Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Powerful Changes to my Outdoor Fitness Life Born from Research

by Derek Benoit, August 4th, 2021

My outdoor fitness life has evolved considerably since this journey began. The challenge of content creation is the amount of research and outreach that must take place. However, the value of content research goes well beyond any marketing potential, or any amount of traffic. Now that I’m transitioning from physical recovery to improvement, I can reflect on some wonderful things I’ve learned about along the way, thanks to many, many willing contributors.

In this article, I’ll describe:

  • Each change I’ve implemented after research & interviews
  • From whom those changes originated
  • The benefits of the changes now, and moving forward

ALWAYS consult your physician, specialist, or appropriate exercise professional before beginning ANY exercise or treatment plan. This content is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. By accessing this content, you agree to hold harmless the-outdoor-phoenix-community.com and Benoit Outdoor Media LLC for any injury, death, or damage to private property that results from performing any exercise, therapeutic exercise, or in receiving medical treatment.

Leave the old way behind and see new possibilities flourish. Courtesy: Shutterstock.com

Safety a Higher Priority :

I take more tick precautions. I’m less cavalier while out in nature. With that in mind, I’m more aware of the increasing number of tick diseases present here in New England. Also, I know what symptoms I need to look for in case I suspect I’ve been bitten. Additionally, I was previously not aware that freezing temperatures didn’t kill ticks; now I know it more or less just makes them dormant. As soon as the weather warms above freezing, you’re back at risk. Such can change between early morning and late morning-remember that!

Hopefully, I’ll be smart enough to apply the advice I got from Dan “Tickman” Wolff, inventor of Tickease and tick behavior expert.  I plan on using every advantage I can to prevent a tick bite. Trust me, tick bite prevention and tick removal are on my mind now.

You can read more about Tickease (NO FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP), tick bite prevention, and Dan Wolff’s academic research relationships at:


Hydration More Complex than it Appears:

My research for my hydration pieces was really eye-opening. When I came across hydration calculators, I knew the standard doctor’s office line about 9-13 glasses to day wasn’t nearly accurate enough for me. Moreover, that range is a generalization for men. Unfortunately, there are many complicating factors for any individual. Even more so for a diabetic renal patient with an ileostomy. Fortunately, the ileostomy will be reversed in the near future. It’s just a question of how long to put it off (safely) to preserve most of deer and the fall striper run.

Along the way, I learned that I underestimate the negative effect of sodium (the electrolyte) in both directions. First and foremost, I MUST watch my sodium intake because of the renal transplant. At the same time, it is still possible to take in too little. The balance between electrolyte and water intake is a delicate one. Surprisingly, the beat of that dance can change week-to-week or even day-to-day . The more complex the medical situation, the more important a hydration calculator becomes. Ultimately, you need an accurate base estimate from which you can adjust.

The first link below goes over many symptoms of dehydration by age group. The second has some more detailed information about the components of hydration as well as a cool hydration calculator you can try.

Structured Approach to Strength:

To begin with, I became more disciplined. Indeed, I am more structured in my increase of resistance. Moreover, I’m smarter about using variation to challenge muscles. I feel fresh, and less soreness. In addition to such, I’m more proactive about rotator cuff protection. Specifically, I incorporate shoulder work, plus rotator-specific moves to avoid archery injuries. Shooting volume or draw weight cannot increase if you’re always hurt. Consequently, I experience zero issue with my left (draw) shoulder. Extra effort pays dividends!

An Evolution of Cardio:

Cardio Part 1

It should be noted that physical therapy aids my ability perform cardio. Firstly, my plantar fasciitis stretching is a Godsend. Especially important is that muscles, tendons, and ligaments work in chains. Focus on just one part of the chain, and the ignored ones keep that focal point tight. Full body stretching is required. Also, therapy for my anterior pelvic tilt forces positive changes. Consequently, I’m better braced in the lowest portion of my abdominals and hips. It’s big adjustment, and it’s still a work in progress.

I enthusiastically recommend Katherine Bragg, PT, DPT as a physical therapist. She works out of BIDMC Lexington (NO FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP) and is incredibly knowledgeable. As a matter of fact, she leaves no stone unturned. Such gives a patient like me full scope of what I face, and possible solutions. Sorry folks, she can’t fix crazy. If you have interest in resolving pain, soreness, or need help recovery, find a qualified local physical therapist at:


I will pick up speed and endurance more easily. As a matter of fact, I notice more ability to maintain an upright posture. No more “duck butt.” I can keep my hips further forward. As a result of this, my hamstrings experience less fatigue, and my gait is improving. I’m much less of a heel striker. As a result my lower body experiences less shock. Unfortunately it takes time to get the mechanics to “stick,” but my legs are working as they should.

Cardio Part 2

Last but not least is my question and answer piece with elite endurance coach Will Kirousis. I have NO FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP with Will. His knowledge showed me that I did too many hard effort sessions per week. Indeed, my routine will feature only one interval session (7-8/10 effort). Now, two easy long duration (4/10 effort) sessions will form the base. One medium session (5-6/10 effort) will cap the week. Specifically, that 5-6/10 effort day will likely be a rucking day. Two days will focus on strength. I expect faster recovery and better performance.

If you want to get started in endurance sports, want to compete at the next level, or simply raise your cardio game, you can contact Will Kirousis via:



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