Finding five ways to exercise living near or visiting Virginia Beach, Virginia has many benefits. One of, if not the largest benefit, is our famous stretch of beach and boardwalk. Virginia Beach has a world-renowned sand beach and 3-mile long boardwalk that provides numerous opportunities for exercise and has frequent national events including sand soccer, volley ball, Something In the Water, and even Monster truck rallies. When you combine any two of these activities, you can find at least five fun ways to exercise at the beach.
You do not need a gym membership to find fun ways to exercise in our region. Recently, we published a blog about Coastal Virginia walking trails that provide a great starting point for your exercise journey.
From sunrise walks to yoga and biking, there are many ways to enjoy our regional beaches. Here are our five fun ways to exercise at the beach…and tips.
Go For A Walk
Go for a walk on a sandy beach in Virginia or walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Both provide healthy and free exercise. If your choice is to walk on a sandy beach, be sure to follow these tips from The Therapy Network:
- When walking on sand, start slow and practice moderation. Walking is low-impact aerobic exercise, but you do have to adjust to each step sinking in the sand.
- Wear shoes. You may be tempted to walk on the beach barefoot, but being barefoot puts more tension on your tendons and joints.
- Set your beach walking schedule around low tide. You can avoid the slope of the sand if you walk at low tide and near the water.
Enjoy a walk at sunrise, a mid-day workout, or an evening stroll. Walking on the beach or the adjacent boardwalk is a fun way to enjoy the beach and the benefits of exercise.
Yoga and Pilates
Many use yoga and Pilates to reduce stress, exercise, and tone. Add beautiful beach scenery and you have the perfect recipe for a fun activity on the beach. Here are some helpful tips for beach yoga and Pilates from the therapists at The Therapy Network:
- Leave the mat at home. It is perfectly OK to leave your yoga mat at home for your next beach yoga experience. Let the soft Virginia sand be your mat.
- But remember the sunscreen. Beach yoga and Pilates reduce stress and help you relax, but do not relax your efforts to prevent skin cancer. We always suggest sunscreen when exercising outdoors, especially at the beach.
- Remember to hydrate. Bring your favorite water bottle and remember to hydrate.
If yoga or Pilates is part of your fitness routine, we are sure you will want to add it to your five ways to exercise at the beach.
Go For a Run
You may be a runner that has a bucket list of favorite runs. Running along the water's edge on a Virginia Beach may be on that list. But running on the beach comes with a set of challenges, and it is crucial to follow these tips below to stay safe and prevent injury:
- Keep long runs to the boardwalk. Running on sand is challenging, making it difficult to run for a long time.
- If you do decide to run on the soft Virginia sand, ensure that you change direction often to compensate for the slope of the beach. Set your schedule to run at low tide and on the firm sand along the waterline.
- As with walking, always wear shoes when running on the beach.
- With any exercise on the beach, stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.
If you are new to running, be sure to discuss both your running plan and your beach running plan with a professional. A professional therapist can provide custom tips and ensure your shoes are well-fitted.
Swimming in the Ocean or Chesapeake Bay
Although swimming is an excellent source of exercise, swimming in the ocean's open waters or Chesapeake Bay takes some pre-planning and experience. Here are some essential tips:
- Review the NOAA Rip Current Survival Guide
- Only swim in a lifeguarded area
- Never swim alone
- Be Aware: Heed weather and water conditions and warnings.
Although swimming is of the top five ways to exercise at the beach, it is crucial to swim responsibly and heed all warnings.
Biking, Kayaking, and Paddle Boarding
Coastal Virginia has a unique infrastructure for biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. All three are fun ways to exercise at the beach and surrounding waterways.
Need a bike? A favorite place to bike is along the flat, safe Virginia Beach Boardwalk. You will find beach bikes to rent along the way. Warm weather brings many visitors to the boardwalk. Some will be on bikes while others run or walk. For safety, we always suggest that you wear a helmet and be aware of your surroundings. Please make sure to watch for those stopping to take photos.
If kayaking or paddle boarding, tell someone about your plan and when to expect your return. And ALWAYS wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). If you are looking for places to launch your kayak or SUP, check out the website Virginia Water Trails.
The Therapy Network
After reading this blog, you may be thinking about enjoying these five fun ways to exercise on the beach. Fitness for these fun activities should be within your reach. However, if you are looking for a little help getting started, The therapists and athletic trainers at The Therapy Network are available to review your fitness level with a free wellness check. Remember, you never need a prescription to visit The Therapy Network.
If you live in the Hampton Roads area, there is a Therapy Network clinic near your neighborhood or place of work. We have appointments available today and do NOT require a prescription. Browse our website and make an appointment at one of our therapy centers today.
Walking is a simple and effective way to improve overall health and fitness. It is a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime, without equipment. Walking is an excellent option whether you are trying to lose weight, reduce stress, or improve your cardiovascular health.
This blog includes tips to help you get the most out of your walking routine. It also has popular local trails to walk your way to health in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Walking Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle
A walking routine promotes a healthy lifestyle, but it is also essential to follow tips provided by the therapists at The Therapy Network. Here are eight top tips for starting a routine to walk your way to health.
Start Slowly: If you are new to walking or last exercised a while ago, it is essential to start slowly. Begin with a short walk around your neighborhood or local park. As your fitness improves, gradually increase the distance and duration of your walks.
Wear Comfortable Shoes: Invest in a good pair of walking shoes that fit well and provide proper support. Avoid wearing old or worn-out shoes, as they can cause discomfort and increase the risk of injury.
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your walk, especially if you are walking in the hot or humid conditions in Hampton Roads. Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, and other health problems.
Use Proper Posture: Good posture is essential when walking. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and arms swinging naturally at your sides. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, which can strain your neck, shoulders, and back.
Warm Up and Cool Down: Before starting your walk, warm up by stretching your muscles and gradually increasing your pace. After your walk, cool down by slowing your pace and doing some gentle stretches to help prevent soreness and stiffness.
Stay Safe as You Walk Your Way to Health
From urban areas to country paths and mountain trails, everyone should have a "Stay Safe" plan. Here are some of our top tips for staying safe while walking.
Find a Walking Buddy: Walking with a friend or family member can make your walks more enjoyable and motivate you to stick with your routine. It can also provide a social opportunity to catch up and connect with others.
Vary Your Route: Walking the same route daily may become dull and make it harder to stay motivated. Explore new neighborhoods, parks, or trails to keep your walks interesting and engaging.
Stay Safe: Walking is generally a safe exercise, but it is vital to take precautions to avoid accidents and injuries. Walk in well-lit areas, wear reflective clothing if walking at night, and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking alone in isolated areas.
Set Goals to Walk Your Way to Health
Set Goals: Setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated. Whether walking a certain distance, increasing your speed, or walking more days per week, having a clear plan can help you track your progress and celebrate your achievements. Here is some advice from the Mayo Clinic:
“As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you can't set aside that much time, try several short sessions of activity throughout the day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. Even small amounts of physical activity are helpful, and accumulated activity throughout the day adds up to provide a health benefit.” –MayoClinic.org
Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body and how it feels during your walks. If you experience pain or discomfort, slow down or stop and rest. If you have a health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Hampton Roads, Virginia, Walking Trails
Here is a list of popular walking trails in Hampton Roads:
For a list of trails across the entire region, check out this website from AllTrails. This website provides feedback and reviews of each trail.
For Trails in Hampton Roads, click on these links:
- Virginia Beach: https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-rChesapeakeparks-trails/city-parks/Pages/default.aspx
- Chesapeake: https://www.cityofchesapeake.net/451/Parks-Trails
- Norfolk: https://www.norfolk.gov/Facilities?clear=False
Recommendations for TTN Team Members:
- Chesapeake City Park (1.1 mile loop, paved) https://www.visitchesapeake.com/listing/chesapeake-city-park/156/
- Virginia Beach Boardwalk (3 miles, paved) ttps://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/explore/attractions/boardwalk/
- Elizabeth River Trail (10.5 miles, paved) https://www.downtownnorfolk.org/go/elizabeth-river-trail?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-P7Yl_Hv_QIVM_7jBx0pEQ1IEAAYASAAEgI9P_D_BwE Runs across Norfolk and part of the trail runs close to current Ghent location (7 minute walk from the clinic)
- City View Park (large, paved trail 0.75 miles; small, paved trail, 0.25 miles; soft trail, 0.20 miles) https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/parks-trails/city-parks/Pages/city-view-park.aspx
- Mount Trashmore (1.9 mile loop, paved) https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/parks-trails/city-parks/pages/mount-trashmore-park.aspx
- Red Wing Park (1.7 mile loop, paved) https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/parks-trails/city-parks/Pages/red-wing-park.aspx
As you walk your way to health, consider a free wellness check with a physical therapist at The Therapy Network. While browsing our website, sign up for our monthly newsletter with tips to lead a healthy lifestyle.
In conclusion, walking is a simple and effective way to improve your health and fitness. By following these tips, you can make the most out of your walking routine and achieve your health and fitness goals. Remember to start slowly, wear comfortable shoes, stay hydrated, use proper posture, warm up and cool down, find a walking buddy, vary your route, set goals, listen to your body, and stay safe. Happy walking!
If you are thinking about beginning to walk, a great way to make sure you are prepared is a free wellness check at The Therapy Network. Just request an appointment and note free wellness check.
Foot and Ankle Pain should not be ignored
Foot and ankle pain is a common issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. While many people are tempted to ignore pain, addressing the problem as soon as possible is crucial. This blog will discuss why you should not ignore foot and ankle pain.
How many Americans suffer from foot and ankle problems?
“From plantar fasciitis to heel spurs, nearly 77% of those surveyed had or are dealing with foot problems and disorders.”—FootLogics.com
Many of us have experienced foot and ankle pain. Our first thought is to ignore the pain. It started a slight twinge, and we quickly convinced ourselves that the pain would be gone when we woke up tomorrow.
But foot and ankle pain is often a sign of a severe condition. A condition that is on the edge of impacting our daily life. Here are the reasons why you should not ignore the pain:
- Foot pain can impact your daily life.
Foot and ankle pain can significantly impact your ability to carry out your daily activities. If your job requires you to stand or walk for long periods, foot and ankle pain can make it challenging to complete your work. Similarly, if you enjoy sports or exercise, foot and ankle pain can prevent you from participating in these activities.
- The pain can be a sign of a serious condition.
In some cases, ankle and foot pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. For example, pain in the ankle can be a sign of arthritis, gout, or a fracture. Pain in the foot can be a sign of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, or a stress fracture. Ignoring foot and ankle pain can lead to further damage and complications.
- Ignoring pain can lead to other issues.
Ignoring foot and ankle pain can lead to other issues, such as balance problems, falls, and chronic pain. When you are in pain, you may alter the way you walk or stand, which can lead to other issues. For example, if you favor one foot over the other, you may develop muscle imbalances, leading to further pain and complications.
The Pain is a Warning Sign
- The pain is a health warning sign.
- Pain can be a warning sign that something is wrong. Ignoring the ache, burning or sharp shooting pain can lead to further complications and may make the underlying issue more challenging to treat. If you are experiencing pain, listening to your body and seeking medical attention is essential.
- Chronic Pain can impact your mental health.
Chronic pain can have a significant impact on your mental health. If you are experiencing chronic pain, you may feel frustrated, anxious, and depressed. You can improve your mental health and overall well-being by seeking treatment for your pain.
- “People living with chronic pain are at heightened risk for mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Chronic pain can affect sleep, increase stress levels and contribute to depression. An estimated 35% to 45% of people with chronic pain experience depression.”—psychiatry.org
- Foot and ankle pain can be a symptom of a systemic issue.
In some cases, foot and ankle pain can be a symptom of a systemic issue such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease. If you are experiencing other symptoms such as numbness or tingling, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is essential.
Ankle and Foot Injuries Can Be Prevented or Treated
- Foot and ankle distress can be treated.
Many people believe that foot and ankle pain is a normal part of life and that nothing will alleviate the pain. However, this is not true. Various treatment options are available including physical therapy, medication, and surgery. You can alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life by seeking treatment.
- If you act, you can prevent or stop the pain.
In some cases, foot and ankle soreness can be prevented. For example, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes can reduce your risk of developing foot and ankle pain. Stretching before and after exercise can also help prevent pain and injury.
Find Help at The Therapy Network
Lower body pain must not be ignored. It can impact your daily life, be a sign of a serious condition or systemic problem, and can affect your mental health. Foot pain can be treated and prevented; therefore, it is important to never ignore your pain. Addressing ambulatory pain as soon as possible can improve your quality of life and prevent further complications.
The Therapy Network has six locations throughout the Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake with appointments available today. In Virginia, you do not need a doctor's referral to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. After reviewing the eight reasons, you should not ignore foot and ankle pain, consider scheduling an appointment today.
Have you suffered from persistent back pain or discomfort in your extremities for months? Perhaps you have tried physical therapy and are still looking for a better solution. It is time to find out about the McKenzie Method® for back pain.
The McKenzie Method® used in physical therapy is a non-invasive and self-managed solution that may fit your needs today and into the future. Each of TTN’s six locations has a McKenzie Institute®-trained physical therapist.
How Common is Back Pain?
You are not alone. Here are a few statistics about back pain in the US today:
- Over 72 million Americans will suffer from back pain during their lifetime. That is 8 out of 10 in the United States. —Vertosmed.com
- Out of those with mild symptoms, 5% will develop chronic pain if left untreated. –Pain News Network
- 4 out of 10 employees that sit at a desk will suffer from back pain at some time. --NIH
Usually, back pain builds gradually until the pain is noticed and impacts the enjoyment of your day. Here is a quote that sums up the problem facing many today:
"When back pain suddenly shows up, we are tempted to blame it on the last minor stressor that affected it, such as a soft bed in a hotel. This is like blaming your bankruptcy on the last latte you bought before your account finally went into the red.”—Todd Hargrove.
After reading the quote, you may be nodding your head in agreement. Most suffering from long-term back pain admit to ignoring the initial discomfort.
The Method that Works is Available Now
You may be new to the pain or have been suffering from back pain over an extended period of time. You may have even tried other solutions, even physical therapy.
Two of the top benefits of The McKenzie Method® is that your therapist will know within a few sessions if another treatment protocol is needed. If successful, it becomes a method you can deploy at the first sign of discomfort.
What if you could turn back time and stop or alleviate back pain before it impacts your day? The McKenzie Method® for back pain gives you the tools and exercises to relieve pain without using pharmaceuticals. The technique relieves pain and lets you continue a productive and enjoyable lifestyle.
It is a method backed by science with a long record of a positive outcome. You can learn about the McKenzie Method® by meeting with a McKenzie Institute®- trained physical therapist at The Therapy Network. In addition, read the latest updates by the McKenzie Method® Institute.
The McKenzie Method® at The Therapy Network
You may ask, "What is the McKenzie Method®, and how do I learn about it?" The method is non-invasive and focuses on the need of each patient. Often, the technique helps where other physical therapy methods have not.
Here is a quote from a TTN therapist that specializes in the McKenzie Method®:
"Specializing in the treatment of spinal patients at our Chesapeake office, I received my Certification in McKenzie Method® of Diagnosis and Therapy in 1999 and have been using it to treat spinal cases ever since. I utilize this method because it is patient-driven and exercise-based, backed by research, and incredibly effective. Many of my referrals come from physicians whose patients tried traditional physical therapy (sans-McKenzie) and failed to see improvement.”—Elaine Comer PT
The McKenzie Method® for back pain includes a tailored routine of exercises and stretches that patients can do at home. It is an active therapy method that is cost-effective. Once you learn the technique and the best steps for your diagnosis, you can self-manage the process.
Schedule An Appointment at The Therapy Network Today
Think of the McKenzie Method® as an investment in a pain-free future. If you are ready to learn more, it is time to schedule an appointment at The Therapy Network.
https://www.thetherapynetwork.com/schedule-appointment/The Therapy Network is coastal Virginia's leading physical therapy network. Schedule an appointment online or call 757-496-3700. Let us teach you the McKenzie Method® for back pain today.