Can food make you a better runner?

EATING, FOOD and RUNNING

The following short article provides some handy hints and thoughts for different groups of people at various levels of training.

Key topics covered include protein needs and how to achieve them, children in training and women’s nutritional needs throughout the menstrual cycle.

1. You are what you eat

Are you one of the two million people in the UK that goes out for a run at least once a week? Do you think about what you eat before you force yourself out of the door? Or what you drink when you get back in with that post-run glow?

Whether you enjoy a short jog around the park on a Saturday morning or are training for an event such as a 10k or marathon, could what you eat make a difference to your performance? (more…)

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The Yoga of Acceptance

This article explores the art of acceptance and letting go in our yoga practice rather than the notion of muscling through to achieve a particular pose.

The following quote I find especially insightful:

“Instead of putting your energy and efforts into getting somewhere, and following the mind’s tendency to always go further, you can now start practicing a much more advanced form of yoga – the yoga of acceptance and being present to how it is. You can start to feel the energetic presence of the pose, you can begin to observe the flow of energy through the body, you can begin to feel the emotional quality, or the spiritual significance of the pose. There is a whole world to discover in just being where you are…”

The full article can be read below.

www.ekhartyoga.com/blog/tension-versus-compression-in-yoga

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Easing Neck and Shoulder Pain

A daily complaint I hear in my treatment room is chronic pain between the shoulder blades which can lead to restriction and pain into the neck, among other problems. Good massage is helpful to ease muscles in spasm, treat painful trigger points which may be referring pain into remote areas of the body and promote the circulation of blood and fluid to flush the area of toxic substances. The key to addressing the source of chronic shoulder pain is to address the issue of chronic poor posture which puts a repetitive strain on the muscles of the back as they over work to restore alignment. Exercise classes which focus on body awareness and posture such as Yoga, Pilates and Body Balance are one way to get to know your body better and address imbalances. In the meantime…

The following link shows how application of Kinesiology Tape (K Tape) can help to prolong the effects of massage. K Tape can be applied in various ways for a different treatment outcome. The main purpose of taping the shoulder in this link is to lift the skin under the overlying taped area to facilitate circulation and thereby self-healing/maintenance of the tissue. Muscle in spasm which impedes blood flow through the area quickly becomes an unwanted cycle of spasm and pain. An additional benefit may be a proprioceptive reminder to hold the shoulder appropriately, thereby correcting posture.

Ask your Massage/Sports Therapist about K Taping. It has many uses and may be your missing link to training recovery.

 

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Runners Guide to Shin Splints

The following article is taken from the Kinetic Revolution blog. You can link through by clicking on the hyperlink provided below where you’ll find a wealth of information and links to other professionals in the field on all aspects of running injuries and prevention. Or find the article below.

http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/what-causes-shin-splints-in-runners/

Shin splints, or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) to use the more medical term, is an incredibly common injury amongst runners. In fact, some studies have reported shin splints to occur in up to twenty percent of the running population.

Out of all of the running injuries that I regularly treat, I think this one is the least well understood, in terms of exactly what’s going on.

It’s an injury that I have personal history with. When I took up running again, after a long absence, it was the first injury I got, and the resulting frustration, is what kick started my journey into wanting to better understand running injuries.

Like so many of the running injuries we see in clinic every day, shin splints is classed as a ‘overuse injury’. It does appear in other sports, but is certainly much more prevalent in runners.

In addition, it definitely seems to be a condition that affects novice runners more than fitter, more experienced athletes, the reason for this should become clear later on in this article…

Shin Splints  - common area for medial pain

SHIN SPLINTS: TYPICAL SYMPTOMS

In typical cases of shin splints, pain is usually felt two-thirds of the way down the tibia, just off the inside edge of the bone.

In the early stages of the condition, pain is usually felt at the beginning of a run and then normally subsides during the training session itself. Commonly, symptoms also tend to reduce a few minutes after a given run session has finished.

If the injury worsens, pain is felt in less intense activities and can be present at rest.

It is often painful to apply direct pressure to the affected area. Because the antero-medial border (front/inside) of the tibia is directly under the skin, pitting oedema, and even callus formation, can be felt on upon close examination in some cases.

This is thought to be a response of the periosteum to micro-fracture formation.

THEORIES

So what exactly is going-on to cause the pain of shin splints!?

As I mentioned earlier, the variuos mechanisms causing MTSS, and what structures are involved, are still up for debate.

Let’s look at a few of the more plausible theories…

THE SOFT TISSUES OF THE TIBIA

One group of suspects in this case, are the soft tissues of the tibia. The muscles of the calf, and the smaller muscles of the ankle, have their attachments along the tibia. Specifically, the tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus and soleus muscles, have been implicated as possible sources of injury.

The theory being, that tightness, weakness, or excessive movement at the ankle causes traction or tugging at the site of their origin on the tibia, leading to an irritation of the periosteum.

However, this theory doesn’t really stand up to anatomic scrutiny, in that, all of the above mentioned muscles, have their origins above the site of pain. It seems unlikely that traction of an origin site, higher up the tibia, would produce pain at the distal (lower), medial (inner) shin.

There is however, another soft tissue that does attach to the medial border of the tibia, in the location of the symptoms. That structure is the deep crural fascia (fascia is a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing muscles and organs).

This structure has deep insertions to the medial tibial border, finishing at the medial malleolus (inside ankle bone). It’s highly likely that the above mentioned muscles will be continuous with this fascia.

Therefore, from an anatomical point of view, the deep crural fascia could tug on the periosteum, in the location of symptoms, and create the traction mechanism of injury detailed above.

DECREASED CALF STRENGTH

Some studies have suggested that smaller calf size, and decreased calf strength, could be connected with shin splints.

The theory being, that it is the bone tissue of the tibia itself, that is the source involved in the pain response.

Bigger, stronger calf muscles encourage the tibia to become stronger, and therefore, able to take greater loading.

Additionally, the calf muscles themselves being stronger, would mean they would be able to absorb impact forces directly, again taking the load off the tibia.

TIBIAL BOWING / BENDING

This alternative explanation, again implicates the tibia itself. With this hypothesis suggesting that the problem arises via micro-trauma to the bone, due to repeated bending or bowing of the tibia.

It is well known in engineering, that when you load a long, narrow structure (like the tibia)axially, e.g. place a force through the centre of the object, lengthwise, it will result in bending moments at the structure’s lowest cross-sectional area (the narrowest part). The narrowest part of the tibia is the distal third where symptoms of shin splints are commonly felt.

It is generally suggested by biomechanists, that the tibia bends in the sagittal plane (forwards and backwards plane of movement) when running, placing most force at the distal anterior section of the tibia. But this of course depends on form; dictating where and how you strike the ground as you run.

Think of this a bit like a pole vaulter’s pole…

As they approach the jump, they plant the pole ahead of themselves (similar to an over-stride when running). Subsequently, we you see this big, anterior bowing of the pole. Great for pole vaulting but not so good for shins!

If we factor in three potentially important elements, we see that this anterior bowing force, in many runners, will be shifted medially, to where the symptoms of shin splints are reported.

  1. As the foot loads, pronation occurs, (we all do it to varying degrees) which will shift the ground reaction force more towards the medial shin, and cause more of a varus (side-bending) force in the tibia.
  2. Pronation is usually coupled with medial rotation of the tibia, which also places more stress medially.
  3. When we run, we tend to land more towards the midline than directly in line with our hip. This is because it’s easier to get our centre of mass over our base of support. The consequences of this, are that our tibias will absorb the ground reaction force at an angle, and therefore a varus (side-bending) force, will again, be applied to the medial tibia, at the part of the tibia with the least cross sectional area e.g. where most people with shin splints have their symptoms.

Additionally, the muscular contractions of our plantar flexors, namely soleus, can also cause a tibial bending moment. If you imagine the attachment site of soleus, at the top of the tibia, and its insertion at the calcaeneus.

As we go through mid-stance, and the soleus begins to contract to slow the acceleration of the tibia, the origin and insertion sites will be pulled towards each other, again causing an anterior bending in the sagittal plane.

It is important to note at this point, that bone stress is not a problem, if it’s applied at a gradual rate. Bone is an organic and dynamic structure. Like all living structures in the human body, it responds to stress by remodelling itself, to ensure it can cope with the demands being placed on it.

The problem comes, when the accumulated stress of training, outstrips the body’s ability to remodel the area. This gives us an insight into why this condition is more prevalent in novice runners, or less fit runners, because their bones have not adapted over time to the stress of repetitive, high impact exercise.

It also gives us another layer of evidence to illustrate that, when it comes to injury prevention, it may not be the sexiest intervention, but the most fruitful therapy is to obey the law of adaptation, and accumulate the stress slowly, giving your body’s tissues the chance to adapt and get stronger and therefore be able to withstand greater load.

The tibial bending theory has not been proven yet, but it certainly seems to me, to be the most persuasive of the current theories on offer. As always i’ll allow this to guide my practice, whilst keeping an open mind and following any further developments in the literature.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

  • Stress fracture – Interestingly, some authors feel that stress fractures are on a continuum with shin splints, whereas others feel they are similar but different conditions.
  • Chronic exertional compartment syndrome or anterior biomechanical overload syndrome.
  • Popliteal artery entrapment
  • Tibial tumours
  • Bone infections / Osteomyelitis

PREVENTION

Prevention is always the best medicine when it comes to running injuries. Shin splints are similar to most running injuries, in that the most effective way to prevent them is to respect the laws of adaptation. This means, firstly, listening to your body.

If you are feeling pain when running, it’s because your brain has decided, that a particular area of your body needs protecting. Usually, but not always, this is because too much stress, or load, is being accumulated in the painful area, and you are not leaving enough time in between stresses to allow the tissues to adapt.

So the key to injury prevention is gradual, patient loading.

Now, if you’ve gone past the prevention phase and are in the painful phase (and lets face it, if you’ve found this article, I imagine you’re in this phase already) the next sections will be helpful for you.

PAIN RELIEF

The reason that most people visit me is due to pain. Pain is often viewed as the problem. It isn’t. Pain is a symptom of the problem. Your pain system is complex and has evolved through millions of years of natural selection. It is essentially your alarm system.

Its purpose is to protect you, and alert you, to the fact something is not right. It’s not a nice feeling, but at the end of the day, it’s meant to be uncomfortable, otherwise you would ignore it!

Pain is your friend.

Dealing with pain is important, no-one wants to be in pain, it’s not a nice sensation at all and, to be fair, once we’ve worked out what the problem is and how to address it, the sensation becomes less helpful, so turning it down a bit is one of the early goals of physiotherapy.

Remember that we want to turn the pain down, but we have to work out why it’s is there in the first place, otherwise it’s like your burglar alarm going off, you getting annoyed and fed up of the repetitive, annoying sound and going to the box and turning it down.

It may make the noise a bit more bearable but does nothing to address the intruder in your house (a bit of a dramatic analogy, but you get the point).

When it comes to pain relief I try to keep it simple:

ICE

Ice works really nicely as an analgesic. Crushed ice appears to be more effective from the current research. Rough guidelines of 10 mins every 2 hours, if needed, are adequate (Remember to wrap ice in a damp towel to prevent ice burns).

Decrease the load on the sensitive area. Intuitively, if you continue to stress, the already over-stressed area, it will prevent healing or de-sensitisation. Decreasing the load can be as simple as rest, cross training or, my favourite option, running re-education – see below.

PAIN MEDICATION

Always consult your GP or pharmacist before taking any medication.

RUNNING RE-EDUCATION

The goal of running re-education is to assess an individuals running style, and see if, through subtle changes to their biomechanics, you can shift the load from the painful area, whilst not jeopardising their performance or creating an environment for another injury elsewhere in the body.

So in the case of shin splints, we are trying to reduce the anterior and medial tibial bowing.

Here’s some of the running cues that I like to try with this condition. It’s important to note that there is huge variability in what works for different patients.

Word of warning with these: If the cue is going to work for you, you should feel marked relief, and ideally no pain at all, within 30s – 1min of adopting the cue.

If you’re not getting any relief by then, try not to run through it.

If none of the below cues are working for you, then it may be time to see a physiotherapist, or other health care practitioner, for some advice, ideally make it someone who specialises in running injuries.

INCREASE CADENCE

One of my most used running re-education cues across the board. The best way to do this is with the aid of a digital metronome.

There are lots of free metronome apps, if you have an iPhone, or you can buy one pretty cheaply from places like Amazon.

There’s no set stride rate you should aim for so have a play around with it. Generally, I go for 5%-10% more than your current cadence and see what happens. You can always gradually increase it from there and re-assess the ‘experiment’.

The theory behind increasing your cadence is to decrease an over stride, get you landing closer to your centre of mass (COM) and with a straight tibia, as opposed to your tibia flicking out ahead of the knee.

As mentioned earlier this article, think of it a bit like a pole vaulters pole. As they approach the jump, they plant the pole ahead of themselves so you see this big, anterior bowing of the pole, great for pole vaulting but not so good for tibas!

If you can imagine the pole vaulter placing the pole down vertically, and not ahead of themselves, you will see a pretty crappy pole vaulter, but also less anterior bowing of the pole, that’s what we are looking for – less anterior bowing = less force through the painful area.

Read more about cadence training and metronome use here: Running Cadence: Research & Metronomes

INCREASE STEP WIDTH

Trying to move the load from the medial shin, to achieve less varus (side bending) tibial bowing. I try to bring about this change using a variety of cues. Generally, asking people to have some daylight between their legs or imagine running on either side of a yellow parking line, gets the right changes.

Recently, I’ve been getting my runners to run with a resistance loop just above their knees, and instruct them to keep the pressure on the band – this has been working really well.

STIFFEN THE ANKLE

The idea here is to decrease the amount of dorsiflexion the ankle goes through. Lessening dorsiflexion means less tibial bowing from the action of soleus, as it tries to decelerate the tibia as it moves into end of range dorsiflexion.

Stiffening the ankle also helps to pretension the muscles, so they can work reactively and elastically. Good for speed but also takes the load of the bone itself.

CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF THE GROUND REACTION FORCE

Again, we are trying to decrease the anterior tibia bowing. If we go back to our rubbish pole vaulter, as we discussed, if he places the pole out in front of him with forward and downwards force it will create anterior bowing.

However, if he plants the pole down with a backward and downwards force, it will not bow anteriorly, but posteriorly. Bad for a pole vaulter, but good in our tibial context! i.e the force will go more through the back of the tibia.

Any change in the direction of the ground reaction force, to a more backwards and downwards force, will decrease the load in the anterior tibia and may be enough for us to keep running without pain. To cue this, I often video them and freeze the frame of them running when their swing leg is at its highest.

From this position, I instruct them to push their leg back and down in a backwards tick type direction, using their glutes to perform the movement. Sometimes I’ll ask them to paw back on the ground (bit of a controversial cue from a performance perspective, but can just get them to direct the force more backward and down).

POSTURE

Encourage the patient to ‘run up tall’. I often use the ‘helium balloon attached to the crown of the head’ cue or get them to imagine their spines like a slinky toy, and wanting to open it up. This cue helps decrease an anterior pelvic tilt, or a forward lean from the waist.

Both of these mechanics lead to the centre of mass shifting forwards during stance. To compensate for this, you will have to over stride with the next step = more load on knee and shin area.

Usually I use a combination of the above. Have a play around with these cues and let me know what works for you. As always, never run through pain.

There are some occasions, when no matter what alterations you make, you can’t offload the area sufficiently and pain is still present. In those cases, it is wise to take a short break from running, to allow the area to settle some more.

Cross-training can be effective at this point, to maintain strength and fitness. Remember you only need to offload the painful area, not your whole body. I prefer aqua-jogging, or running on an alter-G treadmill (if you’re lucky enough to have access to one).

This way you can still work on technique, and keep your running specific movement patterns with very little stress on the musculoskeletal system.

OTHER TECHNIQUES THAT MAY HELP

ORTHOTICS / TAPING

Generally, I try to avoid orthotics or taping if I can, but they can still be great tools to offload an injured or sensitised area. Often a medial arch support works well to offload the medial tibia.

CALF STRENGTHENING

As mentioned earlier, weak calves have been implemented in shin splints. So seems like a good idea to strengthen these muscles as a way to create a stronger, thicker tibia, but also being able to take more load themselves.

CHANGING THE SURFACE YOU RUN ON?

Bit of a weird one this, intuitively you would think that running on softer ground, such as an athletics track, sand or grass, would be easier on the legs, but the literature suggests that when we run on softer ground our leg actually stiffens more to compensate for the softness, and the reverse is true when running on hard ground i.e. less stiff legs.

This has led many to suggest that it may be better for runners with shin splints to run on harder ground. I remember when I had my shin splints, I found it better running on softer ground, but might be worth bearing in mind if you find the pain is worse on softer ground.

RUNNING BAREFOOT OR IN MINIMALIST FOOTWEAR

Some evidence that this can shift the load from the shin and knee, more to the foot and ankle. Probably by, subconsciously, increasing cadence and landing closer to CoM.

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Runners guide to Hypermobility

The following article is taken from http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/

It seems more and more clients, especially women are presenting with sports related injuries or complaints ranging from hip pain, knee pain and issues with their feet. When we look a bit closer it may be that hypermobility in some or all of their joints is affecting joint mechanics and may be at the core of their presenting problem. This article explores some of the strategies hypermobile athletes/individuals can take to help prevent musculo-skeletal injuries and prolong their pain-free, injury-free participation in sport and exercise.

Essential guide to hypermobility for runners

Flexibility isn’t the anatomical holy grail you may think it is and too much can increase your risk of injury and hamper your performance. Here’s how to spot the warning signs and take action to keep running strong.


One of the first things you learn as a new runner is that flexibility is crucial. We are constantly being told of the need to stretch regularly and avoid becoming too tight, but just because some flexibility is good for runners, does it follow that more is better? You may pride yourself on being the bendiest in your yoga class, but for as many as one in three runners excessive flexibility – or hypermobility – in key areas can spell trouble for legs, feet and long-distance ambitions, and lead to chronic injury if it’s not addressed. We bent over backwards to find out what exactly it is, how to recognise if it affects you and what you can do about it.

Hyper-what?

Joint hypermobility is a condition where joints are more flexible than they need to be, meaning they can extend past their required range of movement. It can affect any of the 360 joints in the body or be limited to just a few, such as the knees, ankles or hips. People with the condition are often said to be double-jointed, but you don’t need to be a contortionist to be affected – even being able to lock your knees so they bend back slightly can be a symptom. This excess of flexibility tends to go unnoticed in most people, with the Hypermobility Syndromes Association estimating that 20-30 per cent of us are affected, but throw in the physical impact of running regularly and ramping up your mileage, and problems can begin to surface.

Where your bones meet at a joint, the ends of them are surrounded by a fibrous capsule filled with fluid (responsible for that satisfying/sickening click when you move them a certain way) and held together by ligaments, which stop the joint concerned from dislocating or moving more than it should. The muscles surrounding the joint are attached to your bones with tendons, so you can flex, twist and run. In those affected by hypermobility, the collagen in any of these tissues is of lower quality and tensile strength, meaning they move beyond their ideal range.

So what does that mean for you as a runner? With two to four times your weight passing back up your body with each foot strike, hypermobile joints will be under extreme pressure, with the ground force pushing and pulling muscle fibres more than they can handle. You probably won’t even notice at the time, but in the long run that can spell trouble.

‘A common pattern is a recurring injury over many years or a range of subtle, seemingly unrelated issues,’ says physiotherapist Justine Waloch. ‘These can occur anywhere in the body where strain or movement is excessive over time and healing is not optimal. Other warning symptoms are constantly tired muscles and not being able to keep up with a typical training programme you would normally expect to cope with.’

Breaking points

If your joints are highly supple, the surrounding muscles need to work harder to stabilise them during exercise, leaving those with hypermobility more prone to joint pain and achy muscles after running. ‘If the local muscles [which offer stability, such as those around the knee] aren’t working very well, global muscles [which govern movement, such as the hamstrings] will probably become stiffer because they’re overworking,’ says physiotherapist Jonathan Grayson.

He says hypermobile runners are more likely to have issues with several joints, because the joints themselves are hypermobile or because one weak link causes a chain reaction, pulling other joints out of line. The result? A potential plethora of running injuries stemming from overuse, such as IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee). ‘The places where symptoms may appear are by no means exclusive to hypermobile runners, but they may become more severe and slow to respond to typical treatment programmes,’ says Waloch.

Those with hypermobility also have reduced levels of proprioception (the body’s ability to sense joint movement and position), says Dr Roger Wolman, Consultant in Rheumatology and Sports and Exercise Medicine at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. This can predispose you to poor balance and falls.

However, being hypermobile doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of injury. ‘It doesn’t mean you can’t run, it just means you probably want to work a little bit more on strength, control and proprioception,’ says Sarah Green, a physiotherapist at Six Physio.

For the non-hypermobile among us, there’s no need to stop the stretching, cancel yoga and bin the foam roller for fear of becoming too flexible; you can’t develop the condition. It’s also important to note that being hypermobile doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stretch. A hypermobile person can still get stiff muscles like anyone else, says Grayson, and in that case easing yourself out post-training won’t do any harm as long as it’s not painful. However, you should be careful not to overdo it, because if you are hypermobile, overextending your joints can be damaging. A study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that subjects with knee-joint hypermobility were up to four times more likely to pick up an injury in that area if they overextended the joint. As with many physical traits, hypermobility exists on a spectrum; some runners will experience it in just one or two joints, while others will have it throughout their body. It can also be a symptom of more serious conditions, such as Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS). ’There is a difference between having just some joint hypermobility and having JHS,’ says Waloch. ‘JHS is an inherited disorder of connective tissue, where hypermobile joints occur along with symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue, digestive problems and low bone density.’ If you’re concerned you may have JHS based on symptoms such as these, see your GP, who will be able to refer you to a rheumatologist.

The flexible approach

You can’t cure hypermobility, but you can manage it and minimise your risk of injury by improving your strength and running form. If frequent injuries and delayed healing are a major issue, it’s worth getting checked out. You can give yourself a quick DIY test using the Beighton score can be a good indicator of hypermobility in certain joints. But if you want a definitive answer, go to a registered physiotherapist (search at hcpc-uk.co.uk), who’ll be able to give a more accurate, in-depth diagnosis based on your symptoms and injury history.

If you suspect you’re hypermobile but haven’t so far had any adverse symptoms, at what point should you seek help? ‘If you think you may have hypermobility but are not having any problems at all, there is no essential need to see a physio,’ says Waloch. ‘But there is some risk that you could be developing subtle imbalances that may become a problem, so if averting injuries and delays to your training is important to you, then yes, you could benefit from a preventative assessment and advice programme.’

Warding off potential problems before they sideline you is always a sound idea. ‘There’s no harm in taking preventive action, especially if you’re just starting running,’ says Grayson. ‘I’d advise that for anybody, not just hypermobile people.’ Prehab, as it’s known, will typically involve seeing a sports physiotherapist who’ll carry out an assessment to check where your natural weaknesses are so you can start counteracting them before ramping up your training.

As a general preventive measure, Wolman recommends Pilates, which can help remedy muscle imbalances and improve core stability. You can also help ward off specific injuries and improve your strength using ourquick exercise guide.

Another thing to look at is the way you run. Unsurprisingly, the increased joint movement experienced by hypermobile runners commonly leads to overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot), which puts additional stress on muscles and has been linked to injuries such as medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), plantar fasciitis and runner’s knee. You can help avoid this by having your shoes professionally fitted in a running shop that uses gait analysis, to ensure your shoes suit your running style. ‘You may need orthotics and the patience to adjust to them,’ says Waloch. ‘You also need to be more diligent about not letting your running shoes get too old, and ensure you have two pairs on the go.’

Altering the way your foot lands could make a difference, too. ‘If you heel strike and are having problems, try switching to forefoot striking,’ says Waloch. ‘There’s also a potential benefit from shortening your stride; a muscle can generate its greatest strength in the mid-range, where it’s less likely to fatigue or strain.’

Also, improving proprioception can boost stability, potentially reducing the risk of sprains and falls. Waloch recommends balancing on one leg with your eyes closed. Do it up to three times a day in a safe environment – the top of the stairs is not the place. Try to do 30 seconds with good control, without clenching your toes or locking out your knee. You’ll know your proprioception is improving when you can stand for longer, wobble less and maintain form. The outcomes of exercises like this can be huge; research in Rheumatology International found a ‘significant improvement in proprioception’ in hypermobile subjects who’d undertaken remedial exercises, which led to decreased pain and better physical function.

Having hypermobility doesn’t mean you can’t run. It just means you might have to keep a closer eye on yourself. There is no one-size-fits-all remedy. ‘Take your time to listen to how your body responds and recovers from your training, says Waloch. ‘You may well have to reduce your mileage, take longer rest periods and pay more attention to your warm-up and cool-down.’ In essence, be gentle on yourself, tune into your body and you can still hit your running goals.

Source: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/health/essential-guide-to-hypermobility-for-runners/15037.html

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BODY BALANCE: Benefits for older people

It is known that in our 40s and 50s our ability to balance and perform functional tasks begins to deteriorate. BODY BALANCE IMPROVES FUNCTIONAL ABILITY. The Body Balance programme has been empirically tested providing the evidence which Balancers already know:

When compared to the control, the Body Balance participants saw greater improvement in both their balance and functional ability (eg walking speed).

Integrating this class into our weekly schedule is valuable for so many reasons, for athletes and sedentary people alike. But the benefits to older people through the development of bare foot strength and ‘instability training’ in the prevention of serious falls and associated fractures cannot be over emphasised.

If you want to feel LONG, STRONG, CENTRED AND CALM introduce BODY BALANCE into your fitness regime.

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Why do I need a Massage?

It boosts your mood. Then you definitely need a massage. Authors of a 2005 review of studies on massage therapy found that, on average, massage increases your levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter linked to happiness) by 28 percent and dopamine (a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, arousal, and reward) by 31 percent.

It’s basically a painkiller. In one study, bare-handed massages activated the same part of the brain that is activated by opioid painkillers such as codeine.

It boosts your immunity. Massage doesn’t just get the blood flowing – it actually changes your blood’s composition for the better.

It improves your flexibility. Two 30-minute massages per week can improve your trunk flexibility and relieve pain associated with lower back stiffness, according to a five-week study that was published in International Journal of Neuroscience study.

It reduces stress. For example lower heart rates, blood pressure, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

It fends off headaches. Lots of things can trigger a headache, but many stem from tension in the neck that restricts blood flow to the brain. One four-week study in which participants got two 30-minute massages per week suggests that massage also reduces frequency and severity among chronic headache suffers.

It reduces muscle soreness — even if you DIY using foam rollers.

It warms up your muscles before exercise. Before you stretch, massage can help to loosen the muscles without putting any strain on other soft tissues.

It makes exercise feel easier. If you go into a workout with soreness, your tight muscles create added resistance that makes your limbs feel heavier.

It may help put you to sleep.

It can alleviate morning stiffness.

Nurturing massage can induce pleasure hormones. In a 2012 study, participants had significantly higher circulating levels of oxytocin in their blood after a 15-minute massage than they did before the treatment.

To book your massage now contact debbie@restore-balance.co.uk

 

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