One of the more interesting points concluded that women exercising with lower loads and for less time can achieve greater health outcomes than their male counterparts. More broadly, perhaps, this suggests that a more tailored approach is required when optimising exercise programs for each individual dependent on any number of factors.
It’s not time to throw group exercise out the window, but it may be time to adopt a more tailored approach based on your personal goals. Group exercise still has its place in your goal to achieve optimal health and longevity of life as it provides many more benefits than just the physical. Apart from fulfilling our needs as social animals, it also gives us the ability to mimic when we don’t know what to do, compete in our own ways and to feel normal in our behavior as we strive for self-improvement. In the post covid “work from home” environment the psychological benefit of group exercise is almost as important as the physical benefit. Ideally a mix of monitored personal training or self-guided training, coupled with a mix of group classes may provide a balanced way forward for the goal of improved performance and health benefits.
The noted study lacks specificity in terms of body types, baseline fitness levels and many other considerations, however it is always great to keep building the information base for optimising our workouts. On a final note, get out there and get active!
Eleanor Hayward (Health Editor) - The Times - published the full article under the title
Study Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109723083134?via%3Dihub
I attended a seminar a few years ago where many of the concepts detailed in this article where presented along with a discussion on achilles tendons. The presenters stated that it appears to be the “silent” achilles tendons that progress to rupture and not the one that alert us to their presence. So in effect pain can be good and a useful tool in alerting us to overload.
Many studies have noted that statistics kept on running groups suggest between 30-50 percent of (and even more in some studies) runners in any group will have some degree of injury over the course of a year.
Quite clearly, and I see it often, don’t run when it doesn’t feel “right”. That run into pain could mean the development of an injury rather than just a few days rest that the body may require. See the signs, listen to your body and have a look at the noted article, it may help you to stay running happy. Any bigger problems, go and see a physiotherapist.
The study from Qatar referenced below, appearing in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine” suggests we can return to even our contact sports in a safe and sustainable way. The study concluded that football played outdoors involving close contact between athletes, presents a limited risk for SARS-COV-2 infection and severe illness when preventative measures are in place. Great news, but it does mean we need to be sensible.
What type of measures were employed in Qatar? Some, of course, may be impractical as we don't have the time or budget of a professional sporting team, but given high infection rates in Qatar a slightly looser approach would probably still prove effective. All of the “normal” covid protocols were continued off the pitch but the players were also tested every 3-5 days during the season. No other “special” precautions were undertaken.
Cases did occur amongst players but even with good contact tracing the source of the original infection could not often be found. The study states that “it could be argued that the players were infected during training or matches but the testing of team-mates and opposing teams during the periods of interest did not reveal any matching infections to suggest player to player transmission.........the common denominator for transmission appeared more often to be from events external to the football such as family and social events”.
Notably, as I have discussed in another blog, people with higher levels of activity seem to have few or minimal symptoms, so surely, its time to return to the field, it makes us all better in mind and body.
Covid – 19 Returning to Sports – Some ideas and some of the evidence.
I recently came across an excellent article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, “Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe Covid-19 outcomes; a study in 48440 patients”. The title outlines clearly the findings of the article, physical activity is strongly associated with a reduced risk of severe Covid -19 outcomes among infected adults.
As a Sydney based individual with lock down measures being eased in the next few weeks, it is so important to get back out exercising in the safest manner that we can. I have covered pre-season return to sport/activity in previous blogs and this remains relevant but the focus of this blog is about getting active.
The noted study describes inactivity as the main variable associated with more severe illness after contracting covid. Notably this is after eliminating the influence of other medical issues such as obesity and diabetes, which are often present in those who are less active. The article of course goes much deeper in its consideration of a myriad of other variables, including organ transplant which is also associated with more severe covid outcomes.
So the real question is, how much activity is enough? The amount noted in this study was 150 minutes of exercise per week. A brisk walk was sufficient to be considered as exercise and the 150 minutes could be made up of multiple small units.
The full study supplies a huge amount of extra detail but really the message is clear. Be safe, consider the necessary precautions, but get out there and get active.
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Don't try to pick up where you left off. Prehabilitation causes actual physical changes in the body. Broadly it is really the process of prestressing your soft tissues and subsequently tissue development/strengthening, so it takes time. Walk before you run and start slow before speeding up. If you haven't had a total break from activity, then this should be easier than the post Christmas return to fitness.
Lower back pain, particularly for the fast bowler, is an all too familiar problem. For those that are working with higher training workloads and intensity, this can be problematic. Sport Health, a publication of Sports Medicine Australia, recently published (Vol 37 Issue 1, 2019) a round table discussion with several experts in this area discussing lumbar stress fractures in the cricket playing population. The emphasis in this discussion was that early diagnosis leads to better early treatment and a more durable recovery.
Primarily early identification of a stress reaction through clinical assessment and 3T MRI can identify the pathology. A stress fracture that has not progressed to a pars defect ( full fracture) ultimately is more easily treated ie. no need for periods of complete rest or maybe even surgery in the worst cases. The treatment is based on relative rest and repeat MRI to ensure that healing is occuring.
Jason is the Leichhardt Physiotherapy clinic practice principal. A graduate from Sydney Uni and practicing for over 20 years, he is passionate about sharing new discoveries.