Pre- & Post-Run Routines

, ,

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

, ,

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?

, , ,

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

Proper attire will keep you running all winter!

, , ,

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

Which yoga class should I be going to?


There are so many varieties of yoga, and depending on your level of fitness/yoga experience/injury it might be a little challenging to sort out which is best for you. Let’s begin with an overview of the types you’ll most likely run into at your local yoga studios.


This type of yoga is characterized by moving from one posture to the next in an always changing sequence, using the breath to flow through the poses. Inhalations are usually linked to upwards postures and exhalations to downward postures or twists. Vinyasa classes are frequently based on a series of movements called sun salutations. Power yoga is a type of vinyasa that moves quite quickly, often in a heated room. Ashtanga is technically another type of vinyasa, characterized by a vigorous series of challenging set movements. I’d recommend a vinyasa or ashtanga class to those who have a some yoga experience, are in good health and are looking for a dynamic rigorous class.

Hatha yoga

Hatha is a general category that includes most yoga styles. It is an old system that includes the practice of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), which help bring peace to the mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation. Today, the term hatha is used in such a broad way that it is difficult to know what a particular hatha class will be like. In most cases, however, it will be relatively gentle, slow and great for beginners or students who prefer a more relaxed style where they hold poses longer. It can vary a lot, so it’s a good idea to call the studio before attending the class.


Bikram yoga will always be the same, no matter where you go. It’s a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing techniques. Class is held in a room heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. This form of yoga is meant to flush out toxins and allow students to move deeply into poses. You’ll sweat as the class is both physically and mentally challenging. Recommended for those who are in good health and can tolerate exercise in a hot environment.

Yin yoga

Yin Yoga is a slower-paced, more meditative version of the popular physical and spiritual discipline of yoga. In Yin yoga, the poses are held for a long period of time (typically three to five minutes or longer) to target the connective tissues rather than focusing on the muscles. As a result, the asanas are more passive holds, with little muscular engagement. The yin poses are performed while seated or in a reclining position. The goal is to move into a deep stretch slightly outside of your comfort zone. This is a good class to attend if you’re looking to improve your flexibility and are relatively healthy. It may not be the best class if you have a current injury or recent history of injury as the poses may put some stress on areas of the body that are compromised.

Restorative yoga

Restorative yoga is a bit different than yin yoga. This style will typically include 5 or 6 poses per class, performed on both sides of the body. Similar to yin yoga, the poses are held for a longer period of time and lots of props including pillows, bolsters, blocks, straps and blankets are used to ensure the postures are comfortable and pain free. The hold times are usually 5 to 10 minutes but may go up to 20 minutes. The idea is to get as comfortable in the pose with props as possible to be able to hold the entire time. There are few contraindications for performing restorative yoga, and so it’s recommended for beginners and those with injuries. Also recommended for anyone trying to recover from other sports/exercise as part of a balanced wellness routine.


In conclusion, I’d recommend checking in with your instructor if you have any injury or history of injury that may flare up during your practice so modifications can be made as necessary. If you’re a beginner, start with a hatha class or any class listed as slow flow, beginner friendly or all levels. Another option for beginners or those who prefer to practice in their own homes is online videos. This way you can take the class at your own pace and practice the poses prior to attending a class. I like as you can choose your class based on level of experience/yoga type/length of class etc. Call ahead to the studio if you feel like you need to check in regarding the level of instruction in a class. During some classes an instructor will demonstrate all moves and in some the instructor will only verbally call out cues. Always steer clear of pain with yoga as it’s an indicator that you’re pushing too hard. Also, try not to get competitive in your classes! Pay attention to your body and what’s appropriate for you instead of trying a headstand because the person next to you can do it.

– Dr. Kim

3 Best Stretches for Hockey Players

, ,

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

, ,

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

, ,

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