The key to healthly exercise is just that.Let’s take another look at why we should exercise so we can hold a green fitness key.Today I find that humans are far too sedentary, all too
often sitting in front of a computer by day, followed by
sitting in front of a TV at night. This lack of physical
activity causes emotional and physiological imbalances,
but we can change this by looking at how we exercise; improving your
fitness changes your chemistry, acts as a powerful antidepressant, promotes
mental clarity, and reduces the likelihood of cancer.
If you’re not happy with either how you look or feel about your weight,
then with correct guidance, you can break out of inactivity and be rewarded
by smiling at yourself whenever you see your reflection. I will guide you towards 4 green keys to health and tonight is fitness.
You can learn more about how and when you should
exercise, as getting the correct mix can extend your life.
When I am working at my clinic, I hear echoing around the walls: I am too
old to exercise, too old to work. Are you too old to exercise? Well, no one told
Jiroemon Kimura (born 1897) that he was too old. He passed away recently
at age 116, farming until he was 90 years old. Remember the Carry On films?
Well, did you know that Barbara Windsor carries on exercising in her late 70s?
You can find her in her gym wear keeping fit outside in Hyde Park.
Over 450,000 people in the USA and over 70,000 people in the UK risk total
knee replacement every year. Want to talk pain? Then talk TKR. What’s
worse is that it is unsuccessful 10% of the time, and you can even die from
having total knee replacement. Furthermore, the age for TKR is constantly
dropping. Why? Anybody want to hazard a guess? That’s right: obesity.
Now, this isn’t proven yet, but it is most likely the biggest cause.
So, what happens when you get fat? Ladies, take the ‘C’ off chips and you
know what you get! Guys, you put it on around the waist and lose sight of
your favourite toy! What you probably don’t know is that your knees are
loaded with up to four times your weight, so every extra stone (14 lbs) is
an extra four stone (56 lbs) on your knees – that’s why knees are so often
the first casualty with OA. If you want to know why the four times multiple
occurs, it’s because of leverage. Now, you are intelligent people, and you are
surely interested in health or you wouldn’t be here. So, why have you made
the decision to get arthritis? Made the decision to get lots of pain? Made
the decision to risk surgery and even death? It’s because much of the pain
associated with the pleasure of eating too much is too far away, and anyway,
going to the gym is a pain for most. We need to change the way we think
about exercise, and hopefully this chapter will go some way to doing that
Here’s some more cheery news: an in-depth study into retirement found
that men in their sixties are every bit as good at driving business than those
physically and mentally in their prime. In later life, prescriptive exercise is
more effort than swallowing a pill, but it is well worth it; in a nutshell, you get
less senility and less pain. Exercise weaves its magic, strengthening the heart,
releasing more neurotransmitters for cell communication, boosting BDNF
for improving neural connections in the brain, aiding metabolism, improving
blood flow, stimulating toxic disposal systems, and strengthening bones.
This next fact gets me out running in howling gales and rain: current research
in Sweden shows that exercise alters the way genes work in the tissue that
stores fat, and changes in adipose tissue storage sites were measurable even
with just two workouts a week. Epigenetics has always fascinated me since
studying biology, and this is the study of how chemical alterations will
change how genes work in a cell. This allows us to fine tune our body to a
Exercise alters this process in muscle cells and improves how sugar is
processed. Furthermore, adipose tissue (fat cells) is an organ in its own right, producing active chemicals that have profound effects on the body. In
this tissue, 18,000 markers were found on 7,663 genes! This is leading to a
greater understanding of why exercise helps fatty tissue do its job properly,
which means that as we get older, we don’t have to have such a lumpy,
bumpy body. This smooth body needs a good structural support.
Every summer, it’s time to get out your tennis shoes and racquets. It’s vital to make sure that both you and your kit are properly prepared to prevent unnecessary injury. So here are some tips and advice to help guide you:
Tennis Top Tips
- Practice hitting the ball in the “sweet spot”, the shot feels good and the impact force will be at a minimum.
- Improve your stroking technique, especially backhand
- Modern racquets do not absorb shock like the old ones. To reduce the impact on your arm:-
– Lower string tension
– Increase flexibility of racquet
– Increase racquet head size
– Add lead tape to the head to increase weight
– Increase grip size. The optimum grip circumference equals the distance from the tip of the ring finger to the crease in the middle of the palm (proximal crease)
– Grip higher up handle
– Loosen grip on handle
- Play on an appropriate surface. If you play on a hard surface the forces through the joints are much higher: twice your body weight when walking, 3 to 4 times on running and 12 times on jumping. Very dry and hard surfaces can also cause twisting ligament injuries to the knees, due to the increased friction between your shoes and the ground.
- Get a biomechanical assessment and if you need them purchase bespoke high quality orthotics. Make sure your footwear is appropriate.
- Train at an intensity lower than competitive conditions to reduce the chance of injury
- Reduce the total amount of weight bearing exercise. Do some cross training to reduce impact loading, while maintaining training volume.
- Mix training sessions with different activities. I.e. cycling, swimming.
- Set up a training diary recording rest days, sleep, heart rate and heart rate recovery time.
- If the morning your heart rate increases, decrease activity plus add in more relaxation time, and spend more time on cool down post activity.
- Eat healthily and adjust your calorie intake to activity level. Take carbs for fuel, protein for rebuilding muscle, high quality vitamin & mineral supplements and drink plenty of water.
- Enjoy the stress relief exercise can bring and don’t force yourself if you are exhausted as this is when you are most likely to get injured.
- Get regular sports massage to remove trouble spots before they become injuries.
- If in doubt see a sports physiotherapist
Warming Up and Cooling Down
Warming up is often overlooked and should be part of your injury prevention routine as there are a number of benefits:
- The muscles work better when warm and oxygenated with good blood flow.
- The joints become more flexible which reduces the pull on muscles.
- The nervous system becomes more responsive.
Including a gentle jog in your warm up will give the muscles the energy supply they need to work properly. Follow this with sport specific exercises and dynamic, sport specific stretching drills. This regime has largely replaced old fashioned static alternatives.
Examples of tennis specific exercises are running for 5 to 20 minutes with heels up to buttocks, or with high knees up to hip level. Increasing the size and speed of movements, as the body warms up and the heart rate increases, will more closely simulate competitive conditions. It is also important to focus on full body conditioning, as predominantly one sided sports, such as tennis, can cause muscle imbalances.
You should allow a total exercise and stretch time of 15 to 30 minutes and no more than 30 minutes before competing, otherwise the benefits will be lost.
Cool down should include a gentle jog plus light stretching to help eliminate waste products and reduce muscle soreness.
If you need help contact the clinic on 01889 881488 and see a physiotherapist or visit www.painreliefclinic.co.uk