Online Fitness & Health Advice

Author: Fitness Risk Management

How to Avoid Shin Splints During Exercise

Have you ever noticed an intense pain in the front of your lower legs, next to your shin bones, during exercise? No matter your fitness level, that pain you’re experiencing may be shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, as the condition is also known.

Shin splints occur when you put too much stress on your tibia, or the muscle next to the tibia, during exercise. High energy exercise programmes and sports can be to blame. However, you can also experience shin splints after a lot of running or jumping.

As painful as they can be, they are not permanent. There are things you can do to avoid them and treat them.

Stretching

Before you begin exercising, take the time to stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles. Having tight muscles in your legs can put you at a higher risk of suffering from shin splints.

Transition Through Exercises Carefully

Even if you at the top of your game when it comes to fitness, it still pays to transition through exercises carefully. This means avoiding a sudden increase in activity when your body is not expecting it.

When you start running, jumping, and walking, do it gradually over several days. Don’t change up your workout routine drastically because it can be detrimental to your muscles and bones.

Choose Your Surfaces Carefully

Ask anyone who has suffered from shin splints, and they will tell you that hard surfaces like concrete are not doing you any favours. Hard materials can increase how much force your muscles and bones need to absorb during your fitness routine.

Whether you’ve suffered from shin splints in the past, or you want to prevent them, be more particular with your workout surfaces. Where possible, opt for grass, synthetic surfaces, sand, dirt, or even sprung wood flooring.

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What to do when you have a cold

Sometimes no matter how hard you try to fight it you could end up with a cold this winter. Some over-the-counter pharmaceuticals may mask the symptoms of colds or flu, but don’t help your body to overcome the illness. Natural herbal supplements like Echinacea, Olive leaf or Elderberry may help to reduce the durations of colds whilst supporting your immunity at the same time.

Echinacea is native to North America and has been used by the American Indians for over 400 years. Research has shown that Echinacea can increase our white blood cell numbers which are the cells that help fight infection. Interestingly, Echinacea was used medicinally until the introduction of antibiotics in the 1950s. Several research studies have shown that taking Echinacea reduces the chance of catching the common cold by 58% and can reduce the length of colds by 1 ½ days.

Olive leaf has been used for healing for thousands of years and was first used by the Ancient Egyptians. The leaf, not the actual fruit, of the olive tree has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties with research showing that one of its active compounds called Oleuropein has strong antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal actions. It is these properties that may help to support our immune system by fighting against viruses which cause respiratory infections and flu.

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Avoid the Christmas Party Buffet Blow Out!

It’s another Christmas party & time to tackle the buffet which is covered in delectable & delicious treats which might be great for the taste buds but not so good for our bods. Here’s 6 ways to avoid buffet table blow out!

1. Plan ahead

Ok so it’s awesome for the boss to put on a freebie dinner but try not to think of it as an all you can eat restaurant! Eat a healthy nutritious snack BEFORE the party. Have a banana, grab some sushi or whizz up a protein smoothie. That way you will be fuller when you arrive & won’t be tempted to pig out when the pastries come by (BTW: pastries are high in saturated fats so try to avoid where possible)

2. Drink water

A sign of being dehydrated is hunger so make sure you drink a glass of water when you first arrive. If you are drinking alcohol alternate one drink with one glass of water to stay hydrated & avoid being the office party catastrophe. Better yet, swap your alcoholic drinks for sparkling water with ice & lemon. It looks just like a G & T but without the hangover.

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Adrenal fatigue – Do you have it?

Adrenal fatigue is a term thrown around (especially in health food) for various symptoms. It is commonly associated with feeling tired and stressed and not having enough energy to face the day. However, adrenal fatigue is a very real and debilitating syndrome. It is under recognised and under diagnosed and I wonder to what point we are all pushing past the ability of our poor little adrenal glands to keep up with modern life.

Considering the massive job they do, the adrenal glands are only little guys. They live on your kidneys and release hormones in response to any and all stress you experience. Cortisol, adrenaline and epinephrine are systematically released as needed to deal with anything from a broken nail to a job interview, a car accident or a breakup. These hormones allow your body to respond to stress itself, and also determine how you respond. But that’s not it; these workaholics also have an impact on weight gain and the body’s ability to shed excess weight as the secretion of stress hormones regulates sugar release in muscles and can determine the rate of your metabolism.

Adrenal fatigue commonly occurs after a prolonged period of stress (hello daily life) or an infection (hello winter and pre-school children). It’s important to note that although adrenals are related, chronic fatigue syndrome differs to adrenal fatigue as it is more serious with severe unexplained fatigue for 6 months or more.

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