After an indulgent Bank Holiday weekend, we’ve got one thing on our mind here at Wahanda: exercise. With the London Marathon less than three weeks away, it’s the perfect time to get inspired. We might have missed the boat on signing up - not to mention the months of training - but we’re still very excited about the marathon and very keen to get involved - and pick up some tips for our own, not quite as ambitious, spring fitness plans.
As well as waving pom-poms at you from the sidelines, we thought we’d show our support by using our expertise to guide you towards some of the most relaxing and rejuvenating treatments to help you out in these final weeks of preparation. On your marks, get set...
After a strenuous training session sticking pins in your limbs might sound like the last thing you want to do, but bear with us. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing therapy that uses tiny pins to release trapped energies in the body and promote overall health and well-being. Paul Blacker, a registered member of the British Acupuncture Council, believes the ancient treatment can help runners in training to reach peak performance and treat training-related injuries:
“When someone does injure themselves ice can help inflammation, but massage may prove difficult. This is where acupuncture has its strength, it can be administered even with acute injuries; it helps to reduce the inflammatory process, promote circulation in the area, reduce pain and increases the healing process of the body thereby speeding them back to health and fitness.” Case in point.
We imagine that after a long, tiring run any kind of massage is going to feel good on those sore limbs, but perhaps none more so than a deep tissue massage. A deep tissue massage uses focused, intense pressure to reach deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. A therapist will begin using gentle strokes on a tense area, building in intensity and using a combination of friction moves and direct pressure. A deep tissue massage is a great way to loosen up muscles before a long run, but these massages are pretty vigorous and the after effects can feel similar to a work out so it’s a good idea to do it at least one week before your run.
If you’re looking for a massage to improve your sporting ability your instinct might tell you that a sports massage is a good one to go for. Well, we're pleased to inform you that your instinct is spot on. Although individual massages will vary depending on an athlete’s needs, most involve a combination of traditional Swedish Massage and Shiatsu. Through repeated deep pressure application to muscles and tissues, the sports massage helps to pump blood and fluids around the body, stretch muscles improving elasticity, break down scar tissue and relax and invigorate the body and mind. A sports massage can be beneficial to athletes before, during and after athletic events, to target troublesome areas throughout training or whenever you're in need of a little TLC.
For more serious or specific complaints in the run up to the marathon (excuse the pun) it’s worth paying a visit to a physiotherapist, orthopaedic specialist, chiropodist or podiatrist. There are also specialist sports injury clinics across the capital that can answer questions, offer advice and administer treatment prior to the big day - see www.virginlondonmarathon.com for more details.
Good luck everyone.
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