A Guide to Returning to Exercises Safely
There can be times when life gets in the way of us staying as fit and healthy as we would like. When these periods go on for months and years the step back into exercise can be daunting. There are real fears about causing new injuries or flaring up old ones, what the best way to start is and what to actually do when fitness is so low you’re concerned you may not make it up that hill or finish a lap of the pool alive!
Here are a few great tips from the team of physiotherapists at Core Gymball who specialise in helping people return to exercise in a safe, well supervised environment.
- Progress gradually. It won’t happen in a day! We can all feel really keen when starting an exercise program, but going too hard, too early is one of the greatest causes for injuries. Start out gently, allow yourself days off to ensure you recover in between session and only aim to increase your load at 10% per week. Avoid the “boot camp” mentality – smashing your body will only cause injuries and pain. Instead, be sensible, pace yourself and allow yourself proper recovery days.
- Build from the inside out. We have all heard about our “core” muscles, and for good reason. These special deep muscles support our lower back and pelvis and ensure we stabilise and protect these areas from injury. Those who have lower back pain, have a past lower back injury or women who are returning to exercise after kids need to be particularly careful to learn correct activation of these deep muscles before launching into harder exercise regimes. A weak base to our core (pelvic floor muscles) must be looked after and strengthened before heading into impact activities like weights or running.
- Use professional advice. We can’t emphasise this enough. Getting the proper guidance of a physiotherapist to assist you with your exercise progression is critical. This can be done by seeing your local therapist or working in a small group class with Core Gymball physiotherapists. With proper guidance you can ensure you work at an intensity that is loading your muscles correctly and strengthening the areas that need work, without risking injury.
- Don’t forget to stretch! This is an area that is commonly overlooked. Taking the time to maintain good flexibility will help ensure success with your program. Once again, be guided by your professional on the best stretches to work on. For those of us sitting a lot through the day, stretches can be critical to keep necks and upper backs happy.
Core Gymball classes are physiotherapist run, low impact classes that focus on core strengthening, light weights and toning exercise and flexibility. For more information about Core Gymball classes, go to www.coregymball.com, or call 9545 0134 / 0438 448 738.