How to Best Avoid Injury
Exercise can be hard work on the body when returning to the gym or exercise! Especially after a long period of rest due to a pandemic, sickness, injury or just a special holiday. It is, however, a crucial component of our overall health and wellbeing. When you have been stuck indoors or just immobile and not active, motivation levels may drop. So it is imperative that as your return to the gym or exercise or your favourite activity to follow these tips.
Gym goers, as a population, are often a super driven, extra eager group, wanting to push their bodies to the limit. Whilst admirable, this can leave them extra susceptible to injury, especially after time away from the gym, where they may find themselves doing a little “too much too soon” on their return. This can apply to all of our community. Even going for the short walk or outdoor activity that you used to do.
In order to reduce your risk of developing an injury on your return to sport, exercise and the gym, try implementing the following tips…
1. Reduce Your Weights at the Gym
Having had months away from gym or activity, we are likely to have lost strength and mobility, and experienced general “de-conditioning”. In fact, some studies show that a significant decline in muscle mass, physical function and aerobic capacity can occur in as little as 10 days of inactivity. It is for this reason that it has been recommended that individuals reduce 30 per cent of their pre “rest” period intensity for the first few weeks back, and gradually increasing these by 10 per cent each week thereafter.
Eg. If pre-COVID, you were completing a 50kg bench press, consider starting back at 35kg.
2. Have Lots of Rest
After a training day, a full rest day or even more, may be required to recover appropriately and ensure you are able to return to a good quality next session next time.
Eg. If pre-COVID, you were training 5-6 days a week, you may want to start back at 3-4 days a week and incorporate cross training techniques.
Water is super important! The better hydrated we are, the longer we can prolong the well-known “Lactic Acid Burn” and therefore work harder for longer during gym sessions. Good hydration also promotes quicker recovery.
Some Great Resources/Apps to Use:
Runners (or aspiring runners):
Those returning to sport:
- The Australian Physiotherapy Association has partnered with elite athletes from national basketball and netball teams to encourage Australians to return to sport gradually after the long COVID-19 lay off.
See the link below for some of their warm up and strength and conditioning exercises on YouTube!