We all get aches and pains and as I write this I am nursing ITB syndrome from my marathon training. The advice that doctors used to give if you had some form of injury would be to rest, but it’s becoming more apparent now that this in fact could be detrimental to you and you should really keep active and continue to train the unaffected areas of your body.
This is called dynamic rest, which means two things. One, rest and rehab which is laying off the injured body part and do what you need to do to get it back to health and two, be dynamic and stay moving. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects most people over 60 and as I have a senior fitness group I see this a lot. Usually when someone would have a flare up, the prescription would be to rest and take medication. Studies (and my class) have now found that the weight loss combined with exercise builds up muscle to support and improve joint function which in turn boosts the quality of life of that person suffering.
Not only this, but exercise does make you feel great and feel good hormones are released during exercise. If you take these away by not continuing with exercise this can then start to make you feel down and negativity can creep in to your life. Research has shown that there’s a positive mind-body connection through exercise and it is sometimes even referred to as a natural antidepressant.
This week I will not be out running as my knee is too painful! This is really hard to stay positive about as it has halted my marathon training leading up to race day, but I will be stretching and icing my knee as much as possible to aid recovery, and this morning I smashed out an upper body workout and still worked as hard as I physically could without my knee coming into play at all.
Whatever your alternative activity is, up the intensity. This will get your heart pounding and your lungs stretched to keep your cardio vascular system in shape. It might even improve it! As you will know, injuries can hurt, but they don’t have to stop you! There’s a lot of misguided information out there so if you do have an injury, don’t just give up and stop. Speak to a qualified injury professional and continue to train the uninjured body parts to stay in great shape.