Sep
19

Could watercress be the key to exercise injury prevention?

The benefits of regular exercise are well documented, but the effects of intense training can often take their toll on your body, leaving you with niggling injuries and feeling fatigued.

Highly energetic exercise increases the demand on our body to produce energy to sustain activity. This increased demand can create a build-up of free radicals which may damage our DNA and contribute to ageing. New research by scientists at Edinburgh Napier University and Ulster University has found that watercress can help to prevent DNA damage caused by intense bouts of exercise.

Dr Mark Fogarty, from Edinburgh Napier’s School of Life, Sport and Social Sciences says, “Although we are all aware of how good exercise can be for our bodies, pounding the treadmill, lifting weights, or doing high levels of training can take its toll. What we’ve found is that consuming a relatively small amount of watercress each day can help raise the levels of important antioxidant vitamins which may help to protect our bodies, and allow us to enjoy the rewards of keeping fit.”

For eight weeks, ten healthy men, were given 85 grams of watercress and asked to participate in high level exercise on the treadmill. The results were then compared to an eight-week study that was conducted without watercress consumption. Findings indicate that participants who had taken part in intensive exercise, but had not consumed watercress, were found to have more DNA damage than those who had consumed watercress.

Additionally, the effect of eating watercress was not reliant on an accumulative build-up in our bodies, those that ate the vegetable just two hours before exercise experienced the same benefits as those who had consumed the vegetable for eight weeks.

In order to help our bodies prepare for the increased demand of intense training, it’s vitally important to warm up and cool down after each session and make sure that your body has enough time to recover.

Power Plate is an excellent tool to help you warm up and cool down and it’s also perfect for injury rehabilitation. Vibration training helps to increase your flexibility by allowing your muscles to contract and relax multiple times a second, increasing the blood circulation to your joints and muscles to enhance stretches and prevent injury.

Check out Power TV for all the latest Power Plate warm up and cool down exercises as well as new stretches and exercise programmes.