Tips & Advice

Long Term Weight Loss Program

In today’s world of high sophistication and inter-planetary voyages people seldom get time to keep them physically active. Such sedentary lifestyles have increased the rate of hypokinetic problems like coronary heart diseases, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, arthritis etc. People have started realizing the need for healthy body to carry out their day today activities and are getting more into health clubs and gyms.

Many a times when the trainers are not completely aware about the physiology and body mechanisms, they misguide the common man into those activities which show quick results but are never long lasting. The best form of physical activity would be a combination of Cardiovascular/Aerobic exercise, Strength training and flexibility exercises. This would help an individual to overcome most of the Health-Related components of fitness. As this type of workout increases the metabolic rate even during resting period, long after one stop his activity and help to burn more calories.

Here, the clients will be on individualized exercise routines for a number of weeks and then periodically have “tune-up sessions” where testing occurs, a new plan developed, and a new program is instituted.









Lactic acid - a boon or curse

 The thought of lactic acid or lactate is mainly understood in the form of intense pain felt during exhaustive exercise, especially explosive type of events of shorter duration. To understand this term we should know about ATP and how the working muscles use it. Lactic acid accumulation in tissues is the result of an imbalance between production and utilization or breakdown. Lactic acid is the end product formed during fast glycolysis where the oxygen availability is less. The overall effect is a decrease in available energy and muscle contraction force during exercise. Lactic acid is then converted to its salt, lactate, by buffering systems in the muscle and blood. Unlike lactic acid in the muscle, lactate is not believed to be a fatigue-producing substance.

Lactic acid is often misunderstood by people to produce pain in the muscles, create soreness and that it is a waste product. But actually lactate is being produced by the body all day long and is a key chemical which is used to dispose of dietary carbohydrate and, you should like this, also helps from getting fat. During hard sessions around 20% of the lactate produced is used by the muscles to form glycogen which provides you with more energy. When we really understand the mechanism of muscular contractions and energy systems this really sounds like a boon to me.









Proprioceptive training as sport- specific training

 Proprioception is one of the somatic senses—nervous system functions that collect sensory information from the body but are not one of the special senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, or vestibular equilibrium. It is an automatic sensitivity mechanism in the body that sends messages through the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS then relays information to rest of the body about how to react and with what amount of tension. Research in this area shows that though proprioception is unconscious initially, but could be enhanced with training.

Proprioception has been incorrectly used synonymously and interchangeably with kinesthesia, joint position sense, somatosensation, balance and reflexive joint stability.According to Sherrington (1906), who coined this term, proprioception correctly describes afferent information arising from internal peripheral areas of the body that contribute to postural control, joint stability, and several conscious sensations.A review of literature from 1960’s to 2004 shows that proprioception has been studied under clinical purposes mainly for rehabilitation and just recently certain studies involving proprioceptive training and performance has been conducted.

Activities that require balance, coordination, agility and power, and movements that challenge clients' normal range of motion, are great ways to cross-train for proprioceptive adaptation (Suzanne Nottingham, 1999). I have been doing a research on proprioceptive training and gymnastics’ performance and feel that sport-specific training in most of the games should include training to enhance the proprioceptive abilities.









Master your body weight for life!

All the chemical processes happening in our body, especially those that cause food to be used for energy and growth are termed as metabolism. It is simply the speed at which our body burns calories. The faster one’s metabolism, quicker will be the process of losing weight. Metabolism varies with individual and people with slower metabolism tend to put on weight or find it difficult to lose weight. There are various reasons for slower metabolism but the fact is that this process can be increased through conscious effort. By controlling this process one can lose weight more efficiently. It will be better to state that by mastering our metabolism we can master our body weight for life.

The following are some of the causes for slower metabolism:

Lack of physical activity or exercise: By not exercising or not getting involved in physical exercise, there will be a relative reduction in the muscle tone. And thereby relative muscle mass will be less compared to fat tissues.
Improper diet or skipping meals: Healthy breakfast plays an important role in keeping the metabolism normal. When we skip meals our body’s ability to do various functions are reduced due to lack of energy and this in turn tries to conserve energy. This will slow down the process of metabolism. If the food doesn’t provide with sufficient energy that will also reduce calorie burning.
Alcohol: Though there is research stating that alcohol is fine in moderation, it tends to make the body slow and in terms of weight-loss it is best to keep it to minimum or cut out completely.
Stress or insufficient rest: Any sort of stress can lead to decreased metabolism. Our body requires sufficient rest to keep its bodily functions normal.

The following are some of the means to increase the process of metabolism:

Aerobic exercise: The after effect of a session of aerobics, swimming, cycling or walking will be there for few hours and the metabolism remains high during this period.
Strength training/Body conditioning: Just like a session of aerobic activity the after effect of strength training session also remains for hours. The main difference is that an increase in muscle mass helps to increase the metabolism even during rest and thereby helping to burn more calories.
Food: Balanced diet with sufficient carbohydrates, proteins and fats gives the body sufficient energy to burn calories and lose weight. It is even better when the calorie requirement is consumed in smaller, regular meals.

In a nutshell, our metabolism is more related to our lifestyle than age. Though the process of aging has its effect on bodily functions and organs but through proper diet, sufficient muscle tone and active lifestyle we can control the process of body weight and prevent many diseases associated with over weight and obesity.









Overcoming strength plateaus

This is one of the common statements that we get to hear from many people undergoing strength training. Research says there is more chance to hit plateaus at a particular stage after a few months of training unless the whole program is updated according to the individual response. This mainly occurs after around six months of training. Many times we see that there is quick and sufficient change during the initial stages of training but slows down later. The initial changes are mainly due to adaptation and better recruitment of muscle fibers. Strength training plateaus are as a result of continuing the same training program for a longer duration. This can be overcome easily by making sufficient changes to the training program at specific intervals by assessments and re-assessments. Another main reason for hitting a plateau could be improper guidance or workout plans.

The most important point to be considered is to follow the principles of training – FITT and being smart on program setting. The whole program should be realistically designed keeping in mind the individual goals. Exercises are to be performed with specific number of repetitions, sets etc to obtain specific goals. For example, doing high repetitions with low resistance will not help in hypertrophy of the muscles. Strength gain plateau can be overcome by adding variety to the program. This could be done by increasing the intensity which could be done by increasing the resistance or decreasing the rest periods between the sets. Apart from this, variety can be brought by changing specific exercises, re-assessing the goals and making alternative.

Human body is shown to have adaptation ability to different kinds of resistance and conditions. Consistent gains can be seen only when the muscles are challenged to higher levels at regular intervals. Cross training is one of the ways to include variety to the workout. This will help to overcome boredom and recruit many other motor units. If the principles of training are properly followed with regular feedback using re-assessments of whole program can surely keep the plateaus under bay.









Six-Pack abs

Every individual, male or female, would love to have a washboard abs or what we call six-pack abs. There is lot of discussion on this topic but few have really tried to understand it. Six-pack is a term used for the muscle Rectus abdominus which gives those appearances. Rectus muscle has tendinous intersections making it look like different sections. These intersections assist in efficient movement. Every individual has similar anatomy but this feature is not visible for many due to the subcutaneous fat or less muscle mass. In general, the sections seen in the rectus are six but in rare cases there will be eight or even ten. Even a lean person can get a washboard abs but he/she has to train towards hypertrophy of the muscle and reducing the fat %. This regime should be a combination of aerobic, weight training and flexibility program followed by strict diet with sufficient protein intake.

The experts of fitnessearth will give you clear-cut program, according to your physique and requirements, that will take you towards your goal.









Preventing muscle loss during exercise

Many often we hear fitness enthusiasts using certain terms like losing muscles or breakdown of muscles during exercise. This is a phenomenon that most of the people involved in exercise and training might have come across during their work out, without really understanding the concept. This is commonly known as muscle catabolism i.e. breakdown of muscle tissues as a result of physical exercise or any other intensive and continuous physical training. Have you ever tried to understand why all the athletes involved in long distance running like road race and triathlon are having a lean physique? This is also the main reason for elite body builders avoiding intensive cardio, just to be on a safer side. The answer to these questions is muscle catabolism.

Muscle catabolism is mainly caused due to over training, decrease in protein synthesis and lack of recovery. Sufficient supply of amino acids is required to prevent this breakdown and it can be achieved by taking proper pre and post-ex diet. It is well known that whey protein acts rapidly and is a good source of immediate post-ex amino acids. At the same time we should understand that casein protein is a slow digesting source of amino acid which is high in glutamine and also prevents protein breakdown in the body. This makes casein a good ingredient of protein to be taken when it is to be consumed as a meal replacement or bed time protein. Such proteins help in prevention of muscle breakdown. Besides, increase in cortisol activity during running for longer duration also reduces the protein synthesis which leads to muscle breakdown.

There are lot of studies which show that by following basic principles of training, having proper diet and taking sufficient rest an individual can prevent muscle catabolism during training. It is not just concerned about taking proteins but sufficient proportion of carbohydrates and fats are also important. This is the main reason we normally suggest to avoid high intensity cardio just after a strength training session, just to keep the cortisol activity under control.









Exercise - means to relieve stress

In the recent years the term stress had been used in different contexts. Many people feel stressed up at office, home or at any different place but each one have their own means to overcome that stress. This is one of the main reasons for many people getting addicted to habits like smoking, alcohol or any other drugs. Still some of them relieve the stress by playing some game, listening to music or doing some exercise. It is clearly understood that physical activity has a stress relieving effect on the body as they feel much better after the workout. Some say that certain chemicals produced in the brain are stimulated during exercise. These neurotransmitters are said to mediate our mood and emotions. However, there’s no scientific evidence to conclusively support this theory but there are plenty showing that exercise provides stress relieving benefits.

Besides the theory of neurotransmitters, there are many other ways that exercise helps to control stress. In many clinical settings, exercise is being prescribed to help treat nervous tension. There are studies showing that a session of exercise can decrease electrical activity of tensed muscles. Physical activity through exercise also generates relaxation response called as post-exercise euphoria or endorphin response. There transmitters improve the mood and leave the person relaxed. Besides, exercise improves the overall fitness and helps us to be more active throughout the day. This gives a better feeling about our self and when our self-efficacy is high we normally feel less tensed. We can see that exercise also helps in increasing the appetite of an individual and we tend to eat more nutritious food.

As we are now clear about the various benefits of exercise and how it helps in relieving stress, it is important to keep a few more things in mind for better results. While our main objective of a workout is to relieve stress then it is suggested that you prefer some outdoor activity or a place away from the office. The corporate gym or club will have lot of office related thoughts and discussion which may reduce the effect the exercise. So it is better to avoid workouts at the corporate clubs. If the training class or club is crowded then it might also be counterproductive and solo exercise may be more relaxing. If an individual likes to be in groups and enjoys that kind of atmosphere then it is fine. It all depends upon the personality of the individual. You will really feel that the time spend in a health club or on work out is worth it.









Caesin & Whey Protein

There are different forms of protein ingredients available in various supplements and food items. We can normally hear soya and whey protein but hardly about the protein called casein. Though all these proteins have its own merits but which one is more suitable for a particular individual is difficult to tell. It depends on the adaptation and any specific objectives of taking the protein. We know that muscle promotes protein synthesis only in the presence of sufficient amino acids. Both casein and whey are products of milk. Casein is normally known as a slow digesting source of amino acids compared to whey which is fast. Besides, casein is high in Glutamine and it also prevents protein breakdown in the body.


It is true that no protein works as fast as whey to increase protein synthesis. But the negative aspect of whey protein is that it also stops working very quickly and it normally supports muscle growth only for around two hours.  Certain studies suggest that whey also gets digested so fast that up to 58% is oxidized by the liver (for energy), destroying it before it ever reaches your muscles! This rapid oxidation of amino acids by your liver is the first major muscle growth defect built into every scoop of regular whey protein. Yes, whey is fantastic at boosting protein synthesis but not worth stopping muscle tissue breakdown. Medical research proves catabolism can best be prevented by a slower, continuous delivery of protein. Something no whey protein available today can give you. It is very important for an individual to understand the importance of fast protein to increase protein synthesis and try to couple it with a slow protein to decrease muscle tissue breakdown.       Casein, in many ways is better than whey in terms of slowness and availability to the muscles.
















Equipments are not really essential!

It is not really necessary that you require specific equipments to get fit or be in good shape. Many people are of the belief that only when we go to a gym or club that we can maintain our health. But it is not so! There are many other options to work on our fitness and health without being to a gym or using any machine as such. Even when we look into various principles of training like FITT and SAID, it is very important to stabilise the joints and improve the muscular endurance before going into other components of fitness. And this is mainly done without any machines as such.  Terms like Pilates and yoga can be associated with such kind of exercises.


By lifting our own body weight we can perform different exercises to gain strength, flexibility and maintain good physique. Some of the important exercises that come under this list are squats, push ups, lunges, abdominal curls, chin ups and crunches. Besides, we can perform many other callisthenic exercises to improve upon the range of motion and strength without the use of anything like barbells, dumb-bells or resistance machines. Such kind of workout does not require much space and can be performed at any place like home, garden or office. Our own body acts as resistance and can be progressively performed at different range of motions. Through abs and back strengthening exercises, we can improve the core stability, which forms the base of any training.


When we look into the intensity level for athletes who need to go for 1 repetition maximum kind of weights, then this kind of workout may not sufficient. But while using the own body weight as resistance, the intensity level can be increased by adding additional weights like ankle weights or weighted vests. Like any other training technique, the results will depend on many other aspects like heredity, diet, and complete lifestyle.










How much Protein is Sufficient!

Whatever may be the requirement, research says that a balanced diet is very essential to a healthy life and better performance. In this world, everyone is clearly aware about what to eat and what not to eat. But unfortunately there are so many products available in the market that many people get carried away by the labels which give a very healthy picture with faster weight loss, weight gain and improved performance. Some of them who review the studies don’t really understand the research findings. Most of the misconception is in the intake of protein and many have the feeling that more protein means more muscles.



Protein is known as the building block of the body which helps in the repair and growth of cells. They are organic compounds made up of amino acids arranged in a linear chain. When we discuss the intake of protein it is important to clearly identify the needs of an individual because protein acts a source of fuel as well as for building muscle tissues. Though carbohydrates and fats are the primary sources of fuel but in certain endurance activities, protein assists fat for energy. There are specific recommendations by RDA and accordingly protein requirement for a sedentary adult is around 0.8 gms/kg of the body weight. Many exercises physiologists opine that there is no need of additional protein for athletes involved in muscle building.



Some exercise specialists and dieticians believe protein intake above RDA will assist in higher performance and quicker results. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends increased protein intake only for individuals involved in intense aerobic training (greater than 70 % VO2 max). In spite of these recommendations it is found that most of the people already consume more protein than recommended by the RDA. So in such situation there is no need for increasing the protein intake just because of taking up some resistance training. Accordingly, if somebody has the goal of hypertrophy of muscles, then he should combine good resistance training program with a well balanced diet.



Besides, there are findings showing that increased intake of protein doesn’t make any positive contribution to the body and protein cannot be stored in the same form. Unfortunately this extra protein is converted to and stored in the form of fats. Excess protein may also lead to dehydration, because protein metabolism requires extra water for utilisation and elimination. In women, this may increase the risk of osteoporosis as extra loss of urinary calcium is associated with excess intake of protein.









Latest trend in Fitness VIIT

Every field has its own research being carried out and fitness is the real BUZZ word. We can find new trends coming up in each and every aspect of life but High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage in fitness world.  Though many of the fitness enthusiasts follow it, but do they really understand the science behind it? Or do they analyze the different types of training in HIIT. This kind of training could be varied based upon the quality and quantity of movement for better results. It all depends upon the objectives of the individual. Accordingly it needs to be understood whether a High-Volume Interval Training (HVIT) approach would better meet the training goals or perhaps a combination of Variable-Intensity Interval Training (VIIT).

One of the main reasons why these programs are popular is the time-efficiency in which an individual can achieve comparable results to those attained through higher volume, lower-intensity workouts. There have been recent studies showing results up to 90% less training volume and up to 67% less time commitment. In today’s world where Time is Money, no doubt that people prefer HIIT to other workouts. Regardless of these research, perhaps the most influential driver of this trend still lies with the perception that HIIT training increases overall caloric burn between the combined effects of the session and the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC or afterburn). Unfortunately, few people in the fitness industry understand the science behind these workouts and programs. For example, if such kind of training where repetitive, timed, maximal or near-maximal efforts are not incorporated in proper way then, it would definitely lead to overreaching or overtraining that could end up in increased risk of musculoskeletal strain and injury. The idea of this article is to provide an insight about the HIIT and how it can be used efficiently.

It is very important that we don’t confuse maximal performance with maximal effort as they are two different aspects. Whatever the type of training, human body mainly relies on two anaerobic pathways (i.e. glycolytic and phosphagen system) for energy source which generally carries for 2-3 minutes. And any activity that exceeds these durations, regardless of whether is performed in single bout or circuit or intervals, rely upon aerobic pathway.

Considering the general nature of most interval-type workouts, it should be kept in mind that the  human body is constantly producing lactate given how certain cells (e.g., red blood cells) lack mitochondria. At rest and under steady-state exercise conditions, the body maintains a balance between lactate production and its removal as lactate.  As per the basic principles of training, the principles of specificity and overload must be applied appropriately by manipulating key programming variables (FITR – frequency, intensity, training interval, recovery interval). As per various research, the training variables for the Fast Glycolytic System which is mainly used in HIIT are given below:

·         Duration: start with 30 seconds

·         Intensity or maximal performance: 75 – 90 %

·         Work to Recovery Interval - 1:2 to 1:3

·         Type of recovery – active and lower intensity; 48 hours between workouts

·         Frequency: 2- 3 sessions per week

Besides, it is very important to understand the needs of the individual, his/her performance and recovery. Research indicates that in HIIT it is very important to make sure that there is appropriate recoveries i.e. through consistent work performance and consistent calorie burn over successive intervals. But, in case of HVIT workout the volume of work might be greater but a smaller relative differential in expended calories. Consequently, while 10 intervals may have been completed the caloric differential between this HVIT and the true HIIT workout may only be marginal, but the risk of injury in the latter intervals may certainly increase. Rather, due to inappropriate recoveries there will be reductions in performance and decreased caloric burn.

In a nutshell, though HIIT is the growing trend in fitness, there are lot of concerns associated to these workouts. What we perceive to be HIIT, but is actually more aligned with HVIT, is focused upon volume or movement quantity, and perhaps at pursuing a higher caloric expenditure. Hence the best solution for these concerns is the Variable-Intensity Interval Training (VIIT), a hybrid form of training that incorporates the best of HIIT and at the same time it minimizes some of the major concerns associated with HVIT. As per research, workouts where the total work interval performed before taking a recovery interval that exceeds 3 to 4 minutes, or one that is performed at intensities below 75% of maximal performance (e.g., 75% of 1RM) or one that usually involves bodyweight resistance training is most likely HVIT (and not HIIT), and should be defined as such. However, to truly capitalize on the benefits that each can or may provide, VIIT appears to offer the ‘sweet spot’ where we can attain both needs and desires.









Stress: get the best out of it!

In this modern world, where everyone is running against time, this six-letter word is well known to all. While most of us might be considering stress to be a difficult part of life, but in reality ‘stress’ is very vital to keep us on the right track. While we may be aware of some of the consequences of stress, the question that should be asked is what we are doing on a consistent basis to monitor and control these deleterious effects? We need to have proper plan to control our mind to get the best out of the stress response.


To begin with, what is stress? In simple terms stress is the body’s mechanism to react to a challenge or stimuli(us). It could be defined as a non-specific response by the body to any demand that overcomes, or threatens to overcome, the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis (that state of equilibrium of the body’s internal biological mechanism). This condition or response lasts only for a short while before homeostasis is regained. In humans, this stress response could be some sort of negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being. According to the stimulus, the body initiates the appropriate fight-or-flight response. Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Not all stress is bad. All animals have a stress response, and it can be life-saving. But chronic stress can cause both physical and mental harm.

Stress could be classified into the following three types:

·         Normal routine stress related to the pressures of work, family, peer group and other day today activities.

·         Sudden acute stress brought about by sudden negative change such as loss in business, loss of job or health problem.

·         Any traumatic stress, which happens when you are in danger of being seriously hurt or killed. Examples include a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster. This type of stress can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This could be a serious problem leading to chronic symptoms.

The effects of stress could be felt in many ways. Some people experience headache or digestive problems, sleeplessness, extreme mood swings, anger and irritability. In case of people under chronic stress, get more frequent and severe viral infections, such as flu or common cold. Some people cope with stress more effectively than others. It's important to know your limits when it comes to stress, so you can avoid more serious health effects. There could be lot of physiological responses due to stress – running into bathroom before a big race/event, decreased release of saliva/digestive enzymes, decreased pain perception, increased sweat rates etc..

 Means to control stress!

Whatever the situation, it is very important o understand the stress levels of an individual and the stressors which could be in personal life or professional life. There are various means to control these stress factors. It is very important to understand that optimum stress is always required to get the best of an individual. Research has shown that there are many techniques to control stress, keep it under control and that will indeed help to make the best use of stress. The following are some of breathing & imagery techniques, but it is very important to understand which one is appropriate for an individual:

  • ·         Deep Breathing
  • ·         Mindful Imagery Techniques
  • ·         Body Sensation Awareness
  • ·         Stored Energy Release – release muscle tension
  • ·         Reprioritization – spend time on enjoyable activities/ people
  • ·         Social support – proper grooming and social support
  • ·         Predictive Information – Anticipate things and prepare to a situation
  • ·         Sense of Control – proper balance between demands and response
  • ·         Cognitive Flexibility – ability to remove stressors under control.

To conclude, stress is not a killing factor,  but it is our inability to keep it to optimum. It is high time that we understand the responses which negatively impact our existence rather than ensuring our survival. It has become the need of the hour that we rightly invest in the God given assets and discharge our valuable time, efforts, expertise and energy in getting the best health, fitness and performance.









Glycemic Index - How can you make it work for you!

In the recent years we get to hear more about Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Index diet among sports persons and fitness minded people.  GI is a score or measurement carried out on carbohydrate-containing foods according to their effect on blood sugar level. Any diet which is solely based upon the GI can be considered as Glycemic Index diet. Such diets don’t specify upon the quantity of food or the number of calories or their nutritional values; rather it is based on every individual’s need to choose the appropriate GI diet based on their health objectives.

            The GI ranking is based on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.

·         High-GI foods (70 or higher): Foods with high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed resulting in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Some of the common foods falling under this category are – Cornflakes, Weetabix, White Bread, Donuts, watermelon, Dates, Tapioca, Potatoes, French Fries, and White Rice.

·         Medium-GI foods (56 – 69): Some of the common foods – Porridge Oats, Croissant, Beetroot, Basmati Rice, Baked Potatoes, Vermicelli, Honey, Mangoes, Bananas, Raisins, Figs, Pineapple, Papaya, Sauce and Ice Cream.

·         Low-GI foods: Such foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption raise the blood sugar level very gradually. These foods are more recommended and have proven health benefits. Low-GI foods are good for weight control as they control appetite and reduce hunger. Such foods have also found to reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance. Some of the common foods – Oat bran, Natural Muesli, Soya, Whole grain, Whole wheat, Peanuts, Peas, Carrots, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Lettuce,  Kidney Beans, Hummus, Skim Milk, Spaghetti, Brown Rice, Instant Noodles, Nutella and most of the fruits besides those mentioned above.

Glycemic Index Diet and you!

GI diet can help you in the following ways:

  • ·         To lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • ·         In planning your diet and eating healthier meals
  • ·         In maintaining blood sugar levels as part of a diabetic plan

GI can often be confusing as it has one limitation - it doesn’t specify the quantity of a particular food to be consumed. To overcome this confusion researchers have come up with another rating called Glycemic Load (GL) that indicates the change in blood sugar level when u eat a specific quantity of that food.

In a nutshell, it is advisable to have a diet balanced in protein and Low-GI foods to create a steady blood sugar level with nutrients released slow and steady. Try to include wide variety of foods to offer maximum nutritional value. As always there are exceptions here too. Diet and nutrition have to be changed accordingly with high-GI foods during pre- and post - workout meals.









RUNNING Signs of related injury

Anyone playing sport or into fitness is to a greater or lesser extent at risk of injury; the intensity, frequency and type of physical activity being only some of the factors that may influence physical damage. And running forms the base of all physical training – whether it is for fitness or any sport. Except for the elite athletes, who undergo systematic recovery programs after training, most of the runners complain of some sort of discomfort or pain. Running injuries are quite common among amateurs and professionals.  This discomfort could vary from temporary DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) to chronic injuries. The cause of these discomfort or injury could vary significantly and there is no short cut to prevent these injuries.

WARNING SIGNS that needs attention

While some injuries can be noted immediately but many of the running related injuries creep up slowly and progressive making it get worse. In both these cases, if we don’t give attention to the warning signs, it will lead to chronic injuries. With reference to various studies, the following are the common signs that need immediate attention to avoid further injuries:

·         Tenderness at a specific point: - If you are feeling pain at a specific point while pressing your finger into it, is termed as tenderness. It could be along the bottom of the foot, or any muscle, tendon, ligament, bone or joint.

·         Joint Pain: - any joint pain that lasts more than 48 hours requires a physician diagnosis.

·         Swelling: - Swelling can mostly be seen clearly but at certain times there could be swelling without any outward signs.  It is always a sign of sports injury and should never be ignored. There could be some discoloration associated with swelling.

·          Hindered movement: - any swelling or injury inside will definitely affect the movement the range of motion at the particular joint would be reduced. Any difference in movement could be identified by comparing the same with other side of the body.

·         Numbness and Tingling: - Never ignore any sort of numbness or tingling sensation. This kind of discomfort is often related to never compression. These warning signs may indicate serious injury and should always be seen consulted with a physician.

Any of these warning signs can be given immediate attention and worsening can be prevented by performing the following first aid:

·         RICE therapy (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION & ELEVATION) should be given.

·         Never apply heat as it would increase circulation and increases swelling.

o   Discontinue activity immediately

o   Apply ice to the injured part (use a bag of crushed ice in any clothing); apply 2 -3 times a day for 72 hours, 10-15 minutes.

o   Wrap the injured area and try to give acute compression.

o   Elevate the area to reduce circulation and swelling.

·         Consult a physician if there is no reduction in the warning signs.