The Ageing Athlete

Ageing is unavoidable. It is happening to us all. From the year 2000 through to 2030, the number of adults over 85 years of age will increase by 204%! However, there is a simple way to slow down the effects of ageing……and it is to behave like an athlete.

Currently most people older than 75 years of age have 3 or more chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or musculoskeletal disability and take no less than 5 medications. Chronic conditions are difficult and expensive to treat while the gradual impairment of vision, hearing and brain function are directly related to ageing. This is not a good outlook!!! However, it is all not bad news….we need to see ourselves as an ‘aging athlete’. Let me explain. The degenerative effects of ageing are most definitely modifiable and the primary strategy to achieve this is with regular and consistent EXERCISE. An enormous amount of research has been done studying the positive effects of exercise on the ageing process.

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The Soleus – The Key to Your Running Success?

Up to 56% of regular recreational long distance (>3km) runners will sustain a running-related injury each year. Injuries to the lower leg in long-distance runners are common, with recent research showing that they account for up to 32.2% of all leg injuries. Due to the nature of the muscle, soleus injuries are commonly caused by muscle fatigue and over-training.

Many soleus muscle injuries can be misdiagnosed as gastrocnemius injuries and, as such, ineffectively treated. This can cause long-term disruption to training and performance. As the soleus only crosses the ankle joint, whereas the gastrocnemius crosses both the ankle and knee, it is less susceptible to strain injuries. However, these injuries are possible, and an effective training regime for this muscle can go a long way towards avoiding them.

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Are you an injured runner? Early Signs of Running Injury and Prevention

Are you an injured runner-intouchphysio

Runners are prone to injury, especially when they start running again after a long period of rest or suddenly increase the frequency, intensity or duration of their training. Sometimes running injuries can be traumatic and sudden, while others gradually occur and worsen over time. It is very tempting to ignore those minor pains and odd symptoms that you are feeling, but here are some warning signs that runners should not neglect.
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Paul’s Tips: 2 Strength exercises all runners should be doing

Split squat by Paul intouchphysio
Split squat by Paul 

1. Split Squat
If done correctly, you should feel this fatigue the front of the thigh and the buttock muscles on the front leg.

1. Stand with one leg forward and the other behind you in a split leg stance
2. Preferably put the back foot on a small step or bench
3. Keeping the knee in line with your second toe and the torso straight
4. Bend the front leg until the knee is flexed to 90 degrees
5. Return to the start position and repeat

For progression, hold on to a weight in the opposite hand to the leg that is being worked.

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Calf strengthening – 5 good reasons why ?

shutterstock_328172750Calf strengthening is not only a common denominator in alot of lower limb rehabilitation programs, but also plays an important role in lower limb biomechanics, as well as a key aspect of injury prevention.

Here are five good reasons why calf strengthening is important.

  1. The calf helps with shock absorption on landing, in both running and jumping sports.
  2. The calf plays a role in forward and vertical propulsion with running and jumping sports respectively, hence strengthening will assist with power and performance.
  3. Calf strengthening is an important component of injury rehabilitation for a number of injuries directly related to the calf such as achilles tendon issues, calf muscle tears, or ankle sprains.
  4. Calf strengthening plays a major role in lower limb biomechanics, and is a common exercise when doing rehabilitation for knee, hip and lower back injuries. Increasing strength in the calf can assist in offloading the injured area.
  5. Calf strengthening helps to prevent achilles tendon issues and calf muscle tears, where fatigue and lack of strength may be a contributing factor to injury.

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Self remedy tips for plantar fasciitis

shutterstock_117796435Plantar fasciitis or more appropriately termed plantar fasciopathy, is a common condition in the foot causing pain in the arch and/or heel. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes and forms the arch of your foot acting as a natural shock absorber for the foot. Due to the nature of this fibrous tissue, it is not very elastic and limited in its capacity to stretch and elongate, thus with too much traction on the plantar fascia microtearing will occur.   Read more