Posted by Peak Sports
CONTACT: Tom Spencer, PTA, ATC
Clinic Director, Peak Sports & Spine Physical Therapy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020
Lake City Wellness Tips: Prevent Injury When Returning to Activity
LAKE CITY, WA – After nearly six months of home quarantines, social distancing, gym closures, and cancelled/postponed athletic seasons, it’s been difficult for many to maintain consistent workout routines.
But, as more people begin settling into “new normals” related to work, parenting, masking and so on, personal health is once again taking a greater role in people’s lives. While this should be applauded, Lake City physical therapist assistant Tom Spencer says people should be prudent as they strive to rebuild their fitness regimens.
“If you’ve taken some downtime from regular exercise, you’re not going to be able to pick right back up from where you left off,” said Spencer, clinic director of Peak Sports & Spine Physical Therapy in Lake City. “Your strength, endurance and flexibility won’t be the same, and you should need to take this into consideration it before you even start a new routine.”
While various studies conclude different levels of strength or cardio loss when people skip workouts, most general conclusions show that deconditioning (as it’s known) can be significant after just a few days to a couple of weeks of inactivity.
“It’s a use-it-or-lose-it proposition,” Spencer said. “So, if it’s been a while, and you want to avoid injury, take it back down to square one until your body becomes reacclimated and you have a good sense of your new fitness levels.”
In addition to this sage advice, Spencer offers the following tips for easing back into a personal workout regimen:
1. Start Slow, Build Gradually: Again – and for the sake of both your body and your willpower – don’t try to do too much at once. This can leave you vulnerable to injury while making you feel defeated before your new routine has even begun to take hold.
Instead, start with briefer workouts with lower levels of intensity. Focus on doing and not your performance, paying particular attention to maintaining good technique and form as your conditioning ramps back up.
2. Focus on the Big Three: Include resistance training, cardio endurance and flexibility into all of your workouts. Each of these three components are critical in keeping your body strong, balanced and free of injury.
3. Don’t Skip Rest & Recovery: While you may be incredibly motivated to get back into shape, don’t lose sight of the role rest and recovery play in getting you there safely and successfully. Don’t over train, in other words.
“We need to give our bodies the chance to rest and repair itself following workouts,” Spencer said. “It’s a critical process for long-term health and fitness while helping you avoid injury.”
4. Be Consistent: As you build endurance, strength and flexibility, also work to build consistency in your workout frequency. This is essential for rebuilding good fitness habits, but it also leads to more considerable results than periodic workouts – despite the intensity of such workouts.
5. Check In with a Physical Therapist: As experts in optimal movement, function and exercise, physical therapists can play a key role in establishing an individualized, baseline routine to safely get you going on a new exercise regimen. In doing so, a physical therapist can also identify, then address, strength and movement deficiencies that may make it more difficult to begin a new fitness routine.
“And, when extreme soreness, pain or possible injury threatens to throw you off track, physical therapists are there to quickly identify its cause, then provide solutions for maintaining fitness levels while addressing the discomfort,” Spencer said.
About Peak Sports & Spine Physical Therapy
Peak Sports & Spine Physical Therapy is made up of seven independently owned physical therapy clinics that provide rehabilitation services in the greater Seattle Eastside metro region. The Peak Sports & Spine team consists of highly skilled licensed physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and athletic trainers that help restore patients to their highest possible levels of function. For more information, visit peaksportsandspinept.com.