“When The Body Says No”: A Running Coach’s Perspective

How Life’s Challenges Impact Our Physical and Mental Well-being

With Coach Alexa, Online Running Coach for We Run and the We Run Virtual Running Club

Hi, team! Coach Alexa here. I’ve been reading more books that, strictly speaking, aren’t specific to running, but I often find it’s useful to read around the whole area of health, wellbeing, and fitness. I always find something in these books that I can take away from a running and a running coaching perspective.

Understanding the Impact of Stress on Health

The book I finished recently is “When the Body Says No.” Written from a medical perspective by a doctor, it talks about the impact on our lives of the sources of stress and upset, and in some cases, really challenging circumstances that crop up in people’s lives on us physically and mentally. It delves into how the way we deal with these things mentally affects our bodies as well as the things that happen themselves.

While this book gives examples that are more extreme, it makes sense that life’s extreme stressors and how we deal with them can impact our health status and our likelihood of developing certain illnesses. At a less extreme version, it’s reasonable to believe that these factors could also have an impact on your training.

The Role of Sports Coaching and Physiotherapy in Addressing Stress

These days, there’s more discussion generally within sports coaching and the world of physiotherapy about the impact of what else is going on in people’s lives – their work, social, and family situations – and also from a psychological perspective how they deal with and process those situations that affect their bodies and their rate of healing, for example, of injuries.

Key Takeaways from “When the Body Says No”

Understanding What You Can’t Control: Some people are dealt a pretty nasty deck of cards at the beginning or at some point in their lives. Situations that are hard and upsetting and horrible to have to deal with. But there are usually aspects of these situations that we can control; the way we approach and deal with those situations.

The Importance of Self-Care: Giving yourself time to listen to how your body and brain react to those situations and respecting your own being enough to realise that you need rest, disconnect time, and time for yourself.

The Impact of Not Saying ‘No’: For people who struggle to say no to others and are always offering help and support to others at a detriment to actually giving themselves the support they’re offering to others, they can be more likely to take longer to recover from illnesses or more likely to come down with certain illnesses because it impacts your immune system.

Conclusion: A Holistic View of Health and Fitness

This book is not running specific, but it’s a real eye-opener for me about how complex we are. From a sports coaching perspective, not just running, but all sports, and also from a medical perspective, we tend to be quite specific and look at individual systems. However, we are whole beings where everything is part of a beautifully balanced and functioning system. It’s not surprising that stuff that happens in one area of our life can have quite a profound impact on other areas of ourselves, our brains, and our bodies.

So, if you’re interested in this topic, “When the Body Says No” is highly recommended. Happy reading!

Share With Your Running Buddies!