Covid-19: Moving to a new exercise regimen

Here at NYP, we are aware at how good all our clients are at keeping themselves fit and healthy with a variety of exercises and activities. We also know how frustrating it can be for you when you are unable to take part fully because of injury or pain, not just for your physical health but for your mental health too.

And now Covid-19 has reared its ugly head. We must all do what we can to help prevent the spread of this infection which has meant our leisure centres, sports clubs, golf courses and swimming pools have closed. Exercise classes and gyms have either suspended or transferred classes online. Park runs are suspended. We have all been advised to limit our outside exercise to once a day, which in some of our cases may mean walking the dog and therefore no chance to go for a run or a bike ride.

My concern is that there will be several of you changing your exercise regimen to perform activities you haven’t done before. Perhaps taking up running or moving into the exercise sessions that are online which, although excellent, cannot cater for individuals. Yet, exercise is so incredibly important for our healthy bodies and minds (more so now than ever).

Preventing Injury

So, what’s my advice? Here are a few tips on changing your exercise programme:

  1. Start slowly. As with taking up any new activity, or if returning from injury or a break, start at a low level and build yourself up gradually, even if you are fit and healthy.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to what you do in your usual activity – your body will be used to firing certain muscles and now you may be asking it recruit some it hasn’t used for a while, so a new activity may feel harder than you expected it to!
  3. Rest days. With any new activity, build in rest days to allow the body and muscles to recover
  4. If you experience a niggle, don’t panic. It may mean you are overloading a particular muscle too much – we often see shoulder pains or Achilles or knee tendon issues when there has been a sudden increase in demand on these muscles and they haven’t the capacity to deal with it. The tendency is to want to stretch these areas but you probably actually want to adapt your exercises (decrease the load) and strengthen the muscle and tendon. Just resting it may not be enough as returning to your activity when the pain has settled could flare it up again. Equally, don’t continue and ignore it as that could make it worse. Remember, it is about ADAPTING your load.
  5. If you would prefer a more gentle exercise programme at home, we have examples of these for older people and those with a long term condition or recovering from pain and injury.

Need help and advice?

If you are unsure about a new ache or pain that has developed please do give us a ring. Our clinic is closed but we are on hand via telephone and video link to help reassure you and keep you active and mentally well during these stressful and uncomfortable times. We can send you a rehabilitation exercise programme via email and advise on any products that may help.

Finally, keep an eye on our Social Media for more blog posts on dealing with any aches or pains at home. Keep smiling ?

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