As lockdown finishes this week, it’s a time that we have all been looking forward to, especially those of us who enjoy our daily gym routine.
Although it might be tempting to head back to our pre-lockdown routine straight away, it’s important to recognise the extended time that we’ve had off, as jumping back into exercise too quickly can lead to injury.
So, how can we avoid injury when returning to exercise? Here’s what you need to know.
Preparation is key
Since some of our muscles haven’t been used in over three months, it’s important that you prepare and stretch before exercising. Warming up allows more blood to flow into our muscles and improves our range of motion, therefore, making our body more resilient to injury. Although it is often overlooked when we’re eager to exercise, stretching and warming up can improve our performance and significantly reduce the risk of injury when exercising. Stretching will also help reduce muscle aches and pains in the following days after exercise.
Don’t go too hard too quick
If you have reduced your training during lockdown, it’s more than likely that you won’t be at the same fitness level that you once were. When returning to exercise, it’s important that you don’t progress your load too quickly as it can put a significant strain on your muscles and can increase your risk of injury. For our gym-goers, we recommend starting with a safe weight for the first three weeks and gradually increasing over time. This means not trying to hit your pre-lockdown PB within the first week of returning to the gym. By gradually increasing the days you exercise, the duration of your sessions and even the weights you lift, will help avoid and protect your body from injury.
Improve Your Form
Too often, we see clients enter our practice that have injured themselves by having poor technique. Having poor form while exercising can lead to a range of injuries, including strains, sprains, tears and more. Prioritising and improving your form and technique will help you avoid injury and muscle strains when returning to exercise.
For example, when performing a squat, try using a lighter weight to ensure that you have the correct form when lowering. If you’re unsure if your form is correct, you can even ask our friendly Progressive team in your next session.
Listen to your body
If you start to experience pain in your back, knees or other areas, it’s usually a sign from your body telling you to slow down and warning you of a potential injury. When returning to exercise, make sure you listen to your body. Taking the time to recover will help you avoid a more severe injury from occurring, one that will take longer to recover from.
If you are starting to experience pain or muscle aches after returning to exercise, don’t wait! Contact the practice today on (02) 4721 7798, email email@example.com or book your appointment online here.