Don't Let Injury Ruin Your New Years Resolutions
The New Year is an exciting time
Resolutions are made as people vow to get back to healthy living and exercise after the indulgences over Christmas. Your goals may be be to get fit again and enter a few 5ks, 10ks or even a marathon, or it may be just to get playing with your kids or grand-kids more.
It’s very easy to make resolutions but it can be a bit harder sticking to them and often a simple niggle, if not addressed in time, can lead to an injury which can put an end to your resolutions. (I’m speaking from personal experience of a hamstring niggle that I picked up last January and didn’t look after. It ended up turning into a tendon problem and scuppered my marathon plans for the year).
Often the mistake that is made is going back to activity with too much enthusiasm and with out a proper plan in place. This can result in your body getting overloaded and a niggle or injury occurring.
And while the cold dark nights are still with us in January, this can be enough to put exercise on hold and the new years resolution can get forgotten about.
Often, this can be prevented with some advice and proper planning to ensure that you don’t start back with too much enthusiasm and overload the tissues causing injury.
So what can be done to help prevent this happening?
Here are a couple of tips to help reduce your chances of picking up an injury and help you stick to your New Years exercise resolutions.
- If you have taken it easy over the Christmas period (like a lot of us) and haven’t exercised much, then start back gradually. Allow your body to adjust to the return to exercise and movement. See how you feel the next day after exercise. Are you stiff or sore? If so, then take a day off from exercising, allow your body to recover and exercise the following day. Doing too much too soon is one of the most common ways that people pick up injuries.
- Come up with an exercise plan: If you haven’t exercised in a while then it can be a little bit daunting when starting back again. A nice way to help is to come up with a training plan. Write down what days you are going to exercise on and what you are going to do. Once you put something down on paper then it becomes more real and your subconscious mind holds onto more. Also, by writing your weeks exercise down on paper, you can see how much exercise you have done and can then increase it the following week.
- Plan your exercise the night before. If you are someone who prefers to exercise early in the morning then get your gear ready the night before and leave it easy to get to. With the dark winter mornings you don’t want to be wasting time searching around for your gear and leaving yourself under pressure to fit in some exercise and get ready for work.
- Allow some variability: Don’t be too hard on yourself if something comes up and you miss your daily exercise but try to fit it in later that day or even the next day. Life can get in the way and often people get put off or despondent if they miss their ‘slot’ for exercise. Remember Christmas can really throw people out of routine and it can take a few weeks to get back into it.
and finally, don’t make the mistake I made last year…
Address pain or discomfort when it happens.
If you are feeling some pain, excessive stiffness or discomfort, then don’t continue to train through it as if nothing is happening. ‘Niggles’ and sore muscles will happen, but it is how you address these that will have a big factor in whether they lead to injury or not. If you feel some pain or stiffness coming on then cool off and take a couple of days rest.
You can always do another form of exercise and then gradually return to that activity to see if the pain is still there. If it is, then get it checked out. Addressing these issues early can save you a lot of time, expense and hard ship in the long run.
So hopefully you picked up a few things from this short blog to come away with. You will possibly have heard them said before but it is always good to recap and remind yourself of some good habits to get into.
If you are suffering with pain and are worried about going back to exercise then you can take advantage of some services i offer in my clinic.
Secondly, I offer a return to exercise program that takes you from where you are know to where you would like to be, safely and with confidence. Call the clinic to find out more on 089 210 2586.
Best of luck with your New Years Resolutions and hopefully they lead to a happy and fun year.