We are now in full swing of the new decade and I’m sure many of you have decided to take the plunge on your fitness journey – great!
If this is your first time back into exercise for a while or if you’re just a beginner then this blog will be for you!
Even if you are a seasoned veteran there will still be some take-home messages for you too.
So many people start out with great intentions but don’t give any thought to the important factors that can stop your new exercise routine dead in its tracks.
You need to be aware of these important tips to keep yourself injury-free.
Going into new exercise without much planning and thought is the number one reason why people end up injured or not achieving their goals.
However, without some consideration, you can ensure you can train injury-free and keep it going throughout the whole year.
Make sure that you are in it for the long haul to reap the benefits of exercise!
A key concept in preventing and managing injuries is understanding the balance between training load (the volume and intensity of your exercise) and your capacity to handle that load.
In a nutshell, it’s a case of working within your limits and not pushing your training beyond what your body can cope with.
Alongside training loads, there are also other factors at play such as how well you recover and underlying weaknesses or muscle imbalances.
A common scenario I see almost daily in patients who are returning to the gym or starting up a new routine is that their training load far outweighs their current exercise ability and capacity. Everyone knows that feeling when you overdo it and you can’t walk the next day.
What tends to happen is that people push their training and increase their distance or frequency too quickly and exceed what their bodies can tolerate.
As a result, something gives way and pain occurs. Our bodies can adapt to new training loads but only if it’s implemented gradually. Wherever you are starting, make the first few really easy and give your body time to adapt to it. Slowly build up the weight or distance or intensity as your body adapts.
We want to achieve a balance between stress, recovery and maximise fitness while reducing fatigue. If you want to train like an athlete then you need to recover like one too! Athletes put as much focus on rest and recovery as they do on their training.
Many patients put a great deal of thought into maximising their training but relatively few plan their recovery in the same detail. Training is often planned in the short term, medium-term and longer-term. Recovery can and should be approached in a very similar way. Some food for thought for the short and mid-term recovery periods:
Short term recovery:
Consider recovery strategies for each session such as cooldowns, pre, and post-training fuelling and adapting sleep. Plan recovery within the weekly training schedule, including where to place recovery days to manage fatigue and what to do within those days i.e. less intensity, less duration, lighter weights, etc. Sports or remedial massage is a great way to help your muscles recover and keep them in tip-top shape.
Plan training and recovery over a 3 to 4 week period and beyond to ensure that training increases gradually and recovery is modified to suit this change. Therefore, if you train more, recover more! This might include a planned ‘recovery week’ every fourth week where the training load is reduced.
One of the biggest reasons as to why we see a drop off in numbers in people who have started up their fitness journey at the start of a New Year is an injury. At times, injuries are a freak accident and can’t be predicted but in some circumstances, they can.
One of the main reasons behind injuries is underlying muscle weakness.
Muscle weakness may indicate an underlying muscle imbalance. Stronger muscles can begin to compensate for weaker ones, resulting in uneven pressure acting on our joints.
We see muscle imbalances often being the cause of niggling pains and injuries that people “just put up with”.
They feel that something is not right in their body but are not sure what is going on and try to push through. This often leads to seemingly “random injuries”. However, it was always just waiting to happen.
If your body is not feeling right or symmetrical or comfortable – get it checked as there is likely a small muscle imbalance that can be easily sorted before it becomes something major.
Here at Premier, we use the same muscle testing technology that Elite athletes and professional sporting clubs use – the AXIT Performance System.
This system allows us to measure every part and movement of the human body that highlights any asymmetric weakness (one side is weaker than the other).
By identifying these imbalances it makes it possible to realign/balance the body setting you up to SMASH your 2020 exercise goals.
If you think you need some help from a physio, osteo, sports massage or podiatrist, call us on 9481 7794 or book online here.