How to recover faster after an even you are older

How to recover faster after an event when you are older

What physical pursuits do you enjoy, hiking, cycling—running marathons? Whatever they are, good on you! Being active is essential for good health. As you age, though, you’ve probably noticed it takes longer to recover than when you were a young ‘whippersnapper’ in your 20s. So, in this post, we offer some tips for faster recovery after exercise.

Why does recovery take longer as you age?

Surprisingly, researchers don’t actually know for certain the answer to this question. They do, however, have some theories:

  • Increased inflammatory response: When you get injured, inflammatory cells build up in the damaged muscle. For quick recovery, it seems the balance of these cells must be right — there can’t be too few or too many. When you are older, you tend to accumulate more inflammatory cells, which could put the balance out of kilter.
  • Exhausted cells: Muscle stem cells also help with muscle recovery. When you get injured, they reproduce, and there could be a limit to how often they can do so.
  • Low testosterone: It is thought that testosterone plays a part in muscle recovery. Though not inevitable, levels often decrease as we age.

Tips for faster recovery

Okay, so the question is this: What can you do to recover faster after exercise? Here are some suggestions:

  • Stretch afterwards: When you exercise, lactic acid builds up in your muscles, which can lead to soreness and fatigue. By stretching after exercise, you increase your blood circulation, which can reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.
  • Exercise less: This may sound defeatist, but exercise boosts cortisol, which as you age, can affect your metabolism and adrenal glands. So, instead of doing punishing hour-long gym sessions, maybe take things a bit easier. Also, if you exercise often, take an extra day off.
  • Focus on macronutrients: Macronutrients are necessary for energy and growth, and there are three kinds: carbohydrates (sugar), lipids (fat) and proteins. Eat after your workout and during the day to ensure your body receives the correct proportion of macronutrients to meet your fitness goals.
  • Consume natural anti-inflammatories: Green leafy vegetables, blueberries, pineapple., salmon and walnuts are great natural anti-inflammatories.

How compression wear helps recovery

Another way to speed up recovery is to wear compression clothing. "What is this?" you may ask. Well, professional athletes wear compression clothing all the time, and it can come in the form of socks, calf sleeves and arm sleeves.

Compression wear works by adding pressure to the veins in your arms and legs. This pressure increases your blood flow and, in turn, removes lactic acid (which causes your muscles to burn during exercise) from your bloodstream faster.

Graduated compression

The best compression wear uses, what is known as, graduated compression. This means that the pressure is greatest at the lower part of your leg or arm and least further up, which is necessary for facilitating free movement.

With age comes wisdom, so utilise every tip and trick you can find to help with recovery, so you can get back to doing what you love.

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This content is provided by TXG for information purposes only. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified professional advice.

 

How to tell if my sports shoes are worn out?

How to tell if my sports shoes are worn out?

Do you have a favourite pair of sports shoes? If so, it's not a good idea to run them into the ground. Even if they look okay, a worn out pair of sports shoes can cause you harm. So, how can you tell if your sports shoes are worn out? We explain in this post.

How long do sports shoes last?

Like with the old “how long is a piece of string” question, the answer is it depends.  You see, a person’s size and form (running style) affect the lifespan of a pair of shoes. So, if you are a small person with a good running form, your shoes should last longer than if you were bigger with poor form.

Rule of thumb: A sports shoe should last between 560 and 800 kilometres, depending on your size and form.

How can I tell if my sports shoes are worn out?

Before you lace up your current pair of sports shoes, answer the following questions:

  1. Though you run consistently, have you suddenly started feeling sore?
  2. Are there compression wrinkles in the midsole?
  3. Can you remember when or where you purchased your shoes?

If you answered yes to questions one or two and no to question three, you probably need to go shopping. 

Tip: If you run more than three days a week, get a couple of pairs of running shoes to wear on alternate days.

How do worn out sports shoes cause injury?

When running, every time your foot hits the pavement, it creates a force of up to three times your body weight. The purpose of your running shoes is to absorb the impact, so when they are past their best, this ability is diminished. The extra shock can cause several kinds of injuries.

  • Runner’s knee: Otherwise known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), this is a common injury for runners. The pain is caused by irritation between the kneecap (patella) and thighbone.
  • Shin splints: This is a painful cumulative stress disorder that occurs when the two tendons along your shin swell up. Shin splints are a common complaint in people who participate in strenuous activities such as tennis and soccer.
  • Swollen IT band: The iliotibial (IT) band is a length of connective tissue (fascia) from the outside of the hip to the knee. Running on uneven surfaces or with unevenly worn shoes can cause the IT band to swell.

Three tips for choosing the right sports shoes

Get a professional evaluation: There are many different foot types. So, go to a specialty store with equipment to analyse your gait. This will help you make a more informed decision.

  1. Choose half a size larger: When running, the strain on your feet can cause them to swell. So, many runners purchase shoes half a size larger than their normal shoe size.
  2. Try on in the afternoon: During the day, your feet can become swollen — even without vigorous exercise. So, by trying on sports a pair of sports shoes later in the day, you’re more likely to choose the correct size.

So, what is the condition of your sports shoes? Don't be sentimental. If they are past their used-by date, get a new pair.

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This content is provided by TXG for information purposes only. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified professional advice.

 

Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Massage Therapy: What do I need

Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Massage Therapy: What do I need?

If you are carrying an injury, it can literally be a ‘pain in the neck.’ There are, of course, plenty of specialists available to treat you. The problem is figuring out whom to call. So, the purpose of this post is to provide some clarity.

Struggling with an injury is tough. Not only must you deal with some discomfort, but you may also be unable to participate in activities you love. Honestly, there are so many physical pursuits available in New Zealand, that standing on the ‘side-lines' can be exasperating, to say the least.

It is also detrimental to your health — a sedentary lifestyle can cause all kinds of ailments, including obesity, heart disease and some types of cancer. According to the College of Public Health Medicine, lack of exercise is responsible for 12.7 % of all deaths in New Zealand. The College also says physical inactivity causes

  • 9% of heart disease
  • 8% of Type-2 diabetes
  • 1% of breast cancer
  • 1% of colon cancer.

 Yikes! Who would have thought the simple act of doing nothing could be so dangerous?

Don't wait around

On the subject of doing nothing, don’t procrastinate about getting treatment for an injury. This can lead to an injury taking longer to heal, and you could also be left with abnormal scar tissue, joint stiffness, and muscle weakness.

Types of treatment

Anyway, let’s get back to the types of treatment available to restore your fitness. In this post, we focus on three:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Massage therapy.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is the practice of restoring physical function by using mechanical force and movement. Physiotherapists help people suffering injuries, disabilities and health conditions and can specialise in several areas, including sports, paediatrics, and women's health. Within these are three different areas of practice:

  • Musculoskeletal: This is for treating conditions such as sprains, strains, back pain, arthritis, incontinence, diminished mobility and post-surgery rehabilitation.
  • Neurological: This is for treating nervous system disorders, which include brain injuries, strokes, spinal injuries and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Cardiothoracic: This is for treating complaints such as chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema.

Podiatry

Podiatry is the diagnosis and treatment of skin and nail ailments of the feet. Podiatrists play a vital role in helping people maintain their mobility, particularly the elderly and disabled.

Like in physiotherapy, podiatrists specialise in certain areas, including medical, rheumatology, vascular and sports.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the practice of manually manipulating soft body tissues to improve a person's health and well-being. People use massage therapists for several reasons, including to reduce stress, rehabilitate after an injury and ease pain.

There are two primary forms of massage therapy:

  • Relaxation massage: This is also known as Swedish massage, and it is practiced in places such as spas, wellness centres and resorts.
  • Rehabilitative massage: This is also known as deep-tissue, therapeutic, clinical or medical massage. It is practiced in places like hospitals and chiropractic clinics.

Don't wait around, if you need treatment to help your recovery from an injury, seek out some help from a specialist, they can help you get back to doing the things you love.

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This content is provided by TXG for information purposes only. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified professional advice.

 

Reclaim Your Fitness with a Personal Trainer

Reclaim your fitness with a personal trainer

You know, losing your mobility when you get older isn’t just because of age. In fact, it is often a symptom of inactivity. In this post, we explain why a personal trainer can help get you up and moving.

How much should you exercise?

It is no secret that exercise is important. And you are probably aware that living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to health problems such as back pain, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

So, how much exercise do you need? To give you an idea, the Ministry of Health recommends that adults do at least 2 ½ hours of moderate and 1 ¼ hours of vigorous exercise throughout the week. For those 65 or older, the Ministry recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five or more days a week.

Getting started

Thankfully, if you are on the ‘slippery slope’ of inactivity,  there are people who can help. Of course, we're talking about personal trainers.

How can a personal trainer help?

1. Motivation

Probably the greatest obstacle for those wishing to exercise is sticking with it — lounging in a warm La-Z-Boy, watching TV is sometimes more appealing. So, a personal trainer will push you out of your comfort zone and hold you accountable. Most of us don’t like letting others down, so it’s harder to justify slacking off when someone else is expecting you to turn up.

2. A unique programme

Everybody is different. Therefore, one size does not fit all when it comes to exercise. Before you start, your trainer will assess your fitness, taking into account any health issues, and discuss your goals. Then they will design a programme to suit your unique circumstances.

3. Education

What are your goals? To lose weight? To build muscle? A personal trainer will show you the best exercises to achieve your goal. For example, if you aim to build core strength, spending hours pounding the treadmill won’t achieve much.

It is easy to perform exercises incorrectly if you’re not careful. In the best-case scenario, the result will be that you won’t get maximum benefit from the exercise; in the worst case, you could end up injuring yourself. So, part of your trainer’s job is to ensure you work out correctly.

How to choose a personal trainer

Okay. You agree that hiring a personal trainer is a good idea. The question though, is how to go about finding one that’s suitable?

Things like cost and location are, of course, important. And if you’re in your senior years, you ideally need a trainer with experience in elder fitness.

However, putting those aside, here are three other factors to consider:

  1. Qualifications: It is important your personal trainer knows what they are doing, so make sure their qualification is NZQA approved.
  2. Personality: What training style do you prefer? Do you want a cheerleader to shower you with praise or a sergeant major to bark commands?
  3. Specialty: Find out what the personal trainer specialises in. It’s pointless hiring someone who works with elite athletes if you just want to get more mobile. As mentioned, if you’re in your later years, a personal trainer specialising in senior fitness is ideal.

Life is short, so don't let fear of injuring yourself stop you from pursuing your goals. Instead, just be smart and prepare. 

"Surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you and push you to be your best self" ~ Bill Gates

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This content is provided by TXG for information purposes only. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified professional advice.

How to Prevent Injury using Stretching Exercises

How to prevent injury using stretching exercises

As we age, staying physically active is pretty important — “use it or lose it,” as the saying goes. And in New Zealand, there is no excuse for being a ‘couch potato' because access to physical activities is easy — cycling, running, swimming, hiking; you name it.

Of course, with exercise, there is always the risk of injury. And if you have enjoyed an active life, you could well be carrying the odd ‘niggle’ that flairs up from time to time. Fear, however, is no reason not to exercise. You just have to be smart.

Don’t forget your stretching exercises

Before you engage in any strenuous activity, make sure you warm up with stretching exercises. By doing this, you prepare your body by gradually increasing your heart rate, loosening your joints and increasing blood flow to your muscles.

With this in mind, here are 5 easy stretching exercises

1. March on the spot (3 min)

Begin by marching on the spot. Then march forward and backward. While doing this, thrust your arms up and down in time with your steps. Make sure your elbows are bent and don’t clench your fists too tightly. 

2. Shoulder rolls (2 sets of 10 reps)

March on the spot and roll both shoulders forward and backward five times. Your arms should hang loosely by your sides.

3. Heel digs (1 min)

While still marching,  punch out your heels, alternating from left to right.  Make sure there is a slight bend in your supporting leg. If you feel like making the exercise harder, sink lower. 

4. Knee bends (10 reps)

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and stretch your hands out. Bend your knees to lower yourself by no more than 10cm. Then, rise and repeat.

5. Knee lifts (30 sec)

Try to do 30 of these. Stand tall and raise alternate knees to touch your opposite hands (left knee, right hand). Make sure your abs are tight, and your back is straight. Also, your supporting leg should have a slight bend.

Do you know about compression socks?

Another way of preventing injury is to wear compression socks. In case you’re wondering what they are, compression socks work by applying pressure to your legs, which in turn, speeds up blood flow in your veins. The compression is graduated. This means the pressure is greatest at the ankle and least at the knees, which prevents you feeling restricted.

What’s the point? Here are three benefits:

  • Compression socks lessen damage and help recovery of muscle tissue
  • Compression socks reduce the build-up of lactic acid
  • Compression socks reduce the onset of muscle cramp.

Extra support

Compression socks also provide additional support for ankles, calves and legs. If you like to get out and about in the great outdoors, they also offer protection from minor scratches.  Many people say that wearing compression socks is like having springs on your feet.

Life is short, so don't let fear of injury stop you from pursuing your goals. Instead, just be smart and prepare.

You can find out more about TXG's range of Sports Compression Socks and Sleeves by clicking here.

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This content is provided by TXG for information purposes only. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified professional advice.

 

What sports people need to know about compression wear

What sports people need to know about compression wear

If you enjoy sports or the great outdoors, you will benefit from compression wear. And if you’re not quite sure what it is, this post is for you.

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