Monday’s intense 49er victory reminded us what hard work and dedicated training (and maybe a little bit of luck) can bring. While Niner fans get ready to say goodbye to Candlestick Park, we thought it would be fitting to tell you about our recent sit down with one of the ‘Stick’s legendary players, Roger Craig.
The Davenport, Iowa-born football legend is a four-time Pro Bowl player and three-time Super Bowl winner. As a record-setting running back for the San Francisco 49ers – he ran for 8,189 yards in his career and was the first player to accumulate more than 1,000 yards rushing and more than 1,000 receiving in a single season – Craig made the playoffs all eight years he was with the Bay Area team. Did we mention he earned his black belt in taekwondo?
Craig’s commitment to excellence in athleticism didn’t stop with retirement from the NFL in 1993. He became an avid marathon runner, competing in Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons in San Diego and Arizona. “Running to me is everything,” said the inventor of Running the Hill, a routine that Jerry Rice later adopted. “It wakes me up, it motivates me. It keeps me alive. Without running, it’s like I’m not alive. It’s like I’m a walking dead, a walking stiff.” In 2006, he built on that passion by bringing the Rock ‘n’ Roll series to San Jose. Since then he has run over five marathons, and runs nearly 40 miles per week. (Roger told us he ran 10 miles that morning, like it “ain’t no thing.”)
It should come as no surprise that the widely hailed “all-purpose running back” still trains like an athlete. He believes in endurance, versatility, strength and structure. His mission? To maintain his fitness, avoid injury, and steer clear from chronic diseases that are preventable (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, and obesity), an unfortunately common occurrence Craig sees in his fellow retired NFL players. Also common in retired NFL players: aches and pains. A Washington Post survey of retired NFL players found that nearly nine in 10 report suffering from aches and pains daily, with an astonishing 91 percent connecting nearly all their pains to football. Craig credits ongoing conditioning with what keeps him running across finish lines, rather than to the hospital for joint and hip replacements.
For Craig, maintaining his health and fitness means more than just keeping those signature high knees up. He’s also a believer in regular blood testing. Like the WellnessFX team, Craig believes that knowledge is powerful medicine. “I specialize in connecting the dots,” he said.
“As a former NFL player, I’ve learned the importance of continuing to train and keep on top of regular biomarker testing to keep myself at peak health. Thanks to this, I feel as good today as I did in the 80s, and companies like WellnessFX are leading the charge to make this possible for everyone.”
Blood testing is a proactive step that empowers you to take control of your heart health and avoid inflammation. From liver and kidney function, to blood sugar, vitamin and electrolyte levels, measuring biomarkers to manage health is integral to achieving progress over time. For athletes looking to achieve peak performance, it is essential to monitor performance hormones, advanced nutrients, and metabolism.
Today, Craig maintains health by measuring his biomarkers alongside training and conditioning. He feels great and is actually 10 lbs. down from his “fighting weight” during the Superbowl (where he was 10 lbs. more muscular).
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.