Soothe the pain mon­ster

Runner's World (UK) - - Inflamation -

RE­COVER

Fol­low hard ef­forts with easy days so you heal. Ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist Inigo San Mil­lan also sug­gests adding a monthly re­cov­ery week, in which you re­duce the length and in­ten­sity of runs. And have at least one low­im­pact crosstrain­ing day in your weekly rou­tine, to get the in­creased blood­flow with­out the stress of im­pact.

FUEL UP

On a run, mus­cles burn up glyco­gen. ‘Run­ning on glyco­gen-depleted legs can lead to in­flam­ma­tion,’ says Dr Matthew Laye, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of health and hu­man per­for­mance at The Col­lege of Idaho, US. On runs last­ing over an hour, take in a sports drink or gel. And re­fuel within 30-60 mins of fin­ish­ing your run.

EAT WELL

When you’re not per­for­mance fu­elling, avoid sim­ple sug­ars in pro­cessed foods. Laye says if you overload your body with sugar when your mus­cles aren’t re­fu­elling, your body strug­gles to ab­sorb it, which con­trib­utes to in­flam­ma­tion. Eat whole, nat­u­ral foods, some fruit and plenty of veg­eta­bles.

SLEEP TIGHT

Hu­man growth hor­mone and testos­terone flood your sys­tem as you sleep, which helps your body re­build it­self. ‘Shortchang­ing sleep in­creases your risk of chronic in­flam­ma­tion,’ says San Mil­lan. ‘You should get at least seven, ide­ally eight, hours of sleep ev­ery night. If you aren’t, cut back on train­ing.’

STRESS LESS

When your brain is over­loaded with work or emo­tional stres­sors, your body can be­come de­prived of glyco­gen – the fuel source that feeds your mus­cles and pre­vents in­flam­ma­tion. This means that if you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing heavy life stress, it’s crit­i­cal to eat (and sleep) well. If you can’t, scale back on train­ing un­til you can.

Five ways to avoid chronic in­flam­ma­tion

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