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Therapist Dr. Nick Schumacher with Physique Physical Therapy, a cross-country runner with expertise in running mechanics, holds Running Injury Prevention and Performance Clinics in the Tampa Bay Area.

Through running clinics, Dr. Schumacher provides running analysis reports that help identify strengths and weaknesses in running performance. The results allow Dr. Schumacher to help clients with their running technique. Physique Physical Therapy owner Keith Pacific speaks of a recent systematic review of running literature that has debunked the theory that running causes injury. For people with existing injuries, which equates to a high percentage of adults in their thirties and forties, running can exacerbate an existing problem such as a knee injury or back injury. He says this is why proper running technique and mechanics are so important.

According to Keith, running is still a popular workout method for people, and Physique Physical Therapy only wants to improve the running experience. Becoming a runner does not require running miles on your first go.

“So much research says to move 30 minutes to an hour daily,” Keith says. “It’s pretty vague about what constitutes movement; just get your heart rate up. When training to be a runner, move just a little daily, even for 15-to-20 minutes each day. Start slow because setting high goals is usually a way of setting yourself up for failure.

“I’m confident that if you move a little bit daily, your attitude and happiness will improve,” he adds. “Physical fitness will improve your mental health. It’s tough to be angry living in beautiful Tampa Bay. Whether walking down Bayshore or within your community, Tampa’s weather and beauty make it difficult to be unhappy outside being active.”

Many people feel they can’t perform because of a physical injury. Through interview and consultation, the therapists at Physique Physical Therapy can help identify what forms of physical activity will work for you.

“After getting a good history on our patients, we sometimes find they can do many things physically but choose not to,” Keith explains. “We help them pick activities that are somewhat enjoyable and start with those. I would never tell someone who doesn’t know how to ride a bike that they must ride it for an hour a day.”

The team at Physique will walk patients through the process of transferring to a healthy lifestyle by helping with their confidence.

“We realize most people can’t have a personal trainer with them every day like some Hollywood celebrity,” says Keith, “so getting them comfortable doing the movements is key, and sometimes, creating the new habits can take a couple of months before the person feels the benefits both mentally and physically. By then, that feeling will be so embedded they won’t want to take any more medicines.”

Keith goes on to explain that, “Starting a new program can be difficult for people with chronic pain, which is identified as pain lasting more than three months. It takes time and effort to break out of the sedentary mold and start moving again. It’s hard to get new patients to buy in, but once they get over that initial hump, usually within six to eight weeks, they start to see and feel the benefits.”

Physical fitness does not stand alone; it works alongside financial, emotional, and spiritual health. Mental health has come to the forefront for veterans in recent years. Many wait too long before finally seeking help. Through sessions, the therapist at Physique Physical Therapy listen to what their patients are going through, from terrible injuries that affect not only their personal lives and relationships but also their lives financially and mentally.

“We work to be a beacon of hope, providing them the motivation and inspiration to get moving. We make sure our patients realize we cannot rehab their knees, for example, for them. We can guide them, but ultimately the work is theirs,” says Keith.

**Call Out

People are dealing with a lot of financial pressure right now, and we must continue to try and motivate people to stay in shape and stay on top of their health. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much more money you have in the bank than the next guy. Some people with a lot of money would trade it all for good health. In the end, if you’re healthy, you’re wealthy.

Online resource

Kinetic Revolution by James Dunne offers excellent tips for proper running technique. See the full report at

Tips for better running mechanics

  1. Avoid over-striding.
  2. Maintain a tall posture as you run.
  3. Relax your shoulders.
  4. Strengthen your glutes and core.
  5. Don’t bounce or rotate excessively.
  6. Control your breathing.

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