THE SKINNY ON SHIN SPLINTS
Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome [MTSS], is an injury of anterior leg muscles on the tibia (the bone located near the lower leg). Shin splints can be treated by stretching and strengthening your muscles – especially before a run or any physical activity that puts pressure on your shins.
Any weight bearing exercises are great as they build muscle to support your bones. Think core related exercises such as jogging on an incline, as you fire not only your fast twitch muscles, but also your core stabilisers. Try to keep your weight within a healthy BMI – 20 to 25, and keep active to build and maintain your muscle strength.
YOUR VIT D DOSE
Vitamin D levels vary from person to person. Adults age 19 to around 70 will need around 600IU of vitamin D. Depending on age, each person will need different amounts. You can see a doctor to have your vitamin D levels checked. Great sources of vitamin D are the sun, fatty fish like salmon and milk. Check food labels for vitamin D.
WALKING VS RUNNING
Both are good sources of exercise, as long as the walking is up to an appropriate speed. The choice will depend on your physical ability, health, age etc. So it is really up to you. Regardless of which you decide to go with, proper footwear is extremely important.
FIRST AID ON THE RUN
First of all, if you are hobbling and not able to walk, seek medical attention. Do not attempt to move. Call for help and ask them to take you to hospital. If you feel it is just a sprain, make sure to ice the joint and keep pressure off it. If the pain worsens or does not get better after two days, go and see your physician.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
If you are training for a marathon, the first thing you will need to do is build up your endurance to make sure that your body can go the distance. Training for a marathon takes several months. It is important to increase the distance that you’re running gradually as you do not want to push your body beyond its physical limit.
BEST FUEL FOR EXERCISE
You must eat both before and after exercising. I usually recommend eating with 45 minutes before and after a workout. Your body needs fuel beforehand and needs to rejuvenate afterwards. Eat well. And stick with protein and complex carbs – not junk.