Time has gone by and you have noticed soreness in your knees when walking upstairs, your hips feel increasingly tighter and putting on your shoes seems to have become an actual effort.
You realise that these aches and pains may be because you have entered midlife. You are at a conscious crossroads, you know that you should start exercising but are apprehensive about making things worst.
For years rest and inactivity were a treatment choice for chronic pain, which makes sense for inflammation or swelling -
an April 2017 study published in the Cochrane Database Systematic Review looked at 18 previous Cochrane reviews on physical activity and chronic pain and stated,
“Exercise may have specific benefits in reducing the severity of chronic pain, as well as more general benefits associated with improved overall physical and mental health, and physical functioning... Physical activity and exercise programmes are increasingly being promoted and offered in various healthcare systems, and for a variety of chronic pain conditions"
Here Is Our Advice On Exercising With Pain...
Know your Limits
Start small and be conscious of your current physical ability, understand that strengthening the area around the pain is necessary. Creating stability around the joint will help your movement in the long run. Wear and tear on the cartilage can be painful and added pressure on an unstable joint will cause discomfort. Sometimes losing weight is good place to start.
Applying a step by step approach is foremost, it should be specific and nothing overly aggressive. Start with a simple stretching routine that you can incorporate into your daily life. Here is a great mobility warm up that you can learn.
New stimulus will create soreness in the muscles, recent study published in the Cochrane Database Systematic Review saw that,
“Muscle soreness that sometimes occurs with starting a new exercise subsided as the participants adapted to the new activities. This is important as it shows physical activity in general is acceptable and unlikely to cause harm in people with chronic pain, many of whom may have previously feared it would increase their pain further”
Delayed on set muscle soreness is normal and it will usually carry over from 48 – 72 hours post exercise dependent on the muscles used. Fortunately, due to the repeated bout affect the soreness will decrease as you incrementally progress. If problems do proceed you should consult a physiotherapist.
Increase your Skill
Exercising correctly is a skill that you should improve, having the right technique leads to greater results. Adding load to faulty mechanics will increase the risk of further injury.
Concentrate on your hip mobility, mainly your squat and hinge as these are movements that you use daily and will help increase joint and muscle strength.
Here is a video I have put together demonstrating a hinge and how you can learn it.
If you are not already sleeping 8 hours comfortably, begin to improve your sleep health and stress levels. If you have trouble sleeping here are some simple tips by Jeff -
Buy an alarm clock - It will stop you from having a phone in your room creating distraction
Turn off all electricity in the room - Turning off all the lights and little plug lights will help you create a the darkest room possible - basically it should be so dark you stub your toe.
Control the temperature - Your brain needs to be at a certain temperature to induce sleep if the room is too hot or you a hot and bothered sleep will be tricky.
Routine - Go to bed at the same bed with the same routine wihtout tv or phones.
Leave a day or two between each workout to ensure you are not over stressing your body.
If you want to improve your heart health begin with low impact activities such as cycling, swimming or walking. These activities will increase the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints without adding any shock.
Pick an environment that you feel comfortable training in, find a gym that suits your personality, perhaps a warm, welcoming studio in Hampstead is what you would enjoy 😉
At home keep your workout kit in view and set a time and alarm at the exact time you plan to exercise. Scheduling a workout in this way means you are less likely to skip it or forget. Better yet, try to attach the workout to a pre-existing event or habit of yours. For example – when you get home you immediately take your work shoes on and replace them with your running shoes.
It is never too late to start exercising and strengthening your body, although it may seem daunting to start
“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable” - Plato
If you have any questions about getting a routine started or how you can begin to manage and improve your pains send us a message.