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Lockdown Fitness: Getting back to the new normal.

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

The lockdown has seen something of a revolution in digital health, as well as everything else. The change in our fitness routines has carved out an entirely new vocabulary, even if it hasn't flattened all the curves we might have hoped for. From Zoom-bombing, to Joe Wicks and Ayurvedic practices (which seem to involve the ingestion of a range of legal substances as well as some immune boosting yoga poses). All of which we have been endeavouring to achieve mindfully, or as a means of escape from home schooling.

As we enter the 'new normal', the changes keep coming. The number of cyclists on the roads is expected to increase ten-fold in some UK cities, and it's anticipated socially distanced sports like golf and tennis are going to thrive. This all bodes well for our Wimbledon prospects in years to come, but what are the implications for our bodies as we find our way back to some kind of normality?

Sudden changes in the types and amount of exercise we do, added to the change in our daily routines, means a sharp increase in the load on our muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Research shows that sudden, large changes don't give our tissues a chance to adapt and can result in overload and injury. In fact, aside from having been injured before; big, sudden changes in load is one of the most common risk factors for injury. Fortunately, the strategies to avoid the pitfalls are more straightforward than anything we've had to deal with recently.

Follow these key principles to give your body best chance of adapting to the new normal, injury-free.

  • Start slow: if you're starting something new; ease in to it, 20 something's might get away with a half marathon from scratch but it tends not to work out so well 10 or 15 years later.

  • Follow the 10% rule: increase the amount of training you do by a maximum of 10% each week to minimise injury risk.

  • Technique is king: whether it's a yoga pose or deadlift, focus on training smart and getting it right rather than forcing something your body isn't used to. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't so stop!

  • Balance and Planning: set goals and work back a graduated plan to get there. Include a balance of strength, flexibility and cardio training in your fitness build.

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