Have you heard of the 10% rule? Maybe you have but you still haven't put it to use. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about.
The 10% is a golden rule in health and fitness training to prevent injury, but it also applied to rehabilitation and recovering from an injury. Simply put: in a given week, you shouldn't increase the challenge you put on your body by more than 10%.
The wonderful thing is that our body changes and always contains that capacity in some form! Spend time on the couch and your body gets good at it. Work on stretching and your body will get more flexible. Work on strengthening and your body will get stronger. Start running and then running will get easier over time.
The hard part is that change takes time. We are often too greedy or impatient with our bodies or we give in to peer pressure of group workouts (boot camps, gym classes, yoga class, running groups, etc). Our desire is beyond what our body can do. This is commonly were injuries enter the scene. We push our bodies too hard, too fast without sufficient recovery time, we start to move in less ideal ways, and things start to rub in the wrong way and then our body sends messages to our brain to try to get us to stop. We perceive these messages as pain. Pain should motivate us to slow down or even stop for a period of time. (Now there's a difference, between good pain and bad pain, but that's a topic for a whole other blog post, or two, and a whole conversation to have with your physical therapist if you haven't learned the difference yet. Teaser - it's not about just being mentally tough.)
So if you are running and what to build up the mileage, don't increase by more than 10% per week. So if you run 3 miles, 3x/week (9 miles total) and want to increase it, the next week you can add in another mile. That could look like 3.3 miles, 3x/week or 2 runs of 3 miles and 1 - 4 miles run. The 10% should also apply to speed, frequency, intensity (e.g. hills), etc.
If you are weight training, the 10% rule applies as well. It applies to the amount of weight, the number of sets, the number of reps, the number of days you lift, the number of exercise you do, the speed at which you lift.
The 10% rule applies whether you're a triathlete, yogi, walker, swimmer, tennis player, rock climber, soccer player or any other activity. Make it your rule and start incorporating it into you routine.
You body will change. Just be patient! Take the long view of it for long term health!
The same is true of rehabilitation and injury recovery. Just because you want to be back playing soccer, biking, running, or joining your yoga class next week, does not mean your body is ready for it. I spend a lot of time helping patients understand the need for slow incremental steps for optimum outcomes. Going back too early can lead to worse injury or for some constant pain.
This is simple, but it's not common sense. To get specific help on how to meet your physical goals, contact Liz. I'm on your side!
Let's Get to the Source, and TOGETHER, Let's Get Moving