The Most Important 2 Minutes Of Your Day

We’ve all seen those annoying posts on Facebook or Instagram. A load of shite about morning rituals and how important they are?

That you must meditate for an hour before the sun comes up. 

And get in a killer workout before getting ready for work.

Prep all your food for the day before a bird has sung a single note.

In other words, get up before you went to bed. 

And then you realise that it’s all written by someone who doesn’t have a life. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s value in making a point of doing all of the above…

If you can make it work.

The meditation and meal prep are big time savers, not time wasters.

And if you have the ability to train first thing in the morning then your workout is done and dusted before “the day” can de-rail it.

In fact rituals and habits play an important role in how successful we are in pretty much anything.

And your training is no exception.

Yet one of the most important habits or rituals you can have is often overlooked.

And they are, perhaps, the most important 2 minutes of your training day.

Let me explain…

You can turn your legs to jelly on hill reps…

Sweat so much on the Erg you look like you’re actually rowing on a lake..

Cranking out the reps in the gym for a burn so deep you look like the “Human Torch”…

None of it matters if you don’t get this part of the session right.

Well, I’m exaggerating a bit but it is important.

Be it a hard or an easy session the last few minutes are every bit as important as the rest of the session.

You see, once you’ve done the hard work you want to calm things down as fast as possible.

Because the good stuff, the adaptations that make you stronger, faster and generally harder to kill only happen once you’re finished.

It’s the recovery period between the sessions that you make your gains.

And we want to get into the recovery zone as fast as possible.

To do this finish your run with a couple of minutes of gentle walking.

This should see your heart rate drop below 100 bpm.

Then once you’re inside you want to lie down and pop your feet on a seat and breathe.

Nice and gently, in and out through your nose. 

Pause after the inhale and again after you exhale.

Or spend some time in the “Child’s Pose”. 

A couple of minutes spent in either of these will bring your heart rate right down.

Flipping the off switch on the production of all the hormones associated with exercise and flipping on the switch for all those that help you recover.

Give it a try after your next session it’ll help speed up your recovery.

What happened when I didn’t take my own advice

The time I didn’t take my own advice

4 years ago I hurt my hip/back. I was mucking about with some pretty aggressive mobility drills and over did it.

At first I didn’t think it was too bad.

Within an hour I couldn’t sit down comfortably.

It got worse as the day went on. By the following day I was sitting down on my right bum cheek and slowly lowering my left onto the seat.

It took me 8 weeks to get back to lifting in the gym to return to normal.

But it took 8 months before I was running well again.

All because I didn’t follow my own advice.

There’s a big leap going from being in pain to pain free.

A big one from pain free to regaining strength and movement.

And a bigger one from regaining strength to restoring the resiliency needed for running.

It’s NOT about doing more work but doing the right work.

It’s not about a whole bunch of different exercises but about progressing the correct ones. I stopped my progressions too early in my rehab and paid the price.

I should have been back running pain free in 3 months once I started running again not 6.  On top of not completing the rehab I rushed the return to running part too.

It’s very embarrassing.

I was out for a nice easy 30 minute run and got to the halfway point when I noticed my hip. A couple of minutes later it wasn’t a “feeling” it was pain.

Shooting pain right through my left glute.

Fan-*********-tastic I thought to myself. I tried walking for a bit then running again but it was still sore. A little less so but sore none the less.

The problem was twofold.

  1. I hadn’t followed the rehab right through to the end
  2. I had returned to continuous running too soon.

This meant I had missed out on the very important last phase.  Creating resilience.

It’s here that we bulletproof ourselves. Where the activities are demanding and ensure that we know that once complete we are good to go.

The upside of this is a return to running program I created off the back of my own, painful, experience. You can get it here if you would like it

The moral of the story is…

Just because you are pain free does not mean that you are “good to go”. 9/10 this is definitely not the case.

It doesn’t make any difference if it is your hip like me or your knee. You need to go through the full process to ensure that you are as robust as can be.

The main reason for your back pain is…

The main reason for your back pain?

There isn’t one.

Yip, you read that correctly.

In the vast majority of cases, there is no single cause for back pain.

Unless you’ve been involved in an accident of some kind there is a huge range of things that have contributed to it.

This includes those “it’s the end of the world”, cases where there is damage to a disc. Where there is some nerve impingement. Continue reading “The main reason for your back pain is…”

Homer Simpson and back pain (How back pain makes you stupid)

You might not watch The Simpsons but you will know who Homer is.

Homer the loveable but pretty stupid dad. The thing is nobody wants to be Homer. 

Bart? Maybe. He’s the anarchic wee boy all wanted to be. 

Lisa? Maybe. Intelligent and cool. 

Marge? Again, maybe but definitely not Homer.

Homer is the one out of all the characters that you don’t really want to be even if you are shouting for him

The thing is back pain turns you into Homer.

Back pain does actually make you stupid. It does this in a variety of different ways. But let’s let’s define stupidity first.

Stupidity is the overlooking or dismissing conspicuously crucial information. Back pain does make you do this.

It does it both in your day to day life and also in how you view back pain itself.

Now, this definition isn’t mine, i found it in a really interesting blog post on Farnham Street called “How not to be stupid”.

The guy writing it talks about how there are 7 factors that go into making us stupid.

  1. Being outside your normal environment or there being changes to your routine. 
  2. Being in the presence of a group
  3. Being in the presence of an expert or if you, yourself are an expert.
  4. Doing any task that requires intense focus
  5. Information overload
  6. Physical or emotional stress, fatigue
  7. Being in a hurry.

Not all of these are required for there to be an effect. Any one of them on its own will have an effect. 

In the U.S., ad the U.K, all of these are present in hospitals but I just have the figures for the U.S. In the States there are 30,000 deaths a year from car accidents.  A big number. But there are between 210,000 and 440,000 deaths in hospitals from errors in treatment!

But what does this have to do with back pain and how does back pain make you stupid?

Back pain causes physical and emotional stress. 

It causes fatigue.

It will result in information overload as you seek answers for your back pain. (I appreciate I’m not helping you here).

You might well find yourself hurrying to finish tasks so you can sit down because of the pain.

The pain itself can mean you have to focus really hard to do simple tasks.

So you can see there are all sorts of ways for back pain to make you “stupid”. 

It comes into your life and wrecks havoc. 

Disrupting sleep.

Causing physical and emotional stress. 

Destroying focus and the list goes on,

If you would like to see what a path to being more intelligent would look like all you need to do is reply to this email and we can chat about it.

You can grab a copy of our FREE Back Pain Myths Busted eBook here >>> https://www.performancesportstherapy.net/back-pain-myths-busted-ebook

 

Does intermittent fasting work? (Guest post by Alex Neilan “The Sport Dietitian)

I’m really pleased to be able to bring you some advice from Edinburgh’s top dietitian, Alex “The Sport Dietitian” Neilan. This will be the first of regular input from Alex. The goal is to bring you solid, evidence-based dietry advice to help you stay healthy and maximise your performance.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, rather a dietary pattern, meaning it does not dictate which food should be eaten, rather when food should be eaten. Intermittent fasting is currently very popular among the health and fitness
community.

Continue reading “Does intermittent fasting work? (Guest post by Alex Neilan “The Sport Dietitian)”

Back Pain Myths Busted

You love playing golf, going to boot camp classes or CrossFit, running or perhaps it’s BJJ or tennis that is your thing. Regardless it is regularly interrupted by back pain.

You can’t think why as there is no obvious cause.

But you’ve got sharp, achy, persistent back pain that doesn’t seem to be going, it’s easy to just accept it, carry on with your life thinking it’s something that just “happens with age”.

You might have the odd occasion when your back pain frees up, you think that’s it, it won’t come back…

…Days, hours or even minutes later the pain has returned, and it’s even worse than before.

All you can think is “why is this lasting so long?” “How long will it take before it gets right?”

“Why is this happening to me?”

We understand how frustrating this can be, affecting your mood, energy and the way you’re moving every day.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the misinformation around back pain.

Continue reading “Back Pain Myths Busted”

Running Repairs – a guide to successful running

One of the great things about running is that it doesn’t require any special equipment or gym membership. A bog standard pair of trainers, you really don’t need to be spending £100+ on shoes, shorts and a t-shirt and off you go. Unfortunately, running injuries are ridiculously common.

The big issue that is often forgotten about is, and let’s be honest, running is hard work.

Running at a moderate pace you are looking at 1200-1500 steps in a kilometre.

On an easy run, the forces that we absorb are around 3 times body weight on each foot strike. Or around 320,000kg, strictly speaking, it’s 320,00N but we’ll stick to a measurement we can all relate to.

Continue reading “Running Repairs – a guide to successful running”

3 questions you should ask about exercise and back pain

What questions should you be asking about exercise and back pain if you’ve hurt your back? Of all the aches, pains and injuries we suffer from back pain is the one that is clouded in the most mystery. Spoken of like a death sentence in newspapers, magazines, on the news and social media nothing could further from the truth.

If you happen to have hurt your back what questions should you be asking about what to do? Continue reading “3 questions you should ask about exercise and back pain”