What’s In His Hockey Gym Bag?
Dr. Michael Paralovos, D.C., official team chiropractor of the Florida Everblades, local adult hockey league forward, and owner of Total Health of Naples, shows us his workout must-haves and healthy tips on and off the ice.
Although Southwest Florida isn’t known for being an ice hockey hot spot, don’t tell that to Dr. Michael Paralovos. A native of the greater Toronto area, Paralovos grew up playing the sport, from camps as a small child all the way up to his time at Life University in Marietta, Georgia, where he was a member of two American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship teams.
So why would an avid ice hockey player and enthusiast move in 2012 to open a practice in snowbird heaven? “Hockey, of course,” Paralovos jokes, but the migration was largely because of the career opportunities the area provides, although “having an ice rink fifteen minutes [away] is appealing.” That would be Germain Arena, home to the Florida Everglades of the East Coast Hockey League (and minor league affiliate to the Carolina Hurricanes), for whom he is the official team chiropractor.
Between running his own practice and serving as team chiropractor, Paralovos still manages to get in some time on the ice himself as a forward for the Coyotes, a recreational men’s league team, where he sees three 12-minute periods of playing time each week at Germain Arena. To stay in shape for every game, he does CrossFit workouts on his days off and uses clean, healthful products whenever possible.
Stronger. Faster. Healthier PUSH Pre-Workout
Paralovos uses this energizing dietary supplement “when we have late games and I need to get that extra edge.” The brand’s purity of ingredients is also a huge draw. “There are not a lot of fillers, so it makes me feel good that I’m consuming [it], and it allows me to have the metabolic support needed for competition and before any workout … it’s a clean product.”
Bauer Hockey Stick / Pads / Helmet / Facemask
The top-of-the-line Bauer TotalOne Stick “just feels good in my hands; it’s the lightest one … basically all my equipment, elbow pads, shin pads, pants, are Bauer, except for my skates and gloves. The pros wear [Bauer], [and] if they’re good enough to wear it, I’m wearing it too.” (Not a hockey player but looking for a good helmet? Check this out, This Cycling Helmet May Save Your Life!)
With a taper fit that contours to a hockey player’s hand, Warrior Gloves “are the best I’ve ever worn. They are so soft and protective … [they’re] ready to go, [and] you don’t have to break them in. [Plus], you get good dexterity with the stick and the puck.”
Ortho Gel Padding
Paralovos uses Ortho Gel Padding to properly fit his feet in the skates, because “it’s not as simple as [just] putting on the skate; there’s all [this] prep work you have to do … [and], funny thing, I really don’t wear socks. When I was a kid, I went to a hockey camp and they said the pros don’t wear socks in their skates. From that day forward, I never wore socks again.” Although the pros definitely wear socks now, he wouldn’t want to mess with his routine. “I just use Ortho Gel [on my bare feet] because it’s sticky and I can put it on different areas and it holds in place … That’s why I use [it] — to rig up the skate.”
Rogue Lacrosse Ball
As a chiropractor, Paralovos knows that recovery is an important of any training regimen. Besides stretching, his go-to for maintaining mobility is the Rogue Lacrosse ball. “It’s easy to use, doesn’t require a big skill level, and you can break down the adhesions that build up from day-to-day life, whether from sleeping awkwardly or a long workout. You can [also] target certain areas, you don’t need a spotter, [plus] it doesn’t require a lot of space.”
Graf Hockey Skates
“Although [they’re] not popular in the NHL, I still wear Graf Skates. I’ve been wearing them since I was 15 years old … [either] they’re the most conducive skate to my feet or my feet have been formed to fit their skate — I couldn’t tell you at this point!” And although Paralovos only needs new skates every couple of years now, he sticks with the high-end model of Graf every time.