September arrives with a new course and new purposes marked on the calendar. In addition, these weeks are seen as a kind of return to routine and normality within the pandemic situation. Many students go back to having face-to-face classes with less sanitary measures than the previous year, and many companies have returned to the office.
So some have seen the perfect opportunity to get back to their pre-school exercise routine. However, the summer added to a year and a half of teleworking and sedentary lifestyles has taken a toll on the physical shape of many people with the risk that this entails.
To avoid injuries and that what is a hobby can turn into a nightmare, the experts give a series of tips to follow:
1. Motivation, a key factor
The concepts of “motivation and adherence” are fundamental. “Motivation is vital to get back into dynamics, but always with our feet on the ground and patience, trying to pursue feasible and scalable goals. Metaphorically speaking, if a long-term objective represented a ladder, short-term objectives would have to be set to overcome them little by little, step by step ”, he explains.
Casero remembers that if you return to the routine with a “too demanding” objective, it is likely that you will abandon yourself due to frustration.
2. Don’t start training like crazy
For this reason, Pablo Herrera, vice dean of the Professional College of Physiotherapists of the Community of Madrid (CPFCM), recommends consulting a specialist before starting a sports routine.
“To start, it is very important to seek good advice, to start little by little you can talk with the physiotherapist to start the recovery process and then it is passed to the physical education technician to improve performance,” he explains.
In this sense, he agrees with Casero, who recalls that “there are no star exercises or routines.” “ The best training is the one that adapts to the needs and characteristics of the person. For this and other reasons, it is recommended that the exercise be prescribed and supervised by qualified professionals ”, he points out.
The graduate in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences points out that injuries during confinement due to unsupervised training. “My biggest advice is that when conducting this search, we focus on the quality seal, avoiding as much as possible influencers without qualifications. Not everything goes ”, he warns.
3. Know where you come from
It is not the same to be a regular and even elite athlete as someone who is just starting, nor is it the same as someone who remained active during confinement.
For this, the experts recommend an evaluation by a specialist. “We must take into account the levels from which we start. Each one should have an analysis of, of course, physical condition either with a medical examination, with the physiotherapist, and others. It all depends on where we started from. It is not the same that we were at 100 than at 0. We will be at 80 or -10 after the summer, ”Herrera points out. “We come across patients who think they are 20 years old and are already 60. They did things then that they cannot now,” he adds.
In this, Casero agrees, who emphasizes that “it is most likely that if we have maintained a sedentary lifestyle compared to before these periods, we will have to lower the level to be able to resume it.”
“If we are talking about a person who used to be physically active, it will take a short time to return to the initial state. If not, it will cost a bit more, but less easy doesn’t mean impossible. In this sense, the degree of commitment of the person is very important, as well as the environment in which they move ”, he explains.
4. Progression, a key factor
Once evaluated by a specialist who determines the physical level of each person and the plan to follow, motivation joins the progression. “You have to go little by little working in ranges of no pain so that there are no injuries and giving the body time to adapt,” explains Herrera.
Casino exemplifies this with an exercise as essential as a squat. “If before we performed full squats correctly, but during the pandemic or summer we stopped doing them, we would propose a progression from an isometric squat, to progressively increase the degree of knee flexion,” he details.
5. Having soreness is not exactly a good sign
Another false myth is that exercise is good when you get to having soreness. Herrera warns that soreness should not appear. “They depend on the load you have done. If you start progressively, we shouldn’t have stiffness. That is the goal of progressive loading. It is better to stay short. You always have to have reserve energy, and you do not have to stay with the feeling of exhaustion “, he explains. “It is not about reaching your limit on the first day because you are going to be sore for two or three days that you will not be able to do the activity that corresponds,” he adds.
To avoid any damage or overload, the physiotherapist recommends a “previous muscle activation, to avoid that the muscle is cold and a fibrillar rupture can occur.” “This happens a lot in weekend athletes. People start exercising without preparing, and small fibrillar ruptures occur. It takes an activation process, a little warm-up, which can also discuss with the physiotherapist or with the physical education technician ”, he explains.
“It is not about reaching your limit on the first day, because you are going to be sore for two or three days that you will not be able to do the corresponding activity”- PABLO HERRERA, VICE DEAN OF THE PROFESSIONAL COLLEGE OF PHYSIOTHERAPISTS OF THE COMMUNITY OF MADRID (CPFCM)
6. Look at technique
The key to avoiding injury is also the technique of exercise. Herrera recalls that, for example, to run, you have to have good practice to prevent injuries. “The moment you notice that you are in pain in certain gestures, stop and analyze why it is happening. There are many activities in which you have to train your technique. Some people are going to run without having a clue and have repetitive impact injuries that that can avoid, ”he explains.
Herrera also focuses on the “cool down” phase of training, for which he recommends any exercise or routine that makes us reduce our pulsations. “There are people who walk, who use the roller, which stretch … We do not have any long-term study that tells us that one thing is better than another. Yes, some studies indicate that stretching after exercise does not prevent injuries, but we do not know that it is bad either ”, he explains.
7. Abandon sedentary lifestyle as the main objective
Something fundamental to having a successful sports routine is that sport is not limited to exercise, but that people are active. In this sense, Herrera recalls that teleworking has significantly impacted a sedentary lifestyle, more than any lousy posture that may have had at home.
“It influences less than you think, sedentary lifestyle as such matters much more. It is better to avoid spending a long time in the same position or the same chair, no matter how good it is. If it’s good, you can stay a little longer, but you always end up annoyed. It is more important to move and not spend so much time standing still, and that people have not done ”, he details.
For Home, the exercise routine that combines strength and aerobic training should complement “basic” physical conditioning. “ Staying active as long as possible throughout the day, thus avoiding inactive or sedentary lifestyles (walking, cycling to places, taking public transport whenever possible, etc ..), more even if we return from a period of inactivity ”, he explains.