13 Jan 2017 – New Year, New Me? – A blog by Physio Adam Rutter
New year, new me?
Goals to compete for the first time, new PB targets, hunting that ‘King of the Mountain’ segment or simply (or not so simply) looking to drop that excess Christmas stuffing?
As a New Year arrives, so do a new wave of promises, goals and targets that have been set to ensure 2017 is a year to remember. As always, a large proportion of these are exercise focussed.
For us as Health Professionals, it is awesome to hear people getting excited about commencing or progressing a fitness programme, seasoned athletes and weekend warriors alike. So firstly, kudos for the vision and major kudos if you have made it this far (stats show 25% have already ducked out). However, with the inevitable post trough spike in exercise exposure during the dark days of January, come a few risk factors that are often overlooked by the motivated, in a quest to achieve the elusive New Year’s resolutions.
The human body has an incredible ability to respond to physical stimulus, in a way that no man-made machine could ever achieve. What machine can become more effective and economical by simply using it every day? What car can develop more horse power by simply driving it as fast as possible more often? Yet during the January period we expect our bodies to respond like replaceable machines and take whatever punishment we dish out without even a grumble.
Exercise triggers physiological responses in our body that over time, result in improved athletic performance.
Too much exercise with too little rest will trigger physiological responses of inflammation, and a series of events that may lead to tendinopathies, muscle tears, stress fractures etc.
More and more research is being performed to look at the human risk factor for injury when training suddenly spikes and becomes more intense. Simply put, our bodies are far more prone to injury if we start performing dramatically more exercise than we are used to.
Interestingly perhaps, the same is also being found for suddenly dropping your exercise exposure.
A great analogy I have read is that people who are used to drinking beer regularly, suffer less with a hangover from drinking 8 pints of lager than someone who is not used to drinking at all (this is no excuse to stop dry January).
This suggests that if you can gradually acclimatise your body to workload in a periodized manner, your body will be quite happy to adapt and become fitter. However, suddenly spike your workload (or booze) and you will have an overload injury (or a stinking hangover). I am yet to go into the effects of drinking tequila shots alongside beer but maybe its best you come in to the clinic for that discussion!!
Goals are great! Regular exercise is Awesome!
However, with any exercise plan, risks are associated if entering blindly into training without a periodized plan. Optimal management lies in prevention rather than firefighting the pain problem.
Here at Ocean Physio, we have a wide mix of Health and Exercise Professionals who can help to keep you on track with your fitness journey or New Year’s resolution.
So why don’t you get booked in, to see how we can facilitate your quest to make 2017 a year to remember. If it is already too late, and pains are present, book in and let us help you get back on track as soon as possible.
Finally I would also like to thank the team at Ocean for having me on board for 2017.
If you are interested in seeing me in clinic, I am based at the University on a Monday and Thursday morning, followed by Woodbury clinic on Thursday afternoon.
Thanks for reading
P.s all credit for the beer analogy to Dr Tim Gabbett