What are New Years’ Resolution Injuries?
Many people set a new year’s resolution to get fit after the gluttonous time of the festive period has finished. People are trying to eat healthier and exercise which is fantastic. This can be seen in many ways with more gym memberships taken up, more people out walking, running and cycling. People even enter marathons, cycling sportives and sprint triathlons to give themselves a target to help them achieve their goals. Unfortunately, this period can also see an increase in sport and training related injuries.
What’s your body’s normal?
Many of us believe the harder we train, the quicker we will lose weight, build more muscle and feel fitter. This is all true as long as our bodies can cope with the significant increase in physical activity. However, what many people don’t realise is that in the ‘down times’ that you haven’t been training, in the months leading up to Christmas, the body will de-condition.
Our bodies change depending upon what activities we do day-to-day as they are energy efficient. If you only get out of bed to walk downstairs, to then sit and drive to work, to then sit all day at a computer, to then drive home, to then sit and watch TV at home, then that is what your body will get used to dealing with. If you suddenly then go to the gym 4 times a week then it is more than likely going to become injured because it has not been asked to do this level of activity for months.
The good news is our body responds to the demands we place upon it – provided we treat it with care! To allow your body to adapt to the increased forces going through it when beginning to exercise regularly, you need to start slowly and build up distance, intensity, duration of training and amount of weight gradually and over a period of time.
You also need to give your body rest time. This allows it time to recover, adapt and change. This is why you should not go back to the gym until it has recovered from the last session. This might mean only doing one or two exercise sessions a week to begin with or alternating the body part that you are exercising each time to allow the other muscle groups to rest and recover. Would you rather not take things a little more gradually and steadily and probably achieve your goal of feeling fitter, more energised and healthier more quickly? Rushing things can lead to an injury or even weaken your immune system. Catching a cold or getting injured may mean having to take time out to recover and receive treatment and rehabilitation. Maybe even missing your deadlines for a race/event you had planned.
What should I Do?
The best way of avoiding injuries is to maintain a good level of strength, control and fitness throughout the year. This allows you to start your training in a much better position. This can be done with some simple weight-bearing exercises from squats to core strengthening exercises. It can be helpful to regularly attend yoga or Pilates. However, if you are undertaking these sorts of exercises then the correct technique is key. This helps to guard against reinforcing poor muscle patterning which can lead to injury.
Consider booking in for a session to get a more tailored evaluation of your flexibility and fitness and we can advise you on a specific programme just for you to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. And maybe another New Years’ Resolution should be to commit to helping others – please share this with your friends and social media.