5 Pieces of Student Athlete Protective Gear for Outdoor Sports

5 Pieces of Student Athlete Protective Gear for Outdoor Sports

The fall is just around the corner—the student athletes in your family might already have started practices to prep for the upcoming season. But when it comes to staying safe in outdoor practices and games, there are several ways you can outfit your athlete with the right protection.

Here are five pieces of protective gear you should keep in mind.


Athletic glasses aren’t merely for those students who wear contact lenses or traditional glasses in their daily lives—eye protection is a great option for vision safety in general. Ensure you’re using certified sports protective eyewear that meets the standards and rules of the sport in question. Not all sports eyewear is prescribed—you can wear this type of protection to prevent injury or impact and to block out over-exposure to UV rays.


Their requirement in organized sports varies, but any contact-sport athletes should at least consider a mouthguard, whether it’s mandated or not. This level of protection can reduce your risk of tooth chips or breaks, and even cuts on the inside of your mouth. Just make sure that it’s been properly fitted to your jaw—have it fitted by a sports medicine professional for best results.

Properly-Fitted Helmet

Many sports, particularly high-impact ones, require use of a helmet for all or part of game time. But if your student athlete’s helmet isn’t properly fitted, it can’t truly do its job to the best of its potential. Make sure the pads inside the helmet, the chin strap and the face mask meet standards set by your state’s athletic board. As far as fit goes, a good rule of thumb is that it should fit relatively snugly without use of the chin strap. Make sure to check for a NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) sticker—it’s the organization that regulates the safety of helmets.


Depending on the sport, joint protection could be critical for you student athlete. This may include the standard elbow and knee pads for resisting injury from tumbles and contact with competitors. Hip and tail pads are required for high-contact sports such as football or hockey and can provide protection from contusions.

Sun Protection

Depending on the time of year, one piece of protective gear that may be easy to count out are those that screen out sun exposure. Whether it’s visors or billed hats to keep sun out of eyes in outdoor events or proper application of sunblock, student athletes spend a great deal of time in direct sunlight in practices, games and meets. Reduce the risk of skin cancer and other related complications by planning ahead.

4 Low-Impact Exercises Everyone Should Be Doing

4 Low-Impact Exercises Everyone Should Be Doing

Despite your best efforts, not everyone is in the right shape or at the right life stage for an intense workout every day. But thanks to a wealth of options, you can still get in your regular exercise without engaging in high-intensity, high-impact routines.

Here are four low-impact, effective exercises that you should consider.


No, you don’t have to hop in the next kayak or canoe to get your rowing in. A great low-impact exercise you can do at home or in the gym is making use of the rowing machine. It’s a phenomenal way to work out your full body without putting undue pressure on your knees, ankles and other joints. Take it at your own speed, and work up to more intense workouts. As an added bonus, it can work wonders for your back alignment and posture when done properly. Make sure to consult a certified trainer to ensure you’re using correct form so that you maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and decrease risk of injury.


There are plenty of benefits to making yoga a part of your daily life—flexibility, focus and balance, just to name a few. It also happens to be a low-impact exercise that can still offer up noticeable results in your fitness routine. There is a spectrum of options from which to choose, including relaxation yoga and sculpting yoga—you choose your comfort level, and instructor-led classes can get you started. When it comes to trying something new, safety in numbers can help. Gather some friends for a trial run of a local yoga course.

Step Climbing

It’s an action you likely have to do on a semi-regular basis—why not make it part of your exercise routine? Step climbing, whether it’s the staircases in your home, a stair machine or platform you’d use for a step aerobics class, burns ample calories without putting too much stress on your joints. If lunges or squats are out of your wheelhouse, step climbing can be a good replacement exercise with lower impact. And Prevention magazine estimates 45 minutes could clock in at as much as 429 calories burned, on average.


If running is too high-impact for your tastes and walking isn’t quite exciting enough to keep your attention, why not introduce a nature element to the mix? Pick a favorite nearby state park or nature trail, and engage in some hiking. Sometimes adding things such as bird-watching or exploring can make exercise seem like less of a chore. And as long as you wear proper footwear and protect yourself with bug repellent, it’s a great way to get a low-impact walk in without feeling like time is crawling by.

Need Training Guidance?

The Orthopedic Institute team and OI Performance Training and Physical Therapy Sioux Falls , can help you with proper training technique throughout your fitness journey. Click here to learn more about what we can provide.

Fix Your Body to Improve Your Golf Swing

Fix Your Body to Improve Your Golf Swing

In recent years, fitness and health have received much more attention when it comes to professional golf. Every golfer on tour has a fitness routine, as well as a comprehensive warm-up prior to tournament rounds. However, the vast majority of amateur golfers have not adopted this idea.

The golf swing takes our bodies to its end limits of motion, while requiring strength and speed throughout. This is not only very challenging, but also creates a lot of opportunity for injuries. Improving the way your body moves and its strength in relation to your golf swing will absolutely improve your ability to swing a club and significantly reduce your risk of pain and injuries.

Below are just a few examples of how fixing your body can improve your golf game.

Listen to Your Body

A vast majority of golfers have aches and pains. Sometimes pain sets in after your round, sometimes it waits until the next morning and sometimes it is evident with every swing. Other golfers may not feel the ache until later in the golf season. Whichever the case, these are warning signs. There is a reason you’re experiencing this, and there is certainly a way to prevent it. Get your aches and pains treated now to prevent further injuries and time lost on the golf course.

Know Your Limitations

This part can be challenging. Do you have poor mobility in your hips, back or shoulders? Is your balance poor? These, among other physical traits, are very important to know when designing your swing. Don’t try to swing like your favorite PGA Tour player—you likely don’t have the same physical qualities. Injuries tend to happen when people try swinging a club in ways in which their bodies aren’t physically able. There are two choices—design your swing around your limitations or improve your physical limitations.  A golf medicine provider can design specific exercises and treatments and also consult with your instructor to help you attain a swing that is good for your body and golf game.

Warm Up First

No matter the sport—including golf, warming up is critical. Many players will head the driving range and hit balls before they play and consider that a warm-up. It is not. A majority of injuries, especially in amateurs, can be avoided with a simple warm-up routine. Research also shows that warming up properly can actually improve driving distance! Make sure you feel loose and break a sweat before the first swing, whether it’s on the range or at the first tee.

Start simple—do some squats with no weight, take short jogs—anything to strengthen upper back muscles will get you properly warmed up. Each golfer should develop a specific warm-up routine that works for them, takes no more than 15 minutes and is based on their specific physical limitations.

Golf Medicine at Orthopedic Institute

Orthopedic Institute’s Adam Halseth is the only Titleist Performance Institute Certified Medical Practitioner in the Sioux Falls and surrounding area. He specializes in diagnosing and treating golf-related injuries. Call Orthopedic Institute (605-331-5890) to set up an appointment.

Prize Package: Golf Medicine Experience

Prize Package: Golf Medicine Experience ($350 Value)

The giveaway has closed. If you have already entered, a winner will be announced the week of August 1, 2017.

You love golf. Or maybe you are intrigued by golf. But did you know that there are methods, tools and techniques that can make it even more valuable for your health and wellness than you expected? Orthopedic Institute (OI) is here to guide you through the world of golf medicine.

And we’re doing it by offering up a $350 prize package to get you started on your new health journey.

Prize Details

Enter to win one of OI’s Gold Golf Medicine Packages, which include:

  • A pre- and post-program Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) screening
  • Technique education
  • Home exercise program
  • Swing analysis
  • Three follow-up sessions
  • Individual, one-on-one instruction
  • Manual golf therapy

What’s TPI? It’s the world’s leading educational organization dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing. Learn more here.

Case in Point

According to our own in-house golf medicine aficionado Adam Halseth, DPT, TPI M-2, this program has proven successful for golfers of all skill levels.

“I was treating a junior golfer with mid-back pain who was able to finish his season without pain and ended up qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur. I also have had a client with a lot of knee pain who wanted to wait for a knee replacement until after golf season. I worked with him on strategies to protect his knee when golfing, and he was able to play two times per week during the summer before getting his knee replacement the following fall!”

An Answer for All Ages

It’s the perfect way for golf enthusiasts and aspiring golf enthusiasts alike to dive into golf medicine. Plus programs can be designed for golfers of all skill levels and ages.

“Our programs are designed specifically for each patient and can be developed for junior golfers to seniors and professionals to high handicappers. We will determine your body limitations and how they are affecting your swing. The main goal is to keep your body healthy and strong as you golf.”


Kid-Friendly Fitness Activities to Keep Your Family in Motion

Kid-Friendly Fitness Activities to Keep Your Family in Motion

If you struggle to get the motivation to exercise, it can be hard to also convince the rest of your family to be physically fit. To help you out, we have a few ideas about activities that your youngsters can engage in while also adding some exercise and outdoor time into your daily life. 

Check out some of these kid-friendly fitness activities.

Gardening Team-Up

Do your children love playing in the dirt? Unleash them on your garden to help turn over the soil and put new plants in the ground. It gets everyone outdoors and moving around. Having your children help water and take out the easy weeds will keep them invested throughout the season. It can also spark their appetites for the fruit and vegetables they nurtured.

Dog Time

If you have an energetic dog, having your children run around in the backyard or a park with their canine pal can be excellent and entertaining exercise. Playing fetch (or keep-away if that’s more of your dog’s game) should have you and your kids on the move.

Commercial Fitness Breaks

Putting your kids in front of the TV is an easy way to keep them entertained, but don’t let that stop them from being active. During commercial breaks or between episodes, have the family play an “exercise game.” Name the exercise after the show, like “Spongebob sit-ups,” or do a follow-the-leader-style activity incorporating simple exercises.

Simple Walks

Don’t over-think it. Walks are an excellent, simple activity with which your kids can keep up. Better yet, add an element of scavenger hunting to it. Give yourself a list of things to spot, from easy to maybe a little more difficult (i.e., four dogs, two maple leaves, three robins, etc.). Take a walk around the neighborhood or down the road before or after meals. Think about taking a hike along a bike trail or down a country road for those in a rural area. Cool summer evenings make for great walking times.

Sports Night

You should also consider having a family sports night. Practice dribbling basketballs, kicking around a soccer ball or playing catch. You might even get a child’s golf set and make a game out of hitting wiffle balls around the yard. Not only are these fun exercise activities, but they also make for a nice introduction into competitive sports later in life.

3 Benefits Golfing Has on Your Health

3 Benefits Golfing Has on Your Health

Golf is played by millions of people across the world. While it isn’t as obviously physically intensive as other forms of exercise, it still has a role as a healthy exercise. In fact, some of its positive healthy impacts might surprise you.

Here are a few key benefits golf has on your health.

1. Cardiovascular System

Golf actually provides enough stimulus to improve your aerobic fitness. Playing golf can decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and help your blood lipid and glucose levels. It could also be an acceptable exercise for people in cardiac and stroke rehab. So the next time you’re enjoying yourself out on the green, remember you’re doing something good for your heart as well.

2. Respiratory Health

On average, most golfers walk five miles during an 18-hole round. That’s a lot of activity! Getting out and walking the course regularly can also help strengthen lung function and keep your respiratory system healthy throughout late adulthood.

3. Mental Wellbeing

As you might have experienced for yourself at one point, the golf course is a common site for business meetings, charity events and other social gatherings. These opportunities can help people build social connections and confidence. A study found that people’s senses of self-worth were positively impacted after taking part in a golf outing. Getting out in the fresh air and sunlight and walking on a manicured golf course were noted as contributing factors to the mental-wellness boost. (You can read more into the study published by the British Journal of Medicine here.)

Try golf medicine at OI

Like any sport, people may get injured while golfing. Poor swing and body mechanics can lead to shoulder, back, hip and knee injuries.

Orthopedic Institute offers programs to improve your strength, stability and mobility on the course. The programs are led by a Titleist Performance Institute, Medical Level 2 Certified Physical Therapist (PT). This PT specializes in golf rehabilitation and sports medicine.

To get involved with OI’s golf medicine program, contact Adam Halseth at 605-331-5890 or ahalseth@ortho-i.com. You can also read more about the details on this exciting new program.

How to Do the Lunge Correctly

Lunges are one of the most efficient ways to easily build strength in multiple parts of your body, including your calves, core, and glutes. Their relative ease makes them incredibly popular for at home or gym workouts. However, the exercise is only effective when done correctly. If you let your form slip, you’ll lose a lot of the powerful punch a lunge can provide – as well as possible cause long-term damage.

Foot Placement

One of the most common issues keeping people from achieving a proper lung is foot placement. Your foot should point straight ahead – avoid rotating it out and away from your body. If your foot is rotated, it can put undue stress on your ankle and knee.

Knee Alignment

As you place your foot correctly and begin to lower into a lunge, pay attention to where your knee is landing. Your knee should be in line with the outer portion of your leg. It is common for people to rotate their knee to the inside of their body as they lunge forward. This usually happens because of improper training or some sort of knee weakness. As soon as you rotate your knee to the inside, you stop working the outside of your glut, losing potential muscle work.

Holding Your Chest

Once you have fully lowered into a lunge, make sure to keep your chest high and neutral. Avoid leaning excessively forward. When you lean forward, you drive all the pressure and weight towards your toes and knees. You should keep your body established in a vertical placement over your legs.

Make it Even

You may have perfect lunge technique on your right side, but everything starts to slip when you move to your left side. This is actually relatively common, especially if you have an injury or are recovering from surgery. Find a qualified trainer to work with you on making sure you keep your weaker knee in the correct position.

If you are placing your body directly in a lunge, you should come down into the proper position without any issue. Interested in becoming a lunge expert? Join the qualified trainers at D1 Sports Training to learn how to exercise safely and effectively.

6 Training Tips Every Female Athlete Needs to Know

6 Training Tips Every Female Athlete Needs to Know

It’s that time of year – you probably have a New Year’s resolution with some sort of element of health and fitness. But before you hit the gym or sign up for any program, make sure you know your stuff. Female athletes have to consider different things when it comes to working out.

Female trainees should try these tips on for size.


You might assume eating after a workout is counter-productive, but it’s actually the opposite. While women might try to avoid post-workout eating, a high-protein, good-carb meal within an hour of working out is critical to maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Increase Reps

Due to the makeup of their muscle fibers and their natural resistance to fatigue, women actually respond more positively to higher-rep workouts than many men do. If you’re building your workout regimen, consider higher frequency, versus higher weight or resistance.

Vary it Up

Not only does constantly going through the motions of the same workout time and again bore your brain, it can bore your body. Too much sameness gives your body a chance to grow too accustomed to what’s coming and stall progress. Keep things interesting – add reps, work out different muscle groups, etc.

Don’t Fear Pushups

Women might tend to avoid chest exercises in workouts, but the truth is they’re pivotal to strength training. Because the female body is inherently prone to more weakness in the shoulders and chest than the male body, simple chest workouts like pushups can add a lot of valuable strength that benefits other exercises and technique.

Train More Often

Women as a general rule also are able to recover from a workout more quickly than a man might. Females might respond better to working out often or with a higher degree of frequency than males, who often require more recovery time after a high-intensity workout.

Rely on Teamwork

It’s amazing what a little camaraderie and encouragement can do for your workout. Having a coach or trainer is one thing, but having fellow trainees you can relate to is powerful both for a healthy, competitive spirit and for motivation. Consider bringing a friend along to the gym who has similar goals.

Your future workout team is waiting. The D1 facility in Sioux Falls is comprehensive, effective coaching in a variety of specialty areas with athletic and Orthopedic Institute professionals on hand. Interested in finding out more? Join D1’s coaches for a FREE class! Stop by our facility at 5901 S. Southeastern Avenue or reach us at 605.271.7130. You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @D1SiouxFalls.

When Is Too Young to Start Training?

When is Too Young for Your Child to Start Training?

You and your child both might have big dreams for athletic prowess in the coming years. Whether it’s college sports, a run at the Olympics or simply a lifelong commitment to health and wellness, athletic training might be on your itinerary.

But what are the potential benefits of starting your child on training at an early age? And how young is “too young” to start?


Overall, a regular health and fitness routine is positive for growth in children – those who are healthy have a leg up in height, weight management, muscle strength and even lung capacity. When it comes to resistance training in particular, studies have shown, in fact, that it can actually have a great impact on strength prior to adolescence. With the right trainer and program, preadolescents can achieve the same levels of strength gains that their adolescent counterparts do. (And there’s no marked difference between boys and girls in this regard – the same similarity of results can be achieved regardless of gender.)


Exercise is always a good thing. But what does strength training, and namely resistance training, offer a child? The NSCA has found that youth resistance training regimens can spur improvements in future weight management and risk of heart-related ailments. Beyond that, it can give children a start to optimum motor skills and improve athleticism – including decreasing a child’s tendency toward injury while engaging in sports.

Getting Started

If your child is ready to get the ball rolling on a training program, such as resistance training, getting started is often as easy as finding a qualified, licensed professional to administer the program. A good rule of thumb for determining whether your child is ready is, if he or she is ready for participation in sports, then some degree of resistance training is likely possible and safe. First things first – consider scheduling a physical for your child to pinpoint any potential physical ailments before diving headfirst into training. A qualified instructor will walk your child through gym safety, initial ability expectations and proper use of the equipment right off the bat.

A youth training regimen should include a warm-up and cool-down period in each session that should last approximately five to 10 minutes apiece. Most coaches recommend starting with a high rep count and lighter weights: ask a trusted instructor for their opinion. To start, the NSCA recommends avoiding sessions on back-to-back days and to limit them to three per week at the most. These can be increased over time.

And this one’s important – don’t forget to ensure your child gets healthy meals, plenty of water and the optimum amount of sleep.

Are you ready to set your child up for future physical and athletic success by starting a resistance-training program? Orthopedic Institute along with D1 of Sioux Falls offers experienced and tailored training your child deserves. Contact D1 of Sioux Falls to get started.

Sources: National Strength and Conditioning Association

5 Unique Sources of Physical Activity in Sioux Falls

5 Unique Sources of Physical Activity in Sioux Falls

What good is exercise unless it’s fun? Sometimes heading down the street to the gym before work to lift some weights or cranking on that dusty treadmill in the basement just won’t do. It doesn’t hurt your commitment to fitness to keep things relatively interesting. Here is a list of 5 unique sources of physical activity in Sioux Falls.

It so happens Sioux Falls has a few unique ways to get your fill of physical activity – try these on for size.

Slide It Out

Winter is coming up fast. But if you just can’t break yourself of the outdoorsy tendencies in your exercise regimen, never fear – snow sports can be a great source of physical activity. Harvard Medical School estimates the average person can burn 223-266 calories from just 30 minutes of downhill skiing. (Cross-country skiing will do you one better – Men’s Fitness estimates 700-plus calories burned in an hour.)

Believe it or not, even sledding can be a great source of calorie burning – Everyday Health estimates a half hour of sledding burns about 240. (Plus that walk up and down the hill certainly doesn’t hurt.)

Balance It Out

At some point or another we’ve probably all tried our hand at yoga (and if not, you’ve probably at least done some yoga-like contorting of some kind to reach a high shelf or wrangle your children), but there are also plentiful ways to incorporate dancing into your balance- and flexibility-building. Dance such as ballet is a great way to build lean muscle and improve your posture. Best of all? You can do this at home – free up some space in the house and try out some of your moves.

Run It Out

Once that snow hits, it doesn’t mean your running regimen has to end. It just means it needs a few tweaks. Try out snow sprints and lunges on non-icy surfaces, such as grassy areas, once the snow falls. Water-resistant trainers or hiking shoes typically work best for this style of physical activity. Add running, jogging, jumping or even old-fashioned “playing in the snow” to get pumped up and burn some calories all winter long.

Swim It Out

The new Midco Aquatic Center is open, so if hitting the pool is more your speed, check out some of the brand-new opportunities to get fit in the water. There are several classes on the docket for the center, including 60-minute, high-intensity “Aqua Gym” classes and even water biking (the name alone should intrigue you). Keep posted on the latest offerings here.

Move It Out

Once the snow hits the ground, that’s no excuse to rest on your laurels. Sioux Falls offers chances to break a sweat even when the weather gets a little brisker. Keep an eye out for opportunities to go instructor-led snowshoeing. The Sioux Falls Parks & Recreation department has planned hikes near Tuthill Park in the coming months. There are also plenty of opportunities to make use of Sioux Falls’ many free ice rinks all winter long, if skating is more your speed.

(And if you need something a little more low-key and temperature-controlled, may we suggest a brisk mall-walking experience? The Western or Empire Malls in particular is home to some pretty devoted mall-walkers, an activity that can burn 120-200 calories per hour, depending on your intensity.)

Pro tip: For all you TV fans (a group that increases exponentially during the cold months), make commercial time an opportunity by skipping the fast forward button and doing some sit-ups or lunges during the break. And if binge-watching is more your thing, make a point of doing some plans or trips up and down the stairs between each episode.