‘Millions of Brits are injuring themselvespushing too hard at the gym. That’saccording to a recent study of 2,000 gymgoers from health company BetterYou(betteryou.com), and isn’t surprising, giventhat around 50 per cent of Brits make aresolution to get fit each year*. But injurycan be avoided if you’re smart. Here are afew things you should consider doing if youwant to keep pain at bay.
FITNESS FOR PREVENT PAIN Photo Gallery
Warm up: It boosts brain-to-musclecommunication, lubricates the joints andups circulation. This increases blood flowto the muscles, warming them up forexercise. Aim to spend 10-15 minuteswarming up with dynamic exercises. Ruleof thumb: choose moves that mimic thoseyou’ll do in the workout (high knees aregood for runners; bodyweight squatsbefore a lower-body strength session).
Rest often: Rest days are a must. Nevertaking a day off sets the body up for injurybecause muscles repair and strengthenduring rest days. Failing to rest suppressesthe immune system and makes you moresusceptible to muscle soreness. Don’t dointense sessions such as HIIT workoutsback-to-back, and leave at least 24 hoursbefore training the same muscle group again.
The 10% rule: It’s a principle that runnersswear by – don’t increase your mileage bymore than 10 per cent each week – but Ithink it can be applied to all activities fordistance, intensity, resistance and timespent exercising. Up your exercise levelprogressively and gradually; don’t do toomuch, too soon. Understood?’
COFFEE BOOST ANYONE?
Many of us already reap the rewards of a brain-boosting caffeine ‘lift’ at work, andthe latest research adds to the growing number of studies that show the popularbeverage could increase your athletic ability too. A new study printed in theInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance shows that drinking acup of coffee before a one-mile race increases running speed by as much as fiveseconds, an improvement that could give middle-distance runners a significant edgeover rivals. Why does it work? The researchers conclude it’s likely due to caffeineinhibiting adenosine receptors (that can slow down nerve cell activity along neuralpathways), increasing cell activity and altering pain perception. Timing could be key,though – the runners tested drank the large cup of coffee (equivalent to 2-3 typicalservings) one hour before the race took place. It might just be worth a try!
HOT SPOT: RUN STUDIOS
If running on your own doesn’t appeal, the new breed of running classes will help you to pick up the pace, thanks to a bit of extra motivation!
PRECISION RUNNING Learn to run smarter, get injured less often and blitz oodles of calories at this indoor running workout. Using Technogym’s new SkillRun – a treadmill that goes up to 30kmph – this class features hill and speed sections; equinox.com.
RUN @ THE FOUNDRY Hone greater speed, stamina and strength at this brand new class from London gym, The Foundry. Using the great outdoor facilities, the workout is designed and led by athletes. And yes, sprint drills are involved; foundryfit.com.
BARRY’S BOOTCAMP SW1 The recent launch of Barry’s Bootcamp’s fourth London studio in Belgravia proves that running workouts are mega popular. Using Woodway treadmills, the class combines running intervals with resistance training for fast results; barrysbootcamp.com.
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