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Heading Back to Exercise?

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

As the festive season is coming to an end I felt the need to share some simple thoughts on how to avoid early year musculoskeletal injuries.

Generally speaking the combination Christmas-Boxing Day-New Year’s Partying leave us with a hangover, a wider tummy and the urge of getting back into exercise straight away to ‘fix’ things quickly and feel and look better ASAP. It’s ok to think this way but we do need to kick back into exercise mode with caution as the body might not be as ready as we think! Here are some tips!

Avoid resuming the exercises regime at the same level you have reached weeks before as typically that is the best way to risk overuse injuries. Also Bootcamps options for new year resolutions can be ok if you follow a period of consistent cardiovascular and weight bearing exercises (eg sit-ups, squats, push ups, plank) that the body can prepare without shocks to the exercise regime. Studies have shown that the subjective rate of perceived exertion (sRPE) can be very useful to monitor fitness progresses and avoid injuries. Basically it is advised to measure how hard we work in a scale from 0 (minimal exertion)-10 (maximal effort) with an increase of maximum 10% each workout day. This is a very effective and science-based way to not only see results from our fitness workouts but also to prevent visits to GPs Physios or other health professionals.

Another important piece of advise is to remember to include a good amount of rest and sleep between workout days: studies have shown that at least 3 days x week rest with heavy workouts (eg CROSSFIT) and plenty of sleep for the muscle to recover (7-9 hrs x night for adults) are advised. Also for untrained individuals is best to avoid back to back daily workouts as it is likely to result in overuse injury.

Last but not least remember to consult your GP, Physio or health professional if you have any doubts or concern before you start your fitness program!

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