7 articles Tag fitness

Top Tips For Getting Fit After An Injury

It can often feel like coming back from an injury is like starting scratch. Your body can be stiff from not being used, and you may feel like all your pre-injury fitness was all for nothing. Many people are eager to get back up to their original fitness and get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible, however, it’s not always about how quickly you can do it, it’s more about how successfully you can. You need to listen to your body and avoid feeling any pain, this is not a good sign and can mean you’re overdoing it and causing more damage than good repair. 

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

No matter what kind of injury you’ve experienced, whether it’s major surgery, a sprained ankle, from an accident or a simple muscle strain, you may sometimes need the help of professionals who are specialist in helping serious injury victims get back on their feet.  

Have a look below at some of the ways you can help work towards getting fit again after an injury: 

Stretch

It’s essential that you focus on stretching while you’re recovering from any injury, at times if you require immobilisation you will need to seek professional help in order to understand what stretching you can complete. If you have a doubt on how to choose the right equipment for those activities click here for more info.Unfortunately, immobilisation can lead to static muscles that become stiff and this can make it extremely difficult to recover quickly. Rather than allowing your muscles to break down and lose all their strength speak to your doctor about introducing some stretching exercises into your recovery process. Stretching will allow your injured muscles to stay fit and can sometimes ease you into starting activities again once your recovery is complete.

Take It Easy

When the time comes and you’re ready to get moving again, a good way to proceed is to do around twenty per cent less than you feel like you can do. If you’ve been out of action for a long time, you may even want to cut it down even more than that. You need to realise that even if you could run five miles before the injury without breaking a sweat, your body is not going to be at the same standards and therefore you will find it harder. You need to take your time and ease back into it. If you don’t you could risk seriously damaging the injured area and living with a lifelong problem that could of being avoided. You’re told be professionals to ease into things for a reason. 

Don’t Do Nothing

On the other hand, doing nothing at all isn’t what your body needs either. How can you expect to recover if you don’t work through it? You should aim to find a happy medium and then work your way up from there. Notice if you have any pain and adjust your workouts to suit. If you need to complete pain-free exercises that also strengthen the affect areas speak to your doctor, personal trainer or physical therapist. Starting with activities such as a gentle walk can be one of the best ways to get started and ease back into activity. Swimming is another great choice because it offers buoyancy and it can take a lot of pressure off of injured tissue and sore muscles. You can, if you’re careful, do some strength training with very light weights. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you listen to your body and take lots of breaks. Pain means you should stop immediately. Over time, you’ll see growth and be able to do more and more activities. 

Ice And Heat

This will depend entirely on what your doctor recommends. However, ice and heat can be very useful when recovering from an injury. Ice can help to prevent muscle soreness after working out and can also reduce any swelling that occurs. It’s also a great way to ease the pain. Heat can sometimes be more beneficial for older injuries, depending completely on what they are. Just keep your doctor informed and they will be able to advise you on which is best. While a hot-water bottle and ice are great, not handling them properly may lead to worsening the injury. That is why it is handy to have a massage ball with hot and cold inserts. The rollerball can be used as a deep tissue massager that is improved with hot or cold treatment to help relieve pain, inflammation, or loosen muscles.  

Talk To Your Trainer Regularly

One of the best things you can do after an injury is to build up a good working relationship with a trainer. It not only helps you to get back into the swing of things but it also means they can build an understanding of what help you’re going to need. Not only this having a trainer to work with could give you really good motivation. 

These are only a few tips to get you started on your way to recovery. Do you have any tips or advice that you can share in the comments section?

The True Cost of Staying in Shape

Eating healthily, exercising regularly, and staying in shape is something many of us aspire to. Unfortunately, the cost can soon add up. Gym memberships, healthy meals, personal trainers, apps, gadgets, clothing, and supplements are marketed as “essential”, and don’t always come cheap. In fact, online trainers can be hired to meet specific needs, especially those who’ve completed a personal trainer course from Discovery. This way you’re guaranteed to be taught by someone certified in the field.

If a lack of will power doesn’t put a stop to your healthy lifestyle, the cost just might.

Why Is It So Expensive?

The fitness industry is worth billions and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.

Marketers prey on our desire to look and feel great, encouraging us to dig deep and spend big on a whole host of health and well-being items. Protein shakes and pre-workout supplements used to be products for bodybuilders, but not anymore; they now line supermarket shelves and have earned a place in many ordinary homes.

While scientific studies do show benefits of many supplements, results can vary greatly and the cost can sometimes outweigh the rewards. If you’re buying cupboards’ full of the things, you might be wasting money.

How to Stay in Shape and Save Money

The cost of staying in shape should not be a barrier to leading a healthier life.

Luckily, it is entirely possible to keep fit without breaking the bank. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. When it comes to supplementation, stick to the basics: protein, creatine, omega-3 and multivitamins show the biggest rewards vs. cost. While other sports supplements work well, they largely depend on your fitness goals and budget.
  2. Set up a home gym: If you’re on a budget, you can grab stuff second-hand from places like Gumtree. With just a skipping rope, a cheap set of dumbbells and some comfortable workout clothes, you can achieve amazing results. This can be done for under £100. This also saves on travelling costs to get to the gym.
  3. Hire an online personal trainer: Registering with a local gym is not the only way to access the valuable knowledge of a personal trainer. In fact, online trainers can be hired to meet specific needs. The combination of a budget home gym and an online personal trainer will come in far cheaper than a standard gym membership.
  4. Compare prices before you spend your hard-earned cash: Some retailers, especially supermarkets, sell protein powders and other fitness items at full retail price. This can sometimes be more than double what you might pay elsewhere. To check the huge differences, you can compare prices at Fitness Savvy.

Final Words

Gym memberships, sports supplements, and gadgets can add up to hundreds per month in costs, yet are mostly unnecessary. By sticking to the basics, setting up a home gym, checking

Be a Fitness Superhero

Fitness SuperheroJust recently, I’ve been thinking about ways to get myself back to a healthier mindset, after spectacularly failing with my healthy eating and gym kick at the end of last year, so when protein powder shop Discount Supplements asked if I’d like to take their Fitness Superhero quiz, I thought it would be really interesting. You see, the quiz is designed to tell you where your strengths lie when it comes to slogging it out at the gym to help you to attack your fitness in a way that will work for you. Here’s the quiz, if you’d like to have a go:

According to my results, I’m ‘Melanie Marvel’, which tells me the following:
Melanie Marvel is one of the most powerful super heroes out there and her health and fitness routine is reflective of that.

Not only is she tough physically but she has a huge amount of mental fortitude to draw upon whenever she wants to – which stems from her extreme training and noble Greek heritage.

Melanie Marvel’s Top 3 Exercises:

• Mixed martial arts

• Intense gymnastics & acrobatic drills

• Fencing

I’m not sure I’m quite cut out for intense gymnastics, but I love the idea of trying my hand at mixed martial arts! Sausage is a huge fan of Ronda Rousey, not least of all because she’s a huge Pokemon nerd too, and I could think of far worse people for her to look up to than an Olympic medal-winning athlete!

One thing that I think I’d actually be quite good as is weight-lifting. I’m pretty physically strong for a 5’4″ woman and I reckon I could do really well at lifting weights. People often don’t realise that weight lifting is amazing for your cardiovascular health as well, which works well for me as my bust means I’m absolutely not cut out for running any great distance! Read more at Monica’s Health Magazine.

Have you taken the test? Do the results surprise you? Are you already working out to a similar regime to what the test suggests are are you on a completely different track? I’d love to hear what you think, please do leave me a comment below.

Swimming During Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, particularly towards the end, I was MASSIVE. I had polyhydramnious, meaning I carried an excess of amniotic fluid. Most babies stop moving so much in the last few weeks of pregnancy, simply because they cannot anymore, due to lack of space. Sausage, I think, swam lengths inside me, right up until the day she was born!

Add to this the fact that I had SPD, a painful condition in which my body releases too much of the hormone that we need to make our pelvis loosen up enough to fit a baby through it, as well as being in the largest stage of pregnancy in August, I was one seriously uncomfortable lady. My ankles and hands would swell daily and my movement was severely restricted due to the combination of my various ills.

At the time, it never even occurred to me that swimming probably would have done me the world of good, floating about in the cool water, taking the pressure off of my joints and allowing me to move around in a way that was low impact. I’ve looked into it and there’s even specific maternity swimwear that I could have invested in for my hippo-like form to splash around in! If we ever decide to have another child, I know for a fact that I’ll be using the pool to its full advantage!

Weirdly, (apart from this annoying pad of fat that I had under my bump which made me look like I had a massive beer gut *heave*) pregnancy was one of the few times in my life that I didn’t feel body-conscious. Yes, I was enormous, but I was supposed to be! Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of lifes ‘glowers’, you know, women who look like Mother Earth when they’re with-child, but it made me feel slightly freer about my body, which was a fairly liberating feeling.

If you have any concerns about swimming whilst pregnant, there’s a great article over on Baby Center with some info about keeping yourself safe.

Lifestyle Change

I’ve resisted writing about this for a while, for two reasons. Firstly, I tend to have better success with weight loss and lifestyle change when I don’t make a big thing of it. Like, sneak up on myself with the healthiness. Secondly, I know hearing someone rambling on and on and on about their body issues can be a bit, um, dull, so I’m trying to hold back a bit. Having said that, there are a few little changes that I’ve made lately which have been fairly small but are making a big impact on not just me but the whole family.

Last week, we invested in Wii Fit and a balance board. It was a great buy actually, we went to a local shop looking for a new one and picked up a reconditioned unit for £15! We definitely need to invest in some rechargeable batteries as we’re using it every day, as a family, once Sausage gets home from school. It’s become a bit of a routine, I collect Sausage and then we spend an hour or two having a family session of yoga or competing against one another in golf, running, hula hooping, archery and loads else besides. It may not be intense cardio but it’s getting us all moving, instead of being sedentary, which is a great start.

Another thing that I’ve been doing is eating a lot less meat. I was very resistant to the idea of going entirely veggie as I worry that I’d get really bored of meals without meat but last week I went five days without eating any meat at all and I didn’t even realise! I’m finding that I can still enjoy meals I like, for instance, I had sausages, mash and peas but subbed out fatty pork for Quorn sausages, which reduced the caloric and fat content of the meal by LOADS.

My car has been spending a lot more time on the driveway this week. Because I’m not working now, I rarely need to go anywhere straight after dropping Sausage off at school, so we’ve been walking instead of driving. Actually, I’ve been walking, Sausage has been scooting, which is brilliant exercise for her and is doing wonders for her balance!

Last Thursday, I went swimming for the first time in about 20 years! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken Sausage swimming lots of times, but I mean proper swimming where I get in and swim lengths, not just splashing about in the kids pool. I managed 6 lengths of a 50m pool, which may not seem like a lot but it’s a huge achievement for me. The great thing about swimming is that it’s fantastic as a full-body workout but it’s very low impact, so I didn’t end up with painful joints afterwards, which is something that has stalled my interest in exercise in the past.

So, I’m taking it steady and making progress at my own pace and I’m really confident that I’m making changes for the better and changes that I can actually stick to. Wish me luck!

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Get Running – Day Four

I’ve discovered the first flaw with the Get Running app.

Last week, my iPhone went a bit doolally so I factory reset it and started from scratch. It seems to have done the trick and my phone is working fine again, but I had to back up my apps onto iTunes and then re-load them onto my phone again. This means that Get Running has reset and there’s no way of changing the date or your progress on the App, so I had to start all over again. Run Three was actually Run One, Mark Two and I’ve effectively had to do week one 1 and a half times. Get it?

So yesterday was Run Four and should have been the first day of a new week but I’m still doing week one, which is 1 minute of running, followed by 1 and a half minutes of walking. Maybe it’s a good job that I’m extending week one as yesterday’s outing was a bit of a disaster. The actual running was okay, I feel like I’m finding my stride, I’m moving faster and my stride is lengthening. When I started, I’m sure I looked like I was just doing and elaborate sped-up shufflewalk, so I’m glad that actual running is starting to feel a bit more natural. However…yesterday, I learned:

1. When it’s been 27 degrees all day, wait until a bit later than 5pm to go for your run as it will still be bloody hot, which may not be a big deal to fit people but made me feel like I couldn’t breathe.

2. If you’re due to run, either go before you eat a massive pub lunch of scampi and chips or wait until MUCH later as the taste of tartare sauce creeping back up your oesophagus is most definitely not conducive to a feeling of wellness.

3. The smell of other people’s barbecues, whilst running, can be really nauseating.

Once Sausage starts school next week, I’m planning (if I haven’t found a job) to go at about 9.30am. That way, my routine won’t have to change when the nights draw in, I’ll probably still have an empty stomach, only the mentally deranged will be barbecuing at that time and hopefully it won’t be too hot (assuming we’re due any more sunshine between now and next April…)

Oh and I STILL need some new headphones, iPhone headphones SUCK for running. And I need a strap for holding my glasses on; ‘pink face, sweaty head, glasses falling off, headphones trailing behind’ is just not working for me. 

Get Running – Day One

Yesterday was the first time I used my Get Running app and this is what I learned:

 

1. A minute of running can seem like an hour

2. A minute and a half of walking can go by in the blink of an eye

3. A male, un-neutered dog on a lead can be a perilous running companion, especially if it’s midday and there are a load of other dogs around.

4. Feeling your stomach jiggle with every footfall can be mighty off-putting

5. Ministry of Sound Funky House Classics is a great running album for tempo and taking your mind off of jiggling stomachs.

6. Run number 7 of eight runs is definitely the hardest.

7. I should probably take my inhaler with me next time.

8. You never feel like you deserve a nice shower more than when you’ve worked up a sweat by exercising.

9. Husband pointed out before I left that the lady talking you through the Get Running app sounds like Hattie Hayridge, and imagining that I’m being coached by Holly from Red Dwarf is a great distraction.

10. iPhone headphones are absolutely SHIT for running and fall out of your ears at least 5 times a minute.

11. I need some sort of strap to hold my glasses on because having to push them up my nose every two seconds is a massive embuggerance.

12. I actually quite like running!