Summer and the sun shinning usually brings out the new runners, the new resolution to get fit and lose weight, resulting in various forms of injuries.
After 17 years as a senior physiotherapist and treating the ‘spring/summer warriors’ every year, below are my top 5 reasons why you shouldn’t exercise:
1) You haven’t built up your strength first
One of the biggest mistakes is to start a rigorous cardio program without building a good base of strength first. In particular, you need to work on your core stability and major propulsion muscles, such as the gluteus maximus muscles, the quadriceps and the calf muscles. These muscles need strengthening before starting a running, jogging or even a regular walking program. Focussing a strengthening program for these muscles will minimise the chances of injuries as well as enable you to walk or run for longer distances.
2) You haven’t recovered enough from your last exercise session
More is not better, it’s just more and your chances of injury increases if you have not had adequate recovery time between exercise sessions.
For best results for any exercise programs, 2 -3 times a week is ideal.
Your muscles grow and change when you rest but not when you exercise, so both components are important for best outcomes. Lack of rest between exercise sessions places greater strain on the muscles because of inadequate time to repair itself, increasing the chance of injury to occur.
3) You have pain in your body that is not normal, muscle soreness from exercise
If you do a heavy workout, it is not unusual to have soreness in the muscles. This feels like a soreness or heavy sensation in the muscles, usually in the legs and tends to happen a day or two after the workout. However, if it is a pain sensation, such as an ache, sharp or shooting sensation or is in the joints rather than the muscles, this is not normal and should be investigated, to determine if this is an injury and should be treated appropriately.
4) You are unwell or have the flu
If you are unwell or sick, you need to recover from your illness before re-commencing your program.
When you are unwell, your body is already fighting the infection, causing aches and pains and your heart rate is generally elevated.
Adding an additional load of exercise on top of this adds extra strain on your heart, your immune system and could mean longer recovery from the illness. So, rest, recover and you’ll be back to your program much faster
5) You’re starting a new program, without knowing what you are doing
Going to the gym, starting a Pilates program or trying a new sport for the first time, without getting qualified training or guidance will usually mean you may not be working the right muscle groups or have the correct technique. This could mean not getting the most from your program and are more likely to injure yourself, putting a damper to your new exercise program.
Some professional coaching or advice can be a real short cut in getting what you want from your exercise regime and faster outcomes.
Have you ever injured yourself from going to hard to fast? Please SHARE your experiences in the comments.
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