How to Get Back in Shape Without Getting Injured
COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way and this extends to peoples’ fitness routine. Gyms shut down, people gained time in their day without having to commute, others found themselves possibly unemployed and at home for the first time in years. These changes led many people to alter their fitness routine or add in a fitness routine to their day with their newfound free time.
Many of the avid weightlifters and CrossFitters weren’t able to get their hands on their usual training equipment. In order to accommodate the reduced weight, many people drastically increased the number of repetitions they did for each exercise. We also saw people add in or change the mode of cardio training. Some began to run rather than take their usual spin class, and others opting to buy a peloton bike. In all of these cases there is a common theme, a significant increase in a new type of training in which there is repetitive microtrauma without sufficient recovery time, leading to a rise in overuse injuries, such as tendinitis.
As gyms start reopening, it’s important to learn from the mistakes of quarantine and avoid returning too quickly. Here are some tips to take to decrease the risk of overuse injuries whether you’re starting a new type of training or returning to your old method.
· Ease back in
o For resistance training athletes, strength, especially eccentric strength and power, is the first thing to begin to decrease. It will take some time to get back to your old numbers and it’s important to gradually increase the weight.
o If you’re resuming or adding in an endurance program, slowly increase the time and distance. Don’t add more than 10% in either distance, intensity, or frequency per week.
o This is important even when you’re not starting or resuming a fitness regime. Sleep, sufficient recovery between sessions, and proper nutrition play a huge role in your ability to optimize tissue recovery and performance, and not the latest “recovery gadget”.
· Don’t forget mental health
o This is a stressful time for many people, and the role of stress on our body is often forgotten. Take some time to focus on your mental health. This could be relaxation or meditation exercises, speaking to a therapist, talking to friends, etc.
o If you’re setting fitness goals, make them realistic and be patient with yourself as you get back into the swing of things.
Check out this video from our instagram of some examples on how to get started.
Want some help in coming up with a plan? Our Doctors of Physical Therapy are also Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists, and we’d love to help you reach your fitness goals!