By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
As a female entrepreneur, I’m super passionate about connecting with other go-getters who are killin’ it in the fitness world. I wouldn’t be where I am today without help from the many people who have inspired me. That’s why I’m pleased to unveil my first business spotlight! Every other month, I’ll showcase a business owner in the wellness field who is making a difference.
This month, I sat down with Kim Bouldin of FabYOUlous Fitness in Westerville, Ohio. Kim has a passion for helping women learn to take care of themselves through fitness. Her mission is to help them prioritize self-care by becoming more consistent with exercise and nutrition so they can become stronger, more empowered individuals able to live their best lives. She founded FabYOUlous Fitness in 2012 to provide women with a safe, unintimidating space to exercise. Check out the rest of my Q+A with Kim!
Why are you passionate about living a healthy lifestyle?
I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle so that I can be around for my children and future grandchildren for years to come. Exercise is so good for my soul and really helps me deal with my anxiety.
What motivated you to start your business?
I've always been intimidated by gyms — especially large, big-box gyms. I wanted to create an inviting, safe space for women to exercise, while helping them overcome the obstacle of not wanting to go to the gym.
What’s unique about the services you offer?
We are a women-only facility offering programming designed to help women get consistent with their exercise. We celebrate non-scale victories and focus on encouraging members to take actions that help them feel better, have more energy, and live their best lives.
Tell us about the clients you work with and the type of transformation they achieve.
We work with women ranging from age 25 to 65 who struggle with exercise and self-care consistency. Many of these women are so used to taking care of everyone else that they've neglected themselves for years, and now they feel ashamed of how far they've let themselves go. Our clients report feeling better (more energy, weight loss, mental clarity) within 3-4 weeks when they attend training sessions at least twice per week. By establishing healthy routines and habits, we help each woman design a healthy lifestyle that works for her.
What’s changed in your life since you started your business?
When I started my business, I was working part-time with a couple of clients and have since grown my clientele, added online training and nutrition coaching and moved into a new space. Fitness, and helping women learn how to become consistent with their exercise so they can live their best lives is truly my passion.
What’s your favorite pump-up song?
Hmmm...my favorite pump-up song...I have so many! I think right now it's Reason by Unspoken.
Want more information about FabYOUlous Fitness? Visit their website at www.fabYOUlousfitness.com or contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
If you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, you know how stubborn and tricky this ailment can be! In this post, I’ll break down the root causes and share my tips for managing the discomfort and eliminating the problem for good.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
You have a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia, which stretches from the bottom part of the heel to the toes. This tissue is designed to give your foot extra stability, but sometimes it can get irritated. You may notice sharp and intense heel pain in one or both of your feet when you get up in the morning, or when you stand up and walk after sitting for a while. These are common signs that you may be experiencing plantar fasciitis.
What’s the Cause?
The pain you’re experiencing is the result of irritation in the plantar fascia. But what’s causing this irritation? Likely, you have other areas in your body that are too tight, too loose, or too weak. This could be another area in the foot, leg, or even the core. Finding out why you’re experiencing this discomfort is the most challenging part and allows me as a physical therapist to play detective. It’s always my goal to get at the root cause of the issue to keep people out of pain long-term.
What Can You Do?
Other than identifying what caused the irritation in the first place, here are some of my other tips for managing plantar fasciitis:
If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, my biggest piece of advice is to do something ASAP. The longer it’s irritated, the longer it takes to treat and calm down. Need help from an expert? Let’s chat!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
I had heard from many women, books, and blogs that the 2nd trimester is like the light at the end of the brutal tunnel that is the 1st trimester. And those sources were pretty spot on! The new burst of energy and feeling pretty much "normal" has been wonderful. Fatigue still comes and goes, but that is way better than nausea, plus it forces me to be diligent with my bedtime...which is always a goal of mine.
There are two things I've been focusing on at this point in my pregnancy:
Staying active has always been an important part of my life. Exercise (especially running) is my outlet for relieving stress, so now, it's more important than ever before for me to stay consistent with my goal of staying active.
Additionally, there is so much research that supports exercise during pregnancy, and I'm a research junkie because of my training as a PT. Prenatal exercise benefits both mom and baby, improves the labor and delivery experience, is correlated with higher APGAR scores (which means the baby is healthy, strong, and responsive at birth), and can reduce pregnancy-related complications like hypertension and gestational diabetes. It also makes me feel good, so staying active is a no-brainer!
Now, the thing that has changed is what I'm doing for my exercise. With all the changes going on in my body, my activity has had to change as well. Honestly, running and high impact moves haven't sounded good throughout this pregnancy. And now that the baby bump is growing, impact activity causes pressure in my lower abdomen that just doesn't feel so hot. I've found other ways to get exercise and have focused on yoga (hip openers feel amazing!), strength training, core work, and low impact cardio. FabHIIT at FabYOUlous Fitness has been an awesome class that combines cardio, strength, and core. By doing this, I've been able to stay relatively pain free and feel good.
There are always ups and downs on any journey. Right now, I'm thankful to be having more ups than downs. There has been excitement with getting the nursery ready, finding out our baby is a boy, seeing the baby bump grow, and feeling him move. Empower Physio and Wellness is doing great as well and it is so fun to see my clients share in this excitement with me.
These principles of staying active and listening to your body apply to the non-pregnant person as well. This is the foundation of living a healthy, injury-free lifestyle!
Questions or comments? Comment below or let's chat.
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
If you’re a serious runner, you probably go through shoes pretty quickly (I know I do!) Or if it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your shoes (over 300-500 miles) it’s probably time to consider a new pair. But before you do, READ THIS POST! I’ll share my tips for identifying the right type of shoe for you based on the level of pronation in your feet.
What is Pronation?
Let me start by saying, pronation is NOT a bad thing–it’s normal and it occurs when your foot absorbs shock as it makes contact with a surface. Pronation is essentially the natural process your arch follows from a lifted position, to a flattened position when you’re walking or running. When selecting the proper running shoe, you’ll want to pay close attention to your gait, which can show a pattern of neutral pronation, over-pronation, or supination (under-pronation).
Causes: Excessive, or over-pronation is when you pronate too much, too quickly, or stay in pronation for too long. This could happen naturally if you have flatter feet.
Symptoms: You could be experiencing tendinitis, shin splints, runner’s knee, or plantar fasciitis.
Shoe Recommendations: You’ll need a pronation control or stability shoe. The inner part of the shoe should have a thicker material to support you. You may consider brands like Brooks and 361. You can also try an insert for additional support (I like Powersteps), however don't just jump to inserts right away. When your running or walking shoe is properly selected, it should give you enough support.
Causes: Under-pronation, or supination occurs when you have a more rigid foot that isn’t absorbing shock as well as it could be. This could happen naturally if you have a higher arch.
Symptoms: You may be experiencing general joint aches and pains.
Shoe Recommendations: You’ll need a nice, cushiony shoe that’s shock-absorbent. You could explore New Balance, Hoka, and Mizuno shoe brands.
No matter what level of pronation you have, I recommend going to a shoe store where they watch you walk or run on a treadmill to see how your foot looks and feels in a shoe. Make sure you’re comfortable. When you find a shoe that you like, stick with it, but I’ll caution you to pay attention to the shoe production quality over time. Often, companies will switch up the production and this can definitely make a difference.
This post should help you find a running shoe that’s right for you! Need help identifying your foot type and what type of shoe would be best for you? Let’s chat!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
Have you ever heard the expression, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” When I was taking a yoga class the other day, the teacher mentioned this when we were holding a stretching posture for a particularly long time. While I was uncomfortable, her words really resonated with me.
All-too-often, we don’t take the time to slow down and take care of ourselves. This is especially true when it comes to our fitness routines. A lot of people focus on the hard stuff, but the recovery time is equally important because that’s when your muscles rebuild from the intense workouts. There are actual chemical changes that happen in your body to help rebuild your muscles and if you skip out on slowing down, you’re not getting the maximum benefit from your workouts. Proper self-care reduces your risk of injury, helps you feel healthy and strong, and is great for overall mental health.
My key tip for showing yourself some love is to focus on recovery. This means getting enough sleep, fueling your body with nutritious food, staying hydrated, and incorporating stretching into the mix.
Remember, workouts don’t always have to be so intense, they can be enjoyable too. Listen to your body and if you aren’t feeling it, slow down and recognize that the recovery time will be better for you in the long run.
If you need a little inspiration, here are a few of my favorite ways to practice self-care:
I hope this encourages you to find a productive way to slow down and nurture your body. Need help developing a self-care plan? Let’s chat!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
One of the reasons I founded Empower Physio and Wellness was to help improve the quality of life for my clients! That’s why I’m excited to introduce the new “Client Spotlight.” Every other month, I’ll showcase a client I’ve worked with and how together, we’ve help them knock their goals out of the park. I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration—I know it keeps me inspired to keep working hard! Here’s my Q+A with Gabby
What caused you to seek treatment?
I was experiencing outer knee pain every time I ran over four miles, not to mention my back would hurt when I slept in on the weekends. I was worn out, tired of running, and tired of the pain. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to continue running and working out the way that I had been, so I sought help from Dr. Steph. In addition to treating my injuries, she’s also helping me train for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in May and live a healthier lifestyle overall.
What did you learn about your injury?
Dr. Steph determined that I had an IT band problem, as well as issues with my core. I described my issues to her, and she told me what was wrong and what to do to fix it. We started out using simple breathing techniques, and have continued to build on that.
What was unique about your treatment?
When we started working together, Dr. Steph immediately understood where I was coming from, being a runner herself. Usually doctors will tell you to stop running, which doesn’t fix the problem, it only avoids it.
Tell us, what’s your favorite thing about Empower Physio & Wellness?
Dr. Steph is very encouraging and helps me improve each week and progress with my exercises. She’s always willing to work around my schedule and you can tell she truly cares about her clients. She does whatever she can to help us live a healthier lifestyle and workout with no pain.
How are you progressing?
Since October, I have no pain in my knee or in my back. Running four or more miles is not a problem anymore, and I feel that running the half marathon will be pain-free. The movements are difficult, but I am continually getting better each time I do them.
What are you looking forward to achieving in the future?
I’m excited to start running greater distances again and look forward to my training. We’re working hard to improve my times for the half marathon and I’m confident I’ll be able to PR.
Would you recommend Empower Physio & Wellness to your friends?
Definitely! Dr. Steph understood my goals and knows what it will take to make that happen. I feel confident that physical therapy with her has improved my mood, my movement and my training. It’s a joy to work with her and see where we are progressing.
Inspired by Gabby's story? Let’s chat about how I can help you achieve your goals!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
Can you believe we’re nearing the end of January!? Hopefully you’ve detoxed from all those cookies you ate over the holidays and you’re making progress on the goals you set. But let’s be real…if you haven’t, that’s OK. I see people go into the new year eager to make changes and honor their “resolutions.” But when the craziness of life sets back in, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it’s just means you’re human and the good news is, you always have the opportunity to begin again.
If you need help setting goals or just hitting reset for the goals you’ve already set, keep reading because I’m going to break down some accountability hacks that will make you much more likely to knock those goals out of the park!
First things first. If you haven’t yet set your goals for the new year, don’t sweat it…it’s never too late to do something for yourself. Check out my first post, Setting Long-Term Goals (Not Short-Term Resolutions) to get started. The key thing to remember when setting a goal is to break down your large goal into smaller milestones.
For example, if you want to run a marathon, you wouldn’t just go out on day one and run ten miles if you’ve never run before in your life. You’d start small. Maybe you start by running one mile a few times a week. After a few months you can increase your mileage to three miles. As time goes on, you slowly build. It’s the same idea with any large goal—it’s a slow build.
After you’ve set your goal, you must hold yourself accountable so you can achieve it. How do you stay accountable? Here are three easy places to start.
1. Find an accountability partner. This is a person you can check in with monthly or weekly to make sure you’re on the right path. When you have to report your progress to someone else, you’re much more likely to make strides.
2. Get a goal buddy. This is slightly different than an accountability partner. A goal buddy is someone that has the same goal as you. You can work alongside this person (whether it’s a spouse, close friend or family member) to achieve milestones. If we stick with the running example, this would be someone that is running the same race as you, so you plan to go on runs together a couple times per week to keep each other motivated.
3. Treat yo’ self. Give yourself a small reward when you’ve achieved a milestone. This could be a massage after you’ve made it up to 10 miles, a piece of workout equipment you’ve been eyeing, or anything else that allows you to celebrate the progress you’ve made without getting you off-track. Pro-tip: Try not to reward yourself with food unless you can do so mindfully. Non-based food rewards have proven to be more successful in helping people crush their goals, especially if those goals are related to health and fitness.
Whether you’re continuing to work toward a goal, or you’ve just started, accountability is truly the key to success. Need expert help creating an accountability plan? Let’s chat!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
Throughout life, we transition in and out of many phases. These seasons are marked by change and welcoming something (or someone) new into your life. I reflect on this as I am about to enter one of life's biggest transitions for a woman: motherhood.
In October, my husband and I found out that I was pregnant. There were so many emotions that filled our minds and hearts when we first discovered this news--excitement, fear, joy, and overwhelm to name a few. We knew we wanted to start a family, so of course we felt the happy emotions. But when the enormity of how our lives were going to change set in, more of the anxious and fearful emotions followed. All kinds of thoughts raced through my head:
"Oh my goodness, my body is going to change. I've worked so hard to get and stay in shape, and now everything is going to get big and stretched."
"I feel so nauseous and tired, how am I going to find the energy to get through the day and run my business?"
"If I am struggling to get through the day now, how is it going to be with a future pregnancy when we have a young child to take care of as well?" (Can you tell I'm a planner?!)
"Am I going to be a good mom?"
"Thank goodness I have the most amazing husband."
Confiding in my husband paired with a whole lot of prayer got me through these initial hard times. To those who saw me on a daily basis, nothing seemed out of the ordinary because I mustered up all the strength I had to be my normal, cheery, positive self. I even ran the Columbus Half Marathon six days after finding out I was pregnant...and set a personal record. I had been training all summer for a PR, and I do not take big goals like this lightly. That was by far the most nervous I had ever been going into a race. It took all the energy I had and I felt horrible, but I did it. I couldn't imagine not hitting that goal.
I share this with you to convey a very important message, and it was something I needed to fully embrace at that time (though I can't say that I did). Perseverance can get you through anything. I truly didn't know if I was going to hit my time goal, and the thought of not achieving this PR I worked so hard for put a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach...the stomach that was already nauseous. But I knew that I have always achieved the things I truly set my mind to. As I write this several months later, I truly believe that this journey of pregnancy and motherhood will be no different. I don't know exactly how this is all going to look, but I am determined to be the best mom and wife I can be.
I'm also beyond grateful to have Empower Physio and Wellness. This is the metaphorical baby that I have been growing for over a year now, and there has been lots of perseverance that has helped us get to where we are today. Empowering my clients to feel their best, overcome injuries, and break down preconceived notions of what their bodies can or can't do brings me so much joy. (Like, the kind of joy that has me skipping into the house in the evening with a huge smile on my face). I have never been happier in a "job". If raising a baby brings me half as much joy as building my business, life is going to look pretty darn good.
Thank you so much for walking with me on this journey. I am grateful for each and every one of you!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
It’s hard to believe that the holidays have already come and gone. For most of us it’s back to school, back to work, or just back to the grind. It’s also a great time to start thinking about building a solid foundation for those spring races! Most races take place at the end of April or the middle of May, so there’s no time like the present to get moving so you can feel strong and powerful while preventing injury during your training. Whether you set a goal to run a 5k, 10k, full or half-marathon this year, this blog post is for you.
If you are doing a spring race, this is what you should be doing now:
1. Capitalize on strength. I typically recommend that people start strength training about three to four months before the race. Most online running programs won’t tell you this…but take my word for it. This is your opportunity to lay the groundwork and build endurance. Aim to incorporate strength training at least one day per week, ideally two.
2. Focus on your core, legs and glutes. By strengthening these muscles, you’re building the foundation you need as you increase your mileage. Most importantly, working these muscle groups prevents injury…plus who doesn’t want toned abs, legs and a booty?
3. Slowly incorporate running. In addition to your strength training, you may also consider adding in some light mileage. Shoot for two to five miles a couple times per week, depending on your race distance. Be sure to take your runs at a mild pace when you’re starting out. This means that you could easily hold a conversation with someone as you’re running. Around February, consider upping your mileage and incorporating speed work.
4. Shop for quality shoes. This will get you started on the right path as you build from the ground up (quite literally). Plus, if you were looking for an excuse to go shopping, here it is! A good pair of shoes is critical when running any type of race, and you don’t want to wait until race day to get them. You should train in the shoes that you’ll wear for the main event. If you’ve been wearing the same shoes for a long time (over 300-500 miles) it’s probably time to consider a new pair. Your joints will thank you.
5. Get plenty of sleep. Good sleep is important for your overall health in general, but it’s extra important when you’re in training mode. Getting a full eight hours helps your body recover properly and gives you the energy you need to get through those tough workouts as you build intensity. It’s never too early to start improving your sleep hygiene!
6. Don’t forget about nutrition. While I could write a whole other blog post on this topic, (stay tuned) I’ll keep it brief. Be sure you’re getting a healthy balance of protein and carbs, specifically before and after your runs and strength training exercises.
Best of luck starting your training regimen! If you need help from an expert or want a plan customized to YOU, let's chat!
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
With the holidays coming to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on what happened in 2019 and look ahead to 2020. If you’re like me, you probably have a million ideas for what you’d like to achieve in the new year. It’s hard not to get caught up in the idea that you have to make huge changes the second January 1 hits. I’m here to tell you that while I admire your ambition, there’s a better way to achieve what you’ve set out to accomplish. In this post, I’ll outline how to set long-term goals (not short-term resolutions) so you can crush 2020!
One big goal can seem daunting and unattainable. But one small adjustment per month–now that’s more realistic! Consider breaking your large goal into smaller milestones. Weight loss is a common one that I hear about often so let’s break it down using a six-month tracker.
Notice that you can make a huge undertaking feel much more manageable by simply splitting out what you want to achieve into consumable, monthly or daily to-do’s. Much like I recommend keeping a food journal, I also recommend that you track any progress or setback you experience each month. This holds you accountable and helps you understand where you need to continue to make changes, and where you thrive.
Good luck with your long-terms goals this new year and if you want help from an expert, let’s chat!