Having mastered hurdles in her professional sports career, Olympian Derval O’Rourke and creator of healthy lifestyle platform Derval.ie, shares her advice on overcoming unexpected fitness hurdles with top injury tips …
Minding ourselves while we exercise is important. When you are exercising, consider your level and what is your fitness ‘zone’. For this reason, I think the guided videos on Derval.ie are hugely beneficial for showing my members the correct form and technique for different movements that people might not have performed before. This will help to reduce injury, but of course it’s impossible to prevent it altogether as these things happen.
In my previous life as an Olympic athlete a key part of my job was to keep my body healthy enough to perform, which meant minimising injuries. Nowadays I find that I’m often bad at dealing with little niggling pains or issues, but it’s so important we listen to our bodies.
Now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted it might be easier for you to exercise, but just be mindful of how far you push yourself.
Here are my top five tips for keeping your body well:
1. If in pain STOP!
Do not keep exercising in pain. If running is causing you pain then stop until you can resolve the issue. There is a big difference between pushing yourself and hurting yourself. Getting outside of your comfort zone to get fit can be really important, but be careful that you are not in real pain. One of the keys to getting fit is consistency so you will completely stop any progress by training in pain.
2. Go to an expert
Rather than sitting on your bum and waiting for the pain to get better, go to see an expert! Ask around and see who has a good reputation for getting results with injuries or niggles. There are lots of experts but some are better than others. Also, consider what your pain is and who is good at dealing with that specific area. I always ask for recommendations and then try to set up an appointment. Consider how much you look after others and make sure you give yourself the same level of care.
3. Keep moving
This might seem like it contradicts the top point but I swear it doesn’t. Just because you can’t do one form of exercise it doesn’t mean you can’t do something else. If I can’t run I tend to go swimming or go on a bike. Different exercises will cause different reactions so try to keep moving and doing the exercises that you can do. This might mean getting out for a short 15 minute walk daily or some light stretching – which will also hugely benefit you mentally. Don’t let a small injury completely derail you.
4. Do your bit
When you’re trying to recover from an injury or a niggle there is often lots you can do yourself. If you have been given specific exercises to do make sure you do them. Find out from whoever is treating you what you can do to help yourself outside of appointments. I’ve used Pilates a lot in the past to help me whilst recovering from a niggle.
5. Consider your budget
Physio and treatment can be expensive. It’s worth checking if you get any physio appointments with your insurance policy (if you have one). I would always ask the service provider for a rough guide as to how many visits you might need, this helps to keep track of the progress and of your spending. If you are struggling to get better after a certain amount of visits then review your approach and chat to the provider about an alternative.
Recipe of the Week: Easy Eggs in Jackets
This week I wanted to share with you an easy and nutritious breakfast or lunch option – Easy Eggs in Jackets. Using simple ingredients this recipe creates a tasty balanced meal. I love to bake a bag of potatoes on a Sunday evening and then keep them in the fridge for hassle free midweek dinners. This is one of the lean recipe options as part of my Tone at Home Challenge and members have been giving it a big thumbs up!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10-15 mins
4 large potatoes, baked and allowed to cool.
8 free range eggs
50g cheddar cheese, grated
1. Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees. Line an oven proof tray with parchment paper.
2. Cut the baked potatoes in half and scoop out enough of the flesh to create a medium sized well
3. Crack an egg into each of the potato halves.
4. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle over the cheddar cheese and then return to the oven for a further 2 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt slightly.
5. Remove from the oven and enjoy.
For more advice and tasty and nutritious recipes visit Derval.ie, where you can avail of a free 7-day trial.
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