I want everyone to stay well and as healthy as possible during this time, especially as some people may be taking up more exercise than usual: there is certainly no shortage of free online videos and programmes available if you want to get started.
If you are taking up exercise for the first time in a while, I do have some general advice:
Start small! If you haven't exercised much or recently, it is surprisingly easy to get carried away in a fit of enthusiasm, overdo it and get injured. There is less hands-on support available in the community to fix you right now, so start by doing perhaps a little bit less than you would ideally like and see how your body responds. The first 48 hours after exercise will usually tell you if you've overdone it. It is completely normal to experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after exercise for the first time or after doing more exercise than you usually would. Just keep gently moving for the next few days and it will gradually disappear.
Listen to your body. Over the years I’ve hear the same story many times: ‘I did it, it hurt but I just carried on…’. People end up in the clinic because they didn’t listen to the signals, so pay attention to what your body is telling you and slow down or stop if it hurts.
Rather than going for a 10-mile run when you haven’t walked further than from the car to the supermarket this year, try something gentler like the NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ programme which will get you started in a more sustainable way
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, there are Pilates, Yoga and various other exercise programmes available for free within the ‘TV programmes’ section of Prime Video. Again, start with one for beginners (and likewise for other online programmes): if you’re unsure, watch the programme all the way through before getting started to find the right level for you.
Dust off the bike. I’ve never seen so many adults wobbling along on bikes as I have this week: it’s fantastic! Lots of people have clearly taken the bike out of the shed for the first time in many, many years…so if lack of confidence or embarrassment has been stopping you doing this, trust me, you’ll never be in better company than you are be right now.
If you have any doubt about whether what you’re doing is right, or if you should continue through pain, please call the clinic on 07710 466880 and ask for advice.
Alex, Body for Life Osteopathy