Hello, its your local Newcastle Podiatrist back to give and welcome you to some knowledge. I am here to tell you to start tracking your activity!
Justin and I see a-lot of pain, rehab, athletes and active people in Newcastle. One thing we like to get people to do is track their activity as it becomes an insightful visual metric we can all benefit from.
What gets measured, gets managed!
I’ll explain why tracking your exercise is important, even if you are not an elite runner or gym junkie.
Firstly, tracking is consistently recording your activity which will explain things like the frequency, intensity, and so forth.
1. It’s a very important tool to use when discussing the prediction of an injury. For example, if you track consistently over a 3-month period and begin to notice a sore knee/foot or hip, looking back at your last 3 months may give a clue as to why that has occurred. There may have been a 2-week period where you didn’t do much activity, then after that was over you continued to do what you have always done – the body and soft tissue weren’t ready for the sudden return. A recent study from Germany concluded that even 2 weeks of activity is enough for the tissues within the body to reduce intolerance. If we add this to the stress of life, some shorter nights of sleep, we can see how an injury can occur. So, by tracking, it makes it a lot easier to identify, reflect, and make the appropriate changes.
2. Your therapist will thank you and your management plan will be easier to understand and construct. If we can pull your data from your phone/watch or read what you have written, we can get a better understanding of the load you have subject your body to. We can also see if there has been a recent spike and thousands of other things. For example, if we know you run three clicks every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday around the same track which has hills (which we can see on most tracking apps) we can modify that easily and still keep you doing your activity without having to question how far you run. We can look at the graph, identify some areas to change and modify (plus we know the data is 100% correct) and start our management plan. Accompanying this with strength and conditioning and you can see how the plan can start to come to light.
3. Motivation and planning your own training is easier– if you know exactly how much activity you are doing week to week or even month to month it makes it a lot easier for you to know how much you can increase or decrease or when you may need to have some time off. Plus its always motivating to look back and see how you are going with your training. An example I use is myself – recently coming back from a from an overuse foot injury I recorded each run and when I felt any discomfort (2km into a 3km run). The week after I noticed I could then run 3km before I felt anything. Looking back and seeing my progression showed two things:
- I was going in the right direction with my return to running program
- I can now use that as a baseline for my next run.
Lastly quick tips: I always recommend Strava – free, easy to use, and works well with all phones. Another great feature is putting your shoes in as the equipment you use – that way you can see the Km’s you’ve done in them. A general rule of around 300-500km per shoe.
If you are experiencing any issues please give us a call.