A few tips on how to take care of your body during these difficult times…
Happy Mind = Happy Body:
These two are so linked. Calm the mind down and the body relaxes too. The less muscular tension and the better your mental focus the less likely you are to injure yourself. If you’ve never tried meditation before perhaps take this opportunity to give it a go. I love Headspace, but there are other apps, such as Calm, Buddhify and Breethe. Five or ten minutes a day and you may find something which will help you manage your stress long term.
This one’s always a good idea. Start with a walk and gradually increase before running. If your staying home can you pace the corridors, march up and down the stairs several times, do step ups, dance like no-one is watching! Whatever it takes to raise your heard rate, warm your muscles and increase blood flow. Some movement of the joints and gentle stretches are good to.
Choose Appropriate Activity – or don’t run before you can walk!:
Insanity workouts and Ashtanga Yoga are not for everyone. Ideally start with an activity you are familiar with. Or if you’re trying something new find a beginner’s version – remember there’ll be no judgement within your own home, so it’s best to start too easy and build up. And don’t forget walking has proven health benefits, so don’t discount it.
Gradually Increase Exercise:
If you’ve not donned those running trainers for an age, please don’t head out and run ten miles! Your body will not like it! A sensible rule is to build by no more than 10% duration each session. Or if you are new to running check out the Couch to 5k app.
Have Rest Days:
Even if you are stuck indoors, taking the odd easier day will prevent you from overloading your body, especially if you are doing an exercise type which you are not used to. Above all listen to your body!
How many of you have said the words ‘I don’t have time for stretching’! Well, now you probably do! Loads of resources online, but if you’re a beginner check out JoeTherapy on YouTube. He also shows you how to use a foam roller. If you fancy trying yoga, check out Yoga with Adriene or the Runners World yoga centre – both excellent.
Strength & Conditioning:
Again, If I’ve asked you how you got on with your strengthening exercises and you’ve answered with an awkward grimace or ‘I have to be honest I’ve not done them’! Then now could be your chance. Dig out your homecare email from me, your physio, osteo or personal trainer and go for it! Or contact me if you’d like me to send you some suggestions.
Eating well will make so much difference to your mood and motivation levels. A balanced diet of protein, fats, carbohydrates and a rainbow of coloured fruit and veg, will improve your bodies ability to repair and recover after exercise. Perhaps make a food plan to help keep you from mindlessly munching!
I’m talking water and not booze and caffeine – sorry! Although a little of these is fine (and I think we all need some right now! ), keeping hydrated will help all the systems in your body to function well. Your temperature, kidney function, circulation, blood pressure, digestion, joint lubrication and skin condition are all effected by lack of water.
Surely one of the most neglected factors. Our busy lifestyles often don’t allow for a good nights sleep. Our bodies do so much repairing while we sleep, so getting enough will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for another days activities.
If you do get an injury or niggle, get in touch and I will try to help. Stay tuned for tips on self-treatment coming soon…!