Hi Equilibrium Sports & Spinal readers, if you were anything like me you would have been out about basking in Glen Iris’s  glorious weekend filled with sunshine. You may also be suffering from the effects of doing too much too soon. What do I mean? I mean dealing with, back painshin splints and blisters from breaking out the thongs and spending the entire weekend walking around. Rather than ease them in slowly, or alter my choice of footwear and allowing my body to adapt, Im now suffering! Que the violins. So here are my 5 top tips to avoid pain and injury  as most of resume our exercise program after a long winters break! 

1) AVOID OVER TRAINING
As motivated as you are to start and make good on your New Years resolution to get fit ( It’s ok, your only 10 months into the year) trying to make up for lost time will only set you back. One common mistake made by physical activity goers is to “over-do it” in a mad rush to lose a few kilos or regain lost fitness before the warmer months arrive. Well the warmer months are here., so you are already behind. BUT theres is no better time to start, just start!  But be smart about your training.

  • Work within your limits. Just because you could do a specific exercise 10 or 20 years ago, doesn’t mean you can exercise with the same intensity and energy today. 
  • Be realistic about your training and not focus on what you use to do. “Too much, too soon” can be the number one reason why injuries occur. 
  • Gradually increase your time and the intensity of your workouts to prevent those nagging injuries.

2) Resistance training
Now is a great time to start putting on some extra muscle and regaining some strength. The stronger your muscles ( Moving muscles and Postural ones)  are the better we function. Strength training has an array of benefits, with a relatively short time required training (3-4 times per week is optimal for most). Strength training has been shown to be one of the best interventions in preventing lower back pain and many other ailments and improving quality of life!  Keep in mind that as intensity of your exercise increases, your frequency can decrease. In fact, it may be necessary to allow your body to recover from the increase in load. 

  • Having a strong fit body is a great way to keep the injuries away. If your muscles are balanced with a strong core then your body will not wear down or have to compensate for being weak or tight.
  • Consider speaking with Equilibrium or one of the great personal trainers here at Goodlife to get you started before jumping straight back into the gym. 

3) Cross Train: 
Your body will thank you when you change up your routine by engaging in different activities. This will not only help you avoid hitting a plateau with your workouts, it will give your muscles a much needed break from the same routine day in and day out. Plus, not only will your body benefit from diversifying your exercise routine, but so will your metabolism. Studies show that switching up your daily exercises can rev up your fat-burning.

4) Aquatic training 
Swimming can be a great alternative to keep you mobile if you are feeling a bit stiff or some from other types of exercise. In the comfort of indoors, the warmth of pools and its non-weight bearing nature can be a perfect way to start the day. If you aren’t that fond of swimming you can always join a local group for water aerobics classes to enjoy the social aspect too.
5) Listen to your body with rest and recovery. 
Your body will give you the signals you need to know when to back off. If that knee is feeling a little achy, or your soreness lasts for more than the recommended 24 to 48 hours, or you are just plain tired, then it is time to look over your exercise routine. Rest and recovery might be what your body is looking for. Make sure you take those rest days as your body is making actual gains during this time.

Things to keep in mind to ensure you are NOT overdoing things:

  • try to be more consistent with your training. A slow and steady increase your bodies ability will see more regular results rather than sustaining an injury and being inactive for a long period.
  • Listen to your body. If you need a rest take it. 
  • Exercising should leave you feeling energised NOT completely depleted and wiped out. 
  • Remember: Physical activity has been shown to increase endorphins (happy hormones) along with overall cardiovascular fitness and strength. Aerobic exercise includes things like walking, cycling, and running amongst many others, so try your best to exercise regularly to promote those endorphins and keep smiling!

Make sure you are keeping these few points in mind: Here are 5 key signs of over training: 

  1. Exercise leaves you exhausted instead of energized.
  2. You get sick easily (or it takes forever to get over a cold)
  3. You feel down / have the Blues.
  4. You’re unable to sleep or you can’t seem to get enough sleep. 
  5. You have a short fuse, feeling like the HULK and angry all the time is NOT a good side effect of exercise. 

As usual if you have any questions, please feel free to email us at info@equilibriumsas.com.au and we will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.