Be smart when you get active!
We are quickly coming up to the end of 2015, and as with all new years, many people will inevitably vow to start living a more active lifestyle. Getting more exercise, eating well, and all that good stuff. While I do, of course, applaud and encourage these changes – in the case of exercising, a word of caution.
We see many people who are excited to make a change and jump in head first only to wind up injured. Keep in mind that when going from ‘x’ to ‘y’, there is going to be a period of adaptation. I, as someone who lifts weights but does no running, would be in a world of hurt if I attempted to run every day. My body is not used to doing that activity, and forcing it to do something so new so often is, most likely, going to end up with me injured and not running at all.
Introduce new activities slowly, and give your body the chance to adapt to the new movement pattern / loading pattern. If you currently do no running, start out with two runs a week (giving yourself a few days in between) for a few weeks. Then add in another day for a few weeks, and so on. Perhaps instead of adding an extra day, you can do one or two longer runs… there are many ways to skin this cat.
Temper your enthusiasm with a little bit of forward planning, and you will be enjoying your new activity injury free for a long time to come.
Chris Mooney, Physiotherapist