MYRTLS REMINDER: IF YOU ARE INCREASING YOUR MILEAGE for half marathon training, or just because the weather is better (sometimes anyway), and if you are NOT doing MYRTLs prior to your longer runs, this reminder is for you. MYRTLs, and stretching and foam rolling as well, can help you survive and ENJOY these runs. Even if not running or walking distances, consider performing MYRTLs daily, as it can be important to joint health maintenance.
There will be a post about osteoarthritis of the knee on Friday that discusses how physical inactivity may play a role in the development of this condition. Today’s post reminds you that not only do muscles need a warm-up, but joints as well.
Myrtl’s will help “warm-up” the hip joints. The slang term, “myrtl”, comes from the idea that performing the exercises in this routine will increase the motion/mobility of your "hip girdle" (joints that make up the hip)..
A trainer explained the reasoning behind performing these movements before working out to me long ago. He indicated that “imbibition” of synovial fluid by cartilage and other joint soft tissue is initiated when joints are moved. The repetitive movement and pressure forces the fluid into these tissues. I’ve not yet located a reference that covers this topic that I can easily understand to share.
From my medical training, though, I know that synovial fluid provides the only source of hydration and nourishment for cartilage. It is not perfused by blood flowing through capillaries. Which happens to be why healthy cartilage appears white rather than reddish in color like other living tissues of the body.
To explain this process in the not-so-medical way I’ve taught myself, the ‘pumping’ action of the MYRTLS movements helps force fluid into the joint tissues such that they ‘plump up’, allowing improved cushioning and movement. Thus, it's better to start running, walking and exercising with the body’s natural version of ‘gel inserts’ after performing MYRTLS than with thin, dried out tissues!
Newer scientific work has improved knowledge of how the joints stay healthy; for more information, read the article “How Does Physical Activity Preserve Lubricated Joints?” by Charles Q. Choi, for InsideScience.com, a publication of the American Institute of Physics.
The RESOURCES page has the links to the MYRTLs video demonstration by the Wolf Creek Track Club Coach Brandon Wise and Coach Jay Johnson’s tutorial that can be accessed anytime. If you HAVE BEEN DOING MYRTLs, now's a good time to check your form and make sure you are doing them correctly!
Inside Nike Running™Coach Jay Johnson Flexibility
MYRTLs video demonstration by Wolf Creek Track Club USATF Registered Coach Brandon Wise
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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