Lockdown Fitness – Avoiding Pain & Injury

While staying fit and active during our ongoing lockdown restrictions is crucial to both physical and mental health, people should approach their new fitness regimes with caution. Over doing it or poor technique can result in unnecessary injuries.

There are few options available to us during lockdowns – other than walking, running, and cycling – so many people have been turning to online fitness sessions. This does mean that unless you are a regular gym or class attendee, the HIIT style training sessions (regularly performed by YouTube and celebrity trainers) are likely to be new to you and can be quite an aggressive form of exercise.

During the first lockdown, the nation was inspired by the fabulous Joe Wicks, getting the whole family up and behaving like ‘Pikachu’ and ‘Spiderman’ and all credit to him, we needed that enthusiasm (and still do!). But, constant/repetitive impact and squat style exercises can take their toll on the hips, knees and even the back. While exercising is a must, the most sensible route is to find an online session with an instructor who can give you guidance on technique and ensure the effort level is correct for you. Many of the Cheltenham based Pilates and Yoga studios, PT’s and gyms are offering online options.

Even when restrictions lift again, many people will prefer to continue exercising from home. If this is the case, we urge you to build up your sessions slowly (time and intensity), warm up and remember to cool down and stretch out your muscles after exercise. Take rest days, but still stretch the main muscle groups on those days (thighs muscles, calf muscles, lower and upper back (including neck) and shoulders. Plenty of good quality nutrition and sleep are also important to health and fitness and preventing injury.

Should you experience an injury, it is important you seek medical attention. Even small innocuous injuries can escalate into a bigger problem, if left unchecked. Physiotherapists, chiropractors and other medical professionals are still offering treatment, performed under strict guidance on PPE and offer COVID safe appointments.

BUPA researched Lockdown fitness in June last year, found the following:
Top 7 most popular lockdown exercises
Walking (51%)
Gardening (32%)
Joining in with classes or PT sessions online or via app (30%)
Using home gym equipment such as bike or treadmill (14%)
Running (13%)
Cycling (10%)
Weight training (8%)

Top 5 most common injuries
Pulled muscles (36%)
Knee injuries (31%)
Back injuries (26%)
Ankle injuries (26%)
Neck injuries (25%)