2 REALLY Important Lessons from Lockdown
As lockdown is gradually eased and life returns to a new normal, it’s important to look back and reflect on this period.
Rewind to March and read the exercise in isolation blog – it goes hand in hand with what you are about to read.
The past few months stopped us from exercising in gyms, working in offices and enjoying our usual freedoms. As we now get back to our routines there are a few things that have become quite evident as we take new referrals and book people back in for treatment at MSK Sports Injury Clinic Newcastle. The lack of exercise and our attempts to start new forms of exercise have caused lots of problems. The enforced home working has also caused a lot of problems which need to be corrected before continue to work in the post COVID-19 world.
Here are the 2 important lessons from lockdown that we should all take note of to help keep us as fit and healthy moving forward.
1. Home Working Must Be Setup Correctly
Lockdown happened in the blink of an eye for most of us – before we knew it, work was to be from home and we had to take laptops home and find the best place we could in our homes. Now first off, this isn’t ideal. If you think about the office environment we have desks, chairs, mouse and keyboards – all are setup for us to be in a correct working position to limit injuries.
How many of you have a desk?
How many of you had a good office chair that supports you while you work?
How many of you did a home working desk assessment?
Maybe not many, and to be honest – who would expect you to, you may not be an expert with that type of thing. The home working habits I have heard are typically sitting at the kitchen table with poor seating or slumped on the sofa. This doesn’t provide our bodies with the right amount of support and we have tended to remain in poor positions for long periods of time.
That right there is the problem.
Spending too much time in poor positions. A correct, ergonomic designed setup for work allows our body to work in a position which lets the body work comfortably and reduces risk of injury.
SOLUTION – if you are going to be working at home, get the right setup. Ask your employer for or invest in a correct desk, laptop stands, separate keyboard and mouse and arrange a workstation assessment (contact the clinic - we can arrange this for you by a registered physiotherapist).
More importantly than anything else – move more frequently. As a rule – change your position and break every 20-30 minutes.
2. New Exercise Needs to be Done Gradually
As gyms and other facilities were closed, we looked for other, new types of exercise we could do. Some people opted to do home workouts, others opted to run and cycle.
It was great to see so many people performing exercise during lockdown but the negative to that is that it has created a lot of injury! Some of the top causes of injury I have seen during lockdown were:
- HIIT Classes
HIIT classes may seem like a great idea to get exercise but the people who put them together don’t take in to account peoples capability level or their current level of fitness.
This is where injury is created.
If you aren’t used to star jumps, lunges, press-ups and other explosive movements performed in high reps then your body becomes sore.
The tissues in your body cannot tolerate the load being placed upon it, therefore developing breakdown in your soft tissues and joints. This will typically occur within a 4 week period.
You might be told that HIIT classes are a great ‘fat burning’ exercise or it ‘burns calories’ - the truth is, on average you burn around 150 calories in a 20 minute session and there is no fat burning exercise that works better than others.
If you are looking to lose weight, creating a calorie deficit by smarter eating is the only way – not excessive exercise, and 2 biscuits like chocolate digestives equates to your 150 calories burned – so you’ve hardly earned a lot with these workouts. Exercise should complement your body, not leave you sore and injured.
Running works the same way – the amount of strength and control needed in your lower limbs to be able to tolerate running needs to be developed over a long period of time and it needs to be complemented with correct strength training to improve your running mechanics. Joints which help to absorb load and pressure need a gradual introduction to running impact otherwise cartilage and meniscus structures become irritated.
People who have injured themselves with running have typically started to run multiple times per week, which they have never done before – this creating ankle, knee and hip problems. This can take a good few weeks to settle.
SOLUTION – avoid tissue overload and injury by starting new exercise with a reduced time and intensity with plenty of rest day’s in-between. If you want to start running, use an app like Couch to 5k which helps you to gradually get your body used to running.
If you are going back to the gym – start with 1-2 sessions per week and begin with bodyweight/light weights based exercises and short sessions. Space your sessions out over the week to allow rest and recovery.
Book an Appointment
This week brings the re-opening of gyms - which inevitably will bring an increase in training related injuries. Take the advice above to reduce your risk, use common sense and go about your exercise patiently and progress things slowly.
MSK Sports Injury Clinic Newcastle is currently dealing with a high volume of clients dealing with lockdown injuries with treatments such as sports massage, deep tissue massage, combination therapy and shockwave therapy. You can protect against injury with treatment and we would encourage you to book ahead to avoid disappointment. Pay attention to your niggles and aches and get them seen to before an injury develops.
Remember – your recovery is as important as your training itself.
Your next session’s performance depends on how good the recovery was from your last session.
Enjoy your exercise, and if you need us – book online or call the clinic.
Best Wishes MSK Sports Injury Clinic Newcastle.Book Now