CASEY ANDREWS, PT, DPT, OCS
Casey can be reached at email@example.com.
Transition to Training After Lockdown: How to Reduce Your Risk of Injury
Being in lockdown has led to a lot of gyms and coaches getting creative to provide their athletes and members at-home workouts. Zoom group exercise classes, YouTube videos, and weekly at-home workout schedules have been great ways to stay in shape during lockdown. On the other hand, the extra craziness of suddenly having the whole family home and trying to get work done, home school, and keep everyone fed and clean might have derailed your typical workout routine.
Either way, most of us have had a pretty big change when it comes to working out. So now that gyms are beginning to open back up, many people are getting excited about jumping back into their normal workout routines. Before you hit the ground running (get it 🙂 )
I want to share with you a few things to keep in mind as you get back to your normal routine to keep you from being sidelined by an injury.
First off – How active were you over the last month?
Whether you kept up with some of the online classes, headed outside for runs, or just decided to hit pause on working out altogether, it is likely that most of us saw a dip in our physical activity over the last month or two. This means that we need to ease back into our pre-COVID workout routine and if you were someone who took a break from exercising during this time that means you will likely need longer to get back to your routine than someone who was fairly active.
Jumping right back into where we were prior to COVID increases our risk of injury because our bodies need time to build back up the strength and endurance that we need to reduce our injury risk.
Second – Were you able to continue with the same type of exercise throughout quarantine?
Some people may not have had to change up their workouts too much during quarantine – I’m talking to you runners!
Or maybe you prefer to do at home workouts via YouTube or another streaming service. Awesome!
This part won’t apply to you. But those of you who previously relied on the equipment at the gym for your workouts might want to listen up! Substituting those specific activities for at-home workouts means that you will need to ease back into your typical, gym-specific routing. If you were lifting weight prior to this but had to switch to bodyweight exercises because you don’t have any weights at home, then start back with a lower weight than what you were doing previously. If you were using the rowing machine or swimming, then scale back on the amount of time that you do those activities initially. If you jump right back into where you left off, your risk overloading your musculoskeletal system and increase your risk for injury. So, give yourself a few weeks to ease back into your previous exercise program to reduce your risk.
And Third – Go Easy on Yourself!
As I’ve already mentioned, pushing yourself too hard right off the bat might increase your risk for injury, but did you know that it can also affect your immune system?
If your body is in a constant state of recovery because of over-exercise your immune system can become suppressed which is something that no one wants right now! Some signs that you might be over-training include excessive fatigue, difficulty sleeping, irritability, excessive soreness, irritability/moodiness, and loss of appetite. If you are experiencing these symptoms take a few rest days, then scale back your workout for a few weeks to give your body time to build back up the strength and endurance it needs.
Want some inspiration? Check out our exercise videos.
CASEY ANDREWS, PT, DPT, OCS