Take it Slow: Getting Back to Your Exercise Routine Post-Quarantine
It’s been just over a year that we’ve spent sheltering in our homes, physical distancing and keeping away from locked down locations like the gym. Some of us have found new ways to continue working out in our basements or garages; bought new fitness equipment; or kept up with a favourite fitness YouTuber (#MotivationInSelfIsolation). If you have, kudos to you!
For the rest of us who have skipped a few (or maybe all) of our workouts, our body is craving movement again. Well, what are we waiting for? We should just jump back into our exercise routine, right? Not so fast. It’s important for anyone who’s reintroducing an activity or exercise regime that they haven’t done for a while, to start slowly. After a year of stay at home orders, many are asking how to get back into an exercise routine once the lockdown measures have eased.
Soaring Injuries: Numbers are on the rise
Health-care practitioners are seeing more and more injuries stemming from bad fitness forays and overly eager exercisers diving into new workouts. Newfound enthusiasm for exercise is seeing many of us increasing our activity levels too quickly, leading to millions of injuries – with men twice as likely to injure themselves than women. We’re over-estimating how much of a new activity our musculoskeletal systems can handle and unrealistically expecting to be at the same physical level we were before the pandemic started.
“You can’t go from zero to 60 as soon as things open up,” - Dr. Rho says.
In epidemiological studies of sports-related injuries, the risks of harm skyrocket when people abruptly increase the amount or intensity of their workouts.
Most Common Complaints
Reported injuries are ranging from sprains and strains to pulled muscles (36%) and back injuries (26%). Overuse injuries are the result of “quarantoning” (getting toned during quarantine) and many of these are ending up in our backs. But don’t worry, we have tips to help fitness fans out there avoid injuries on the journey back to exercise.
A Practice in Patience: Tips to Ease Your Way Back into Regular Exercise
*First and foremost, talk to your health practitioner before beginning any exercise program to ensure you’re starting safely. We recommend that you start at no more than 50 per cent of the exercise you were doing before covid, at a slower pace than you once maintained. In other words, go shorter and go slower.
*Evaluate your current state of health and listen to your body often. If you’ve been inactive during the lockdown, your fitness levels won’t be as high. Assess your posture as well as areas of tension, flexibility, energy levels, balance, and more.
*Don't go from apples to oranges. Fitness in one activity often doesn’t translate to fitness in another, even when the activities seem similar. There will likely be a different set of muscles involved that may not have been in use for the last thirteen months. Start off slowly and gradually work your way up.
*Drink more water. Your body is most optimal when it’s well hydrated. The amount of water you drink will depend on how much activity you engage in. You’ll want to increase your intake of water in relation to your intake in fitness activity.
Helping you ease into movement with Mend My Back Programs
Designed for 3 different levels to set you up for optimal back health, Mend My Back Programs will get you from covid-couch to a strong core at a gradual and dynamic pace.
Mend My Back: Lifestyle Foundations starts with foundational movements that we all do every single day. Examples like: picking up your groceries, bending over to tie your shoes or getting in and out of the car. These movements done incorrectly over time can lead to a sore back.
Mend my Back helps to build the necessary postural structure before doing more complex movements and adding speed like running, swimming, cycling or other favourite sports.
Once stability, good range of motion in the joints and stamina is restored, the Mend My Back Conditioning Program is a more progressive, step-by-step approach to back recovery and resilience.
Once you’ve reached pre-covid levels of fitness, we invite you to explore Mend My Back Essentials Program which is an overview and abbreviated version of the full conditioning program. You will find information on basic spinal anatomy, a summary of why we have back pain, along with a balance of our top 10 exercises targeting a more supple, stronger back.
We will also reveal three soothing foundational postures to try when dealing with intense discomfort. Learn how to move, stand, and breathe better leading to a healthier, stronger back.
We’ve got your Back!
If you have questions or concerns about your readiness for exercise, contact the Mend My Back team! We are happy to help.
You can find more information about the program at mendmybackprogram.com