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Motion Forword - July 2023 - No1



Welcome to Motion Forword - Words of a Therapist!


If you are wondering what this is all about, you may have missed my ‘introductory email’, so feel free to look at my Introductory Motion Forword Blog and understand why I’ve misspelt ‘Forward’. But in short, Motion Forword is about discussing the combined benefits of movement with a positive mental attitude using my personal/professional experiences, evidence-based research and some of your own experiences to highlight the fact. Bringing some hope, positivity, happiness and maybe usefulness to those, perhaps like yourself, that needs a pick me up.


So, as planned, I’ll break this up into 3 parts: Something about me, something for you and a story…


Something about me:


I have always been a sprinter. If I couldn’t do it in less than a minute, I wasn’t interested!


I will be the first to admit that long-distance running was never a past-time I wanted any part in!


Whilst at school when I had less of a choice, I was dragged along to cross country races and had to do the occasional 1500m on sports days (which my body clearly hated too as my hamstring cramped up right at the start before the race even began!)


Ever since, running wasn’t enjoyed, it was a necessity to facilitate other things… playing hockey, keeping active during lock-down or legging it to Gate 95 at Gatwick because of the dreaded words in red: ‘Gate Closing’.


I have heard plenty of people and patients express their love for running. Even the ultra-marathon/ triathlete crazy people! (You guys are incredible!) But I always figured that it wasn’t something for me. ‘I’m not built for running’ I would tell them.

More recently, as going to the gym lost its allure, I found myself spending more time on the treadmill… and liking it! ‘This surely would be much more enjoyable in the fresh air’, I told myself as I sweated buckets in the poorly air conditioned gym.


So… one early afternoon on a Saturday after a boozy night out, having had little sleep and feeling generally pathetic (and having missed the ParkRun I was originally aiming for that morning) I set off out my front door with a general direction in mind.


In short, I had a lovely time.


A light July drizzle kept me cool and everything so green and fresh whilst doing my best to avoid main roads. That negative self-talk that would plague my mind was turned down, as I focused on my breathing and pacing.

I felt so good after finishing a lap of 5km… I did another one! Completing my first ever 10km in 57:03.














I was starting to understand why people loved this sport.


Something for you


You might be thinking to yourself ‘Wow that is great Nathan, but I could never do that because of my ______’. Usually that blank is filled in with ‘knees’.


You may have even heard that running is bad for your knees. But is it really?


Here is some research…


Dong and dudes in 2020 compared multiple studies and concluded that even though there were some adverse effects on the knee cartilage immediately after running, after 1-2hrs there was no difference between runners and control groups (non-runners). The cartilage actually recovered!


This makes sense… after some discomfort, pushing ourselves,... our body recovers and improves. We are living organisms after all with an immune system that helps us heal.


Lo and co in 2017 showed this in their long-term study looking at 2637 people over 10 years that runners had no more risk of developing knee osteoarthritis (OA) than their non-runner counterparts. I.e. runners’ cartilage was just as good as non-runners.


So what can we take from this? Well, people still injure themselves when running… like with any sport. But… this is often because they’ve tried to do too much, too soon after too little, for too long. (Like when I did boxercise for the first time and crippled my shoulder for a over a week) Think about it… if you haven’t done running for a few years (or even a few months!) and you go and do a 5km run right off the bat. Your body (and perhaps your knee cartilage) is just not up to the task! You are more likely to hurt yourself.


This is where Couch to 5K is a brilliant initiative and applies the ‘gradual exposure’ theory that allows your body to adapt/improve gradually to the physical stresses you put on it, minimising the risk you bugger your knees whilst still getting all the benefits of running.


You are literally learning to walk before you run.


A story


To keep up the running theme…


A wonderful lady called Helena Shaw, 52 years young, and her team started up the Bartley Park Run, the first Park Run in Totton. After over a year of planning and organising the first event was in December 2021 and has been a raving success ever since. With 81 events completed encouraging an average of 140 people to run/walk/jog/skip every Saturday morning!


Helena enjoys the walk/ run herself and has been completing a 10k step/day challenge since 1st April. Since then, she has averaged a whopping 15k steps/day since and is loving it. She is a beacon of smiles and it is so wonderful to see her passion come through.



Having recently completed my first Park Run, I have to say, I really enjoyed it and already want to explore the world of Park Run. If you are new to running and want a free, friendly, non-competitive and supportive way to start… this is a way to do it.



<<< Me after my first Park Run! 24.40!












Thanks for reading. Motion Forword ⏩⏩ Nathan



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