What does BEETROOT have to do with exercise and injury?
Most people would be thinking a beetroot supplement that gives you that extra edge. Whilst beetroot is very good for you and contains many vitamins and minerals what we are talking about here has nothing to do with the tasty purple vegetable. Beetroot is an acronym that contains 8 common reasons for why we can become injured. This can be a great way to go through the possible things that may be causing or contributing to your issue. This is also a great tool for practitioners and personal trainers to use to gain insight into why their patient or client may be injured and what could have changed that may have brought it on.
B - biomechanics. This is a fancy way of saying movement. So how you move is another way of putting it. If you are really tight, weak or unstable when you exercise you will be putting undue stresses on muscles/fascia, ligaments, tendons and joints. This can in turn cause pain and injury. An example is if when you lunge your knee drifts inwards, you may have a weakness or instability in the glute medius muscle. This may then lead to knee pain.
E - environment. This could be the running route you use or the type of gym or Yoga class you go to. If you change the environment you are exercising in then there is a good chance that this will contribute to an injury.
E - equipment. Shoes are the biggest example of equipment. If you suddenly change the shoes you run or train in then this can affect the mechanics of the foot and the support you are getting. You should think carefully about what shoes you run in especially if you have an event coming up that you are training for. Changing shoe brands at the last minute is a classic way to cause an injury.
If you are a cyclist and change your bike or bike setup then this can dramatically change the way you ride, for better and worse.
In the gym equipment could include weights, kettlebells, machines, treadmills, cross trainers etc.
Even the humble chair or desk at work can play a massive role in your posture and the strain that may be placed on your body.
T - training. What type of training do you do? Has it increased, decreased. Plateauing should also be mentioned here. If you are always doing the same training then this could lead to overuse injuries. If you have just taken up a new form of exercise and are getting pain then this is the most likely reason you are in pain. Taking a close look at what you may be doing in this new routine should give you an insight into what may be going on.
R - recovery. Is this something you think about? Do you train everyday? Do you do too much recovery, as in never train :) For athletes and amateurs who are taking their training very seriously it is still important to work in some recovery. Even if this is active recovery such as Yoga or massage. Allowing the body to rest and recover is just as important as your training. If you overtrain you are basically asking for your soft tissues to break down at some point.
O - older. I am always reluctant to bring up age as it can be offensive, so I will apologise in advance. But lets be honest, humans are living longer and longer and are more active than ever. The human body has a great working life up to around 40 years. If we were a product you’d have a warranty up to 40 years, over that you are getting a bonus. Unfortunately you can’t get an extended warranty :) Most people can relate to not really having any injuries up until they were in their 30’s. Before that you would get injured and the next day you would feel fine. It is the same with kids. I remember my daughter when she was 4 years old jumping on a Swiss ball and twisting her ankle really badly. It swelled up and looked terrible. She couldn’t walk on it. She had to have the day off daycare. The next day she was running around and jumping as though nothing had ever happened. The super healing powers of young kids should be bottled. If this was an adult it could have taken up to 6 months to recover.
The older we get the more we have to think about training smarter and not harder. As we age tissues such as ligaments and discs dry out and can become less flexible. This means there is more potential for injury. Taking up new exercise should be a gradual process when we are older. Also be wary of trying to keep up with all of the young people at the gym. As exciting as it is to beat a 20 year old at an exercise, the toll on your body will not be worth it.
The heart is also the most overlooked muscle when it comes to training. Have you had your heart checked to see if it is capable of taking the loads you are putting through it? A hamstring can recover but the heart is less forgiving.
O - overreaching. This can also be looked at as over training or over doing it. Many injuries are repetitive by nature so if you are over doing the same exercises like bench press (guys you know who I’m talking to) or sitting slumped at the desk for too long then this will also exacerbate your injury or pain.
T - threats. This can be any medical threats or history that may also be taken into account. An example of this could be a previous back injury you had that could once again flare up if you do the wrong thing such as poor form with exercise, over doing certain exercises or sit for too long at the desk without breaks.
So there you have it. Remember to eat your beetroot and also remember to think of B.E.E.T.R.O.O.T when you are feeling some pain or stiffness coming on.
We love to hear your feedback so if you have any questions, comments or corrections to make here we’d love to hear them.
Oh and for all of those people wondering what nutrients beetroot actually contains here is a list from nutritiondata.com
1/2 cup of boiled beetroot or 85grams
Protein: 1.4g (3% D.I)
Kilojoules: 157kJ (2% D.I)
Carbs: 8.5g (3% D.I)
Fats: 0.2g (0% D.I)
Vit A: 29.8 IU (1% D.I)
Vit C: 3.1mg (5% D.I)
Folate: 68mcg (17% D.I)
Potassium: 259mg (7% D.I)
Magnesium: 19.6 mg (5% D.I)
Manganese: 0.3mg (14% D.I)
So Beetroot is great for electrolytes and folate. So not a bad idea to add some of this powerful purple vege to your menu.
For full nutrition details of beetroot click here
The Muscle Therapy Australia Team.