Health & Fitness

Jim Silva: Get a good workout without knee soreness

A few weeks ago I received a call from a reader, a 90-year-old man. He was a nice guy who liked to call me “Jimmy.”

He explained that he had been trying to get exercise by walking, but was having knee soreness.

I explained that was normal.

Of course, if you’ve been reading my column you know that I am a big proponent of running. You simply will not get a better workout. And it’s natural, too, as humans were born to run.

But running – and walking – can cause problems, too. The impact on your joints can take its toll.

Luckily, as I told that caller, there are plenty of other options:

▪ Swimmingcan be just as good a workout as running, but without the pounding on your joints. You can gain long, lean muscle, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and build up your aerobic fitness all without doing damage to your joints and bones.

By the way ... have you ever seen the body of a competitive swimmer? You know they are extremely fit.

The only drawback to swimming is that you need access to a pool. Oh, and unlike me, you have to be comfortable in the water.

I wish I could swim.

▪ Cycling can be a great workout and it’s fun, too. When I’m training for a marathon and am feeling sore from all the running, I like to work in some time on the stationary bike at the gym.

I prefer cycling on the stationary bike because it doesn’t require owning a nice bike and it’s a lot safer than being out on the road.

One of the main drawbacks to road cycling is the safety factor. It requires knowing the rules of the road and being keenly aware of your surroundings at all times.

▪ I’ll be honest, I was once a skeptic of elliptical machines until I tried using one for myself. It’s a lot harder than it looks!

Elliptical machines can give you a good workout without the pounding of running.

According to a Runners World article, Meb Keflezighi trained on an outdoor elliptical bike as part of his cross training for the 2014 Boston Marathon, which he won.

Loss of a TNT family member

My Team In Training family was shattered last week with the sudden death of one of our most beloved members.

Elizete Postma, who was featured in a front page story in The Bee in November of 2012, passed away last week.

Ellie was a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lived in Riverbank. I spent two seasons training with her and getting to know her. I was always amazed by her ability to complete half-marathons, despite her history of cancer and heart ailments. During her time with Team In Training, she raised more than $27,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and she was national top fundraiser three times. She was truly an inspiration.

Colleague James Burns appropriately described her in his 2012 story as a “walking miracle.”

Here’s an excerpt from his story:

Elizete Postma is a fighter in the spiritual sense, the kind you should never – EVER! – count out.

She’s endured the loss of her mother, father, sister and brother, a life-changing move from Brazil to the United States, and a series of struggles with her health.

In 1993, when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma – the very same blood cancer that claimed her brother’s life — Postma responded with rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.

“I survived the biggest scare of my life,” she wrote on her blog, “and was ready to move forward full of faith, hope and optimism.”

I think that’s how Ellie would want all of us – those of us in the Team In Training family and anyone reading this column – to live our lives. With faith, hope and optimism.

She will be dearly missed.

Peace Officer Memorial Run

Doctors Medical Center is once again holding its Peace Officer Memorial Run on Oct. 4. The half-marathon, 5K and kids run begin at 8 a.m. According to the race website, the race was developed to honor the police officers from Stanislaus County who were killed in the line of duty.

The start/finish line is in front of the Gallo Center for the Arts in downtown Modesto.

Cost of the half-marathon is $63 until Sept. 15, then rises to $68 until the day of the race. The 5K is $33 until Sept. 15, then $38. The kids fun run is free.

You can download an entry form at

For more information on the race go to

Dusty Bottoms’ Beer run

The Dusty Bottoms Trail Runners group is holding a unique event on Saturday – its annual Beer Run. Here’s how it works: Guzzle a beer, run a quarter mile, guzzle another beer. Continue until you’ve completed four beers and a mile.

One note from the group: Barfing is a disqualification. For more, check out the group’s Facebook page.

It sounds like fun, but I’m not much of a drinker so I will pass. However, I may have some trail running in my future and the organization is serious about that.

Still waiting on new running store

Construction continues on the front of the new Fleet Feet running store in Modesto.

I called the store last week and there is still no specific date for the store’s opening, but it is expected to be sometime in the fall.

I’ll keep you posted.