Will I have to Stop Running?

Dr. Johanna jumping Video: Dr. Johanna answers the question: Will I have to Stop Running

This is the transcript, edited for written format.

Hi, I’m Doctor Johanna with Catalyst Chiropractic in Nashua NH this video is to address my running patients or runners out there. I myself am a runner, as you can see by the race bibs hanging on the wall behind me. One of the biggest hurdles that I feel that runners hit when they see any kind of healthcare provider is the absolute fear of the dreaded phrase “you need to stop running.” So I’m going to tell you right now, I won’t say that phrase.

We’re going to do a full assessment, see where you’re and then make our plans and recommendations accordingly.  The best way to reduce the likelihood of that phrase, is to come to my office when the problem just a nagging pain.  When it’s that weird tweak that happens at mile three, every single time you go running. Before it’s that acute “I’m going to go sit on a giant bag of ice and I’m screaming in pain injury”. Let’s catch it before then, and see if we can get everything corrected. So that tweak goes away, so that nagging hip issue is gone.

You might wonder how chiropractic with the spine relates to running. Well think of the miles you’re putting on your spine every time you run.  You track your sneakers, you track the miles on your sneakers and you replace them before you start having to deal with knees, and ankles and hips, and honestly back problems because your sneakers are no longer helping you. Same with your spine, how many miles have you put on it since you had it checked last to make sure that it’s moving appropriately with every single step.


Dr. Johanna goes Over The Edge for the Youth Council 2019 Experience

The Day I Went Over The Edge

I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and feelings around my experience at the Over The Edge event.

In earlier blog posts, I shared why I was participating in the challenge. For starters, I was nervous about being able to raise enough money—and then of course I was also nervous about actually stepping Over The Edge!

A few weeks before the event my family and I hiked Mt. Ascutney after I had completed the mountain race. Because of my fear of heights, I was unable to walk to the top of the observation tower. Thankfully, my friend Amy, a fellow chiropractor who is a rock climber and who helped me practice rappelling off of her ten foot high porch.

Friday—the day of the event—we finished our work at the office, rounded up the boys, and I half changed into my costume before we headed to Manchester. All day, I had been feeling waves of nervousness. My husband Alex would ask me if I was feeling stage fright or if it was like the gondola ride at Canobie Lake Park. (Early in our marriage, we went to Canobie Lake Park and I thought I would feel ok on the gondola ride, and that it wouldn’t set off my fear of heights. Unfortunately I was wrong and sat there for a few minutes detailing to Alex how I was going to jump out into a tree and climb back down to the ground!) Fortunately I realized that my fear was stage fright—and I was also scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Even if I cried the whole way down the building while being coached, I knew I would not regret the experience. But if I got up on top of the building and didn’t go Over The Edge, I would regret it for years. The scariest thing for me to think about was the idea of watching someone not able to take the first step!

Dr. Johanna and Family At Over The Edge 2019Once we got to Manchester, waves of nervousness passed through me as we met up with others from The Youth Council. Soon it was time to kiss the boys goodbye and head into registration with another Youth Council “Edger” dressed as Wonder Woman. Inside the room where we got our harnesses as a group of three, Wonder Woman—who had gone over last year—and Meredith who was going Over The Edge for the Nashua Prevention Coalition. In the room there was a hypnotist. On the advice from someone who had already made it over, I sat down and chatted with him. I’ve had hypnotherapy in the past to help cope with test anxiety, so this wasn’t a new experience for me. But even as the three of us chatted, the waves of nervousness kept coming.

Since the first harness they gave me was too big, I had to swap out to a smaller one—and after getting our harnesses on, there would be no more bathroom trips! After multiple checks on the harness set up, they attached the rappelling gears, and handed me a (still damp from sanitization) helmet. I made sure all of my hair was pulled back, and Meredith had to tuck my braid in on itself as it was too long. Next we took a very fast elevator ride to the 20th floor where we took stairs the rest of the way to the roof.

The roof was set up with water coolers, snacks, and a popup shade tent. We learned how to use the different pieces of equipment and I practiced doing a one foot rappel off of an I-beam. For the next hour we waited, chatted, and watched others go over. As more people went over, we got to see someone in a T-rex costume at the top—and we could see that we were getting closer to our turn!

When there were only four people left to go before us, there was a correction on the scheduled times and suddenly I was next! I was next for the blue rope. But, a woman was up on the roof at that point, and I could tell she was scared—her legs were shaking. We watched and waited. And then she stepped back down from the ledge back to the roof—which was the hardest thing for me to see. As I had already told Alex, this was the one thing I really didn’t want to see—and the one thing that could shake me—and there it was right before it was my turn to step up to the ropes!

Dr. Johanna Over The Edge About To go overBut, I stayed focused and remembered what Amy taught me. Instead of looking down or over the edge, I focused on the people helping attach me to the rappelling ropes. I looked everywhere but down or over the edge. While It was easy for me to sit on the roof edge and talk, standing up was challenging. My arms were too short to reach the tripod, so I was attempting to stand up on the edge, while attached to many different things, all while using the rope to hold on to while trying very hard not to look down. The tripod was shaking a little, everyone assured me it was safe, but the shaking was a bit unsettling to say the least!

Once I was standing, a photographer started taking pictures of the edgers. The attendant helped me step to the edge of the building offering to tell me when I got there. I stayed focused on the people on roof, my hands, the ropes in front of me, and my feet as they were on the edge. I didn’t want anything to shake my resolve. The photographer took a few more photos and in hindsight I wish I had done some goofy stuff, but in that moment I just wanted to take the steps necessary to commit to the rappel.

When I started stepping back, I kept my focus on my feet, one step then two steps. I looked up at the tripod, then focused on my hand holding the gear. I did not let go with my right hand though I could if I wanted to with this safety gear. I stepped backwards slowly and found that instead of having to force the rope through the mechanism, it moved smoothly and almost too fast. After several steps I was standing on the windows on the side of the building. I struggled to touch the side of the building with my feet. The rope was releasing a bit faster than I wanted it to, and my legs felt too short! I kept trying to just keep walking backward. I kept trying to go slow while avoiding locking the secondary rope because I did not want to have to fiddle with the equipment on the wall.

I continued to keep looking up, and while I was looking at the windows, the only image I remember is seeing the back of a Dell monitor on a desk inside.  I counted each floor I completed, but after about six floors, I gave up trying to walk on the wall, and just hopped from ridge to ridge, dangling my legs between. While I originally didn’t want to do it this way, it became more comfortable. I looked up to see how far down I had come, and occasionally I would look to the sides and diagonally down to the streets below—but I never looked directly down!

Dr. Johanna Rappelling Over The Edge

On the way down, I took moments to pause, breathe and just reset my bearings. I was surprised at how well I was handling the fear—but I still wouldn’t look down. I could hear people below cheering, but the only voices I recognized were my sons’, my husband’s, and friend who invited me to do this crazy thing. The things I remember from the event are strange, I remember how the rope sliding fast through my right hand felt, and how I was worried that I would pinch myself with it. The rappelling controls were sensitive, and like the hot and cold water in the shower, it was near impossible to get it to the right speed. I was warned during set up, that the activity is hard on the arms, I did not realize how difficult it would be until I was starting to fatigue. When I was about halfway down, an announcers introduced me and I heard the cheers getting louder.

On the last fifteen feet of the rappel, I realized that I could get hurt if I released the rope too quickly. If I did, there might not be enough distance for the safeties to stop me before ground impact. I was also completely dangling now, with no building for support, as I was being pulled away by the grounds crew from the bushes at the side of the building. I slowly descended to the ground and sat down. I was helped up, handed a cold water bottle—which someone was kind enough to open for me.  But my next thought was: can I get in line and go again? My husband helped me manage the recovery from the adrenaline spike. I snacked on peaches, posed for pictures and congratulated other edgers.

Dr. Johanna Over The Edge 2019

In the end, I raised $1300 (from 34 individual donors) for the Youth Council, but I was just one of five people who went Over The Edge for the Youth Council. The next day my left forearm and abs were sore, but I feel lighter and less afraid of heights after this experience. I’ll see what the next few weeks hold, but this may have been an event that has changed who I am.

Randy of 2020 Vision Quest’s GoPro video is a fantastic example of the set-up at the top: https://youtu.be/5GZg6FQq7bI

All United Way photos from the event can be found here and were used with permission.

Rappelling down a Skyscraper!

Help Dr. Johanna Rappel Down a Skyscraper to Benefit The Youth Council with Over The Edge 2019!

Over the Edge 2019 Q&A With Dr. Johanna

Have you ever rappelled before?

I have, but just once in high school with Explorer Scouts, and it was nothing even remotely close to this height! We went hiking and did some small rappels during the outing. I was only able to do the rappels where my feet were firmly planted on the rock face, I was terrified of just hanging! In middle school, I only managed to complete one zip-line ropes course. Before then, I’d gotten too scared and backed down.

As an adult I generally avoid heights or more accurately, edges. Unfortunately, this has conflicted with my desire to experience adventures in my life. Even so, I’ve managed to face my fear enough to ride a few roller coasters and have been to the top of the Eiffel Tower which was terrifying with the wind!

It sounds like you’re afraid of heights! Is that true?

I’m completely terrified of heights. I even have difficulty on gondola rides at amusement parks due to the height!

How do you psych yourself up for new and potentially scary challenges? The Over The Edge event involves a serious height challenge!

I never want to miss out on an experience because of fear. So, I rely on facts and get analytical. I know that the redundant safety measures were almost too redundant for one of my rock climbing friends who did the Over the Edge event last year! Intellectually, I know I will be safe—and I also appreciate the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to rappel down a 300ft skyscraper! I don’t want to miss my chance to have this a-once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ve run a marathon, I ran up Mt. Wachusett last weekend, so I know that I can walk backward 300 feet—the length of a football field.

Gate City Marathon Johanna Half Marathon

It’s easy to back out of something scary when you know you’ll have other opportunities, but this event only happens once a year and I can’t guarantee I’ll be invited next year!

How did you first learn about this challenge?

I heard about Over The Edge last year when Dr. Amy Haas, another local chiropractor and avid rock climber went “Over the Edge”. This year Dr. Haas was not available, and I was invited to participate in her place.

The United Way hosts this event for every year to raise money for many area non-profits. I’m participating to benefit The Youth Council.

Where can we learn more about The Youth Council?

The Youth Council helps Nashua area families get help with mental health, alcohol and drug abuse. They’re able to intervene to keep children from going into the corrections system, or starting down a path of multiple criminal records.


The Youth Council is proud to fill a critical niche for young people at the intersection of law enforcement, education, substance misuse and mental health symptoms.

How will our donations help The Youth Council?

A $50 donation will support a day at our suspension center for a 5th-8th grade students. This center is a safe place for children who are suspended from school. The center also can address the underlying issues which may have caused the child’s suspension.

A $100 donation will support an embedded middle or high school student assistance counselor for a day. They work to help students overcome stress, anxiety, relationship challenges, and even substance use.

A $300 donation will support a global assessment of an individual’s needs. The Youth Council will help a family determine if their child has a substance use disorder, and will create a comprehensive plan to address their needs with a licensed therapist.

A $1,250 donation will help a child who has been arrested for the first time (along with their family) through our court diversion program. This program ensures that the child is held accountable while receiving the support they need to avoid an offense on their permanent record.

How Can I Support Dr. Johanna and The Youth Council?

You can make contributions on Dr. Johanna’s “Over the Edge” donation page: https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/edge2019/JohannaNewbold

Cash or check (made out to the United Way) donations can also be made at our office.

For new patients who have donated at least $50, we have set aside a few Thursday New Patient Consultations and exams. The appointment must be scheduled before the end of the June. If you would prefer to make a donation by cash or check, call our office to schedule and let us know that this is your plan.

Once Dr. Johanna raises $500, she will get on the schedule to know when she is jumping. She will need to raise at least $1,000 to make the jump, and would love to raise more. The Youth Council does great things to help the youth and parents in the city of Nashua.

Preparing for, running, and recovering from Ragnar Relay Races Interview with Ambassador Niki Leonard

All About Ragnar Races, an Interview with Niki Leonard, Ragnar Ambassador

Recently I had a chance to chat with Niki Leonard about Ragnar Races. These weekend-long group relay races are challenging, fun and life changing, so I wanted to learn more.

Ragnar Ambassador Niki LeonardWho is Niki Leonard, and what is a Ragnar Ambassador?

Niki Leonard is an ambassador for Ragnar Races, and has participated as a runner for years. Ragnar Ambassadors are runners who apply and are chosen to represent Ragnar at events and races. They are so enthusiastic about the races that they not only enjoy the events but want to share the experience with others.

What is a Ragnar Race?

Ragnar is a relay race—a really long one. The relay is run by teams of friends. Over the last few years the Ragnar Relay has developed a number of different formats. The original race format consisted of teams of twelve people who would run a distance of about 200 miles as a relay over 24-30 hours. Each team of twelve runners splits into two vans. In the same order, they run 36 legs of the race which add up to roughly 200 miles. The relay race starts at a single location and finishes at an iconic destination.

How The Original Ragnar Relay Format Works:

The original race format begins with the first runner from the first van. The runners in the second van sleep a little later. While the first runner begins, the remaining five runners in the first van drive to the first exchange—all while cheering on their runner during the drive (this usually involves ringing a cowbell!) Meanwhile, still in the first van, the second runner gets ready to start running at the first exchange. This pattern continues until the sixth and last runner in the first van is running—and the first van is on the way to the first major exchange. A major exchange is when the second van’s team begins to run. At that exchange, runner seven on the second van is ready to run—and the second van is ready to take over the relay. At this major exchange the “relay baton” (a classic 1980s style snap bracelet) is handed off. The runners in the first van then get a few hours to relax, eat, or take in the local sights before the next major exchange. The relay continues until all 36 legs of the race are completed.

Ragnar Trail Relay - interview with Ragnar Ambassador Niki Leonard how to run, prepare for, and recover from a Ragnar Relay RaceOther Ragnar Relay Formats: Longer Distances, Shorter Distances, Trails, Ultra!

While the 200 mile road relay race is the oldest and most well-known Ragnar race format, there are now many other choices. If you prefer trail running, there’s a three-loop, eight-person relay trail race. The trail race begins with you and eight of your friends camping at the base of a mountain. Each person takes turns running three different loops of varying difficulty and distance. Ragnar also has other shorter options: the Florida Sprint relay is a six-person, 60 mile race, and the Sunset Series format is a 4-person marathon that lasts from noon until sunset. Finally, for long distance road or trailer runners, you can form an “ultra” team where a team that’s half the number of people covers the same distance. Ultra trail runners also have the option of taking on the “black loop” challenge with a friend—they run all three loops on Friday then run an 18 mile loop on Saturday.

Local Races near Nashua:

Cape Cod Ragnar (May 10-11th) runs from Hull to Smuggler’s Beach.
Reach the Beach (Sep 13-14th), celebrated its 20th Anniversary race last year. It runs from Bretton Woods to Hampton Beach.
Ragnar Trail Vermont (Aug 16-17th) at Mt. Ascutney.

Use Niki’s code 19YAYFRIENDS to save $80 on a team registration for local races.

How to Sign Up for A Ragnar Relay Race

Ragnar only accepts registrations as a team. If you have a few friends who enjoy running and a good adventure, go ahead and sign up as a team. If your friends know more people who wish to participate then before you know it, you’ll have a whole team! Most Ragnar road races offer the opportunity to just fill one van of runners and they’ll randomly pair you up with another single van. This option is usually available if the race doesn’t sell out within the first 2-3 months after registration opens.

How To Build Your Ragnar Racing Team

If you feel like this race is for you, but you’ve never talked to another runner who has participated in a Ragnar race, here are Niki’s recommendations for starting building your team:

  • If you frequently run with friends or in a group, ask them if they would interested. While captaining a team can be challenging, there are a lot of resources available to help you along the way. I’ve captained a few road teams, and am currently captaining a trail team for the 4th year in a row!
  • If you are on Facebook, search “Reebok Ragnar Cape Cod”, “Ragnar Reach the Beach”, or “Ragnar Vermont Trail”. Look for the official event pages created by Ragnar. Within those pages, search in the community sections for teams who need runners to join them. Comment and message the person who posted to see if you’d be a good fit. As the events get closer and closer, it gets easier to find and join an existing team.
  • Find a running group! You’ll usually find a team to join and a whole lot of new friends at the same time. Almost all of the Ragnar races I have run are with teammates from the New England Spahtens Obstacle Course Racing community.

How Did Niki Get Involved with Ragnar Races?

Back in 2013, I found myself in a physical place with my body that was just unhealthy. After committing to get back to an active lifestyle, I decided to start participating in obstacle course racing. I was able to not run too much right away because of stopping for the obstacles (a.k.a. the fun stuff). However, the more obstacle course races I ran, the more I wanted to become a better runner.

I heard about the Ragnar races in my OCR community. One day I made a Facebook post to express my interest, and an hour later I was officially on a team. After my first Ragnar in Cape Cod, I was instantly hooked. I have now run the Cape and NE/VT Trail every year since 2015. I’m committed to both 2019 races, RTB in 2018, and completed the first Ragnar Sprint in Florida in February 2019. My team ran the Sprint as an Ultra team, with three runners instead of six. While I’m sad to miss RTB this year due to other commitments, I’m envisioning 2020 as more heavily focused on travelling to other parts of the country to participate in Road and Trail races.

What’s One of Your Most Memorable Moments From a Ragnar Race?

Every single Ragnar creates a whole bucket of memories—van life, or simply an amazing view from the top of a trail. At my very first Ragnar race, I joined a team as an unconfident runner who wanted the least amount of mileage possible. When a runner had to drop from our team at the last minute, I found myself offering to take a much more difficult running position. The day before the race, I went from a cumulative eleven miles over three legs, to 19 miles, with a nine mile final leg. At the time I’d only ever trained running six miles! But, with a can-do attitude, amazing coaching from a teammate, and my van meeting me every two miles along the way cheering me on (and handing me a swab of Vaseline to help with the chafing), I completed that leg with a new PR for distance! It was one of the best experiences of my entire running career.

How Should I Prepare for a Ragnar Race?

There are two components to consider when preparing for a Ragnar race. In addition to being physically ready, mental preparation is as if not MORE important.

Physically, make sure you’re comfortable running your assigned distances. On a road race, individual legs range from two miles to thirteen miles. The total distance per runner is from 10.5 miles to 26 miles. Be completely honest about your abilities so your captain assigns a runner position within your capabilities. Trail races have loops that are three to eight miles long—often with plenty of elevation. Practice running your assigned distances closer and closer together. During the race, you will be running three times in 24 hours. Your legs will get tired, and knowing how far you can run on tired legs is important. You can also train your legs to handle it better. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be sure to run in complete darkness at least once—so you know what to expect before race day. Make sure to have a headlamp, reflective vest, and a blinking light on your back!

Mentally preparing for a Ragnar Relay involves working on staying calm and going with the flow. If you’re a high maintenance person, get anxious, or have a short temper, then this race may not be for you. You may get little to no sleep, and you’ll be surrounded by the same five people for almost thirty hours! You’ll smell, they’ll smell, and during the race, things will absolutely go wrong.

Be prepared for anything. Have a can-do attitude. Enjoy all the scenery and amazing craziness that comes along with running one of these races. I promise with the right attitude, you’ll make amazing friends and have an unforgettable weekend—no matter how hard the run was, how bad the passenger seat smells, or how little sleep you managed to get! Spend a little time reading some of the amazing blog posts on the Ragnar website or that other participants have written. This will provide additional insight about how to prepare and what to expect. While a Ragnar race sounds like a crazy thing to try (and let’s be honest, it is), if you’re a lover of adventure, running, and making friends, then this is absolutely a race you should try.

What’s the best way to recover from a Ragnar Relay?

If possible, do a leg drain immediately after each segment. Lie down and put your legs up against a wall (or the inside of the van) as close to 90 degrees as possible. Stay in that position for 8-15 minutes. Sleep is also very important. After an endurance event you need to let your body recover and heal.

Be sure to eat high quality protein and anti-inflammatory foods. Stretch and foam roll to help the body clear out waste products. An epsom salt soak (two cups of Epsom salts in water as hot as you can stand) followed by stretching can be incredibly helpful. Be sure to re-hydrate: drink half your body weight in plain water daily—and more if the event was held during hot weather. See your chiropractor for an adjustment to help make sure any imbalances or minor tweaks are resolved before they become problems.

Dr. Johanna’s Advice: How Can Chiropractic Care Help with Your Training, Performance, and Recovery

Adding chiropractic care to any training plan will help with recovery and success. Dr. Johanna offers a specific, detailed assessment for runners who wish to stay healthy while running at their highest efficiency.

Schedule Your Runner’s Assessment.

Championship Baseball in Nashua

For the 2017 Season, Catalyst Chiropractic is a proud sponsor of the Nashua Silver Knights.  We’ve hit a few games already this season, and we’re looking forward to hitting more.  Have you seen historic Holman Stadium?  In 2016 our family became Silver Knights fans, we got to experience the park, meet members of the team and the management.  Plus, they won the championship, an exciting end to an exciting season. Great folks all around, winner of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award, and a great night out here in Downtown Nashua.

If you’ve not been to a Silver Knights game, here are some quick tips from us.

Parking is free, and only a short walk from the main gate.  I repeat, parking is free.  You did not imagine that, parking is free.  Lets see any other major sporting venue have that as a perk. I prefer to park near the tennis courts so that my exit time is quicker at the end of the game.  

Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. If you decide at last minute to attend make sure you check what special event is going on at the park that day, because you might be able to get a discounted ticket.  Speaking of last minute, don’t worry about seats, you’ll have good seats, all the seats are good. There isn’t an overhanging roof or upper deck seats needing support columns that block your view.  This also allows for a lovely breeze on warm evenings. Every Sunday the Silver Knights accept canned goods for a local soup kitchen and you’ll get a reduced ticket price for your donation.  Monday and Wednesday night games, children get in free with a Sterling’s Kids Club card.

When you walk into the park, take a moment to read some of the many plaques about the parks history.  You may be surprised by some of the history that is here in downtown Nashua.

Have your kids check in with the Silver Knights Interns at the tent by the gate to the park, as they schedule on field games every inning on the first or third base lines.  Are You Smarter than a Silver Knight, Plinko for prizes, Shoe Toss, and even Simon Says.  The on field announcer, The Duffman, introduces the kids and gives commentary during the games.  He’s really great at getting the crowd excited and cheering the kids on.  Let’s face it, the games are fun but the real thrill for our kids is getting to walk onto the field and “be a part of the action”.

Pick up a color program at the merchandise stand as you walk in.  It is always interesting to see which college the players attend, and where they grew up.  The league has rules about what percentage of its players need to be from New England schools.  Plus its always fun to find out a kid from your home town is playing ball on the field. In the walkway heading towards the first base concessions stand, there is a plaque listing the names of Silver Knights who’ve been drafted into Major League Baseball.  15 Knights in total, 5 new ones this season alone.  That’s exciting news from a local team!

Do you like fireworks?  Well after every Friday night home game, there are fireworks.  Not a few pops that sparkle, but a full scale fireworks show.  What has more explosive excitement than fireworks?  Running the bases that’s what!  Kids get to run the bases at the end of every home game.  How cool is that?  Best way to prepare is when the Silver Knights are winning, go to the third base field entrance around the 1st out at the top of the ninth. Speaking of third base, the Knights have revamped their Third Base side Kids Area.  Tokens to play games or bounce in the bouncy houses are $1 each, or 12 for $10.  Get the kids to run off the pre game excitement so they’ll sit still for a few innings.

Cowbells!  There is a spectator in section 103 near section 104 at nearly every game.  They are selling cowbells for charity.  The cowbells are under $10 and fun to cheer on the team with.  Or in the case of small children great for teaching when to cheer and not to cheer during a baseball game (Note, not for the visiting team).  

It’s always a challenge taking two small kids to a public restroom, especially at a sporting event.  Holman Stadium has two clearly marked, accessible rest rooms right on the main concourse.  Clean, well lit, and not far from the field, so you don’t miss any of the game.

Many foul balls go out around the back of section 208 and 201.  Expect half way through the game a small collection of children will be there chasing after the balls.  Anyone who returns a foul ball to the home plate or first base concessions stand, gets either a free candy bar or a free box of popcorn.  Speaking of concessions, all of your ball park favorites are there. Fried dough, 603 Ale, sausage and pepper subs all available on the main concourse.  The Dragon Slayer Tavern does drink specials before the game, and during Thursday night home games they host “Meet the Brewer” with local breweries.  Check out the Silver Knights 2017 Mug Club offer for more exclusive deals.

Sports Stars benefit from Chiropractic Care, but care shouldn’t be just for them.  Catalyst Chiropractic sponsors the defending local champions!

You may not be trying to hit the ball over the outfield wall, but what about improving your golf swing?  Who wants to pull a muscle in the shoulder as they reel in that big bass? How about a fun day at the park with your grandkids without hesitation? Catalyst Chiropractic focuses on Neurostructural Integration. Find out if a neurostructural shift is getting in the way of enjoying fun summer activities. 

Join Our Email List and get a copy of Strengthening the Rotator Cuff.

Schedule as a New Patient.

All Out Cycle Review

Last Friday Dr. Johanna had the opportunity to experience a cycle class at All Out Cycle to benefit Girls On the Run.

(added 2/6/2018: Support Carolina’s Boston Marathon fundraising for Impact Melanoma)

The class was led by a staff trainer, Valerie, and lasted approximately 50 minutes. When I arrived, I had to register for the class, as I hadn’t done so online. I picked out my bike for the class as well. Apparently most people there liked to hide in the back. Valerie helped myself and a few others unfamiliar with the bikes, with adjusting for seat height, handle bar distance, and pedal clips. Valerie’s shoes clipped into the pedals, she attached straps to the pedals for me to strap to my sneakers. Taking the time to help with the bike set up, was a great help at putting the new experience in a new location awkwardness at ease.

As for the actual class, the lights went down, so being in the back didn’t matter. Valerie was pretty much the only one you could see. We turned on the small monitors on the bikes that synced up with Valerie’s bike, and kept track of our relative distances with each other. We went through a routine that my friend had designed, that was as close to biking a 7 mile race without leaving your spot. Valerie did a great job explaining each change of the routine along with making everyone feel comfortable. Due to a meniscus injury last year, I found position two cycling, standing on the cycle, was more difficult and opted to stay seated for most of those parts of the class. I never felt out of place or singled out for doing so. I never felt in anyway as I was failing at the exercise because I had difficulty with some of the activities. I absolutely felt challenged. The music helped get through the moments when I’d look at the timer on my bike and calculate how much longer I had.

Overall I had a great experience and will likely be back again. I recommend trying this out, a lot more fun than sitting on a bike at the gym alone and more social than playing the dragon catching game on my bikes at the YMCA. As of writing this post, there is a code to try a free class on their website.  The regular cost for the class is $17, and at that price, I’m sure I’ll be back to take the class again.

Important things to know before you go. Booking online will likely speed up your check in process. Bring a water bottle, you are going to need it. If you forget, they have bottles for sale there. Sweating happened for all of us, they have towels to grab(and hampers to ditch them in). I didn’t check out the bathroom to see if they have showers. Ask for a seat pad. I saw them innocently sitting on a bench by the door to the studio, but failed to ask for one. That would be my one regret, many of the regulars have pants designed with padding already, my natural padding was not enough.

Christine is running the Boston Marathon this April and raising money for Girls on the Run.  This class was a fundraiser to help her raise money, I’ll make sure to support Christine’s continued fundraising through fitness classes.

Do you have a fitness class you want Dr. Johanna to review? Contact the office with details.

Indoor Track

A week ago I began looking into some group classes at the local YMCA. I’m still looking for suggestions and I’ll share my experiences here.

Images of track laps, black and white with fogSo far this week I have taken advantage of the convenient indoor jogging track.  The track is on the second floor (stair or elevator access), with 3 lanes on the second floor of the building. It loops around the cardio equipment , weights, and overlooks the basketball court and pool on each side  Nine(9) laps of the track is equal to one mile.  There are signs that state which direction traffic is moving in, and the lanes are labeled depending on your speed (Walk, Jog, Run).

Good things

  • I did not experience any kind of “traffic” on the track. While others were using it, there was plenty of room for everyone. Everyone on the track respected the direction of the day.
  • There are easy to access lockers on the second floor for those that just want a place to lock a jacket while they walk.
  • Due to the layout and climate control, if you just need a walk, you don’t need to change, but I do recommend sneakers. This is a great place to just get in a mile walk for health. If you have concerns about needing a nearby bathroom when exercising, there are restrooms located on the same floor as the track.
  • This is a great alternative to a treadmill, more interesting in my opinion and better for balancing muscle use. This will help keep my running exercise plan on track over the winter.
  • Tucked to the side near the basketball court is a great small stretching area  to stretch and foam roll after a walk/run. There is a big spiderweb contraption with instructions for stretching, several floor mats and foam rollers.

For those that care, WiFi!

Other Notes

I have yet to figure out a good way, for me, to keep track of the number of laps, while running and following a run program. Today I saw an older woman carrying around a manual counter.  I’ve been using my phone stopwatch with a lap button, but I’m sure I’m missing laps as I forget to change screens.


GPS squiggles while on indoor track.
Actual distance run via counting laps: 1.89 miles

Skip using any GPS trackers, they won’t be accurate. Pokemon Go players, while you will get egg credit it will be less than you walked.

Due to the track being indoors.  I have the luxury to not worry about cars, and other road hazards.  Though, it would be nice if I could remember my headphones to listen to music while I run.



Speedy Recovery

One of the common comments we hear at Catalyst Chiropractic, is reports of an increased speed of recovery. After a month of care, people have excitedly announced that they were bouncing back from exertion faster.  They had worked out in the yard the day before, or pushed hard to reach a new goal at the gym, and they had expected a morning filled with pain and uncomfortable moments.  Upon waking up, they felt only minimal discomfort and had no stiffness in their limbs.  The only thing that had changed in their routine, was adding Chiropractic to their life.  In the weeks since, they’ve continued to have these results and have been able to push themselves harder and farther than before.

One patient told us about volunteering at a charity event.  They had walked 3-4 times as many steps as they normally do.  And that the year before when they volunteered, they took 3 days to recover from the exertion.  This year, they were able to get out and do some much needed yard work the next day. lawn-mower-938555_1920

What if you could do more with your day?  What if what once tired you out, was now only a milestone that you passed by and kept going?  Does you spouse need Sunday to recover from a Saturday of yard work?

Maximizing your Baseball Fun

NSK-01-Full_Logo_4There is a sign on Rte 3 Northbound, for Historic Holman Stadium.  I’ve driven by it so many times, that in my minds eye it has taken the place of the exit ramp sign.  Now that I’ve seen the Nashua Silver Knights play a few games at Holman Stadium I’ve found our new family fun activity.   I’m a big baseball fan, I grew up watching it, and my kids are growing up watching it.  Thanks to a Nashua Chamber of Commerce Mixer, I met the staff of the Silver Knights and my baseball world expanded.  Holman stadium and the Silver Knights offer a great time, at a great price, and in a great venue.


Parking is free, and only a short walk from the main gate.  I repeat, parking is free.  You did not imagine that, parking is free.  Lets see any other major sporting venue have that as a perk.  You could walk to the stadium from downtown if you wanted to though.  For folks not familiar with how baseball games operate, be careful how close you park to the 3rd base foul line or make sure that you have full glass coverage.  We haven’t seen any cars get hit, most likely due to the treeline at the edge of the stadium. But foul balls happen, and the 3rd base side is prime territory to pick up a souvenir of the game.


Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. If you decide at last minute to attend make sure you check what special event is going on at the park that day, because you might be able to get a discounted ticket.  Speaking of last minute, don’t worry about seats, you’ll have good seats, all the seats are good. There isn’t an overhanging roof or upper deck seats needing support columns that block your view.  This also allows for a lovely breeze on warm evenings. Every Sunday the Silver Knights accept canned goods for a local soup kitchen and you’ll get a reduced ticket price for your donation.  Wednesday night games, children get in free with a kids club card.

When you walk into the park, take a moment to read some of the many plaques about the parks history.  You may be surprised by some of the history that is here in downtown Nashua.

Activities for children13304971_10153420015821853_6976531014688122351_o

Do your kids have a hard time sitting still for nine innings of baseball (Because I know mine do.)?  Get to the game before the first pitch, there’s a booth at the gate where the kids can sign up for games on the field between the innings.  Duck toss, water balloon baseball, and even running on the field during the game.  Many of the games are played with the members of the Silver Knights team and the staff.  A really great personable friendly bunch including the in game announcer, Jimmy Football. Speaking of running the bases, the kids get to do that at the end of every home game.  How cool is that?  Best way to prepare is when the Silver Knights are winning, go to the 3rd base field entrance around the 1st out at the top of the ninth.

Other entertainment 

Do you like fireworks?  Well after every Friday night home game, there are fireworks.  Not a few pops that sparkle, but a full scale fireworks show.

Cowbells!  There is a spectator that has sat at the back of section 103 near section 104 at every game I have been too.  He is selling cowbells for charity.  The cowbells are $8 and fun to ring.  Or in the case of small children great for teaching when to cheer and not to cheer during a baseball game (Note, not for the visiting team).

Jack and Hal with Kendall Reyes
Jack wanted to go to a football game that night, not a baseball game. Meeting Kendall Reyes made everything OK.

Local celebrities and giveaways.  Last Wednesday Kendall Reyes of the Washington Redskins was there to throw out the first pitch and sign giveaway bobble heads.  Kendall grew up in Nashua and played for Nashua North.  According to articles on the internet he spends time in Nashua during the off season and does work to promote the Boys and Girls Club where he spent time as a youth.

Other little tips

Pick up the $1 program at the merchandise stand as you walk in.  It is always interesting to see which college the players attend, and where they grew up.  The league has rules about what percentage of its players need to be from New England schools.  Plus its always fun to find out a kid from your home town is playing ball on the field.

On Wednesday hot dogs are $1, which is half price.  If you were paying attention the flyers in your mail box, you may have gotten a coupon for 2 for 1 hot dogs.

The Silver Knights Kids Club gets kids a discount on merchandise and free entry on Wednesdays. Youth t-shirts are only $10 before discount.

It’s always a challenge taking two small kids to a public restroom, especially at a sporting event.  Holman Stadium has two clearly marked, accessible rest rooms right on the main concourse.  Clean, well lit, and not far from the field, so you don’t miss any of the game.

Many foul balls go out around the back of section 208 and 201.  Expect half way through the game a small collection of children will be there chasing after the balls.

Non-peak nights, private air conditioned boxes are $150.  Find 15 friends and for $10 each you get unlimited soda and popcorn. Plus access to the full menu of concessions (for additional charges of course).13507163_10153451598681853_5211873458519175548_n

Sterling the mascot is often walking the park high-fiving children and posing for pictures.

The Silver Knights can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Sometime mid game, and I can’t remember when they have everyone get up and do some kind of dance that at first reminded me of the tomahawk chop from the Atlanta Braves games.  Anyone want to clue me into this ritual?  We’re still a bit baffled by it.

Holman Stadium has a long history with Nashua, and the Silver Knights are working to build a great relationship with the community.  We’ll see you at the game.

Time to Run

runner-805392_1280Last night as I was out on my run, I noticed several people out doing run walk intervals.  My best guess by watching is many of them are out starting a running routine. Honestly I am as well as it has been too long since I got outside and ran with any regularity.

Years ago when I first started running I wrote a blog about that experience, now I’m starting with a new perspective.  I know I can run a 10K.  I know that with training, a half marathon or more is within my reach.   All it takes is consistency and in my case, to not hide inside when the weather gets cold.

Just as I love data in my office to track the improvements of my patients.  I love to keep my run stats, that way I can see my improvements, not to mention it keeps me honest about how well I am sticking to my running schedule.  These are several of the apps that I use  or have used in the past.


Nike Plus: This is my primary run only state tracker with GPS.  I use this to track running only.  I start this app after my warm up walking.  It will run through out the an entire running session even if I am doing intervals of running and walking.  This gives me an idea of my race speed.

RunKeeper:  I love this app for all types of exercise stats.  I use this to from the start of the workout warm up to the end of the cool down.  It lets me know my total distance. I’ll use this app when going for walks and for hiking.  Several of my friends use this app as well, so it’s nice to “like” my friends workouts and encourage them.

RoadID: This is a safety app, it doesn’t keep a map or track anything once it is closed.  What it does is GPS track where I am, and send a link to my husband that is updated in real time.  I use this in case the worse happens and I’m hit by a car.  The app will alert him if I stop moving more than 5 mins and it gives him a good idea of where to start looking.  Alternatively, if I run a race it lets my friends know where I am so they can meet up and cheer me on.

CharityMiles: I recently discovered this one.  You can select a charity, and money is donated to them each time you run.  There is a similar app called Wooftrax that donates to the animal shelter that you select.

C25K Free: I like the couch to 5K training plan in this program and that I can have it in the background and it will alert me to when I need to change from running to walking.

Zombies 5K: When I first started years ago, this was the app I used.  It has longer workouts than C25K but also had an interesting story that I had to go work out do listen to. My friend, and fellow fitness enthusiast, Amber Lee wrote a fantastic review of the app.   The standard Zombies Run app is not a training program but is a great break from just listening to music, not to mention at the end of each run you get supplies to build up your township.


Don’t forget here is Nashua we have a local and very active run club The Gate City Striders.


Disclaimer: As with all new exercise programs please check with your healthcare provider to make sure there are not any specific modification to the routine that you need to make.