By Victoria Athey BSc MSc MCSP. Physiotherapist and Sports Massage Therapist at 360Athletic
The Fitness Mistake Trio you need to avoid!
If you are training regularly, want to keep active and are pursuing a healthier, stronger and happier you then congratulations! Already you are trying to better yourself and you will be reaping the countless benefits that exercising brings. However there are some common mistakes that you might be guilty of which can be costly – best to read on and let us set you on the straight and narrow!
Injuries peak during January – yes the old New Year New Me, it’s easy to get carried away and make drastic overnight changes to your fitness programs. During the start of lock-down a similar rife of injuries came through our virtual clinic as people tried to adjust to their new normal, running spiked in intensity leading to many painful knees, hips and feet. Now with the end of gym lock-down on the horizon (FINALLY!!!) the prediction for another surge of injuries related to racing back to old fitness regimes and heavy weights is high.
We need to not lose our ‘fitness heads’ with all this change and instead take a more cautious approach regarding changing our fitness programming. Jumping back to intense exercise is a bit of a shock for your tendons, muscles and joints after a large time out such as lock down. So if you want to ensure you enjoy your fitness over the next few months and avoid any nasty injuries it’ll be worth trying to avoid the following fitness mistakes.
1) Your goals are unrealistic or don’t exist
Firstly we all need goals otherwise we are fruitlessly working without any direction and we won’t know if we have been successful leading to a likely lack of motivation. These can be small and personally but it is important to be realistic about what your wanting to achieve and when you can achieve it.
Without significant amount of times for adaptation bodies break down because the exercise is too intense – remember this before increasing the times you train per week, length of your sessions, weight on your exercising etc. Instead try to ease yourself and your body in by staggering your intensity and gradually increasing over a prolonged period of time e.g. 1-2months. If you are doing it properly it will feel good and your body will be able to cope with it and creating a robust body and a sustainable fitness regmine – avoid the temptation to bike off more than you can chew.
2) Forgetting, not-programming or (gasp) ignoring rest days
If it feels unproductive to take a rest day its actually your mindset that needs to change more than anything!
Ploughing on through day after day, hammering your body day after day is simply damaging and will break down instead of build up your fitness and strength. It is VITAL (yes I said it) to give your body a break otherwise all your hard work will not deliver any meaningful, sustainable or healthy results. Instead respect and understand the process of positive adaptation and allow your muscles, nerves, joints, bones and connective tissue the time to build robustness in response to your sessions. Trust me on this it will eventually catch up with you so instead of stressing your body out continually enjoy that rest day so you can come back fitter, faster and stronger on your next session!
3) Lacking variety – in other words being a ‘one trick pony’
This is such a common error among seasoned professionals and beginners! Performing just one type of exercise till the cows come home – the body was meant to move in MULTIPLE ways, just squatting day after day is going to cause imbalances and stress out the same soft tissues leading to (you guessed it) injuries.
You want to focus on giving your body a range of stimulus and to focus on improving its multiple systems. So take some variation on the type of training you do as well as variation within that training type:
- Cardiovascular fitness (running, cycling, swimming, rowing etc)
- Strength training (body weight sessions, lifting weights, functional fitness classes)
- Mobility work (pilates, movement based sessions, yoga)
If your worried about a new niggle, irritating old injury or want a personalised prehabiliation plan then book a physiotherapy appointment with us today.