Written by; Brenton Watson (AEP) Accredited Exercise Physiologist
With the start of a New Year, many people make resolutions to become fitter and stronger than ever! This can mean you start a new training programs, or return to regular exercise after an extended break over the Christmas period. Whilst these fantastic New Year intentions are a positive step towards a healthy lifestyle, we need to be careful to avoid injuries in the process!
Whilst the causes of injuries and pain are always multi-factorial, and sometimes out of our control, there are several strategies we can use to minimize the risk. Research has shown that large spikes in our training ‘load’ (the amount and intensity of exercise) can significantly increase our injury risk. This means that commencing a challenging exercise regime in the new year after a few weeks (or months) of inactivity may put you on track for an injury setback.
The good news is this injury risk can be easily mitigated. If you are starting a new activity in the New Year that you are unaccustomed to, start slowly! The most important thing is that you start at a relatively easy level and progress gradually towards your goal. Give yourself rest days and allow your body time to adapt and respond to this new activity. A good rule of thumb is to progress by no more than 10% each week, to avoid the large spikes in your activity level.
If you need extra guidance with your exercise goals, or need to manage an injury or chronic illness, see your Accredited Exercise Physiologist to ensure you achieve your New Year’s Resolutions injury free!