Injury prevention during isolation. Is your new exercise routine doing you more harm than good?
With gyms, sports and pools having been closed due to Covid restrictions, many of us have turned to running, or home based workouts and online classes such as pilates, yoga, HIIT, or dance during the past few months in isolation.
Online exercise content has never been more accessible or more appreciated, however, with any new exercise routine to which the body is not yet accustomed, comes an increased risk of developing a new injury.
We have seen an increase in training load error related injuries in the clinic. What isn’t often well understood when you are challenged into starting a new routine, is the necessity for appropriate recovery times from that new activity.
The human body is incredibly adaptable. How else do you think gymnasts and acrobats can achieve what they can achieve?
But of course their strength and skill doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it happen in one month. It takes years of consistent loading, well planned recovery, and tissue adaptation to achieve what they can do.
It is no different for any sport or exercise. The human body is incredible and will adapt to what you ask it to do. However, injury occurs when you do TOO MUCH TOO SOON
So how much recovery time do we need?
Typical tissue recovery takes 48-72 hours to go through its process of rebuilding stronger after a dose of unaccustomed exercise or activity. It differs a little depending on the type of tissue (eg bone, vs muscle vs tendon), but generally speaking, all tissues take more than 24 hours to recover and adapt to a new stimulus or task.
So how does the idea of running 5 days a week, or doing push ups every day for a month sound now? NOT A PROBLEM if this is normal for you! But if you haven't done a push up since high school, or you haven’t run for a year, or perhaps you only normally run twice a week, it’s not surprising your tissues may start to give you some issues when you ramp up these activities too quickly.
So what should you do?
There are several tips we have for you as you navigate your new exercise routines, which are also relevant as you plan to head back to the gym and sports training:
Mix up your training activities - it is absolutely fine to exercise daily, but avoid the same routines on back to back days, especially when starting a new activity such as running
Allow adequate recovery time after your training and take at least one complete rest day a week
Be sure to rehydrate and refuel your body with nutritious food to maximise recovery and tissue adaptation, and aim to get the 7-9 hours of recommended sleep for optimal recovery and well being.
Listen to your body - if you have some general exercise soreness following a new activity, allow for this to settle for a couple of days and let your body fully recover.
If you have pain that comes on acutely, and is localized to one spot on one side, you should seek advice from your physiotherapist before resuming the activity, as this is likely a sign of a soft tissue injury.
Your physiotherapists at Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy are experts in assessing and fixing your injury, and advising how to adapt your exercise routine to prevent future injury.
Tag a friend who needs to read these tips!
When to See a Physio?
If you have experienced any acute knee or ankle injury, meaning there has been a specific incident or you have been experiencing knee or ankle pain without any incident for >1 week, you should seek treatment. Your physiotherapist will assist you to reduce the acute pain as well as identifying the relevant contributing factors to your pain and address them with exercises, an appropriate load management plan and bike fit as necessary. At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy we will have you back doing your sport or hobby as soon as possible.
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!