Your questions to GP Juliet McGrattan this week:
Mind: To run or rest?
I have a busy job and don’t get much spare time. I’m often exhausted at the end of a long day and sometimes skip my runs because I lack energy. Am I doing the right thing, or should I try and run from time to time?
Often the exhaustion after a long day at work is more mental than physical and actually going for a run can make you feel more energetic. Eating properly in the day can make a big difference to evening energy levels, so try an afternoon snack. Could you run in the morning or at lunchtime instead? Running regularly is better for fitness than “binge running”. Sometimes, however, you need to take the pressure off yourself and if you simply don’t have the energy for a run, then don’t worry about it – put your feet up and relax.
Body: Eat up
Is it detrimental to my health if I don’t eat after a run? I’ve heard you should, but I don’t have much appetite after I’ve just finished running.
Loss of appetite straight after running is actually very common. It’s important to eat within 30 minutes – it’s the ideal window to replenish your body’s stores, reducing muscle soreness and speeding up recovery. You don’t need a big meal, just something with a mix of protein and carbohydrates. My favourite is a glass of milk and some brazil nuts, but how about chocolate milk, a yogurt with fruit, or a protein recovery drink?
Sole: Swollen joint
I turned my ankle during an exercise class recently and now it’s swollen up. Do I have to wait for the swelling to go down until I can run again?
Yes, you need to be patient. All is not well in a joint that is still swollen – you need to let it heal. How long this takes depends on how badly you sprained it but resting for two weeks is a guideline for minor sprains. Once it feels more comfortable try walking initially and slowly build up to running again. Look at ways to improve your ankle strength for the future like single leg dips and trail running.
Got a question for Juliet? Email [email protected]