Winter is almost behind us, and with that comes an increase in daylight hours and warmer weather, which certainly boosts motivation. We know many of you are enjoying the fresh air and reigniting your love for your exercise routines, which is brilliant to see.
Exercise is wonderful for the body in many ways, but a surge of motivation can sometimes shock the system, and those frustrating niggles can creep in. However, we don't want this for you and are keen to help you stay on track with your fitness goals. Which is why we share 5 steps you can take to reduce your risk of sporting injuries:
1. Have a plan
It can be tempting to sign up for the 10k running race and sprint out the door at full pace after the trainers have been lying dormant for months. However, if you push your body too much too soon, you will likely develop an injury and make the process harder. Therefore, whatever exercise you choose to enjoy, we recommend you set a plan at the start. For example, if you have a goal in mind such as a running race, look at the calendar and plan your training from the day of the race backward so you gradually build up your strength and fitness. The intentional plan will allow your body to adapt and recover.
2. Hydrate and fuel
If you put the wrong fuel in your car or not enough, you will soon know about it; the same goes for your body. You will lose more fluids and electrolytes through sweating if you increase your exercise. Therefore, it is important to keep your body hydrated and nourish and replenish your energy through nutritious foods. This will help to keep your body working at its best, reducing symptoms such as fatigue, soreness, cramps, and spasms.
3. Take breaks
There is no shame in allowing yourself a few minutes throughout your exercise routine to take a break. Time out can help you refocus, and offers an opportunity to fuel your body as discussed above. As well as taking breaks during your workout, factoring in rest days during the week is vital. If you feel like you want to exercise on these days, movements such as walking, a gentle bike ride, or intentional stretching are a few ways to keep mobile while aiding recovery.
4. Warm up and cool down
If you have been woken up suddenly from a deep sleep, you will know how alarming it can be, and exercise can cause a similar shock to your body. Allow time to wake up your muscles and tissues through active movements before your workout, so they are warm and ready for the work ahead. Following your exercise, allowing time to cool down will help your heart rate reduce at a steady pace. For example, if you have been running, spend a few minutes at the end walking, and do some gentle stretching.
5. Listen to your body
It is tempting to power through and ignore the often-subtle signs the body can provide to let us know something isn’t right. It could be the pinching feeling within the shoulder joint when lifting a weight or the tension and discomfort of the lower back when rowing. Whatever the experience, it is important to listen to your body and adapt what you do to allow it to rest. If the issue persists, we always recommend seeking professional help sooner rather than later, to help identify the cause and get you back on track. We hope you get out there and enjoy your exercise, and by factoring in the above steps, you will be supporting your body in the process! If you develop aches and pains and wonder if chiropractic care can help, feel free to get in touch. Chiropractic care is a natural and safe way to take care of injuries that can arise from sports, such as lower back pain, joint pain, muscle spasms, and tension. Many people also choose to maintain their chiropractic visits following an injury to keep their body working at its best!
The content of this blog is for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.