Summer has well and truly arrived and most of us have been reminded by the sudden spike in temperature that its time to get into shape.
By all means its a great goal and you should definitely get stuck in! Just remember that for most of us we aren't as young as we used to be! Getting out of shape takes some time and thinking we can train like we did 10 years ago off the back of nothing is a sure way to end up on the massage table!
So if you are looking to add in a new fitness regime into 2018 here are a couple things to keep in mind so you don’t injure yourself!
1. You're not as young as you used to be!
Like we said earlier thinking you can train at the same intensity and frequency as you used to is a sure way to end up stiff, sore or worst case scenario injured.
It's time to acknowledge what you used to be able to achieve but also accept where you are right now. Reset your baseline and work from there rather than constantly comparing yourself to what you use to be able to do. Not only will it stop you from beating yourself up about your fitness levels of times gone by but it'll stop you from getting injured and ending up on the massage or physio table!
2. Make the time.
Making sure your body is warm, ready and able to actually get into the positions necessary to perform the exercises you are about to do. This is vitally important. Spend 5 - 10 minutes warming up, trigger and ensuring you have the proper ranges of movement needed to perform your exercises.
By preparing properly, there will be a higher chance that you'll use the muscles you're trying to target. You'll be more effective with the time you allocate to training as you're body is warmed up and ready to go. FINALLY - you're chances of injuring yourself will be decreased because you'll be using the right muscles to perform the exercise.
We have some great stretching, self massage techniques or foam rolling techniques upper body and lower body resources available online for you to have a look through. If you are looking for a program as to which ones would work best for you and what you are trying to achieve let your therapist know or book in for an appointment with one of our massage or myotherapy team!
3. Give yourself 9 Minutes!!
We know! We harp on about this one ALOTt! However if we all stopped and took 10 minutes a few times a week to stretch or do some sort of self massage with trigger balls we'd be out of a job!
Lower back pain and musculoskeletal injury cause almost 20% of all the reasons why Australians see Massage Therapists, GP's, Physios and/or are hospitalised for periods of time.. Yet a significant proportion of musculoskeletal injuries are preventable with early intervention and changes to risk factors such as poor posture and poor range of motion.
It's as simple as picking 3 muscles groups 3 times a week and doing a minute and a half per muscle group (That's 9 minutes 2 or 3 times a week!)
For example :
Day 1 - Gluts, H/strings, Quads
Day 2 - Rotator Cuff, Shoulders and Foam Roller your upper back
Day 3 - Calves, Pecs and Neck Stretches.
4. Build up slowly
If you stopped or decreased your training over winter be sure to ease back into it. Like we said earlier thinking you can start where you left off might cause more damage than good. In fact, no training for 2 weeks can cause a loss of about 7-10% of strength (ABC, 2017).
I’d recommend regressing your training from where you left it, that is, if you were doing push ups on the floor you might regress them to push ups on a chair or bench, 100kg Squats might be regressed to 50kg squats or a 5km run might be regressed to intervals of 1 minute on 3 minutes jog/walk.
By adjusting your program you can “test the waters” and make sure you can preform the task correctly before progressing. For some people this could all happen of a couple weeks while for others it could takes months. If it was an injury that stopped you training, then making sure you have been doing the appropriate rehabilitation.
Its all about creating a solid foundation to work from!
Don’t start next week/next month/next year, start now, today! Just remember training does not have to be done for hours at a time. Just be consistent and persistent.
By Shane Asmussen
Remedial Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer