Do you find yourself getting injured, or unable to up your performance, or generally just want to increase your overall health and decrease your pain? Well, there are many things you should adhere to if you are looking for any of the previous, things like stretching, keeping mobile and using heat or ice for any injuries or aches and pains. All of these will improve your recovery people, but all of you probably already know this, especially if you have visited the clinic! I find that the secret weapon that I am ALWAYS recommending for people to keep in their arsenal is… Weight training!
I know, you probably weren’t expecting that were you? Now let me clarify, I am not expecting you to put on pounds and pounds of lean muscle mass and to start oiling yourself up for competitions, although if you do have that urge, go for gold! What we are simply talking about here is strengthening your muscles to enhance them and therefore benefit you with improve strength, coordination and lastly a reduction in your aches and pains.
A very common condition that I regularly see in Kennington, mainly in women, although it does affect men too but women are much more at risk, is Osteoporosis. If you are unaware of this ailment it essentially makes bones brittle and, contrary to some of the advice I hear or see given, regular exercise is possibly the best way to strengthen your bones by putting stress on them and forcing them to intake calcium and boost their strength and durability. Weight training forces the issue further by exacting bigger stresses on the bones, and muscles, which in turn vastly improves their, you guessed it, strength.
I added weight training to my workout regime a number of years ago and as an avid recreational runner, this was a huge change for me. Year after year I would run all through the summer, 4-5 times a week and then through the winter months I would join the gym to avoid the ‘cold dripping nose tap’ and freezing cold hands and freeze burns, that always seemed to insist on accompanying me on my run in the freezing cold! Over the last couple of years, I have started to retain my gym membership all year round and include more strength training sessions in return for dropping some of my weekly runs. I have found that it has made a huge difference to my running ability, cardio fitness, and speed. It has been an essential component to my overall short and long term health, vastly decreasing the pain that I felt in my knee and sacroiliac joint that would rear it’s ugly head when I’d overdone things. Weight training will be of particular benefit in these areas if you are a runner, I tend to say that you should focus only on cardio at your peril!
If you’re not entirely convinced allow me to highlight some benefits aside from the bone-strengthening boosts!
1, You’ll burn more calories… What? I know right, boost your bones and blitz your belly in one fell swoop. The science behind it is remarkably simple really, the stronger and more developed your muscles are, the more calories they burn off. Boom!!
2, What if I’m too old to start mucking about with weights’, I hear you ask… Poppycock! You are never too old, or too young for that matter… well actually its probably not for babies and toddlers in hindsight but you get what I mean. You don’t have to go to the sweaty corner of the gym and start pumping iron, any resistance weight will do. You know your body so work with what you feel is helping.
3, As it becomes easier to move up incrementally, it doesn’t have to be a daily grind either, I weight train four times a week but have moved up to this level because I want to. You can still feel the benefit with just one session a week to begin with.
4, Another concern that we often see raised is that people don’t want to have defined rippling muscles, and we appreciate that point. The good news is that it takes obscene amounts of effort and training, and a strict diet crammed with protein to get anywhere close to guns of steel. Women also don’t have the requisite level of testosterone in their blood to reach those levels without a militant regime. In short, you will be fine.
So where do I you start?
Well, we’d recommend that you speak to somebody who knows about this sorts of stuff, there are personal trainers who specialise in this, I highly recommend the ultra Marathon running legend, David Pery in Kennington, he is my go-to person when I am in need of advice for a patient with biomechanical issues or a passion for running! You can visit his Facebook page ‘Roads to Freedom’ or his website at www.roadstofreedom.net/the-running-gym. I am always on hand for any help, or advice that I can help you with too, just pop me an email at [email protected] or call me on 07787 404419 and I can put together a plan that is specific to you and I can help you every step of the way.
Until next time 🙂