New Year – New Injury?
With the new year upon us I am sure that many of you will be hoping to hit the gym to work off those Christmas treats and get back to being fit. Increasing your activity is a superb idea! It will not only increase your life expectancy but also release endorphins (the happy hormone) and make you feel better in yourself. However, in my experience many people I end up seeing in the clinic fall foul of a few easyt to make mistakes. These then sadly stop people exercising and also really reduces peoples motivation to continue to try and get or stay fit. Due to this here are some injury prevention tips to help you stay in the gym and away from the treatment couch!
- Warm up properly – warming up before exercise is essential to reducing injury. If you are going to do resistance training, make sure you do 10 mins of gentle non-impact exercise like cross training or rowing to get your muscles warm and your heart rate up.
- Activate the right muscles – if you looking to put your new running shoes on simply starting your run at a slow pace is not a good warm up! Try doing a routine of 10 squats, 10 lunges on each side and 10 donkey kicks to get your glutes firing.
- Don’t push yourself – OK I am a culprit of doing this myself. You go to the gym and immediately go to lifting the weights you used to do or start running the mileage you did last time you trained. This will put a lot of strain on the body. Take your time and build up your tempo/weights slowly.
- Stretch – Yes, I know it takes time, however, this is essential. You need to spend 1 minute on each muscle that you have been training so really its around 20 minutes at the end of your work out that is needed.
- Listen to your body – your body is an amazing piece of kit that will tell you when it is struggling. If you feel a tweak just stop for that day and give it a break, do some gentle stretches and see how it is the next day. If your tweak doesn’t go away – get it checked out!
- Maintain your body – It is important to look after your body. This means feeding it well with good amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrate, getting regular sports massage to allow the muscles to heal.
Injuries happen but if you try and do the above then at least you can minimise the issues and keep living that healthy lifestyle!