Do not be a victim of repetition or habit

We do the same robotic running every day or many times a week and we are starting to feel the pain. Mix it up as we are now 50 or 60 or 70 years of age. This is supposed to be fun so do not fall in the trap of “I must run every day” even when you’re losing your edge or are hurting.

I have a neighbor who lives for marathons and he looks haggard and just plain unhealthy. If he is willing to pay the price then it is what it is, but too many of us have a running addiction and need to be reprogrammed. Sorry, I just hate to see people not seeing the signs as we all love to run too much, and the drugs from running is tough to beat.

So some do biking or swimming as an alternative but I am going to lay out a program to think about for staying in shape as we age that requires zero preparation to keep us active between running days as most of runners must stay active for our own mental frame work.

The almighty push up (wow, hard to beat), a perfect combo of aerobic and anaerobic. Any time, any place, just hit the floor. Is it hard? Well yes, but us runners are used to pain. Two sets of 25 after waking up. One before coffee in the morning and another after. Big lunch? Do another 25. Still feel stuffed? Do another 25. Come home from work and quick refresher, 25 more.

The steps can be done well anywhere there are steps. I live in a condo building with a nice set of steps to our courtyard. Five sets in ten minutes, yea baby! Raining or bad weather? There are seven floors here, just do the same inside. You can find some steps in your home anywhere. Going up no problem, going down be careful.

Hand Grippers are great. I like the one below as I can adjust it. I like one hand at a time at highest tension of sets of 100 per hand. This is a process and will work up to it. Feel stressed? get out the gripper. Need a break and the same.

Adjust your weights accordingly – I like heavy weights here

Dumbbells are great and can be kept anywhere. I like curls where I stick my elbow near the groin area, 25 reps per arm, 35 pounds. Work your way up to your comfort zone. There are many schools of thought of high reps verses higher weights and lower reps, find what’s right for you. I like several exercises as depicted below but do what feels right for you.


So philosophically speaking, if the Lord will give us 90 years of life or 100 years of life, we want to be able to run. But how can we make it there for the sport and the breath of life we love so much? Well, I laid out my prescribed method to save our knees and strengthen our bodies and an easy method that takes no real preparation like swimming or biking does but it’s all good. Love swimming, biking, and rowing all all all, but the above can be done at any place, any time. Pick your spots like an ocean swim or a tandem bike ride with your partner, but let’s hope we will always be able to run till death do us part, ha ha.



Having been asked by the editor who is a dear friend of mine to write something relative to sports and Chiropractic, I shall attempt a brief piece as writing is not my forte’. Interviews are much more my style.

Chiropractic, the drugless non-surgical approach to health and sports injuries go hand in hand. “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Thomas A. Edison, 1847-1931.

Running, whether for competition or simply for exercise shares some very common injuries mainly involving the back, the knees, ankles and feet. How do these injuries occur? To focus on the low back first, the lumbar spine has 5 vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs sitting on a foundation called the sacrum. As an analogy if you have an uneven foundation in a newly built house, future problems are sure to arise. The same would be applicable to the human frame. For instance, more times than not, a subluxation or subluxations of the lumbar spine vertebrae can create a pelvic imbalance evidenced by x-rays. But upon initial examination one will see a leg length discrepancy. A short leg on the right or left side. Running with a leg length discrepancy will eventually create other joint problems specifically in the hips, knees and ankles. Many of the runners I have worked with during the Olympics and other sports games sought to correct this imbalance through the use of orthotics which in itself can actually complicate matters as the initial cause of the problem goes unaddressed.

Nowadays, there are many chiropractic disciplines around, some work and some are palliative. I am old school and firmly believe in osseous manipulation of the spine to correct the problem. There are few cases where that is not appropriate due to other conditions of the spine viewed through x-rays or MRI’s. But generally speaking 90% of leg length discrepancies can be corrected through a chiropractic adjustment.

When addressing specific injuries of the knees and ankles, the first rule of thumb that the runner should be aware of is the “RICE” formula, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Ignoring minor pain signals from the body only leads to complications that can be debilitating in the long run (pun intended). Addressing more serious injuries of the knees and ankles requires a comprehensive orthopedic and neurological evaluation. It’s been said, orthopedic surgeons do surgery, chiropractors do orthopedics.

The knee is highly susceptible to traumatic injury primarily because it is subject to maximum stress. In addition, since the knee is not protected by layers of fat or muscle, its exposure, both environmentally and anatomically, contributes to its high incidence of injury.


The foot and the ankle are the focal points to which the total body weight is transmitted. Thick heel and toe pads perform as shock absorbers and the joints and proprioceptors on the plantar surface are capable of the adjustments necessary for fine balance during walking and running on a variety of terrain. Because of this concentrated stress, the foot and ankle also are prone to a high incidence of injury. The constant exposure to the forces of impact trauma and susceptibility to injury necessitates an artificial encasement, the shoe, which in itself can compound many foot problems.

Successful treatment and rehabilitation of these injuries largely depends on the age of the patient, length of time the injury has existed and a competent sports doctor, with the experience and know how to address each specific problem.

Lex R. Rathbun, D.C.
Past Sec. General: Guam National Olympic Committee Medical Commission /Guam Weightlifting Federation
Official Olympic Team Doctor: 1988 Summer Olympics, Seoul, Korea
Official Team Doctor: 8th and 9th South Pacific Games, Micronesian Games 1990
Governor’s Task Force 2000 for Healthcare Reform
Guam Board of Allied Health Examiners
Certified VA out-patient doctor, Guam