How to avoid injury when you restart exercise.
After a break from exercise it is easy to get carried away and bite off more than you can chew. If you don’t take a sensible controlled view you will be more likely to get injured. So here are a few steps to consider when you restart……
- Firstly if you have any niggles or have had achey joints and muscles recently then have a check up before you start training again. Stiff joints and tight muscles will hamper and alter how your body functions. They can also inhibit key stabilising muscles. The result is lack of bounce at the very least but possible serious injuries such as ligament tears if you overload a poorly stabilised joint. A quick check up can restore function and a follow up can iron out any niggles that have occurred in the early stages of exercise.
- Make sure you warm up using active stretches. Theses are when you swing the limb through movements like a pendulum so the limb is always moving. Stretches done like this activate muscle sensors and improve tone. They also keep the tendons short and so help to preserve elastic recoil, an essential element of energy transfer for joint movements.
- Concentrate on form. We can all exercise to fatigue but what we need to do is maintain good form when we are getting fatigued. This takes concentration and effort. You will probably need to stop your routine earlier but it’s better to be a flowing runner than a bag of jelly. That way you will build strength faster and maintain efficient form. If you are in doubt about how to do your particular exercise with good form then seek help from an experience athlete or your personal trainers who are there to guide you.
- Do your conditioning. Yes it’s boring and you are unlikely to develop too much of a sweat but it is essential to enable you to maintain that form we just touched on. So what do we mean by conditioning? It’s the good old planks, glut lifts, foam roller etc. Painful but worth it.
- Warm down from intensive exercise. This allows lactic acid to leave muscles and be metabolised. You’ll be less stiff next time round.