Why You Should Join AZ Physical Therapy’s Running Club

Aug 17, 2015

Lori Francoeur

by Lori Francoeur
PT, MSPT, CSCS | Owner of the Ahwatukee Location

Foothills Rehab is a group of locally owned AZ physical therapy clinics. Our mission is to provide you with quality, customized care, and to give you the tools you need to meet your physical therapy goals. To schedule a free assessment with one of our highly trained employees, simply go online here today. For more information about AZ physical therapy, follow our blog.
Lori Francoeur received her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from Boston University and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has been a dedicated PT for over 15 years and is also an avid runner. She is here today to tell you about the Foothills Running Club, and explain the life long benefits that come with running.
Running season is here: August marks the start of the Foothills Running Club! This will be a particularly special year, because it marks the club’s 10-year anniversary. In the past decade, our club has grown in numbers, and I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of incredible people and build lots of lasting friendships.
The people in this running club are, of course, what has made it so amazing. Our runners (and walkers) come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities, yet we all come together to run. The reasons for running are different— some are hoping to just cross the finish line, some have a specific race goal time in mind, and others are trying to get in shape or lose weight. Whatever the reason, all are welcome.
Our running club starts on August 29th at 6 a.m. at Foothills Sports Medicine in Ahwatukee. We will start off with a brief informational meeting, followed by a short run/walk and a light breakfast. The coaches, Jeff Bloom and Lori Francoeur, will be available to answer any questions and help individuals get signed up. The registration fee of $175.00 includes the following:

  • A 23-week training program
  • Saturday morning runs
  • Tuesday evening speed workouts
  • A Dri-fit t-shirt
  • 1 FREE FAST class each week at any location
  • Social events, including happy hours
  • FREE injury screens from our physical therapists

If you haven’t signed up, you might be thinking, “why run?” Well, people all over the US are clearly starting to realize the benefits of running. According to the 2014 State of the Sport – Part II, there has been 70% overall growth of the general US running participation over the last ten years. Running improves cardiovascular health and lowers risk of disease. It can help lower blood pressure by maintaining arterial elasticity, which allows improved blood flow throughout the body, reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. Running has also been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer, increased HDL levels (also known as “good” cholesterol), and can boost your immune system.
Weight loss is a common positive effect of running. It is an excellent form of exercise and requires a great amount of energy expenditure, meaning you burn a lot of calories. To lose weight, it is important to burn more calories than you take in.
Running can also improve bone health by helping bones become stronger. Due to the physical demands of the activity, it stimulates muscles and bones to stay strong while reducing muscle and bone loss associated with aging. Many doctors will prescribe running or walking to patients with Osteopenia, the precursor to significant bone loss associated with Osteoporosis.
Running can even improve your mood and lower stress levels, which greatly reduces your chance of depression. It releases endorphins that help alter your mood, and runners often report being happier and less sedentary than other people. Running allows you to focus, think, and become less stressed about family or work issues. Many runners feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a challenging race or run, boosting self-esteem and confidence.
What I love about running is that it is flexible, and requires minimal equipment. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and you can run anytime of the day, anywhere you like—trails, roads, hills, city streets, or rural areas. When visiting a new city, put on your shoes and hit the streets to explore the area and take in the sights. Running can be a solo or a social activity. I love running with my friends in the morning— it is my social time where we can chat, tell stories, and catch up before work. It also keeps me accountable; I know if I don’t show up, I will hear about it later!
So, what are you waiting for? Before you start running, it is recommended that you come visit one of our skilled physical therapists for an injury screening. We can address any strength or flexibility issues you may have and give you the necessary tools and information to start your training program and keep you injury-free. Please feel free to call any of our AZ physical therapy locations and set up a free 15-minute rapid recovery evaluation.

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