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Gifts for the Gear + Tech Fanatic

Brett Cain - Physical Therapist with Hulst Jepsen
Brett has been a licensed physical therapist with Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy for over seven years. He is passionate about treating runners and loves to distance run himself. He’s competed in a variety of distances including marathon, 25K, and half-marathon local races. When he’s not treating patients, he’s solo hiking out West in the mountains or on a trail/beach locally with his dog, Jackson. “I value the deeply rooted connection to the heart running has in my patients and in myself personally. No matter what life throws at me, I can always come back to some miles to ground me. I think this is why it means so much to me to get people back to running!” Injury prevention and recovery are paramount in Brett’s pursuit of maximizing the passion for runners. As with any fitness activity, strength/endurance is critical during training miles, but here are his top items/gifts to compliment any runner’s exercise routine.

Here are Brett's top picks:

Running Watch
Analysis of your run has become the mainstay of controlling your injury risk. Metrics like Heart Rate, Cadence, Rating of Perceived Exertion, and even VO2 Max are common to assess the intensity of your running. My favorite is Garmin’s Forerunner line of watches. These can help you, a running coach, or even your physical therapist establish the best running plan.

Self-myofascial release tools
(Pin rollers, percussion massage guns, foam rollers, muscle release ball)– My favorite is the Hypervolt 2 with various attachments for a variety of intensities and body regions. And if you’re really looking for a deep massage Gazelle Sports’ line of R8 muscle rollers from ROLL recovery offer the deepest level of muscle input. REMEMBER, muscle release tools are only as effective as the complimentary strength training you include.

Electrolytes BEFORE your workouts
(Nuun tablets are my favorite) – I can’t say enough about hydration and electrolyte balance in preparation for any runner’s weekly mileage. Most endurance athletes are under-hydrated for their goals. A Hydroflask, an “Opt-Outside sticker,” and a tube of Nuun tablets are stocking stuffer gold.

Recovery compression
Compression can be effective in assisting your lymphatic system’s disposal of waste byproducts from a challenging run. From Gazelle’s CEP brand compression stockings to the high end Recovery Air pneumatic system by Theragun, compression can be a nice way to get you up and down the stairs better after those tougher miles. My recipe after a long run Saturday morning is CEP stockings and afternoon college football binge.

Proper shoe wear for YOUR foot
Did you know you can see any Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy location to have a physical therapist comment on your specific foot structure and offer you a Gazelle Sports coupon for your next shoe purchase? We even offer COMPLIMENTARY gait analysis at the Grand Rapids Gazelle store on Mondays!

Furry companion love!
My closest running buddy is my 2 yr-old German Shorthair Pointer. And believe me, he can out-run me any day. When we’re not duck or pheasant hunting, we’re on the trail or the road together. It’s vital for me to keep him safe and me comfortable when we’re logging miles together. So, it’s a must to have a Stunt Runner orange/reflective leash that is elastic and keeps my hands free and my pup safe. Perfect gift for any dog owner whether you walk your dog or try to race your canine!