Injury Prevention: How to back up your training without breaking down

Injury Prevention: How to back up your training without breaking down

Injury Prevention: How to back up your training without breaking down

By Eliot Denver, Senior Physiotherapist

 

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Whether you like it or not, Winter has arrived, and even though the daylight hours are getting shorter, we hope you are continuing with regular exercise. Are you keen to try a new sport? Perhaps dust off your bike that has been sitting in the shed since Christmas – a few years ago…! But how do you start a new type of exercise or return to do more of something you haven’t done for a while without breaking down with an injury?

Firstly, you need to set some “S.M.A.R.T.” goals. This means they should be Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Setting good goals will help you stay motivated and give you something to measure your progress against. Therefore, instead of saying you want to “get back to the gym”, think about making your goal “return to the gym 3 times a week (45 mins) at lunchtime for cardio and build up to running the 10km fun-run in August in under 60 mins”. Give yourself a specific and realistic goal – and go for it! The same principles can be applied to whatever sort of exercise you enjoy.

So now you have a good goal, what next?

Timing and pacing – Work out when you will do your exercise, and give yourself adequate rest days. Do not try and exercise everyday unless you are already used to doing so. Your body needs rest days! These allow adequate recovery of the energy systems used during exercise and also allow your muscles, tendons and joints to recovery fully too.

Progressive overload – Do not try and reverse ten years in ten days! Sustained results take time. Whether it is weight loss, muscle strength or aerobic endurance, your body needs time to adapt to the training you are doing and is then able to do more. You can’t do it all at once. Add small amounts to the distance, intensity or weights you do in your training in small increments. This is really important to avoid injury.

Technique – If you don’t know what you’re doing, ask! The team at Your Health Domain are here to assist you. Some key aspects to safe weights training are

  • Stabilise – activate your core
  • Isolate – be specific with the exercise and muscles you are trying to work
  • Symmetry – keep everything even and balanced
  • Weight selection – start low and progress up slowly

Listen to your body – there is a really good reason your body has such an amazing system to alert you to danger. Make sure to listen to any warning signs of overuse or injury. The sooner you get some treatment the better your outcomes will be and the sooner you can get back on track and back to exercise. Some Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (D.O.M.S.) is to be expected, especially when doing a new type exercise or any change to your normal activity. This is felt as muscle soreness approximately 24-48 hours after a heavy bout of exercise. However, this is not to be confused with the early signs of an injury.

If it doesn’t feel right, get it checked out by your Physiotherapist! The Physios at Your Health Domain are skilled at assessing a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries and can help you get something sorted out quickly to make sure you can achieve your exercise and fitness goals in 2014. If you would like any more information or would like to book yourself in for an assessment, please call 9251 5111 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Pitt St. City Practice

Address:
Level 7 60 Pitt Street Sydney 2000
Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 6:00pm
Telephone:
(02) 9251-5111

King Street Practice

Address:
Fitness First - The Zone / 94 King Street Sydney 2000
Hours of Operation:
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Telephone:
(02) 9251-5111