After being sick, I had to decide whether I was in good enough shape to run a half marathon in the desert mountains in Eilat. I had to really tune into how I was feeling to make sure that the race wouldn’t cause a relapse and send me back to bed with a fever.
Do You Take Better Care of your Car or Body?
If a red light on our car panel turns on, we could try to ignore it and hope it will just turn off on its own, but most of us know that we might end up causing serious damage to our car if we continue driving it. The engine might be destroyed if the light is showing that it is overheating! Most of us understand this and will take our car immediately to be checked, but sadly many of us will ignore the same “red light” signs telling us that we are not OK. Aches, bloating, tiredness, weakness and digestive issues may all be possible signs that something is not right. If we ignore these signs and hope they will just go away, we may get worse, and healing will be more difficult.
Make Decisions Based on Staying Healthy
I had signed up for a race several months ago and knew I was in good shape for it, but between being sick for a week and later being out of commission after a fall where I hurt my hand, I had not run long distances for a couple of weeks. That is not the position you want to be in before a race and I really didn’t know if I was up to running it. I decided that I would run to the 5 KM mark and see how I feel. I would either return and run just 10 km or continue and run the full 21 km, half marathon. This spectacular race runs up through the desert mountains in Eilat and over looks the Red Sea. The beauty probably helped me feel better. At the 5 KM mark I was feeling fine and decided to continue. It took me 25 more minutes to finish the race this year compared to my time 2 years ago. As a runner, that is a very disappointing result, but I had to remind myself that I almost didn't run this race and the slower time showed I took it easy, which is exactly what I needed to do in this situation.
It Does Not Have to Hurt
If you feel pain take it as a warning. Whether the pain happens because of your workplace or when you work out, something is wrong. You should not be in pain at work and pain should not be part of running nor of most non- combative sports. I’m not talking about sore or tight muscles during or after working out. I’m talking about pain while taking part in your sport. Sadly many new athletes think that being in pain is part of the experience. It isn’t and it should not be. I know many marathon runners, triathletes and even Iron Man finishers who do not suffer from pain. They have trained correctly. No - you do not need to learn to love your pain, you need to find out why there is pain! You need to make the necessary changes to prevent more pain and injury. For example, If you feel pain in your wrist or near the elbow, you may have tennis elbow. Many cyclists as well as people who work on the computer for many hours may not realize they have tennis elbow because they feel the pain in their wrists and not near their elbows. People may ignore this pain thinking it’s just part of their sport or work.
Tennis elbow is an inflammation. If you treat tennis elbow early, often by releasing the tight muscles (extensors) in your arm, this pain can be relieved easily. Sadly, if tennis elbow is not treated, the inflammation can spread to the bone and then it becomes chronic pain. If you are in pain, get it checked and treated early!
Train Correctly If you train correctly, you should not be in pain. When I studied Rehabilitation Techniques (Trigger Point and Myofascial Release), we learned the main causes of the different types of sports injuries. Many injuries had the same reason:
Doing Too Much, Too Fast
If you train correctly you can build up your muscles and stamina without having to experience needless pain.
Put Your Health First We set a goal and then train to reach that goal. For many that goal is a race on a certain date. For some, that race may be abroad and flight tickets are booked along with hotel reservations. Maybe the family builds a vacation abroad around the race date. That all sounds wonderful, but what happens if the person training starts to have an injury?
I have found this situation to be one of the worst causes of prolonged injury. Since travel arrangements are all set, they can’t imagine postponing the race. They continue to train despite pain and/or injuries until the pain becomes so intense that they have to stop. They not only can’t participate in their planned race, but they have such terrible injuries that many stop their sport all together. Always allow for a plan B. I have a friend who was training for a marathon in December but tripped at work and hurt her ankle. She had to rest for a few weeks and decided to register for a marathon in Feb. instead, She is still reaching her goal, but she put her health first.
My friend and running coach, Naomi Wainsztok teaches us, to make sure you can run tomorrow. In other words, don’t overdo it today. There is always tomorrow, and you want to stay healthy so you can enjoy what you love tomorrow too. Put your health first. By listening to our body we can learn to identify when something is off and get treated early to prevent illness or decline. There are so many signs that people ignore and only in hindsight realize that they already had signs of their illness, months and even years earlier. Simple signs such as headaches and tiredness might be signals of higher blood pressure. Left unchecked high blood pressure may lead to vascular dementia. Listen to your body so you will be aware of changes.
Oran Aviv has been a reflexologist for 25 years and is also a Certified Validation teacher. She combines both the principles of hand reflexology and Validation to teach ©Hands-on Dementia to help people connect and understand at a deeper level those who have memory loss.
You can follow Oran on:
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Oran is also the author of Hands-on Dementia for Caregivers, a Step-by-Step Guide to Learn 3 Reflex Points to Help your Loved One and Yourself