We’re heading into March, praying for Spring to arrive and for the weather to have a drastic turn around. Perhaps reflecting on fitness goals we set ourselves at the start of the year? Being active and challenging ourselves means we can often become our own worst enemy when it comes to injury. In this blog, we will discuss 5 common set-backs to keeping active in 2020 and how we can avoid these.
Too much exercise
Overuse is one of the biggest causes of exercise-related injury. It can have a multitude of negative effects both physically and psychologically. So, what does ‘overuse’ actually mean…..
Overuse can refer to increasing exercise frequency, duration or intensity too quickly. Especially if we’re relatively new to our chosen activity or are returning to it after some time off. The first step in any training regime is to find a level of activity that we can both manage and recover from, before making gradual progressions and allowing time for our bodies to adapt in between. Doing more might seem like a fast-track to success when you’re highly motivated and feeling healthy. However, picking up an injury can have the complete opposite effect.
Pain & damage
Although we often envisage pain-free activity as a marker of good health, this isn’t always possible or realistic. Pain is a normal component of both life and exercise, and in many cases doesn’t mean we’re doing ourselves any damage. It’s purely a message and we have the choice as to how we interpret it. Obviously there are exceptions to this and occasions when we need to hold back, although most of the time some appropriate advice and re-assurance can be the best medicine.
Motivation & Consistency
We often experience our highest levels of motivation when starting a new activity, or if we have a specific target on the horizon like a race or event. This makes it a little easier to get ourselves going on those dark mornings or pick up our trainers after a long day at work. However, this won’t always be the case and there’ll be lots of occasions where we really don’t feel like exercising. This is normal! Adopting a consistent routine can help us to continue to exercise when we don’t feel like it.
Recovery from exercise
When we exercise it causes a breakdown of muscle tissue and a temporary increase in inflammation. This is then followed by a rebuilding process and adaptation to the work we’ve done. This rebuilding is done whilst we rest, meaning the positive changes we’re aiming for are largely determined by how well we handle our recovery. Simple strategies such as leaving enough time between workouts and avoiding working to our limits on consecutive days can make a big difference to the results we see. More is not always better!
Sleep & Nutrition
When we’re exercising it’s important that we give our bodies what they need when they need it. It’s now been established that the chances of injury are greater if we don’t get sufficient sleep. Sometimes refraining from doing an extra training session in favour of a lie-in can actually improve our results!
The way we fuel our bodies also plays an important role in performance, recovery and adaptation. Sometimes when weight loss is our goal, we can get carried away cutting back on the fuel we put in. This can be counterproductive if it means we can’t exercise in the way we want to or fail to recover afterwards. Balance is best!
If you can relate to any of these points or would like to discuss any of the points raised, please feel free to contact a member of our team for further information. We’re here to help!
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