Fighting back to fitness

I have to say I went through the first 6 months of this year wondering how on earth people picked up injuries so often in sports… For the past 2 months it’s been one thing after another.

Lower back, hips, strained knee and now an ankle /lower leg tendon.

It’s driving me mad, and I can’t wait to be fit again and back out there.

Anyone else struggle with injuries?

This is my only shining light right now. My Google Fit stats

I’ve had a number of traumatic and chronic sports injuries (from playing a lot of sports and training). For me, it has really shown how everything is connected: you damage your knee and your body will compensate to shift weight to the other leg, which may cause pain in your hip or back; and ramping up or stopping training too suddenly can cause a muscle imbalance in your legs, which may cause kneecap pain (I could have gone on for a very long time with my personal injuries). Very often, the symptoms will be seemingly unrelated to the cause until you dig deep into tendon attachment points and ligament paths within the body.

Reducing body weight will do wonders. Yoga and Pilates can reduce or prevent chronic problems.

From your ailments and your sudden embrace of activity, I would suggest that you work on your hip flexors flexibility (most important) and also check calves flexibility with repeated and gentle stretching. Maybe look at glutes and lower back stretches also. All of these are easy to do and don’t take long. Let them become a habit of relaxation rather than a spur of the moment impulse in response to an already developed injury.

Your frame is quite sturdy, so pounding pavements may not be the best way to train. Cycling is great if you have the time and your bike fits you, but try interval training to get quicker results and with less stress on your body if you want to run (we are blessed with hills).


It’s sad but true, the older I get, the more injuries I get.

I second the stretching. I get hip / leg / foot problems in one leg, all traceable back to piriformis syndrome. A tight butt, but not in a good way! If I do the clasic tennis ball torture massage and some really deep hip stretching regularly, I find the other niggles sort themselves out too.

My OH has a prolapsed disc (has had for 20 years). He was cycling to and from Liverpool Street every day, lost lots of weight, worked up his cardio fitness but, because he wasn’t doing any other exercise, the over use of his lower body and cycling position made his back much, much worse to the point where he couldn’t walk without a stick and had to have spinal steroid and nerve blocking injections. A cautionary tale.


Ive had a few injuries over the years, including one major one where I was on crutches for 4 months and where my injured leg wasted away to a shadow of its former self.

My recovery was initially in the pool, and as someone who (at the time I think I was around 35) had never been very confident swimming I started off just doing walking in the near weightless environment. It was only after a while that I thought that while I was there I should really do some swimming. (this was at the old Ladywell pools, not a particularly pleasant place and quite a way to go from Forest Hill by public transport - there were no Forest Hill pools at that time)

I’m not saying that now I am some kind of super swimmer, but after those few months in the pool I carried on with swimming enough to be able to compete an Olympic distance triathlon (1500m swim). Certainly a good way to get back into exercise after a while off. I was as fit as I ever had been when I got my injury - and have sadly never managed to get back to that level.

However I’d recommend the pool - along with nutrition is a good place to start for any recovery.


A post was split to a new topic: Forest Hill Pools

@Andy Thanks for the detailed reply. I wouldn’t call my change of activities that drastic to be honest, both riding and cycling were eased into over a few months, making sure I was not feeling any aches or pains from either. The results were good. After a fall from my bike I hurt my hip and knee which led to over compensating, and the rest has snowballed from there really.
Hopefully I am at the last link in compensating now, and almost back to fitness. The return will be slow and steady for sure.
Weight wise, I am not far off where I average, although my recent lack of activity and sympathy foods have not helped, the rest is just a large muscle structure which doesn’t go anywhere.
With regards to stretching, I do yoga, and have exercises from my physio and chiropractor which I practise. Calves are well looked after due to a long term achillies issue I have, they get stretched well lol.
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions :slight_smile:

@RachaelDunlop I too am a tight arse! lol.
I have a lovely nobbled ball about the size of a tennis ball which is lovely for getting in the tight spots.
Good point about pushing an aging body too hard, that is probably one of my issues, over doing it, and I have learned from it. Not even back to my usual walking distances again yet, let alone running. But I miss my cycling SO much! :cry:

@comoed You know what, I hate swimming. Sad but true. But that said, you are right at the same time, I really should try to spend some time with less stress on the body. Scuba is my thing, but getting in with the tank and gear is less relaxing, but once under, magic. Maybe I will gear up on the surface and get a nice person to throw my gear in for me, now there’s an idea!

Thank you everyone for getting in on this discussion, keep the replies coming. Good to see so many have words of wisdom to offer :slight_smile: Wasn’t expecting this.

Here’s to less aches and pains, and less meds! lol


So do I, but I do love a bike ride and a run, and its also nice to know that I wont sink if placed in a body of water

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@anon64893700, you’ve just reminded me I need to upgrade my old tennis ball to something more knobbly.

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lol I shall take a leaf from your book I think. Thanks for the suggestion.

Can’t recommend this enough. Goes well with my roller.

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That looks positively medieval.


But feels positively devine :smiley:
Gets right in all those spots around the hips etc.

I packed in rugby after three concussions in the space of six months in 2003. A dodgy neck and various other ailments have prevented me getting back into that, I’ve never liked running, I don’t find cycling safe, and I was always a big lad anyway, so now I’m the size of a house. I deserted FH Pools a few months ago (cross the threads) owing to its general shoddiness, and am now a member at PureGym, but it’s a bit far away (tiny violin). Work hours leave me knackered and I struggle for motivation.


I know what you mean about struggling for motivation, I get the same. But always find that once I am active, I get more motivated. Little and often, if only staying mobile is a good start.

That is what I have tried doing throughout.

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I think sometimes you have to try and fit increased activity into daily life. I try to walk a lot, I don’t really drive so I get a lot of additional exercise because of that. Once a week I try to walk from Canary wharf to wapping or shad well to get on the Dlr rather than getting the tube. I use the stairs. I hold my teams one to ones as walking meetings round Canary wharf. I make myself go and see someone rather than phoning them. Every little helps and I do find having a Fitbit does motivate me to stay consistently active. However I amalso considering having proper swimming lessons so when I do go swimming it’s a little more than my usual head above water breast stroke gentle amble.


Definitely good ways to increase cardio activities. Before injury I would walk approx 10 miles a day plus whatever I did training. Mostly that is walking the dogs.
Swimming definitely sounds like something I should do.

I have gone from UP to FitBit to Garmin now. All very good for motivating you to move more.

Thankfully I have maintained my resting heart rate through my timeout from training. Still resting around 45-46bpm.

Slowly getting my walking distance back up now. Got the dogs to walk yet tonight but still not doing bad. Past average would have been double this.

Well after months of waiting, I am finally back running and riding. I say that loosely as it’s early days get. Still some twinges and painful moments, but as a whole, getting there.

Just got to keep my cool and not rush too much now.

Hi @RachaelDunlop,

If you’re at all interested we’ve just published a blog from one of our Yoga teachers showing you how to get the most from those tennis balls! Maybe there’s life in the old balls yet :wink: