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Why youngsters should play multiple sports

Posted on 9th May 2018 by

With the end of season finally upon us for many of our most popular kids sports, we’re seeing a huge spike in the number of youngsters we’re seeing in the clinic with injuries. Unfortunately, many of the most common growth related injuries (Severs, Osgoods Schlatters, Sinding Larson etc.) affect the most active and sporty children at a time they are experiencing growth spurts. Although there is a part of this that we can’t control (growth!), what we are seeing increasingly contribute to the injuries these kids are presenting with is very frequent, intense participation in single sports. We also see this across a huge spectrum of sports, so football, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, dance & more!

Our sporting culture here in the UK (and many other countries too) is to ‘pigeon hole’ children into a single sport from a very early age. Before they know it, children are training / playing / competing / performing in a single sport 5 – 7 days a week! Unfortunately, much of this early specialisation in single sports is driven by the coaches and/or teams. Parents and children fear that if they don’t specialise and fully commit to a single sport they are risking their chance and future success.

The intentions of most parents, coaches and teams is well meaning – the more they train or practice for the sport, surely the better they’ll get and the higher the chances of ‘success’ (defining what success is is a whole other topic that won’t be covered here!).

However, all the evidence points towards the opposite being true – there are many benefits to playing multiple sports and risks to early specialisation in a single sport. The title image of this blog was recently published in the Sports Business Journal, why kids shouldn’t specialise in one sport is discussed here.

The benefits of playing multiple sports

  • Improved sporting performance – studies suggest playing multiple sports at a young age will actually enhance sporting performance in the long run
  • Between the crucial development ages of 6 – 12, playing multiple sports will enhance development of fundamental movement skills
  • Increased athleticism, strength and conditioning – playing a single sport can improve skill for that particular sport, but can limit overall athletic ability
  • Increase chance of developing a lifelong love of playing sport / exercising – if enjoyment, fun and variety are the focus, children are less likely to burnout
  • Develops a more creative athlete by exposure to many skills, situations and environments

The risks to early specialisation in sport

  • Injuries – repeated movement and demands placed upon developing bodies can increase risk of injury. The more movement variety youngsters have, the less risk they have go picking up an injury.
  • Burnout (see the great infographic below on how to prevent this).
  • Social isolation – commitment in hours to training, travel and competing can have an impact on a youngsters social life.
  • Early over-professionalisation – sport is seen in an adult, commercial context with winning being the main focus.

Burnout in young athletes

The crux of it is, for the majority of youngsters, taking part in sport is a way for children to develop well physically, have fun, enjoy activity with friends and importantly install lifelong love of being physically active to help them live a healthy life!

Unfortunately for many sports, naivety from the top won’t change things, it’s very shortsighted and their well-meaning intentions don’t actually have the health and wellbeing of children as a priority. However, sports such as Hockey, do give a glimmer of hope. Their Player Pathway is an excellent example of a great framework for specialisation.

  • They don’t identify ‘talent’ until players reach 12/13
  • Their over riding aim is to “provide fun, enjoyable, learning for every player”
  • They develop close links with local clubs and schools
  • They provide an extra 6-10 hours training a season for ‘talented’ players which then leads to a very structured pathway of progression
  • Children can continue playing for their local and/or school team

So, what’s the takeaways from this:

  • Evidence suggests that children should take part in multiple sports and avoid specialisation until they reach adolescence (around 13, The American Association of Paediatrics says 15)
  • Offer lot’s of opportunities to they different sports and activities whenever you can
  • The focus should be on fun and enjoyment
  • If they do get an injury, seek professional advice. That may need specific guidance on an exercise programme, training programme and activity modification to help them

You can read another great article on the subject here.

benefits of playing multiple sports for children

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Walking Resources

Posted on 1st May 2018 by

May is National Walking Month, encouraging people to find their feet and pound the pavements or countryside more!

There are lot’s of initiatives, tools and groups set up to help encourage and promote more walking. Walking combined with socialising, whether it be with family of new found friends, will boost your enjoyment and also your likelihood of continuing.

Here are some great walking resources

Walk Unlimited is a fab resource that delivers walking advice and projects. Their aim is to reduce barriers to walking and to ensure that the public have free access to high quality information.

Walks With Buggies has some routes and free information for those wanting to find buggy friendly walks.

National Parks has a huge range of walks, easily categorised by walker or interest. They also do guided walks.

Health Walks are run by Eastleigh Borough Council. The walks take about 1 hour and and are a great way to socialise and get some exercise. They take place frequently throughout the week, covering different areas. They also offer a gentler walk too.

Eastleigh Ramblers are another fantastic resource, take a look at their regular walks.

Nordic Walking is another alternative way of getting out and about and exercising through walking.

Read More 

The ‘Magic’ 10,000 Steps A Day

10 Steps To An Active You

#NationalWalkingMonth


Runners! When injury strikes, what do you do? We’d like to find out more!

Posted on 27th April 2018 by

Running project goPhysio

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE!

We work with hundreds of runners, from couch to 5k enthusiasts just starting out their running journey to ultra marathon runners. We more often than not see them to help, when pain or injury has impacted on what they love to do – run! However, we know that so many runners who are injured seek other sources of help to get them back running after an injury.

Are you a runner who’s been injured in the last year or so? If so, goPhysio are interested to hear more about your experiences and what matters most to you. Many runners ask a fellow runner for injury advice, take a ‘wait and see approach’ or do their own research online with mixed results. goPhysio are interested in finding out more about your frustrations and successes when an injury gets in the way of your love of running.

So, if you have 5 minutes to spare, please click on this link to tell us more about your experiences.

Many thanks.

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On Your Feet Britain!

Posted on 24th April 2018 by

This Friday, On Your Feet Britain are challenging the nation to get On Your Feet. This is the fourth national day, when 1 million workers across Britain will be encouraged and challenged to sit less & move more.On Your Feet Britain

Awareness of the “Sitting Disease” has rocketed up in recent years. Standing desks are certainly becoming more commonplace, in fact our offices at goPhysio have 2 standing desk work stations.

Is it time your workplace joined in the fun event to take James Brown at his word?

Join 1 million office workers #SitLess and #MoveMore by signing up your workplace to this free event and see a different aspect of your colleagues.

Here’s some ideas to get you moving

  • Here’s a thought, instead of emailing the person opposite, do something revolutionary – walk over & talk face to face. It’s a good way to do business & it’ll do you good.
  • Ditch your usual lunch ‘al desko’ and take a stroll outside. You’ll get a spring in your step and feel better for it.
  • Make phone calls standing up. You’ll feel more confident and burn more calories than sitting.
  • Run a lunchtime fitness workshop, class or guided walk.
  • Add a walking meeting to your day.
  • Have 1 less chair at a meeting. With every change in the agenda item, move around and swap who stands.
  • Walk to work or get off the bus a few stops early.
  • Set a timer or reminder to break up prolonged periods of time on the computer to remind you to stand up & move about regularly.
  • Drink more water – you’ll have no choice but to get up regularly to visit the loo!

Why not take it on as an office challenge & free yourself from the office chair for the day. Find fun & easy ideas online to take part.

So Friday 27th April 2018 is your chance to get the ball rolling and encourage your employees and colleagues to take a stand. Team up with colleagues and see how much “sitting time” you can reduce on the day.

Sign up today at onyourfeet.org.uk

Read more: Is standing the new sitting?

#SitLess #MoveMore

On Your Feet Britain 2018

 

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The London Marathon 2018 – Reflections As A Spectator

Posted on 23rd April 2018 by

WOW! What an experience it was, going to London to watch my Sister Helen, in her first London Marathon yesterday! I’m still buzzing from the energy and excitement of the day.

The London Marathon is one of the biggest and most popular mass participation events in the world! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the day. Given that I like to be prepared, I did a fair bit of research so that we would see Helen at a few points, whilst keeping our travel efficient and manageable. Here’s how our day panned out!

Setting Off

We were traveling up from Winchester & Southampton, so decided to park at Westfield, where day charges are pretty reasonable, there are good tube links and we were the right side of London for getting home at the end of the day. It was an early (7am) start, so we could make sure we got parked and allowed enough time for traveling to our first viewing point.

Stop 1

From Westfield, we took the Central Line from Shepherd’s Bush to Bank. And from Bank we took the DLR (thankfully the industrial action strike was called off) to the Cutty Sark. We had originally planned to get off at Greenwich DLR, which on reflection I think we should have done, as the Cutty Sark station and area was very busy – but it worked out OK.

London Marathon Mile 6From the Cutty Sark DLR station we walked past the Cutty Sark, through the University of Greenwich gardens, to Romney Road – directly opposite the National Maritime Museum. This point was just after Mile 6. We arrived there in ample time, by around 10am. At this point we had great, unobstructed views of the route. We were right near a drinks station for the Elite men. Referring to the really handy Pace Guide (from the Marathon website) we timed our arrival so that we’d see the Elite men pass, which they did at around 10.28am.

It was amazing watching these athletes speed past us – great to see and it really got the crowds going, ready for the masses.

The masses started coming through 10 or 15 minutes later. Such a sight! The cheering and encouragement was infectious and we were soon carried away, calling out the names on the shirts of passing runners, ‘high fiving’ those on our side and clapping away! The heat really was intense and some runners were already struggling at mile 6.

The Marathon App was fantastic. You could enter the race numbers of those you wanted to see and track their location real time – this was absolutely invaluable. With so many runners, it was difficult to spot people, so if you knew to expect them coming, you were much less likely to miss them.

We also made some flags and had them on extendable flag poles (a fantastic find – light and collapsed down to fit in my bag!). Just bought plain flags from eBay and used iron on transfer paper for our personal message – very cheap and effective!

Having the flags meant our runner could easily spot us in amongst the spectators. We had also told Helen where to expect to see us and she wrote the miles on her arm, so she had a quick reference to refer to so she’d know when to look out. These 2 things she said really helped – without the flags, it would have been very hard for her to have seen us.

So, our plans all worked out and we were beyond excited to see Helen run towards us still looking fresh and full of energy at Mile 6. A quick passing high 5 and some encouraging cheers, and she was on her way!

 London Marathon Mile 6 spectators  London Marathon Mile 6 Runner Jesus at Marathon Cutty Sark Marathon Greenwich Marathon

Stop 2

And so were we! From here, we walked back through the University Gardens, past the Cutty Sark and went under the Thames via the Greenwich foot tunnel to the Isle of Dogs. There was a very short wait to access the tunnel but it was very well managed. It was only open 1 way, so you couldn’t have accessed it to get the other direction.

From the other side of the Thames, we made our way through Millwall Park up to East Ferry Road (near the Mudchute DLR). This took us about half an hour or so.

We found a great spot to watch just after Mile 17. There were lots of grassy banks to rest on and have some much needed refreshments. Again the app was fab, as we could see exactly when to look out for Helen.

At Mile 17 she was still looking amazing – lots of smiles and full of energy!

As we left this point and walked up towards mile 18, there were lots of runners walking and stopping at the side of the road. Not sure if people hit a bit of a wall at this point, but we definitely saw some struggling.

Our plan from here was to walk up to Westferry DLR Station and see Mile 20 but we realised this was unrealistic and so we amended our plans.

Stop 3

Instead we walked to Canary Wharf DLR station. It took a while to get over the footbridge to Canary Wharf, so this slowed us down quite a bit (it may have been easier to try and get on the DLR at Crossharbour or South Quay). From Canary Wharf, we took the Jubilee line toLondon Waterloo. This tube was BUSY (and hot & sweaty, nice!). The driver advised the passengers that it was unlikely they were going to stop at Westminster due to congestion, so advised people to get off at Waterloo. We’d already hear it wasn’t advised to try and access the end via Westminster, so had already planned to get off at Waterloo – which was a wise move.

From Waterloo, we headed straight to Waterloo Bridge (again avoiding Westminster Bridge). Tracking Helen on the app, it was a race against time as she was running along Victoria Embankment towards the bridge as we were in the bridge! So, we literally had to run to see her! We successfully spotted her between miles 24 and 25 as she ran under the bridge – with a great view from the bridge.

Had we known that timing would have been so tight, we would have tried to move faster from our previous stop. We would then have had time to get down to Victoria Embankment to see her from the ground.

The End

From Waterloo Bridge, we walked up towards Trafalgar Square, up The Mall and under Admiralty Arch to the meeting point. Meeting points were labelled according to finishers surname. They weren’t easy to find given the sheer volume of people, but the official helpers were great at pointing us in the right direction. Checking the app, we could see that she’d finished and should be on her way.

4 hours 10 minutes – brilliant! 

We spotted Helen walking to the meeting point and it was congratulatory hugs and celebrations all round! She was full of smiles and had an amazing run.

It was pretty overwhelming seeing all these runners celebrating their achievements with their medals proudly hung round their necks, wearing their finishers T Shirts. We even saw a marriage proposal!

 

From here we all headed for a much needed cool drink and finally made our way home.

This spectator route certainly needed some level of fitness! We clocked up over 20,000 steps and covered almost 15km! But we certainly couldn’t complain about our sore feet & legs having witnessed the extremes the runners pushed themselves to!

This plan was based on timing for a 4 hour marathon, so could obviously be adjusted accordingly for different times.

Alternative Plan

Our alternative (less ambitious plan or had the DLR strike gone ahead) was to have travelled from Westfield to Tower Hill and watched at Mile 13/14 The Highway and then again at Mile 22 The Highway. Some of Helen’s other supporters chose this option, which worked really well. The added bonus of this for the runner was that they saw some familiar faces at 4 points during the race, which was a real motivator!

Top Tips

Having reflected on the day and our plans, it all worked out great! Here are our top tips!

  • Take plenty of food and drink. The schedule was pretty tight and everywhere was so busy, that there wasn’t much time for stopping off for refreshments. We did find an Asda at Mile 17, but the lunch time food selection was already sold out by the time we got there, so we had to be creative!
  • Download the app to track your runners – absolutely invaluable.
  • Take some flags or similar accessory and make your runner(s) aware of it. It will really help them find you amongst the crowds.
  • Get the runners to write on their arm which miles to expect to see you. This will really help motivate them and remind them to look out for you.
  • Prepare for the weather adequately! On reflection, we needed sun hats, sun screen and flip flops given the unprecedented heat this year. However, we could have just as likely needed rain coats & hoodies – it’s a long day out in the open, so do bring the right clothing.
  • If you want to go for something to eat and/or drink after the event, think about booking somewhere. Everywhere is, unsurprisingly, extremely busy. Make sure you allow enough time to get there from your meeting point too, the crowds definitely slow everything down!
  • Have fun – it really is a fantastic day!

More Info

  • You can sponsor Helen (who ran for Sense) here.
  • Read Helen’s marathon blog here.

#SpiritOfLondon #VirginLondonMarathon

 

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Easter Giveaway Competition!

Posted on 28th March 2018 by

We’ve got an Easter Giveaway! Foam Roller Workshop

We’re giving away 2 free places on one of our foam roller workshops!

To be in with a chance of winning a place for you and a friend all you need to do is:

  • Head on over to our Facebook page, like the page and then tag a friend who you’d like to join you in the foam roller workshop on the giveaway post.

OR

  • Head on over to twitter and tweet a friend in the comments section of the pinned Easter Giveaway post.

OR

  • Head on over to Instagram and tag a friend in the comments section of the Easter Giveaway post.

We’ll be randomly selecting a winner next week. Both you and your nominated friend will win a space in your chosen foam roller workshop.


T&Cs

  1. The promoter is: goPhysio Ltd.
  2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of goPhysio and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are outlined above.
  6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  7. Closing date for entry will be 2nd April 2018. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  9. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  10. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  11. The prizes are outlined above.
  12. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  13. Winners will be chosen at random from all entries received and verified by Promoter.
  14. The winners will be notified on Social Media (Facebook or Twitter) and/or letter within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  15. The prize can be collected from goPhysio’s clinic.
  16. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  17. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  18. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by [English] law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of [England].
  19. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  20. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network.
  21. goPhysio shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions, such change shall be effective immediately upon posting to this webpage.
  22. goPhysio also reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.

 

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Science & Exercise – getting you the best results!

Posted on 28th March 2018 by

When we are putting together an exercise based rehab programme for you as part of your recovery, there’s a lot that goes on behind it. To get you the best possible results and outcome, we want you to be working on the right things in the right way, not only helping you recover from your injury but helloing you building term, physical durability.

At goPhysio your bespoke programme will be constructed and tailored specifically to you using evidence-based research.

Here you can see an example of the top five exercises proven to target the glutes and hamstrings most effectively.

Hamstring Muscle activation

Gluteus Medius muscle activation

Gluteus maximus muscle activation

So, if you want an effective recovery plan from your injury, read more about our bespoke small group rehabilitation here.


goRUN10 – New Running Training Programme to get you to 10k

Posted on 26th March 2018 by

goRun10 10 Running ProgrammeNew Training Programme to get you to 10k!

We are delighted to be teaming up with Mike Chambers, from Next Step Running, to offer you a fully supported run coaching programme, to get you beyond 5k!

With a new Eastleigh 10k date, this is the perfect chance to refocus and get the expert support and guidance to run 10k!

Achieve your goals! Learn lifelong running skills!

Book your place online here! 


What does the programme include?

This unique programme is the perfect combination of a practical running programme with an experienced, qualified coach alongside an informative schedule of educational and practical sessions, structured to support your long term running journey.

The programme will run on a Wednesday evening from 6.30 – 8pm.

Week 1, 11the April –  Introduction to the running programme & getting to know you. This will include what to expect from the programme, outline of the training plan and a gauge of where you all are, so that the programme can be tailored accordingly. We will cover some key important issues in running, so that you can get the most from the programme and maintain lifelong love of running!

Weeks 2 – 9, 25th April – 13th June – These weekly sessions will include a 1 hour supervised run, including not only running but drills, technique, strength and conditioning work and more. There will also be a 30minute practical or educational workshop, covering a different topic each week. These sessions will include the following:

  • Warm up and cool down – dynamic stretching vs static stretching – why & how.
  • 10k Training – key components – interval training, threshold & tempo runs, hills, the long run and running easy.
  • Tapering and last week preparation.
  • Strength training for runners.
  • Foam rolling for runners.
  • Race day – hydration & fuelling, pacing for 10k, post race recovery
  • Pilates for runners.
  • Managing load & capacity, making sure you avoid injury.

By adding this unique, educational element, to your running programme, you will benefit from being able to ‘run better’ – avoiding injuries, achieving your goals and loving your running!

Why would I benefit from a supported running coach programme?

With access to so many online training plans, running apps, free running groups and with running training programmes in every magazine, Running Coaching can be seen as a luxury only needed for elite level athletes. Surely everyone can run anyway? It’s just a matter of how fast and how far! You just need a pair of trainers!

But think again! Recreational runners arguably benefit more from a structured running programme with a qualified, experienced Running Coach than those club level racing snakes!

Too many runners do the same run several times a week, run too hard too often, plateau and / or pick up an injury. These issues can really hamper enjoyment of running and progress and often cause people to give up on running. With the right education, guidance and support, we can help you avoid this.

Having a structured programme with a Coach will motivate you, challenge you when they think you can give more, but more often than not recognise when you need to back off and take it easy!  A Coach will structure your week so you include all the key components to make you a fitter, stronger and faster runner.

How much is the programme?

The 9 week programme costs £79. This will include:

  • Week 1 introductory session
  • Bespoke 8 week training programme based on 3 sessions per week
    • 8 x 1.5 hour weekly sessions with the Running Coach & goPhysio
    • 2 x homework sessions to do with the rest of your group or on your own in between
  • Support on creating more variety in your running, including hill sessions,interval training and strength & conditioning work, with lots of support and tips to help you build strength and speed throughout the sessions
  • Email support throughout the programme
  • 10% off at goPhysio for Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy or Sports Massage, should you need it

Who is this for?

This programme is suitable for those who are able to run at least 5k. Maybe you’re a Parkrun regular but aren’t sure how to get to the next level. You may have signed up to the Eastleigh 10k but heaved a sigh of relief when it got postponed as you weren’t ready. Maybe you’ve run comfortably on your own but now want some extra support in a group environment. Or it might be you’ve recently returned to running from an injury and want to make sure you are armed with the right skills and knowledge so you don’t get injured again?

Places are limited, please book your place here or to find out more or if you have any questions, email fiona@gophysiotherapy.co.uk

 

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Easing Post Run Soreness

Posted on 18th March 2018 by

You’ve done it, you’ve got off the couch and finished that run! Whether it’s a gentle recreational run, a 10k or a full marathon, post run soreness can be part of the journey. It’s just your muscles adapting to the additional demands placed upon them, which is good!

You can read more about post exercise pain here.

There are some tried and tested steps you can take, that help to ease post run soreness. Here’s a few from our Sports Therapist, Tom.

  1. Rest

It may seem obvious but resting from physical exertion will allow sore muscles time to rebuild. However, there is a big difference between complete rest and active recovery. Complete rest can result in decreased range of motion and prolonged soreness. Active recovery is defined by a light workout comprising of lower intensity and volume which facilitates the removal of waste products and restores normal resting length of muscles. For example, a runner with sore legs may opt for 30 minutes on a static bike at a steady pace.

  1. Sports Massage

Muscle soreness following a run can be effectively eased with sports massage. The massage techniques used will decrease exercise-induced inflammation, improve blood flow and reduce muscle tightness. Sports massage can also have an effect on the nervous system by down-regulating it to allow the muscles to relax. Manual therapy techniques can stimulate the lymphatic system which helps drain swelling and by-products of exercise out of the damaged muscles. Increased blood flow to these areas will bring new nutrient-rich blood to facilitate the repair phase following intense exercise. You can book your sports massage online here.

  1. Self-Myofascial Release

Performed using tools such as foam rollers, trigger point balls, massage sticks, etc. Similar to massage, this technique allows you to self-treat by targeting the muscles that need it most. You will be able to ease inflammation, improve blood flow and restore the normal resting length of muscles. Read more about foam rolling here. If you want to learn more, why not come along to one of our monthly foam rolling practical workshops.

  1. Food & Hydration

You can utilise a few simple nutrition strategies to restore homeostasis and facilitate muscle repair. Eat high-glycemic fruits and starchy vegetables following exercise to replenish glycogen stores in muscles. Antioxidants present in these foods can also aid tissue repair and recovery. Eating foods high in protein (such as eggs) can enhance energy production and stimulate protein synthesis, which repairs damaged muscles from intense training. Fish oils (omega 3) also contain anti-inflammatory properties which will help ease post-race soreness.

A reduction in hydration of only 2 percent is enough to have detrimental effects on maximal strength and athletic performance due to a drop in blood plasma volume. This limits the amount of nutrients and energy received by the working muscles. Drink frequently throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and reduce the risk of delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

  1. Sleep

Make sure you get between 7-8hours of sleep each night. Sleep is important as it not only restores brain function and alertness, but it also regulates growth hormone release and protein synthesis. Your muscles do all their repair work whilst you sleep, so getting enough shut-eye is crucial when training. During the restorative phase of sleep your blood pressure drops, breathing slows and blood flows to the muscles and soft tissue that need repair.

  1. Compression

Specific garments can be worn during and after intense exercise to reduce the amount of residual inflammation in working tissues. We know that muscles are damaged when we exercise, this damage causes inflammation which can also irritate nerve endings and result in prolonged pain/soreness. The idea behind compression is to limit the space available for soft tissues to swell with inflammation, thus reducing pain levels. Compression with movement will also facilitate the removal of waste products and inflammation out of working/damaged tissues.

  1. Heat

It is well established that heat can be a great pain-reliever. Applying heat to sore muscles can encourage a relaxation effect. The warmth will also vasodilate blood vessels allowing for nutrient-rich blood to be brought to the area that needs repair.

  1. Stretching

You may be surprised to hear that stretching isn’t as effective at easing muscle soreness as you may have thought. Think about it this way; the most traumatic form of muscle contraction is an eccentric one. This occurs when you contract a muscle over a period of time whilst it is lengthening, for example the lowering phase of a bicep curl. This muscle has been damaged (on a microscopic level) by a lengthening-based exercise. You are then attempting to ease that soreness by stretching the muscle, which is only lengthening it further. Also noteworthy is the role of the central nervous system, which uses pain as a protective signalling mechanism to prevent the same movement from occurring again. Stretching a painful area is likely to produce a larger nervous system response resulting in increased pain levels.

A review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2011 concludes that stretching does not ease soreness following exercise.

Herbert RD, de Noronha M, Kamper SJ. Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD004577. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004577.pub3.

  1. Ice

A golden rule to follow when considering ice vs heat for different situations is this; ice for acute, traumatic injuries to be used predominantly for pain relief and not much else. Heat is to be used for chronic, dull, achy pain such as joint stiffness or muscle tightness.

When applying ice to an injured area it can cause blood vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow to the area. We need a good blood supply for muscles to regenerate and repair. Ice also causes muscles to tighten which seems to be the opposite effect when searching for muscles relaxation and relief of soreness. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 articles published in 2015 suggests that ice (cryotherapy) provides little or no significant effect in the treatment of exercise-induced muscle soreness.

Hohenauer E, Taeymans J, Baeyens J-P, Clarys P, Clijsen R (2015) The Effect of Post-Exercise Cryotherapy on Recovery Characteristics: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0139028. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139028

If your soreness doesn’t ease after a few days or you are in pain as you think you may have picked up an injury, do get it checked out. The sooner you get an expert diagnosis of what’s going on and a specific recovery plan, the less time you’ll have off running!


Top 10K Recovery Tips from goPhysio

Posted on 16th March 2018 by

Well done! You’ve completed your 10k race! If you’re a 10k regular, you may have learnt the bast way to tackle post race recovery. But for some, it may be your first 10k event. What you do after an event can really help or hinder your recovery and set you on the right path for continuing your running journey!

Not sure what is best to do to help your recovery. Well don’t worry, here are goPhysio’s top tips for your recovery:

  1. Cool Down – you cross the finish line and the last thing you want to do is keep moving, but a gentle jog or walk will help to steadily slow down your heart rate and allow the build up of waste products in the muscles to be flushed out.
  2. Hydration – Keeping hydrated is essential to allow the muscle to stay elastic and malleable; after all your muscle are made up of up to 70% water.
  3. Refuel – within 30 mins of your race it is important to refuel with a small meal high in carbohydrates and protein. This will help to prevent the onset of muscle soreness as this is the optimal time that the body will use the carbohydrates to rebuild glycogen stores.
  4. Rest– after you have celebrated running your 1st,5th,15th 10km race, get an early night. Sleep is when our body heals, so it is important to give your body the best chance of healing those sore muscles and giving you the best recovery.
  5. Active Recovery – The day after your 10k race try to get your body moving, go for a walk, swim, cycle or even a light jog. This will get you heart pumping increasing circulation around the body continuing to flush out any waste products (lactic acid).
  6. Massage – Book yourself a sports massage. You have trained hard and reached your goal of running the 10km so why not treat yourself to a recovery massage the day after the race. This will help relax those tight muscles, increase the blood flow to the muscle and help prevent DOMS. Don’t forget to take advantage of our race day offers, you can get 20% off your sports massage until 30th April.
  7. Listen to your body – if your feeling sore a day or two after your run then try to listen to your body and what it needs. Take your time to get back into your running routine.
  8. Celebrate – you’ve done it, what a great achievement! Be proud of yourself and celebrate what you’ve achieved. Whether it’s your first 10k or one of many, well done from us all at goPhysio!