Pre- & Post-Run Routines

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Pre-Run Activation

For most of us, lacing up our sneakers and heading out the door is the usual routine. No stretch, no warm-up just GO! But, a pre-run activation routine can go a long way in getting your body ready to move. We believe dynamic activation, as opposed to static stretching, is the best way to do that. Whether it is an easy run or your first marathon, this pre-run routine will kickstart your body into motion. So before starting your watch, take a few minutes to try out these dynamic moves. Your body will thank you later! 

  1. High Knees: 1 minute
  2. Butt Kicks: 1 min
  3. Walking Lunges with Rotation: 10x each side 
  4. Internal Rotation Activation: 10x each side
  5. Hamstring Activation: 10x each side 

Post- Run Activation

We’ve all been there. You get back from a run, and you are immediately immersed in your next task. Although it is tempting to skip the post-run cool down, it is important to take advantage of warm muscles and kick-start recovery before the next run. Our favorite post-run routine involves static stretching of key running muscles. Your glutes, quads, hip flexors, and calves work hard while running, so it is important to thank them for their work with these stretches. We promise it will make the next run that much better!

  1. Glute Stretch: 2×30 sec hold each side – Laying on your back with both knees bent, pull one leg up and across your body driving the knee to the opposite shoulder. Use the other leg as a kickstand to prevent your body from rotating. 
  2. Hip Flexor Stretch: 2×30 sec hold each side – Kneeling on 1 knee, posteriorly rotate your pelvis by pulling your belly button to your spine and tucking your hips under. You should feel the stretch in the front of the leg/hip of the knee that is down. 
  3. Hip Internal Rotation Stretch: 2×30 sec hold each side – Laying on your back with both knees bent, walk one foot out to the side and drop the knee towards the table. Keep your hips square on the table. 
  4. Calf Stretch: 2×30 sec hold each side – Using a step or curb, hang both heels off until you feel a stretch behind the lower leg. Complete with knees straight, as well as with knees bent. 


Reduce the Risk of Overuse Injuries from Running

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The most common injuries for runners are overuse injuries many of which can be prevented. Here are a few tips to keep you running pain-free this season.

Before heading out for a high-impact and dynamic activity like running, it is best to do a brief active warm-up. This can include a slow jog or walk, high knees, butt kicks, jumping jacks, or even a side shuffle.

Increase running
Increase running patiently. It takes time for your body to get comfortable with increasing miles, so stick to the 10% rule. Do not add more than 10% of your weekly miles between weeks, and make sure to include down weeks in your training. Doing too much too fast is a sure way to cause injury!

Work on technique
Think about feeling tall when you are running. Keep your head up, but don’t lead with your chin, and make sure your hips are tucked in behind you. Keep your stride comfortable, and pretend you have potato chips in your hands so you are nice and relaxed in your upper body.

Strength training is the difference-maker when it comes to efficient and healthy running. Specific muscles, such as our glutes and core, are integral for running. But, your upper body and even the muscles of your feet are important too. Strength training 2x per week can ensure you can build your mileage, increase your speed, and avoid injury.

Get Fitted
We all love a new pair of shoes right?? At NPT HealthWorks, we LOVE the design of On Running shoes and encourage all runners to come in to test them out. However, we recognize that footwear is a unique decision and there are many different makes and models to choose from. The most important thing is to get a fit that ensures your feet and body are happy during your runs. The shoe should feel good from the moment you put it on. The best option is to always go to your local running store and get professionally fit.

Address Imbalances
We also feel that although the shoe is important, it is often more important to look at the body wearing the shoe to fix any imbalances or impairments that could cause injury down the line. As PTs, we are trained to do a gait analysis and look for deviations or imbalances during running. Although assessing someone statically is important, breaking down someone’s running form in the video can give us even more information. Schedule an appointment with a member of our team to address any imbalances prior to beginning a new training program, or if you are noticing pain or an imbalance in your running!

Group Classes
Look for a group class that focuses on good form and correct postures while completing the exercises. We are often pushed outside of our comfort zones in group classes, which can be a huge benefit. BUT, there are times where we get caught up competing with those around us and the form suffers. It is better to complete the class at your own pace with good form than to rush and put yourself at risk of injury. At NPT HealthWorks we offer a preseason training class, Train Hard Recover Well, that focuses on form, strength, and recovery helping runners reach new goals.

Nagging Discomfort
You should NOT have pain when you run! Nagging pain or lingering soreness after a run can be a sign that your body needs some attention. Getting seen by one of our therapists at the first sign of pain can make all the difference in recovery. Better yet, PROACTIVE & PREVENTATIVE care can ensure that any aches and pains are taken care of right away and you can keep running towards your goals.

Recovery Work
Recovery IS the single most important, but also the most overlooked section of training! If you want to ask your body to train hard, you also have to give it the feel-good things it needs to recharge. Sleep, hydration, taking rest days, and staying diligent to a flexibility and mobility recovery program are keys to the win! The biggest reason people get injured is that they lose the balance between recovery and training hard, so don’t forget to give your body some love!

Introduction to Foam Rolling – What is it and Why is it important?

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We at NPT HealthWorks help active individuals live a balanced, healthy, and mobile life in order to function at a high level with improved ease, less medication, and fewer doctor visits and surgeries. In order to do that, we take pride in educating individuals in our world to know how to implement self care in their lives. One of my personal favorite self-care items is the foam roller and I want to share with you why.

Foam rollers are cheap and effective self myofascial release tools that are designed in many shapes, sizes, textures, and levels of firmness. Basically a one time fee to provide yourself unlimited deep tissue massages. Generally the larger foam rollers can be more effective for the lower body and the smaller foam rollers (or lacrosse balls) can be better used for the upper body. There is little to no evidence suggesting a more smooth foam roller is more beneficial than one with ridges or a more firm one is better than one with less density. It really comes down to personal preference and what you can tolerate to perform the task. The intention of the foam roller is to break down muscle “knots” or trigger points that ultimately reduces soft tissue density in an injured muscle while increasing range of motion. It’s able to accomplish that by increasing blood flow, reducing edema, eliminating lactate and delivering oxygen to the targeted muscle.

General Instructions:

  • Frequency: 2-3x/week (give 24-48 hours in between sessions)
  • Intensity: Low to Moderate (it should feel tender/sore but not painful!)
  • Time: 5-10 minutes per targeted muscle group

Here are two quick videos of my favorite areas to foam roll that most individuals can benefit from. If you have any questions or comments regarding foam rolling, comment below or email me at


Upper Body: Rotator Cuff

Lower Body: Quadriceps/ITB

Osteoporosis and Strength Training

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* Before beginning any new exercise routine, consult a fitness professional!

Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in bone mineral density, causing an increased risk for bone fracture.  1 in every 4 women and 1 out of every 6-7 men are at risk for developing osteoporosis at some point in their lives.  Research has shown that an exercise program designed by a professional can assist with slowing down the process of bone density loss and can even help people slightly increase density. 

Each individual is different of course, but general guidelines are to strength train 2-3x weekly, 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps, and about 1 exercise per major muscle group. Daily balance exercise is recommended as well, up to 15 minutes daily. Balance exercise will generally not help with bone density, but it will decrease risk for falls and therefore risk for fractures.  Recommendations for impact exercise are as follows: for those with osteopenia or osteoporosis, without fractures, 50 impacts per session (light jog, hop, jump) are recommended.  For people with fractures, balance issues or lower extremity injury, brisk walking is better than regular walking, and regular walking is better than no exercise at all.  

Other forms of exercise such as swimming and cycling are great for cardiovascular health but do not produce much of an impact on bone growth. Regular exercise throughout the life span can help to offset the natural loss of bone mineral as well improve quality of life.

C’mon in and see your friendly local physio for a custom program!

Dr. Kim

Proper attire will keep you running all winter!

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Hi Everybody!

Thanks for checking out my second blog where I am joined by Cori and Maddie for a discussion on the winter apparel that we prefer to help us get up, get out, and have fun!



As you can see from the video, it’s never too cold to workout outside, you are just inappropriately dressed! It’s easy to use the cold and dark as an excuse, believe me I have a tough time getting my butt out of bed, but winter can be an awesome time to get outside and enjoy fresh crisp air! 

Like Cori talks about, layers are key. Wicking material is better than cotton, and helps ensure your muscles stay warm throughout the workout. We’ve all had that cold chill feeling, so plan to get right to the shower or have a change of clothes after a winter workout. 

As Maddie brings up, safety is paramount all the time but especially in the darkness of winter. Reflective gear, headlamps, and blinking lighted vests may not be fashionable, but they will keep you safe. In the header photo you can clearly see Cori and Madison, but to an oncoming vehicle I’m blending into the darkness. Always remember- Safety is Sexy! 

As you can see, there is no weather cold enough or dark enough to stop us from enjoying mother nature and our local community. Whether you are joining the local running groups, November Project, or enjoying a solo adventure grab your layers and lights and HAVE SOME FUN OUT THERE! 

– Dr. Liz

3 Best Stretches for Hockey Players

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Have you ever tried to maximize the amount of time you have available to stretch by figuring out the most beneficial stretches? Have you felt like even finding time to stretch was daunting and challenging enough? Most people would say yes. I know I’ve had that thought time and time again. What I’m hoping you’ll get out of this blog is that stretching can be easy and prioritizing even 5-10 minutes after exercising can make a big difference.

Here are my 3 favorite stretches for hockey players!

  1. Kneeling Hip Flexor

Static Stretch – 30 second holds (repeat on both sides)

  1. Glute Stretch

Static Stretch – 30 second holds (repeat on both sides)

  1. Sidelying Thoracic Rotation

Dynamic Stretch – 15 repetitions (repeat both sides)

Next time you’re playing hockey, I encourage you to give these 3 stretches after and see how you feel. Hockey utilizes your glute muscles to generate power through lower body rotation and need to be prioritized to stretch following an exercise. Tight hip flexors are one of the primary reasons individuals today begin getting low back pain. By stretching them after activity, you’ll increase hip flexor extensibility and promote a more posterior pelvic tilt posture to minimize strain on the lumbar spine. Lastly, thoracic rotation is a necessity for shooting and skating while on the ice. Increased thoracic (mid-back) rotation can decrease common compensations that occur at different muscle groups and allow you to ultimately increase power and control in your game. Promoting good recovery will help limit muscle soreness and have you ready to get back on the ice faster. Not to mention the increased muscle extensibility will make day to day activities easier, not just hockey!

– Dr. Nate

Powered by Community

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Hi everyone! Dr. Liz here- thanks for tuning in to my very first blog. True story- I’ve never written a blog so the fact that you’re still reading right now is pretty cool. I’m the newest PT on the NPT HealthWorks team, and joined in sept of 2018. Over the course of my blogs, you’ll not only get to know me better but also hear about some of my passions including running, community engagement, and being active! Hope you enjoy 🙂

How did I get here…an indoor athlete thriving in Newport’s outdoor athletic community?

My entire life I was an indoor athlete. I relished the AC of the cool basketball gym, and enjoyed the beauty of a toasty ballet room. Now, I’m that crazy person out there in fleece lined tights, flashing safety vests, neck warmers and alllll the layers. How did I get here? It didn’t happen overnight, but in the past 15 months living in this beautiful place, my wife and I have switched gears from college basketball to distance running and we have this wonderful community to blame. 

We are fortunate to have met our closest friends through running, between the store run at Run Newport on Tuesdays to the well-known Run & Chug group on Thursdays and November Project on Wednesday mornings at the beach. The texts go out, and the social pressure pulls us to our sense of community and friendship and the shared love of one sport… running.

Maybe it fills the void that we lost after we graduated from competitive college sports? For me, it has become a passion and something I look forward to every single day. It is free, it allows for exploring new places, and it brings you into a network of people with like-minded goals. We have borderline elite runners, recreational runners, and new runners  who are brought together to push themselves in whatever way that means to them. The paces and times may be different between us, but running has taught us all that we can do HARD things and that we are capable of more than we think, especially when we are out there exploring together.

Are you looking to try something new? Find a community and go for it!

– Dr. Liz

5 Tips for Keeping Your Voice Healthy


What is Vocal Hygiene? 

Vocal Hygiene
refers to daily behaviors and good habits that help to maintain the health of your vocal folds. These include eliminating inappropriate vocal habits and situations that place unnecessary wear and tear on the voice and common sense behaviors which contribute to efficient voice production and overall vocal health.

The following is a list of some tips for keeping your voice healthy:

    1. Stay hydrated! Hydration is essential for the best functioning of the vocal tract. Be sure to drink plenty of healthy fluids throughout the day, though room temperature water is the best. Adequate hydration will lubricate and protect your vocal fold tissues.
    2. Try to minimize intake of alcohol and caffeine, which have a dehydrating effect.
    3. Medicine can be dehydrating. Be aware that many medications- particularly cold medicines- can also dehydrate you, so be sure to compensate for this if you need to take them.
    4. Avoid irritants, such as cigarette and cigar smoke.
    5. Get enough rest!  Fatigue and stress can impact the voice in many ways, including lower intensity (loudness) and pitch, poor posture and shallow or clavicular breathing.

By, Abby Sayer Vellucci, MS, CCC-SLP

How to prepare for a hockey game

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Growing up, I always have found it difficult to properly prepare for hockey games and practices. Do I stretch? If so, when do I stretch? Is exercise before more harmful? Did I eat too much? Maybe that last one was just me. But trying to figure out the proper way to prepare and recover from a sport seemed daunting. As my strategies altered through trial and error, I personally found ways that worked for me. With the help from literature, I critiqued my preparation and identified the most helpful ways to prepare for a hockey game.

dr nate hockey

Stretching: Dynamic Warm Up

A dynamic warm up is a series of movements or activities that are low or moderate in intensity that get the blood moving. Increased circulation will only help you prepare. This means skating laps around the rink (i.e. forwards and backwards), stick handling with the puck, cross-overs, and shooting on net are great ways to begin. Static stretching has been linked to potentially decreasing muscle performance so holding stretches for 30 seconds may not be that beneficial after all (BUT very important afterwards!). When successfully completing a dynamic warm up, you have increased muscle pliability and enhanced blood circulation via your cardiovascular system without the cost of decreasing performance.

Diet: Eat light and stay hydrated

Diet has such an important factor into performing better during sporting events. It’s essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and eating at least an hour before game time. As much as eating a large sandwich in the car on the way to the game seems like a time savvy decision, it can lead to increased inflammation, decreased muscle performance, and feeling like the meal could come up at any shift! We don’t need that to happen. Diet plays a far bigger role into how we feel than most of us like to admit and will ultimately affect our exercise.

– Dr. Nate

Holiday Happiness or Holiday Blues?

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The holiday season is often a time of joy and happiness.  We spend time with those we love, attend events which promote the spirit of the season, and give thanks for the things in our lives which truly matter.  It can also be a time of increased sadness or anxiety.  We often miss those who are no longer with us more around this time of year and can get caught up in the “giving season”, even when we are burnt out.  

During this holiday season, I encourage you to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings and how you manage them.  I encourage you to engage in regular self-care and make decisions on what’s best for you and your mental health.  Attend events and spend time with those who make you happy!  Don’t be afraid to say no to events and/or people which bring you down or stress you out.  If you can’t totally avoid certain negative situations or people, then go into those events/situations with an exit plan and limit your time.  

Finding a balance in life can certainly be challenging, especially during the holiday season.  We are often pulled in many different directions which in turn can test us, both physically and mentally.   I encourage you to go for that walk, spend time with that person you’ve been meaning to call, take a break from work, etc.  You won’t regret it!  If your struggling with an issue, situation, or relationship I encourage you to seek out professional help.  Engaging in mental health treatment can also be a proactive endeavor vs a reactive one.  Just like you go to the gym to improve your physical health, you can engage in counseling services to improve your overall mental health at any point, not just when “things are bad.”  So, put yourself first this holiday season, as it will allow you to be more present for others.  It’s not being selfish, it’s self-care!  Find your balance.

One sure fire way to feel better and positive this holiday season is to give of yourself to others.  Volunteer, give to those less fortunate, or donate to a local charity.  I guarantee you won’t regret the time or money you spend on helping others!  I also guarantee engaging in such helping activities will have a positive impact on your mental well-being. 

Wishing you the best during this holiday season!


mental health

“I started my professional career in the education field and transferred into social work in 2011.   I have always been drawn to “helping professions” which allow me to assist others.  My current full-time job is with the Department of Veteran Affairs where I help homeless Veteran’s on Cape Cod obtain and maintain housing.  My career path has led me to NPT HealthWorks where I hope to counsel individuals and/or couples who are looking to make a positive change in their mental health status.”