Alex Scott's Active Life
Whether you know her from her footballing career for England and Arsenal or her current career as one of television's most celebrated pundits and presenters there is no denying Alex Scott leads a very busy life.
But between her non-stop schedule Alex, who lives with arthritis due to football injuries, manages to keep moving.
We caught up with Alex to find out more about the little ways she always stays active with arthritis.
Find out what works best for you
I try to exercise every day. But the key thing for me is to appreciate what type of exercise is going to work best on any given day. Many people see exercise as something high-intensity like running a 10K every day but it’s just as important to have a balance. Some days I’ll go for a run and some days I’ll just go for a walk. Finding that balance allows me to not just stay active but enjoy staying active, which is so important.
Mix it up
There are days when you wake up and your joints do not want to move. I’ve had those days and it is horrible. But the key thing is to find a way to keep going. I struggle with my arthritis around the winter months because of the cold weather, it really affects me. I've just come back to the cold climate and my arthritis has been bad in my ankle. So I've had to mix up my training. I've been running around the park near my house a lot. But yesterday, I had to swap that run out and I went and did hot yoga to give my ankle a rest. This way I don't have that pounding constantly on my ankles when they need a bit of respite.
The key to staying active
I’m aware that as a former professional athlete I spent a lot of my career being paid to stay active and in the best possible shape. But believe it or not I often have to force myself to get up, get out and do some exercise. It's easy to talk yourself out of exercise, you know; your body is aching, “oh, I've got pains”. But reminding myself of the benefits of exercise is often what motivates me to get moving.
Listen to your body
When I was competing I was often used to playing through the pain, there were matches I clearly remember being in pain. When I retired I really wanted to switch that mentality off. So I went from gritting through the pain, to actually listening to my body more. I had to reset my thinking. That said, being a footballer did teach me about the importance of recovery days.
It’s okay to take a day off, it’s okay to let your body rest. I rest my ankles to give them a chance to recuperate and on those days, when I might just do some gentle stretching, I take a moment to regroup. As I said before, you don’t want to get to a point when exercise feels like a chore because then you’ll definitely talk yourself out of it.
Good for mind and body
I can only speak for myself on this one but when I exercise I know I’m hitting those physical goals I’ve set myself but I’m also so aware of how it makes me feel mentaly. We’re all living these busy lives and taking the time to exercise, to just focus on me helps me decompress. When I go running, it really clears my head, gives me clarity, and allows me to switch off from everything else going on around me. I also feel so much better after I’ve been active. As I’ve said, even a good walk can do a world of good. My friends and team around me notice when I haven’t exercised, I think they see it and hear it in me, it’s not having that release from the day-to-day stress of life that builds up.