Returning to sports and the gym post-lockdown? Here’s how you can reduce your chances of injury and return to fitness!
With gyms re-opening, sports resuming and people feeling more comfortable with getting out and exercising (along with many of us wanting to shift some of those quarantine kilos!), many of us are returning to our usual sports and hobbies. However, one of the main causes of new injuries we see in practice is when patients have done too much too soon or suddenly started an unaccustomed activity.
We’ve all fallen victim to that back twinge during the first spring gardening day after winter, the niggly shoulder from lifting lots of boxes after a week getting stiff behind the desk, the calf strain when we leave our half marathon training a little too late… Returning to you’re usual weights, distance or activity after lockdown is no different; and after months of missing out it can be tempting to jump into things again, so here are some top tips for getting back to what you enjoy safely!
- Warm up
Many of us have been working from uncomfortable home set-ups or doing less in the last few months, making us feel stiffer and less fit or strong. A good warm up to loosen and prepare your body for training is important. This could include some light cardio like a brisk walk before running, or using the exercise bike or cross trainer at the gym. Some gentle stretches and body weight movements like squats can also help to get blood to your muscles and your heart rate rising.
- Increase gradually
We all want to get back to what we enjoy ASAP, but don’t worry about starting low and building up; whether that’s starting with a low weight or empty barbell and increasing each set, splitting your first run into a 2km jog and 3km walk and gradually doing a little more over a few weeks, starting with the less strenuous yoga poses or starting back to sport with just some simple drills before a full game.
- Don’t worry if you aren’t where you were before straight away!
With some time off of activity it is normal to lose some strength and fitness. When we used to be able to do something with ease and now it seems challenging it can be incredibly frustrating, but it’s also normal! Remember your body is adaptable and with some time and patience you will return to your last PB, distance or do what you enjoy with more ease. It’s better be patient than have to take (more!) time off in the coming months because of injury.
- Have fun!
The last few months have seen us lose the social contact and enjoyment that sport and exercise bring us. Remember, it’s not all about strength, speed and flexibility, but having fun, reconnecting with our social circle and returning to what we love – so look out for your physical wellbeing so that you can regain your social and mental wellbeing too!
- If in doubt, we’re here to help!
We hope this advice is helpful and you return to your hobbies without bother; however, should you find yourself suffering from any aches, pains or strains we will be more than happy to help get you back on the road to recovery with treatment, rehabilitation and advice!