Once the clocks “spring” forward, you know that even if it isn’t here yet, warmer weather is on its way. After a few months of cold temperatures, spent mostly indoors – and inactive – no one can be blamed for chomping at the bit to get outside for a little exercise and fresh air.
But jumping into activities before your body is ready for them, whether it’s a one-off game of soccer, or starting back into your jogging routine, can cause injuries that will reduce your activity levels and possibly lead to ongoing issues and physiotherapy.
By taking a few precautions and a more deliberate approach to restarting your full fitness program, you’ll improve your chances of avoiding injury and staying fit.
1. Pay Attention to Your Body
We all like to think we can “power through” aches and pains. But when you are just returning to a full fitness program, even the smallest twinge can quickly get exponentially worse if you don’t pay attention to it and get it treated if it persists following exercise.
Also, regular exercise not only keeps you fit, but it improves your balance and flexibility. Following a long layoff, you need to not only be careful to not get too much activity, but also about the nature of your activities.
2. Warm Up
Yes, you probably do this before exercise even when your exercise program is in full swing, but it is extremely important in the spring. In addition to just stretching your muscles, in spring it’s important to warm up in ways that help return your full range of motion and flexibility.
3. Build Strength
Your muscles and bone structure will be somewhat weaker in spring. Many joggers and walkers don’t always consider strength training, but adding low-impact body weight exercises can return strength to your bones and muscles sooner. You should always consult a doctor or physiotherapist before starting any strength training program.
Enjoy the warm weather. It’s simple to do, just ease yourself and your body into your exercise routine and you’ll get it back on track sooner and safer.