How many of us have managed to keep up our New Year resolution to keep fit? January and February can be hard months to get motivated, especially if you find your good intentions limited by injury.
Here are a few good tips we give our patients at Offington Osteopath Clinic in order to exercise safely and manage any minor injuries they pick up along the way.
- Warm up before exercise – 5 minutes at a low level and gradually increasing the intensity, ie, a brisk walk before a run. This raises your body temperature and makes your muscles more flexible, therefore less likely to injure.
- Gradually build up your exercise regime. If you haven’t been exercising for a while, start with lighter weights, less time on the exercise bike, etc, and increase the amount you are doing at each session.
- Cool down after exercise and stretch. This will help with any post-exercise soreness and keep your muscles flexible.
If you do injure yourself there are lots of things you can do yourself in order to speed up your recovery.
- For the first 24-48 hours you can use some ice or cold water for 10 minutes to reduce the pain and any swelling. After that you can alternate between heat and ice in order to enhance circulation.
- Avoid the exercise that caused the problem but do some gentle mobilisation and stretching exercises in order to keep the injured area moving.
- If you find the injury hasn’t improved after a week then consult a health care professional who will be able to assess the injury and offer advice and treatment in order to get you back to your activities quickly.
Please give us a call on 01903-899916 if you would like any further advice.