The Body Mechanics of Hiking: How to Optimize Your Walk in the Woods

When I started training to hike Mount Whitney, I enlisted Judith to help me optimize my hiking stride. This was no "walk in the park:" Whitney is the tallest peak in the contiguous United States at a staggering 14,505'. We would start at 8,000' with 40 lbs. of gear on our backs. Although I'm an avid hiker and live at 6,235', I knew my body would need all the help it could get, especially my knees and hips.

One thing about hiking is that you have to keep pressing on, no matter what. When it comes to your body breaking down, you have to find a way to keep going without injuring yourself. Our training hikes would take all day and up to 20 miles. Around 8 miles, I'd start to feel soreness in my left hip and right knee. In talking this out with Judith during a coaching session, she suggested a few tips to slightly alter my gait. These tips were simple things to think about, but changed everything. The next training hike, when I started to feel sore, I managed to employ her strategies and my stride no longer taxed my joints. My husband had a similar sore hip and when I passed along a few strategies that I had learned, he felt instant relief.

The Summit of Mount Whitney at 14,505', July 4th, 2016

The Summit of Mount Whitney at 14,505', July 4th, 2016

Hiking Mount Whitney was one of the greatest couple of days I can remember, but I don't think I would've been as successful if I didn't have these hiking tips with me. With these simple techniques that Judith has put together, I can hike longer with less recovery time than I used to need. It's really just about being able to adjust your movement when it's not optimal or causing you premature fatigue or unneeded pain. Learn these simple movements so you can enjoy more vistas, climb more summits and hike more mountains!

Judith Aston explains how to optimize outdoor movement, from a short walk in the woods to a long thru hike.

4 Reasons Why Your Pelvic Floor Health is Important

When we think about toning the pelvic floor, many of us who don't have an immediate problem usually feel that this isn't an important or relevant topic. New mothers or aging women express interest in toning the pelvic floor because of problems they are having with incontinence.

Contributing factors

  • Poor posture compressing lower organs

  • Childbirth

  • Post-operations

    • C-section

    • Hysterectomy

    • Hernias

  • From previous injuries

  • From changes in hormone levels

  • Aging

Pelvic floor health is relevant for everyone, men and women. But if we aren't experiencing any symptoms, why should we have good tone in the pelvic floor?

  1. It supports organs from prolapsing. The pelvic floor acts like a bowl for many internal organs and because of this, it’s important to keep it healthy.

  2. Good tone in the pelvic floor can actually lift organs back to their normal position.

  3. Proper tone and placement can determine the healthy function of bladder, prostate, uterus, digestive tract and elimination muscles.

  4. Healthier sexual function.

Born to Run

I started running in 5th grade with a long distance community ed club and instantly felt connected to the motion. I loved the way running felt like flying. It was freeing and gave me a new perspective on the world around me. In middle school, I joined track and field, but spent the majority of the time in the athletic trainers office for knee problems. I was told I had "weak knees" and was given a set of exercises that I found to be even more painful than running. The only time I ran was after icing all practice. In high school, I continued running, but it was cut short when I was in a car accident, making a knee indent in the hard plastic glove compartment of a '69 Camaro. I tried to keep running in college but I developed shin issues and had continuing knee problems.

You Can Stop Smoking, But Please Don't Stop Sitting.

You Can Stop Smoking, But Please Don't Stop Sitting.

It's been nearly impossible to ignore the recent backlash in sitting and every media outlet has chosen to join in. In our research, we traced an article back to 2006 with the title, "Sitting Straight 'Bad for Backs,'" but the momentum has been building lately around an article out of the Mayo Clinic. Many tend to heed to credible sources, such as the Mayo Clinic, so when they proclaimed sitting as "the new smoking," everyone seemed to listen.