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6 Great Rehab Exercises For Runners

Posted on 14th November 2018 by

How much movement control do you have when you’re running? And why does it matter? 

There’s a really quick little test you can do to quickly screen stability and control in your leg – just take a look at the video below.

If it looks familiar to you, give the 6 great exercises demonstrated by Sports & Rehabilitation Therapist, Tom, a go.

Why is it important to have good movement control if you’re a runner? 

Many runners lack some crucial areas of control in the key leg muscle groups. Given the repetitive nature of running, often over great distances and with demands of endurance, lack of muscle control can put you at risk of picking up many common overuse injuries.

You can easily do all these exercises at home with a few simple pieces of equipment such as resistive band and a small step.

If you’d like more help or support, we offer a specialised Running Rehab service.

The aim of Running Rehabilitation is to help you:

  • Identify any potential issues with your running style, technique or training schedule.
  • Reduce risk of running related injuries.
  • Improve your running enjoyment and performance.

It’s a completely customised service, focused on you and your running to help you get the most benefit and enjoyment and a long term love for running!

Being pro-active about preventing injuries for runners is well worth the investment! When you’ve seen hundreds of frustrated runners who can’t run because of an injury, the disappointment is awful. So, investing some time doing a few simple exercises like those above is well worth it.

Other related pages that may be of interest to you

Running Injuries – The Basics

Achilles tendon injuries

Runners Knee – Patellofemoral Pain

Common Triathlon Injuries

Plantar Fasciitis

Running Rehab at goPhysio


National Stress Awareness Day: Can Exercise Help?

Posted on 2nd November 2018 by

National Stress Awareness Day is today and it aims to make people more aware of the impact stress National Stress Awareness Daycan have on your everyday life. It also aims to help people identify ways to deal with this stress and find a way to reduce it.

Research has shown that increased stress levels can lead to an increased risk of injury.

How do stress levels impact on injury risk?

  • Stress can increase muscular tension, which can then lead to aches and pain. Neck and back muscles are particularly prone to stress related tension.
  • Increased muscular tension can also lead to muscle strains or tears as the muscle is under a greater load and is less flexible than normal.
  • Stress levels may cause you to forget an important piece of equipment when working out, such as proper running shoes or corrective orthotic insoles. This places additional strain on your body, raising the risk of injury.
  • Stress on your time management might force you to exercise at different times, for example first thing in the morning when your muscles aren’t fully warmed up or last thing in the day when you are tired. It might also cause you to rush or not take as much care when you are exercising.
  • High stress levels can also reduce your body’s immunity levels, increasing the likelihood of a poor recovery from any minor injury.
  • You may also find that stress distracts you from the activity in front of you – whether that is exercising, working or even a simple task such as crossing the road or walking up stairs. This distraction could result in a sprained joint or pulled muscle.

Research has also suggested that stress can be reduced through regular exercise and movement.

How can exercise reduce my stress levels?

  • Exercise gives you something to focus on away from the cause of your stress.
    It helps to boost your mood by increasing self confidence, improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety.
  • Any form of exercise will help – even a short walk at lunch time or getting off the bus a stop early allows you to get some fresh air and takes your mind away from stressful thoughts.
  • A flexibility based exercise, such as Pilates or Yoga, will help to reduce muscle tension and can help ease aching related to this.
  • Scheduling some time specifically for exercising may also help as it will give your day structure and breaks up time spent sat in front of the computer!
  • If you exercise with friends, colleagues or family, the social element of this will again boost your mood and reduce stress levels.
  • Find a new sport or something fun to do – there are lots of different things out there to try!

Many people find a regular, professional sports or deep tissue massage can be a really great way to relieve the build up of stress and tension physically. It also gives you time to yourself to unwind.

Here are the top 10 steps to stress free living from International Stress Management Association UK.

National Stress Awareness Day

#NationalStressAwarenessDay


Train for the slopes

Posted on 1st November 2018 by

Ski holiday goPhysio

Join us for an evening packed full of information & advice on getting slope ready on Monday 26th November from 6.30pm – get your tickets here

Skiing and snowboarding are a fantastic form of exercise, challenging both our muscles and our cardio vascular system in an extremely enjoyable way. Both require a significant amount of strength and endurance to stay on the slopes for the duration of holiday.  Unfortunately, most of us have not prepared enough in advance to meet the demands of what is required.

Most of the injuries we see in the clinic throughout the year are not as a result of a sudden traumatic injury, like a big fall leading to a broken bone. Instead, the most common injuries are a result of an imbalance between the loads/stresses we put through our body versus their ability to tolerate that load.  The level of tolerance we have is variable and is constantly changing in adaption to our current activity levels.  For example, a marathon runner training to do a marathon can gradually adapt to slowly building their weekly mileage over the training program so that they can tolerate the full 26.2 miles.  If they then don’t run for a few months they wouldn’t be able to run another marathon again without have to train again as their level of tolerance would slowly ebb away leaving them prone to an injury.

Exactly the same applies to skiing and boarding injuries. 

Now unfortunately, the UK doesn’t have many mountains to get some regular practice on!  This means that skiing/snowboarding tends to be something we don’t do all year then suddenly we go away and are on the mountain for 5 hours or so for 6 days a week straight.  That is a dramatic and sudden change in the load and demands we put through our body.  This increase in demand can cause the tissues to become sensitive and painful.  This then causes them to lose tolerance (their ability to cope)  and can mean that everyday activities can start to aggravate them further (more commonly known as an overuse injury). Such injuries then tend to become a vicious cycle of pain, rest, recover, start exercising again, pain, rest………a cycle that needs to be broken to avoid you having to limit what you do and have a life impacted by recurrent pain.

The good news is, you can do a lot to prevent getting such an injury on the slopes. 

Whilst it is difficult to practice skiing/snowboarding in advance of going (there are indoor slopes and dry skiing slopes around, which we encourage you to visit in advance to get used to the demands) you can still take measures to reduce the risks of such overuse injuries. By training your body in another way, we can help give it the ability to deal with the demands that we are likely to put through it over the course of the holiday. 

Over the course of a week, just imagine what physical demands are placed on your body during such a physical task such as skiing or snowboarding?!

To prepare for this, you can increase your body’s ability to cope with those increased demands by strengthening and conditioning your body, which will increase it’s tolerance levels. The best way of doing this is through doing specific strengthening exercises.  Whilst bodyweight exercises are a good start, the ideal method would be through resistance training using weights or resistance machines.

However, the weights area of a gym can be a daunting place if you’ve never used weights before, and even if you have, what are the best exercises to do? What muscles or areas should you target for skiing or boarding? How many repetitions? How many sets? It can all be very confusing!

Let us help you!

Here at goPhysio we’ve set up a 6 week program aimed at getting you prepared for skiing/snowboarding and giving you an introduction into strength training in a friendly, supportive and knowledgeable environment. 

If you’re interested in getting the most out of your holiday, now’s the time to start! (You’d be shocked to hear how many people come in 5 days before their holiday with a knee injury they’ve had for 6 months, wanting us to wave a magic wand!!)

  1. Your first session will be a 1-2-1 Snow Start Up Session. In this practical 1 hour session, Physio Chris will find out more about you and your skiing or boarding level, any injuries or concerns, your fitness and holiday plans. From this he will create a bespoke, guided exercise programme for you to do at goPhysio over the following 5 weeks. This session will be led by Physio Chris, who has previously worked with British ParaSnowSport, bringing his experience into selecting the most suitable exercises to getting you ready for the slopes.
  2. 5 x 1 hour Practical Sessions During each of your 5 following 1 hour practical sessions, you will work on your program alongside 2 other attendees, in our fully equipped Strong Room. This will be under the guidance and supervision of one of our Sports & Rehabilitation Therapists, who will be on hand to adjust your exercises, add new challenges and monitor your progress.
  3. Review Once you’ve come to the end of your 5 sessions, Physio Chris will carry out a review of your progress, and support you with your goals from there!

This package costs £210 (payable in advance) and you can book your Snow Start Up by calling 023 8025 3317.

Want to read more about skiing or snowboarding injuries? Take a look at these other articles:

The benefit of Pilates for winter sports

5 Tips to Survive the Slopes this Winter

More about Physio Chris and his Snowsport experience


 

 


Speak Up and Speak Out About Stress

Posted on 1st November 2018 by

This week is National Stress Awareness Week, with Wednesday being National Stress Awareness Day. So here we take a look at what stress is really doing to our  National Stress Awareness Day bodies and how we can both recognise it and combat it.

What is stress?

Stress is anything which exerts pressure on us beyond our individual ability to cope. It has traditionally been thought of as a flight or fight response; increasing our alertness, muscle tone and heart rate to respond to a perceived threat. However modern-day stress can come in many forms such as workplace pressures, relationship issues, juggling family commitments or looking after a sick relative, which can all take their toll.

What happens when we are stressed?

When we are stressed our body releases chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are imperative for our survival, however if their levels are sustained for a prolonged period they will start to impact on our physical health and affect many different organs in our body.

Symptoms of stress

Symptoms of stress can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Indecisiveness
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic muscle pain
  • Over or under eating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Reflux
  • Increased risk of diabetes, heart conditions and stroke
  • Increased susceptibility to colds and viruses

Can exercise help with stress?

Yes! Exercise helps lower our blood pressure, reduce the levels of stress hormones in our body, improve our mood, our muscle flexibility and tone, as well as distracting us from other stressors and helping us to get a good night’s sleep.

Great forms of stress-busting exercise include classes such as Pilates, tai chi and yoga, which focus on breathing and flexibility of the body. They also give us the opportunity to ‘check in’ with ourselves and become more aware of how we are feeling physically and mentally. Whilst this gives us some much needed me-time, classes can also be a great social opportunity which is perfect for boosting our mood!

The ISMA (international stress management association) has come up with 7 positive ways to influence stress

1. Change the thought – Change the outcome

This is the starting point, reprogramming your brain by replacing an unhelpful negative thought or belief with a new positive one. Use your imagination to visualise or ‘show’ your brain what you want. The power of the mind cannot be over-estimated!

2. Self-belief starts with you

This is an empowering way of taking more control in your life rather than relying on others to make you feel good. Do something fun or caring for yourself today!

3. Don’t just do what you did last year

Repeating what you always do will bring you the same outcome unless others change & this is not in your control. So if you didn’t like all that happened last year make plans & set new goals, do something different!

4. Deal with difficult decisions now, not later

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” We all know this but positive action is required to make it happen. Prioritize & do the difficult tasks first in the day so you have a clear focus for the rest of the day making you less stressed & more productive!

5. Find reasons to say “yes”

“I would love to but….” here comes the negative reason why you can’t! It can be a really positive experience to just say yes, if it is possible & what you want, then try to find ways that will allow you the opportunity, maybe you need others to persuade you, take control & decide for yourself!

6. Renegotiate

Stuck with what you have always had & now want a change? Look at learning to develop & use your assertive skills, ask for what you want, discuss your changing needs, expectations with yourself & others to reach the deal that works for you!

7. Flip it!

There are always two sides to every situation, sometimes more. Take time to look at all your options, don’t just assume, maybe ask others & make informed choices based on facts!

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