This year has had its highs and lows, but we are making the most of it. If you are like me, you may have taken the opportunity to take a break from typical day-to-day activities. No more in-person gathering, no more eating out, and no more trips to the gym have meant less driving and more time to focus on my family and getting used to our new “normal”.
Along with eating healthier and spending what feels like an eternity on zoom and facetime I have been learning how best to work out at home.
After seeing many patients in our clinic who have sustained injuries either from beginning a new activity or adjusting an old activity to home, here are some tips to prevent injuries.
LISTEN to your BODY
Our bodies often know when to stop; do not push through pain. Know the difference between your “Oohs” and “OWs”.
“Oohs” can be soreness, muscles that you forgot you had, or a movement pattern that is new to you.
When you begin a new activity or ramp up your activity you could be sore for the next 24 – 72 hours.
“OWs” are actual pain including pain during or after a certain motion or activity, or soreness lasting over 72 hours after your workout or activity.
Parents and caregivers: Your children will also have “Oohs” and “OWs”. Listen to them and help decide if they are just sore or if they should take a break from activities and/or be seen by a medical provider.
If you are having more OWs than Oohs you can do a few things to help:
BEGIN a new activity SLOWLY
Many people are so excited to get into an activity they give it 100% on the very first day. The problem with this is that our bodies need time to adjust to new activities. Your muscles (Musculoskeletal system), heart and lungs (Cardiopulmonary systems) get really good the activities you do on a regular basis. When you increase your exercise, they sometimes need 6 to 8 weeks to do strenuous activities well. These activities include, but are not limited to running, biking, lifting, HIIT programs, CrossFit and other high intensity exercises. Be kind to your body; begin at a lower intensity and increase your activity intensity and activity time
Parents and caregivers: make no mistake, keeping up with your children can be a highly demanding activity. Many people are spending more time with their children and doing new activities with their children. If you find yourself running around with, playing with, or doing a lot more activities with your children, don’t be afraid to alternate between high and low energy activities throughout the day to give your body time to recover.
Don’t be afraid to TAKE BREAKS
In addition to reducing your intensity you can take breaks to give your body time to recover. You can give yourself more rest days or more frequent rest breaks during an activity to give your body time to adjust; interval training is always a good option.
Parents and caregivers: While rest breaks are great, sitting all day can also be hard on the body. As your children go back to school this year, be aware of how much time they spend sitting in front of the computer. Encourage them to take breaks from sitting by standing or walking around at least 1 time per hour to keep them healthy.
ASK for HELP
We never want you to feel like you are handling things on your own! At Breakaway Physical Therapy our physical therapist are TRAINED to help get you to the level you need to be at for your desired activity. We can help to make sure all the muscles you need to: run, swim, bike, get on the ground to play with your children are working their best to keep you healthy and injury free.
Not sure if you need help? We can chat with you in person, over the phone, or via zoom to help determine if physical therapy is the right choice for you. Looking forward to talking and seeing you soon!