Prolonged immobilization is associated with muscle weakness because of disuse. However, those wearing ankle braces are not immobilized, and generally only wear braces during their sport. There is no evidence that ankle muscles are weaker after wearing an ankle brace during the season. While there is some evidence of delayed activation of muscles associated with wearing an ankle brace, researchers found no effect on muscle activation with prolonged use. Furthermore, No brace can ‘prevent’ an injury (or really anything for that matter!). All we can do is reduce the risk or incidence of ankle sprains. The fact is ankle braces do not protect against initial ankle sprains very well. There is minimal reduction in first-time ankle sprains with a brace, but the real benefit of ankle braces is preventing recurrent ankle sprains

A: Not necessarily. "If the symptoms are above the neck, like a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat, exercising should pose little or no risk," says Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise in San Diego. "In fact, mild to moderate exercise has been shown to help boost immune system function." But if your symptoms include body aches, chest congestion or tightness, and a hacking cough, workouts should be postponed.

A: If running 5 km is your aim and you have poor cardio fitness, the first thing you need to do is cast out any doubt you might have of yourself. Don’t say you are going to try for 5km, say you are going to do it. Running has a lot to do with mindset. Second of all, you need to pace yourself. Don’t go out on your first run and expect to be able to run 5k. Start off with intervals: walk for 2 minutes, run for 1 minute and next time walk for 2 minutes run for 2 minutes. Then you can build yourself up to a 2 km walk/run and work your way up. I recommend getting the run keeper app and registering for a 5km course. It breaks it down simply and within weeks, if you follow it, you will be running 5km. Finally, make sure you are eating enough. One big mistake people make is running on a totally empty stomach and they burn out after a couple of minutes of running. Eat well, time your food around your runs; food is fuel.

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