How to return to training safely after a global pandemic? Read on to find out! Having gone through one of the toughest lockdowns in the world amidst a global pandemic, a lot of us are looking to get back into training and sport again. Understandably this presents new challenges we’ve never thought to prepare for before. Having seen many patients come in with aches and pains after starting exercise again, here are some tips to making your return to sport as smooth and safe as possible:
- Periodise your training!
Gradually build up your training from a low intensity and space it out enough during the week to allow your body to adapt to a new routine. For example, if you stopped training completely over the lockdown, start off with low intensity workouts with low impact exercises. For example, swimming and biking are great ways to get your body moving again.
- Start slow and simple.
Even though we may have been training at a very high-level pre-lockdown, we can’t place the same expectations on our bodies after months of minimal training. It’s better to take things slow and steady than take it fast and have to stop due to injury or overuse. The pandemic has given us the rare opportunity to return to the basics and improve our technique again. Setting these strong foundations again, helps keep us healthy and injury -free!
- Recovery is King!
Recovery is just as crucial as active training, no matter what level you’re at. Recovery includes a proper diet, getting enough sleep and completing active muscle recovery exercises. Recovery allows the bone, muscles, tissues and brain to adapt to training and heal itself. For example, our bones start to remodel themselves when exposed to stress and our tendons’ cells begin to change their alignment in response to loading. This process takes time. After the lockdowns, our bodies will have deconditioned over time and require adequate recovery after training to avoid injury.
- Trust in the process.
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, we need to set realistic goals and expectations for training. Be kind to yourself and have patience with your program. Hard work now forms the drops that fill the bucket over time. Happy training!!
Imone Mukhopadhyay (Physiotherapist)
*As always, the advice above form general guidelines. For advice and training modifications most specific to you, we recommend you consult a healthcare practitioner first.