Woohoo, gyms are reopening on Saturday!
I am especially pleased as this means I can get into my lovely clinic room and stop being the Southampton version of the littlest hobo, lugging my kit around.
A lot of people have seen a reduction in the amount or intensity of training they have been undertaking, let's face it most of us have at least a little lockdown belly, and I know a lot of my patients are eagerly awaiting the opening of those doors on Saturday morning.
It's with this in mind that I wanted to pass on a little bit of advice. As much as I enjoy seeing new and old patients, I really don't want you to cause injury on your first week back, so here are some tips.
Regress your training
You may have been able to bench the weight of a small elephant before lockdown and the thought of going back to the little weights sends you into a cold sweat, but I assure you it will be better for you in the long run. By starting small and increasing gradually, you are going to save time and money. Time, because you won't have to stop training to recover from an injury and money, because you won't have to pay me to put you back together whilst paying for a gym membership you cannot use.
Don't go overboard with the frequency
You may have been use to training every day before lockdown, but unless you have kept up this same level of intensity then you will have lost strength and condition. Don't worry it will come back, but be sensible. It's a marathon not a sprint. You can't make your bodies processes speed up just because you want them to and remember, rest is just as important as training.
Fuel your body appropriately
You may be trying to loose that lockdown weight and whilst calorie deficit is the best way to do it, you do need some good stuff going in as well. Your body needs complete nutrition as well as fibre to keep your gut ticking over nicely. Try upping your intake of fruit and veggies and drink plenty of water, as increased activity means and increase in sweating, which will cause dehydration if it's not replaced. You will need protein to help build up that new muscle tissue, but you may want to restrict supplement shakes and try and include it within your meals to loose those extra pounds.
Spend time stretching
When you have finished your work-out, spend time stretching. Good mobility and range of joint motion will help to prevent injury, as restrictions in normal movement patterns will have a knock on effect that can lead to compensation. These compensations can cause muscles and ligaments to work much harder causing fatigue and strains.
Get help if you need it
If you feel a little overwhelmed with it all then there is nothing wrong with asking the experts. Invest in some personal training to help with technique, a maintenance sports massage to aid performance and muscle recovery, nutrition coaching to help you understand and support your nutritional needs while training or if things are not feeling right, an osteopathic evaluation and treatment, before things really get out of hand.
If you have any questions or would like to book a free 15 minute consultation then please visit www.align-osteopathy.co.uk or call 07891718780 to book. Looking forward to seeing you in the gym very soon.
By Gayle Jordan M.Ost, CertEd