Monthly Archives: June 2012

Pilates for runners – common injuries

As we are now in the height of charity race season I thought I’d help those runners who are new to the sport and help them prevent any unwanted injuries. The most common injuries we see over summer are running related injuries due to the better weather and the charity races held over the next few months. Injuries usually are knee or hip related for women and for men ankle or knee related. In this post I thought I would concentrate on the injuries women are more prone to picking up, however, the exercises on the video are also beneficial to men.
As I said women usually suffer with either hip or knee injuries this is due to our larger ‘Q- angle’ (the angle between our knee and hip). A larger ‘Q-angle’ puts extra strain on our hips during running making us more prone to IT band injuries (the muscle that runs from the hip down the outside of the leg to the bony prominence just below the outside of the knee). IT band injuries can cause us problems both in the knee during movement and problems in the hip both during the run and at rest. In my experience strengthening the hip rotators, the glutes and strengthening pelvic stability alongside stretching helps reduce the incidence of the injury and helps the rehabilitation of the injury if symptoms are already present. These exercises are easy to do at home with no equipment necessary. The exercises will strengthen the glutes, the hips, lower abdominals, core and pelvic stability taking away the strain on the IT band amongst other muscles. Give them a try and let me know how you get on.

The evils of sugar

Did anyone watch the programme last week on BBC 2 ‘the men who made us fat’ if you didn’t make sure you do, finally someone is trying to educate the UK that sugar is the enemy not fat.

Sugar is as John Yukin named his book ‘pure, white and deadly’ Sugar affects several important hormones in the body which are directly related to fat storage and obesity. The hormone that you will be most familiar with is insulin. Insulin is a storing and locking hormone, when insulin levels are high the body will store extra calories as fat, and inhibit the body’s ability to release fat by putting a lock on fat cells within the body. Sugar/ carbohydrates cause an increase in insulin levels turning the body into a fat storing machine leading to fat gain which in turn leads to obesity. First reason to avoid sugar then!

If you watched the programme ‘the men who made us fat’ you will have heard them mention Leptin. Leptin is the body’s fuel guage, it control hunger levels on a day to day basis, if leptin levels are high or you become leptin resistant you will continue to eat and eat and eat because the body isn’t being told that it is full by leptin. Studies have found that high fructose (sugar) consumption induces leptin resistance, therefore if you diet is high in sugar, particularly fructose your body will be suppressing the hormone that tells you when you are full. If your body doesn’t think its full you will continue to eat and gain weight leading to obesity, second reason to avoid sugar!

The final hormone to be concerned about  if high levels are present  is cortisol. If you have high levels of insulin within the body (caused by sugar) cortisol will be released, if cortisol is released and battling with insulin this can lead to a seesaw effect that will continue throughout the day causing mood swings, energy slumps and metabolic resistance which leads to fat storage, particularly around the middle of the body, third reason to avoid sugar!

If all three hormones, insulin, cortisol and leptin are high in the body you will be the best fat storing machine out there! Fourth reason to avoid sugar!

So, in conclusion, the best way to lose weight/ fat, avoid obesity and weight issues is to balance your hormone levels by cutting out sugar from your diet.
Fitness professional, Pilates and Yoga studio owner, sports therapist and nutritionist. Love anything fitness related #Pilates #yoga #Macclesfield