The 5 things Sports Physio wish you knew
1) Increase your exercise gradually:
The general rule of thumb is to increase your exercise by no more than 10% per week. This can be based on time, distance or repetitions done over the whole week
2) Ensure you have adequate strength before partaking in a new exercise program, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been active:
e.g. Making sure you have adequate strength in your gluteals before you partake on a long walking regime or running program will protect you against alot of lower limb injuries.
3) Address the niggles early before they develop into something that will interrupt your training
Having strategies in place to maintain flexibility and reduce muscle tightness post training is essential. Stretch bands, foam rollers and trigger balls are great devices you should be making use of.
As a general rule:
– If its general muscle soreness from a change in training program or exercise then have a couple of days easy training or rest
– If it’s a new niggle that you haven’t felt before get it checked out- you don’t want to miss anything nasty
– If it’s an old niggle that you have been able to self manage in the past with guidance from your Physio then you are OK to continue to train eg. recurring shin splints that you have been able to settle in the past with icing, stretching and massage
– If you continue to train and it’s not improving or getting worse then see your Physio
4) Recovery is just as important as the training
While you need to push to get gains you also need to recover. We don’t get stronger or fitter from the training we do, but rather how we recover from the training.
Having a well structured training plan will that allows for adequate recovery between your hard sessions is essential,. Managing your training load on a weekly, monthly and yearly cycle will reduce your risk of injury and allow for some down time to recover and work on things like core strength and flexibility to help with injury prevention.
5) Stretch after you exercise and not before
Current research suggests that a dynamic warm up such as walking, slow jog and then moving your joints and muscles through their full ranges of motion is the way to go. Save the stretching for afterwards when you are cooling down.