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The Olympics are going to be here before we know it. If you’re anything like some of the Texas Back Institute doctors and staff, you may find yourself motivated to push a little harder towards your personal fitness goals. If this is you, congratulations! Setting personal fitness goals is essential in making sure you don’t get bored with your workouts and it helps keep you on your toes.
Dr. Michael Duffy, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at Texas Back Isntitute
Dr. Michael Duffy is an orthopedic spine surgeon here at Texas Back Institute and running is something he loves to do. In honor of the Olympics we have asked Dr. Duffy to share some of his running tips with our readers.

First things first…STRETCH! This can not be stressed enough. Stretching before you start your run is crucial. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle just as you are getting close to reaching your fitness goals. Just take 5 minutes to stretch your legs, shoulders and arms. You can even do this while you are getting your iPod playlist ready to go.

Second, if you are running and you start to experience pain (unrelated to normal muscle fatigue) try icing the painful area and taking NSAIDs (Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If your pain does not subside, take a look at your footwear. If you don’t have the right running shoes they may be causing imbalance thereby placing stress on your knees, hips and back. Most running stores can help fit you for shoes – you just have to ask. If all of this fails, consult your physician for further testing.

Third, and this time we saved the best for last, HYDRATE – HYDRATE – HYDRATE. It’s so hot out this time of year, especially in Texas, hydration can happen before you know it. Make sure to drink lots of water before, during and after you run! Even the Olympians have to hydrate.

Just getting into a running routine? Share with us what motivates you!

Go Team USA!

Remember, when starting any new exercise program it’s important to consult with your physician to make sure you are healthy enough to do so.

Pace yourself – most runner injuries are results of doing too much too soon.

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