Gym doors are open, but are you ready to head back?
By Christopher F. Kelly DPT, MS, CSCS, NKT
Recent events, namely the pandemic, have shaken up our lives and daily routines more than any of us could have previously thought. Many have had their health and fitness practices take a back seat due to inaccessibility or more pressing circumstances. However, with the recent reopening of gyms and fitness facilities, there is great news for those looking to get back on track!
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa hold on a second…before you strap on your running shoes or grab your gym bag, ask yourself: After a long layoff, is your body ready to hit the weights, run, take classes, or even engage in sport the way you did before? Chances are the answer is no. Unless you take the necessary steps to ramp up properly, you may be putting yourself at a higher risk of injury than necessary. After all that time off, no one wants a set back that could have been avoided all together.
Did you know whether you are a recreational exerciser or a trained athlete, as little as 4 weeks of inactivity could result in a loss of muscle strength and flexibility up to 25 percent? And it doesn’t stop there. That same 4 weeks could completely reverse endurance gains in beginners, and decrease aerobic performance by that same percentage! Those numbers can’t be ignored, but what do they mean? Some studies looked at the effects of decreased muscle strength and endurance on the risk of injury and the findings were ACUTE. A little PT humor for you all.
Make sure you are ready to return to lifting things up and putting them down, and continue to do without any more unscheduled breaks!
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