BODY LEADER OF THE MONTH (JULY) – Sandeep Narayan
Q 1. What inspired you to initially start looking after your body?
It was actually the injury prevention training we did for my work a few months ago. They taught us the importance of looking after ourselves and finding the ‘sweet spot’ to body maintenance for life long health. I used to neglect my body playing rugby and soccer. I used to go so hard all the time and I would be in constant pain, shoulders, knees, wrists and over time this wore me down. It began to restrict my life and even how I played with my son. I neglected myself for over 10 years and after learning about the body and how to help myself with SSTM, (squeeze, stretch, trigger and move) the light bulb switched for me! It’s all about preventive maintenance, not just going hard until I injured and repeating the cycle, causing more long term damage each time.
Q 2. How do you know when your body is asking for help?
I get tightness as well as aches and pains. Mostly when waking up but also during normal movement throughout the day. When I’m at work I can feel tired and that carries into my family life. If I get bad, I feel like I’m out of alignment and it starts to affect my sleep.
Q 3. What do you currently do to look after your body?
I aim for consistency with my daily habits now. I do something morning and night, simple techniques. In the morning, I aim to move and do 45 minutes on the treadmill to get my body going before work. In the evening, I do resistance training at the gym. Throughout the day, I will use different techniques depending on what’s happening. I mostly use the SSTM for my shoulders and hamstrings because we have to get into awkward positions that can be pretty intense on the body.
Q 4. What strategies work best for you?
MOVEMENT stuck with me the most from training. It’s so simple. Walking, swimming, bike riding, stuff that can make the most impact long term for body maintenance and injury prevention. Before I would focus on high impact sports and that would end up causing more damage. So the benefit of losing that extra weight wouldn’t make up for the hassle of being injured.
Q 5. What are your goals for the future of your body?
I have a 4-year-old son, so I’d love to be able to play football with him and take him to the park without letting my aches get in the way. I want to be able to manage injury, pain and fitness levels and I feel I now have the knowledge and understanding to do it.
Q 6. What is your definition of a Body Leader?
Someone who takes ownership of their body, understands their body, cares about their body and is consistent with prevention/ maintenance techniques.
Q 7. What is Injury Prevention like at your workplace?
I work for Energex and they are unbelievable! I have been working for 30 years and 5 of those here. The support they provide is like nothing I’ve seen before. They’re really proactive! They go through stuff in our toolbox talks each morning. They teach us how to stay good at work and home for life. We work in small groups and my team have started reminding each other to do SSTM before repetitive work or if the risks are higher on the body. It helps.
Q 8. What strategies do you find work best during your day?
I use my shoulder strategies most because they’re quick and easy. The hamstring stretches are good too. I love the saying ‘Health is wealth’ and it’s great to see all the guys at work now reminding each other to keep using strategies.
Q 9. Have you noticed any improvements or positive impacts since training?
Yes, definitely. It has made everyone think and refocus. I feel focused for my long term goals with health. I ask myself, ‘Where do you want to be in 20 years?’ and if I don’t have health then I can’t enjoy life to the fullest. It’s about having the right balance, and SSTM training has made me more conscious of my decisions and self discipline.
Q 10. How would you describe the injury prevention culture at work?
Energex is definitely supporting Injury Prevention. The guys talk more about their feelings and we are all making better decisions with our bodies and even weekend activities. We used to go to the pub for a get together. Now we’re going to the park with our kids and wives, playing sports and having a healthy barbeque instead. Learning SSTM techniques has been a life changer for myself and I have also been able to share this with my family, creating awareness of how simple stretches or movements can make a big impact on your body both now and long term.
Q 11. Anything else you wanted to mention?
On a personal level I know a lot of men don’t like to talk about their health concerns. I talk to the boys at work and tell them if they have any aches or pains to go see their GP and get it checked out. If you can’t get help there, get to the specialist so you won’t miss anything. Don’t leave it for too long. Get it resolved or get a plan because you’re too important. You only have one body for life!