Our Rochester Osteopaths share 8 tips to help avoid injury at the gym
Yes you heard it here...we actually advise you to initially start back at the gym slowly. Your home workouts will vary considerably to using the gym equipment so it's important to start off lifting or pushing a lighter weight and allow time to build your strength back up safely.
Whether you are just starting out with your exercise program or returning to the gym...it can be tempting to avoid any little niggle for fear of missing your sessions. HOWEVER...paying attention to your body in the short term more often than not saves you days/weeks or even months in the longer term. The number of patients we see at the clinic who ignored that twinge or slight pain for too long and now have weeks of treatment and time off training. Always seek advice to be on the safe side.
Of course most people are extremely concerned about what they look like at the gym...with endless advertisements and social media "influencers" it's easy to get sucked into the latest outfits. HOWEVER...not every sports bra or pair of trainers work the same for everyone. How can they when we are all so different? It's incredibly important to ensure what you wear on both your body and feet support you in the right way to help prevent injuries.
"Comparison is the thief of joy" It's easy to compare your shape, fitness, and progress to others in the gym. STOP! Comparison generally does not achieve anything other than demotivation. Everyone has different paths to fitness including backgrounds, body shapes, lifestyles, health, visions, resource...so how can you compare yourself to others? It's essential that you JUST focus on your goals and your progress. In addition, try to avoid comparing yourself now to pre-lockdown. If you have put on a bit of extra weight or lost a bit of fitness...so what! You’re back at the gym now and that's all that matters. Having a goal is the biggest motivator.
Exercise can easily become a chore but if you start to continually dread your training then this will impact on your performance. Maybe use this opportunity to switch your training routine around or try something slightly different. Look at classes that may be available (reduced numbers of course) or enlist the help of a PT for some motivation. You may even want to try cross training to avoid spending lengths of time on the same cardio machine or add in some strength training.
It's even more important in the warmer weather to keep well hydrated and ensure you are eating the right foods to compliment your exercise frequency and intensity. If you are heading back to the office after working from home it can be easy to forget to plan your meals and drinks pre and post gym...so ensure you have this in place the night before.
PLEASE don't just arrive at the gym and jump straight onto the first machine you see! As easy as it is to get carried away, factor 5-10 minutes pre workout (either at the gym or outside) for a warm up which could be a light walk, run or cycle…plus some stretches. Diving straight into HIIT or weights may in fact lead to injury...so it's worth spending a few minutes at the start of your workout.
Not many people like planning...but working out what you want to achieve and therefore what you'll actually DO in the gym BEFORE arriving will save you time and ensure you get the most out of your session. Planning your session also ensures you avoid spending too much time on one machine or area of your body and thus reduces chances of injury. Most gyms will have allocated time slots for members anyway so planning your days/weeks is hugely beneficial.
For any help or advice please contact us directly