Good health advice or too much information?

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Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps in Fareham where she trains groups.

Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and a UK Hypo-presive Method Trainer.

She helps people master a fitness technique that targets the core.

Visit Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifit mum1

Can a raft of information be a bad thing when it comes to health and fitness?

When it comes to running, training, diets or just being healthy in general, everybody seems to have their own opinion.

These are sometimes drawn from personal experience, but sometimes based on Chinese whispers or hearsay passed down through generations.

And people love to recount this as if they know it to be the truth!

A very good friend of mine has recently taken up running. ‘That’s great,’ I hear you say. And it’s true, she’s taking her own fitness and health seriously and aiming to run for charity, so she has a great reason for doing it.

I applaud this obviously, but it also raises the question, just because she can run does it mean that she should?

Now let me explain. I have been following her progress and recently she has been experiencing issues with joint pain and sore legs and feet. This is fairly early on in her training.

She recently posted on social media asking her running friends for advice on this and what she was told ranged from running on her toes to running on grass all the time or only on more cushioned surfaces.

A lot of her friends had information for her, as I said before, maybe based on their own experiences but none of it really relevant to her.

I sent her a message offering to help before she took action on this mixed bag of advice and caused herself some serious damage.

Working as a therapist and Hypopressive method instructor, I usually find that joint problems and pain during such activities as running come from postural instability and how your body is able to handle the massive pressure that is caused from running.

So I ask the question again: just because you can run, should you run?

This time of year I see lots of people taking to the streets in an attempt to improve their fitness. I get that – running doesn’t cost you anything (except maybe a decent pair of running shoes).

However, if you are someone who hasn’t done 
any running before, or you have joint or lower back issues, then this is not the best form of exercise that you can do.

It is possible to do gradual training and build yourself up to a level where you can run, but you must work with someone to address joint or postural instability problems first.

How do you know if you have postural problems?

Well any kind of pain (shoulders, neck, upper back, lower back, knees, hips or feet) is a sign that things are out of whack.

The first place I look when doing assessments with my clients is their feet – the first point of contact with the floor.

If you have issues with your feet, then it follows that you will have problems in other joints as your body will have to make compensations in other areas in order to keep you stable.

Pain in any area of the body is usually an indicator of problems elsewhere.

It’s like a puzzle, start with the area of pain and put together all the pieces such 
as the person’s history, posture and lifestyle as clues to where the problem is coming from.

In the case of my friend, the pain in her joints is affected by a weakened core and the massive forces going through her body while running, putting pressure on joints which are a little worn and compressed.

My plan of action for her will be to correct her postural alignment and core tone through Hypopressive exercise and then make sure she does daily exercises to work on releasing pressure on her joints. Then she can get back on track and start running again.

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