges of the heel bone. While this condition is, in many instances, painless, other times they cause severe pain. If you have inflammation in part of your heel or you feel pain intermittently when you jog, run or walk, you more than likely have heel spurs.

Tuli’s Polar Bears Dual Density Heel Cups were designed specifically for sufferers of heel spurs. They contain a ring of soft gel that cradles your heel and protects it by distributing pressure away from the injured area.

Reason 3: Blisters

Just about every runner has suffered from a painful foot blister at one time or another. Whether it happens because your shoes don’t fit properly or you’ve simply overdone it, the continual rubbing can be enough to make you stop your run completely.

The best way to deal with blisters, of course, is to make sure they don’t develop in the first place. In addition to make sure your shoes are the right fit, you should also use our 2Toms BlisterShield. This powder creates a nearly 100 percent friction-free surface on your foot, reducing the buildup of heat that leads to the formation of blisters. Once you apply it, you can stay blister-free for the duration of your run.

If you are interested in these and other Medi-Dyne products that can treat the problems that make your feet hurt when running, visit our e-store or call us at 1-800-810-1740.

Medi-Dyne to Sponsor This Week’s Edition of #RunChat

#RunChatMedi-Dyne is proud to once again sponsor #RunChat, the leading Twitter chat about running. The chat will begin at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 27 and will cover several topics regarding injuries that are commonly suffered by runners. Participants will also have a chance to enter a drawing to win a 2Steps Solutions package featuring products that provide relief for plantar fasciitis, shin splints and Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome.

#RunChat is a weekly Q&A Twitter chat. However, thousands of members of the running community use the tag 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to ask questions and post links to blogs and news stories. Medi-Dyne has previously sponsored chats featuring the ProStretch Plus, RangeRoller and 2Toms line of injury relief products.

Here are the main topics that will be discussed in this week’s chat:

  • Where to you go for advice on running injuries?
  • Essential pain prevention for new runners
  • The best cures for runner’s ailments such as plantar fasciitis and shin splints

The 2Steps line of products provides not only immediate relief, but also long-term healing for the most common problems, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Weak ankles
  • Shin splints
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Calf pain
  • Hamstring tightness
  • Lower back pain

If you would like more information on #RunChat or want to now how to join this week’s chat, go to the site’s FAQ page. We hope you’ll join us.

Getting Ready for Your Road Runner Adventure Run

Road Runner Adventure RunThe Road Runner Adventure Run is held in several cities across the United States on a regular basis, combining the fun of a scavenger hunt with the benefits of a healthy workout. The event offers several giveaways, raffle prizes, music and much more. However, like any sort of physical activity, it’s very important that you get your body ready beforehand so that you can reduce the risk of suffering any sort of injury.

How it Works

The Road Runner Adventure Run typically includes checkpoints that hundreds of runners and walkers follow. Participants collect as many raffle tickets as they can from as many checkpoints as possible in an hour. People who participate in the event can do so at their own pace – they can run, walk, or, as the website says, even hop. The run also benefits local charitable organizations.

Getting Ready

Even though the Road Runner Adventure Run is meant to be fun, it is still exercise. Like any sort of exercise, you need to make sure that you are prepared. One of the best ways of getting ready for any kind of exercise activity is to make sure you thoroughly stretch before you start. Our ProStretch Plus provides a deep stretch that strengthens foot muscles and helps provide the flexibility needed to ward off potential injuries.

Once you get going, more than likely you’re going to sweat a great deal. There are some people who tend to suffer from rubbing or chafing when they run, and this can make an otherwise fun time miserable. To combat this problem, we offer the SportShield®. This product provides resistance to both blisters and chafing no matter how much you may sweat.

Whether you are getting yourself ready for the Road Runner Adventure Run or you’re preparing for a more strenuous event, it’s extremely important that you do whatever you can to reduce the risk of a painful injury. At Medi-Dyne, we offer a host of products designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles you will use the most. Check our e-store if you would like more information or call us at 800-810-1740.