Last time we learnt all about exercise LOAD and the role of mechanical stress. This time we complete the equation and discuss the other form of stress in this load equation and how we can modulate it to prevent injury. LOAD = mechanical stress + PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS Modulating your workouts involves consideration of the mechanical stress applied during your previous workouts, current and future exercise, while constantly assessing what physiological stressors you have been exposed to during your work and personal life.
Physiological stress: Friend or Foe? When we fail to respond suitably to an emotional or physical ‘threat’, whether it be real or perceived, our body initiates a ‘Fight or Flight’ response and our adrenal glands release a substance called cortisol. This is known as the ‘stress hormone’. During this response, our body sends stored energy to our working muscles and also suppresses the functions of growth, repair, digestion, sexual drive and the immune system, so as to conserve valuable energy. If the ‘Fight or Flight’ response is turned on too often or we remain continually in a state of ‘Fight or Flight’, very typical in modern life, this can cause immense wear and tear on the cells of our body.
INTENSITY (how hard you exercise): Intensity is the most important factor to consider when monitoring mechanical stress and the main contributor to the occurrence of injury. The harder you exercise, the more mechanical stress you are exposing your body to, e.g. going from a slow jog to running faster, or lifting increasingly heavier weights. Harder exercise sessions should be introduced very GRADUALLY to avoid injury and enhance adaptation.
Key benefits: It’s a great stretch to loosen up the hips and lower back. 1. Sit on a chair and cross one leg over the other. 2. Keep your back straight and lean forward at the hips.
3. Try to hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
4. This can be done as often as you would like.
This might prove more difficult later on when the bump gets bigger and in the way.
Q: I am a regular runner and for years, every time I run I leak some urine – this never happens otherwise. Can this be treated? Lucie: Yes. This is much more common than you think. It happens to many women when they jog, do heavy weights, during cross-fit or even when pushing their pram up a hill. It can occur in BOTH women who have and those who haven’t had children. It is usually due to a weakness or a confusion of the bladder. I can help in diagnosing the cause of this and effectively plan how to resolve the issue.
So many soon to be mums are unsure about exercising in pregnancy and what they can do safely in pregnancy.
Pregnancy can cause havoc on the body with extra weight that the muscles and joints have to handle, the associated hormones which have an affect on ligaments becoming more flexible and more pressure on joints due to the loss of ligament support, plus changes to our centre of gravity, just to name a few!