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  • Writer's pictureLife Made Simple Physio

Can I run? Finding your balance…

There is a real feeling of spring in the air, tempting many of us outside to take in the wonders of the great outdoors. This is particularly relevant when we have the beauty of the Surrey Hills on our doorstep, and some will look to re-launch their exercise / fitness regimes, in whatever format they take. Finding a balance to what is planned is important, as you will see below, especially if it affects the body’s frame, such as running, jogging…or indeed both.

As you might expect, some people will state that ‘running is not good for me’ or ‘it wears my joints out’. There is, however, increasing evidence that this may not be correct. If done well, it can help your body as it is a weightbearing activity that can help improve cardiovascular fitness and strengthen muscles. Running creates an increased load through a joint, and evidence suggests this might be between three to eight times body weight. If this additional load is at an optimal level and managed correctly, then this can create a positive increase in bone density and can reduce the potential for osteoarthritis to develop in later years.

Underloaded and overloaded

It is important that a balance is achieved between tissues being underloaded and overloaded. The key is to find the balance for you. If too little stress is applied, tissues may atrophy. If a stress is applied that exceeds normal range, hypertrophy or adaptation may well ensue, which is how we improve. If the force is too much and exceeds the capabilities of a tissue, then injury can occur. This balance is different for everyone as there are multiple factors that alter one individual’s ability to perform compared with another. Acknowledgement of these variables, prior to the commencement of a progressive training program, is essential. So please be careful when the great outdoors beckons.

Balancing training load and tissue load capacity

The key to success is balancing training load and tissue load capacity. Excessive training/loading through poorly planned and inflexible training programs have been shown to cause 80% of all running associated injuries, but they are not the only cause.

Training load includes volume, intensity, frequency and type of activity. Tissue load capacity variables include its strength, control and flexibility. Factors that can impact these include diet, age, BMI (high), medication, hormonal changes, tissue sensitivity, previous injuries sustained and training errors.

When a balance is not achieved, taking these factors into account, loads may be excessive, and an individual’s response can be pain and injury. Of course, this may well be when physiotherapy and massage / reflexology may be helpful.

Contact Us

We look forward to helping you with your physiotherapy, massage and reflexology needs, tailored to your personal circumstances. If you are interested in our services feel free to call us on 07309 272 555 or email Life Made Simple - expert physiotherapy in Guildford and Surrey.

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