We’ve all heard the classic “Go Hard or Go Home” motto’s being bandied about in January; a month of diet ads and celebrity exercise endorsements is a lot! But though it’s brilliant to throw youself into a new exercise routine, going too hard too quickly can result in more than just burnout. I’m talking about Injuries.
It’s something most of us don’t think about – injuries are for overdramatic football players and extremely bendy ballet dancers. But when an injury strikes it can throw a total spanner in the works when it comes to our physical activity. And though many of us do get these checked out, it’s all too easy to fall into what I like to call The Injury Cycle.
Sounds familiar right? We get an injury, head to our doctor or physiotherapist, get a set of exercises to fix the issue, and slowly those exercises become less and less important. So unimportant that we end up getting injured again, or in some cases we end up with injuries that can become long-term.
So how do we break this cycle?
Well you’ll be pleased to know it’s really very simple. Just Ask for Help.
Yes, truly. If you ask someone to support you in your recovery, it can keep you accountable and keep you on track for a full and healthy recovery. This can be a friend, a workout partner, or you can give all your exercises to a personal trainer who can incorporate these into a workout plan centred around regaining your strength.
As a GP referral qualified trainer, I am able to work alongside your healthcare professionals to ensure that you have support in working towards your recovery goals, as well as ensuring that you are doing your exercises regularly enough to see a noticeable improvement. My digital PT sessions have been so helpful in giving those clients of mine with injuries the chance to work on their recovery, as well as getting their fitness back up after a period of rest. No more asking for modifications in class, or feeling embarrassed when your injury starts to flare up again!
For those of you starting to feel those common niggles this January, i’ve got some easy exercises to start to address the issue and help you feel a bit more in balance. (Of course, if you are struggling with a severe injury please do get in touch with me or your local GP. A diagnosis is the first step in getting past any pain you’re pushing through!)
HOW TO FIX COMMON INJURIES
The woe of stiletto wearers worldwide. Ankle sprains are incredbly common but can be really damaging to those precious ankle joints of yours. Ankle sprains can be caused by:
- A fall or twist of the ankle
- Landing awkwardly
- Exercising or running on an uneven surface
- Or someone stepping on you
Let’s get those ankles strong again
On a bosu ball, balance on one foot. If your ankle sprain is particularly severe you can just do this on the floor to get your foot really feeling the floor again. Make sure to do this on both sides. Why not do this whilst brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed?
Alternatively, on the floor, raise up onto your tip toes, keeping your legs bent, and then straighten your legs before releasing back to the floor. Do this as slow and controlled as possible 10 times. Repeat 3 times throughout the day.
Make sure to call a doctor if pain and swelling persist for longer than 48 hours, even after icing.
No, it’s not just getting older. Sometimes knee pain is an injury, and as our knees are so fragile, keeping them in top condition is so important! Knee pain can be caused by:
- Twisting or bending force due to a sporting accident, or fall
- Improper training
- High-impact sport
To reduce that knee pain and find stability:
Standing behind a chair and using it for balance, lift one leg off the ground. Slowly bend the leg you’re standing, and then slow straighten. Repeat this 15 times and make sure to practice this a couple of times a day.
Make sure to call a doctor if you can’t bear weight on your knee or have marked knee swelling that won’t decrease even after icing.
This is a classic one for mums but can affect men and women of all ages. It can be caused by many reasons but most notably:
- Heavy lifting
- Lack of exercise (yes… really)
- Smoking (yup… i really mean it)
- Excess weight
To relieve some of that common back pain:
Opposite arm to leg is a great way to build up the core which supports proper posture and those back muscles. In table top position, extend one leg out so it’s reaching to the back of the room, once you feel stable, lift the opposite arm so that it’s reaching to the opposite side of the room. Slowly bring both into table top and repeat on the opposite side.
A great relief for back pain is cat and cow stretch. Again, starting in table top, look forward and arch your back as you breathe in to release your belly towards the floor. Then reverse it, so that you are stretching your back up to the ceiling (like a cat!). What a release!
Make sure to call a doctor if this pain persists after a few weeks, spreads down one or both legs, causes weakness or tingle, or is unaccompanied by unexplained weight loss.
Tight and achey Neck
This is another one that can be caused by poor posture, and with most of us working from home and hunching over our kitchen tables, it’s gonna be a common one this year! It can also be caused by:
- Whiplash in a collision
- Overuse (from hunching over a computer of phone)
- Nerve compression
- Old age
Lets relieve some of that neck pain:
Neck stretches are going to be your best friend here! Slowly nodding up and down, stretching gentle to each side (Ear towards the shoulder) and even adding some extra weight using the opposite hand, or circling your nose to get full rotation of that neck joint.
Make sure to call a doctor if the pain is severe, spreads down one or both arms, persists for several days without relief, or is accompanied by headaches, numbness, weakness or tingling.
As always, if you have any major concerns, always call 111 or your local GP, and if you feel any sort of twinging or pain in a personal training session (with me or another trainer) always bring this to the trainers attention. Your recovery is always going to be quicker if you feel supported by those who understand your frustrations and your body so do not be afraid to ask for help.
Remember.. As much as there’s pressure to get fit and go hard this January.. Pacing yourself keeps you safe, your body in top shape and means you are more likely to continue. Slow and steady wins the race.