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Footsteps - walking out injuries..
By: Caroline Baulderstone

Why where my sporting injuries never getting better? I was seeing a physio, a chiro and a specialised personal trainer (anatomy & rehab based), was given loads of core, stability exercises, strengthening and stretching homework. Kept on top of it but still had no release from the niggling pains!
The pain I received was in the lower back and hip flexors (also between shoulder blades from always twisting and picking up my toddler!).
When I workout, I work hard – there was no in between for me. (Plus with my two kids (2 & 4yrs old) I am nonstop with them). When I plan to exercise I either am doing core strengthening, weights and stretches or hard-core cardio – over an hour of either. Only to find my pains kept coming back.
Then it occurred to me… wow, you know, I never walk for medium or short periods of time anymore. I rush around in the car to activities for the kids, drive everywhere, let them run around, I walk around the supermarket or to and from the car but that is it. Gone is the time I had with one child when I walked with the pram to and from the shops and the only time restraints were breastfeeding, meals and sleeping times.
Now it’s how much can we fit in the day, drive to the gym to do a challenging spin session then rush home to take the kids to their activities, or rushing to and from a PT client session or to and from the kindy. My time is now so condensed I’ve actually forgotten to stop and do the simple things… like walking.
Perhaps there was a link to my tight hip flexors, thighs and ITB (side of thigh) and to the fact I only did static stretches, weights or hard running, spinning or cardio sessions, perhaps if I only just slowed down a bit and walked on the treadmill as well as running, or walk up the road to collect the kids from daycare, or do stretches that include mobility I will start stretching out my hip flexors and loosen up the muscles that are always on edge to work hard as soon as I get out of sitting in a car.
And guess what, it’s all working… walking, slowly and effectively. By that I mean long slow steps so I can feel the stretch in my hip flexors (upper thigh, groin area) and tilting my pelvis up under my bellybutton for core strengthening, wow this is like doing a static hip flexor stretch but with everyday motion, doing two things at once – this is good! Squeezing my glutes and contracting my thighs with every stride, even at times slowing down to walking lunges – this though looks a bit silly if you are on a busy street, so best done in the back streets or in non busy times at the gym on the treadmill ;-)
So my new routine has helped to stretch out and loosen my muscles – so I can effectively call this my time for my stretching and working on fluid movements for flexibility, not static and not hard core, helping stretch out my ‘problem’ muscles whilst helping with core and hip flexors and promisingly relieving me of my niggling little sports injuries.
My message? Slow down a little, go back to basics and really listen to our bodies. We all seem to drive everywhere, especially if we have more than one child. Our cars get a better workout than ourselves. Walk when we can, even at the gym on the treadmill – I used to feel that walking on the treadmill at the gym was not an effective workout, a waste of my valuable time with less calories and less fitness, but not at all! Effective walking is just the medication for flexibility, stretching and keeping away those niggling sporting injuries. Along with core strengthening of course!! ☺
Written by Caroline Baulderstone Oct 2011

Added: 21-11-2011