• Chris Purcell

Spring exercise tips if you have been hibernating all winter

The temperature is rising, the days are getting longer and the quite frankly the weather at the moment is fantastic. This means that we see a lot of people getting back into their exercise routines or beginning a new program or form of exercise. This is great but my experience as a physio also tells me that this can be the time of year that we start seeing injuries and pains from people getting back into exercise. Here are my three tips to help make sure that you avoid injury as you get back into spring training.

1. Be gradual with your loading. It is common for you to make gains in strength and your fitness quite quickly in the early phases of your program. This will often make you feel great during your sessions and you will be wanting to push harder and harder. This is where overload can happen. When returning to exercise it is important to remember that your tendons and bones can be a little slower to adapt to loading than other parts of the body. My tip is to only increase load or duration by 10% per week to make sure you do not do too much too soon. 2. Remember what you did the day before.

The benefits and training effects of an exercise session last much longer than the session itself. Overload or overuse injuries often come from doing the same type movement or training too often. When planning your training or scheduling sessions, remember what you did the day before and try to do something a little different or exercise in a different way. This gives the muscles, joints and tendons a little more time to adapt and recover.

3. Be careful training when you are too sore.

Most of us have experienced the pain that comes from over doing it in an exercise program or the soreness you get from your first session. This is normal and is not a bad thing however it is also your body reacting to the load that you have applied to it. This soreness is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and typically comes on 1-2 days after your training session. If you have a bad case of DOMS, rest, stretch or do something a little different and gentler on the body and then get stuck back into training once the soreness is gone. Stacking soreness on top of soreness is not always a good thing. Recover well to train better.

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