Some Unusual Exercise Facts!

Here at Keep Fit Kingdom, we don’t always follow conventions and rules, sometimes, we like to take off on a different subject angle entirely and since the body is as multifaceted as it is mysterious we thought we’d share Some Unusual Exercise Facts!

1. Why does swimming make you need a wee?
Have you noticed that whenever you jump in the pool/sea it makes you need a wee? Well it’s got nothing to do with having poor pelvic floor control or simply poor planning; there is actually a scientific reason. When we immerse ourselves in water we become buoyant which causes the blood to become redirected from our limbs to our torso. This confuses our body and makes it believe that we are storing too much fluid, which signals the kidneys to get rid of this perceived excess. The temperature of the water has the same effect resulting in us feeling like we need to take a leak!

2. After a long run or a hard exercise class why do you bend forwards and fix your arms on your thighs or fix your hands behind your head?
Without getting too technical our diaphragm and external intercostals are the main muscles that are responsible for breathing. However when we’re working really hard and need more oxygen we use our accessory muscles- sternocleidomastoid and scalenes (two muscles in the neck), serratus anterior (muscle on the undersurface of the shoulder blade) and the pectoralis minor (muscle on the front of the chest) which help to lift our rib cage and allow a deeper breath. By fixing your hands on your thighs or the back of your head you are in fact fixing one end of the muscle, which allows the other end to lift the rib cage enabling you to get more desperately needed oxygen, the body intelligently knows what it needs to survive, isn’t that amazing?

3. Why do your muscles hurt two days after you’ve exercised?
Have you ever heard of the term DOMS? Even if you haven’t you have probably been unfortunate enough to experience its effects. It stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and it’s the foe of all exercise enthusiasts! Basically the muscle aching/soreness is due to muscle damage, inflammation and pain following exercise. The mechanical effects of training and exercise on the muscle coupled with inflammation stimulate pain nerves, which create the horrible achy soreness that we’re all familiar with . People try a variety of things to avoid or reduce the effect of DOMS ranging from light exercise and foam rolling to massage, sauna, hot and/or cold bathing/showers and stretching. Unfortunately there is no way to completely avoid the effects of DOMS but some research has shown that a massage two hours post activity or foam rolling can help. Pure caffeine is often used by performance athletes and the extremely busy to help loosen up fatigue associated with soreness.

4. What does it mean when your joints click?
In my clinic lots of people ask me why their joints click and whether it is anything to worry about. There are a couple of reasons why your joints might click, the majority of which are harmless. Clicking can be caused by gas escaping from the joint -as a result of changes in pressure; ligaments, tendons and muscles flicking over a joint which can either be the result of injury, wear and tear or simply just how you’re made. If on the other hand your clicking/ popping is accompanied by pain I would suggest booking an appointment to see your GP.

5. Can too much running cause osteoarthritis (OA)?
Contrary to popular belief there is no evidence to suggest a link between running and knee OA. No one knows why some people develop OA as opposed to others but interestingly, exercise is actually the best form of treatment and there is loads of evidence to support this!

Although none of these facts will necessarily change your life massively, they might just help you win that next school, club or online quiz or make an interesting topic of conversation at the next dinner party! What unusual or peculiar things have you noticed about your own body and the way it functions?

Ally Rosam

Ally is a 30 something physiotherapist living and working in South East London. She's passionate about keeping fit and healthy and endeavours to motivate and inspire others by sharing her expert knowledge and guidance in an accessible way. She loves exercising outdoors and thinks carefully about what she consumes and how she treats her body. She believes 'everything in moderation' but above all in enjoying life and not depriving yourself of anything.

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