For most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant stay-at-home orders, public health restrictions, and cancelled events drastically reduced our activity levels, workout plans, and sport opportunities - especially during the winter. We spent more time at home, moving less and sitting more.
Now that the weather is warming up and the outdoors offer more accessibility to activities, many of us are eager to return to our exercise routines or have the added motivation to start new ones. It’s important to remember that, after a prolonged time of absent, reduced, or modified movement, you may need to take some extra precautions to get your body ready and ease back into your favourite summer activities. Here are a few of our tips:
1. Manage your expectations and modify if you have to
You likely won’t be in the same shape that you were before and that’s okay. Start slowly and carefully evaluate what your current capacity is and how your body feels. If you have to, modify the intensity of your workout (like running at a slower pace) or your specific activity (like walking before you run) to ease back in.
2. Make sure that you warm up
Warming up is critical to prepare your muscles, joints, and ligaments for exercise. If it’s chilly out, make sure that your warm-up sufficiently raises your body temperature before starting (it’s called a warm-up for a reason!). Good warm-ups should also include dynamic mobility (think walking lunges) versus static stretching (think sitting hamstring stretch).
3. Give your body a break
It can be tempting to jump back into everything all at once, but remember that your body still needs to rest and recover. Active rest days where you’re still doing some type of low-intensity activity are good, but true rest—including a good night’s sleep!—is also important to keep your body healthy.
4. Don’t ignore pain and discomfort
If you find that a part of your body is bothering you, listen to your body and don’t try to ‘push through it’. Take a break and, as above, make sure that you are resting your body and allowing it to recover appropriately. If you have ongoing pain or discomfort, contact a physiotherapist for an assessment.
Enjoy all the possibilities of summer, but make sure that you are taking care of yourself.
South Edmonton Physiotherapy and Sport Rehab is here to help keep you healthy and meet your goals.