Body Basics: Using motion to protect your muscles from injuries - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Body Basics: Using motion to protect your muscles from injuries

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SALEM, Ohio -

After a long run, Salem's Heather Pavlich-Bishop  spends a few hours in physical therapy, giving her muscles a little bit of TLC.

And those muscles, get alot of use.

"Haha I feel like I just ran 100 miles," said Pavlich.

The reason she feels that way is cause she just did.

Pavlich is an ultra runner, running 50ks, 100 milers, even a 200 mile race later this year.

"Ultra running it's really just jog walk jog walk, put one foot in front of the other," said Pavlich.   

Finishing a 100 miler is a task only about 200 people in the country can successfully complete every year.

But Pavlich wasn't always the spitting image of health.
Rewind to just a few years ago, she was what you may call a couch potato.

"I did absolutely nothing. I was a full time smoker and just no desire to exercise," said Pavlich.

And living a life with more lounging then lunges, is the norm in the US.
In fact, according to the CDC only 20% of adults 18 and up meet the physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical and muscle strengthening activity.

And when you stop moving, even after working out for a time, your muscles get smaller and weaker making it easier to get hurt doing daily tasks like taking out the trash.

"You get what's called disuse, disuse atrophy so the muscle will shrink in size, it loses it's strength so it's almost like what you get like a muscle wasting type of thing," said Mark Brammer, a PT at Tudor Physical Therapy centers.

Brammer works with patients of all sorts, and says it's common to have someone who is not active, walk in the door with a serious injury from something simple like mowing the lawn.

"That muscle isn't there to handle the stresses of the day to day injuries your muscle pulls, muscle inflammation injuries those type of things," said Brammer.

Protecting your muscles is as simple as moving.

Brammer says even the simplest exercise, like going on a walk, can protect you from daily injuries and change the way your body functions.

"It helps make the body more efficient, the heart's more efficient. So less stress on the heart so you don't have as much issues with blood pressure. The way that you'll break down the sugars in your body are going to be done more efficiently so you have less risk for needing to take medication to control diabetes," said Brammer.

For Heather Pavlich, all it took was a zumba class to get her muscles moving, and kick cigarettes to the curb.
And while she's come along way, she says you don't have to run 100 miles to change your life.

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