FEELING GREAT: Vitally important to vary your exercise plan and routine

How about thinking about the importance of varying your activity and exercise routines? As I write this, I’ve been struggling with a foot injury.

“I succumb to the temptation to quickly and easily go for a run most nights.”
“I succumb to the temptation to quickly and easily go for a run most nights.”

I’d like to tell you a bit more about it and show how you can stop something similar happening to you.

I love to keep active. For me, sitting in the house isn’t really an option and my home is more like a hotel because all I ever use it for is to sleep in at night. And, because I’m happy to say that I’m addicted (no exaggeration) to the feeling that I get from exercising daily, sometimes I do too much and my body hurts as a result.

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Because of wanting to spend more playtime after work with my little boys, I became a lazy runner. I had succumb to the temptation to quickly and easily go for a run most nights so I could get back and spend more time with them.

I paid the price! I got in my right foot the beginnings of what could have led to a stress fracture. When I noticed it, and only when I grew concerned, I stopped the running and got back on my bike a lot more, and even found time to get back to swimming.

Because riding my bike takes about 90 minutes to get the same feeling as a 30-minute jog (plus prep time), I had to re-engineer my day so I could see the kids before bed time.

And guess what? Because I spent so much time in the sitting position and riding my bike nearly every night, I developed tension and discomfort in both shoulders.

It felt like my posture was awkward too, with my shoulders rounded, and I was definitely suffering a lot of stiffness in my lower back.

So the moral of the story is this: if you run a lot, expect problems to surface somewhere, like your foot or your shins. If you cycle a lot, shoulder and lower back problems will occur. And it’s not just these two types of activities that come with some health risks either.

Take golf for example - I see golfers in my clinic regularly and they nearly always come in with an Achilles tendon problem, or a lower back issue.

And what about if you play bowls? Well, a bad knee (or two) is common. Hill or fell walking? Same as the golfers, lower back and Achilles injuries.

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The importance of a varied exercise plan and routine is vital.