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Protect your joints

Protect the joints

As a personal trainer, I like to read articles either online or in print as part of my ongoing education in the business of fitness and exercise.

Every day is a school day, etc.

I also tend to pay special attention to those articles which focus on potential problem areas where exercise is concerned and the dangers they can cause to people if they are not prepared. You would be amazed at how many people rush into exercise programmes without due preparation or education, sometimes over-enthusiastically, and who suffer as a result (occasionally in significant ways).

So, I am always alert to this risk and how to enable my clients to make progress on the gym floor without injuring themselves. Indeed, to my mind, being responsible in this regard is as important as moving clients through a fitness programme that delivers the results they want.

One online article that recently caught my eye was on BBC News concerning the potential risks posed by yoga to those who are overly-aggressive in their undertaking of this exercise.

Yoga has developed something of a reputation over the years as being a go-to exercise for a certain kind of person. It can seem to be measured, holistic and almost spiritual in its ethos and can also appear to be built almost entirely on the principle of stretching. Yoga comes in many forms, of course, and can be undertaken to a number of levels, but whatever yoga discipline is followed I would say that this characterisation is off the mark!

In the BBC article, Benoy Matthews (pictured), a leading physiotherapist, describes the increasing number of yoga teachers he has seen over the years who have injured their joints, and particularly their hips.

Matthews, a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, says he now sees four to five yoga teachers a month with these kinds of injuries, caused, he says, by people repeatedly pushing their bodies into "prescribed" positions when their physiology does not support this kind of stretching.