4 Components of Alignment for Running Form Efficiency and Injury Prevention

February 15, 2010

Alignment is a key element for running form efficiency and injury prevention. When you are aligned a higher level of relaxation is possible. These are the two primary concepts in ChiRunning® – Alignment and Relaxation and the balance between them. The more you are aligned, the less you need your muscles. The less you use your muscles, the easier it is to stay aligned. But too much alignment without relaxation and you may be too stiff to move. Or too much relaxation without alignment and you may be too loose to maintain your position.

Here are 4 Components of Running Form Read the rest of this entry »


Walking Technique for Efficiency and Injury Prevention

August 10, 2009

Do a lot of walking or have a walking fitness program, but feeling inefficient or discomfort, aches/pains or injuries? Want to be more consistent or experience true enjoyment in your fitness program?

What if small changes to your Position or Motion could provide far-reaching benefits to your walking and your life? Walking is a very specific repetitive motion that make posture and technique very important.  Much of the discomfort, aches, pains and injury that occurs in walking is due to subtle repetitive strain or impact that builds over time.  You may not feel these effects until a more serious problem exists.  Walking is also one of the very few fitness activities that involve terrain changes.  As the terrain changes, so does the forces of nature.  Technique can dramatically improve our ability to cooperate with these forces of nature; to reduce both uphill effort and downhill impact.

Need to learn more? See the presentation below for more information a few introductory videos on the ChiWalking® approach to Posture (position) and Motion.

Click on the image below to access the presentation (direct link: http://www.slideshare.net/echifitness/walking-technique-for-efficiency-and-injury-prevention).

slideshare-cw-series

Visit http://www.eChiFitness.com to:

  • Learn more ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® principles for Energy Efficient and Injury-Free Fitness:  Alignment and motion based on the body’s design, simple principles of nature and laws of physics
  • Access additional resources to assist you in your ChiWalking program.

~~~

David Stretanski is a holistic health, fitness and wellness coach and Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor.  For more information on David, please see his About, Contact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.

~~~

ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® are registered trademarks of ChiLiving, Inc.


The Key to Posture

August 6, 2009

Like to run or walk but feeling efficient or discomfort, aches/pains or injuries? Want to be more consistent or experience true enjoyment in your fitness program?

What if small changes to your Position or Motion could provide far-reaching benefits?

One of those small changes with big benefits is to level the pelvis. Access the presentation below for more information on why a level pelvis is so important to your posture; how to efficiently level the pelvis and how to develop your ability to do so while in motion.

Click on the image below to access the presentation (direct link: http://www.eChiFitness.com/lp.html).

slideshare-keytoposture

Visit http://www.eChiFitness.com to:

  • Download a Lower Abdominal & Core Exercises Summary Printout for the exercises shown in this presentation
  • Learn more ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® principles for Energy Efficient and Injury-Free Fitness:  Alignment and motion based on the body’s design, simple principles of nature and laws of physics

~~~

David Stretanski is a holistic health, fitness and wellness coach and Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor.  For more information on David, please see his About, Contact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.

~~~

ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® are registered trademarks of ChiLiving, Inc.


Dem Bones, Dem Bones …

March 7, 2009

Bone Health is becoming a key health concern due to the statistics related to Osteoporosis and other bone health conditions.  Based on a lot of on-going research on this issue for my work as a fitness coach and wellness consultant, below are a few points that I thought all might want to know about Bone Health.

Our bones are responsible for much more than just our physical structure.  They are also a ‘bank’ of mineral reserves which the body uses for many metabolic processes; and are also a factory for our red and white blood cells.

Just like any other ‘bank’, there are deposits and withdrawals.  Deposits are when we assimilate bio-available minerals with the help of a ‘potentiator’ which helps to convert and absorb each mineral.  Bio-available means the minerals are in a form which the ‘bank’ can accept or convert.  This is similar to a local bank only accepting certain currency.  A potentiator acts similar to a catalyst or an enzyme; it enables the assimilation process to take place.  As we age, our body’s production of this key substance for calcium is reduced.  This is similar to a bank having less and less tellers available for transactions.

Withdrawals occur anytime the body needs minerals for metabolic processes or to keep the body’s blood pH in an acceptable range.  If we get too acidic; from our nutritional, environmental or lifestyle choices, the body needs to make a withdrawal from our bones to neutralize the acidic condition.  As is the same with our own back accounts, significant problems begin to emerge when withdrawals are greater than deposits over an extended period.

In addition the body needs healthy physical stress to build bone.  Our bones are constantly being cleaned and rebuilt by two opposing processes in the body.  Bone loss might be described as the bone cleaning process doing its job and the bone building process getting inhibited by not having enough raw material (bio-available minerals) or not enough tools (potentiators) or not enough workers (physical stress).  A simple form of physical stress is the effect of gravity on our body.  Postural alignment is critical to making sure weight-bearing activities are healthy physical stress.  If your posture is out of alignment, there are at least two potential negative effects.  First, if your posture is out of alignment you will rely more on your muscles to oppose gravity and less on your skeleton.  This reduces the effective healthy physical stress on your bones resulting in less bone building.  Second, if your posture is out of alignment you might also build bone or calcification in ways that are not beneficial.  A heel spur is an example of this.  The body is simply building where there is physical stress caused by a heel strike.  Another potential negative effect is an increase in stress and strain on joints, tendons, and ligaments.

In my work as a Fitness Coach and ChiWalking/ChiRunning Instructor, we first establish postural alignment based on the body’s design.  This is the key to efficiently opposing gravity with the strongest part of our body, our skeleton.  We then work to move that posture efficiently through space.  The result is positive bone building stimulus when we are sitting, standing, walking, and running.

In my work as a Wellness Consultant; I recommend whole food nutrition, whole food supplementation and environmental resources based on some simple principles of nature, my own experience, and on research/study results.  A few options I can recommend for bone health:
- Minerals:  Green leafy vegetables chewed thoroughly or blended, supplements like *Kenzen™ Calcium Plus from Nikken®, and other supplements that help to pH balance the body.
- Potentiator:  *OsteoDenx™ from Nikken®, see the links below for more information on the efficacy of this product.
- Healthy Physical Stress:  ChiWalking®, ChiRunning®, other exercise which promotes postural/functional alignment.

Bookmark and Share


~~~

*Full Disclosure:  I am a Nikken® Independent Distributor.  I became involved with Nikken after having experienced significant health benefits using many of their products – and I want you to know what I know.  For more information, please see my Nikken® website at http://www.nikken.com/echifitness; and select Lifestyle Solutions to the right, then Nutrition, then Skeletal System.

Additional Resources/Notes on OsteoDenx:
- Online Presentation: http://ntouch.nikken.com/player.php?slideshowID=3678
- Ingredient: The ‘potentiator’ ingredient is also known as R-ELF or ELS.  Only the Nikken OsteoDenx product will provide this key ingredient.
- Significant Benefits from Research Study Conclusion, “R-ELF supplementation demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in bone resorption and increase in osteoblastic bone formation, to restore the balance of bone turnover within a short period.”  The abstract from the peer-reviewed and published research study in Osteoporosis International Journal is located here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/e518483l54728k41
- Creator:  The creator is Dr. Nairan Naidu is nominated for the Nobel Prize; see his bio here:  http://www.nterminus.com/nterminus/html/naidu.html.  The creator’s website informational page for bone health is here:  http://www.nterminus.com/nterminus/html/osteoRep.html

~~~

David Stretanski is a holistic fitness coach, Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor and Nikken® Independent Wellness Consultant.  For more information on David, please see his About, Contact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.

~~~

Statements on this website/blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any physical or medical condition.  If you have a physical or medical condition, you should seek the advice of your medical professional immediately.


A New ‘Focus’ on Posture

February 2, 2009

In the ChiRunning and ChiWalking approaches to fitness, the first step is postural alignment.  It is the foundation for the primary objectives of energy efficiency and injury prevention.  Adjusting your posture and motion is created via a series of mental ‘focuses’ – which in effect are a new way to look at things.

One of my own postural challenges is what I will call a ‘mini’-slump.  I tend to slump just slightly allowing my breastbone to drop a bit.  I sometimes do it at my desk, in the car, and occasionally towards the end of a run.  I am constantly reminding myself to think a little taller to straighten my spine.  As soon as I do, I instantly feel more aligned, more efficient and more engaged in the task at hand.

A key to a mental focus is simplicity.  Here is the question:  If you had a rope (of vertebrae) and you wanted to straighten it, what would you do?  Answer:  You might hold one end and pull the other – or pull both ends.  In this case, if we consider one end fixed (the tailbone) and lift up the other end (the back crown of the head); we get a straight rope (of vertebrae) as everything in between falls in line.  There is still some natural design S-curve in the spine, but the spine is essentially straight.  This is the concept of the ‘needle’ (or steel as referenced in the ChiRunning book) in your postural alignment.

Mental Focus Tricks to Staying Tall

1.  Imagine there is a helium-filled weather balloon attached to the back crown of you head all day long.

2. At your computer, adjust the height of your monitor so you are looking straight forward into the middle of the screen.

3.  In your car, adjust the seat more vertical so your straight needle is supported.  If the seat is leaning too far back, you will reinforce a reverse curve in the lower back … and an upper back in a slumped position.

4.  Also in your car, adjust the rearview mirror so you can only see out the back window if you are sitting tall.  You will be very surprised how often you subconsciously use the rearview mirror; and you get a free reminder each time.

5.  Notice that in your car, the seat is aligned on center with the steering wheel.  Notice if you actually do sit aligned with the center of the steering wheel.  The tendency is to lean to the right a bit.  You can also use the rearview mirror to remind yourself to sit straight; here is how: A) Adjust the rearview mirror left-right to align with the rear window.  This works but you might forget about it after a while since you can still see partially out the back.  B) Make a line down the center of the rearview mirror (I use a small strip off of a yellow post-it pad for this) to remind you where the center of the rear window should be.  Some vehicles have an antenna embedded down the middle of the rear window, but this does not usually work in the dark.  A more pronounced line on the rear window can be created if you wish.

Danny Dreyer’s Blog Video on Posture

Here is a video where ChiRunning and ChiWalking creator/author, Danny Dreyer, talks about posture and this simple focus on the back crown of the head.  He also mentions the rearview mirror trick #4.

Sound like a lot to do or think about?  Perhaps, but the alternative is to reinforce an inefficient position that can lead to tension and additional postural mis-alignment.  The more often you practice a new habit, the sooner it will become part of your subconscious.

Bookmark and Share


~~~

David Stretanski is a holistic health, fitness and wellness coach and Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor.  For more information on David, please see his About, Contact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.

~~~

ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® are registered trademarks of ChiLiving, Inc.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.