Big or small, take care of it…

Nothing worse than crutches...

In the office, it doesn’t take you to long to pick up that many people who frequent this building every day are actually exercise and fitness enthusiasts. Whether that’s on a bike, in the ocean, stomping the pavement or adding to the masses in the health clubs.

But after chatting with people in the office and in everyday life, one thing that is very common is that being active, does lend your body to the odd strain, pull and sometimes worse. But whether it’s big or small it’s evident that it really affects the person beyond just their regular exercise regime.

I have been very fortunate and unfortunate where most of the physical activities I have been involved in, there has always been a Doctor/Surgeon/Physical Therapist on hand for anything that may happen. That is the fortunate part, but the unfortunate part is I have had to use up far more of their time than they or I would like to admit, with serious and not so serious injuries. But that really got me thinking, where do you go and what do you do when you’re out doing your thing and you tweak something?

Well first off let me say that I’m no doctor, But I have spent a good portion of my life playing professional sport and have taken a great interest in how our body works. Obviously if you think it’s a fairly bad injury go straight to your doctor, but if it’s just something that is nagging, there is a great resource, WebMD. com. WebMD – “Better information. Better health”. I think that really says it all, but it really is a great place, to look in to what may be causing you trouble while trying to stay on track.

On a personal note, the one thing that I could add to this is whatever you do, always err on the side of caution. There is never any rush to get back to full activity and if you rush it, it could add those extra weeks and an added symptom that could have been avoided.

I think what I’m trying to say in all of this, is you may hurt yourself, but not taking care of it is going to cause more damage and have a greater effect on your life than you want.

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FIFA World Cup Conditioning

With the FIFA World Cup drawing near to its grand finale this Sunday, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few facts about soccer players and their conditioning. It’s not all about looking good with their shirts off. It has long been said that they are great at putting on a show with all the diving and rolling around on the floor that you see during each game. Despite that, they are incredibly well conditioned athletes, so much so that some people would go as far as to say that on the elite stage they are probably at the top of the list.

Few sports are played on as large a playing field, lasting as long and without regular rest periods. Players cover 5-7.5miles during a match, consisting of 24% walking, 36% jogging, 20% coursing, 11% sprinting, 7% moving backwards and 2% moving whilst in possession of the ball. The game is played at an average intensity close to the lactate threshold – approximately 80-90% of maximum heart rate. Soccer players posses excellent endurance with VO2 max(is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual) reported to range between 55 and 70 ml/kg/min in elite performers. To help you better understand what that means, here is an example, for a male age 30-39, an excellent VO2 max is 35.7 – 40.0 ml/kg/min and for a male age 20-29 an excellent VO2 max is 37.0 – 41.0 ml/kg/min .  Lance Armstrong’s VO2 max has been measured at a whopping 84 ml/kg/min, more than twice that of an individual male in the above normal category. Based on that evidence it is not hard to see how you can come to that conclusion. This Sunday will showcase some of the best talent the world of soccer has to offer and I have no doubt that every player that takes the pitch will exceed his physical limitations to ensure their team goes home for the first time with the title World Champions.

I hope this gives you a little more insight in to exactly what these athletes are capable of and that the FIFA World Cup that has captivated the world over the last few weeks has showcased amazing athletes with extraordinary talents both in their conditioning and their control of the Jabulani soccer ball.