Happy New Year! With the ringing in of the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions. One of the more popular focuses of these New Year’s resolutions is fitness, with many people returning to or beginning an exercise routine. While these resolutions are great and have a ton of health benefits, they are also notorious for not lasting! One of the most common reasons we see for people “falling off the wagon” with their fitness resolutions is injury and inadequate recovery. We are going to cover the most important considerations for reducing the likelihood that an injury derails your fitness resolution!
The biggest mistake made by most New Year’s resolutioners is doing too much, too soon after doing too little for too long. For example, if a person has not done any sort of physical activity for the last 6 months, starting the new year by hitting the gym 7 days a week for 90 minutes at a time increases the risk of suffering some sort of injury. Research on the subject shows us we can increase our exercise up to 20% per week, creating a “sweet spot”. While increasing it more than 50% puts us in the “Danger Zone”, and not the cool one with Kenny Loggins and Top Gun. Once you push over that 50% threshold, your body has a hard time recovering from the workload! Lesson to be learned: listen to your body and have reasonable expectations of what you can handle!
Another big mistake we see with fitness resolutioners is not taking sleep into account. Sleep is your body’s favorite time to heal itself. Chronically getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night will push your risk of injury up. Now that does not mean if you are unable to get 8 hours of sleep per night that you will end up hurt, it just makes the other factors associated with recovery more important to emphasize, particularly the increase in workload factor discussed above. If you are not able to get consistent quality sleep, then you may need to increase your workload closer to 10% or even 5% per week instead of 20%.
Third on our list of recovery and injury risk reduction is nutrition. Starting a new exercise routine and combining it with fad crash diets is a sure fire way to increase your risk of injury and impair your recovery. You need to fuel your body and give it what it needs to rebuild itself! Perform due diligence with any new diet plans and make sure it is compatible with your goals and lifestyle. If you are unsure, consider getting help from a professional like Amy, who is currently accepting new clients in our office. For more information, contact her at email@example.com.
Let’s say you follow the advice in this article, things are going great, yet you still end up banged up and injured. That’s okay! There is a reason we have been referring to it as “injury risk reduction” instead of “injury prevention”, because it is virtually impossible to completely prevent injuries. That is why our providers are here to help! Exercise and sports related injuries are our specialty. We are here to help guide you back into your routine and develop a plan that continues to reduce your risk of injury while helping to maximize the outcomes of your exercise resolution!
To set up an appointment with one of our providers, give us a call at 913-888-4845!