How to return to sport safely after COVID Lockdown
Often, when we take a break from sport and exercise, we forget how hard it feels to start exercising again. But besides how difficult it feels, we need to remember how much of a physical shock it is to the body.
If we’ve learnt anything during this time, it’s that humans are adaptable.
However, this works in both positive and negative ways. When we take a break, our body gets used to it, thinking it’s doing us a favour by adapting to what we’ve given it. So, if we suddenly increase what we do (like by returning to football training without any preparation), our body isn’t prepared, and we’re likely to get injured.
The Australian Institute of Sport has released a formula that allows you to calculate how long it will take you to get back to 100% training without risking injury, based on 2 things:
How much you’ve reduced your training by (e.g. you’ve been doing only 40% of normal training)
How long you’ve reduced your training for (e.g. 2 weeks)
Now, for the fancy formula:
Weeks to return to training =0.5533 x (length of break in weeks) - 0.0587 x (percentage of training to be completed written as a full number i.e. 40% is 40) +3.533
Real life examples of Charlotte and Tim.
Charlotte is a footy player. She’s been running a lot, but she got a bit bored and tired. She decided to just do 40% of her normal running for 2 weeks, before increasing it again.
To return to the full amount of training AFTER her two chilled weeks, she would need to take another 2.5 weeks to gradually increase again to full training.
That’s 4.5 weeks total of a dedicated plan to get back to full training!
Tim lost all motivation during lockdown. He’s only been able to get himself to do about a quarter (25%) of what he’d normally do, for the past 8 weeks.
Footy training is starting up in 2 weeks, and he’s worried about injuries.
Based on the break he took, if he started today, it would take him 6.5 weeks of gradual training to safely increase back up to his normal amount of training. That’s 14.5 weeks total!
What if I go back to full training more quickly?
Your risk of injury will be higher. Given the sports seasons will likely be shorter this year, if you get injured early on, this could potentially ruin your season.
How can I safely progress back to full training?
We’ve had many players come in to get a plan put in place to reduce their injury risk, based on where they are at individually.
The challenge now is to book in with one of our physios who can develop a program for you to a safe and efficient pathway back to sport.
If you get this right, imagine how far ahead you’ll be of your opposition's players.
Remember: Your season will likely be short this year. Get it right!
How can we help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert massage therapists so we can help you reduce your pain or stiffness.
If you are showing some signs of this condition or simply want help prevent this from happening in the future then book in with one of our highly experienced Remedial Massage Therapists today!