With the new year many of us to return to outdoor activities and regular exercise. It’s easy to injure yourself when you’re starting or getting back into an exercise routine, but a few simple steps will help you to minimise your chance of injury and stay on track!
1) Start slowly. The temptation is to go hard and fast, but if you gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workout then your body will have time to adapt and strengthen.
2) Warm-up properly. The best warm-up is a light, controlled version of the exercise that you will be doing that day. For example, begin with a walk or light jog before running.
3) Cool down. The best time to stretch is during your cool down.
4) Cross Train. Variety really is the key here. By including different kinds of exercises in your routine you can avoid muscle imbalances and build a strong, balanced body. Try to include some resistance exercise (e.g. weights), some slow movement exercise (e.g. walking), some fast movement exercise (e.g. sprints or intervals) and some flexibility (e.g. yoga) in your routine.
5) Never sacrifice good technique. Injuries often occur when you’re too tired, rushed, distracted or just feeling overly competitive. So focus on form and always use good equipment, including good shoes, and always listen to your body.
6) Recover well. Rest and sleep is the time when muscle fibres build and your body recovers. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, stay hydrated, and have rest days when your body needs them.
7) Get adjusted. Even if you’re not in pain, regular chiropractic checks can help deal with mild imbalances and niggles early on, which can prevent bigger problems later on.