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Back to the Gym!

Posted on 23rd July 2020 by

With gyms, classes and leisure centres re-opening on Saturday, it’s a but of an injury ticking time bomb!

Even if you’ve been doing regular exercise during lockdown, your body will definitely need some time to re-adjust to exercising again with a new regime.

Our 6 top tips:

  1. Build up gradually – most injuries occur after doing too much, too often, too soon. So however tempting it might seems, ease back into exercising. Don’t go and book a class or go the the gym every day next week. Your body will well and truly be in for a shock and on a. more serious note, you are putting yourself at risk of getting an injury.
  2. Have realistic expectations – it’s going to feel harder to start with. Even if you’ve been doing Zoom classes, running regularly or daily PE with Joe Wicks, you’re going to be in a different environment, with different equipment and doing something you haven’t done for months. Don’t expect too much or set yourself unrealistic expectations bu thinking you’ll get straight back into your pre-COVID routine.
  3. Start with shorter sessions / reduced frequency – think about your pre-COVD workout and give yourself a good few weeks to build up to it. Think about doing shorter sessions to start off with or twice a week the first week, then three times and build up from there. This will give your body time to adapt to what you’re asking of it which will significantly reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Start with lower weights – if you lift weights, start off with lower weights and build it up over the coming weeks. Going straight in to your usual level of weights without time to adapt will increase your risk of injury.
  5. Mix it up – try different types of exercise, mix up resistance and cardio in the gym, try a new class and build in something more gentle like yoga, Pilates or a stretch class. Use a foam roller on rest days or treat yourself to a post massage. Don’t be tempted to go to the gym and exercise the same part of your body repeatedly.
  6. Soreness vs Pain – some soreness in your muscles is to be expected when you get back to exercise, it’s nothing to worry about and should ease after a few days. If you get persistent pain in any area or in a joint and it doesn’t ease within a week to 10 days, it may be you’ve injured yourself and would benefit from coming to see one of our Physios’ or Sports Therapists. Getting a quick diagnosis and treatment plan will help give you the best chance of getting back again quickly without having to rest for weeks on end and being dragged into a cycle of injury.

As a guide, depending on how much or how little you’ve done in terms of exercise during lockdown, you should expect it to take 2 – 6 weeks to get back to to your pre-COVID level of exercise. If you’ve had Coronavirus, it may take longer and you’ll have to be a bit kinder to yourself, lower your expectations and really listen to your body. You can read more about this here.

Patience is really key here. We know how much you’re all looking forward to getting back to the gym and classes but just imagine getting back for 2 weeks and then having to stop again because of an injury, How frustrating would that be?!

So, by being sensible and not diving straight in at 110%, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of enjoying being back exercising, for the long term.

Happy exercising!



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