Blog - Tuesday 7th July 2020

Developing Good Habits to Avoid Future Injuries

Carl Bell

Physiotherapy Manager

It’s been a difficult few months for us all.

Though the government has decreed that gyms are not yet able to reopen, the end is in sight, and it’s not too early to start preparing for a return to your old fitness regime.

During the lockdown, we’ve all had to adapt our exercise routines. Whether you’ve been forced to rely on cardio due to a lack of weights, or concentrate on developing other areas of your body, there is no doubt your workouts have changed.

As you look forward to getting back to some sense of normality, you should realise that, in returning to the gym, you are at an even bigger risk of suffering an injury.

Here’s how you can remain vigilant and develop good habits to avoid future injuries.

Devise a SMART plan

Preparation is an important part of avoiding injuries, especially after a period of inactivity or reduced workload. As you start to consider your new workout routine upon returning to F.I.T., making a plan will help you improve steadily and safely, and we’d recommend making it a SMART plan:

  • Specific — Be sure to focus on any weaknesses you have. Bearing in mind any previous injuries or existing damage will allow you to avoid the most likely future injuries.
  • Measurable — Make sure it’s possible to measure your performance and progress, so you know if your plan is working and if you are able to continue increasing your workload.
  • Achievable — Don’t overexert yourself or predict unlikely levels of progress. If your plan is unachievable, you’re likely to sustain an injury trying to follow it.
  • Realistic — Your plan must be realistic in terms of your ability and strength, but also in terms of your time. Many people don’t have the time to follow an extensive training programme, so make sure yours is sustainable and fits your schedule.
  • Timely — You must give your plan time to work. Too often, people expect to see immediate results, but you need to be patient. A plan of action that’s safe and limits the chances of causing injury will take time to carry out, but the results will come.

Start increasing your training now

Though the government hasn’t yet announced a date for the reopening of gyms, with other services becoming available, gyms should follow in the relatively near future.

Instead of waiting until our doors reopen to ramp up your training, why not get ahead and start implementing your SMART plan now?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve changed your routine, maintained a good level of activity, or been unable to train at all, progress can always be made. By increasing your training before F.I.T. Sports Injury Clinic reopens, you prepare your body for the full exercise experience and avoid the shock of a sudden return.

Remember that you’ve been away

We’re all excited to get back to the gym, and when we do it’d be easy to get carried away — but that’s how injuries happen.

After three months with a completely different routine, your body, muscles, and joints have adapted and are no longer accustomed to your previous workouts. When you get back to the gym, picking up where you left off may be enticing, but if your workout has changed, doing so could lead to serious injury.

Spend your first few sessions re-establishing your routine and easing yourself back in. Whether it’s limiting repetitions, reducing weights, or cutting the duration of your cardio session, making your return to the gym that little bit more comfortable will help to keep injuries at bay.

And don’t worry; you’ll soon make progress and be back to your pre-lockdown level of fitness.

Make a safe return to training

A rushed return to vigorous activity after a period of downtime puts you at risk of injury. And if you sustain an injury, you’ll be looking at another spell on the sidelines, followed by a slow rehabilitation.

Instead, take the time to plan your return, increase your workload incrementally, and continue to protect yourself against injuries.

If you’d like some assistance in devising your safe, SMART workout plan, we’d love to help! Book an appointment with one of our coaching team and we’ll work through this together.