New Year, New You?

As we are now into the full swing of the New Year, how is your new exercise programme going? Whether you are trying to get a bit fitter and trying to lose weight or if you’re stepping up training for an event such as the London Marathon or Brentwood Half Marathon hopefully you will be noticing the benefits already! I am going to go through some advice and tips for ways to gradually increase your programme and the best ways to avoid injury by doing so. It can be incredibly frustrating to pick up an injury that will set you back from achieving your fitness goals.

• Build up your training gradually. If you overload your muscles and joints too quickly then it will cause injury. Make sure you are taking plenty of rest days to help your body recover and give the body time to adapt to the training. If you are training for a half marathon or marathon, you should be increasing your mileage on your long runs by 10% each time. If you are doing weights then build up by 2.5kg at a time to allow your muscles to adapt.

• As I said above, allow plenty of rest days. As part of your rest days try to incorporate core workouts and general stretching. Strengthening your core area will massively benefit the rest of your body, for example strengthening your gluteal muscles takes a lot of stress off your knee joint.

• Stretches. As mentioned above, stretching should be done regularly. Even if you do have a rest day have a good stretch to release some of those tight and overworked muscles. On rest days I always recommend doing static stretching rather than dynamic stretching. With all static stretches, hold the stretch for 30 seconds (there is an earlier blog going into more detail about stretching). I also find using a foam roller is brilliant to aid recovery!

• Sports massage. Getting regular sports massage has many benefits. The main reasons are increased circulation and flexibility, breakdown of tight muscle fibres or scar tissue and release fatigued muscles. Other benefits include an increase in sporting performance, decrease in pain levels and helps to reduce stress levels.

• Don’t ignore aches and pains. If you are feeling a small niggle anywhere in your body, it is tempting to ignore the pain and go through the pain barrier. If you are suffering with an ache or pain and are unable to do exercise then get it looked at as soon as possible. The sooner you get an injury assessed and start doing exercises to help it the quicker you will be able to get back into your training programme. The longer you ignore the pain, the longer the recovery time will take. More importantly, this could lead to the injury coming back more in the rest of your life. If your body is feeling sore, it’s a sign from your body that something isn’t right!

That covers the basics on undertaking a new programme. If you would like any further information please do get in contact on 07792 599566. If you are interested in getting regular sports massage or you want some core exercises to be doing or a one to one stretching and foam rolling session then do feel free to speak to me. I am doing 50% off for new injuries through January.

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