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Three-Tip Friday – 17/12/21

Welcome to the latest instalment of the Three-Tip Friday series at HT Physio!

Each Friday throughout 2021, I’ll be sharing three of my best tips, strategies and techniques for improving your health, fitness and well-being, then sending them to you in a brief email.

The information could be an interesting story from the clinic this week, some exciting research I’ve come across that you might find interesting or even a reminder of the best ways to stay fit and healthy.

There’ll be no spam and no annoying promo’s – just a little morsel of healthy goodness from your local physiotherapist before the weekend!

This week…

#1: Exploiting the “metabolic quirks” of cancer cells: Cancer research has come a long way in the last 20 years – and there is potentially another fascinating breakthrough around the corner with regards to how these cells are able to grow. Research shows that cancer cells preferentially use glucose as fuel, even when oxygen and fatty acids are available. Our others cells can run from (and often prefer) oxygen and fatty acids – so, what happens if we starve the body of glucose? Would it cause cancerous cells to run out of fuel and die? Early stage research suggests there might be some truth to this theory. Theoretically, use of the diabetes drug metformin and a zero-carb diet may have potential in limiting the growth of cancer cells. I am far from an expert in this field, but there is some fascinating research on this topic summarised here.

#2: What makes our muscles sore after exercise?: Anyone who has taken part in a tough exercise class or gym session will tell you how their muscles were incredibly achy the following day. We call this “delayed onset muscles soreness”, or DOMS. In school, we are taught that “lactic acid” is the reason for the pain in our muscles in the following days. But is that truly the case? The answer, in fact, is no. Although lactate does build up in the muscles following exercise, in normal circumstances the body is very good at clearing it away. Instead, it is a build up of an enzyme called creatine kinase (that form during vigorous exercise) that causes the soreness in your muscles the following day.

#3: Which posture is best for relieving a stiff neck?: For those suffering with a stiff and sore neck, it can be difficult to find a position of comfort, especially when sat at an office chair. I had a stiff neck of my own at the start of this week and it prompted me to record a video demonstrating a rule I call the “25% rule” which can help you find the best sitting posture for neck pain prevention and relief. You can watch the video on YouTube here.

That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve had a great week.

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