With the easing of restrictions it’s becoming easier to keep active and enjoy your usual recreational activities (golfers rejoice!). Whilst this is great news, there’s a temptation to pick up where you left off. If you’ve been managing to stay consistent throughout the lockdown, then that’s fine and well done! But if it’s been a while since you had a swing, getting back into your usual routine might leave you a little sore.
A little bit of discomfort is to be expected when returning to sport, gym or general exercise there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready to go and minimise those aches and pains.
You’ve probably been told this before to the point where your eyes start to roll to the back of your head, but a warm-up before any sort of physical activity can make a world of difference. The best way to warm-up is to make it specific to what you’re doing – use a variety of stretches, mobility and ‘activation’ exercises to get the relevant muscles fired-up.
For example, if you’re about to head out for a run you might want to do a few sets of clams or crab walks to ensure your gluteals are awake and ready to get the most out of your stride; if you’re about to play 9 holes* then a few cycles of spinal mobility exercises will help to prepare you for that first drive in a few weeks/months.
Similarly, a warm-down routine will help to flush out some of the lactic acid that may be hanging around after your chosen activity. Check out our YouTube channel for some great videos demonstrating stretches and other exercises that we commonly prescribe for our clients. If you’d like some extra information or tips on preparation and recovery, resident VFL premiership captain Aaron has written some great blogs listed below.
Ease yourself back into things
Why did I say 9 holes? Where’s the other 9?! Well for me it’s better to stick with zero because I swing a club like I’m trying to dispatch a bowler back over his head – it’s not pretty. Gags aside, depending on how long it’s been it might be better to build up to the full 18. Similarly, it’s worth starting with a lower weight or a shorter distance than you were at before COVID rudely interrupted. This decreases the risk of injury and will likely reduce the amount of soreness you feel over the next few days.
What if it’s too easy? That’s great, next time you workout you can push it a bit further. But let’s look at the alternative for a second. You go from zero-to-hero and injure yourself and/or feel the effects for the next week or two. That impacts progress, likely results in relegation to caddie status and we all know how easy it is to fall out of a nice routine that you’re working hard to build.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
It might take a little while to get back to where you were a few months ago. Change takes time and it typically takes 3-4 weeks to build good habits. Set smaller, achievable goals on the way to your bigger goal or dream and reward yourself when you tick a box! Osteopath Tom has written a terrific blog on goal setting and how to get the most out of yourself.
Unfortunately, sometimes you can do all the right things and be at peak fitness but still suffer the odd injury. If this happens, there’s no need to panic. See it for what it is – a minor detour on the way to achieving your goals. However, it’s important that you get on top of these injuries that pop up no matter how minor they may seem, and we’re always happy to guide you in your recovery at Pakenham Osteopathy.
If you have any questions or want some advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email at email@example.com or call our clinic on 5941 4157.