How to Best Avoid Injury

Exercise can be hard work on the body! It is, however, a crucial component of our overall health and wellbeing.  Having been stuck indoors and away from gyms since coronavirus restrictions came into place in March, motivation levels may be at an all time high now the doors are (finally!) back open.

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 gym, where they may find themselves doing a little “too much too soon” on their return.

In order to reduce your risk of developing an injury on your return, try implementing the following tips…

  1. Reduce Your Weights

Having had the last three months away from gym, we are likely to have lost strength and mobility, and experienced general “deconditioning”.  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 take 30 per cent off their pre-COVID weights 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.  

  1. Get 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.  

  1. Stay Hydrated

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.

Remember that prevention is better than the cure!  If in doubt, or if you would like some tips and tricks on how to best return to gym or your sport of choice, simply book in for a consultation and ask for some advice from your friendly PhysioFlex physio!

Some Great Resources/Apps to Use:

For gym-goers:

  • Fitplan
  • Fitbod

For runners (or aspiring runners):

  • C25K (Couch to 5K app)
  • Map my run/walk
  • Strava

For 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!

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