Mar 10, 2020

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Producer Mitch Wants to Get into Running

After having a wake-up call with his Bell's-Palsy incident and quitting smoking last winter, Mitch decided it's time to start focusing on his cardiovascular health and getting more activity in his life.

His personal goal is to work up to running a 5k. A 5k is not even close to a marathon, but for Mitch, it feels like a "big mountain" that is insurmountable. Mitch is concerned about his knee, which he injured back in high school and it still gives him trouble to this day when he runs.

Additionally, he's worried about his cardiovascular health. After a decade of smoking, he quit last year, and his cardiovascular health is not where he wants it to be. He walks on an elliptical for just a few minutes before he gets winded.

Troy and Scot both run regularly and share their experience to help answer Mitch's questions and concerns about starting running.

Running Can Seem Intimidating at First

Troy knows all about the anxiety that can come from running. Eight years ago, Troy signed up for the Race for the Cure 5K. He was extremely intimidated by the event and whether he could complete the run.

When Scot first started, the idea of running a half hour without stopping was inconceivable. He says when he first started running "parts were jiggling that shouldn't be jiggling." His ankles and feet would hurt just five minutes into a run.

Running May Actually Improve Your Joint Health

When starting any physical activity, if you are dealing with a nagging health issue like Mitch's knee problem, it's important to get those sorted before you start. Knee problems are a common complaint with runners and they're important to take care of.

Consider visiting a physical therapist to diagnose and help treat your injury. A physical therapist should be able to help identify if your issue is muscular or structural, what muscles need strengthening, and suggest a plan to help you run pain free.

Five years ago, Troy made the goal to just run consistently and started running two miles a day no matter how long it took. But he, like many people, was worried he was going to wear out his joints as he got older. Troy went straight to the scientific literature. After extensive searching, he was unable to find any evidence that runners were more likely to develop osteoarthritis in old age. Furthermore, he was unable to find any studies saying that runners were more likely to need a knee replacement than non-runners.

Troy found research that showed running actually may help your knees and joints. There's evidence to suggest that running may help keep joint cartilage and keep it healthy longer into life.

Troy and Scot both experienced a bit of pain and discomfort when they first started running. But as they continued to improve and their muscles became stronger, they found that the irritating aches and pains eventually went away.

Find a Good Reason to Run

Scot appreciates that running doesn't require any extra equipment. Unlike other activities, running does not require a lot of gear or memberships to do. Just a good pair of shoes and you can run tomorrow.

Scot also found a personal commitment run. After his father passed away, he made the agreement with his brother the two of them would run a marathon together in honor of their dad. Scot had never done any serious running before, but he committed. He trained for 25 weeks. Scot says that had he not made the commitment with his brother, he probably wouldn't have run the marathon.

Troy used to run in high school but quit in medical school. He had seen some research that suggested getting physical activity regularly at least three times a week would lead to better health. He looked at his current habits and realized he wasn't getting any activity consistently. Troy needed an easy way to get his physical activity in, so he turned back to running.

For Troy, running has the highest return on investment. It doesn't require much time or equipment to do, but it burns a lot of calories improves your muscular and cardiovascular health, etc. For the small investment of time, he feels he gets a whole lot of benefits back.

Change Your Perspective to Stay Motivated

Troy explains that the best way to stick with any activity is to find intrinsic value with what you're doing. If a person is running just to burn calories or get a certain time, it can be difficult to stick with it.

Troy commits to running 30 minutes a day, every day. He doesn't focus on his speed or distance or the calories he burned. He just focuses on the activity itself. Troy describes running as his antidepressant, anti-anxiety medication, and caffeine. By taking this relaxed approach to running, he finds a calm in his day that helps him stay healthy.

Scot eventually appreciated the connection running allows him to have with his body. When he runs he can feel the work his muscles and joints are doing, he senses the momentum of his pace and rhythm. Running gives him a zen-like experience he looks forward to.

How to Get Started with Running

If you want to get started with running, start where you are and gradually work up. You don't have to run an eight-minute mile when you first start. Run at a pace that feels comfortable to your body. Focus on your form and doing the time. Your body will catch up eventually.

Scot has been in the same situation Mitch has been in just starting out with running. He has a few suggestions he would make to anyone looking to get started in running:

  • Get the right shoes. Wearing the right type of shoe is vital to preventing injury and pain when running. Make sure you're wearing a quality shoe that is right for your feet. Remember to replace shoes after so many miles.

  • Choose a good Training Plan. Find a training plan that isn't too aggressive. A good plan should start with a mix of running and walking that gradually increases intensity so that your body can adapt and get stronger without injury.

  • Focus on your Form. Just like strength training, running with the right form will prevent most injuries. At the very least, make sure your feet are landing midfoot and rolling to the front of your foot.

One Last Thing You Should Know

Scot and Troy share with Mitch the one thing they wish they knew when they first started running.

For Scot, he wished he had known the importance of strength training when he started running. He was surprised to find that it's not the quads and feet that will hurt the worst. It's small muscles that are going to be painful. He wishes he had engaged in a strength training regiment that would have strengthened his small muscles earlier in his running journey.

Troy wishes he realized the intrinsic value of running earlier. For him, running doesn't have to be about speed or what you can post on social media, but the way it makes you feel and improves your health.

ER or Not: Stopping a Nosebleed

If you ever have had a bloody nose, you know how messy they can be. Whether it be from dry conditions, an injury, or nose-picking, a nose gushing blood is not fun. But what if the nose doesn't stop bleeding? Should you go to the ER?

Troy says 90% of the nosebleeds he sees could avoid a trip to the ER with this treatment you can try at home.

If you have a long-lasting bloody nose and you are light-headed or pass out, you need to go to the ER. Otherwise, get your hands on oxymetazoline nasal spray (Afrin). This is a common over the counter decongestant spray. Blow your nose to get rid of any thick clots. Spray the bleeding nostril with two-three squirts of the nasal spray. Then hold constant pressure on the soft part of the nose for a full 15 minutes. Repeat up to three times.

In most cases, the bleeding should stop by the third time. If you are still bleeding after your third attempt, it's time to go to the ER.

Housekeeping - Who Cares About Mitch's Health 5k

After spending a whole episode talking about the benefits of running, producer Mitch commits on air to train for a 5k. He will be starting a couch to 5k plan in the upcoming week and would love for listeners to join in. Stay tuned to Facebook for details and how you can participate over the next 9 weeks and support Mitch on the road to improving his health.

Just Going to Leave This Here

On this episode's Just Going to Leave This Here, Troy is desperate to find a better name for our "Housekeeping" segment. Scot has found a new joy in shining his shoes.

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