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Here are dos and don’ts for people resuming sporting activities

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Hyderabad: Many people were forced to avoid outdoor sports and other physical activities because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Plus the closure of schools, gyms, and recreation programs prevented people from engaging in activities that promote physical and emotional well-being. Those returning to vigorous activity after the hiatus have sprains, ligament tears, as well as extreme fatigue.

Here is what experts have to say about easing into an exercise routine after a break

After taking a lengthy hiatus from exercising or participating in sports, the safest thing you can do is gradually increase your body’s tolerance to activity.

“The more you compete or engage in an activity, the more adapted your body develops to it. You aren’t working your body in the same manner when you stop performing that activity. It doesn’t maintain that level. Expecting to pick up from where you left when you return to an activity after a break might lead to aches” said Dr. M. V. Rao, General Physician at Yashoda Hospitals, Somajiguda.

Resuming your routines gradually might help you make sure you have the right skills down before picking them back up.

What are some ways to ramp up activity safely?

There are several ways to increase your physical activity safely depending on what you choose to do:

– Running beginners can use a walk-to-run program. Take minutes away from the walk and add them to the run as you get more comfortable walking for longer periods or farther distances.

– Lifters ought, to begin with lesser loads. You can reduce the number of repetitions as you raise the weight. How easily you can raise the weight or the number of repetitions might be a sign of your development.

– Alternate activities that work various portions of your body during your workout to prevent overuse and tension.

“It takes time for your body to adjust to a certain exercise or intensity level. Your body will react to activity in one of two ways: favorably or unfavorably. Pain from doing too much too quickly would be a bad reaction. However, if you practice those progressions, such as going from a walk to a jog and then a run, it gets easier over time to run for longer periods without experiencing any pain or discomfort” Dr. Rao said.

What are some workout injuries or pains to watch for when you return to a sport or activity, after a period of inactivity?

People who don’t gradually resume their activity routine are more likely to have aches and pains than structural harm (injuries).

Several typical aches and sprains include:

– generally painful muscles

– Shoulder injuries

– Knee ache

– Ankle (Achilles tendon) discomfort in the back

– Plantar fasciitis and foot discomfort

– Hamstring aches

Giving oneself time to heal after experiencing these types of discomfort is essential before picking up where you left off. “Muscle soreness and fatigue following a period of inactivity might last longer than the typical 24- to 48-hour recovery time after a workout,” added Dr. Rao.

You should follow up with your doctor if there are any other symptoms in the region where you are having discomfort, such as swelling or bruising.

If you kept a workout routine at home, should you still take precautions when getting back to the gym or organized sport?

The guideline still applies: start gently and less intensely before cranking it up if your activity or habit differs even a little in a new setting.

“You may feel that you are doing the same movements and working for the same muscle groups if you used to bench-press at the gym and then went to pushups at home every day during the pandemic. The expectation should be adjusted because your capability for the new activity will be different. After all, the movement involved in doing those lifts isn’t the same,” explained Dr. Rao.

What else should I keep in mind when getting back into working out or sports?

Acclimatise and de-acclimate

Your body may appropriately warm up and cool down with correct stretching, and plyometric activities like jumping jacks, walking, or moderate running before and after your activity.

Pace your objectives and yourself

When you return to your routine, you could be thinking about a fitness objective. However, you could first find it challenging to do. To reach greater goals, start with little ones. For instance, if you’re preparing for a marathon, set a first objective of finishing a 5K or half-marathon.

Observe your body

“It’s also critical to recognize that your body reacts differently every day. Every day will be unique, One day you’ll be able to lift greater weight, but the next day you might not be able to perform the same lift. The process of returning to a particular level of activity has peaks and troughs” said Dr. Rao.

Consult your doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, or a physical therapist right away if a movement or activity doesn’t feel right.

Dr. Rao asserted that there is a distinction between pain and discomfort. Is it challenging or uncomfortable in terms of strength or cardiovascular health? Or are you experiencing knee or shoulder discomfort that is impairing your ability to function? The distinction between discomfort, pain, and injury can occasionally be hazy in such circumstances and will vary from person to person.

“Just do what feels good for you, If something is too easy the first time, make it difficult the second time by paying attention to your body”. He continues.

Take at least one day off

Dr. Rao affirmed that taking days off is OK. “Exercising is excellent, but you need to take a day off so your body can recuperate. The body cannot recuperate from the strains you place on it if you engage in an activity seven days a week; eventually, this might result in overuse or injury” he said.

Observe your breathing

Use diaphragmatic breathing to breathe from your abdomen rather than your chest.

“Put one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest. Your belly should be the one that rises and moves. The greatest technique to produce a larger volume of intake and exhalation is to breathe through your abdomen rather than your shoulders” said Dr. Rao.

This method may be used to relax and calm you while under a lot of tension or strain. It can be used both during exercises and in normal circumstances.

While starting up your favorite sport or activity again, it’s imperative to use all due caution. As you ease back into your routine, keep in mind that patience is essential.

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