Returning to Sports after a Long Hiatus: What You Need to Know
One of the most frustrating situations for any athlete or regular exerciser involves remaining sedentary for relatively long periods of time. While this is certainly relevant when we consider the current COVID-19 scenario and how social distancing measures have restricted many activities & access to exercising , those who have been injured can also experience lengthy periods of inactivity. Recovering from such setbacks is achievable, if you know what approaches to take. Let us take a look at some professional advice, to consider when returning to sports after a hiatus.
Taking it Slow
It can be very tempting to immediately return straight back with the same intensity that you previously paused at. However, we need to remember that the body will require time to adapt to such physical demands. This is why the majority of experts recommend implementing a “stepped” routine in the beginning. Here is a generic example of such an approach:
- One to three days of light aerobic activity.
- Three to five days of moderate activity levels.
- Five to seven days of moderate to heavy training sessions.
This gradual return will allow your body to accept such a transition. Furthermore, you are also provided with the opportunity to gauge your own progress along the way. The number of days associated with each of the stages mentioned above can naturally be modified as needed.
Pay Attention to Any Ongoing Symptoms
In terms of sport injuries, patience & persistence are the key elements. This is why you should pay particular attention to the specific area of the body that was previously affected, as it can be particularly vulnerable when placed under physical stress. Look out for common warning signs such as localised pain, redness, swelling, and stiffness. Assuming that this area of the body is involved in compound movements (such as the hips, lower back, knees and shoulders), remember that you might experience a limited range of mobility in the beginning. Never push your body too far. If you become fatigued or should the area feel sore, accept the fact that more rest and relaxation will be required than in the past. Even if no specific injury is present, remember that a long hiatus from physical activity will normally be associated with a significant amount of soreness as your body once again learns to adjust.
Obtain the Proper Amount of Rest and Recovery
Recovery time is equally crucial when returning to sports. As mentioned previously, the body may need more time to heal itself between training sessions. These requirements should never be ignored. Be sure to embrace a healthy diet and to sleep for at least eight hours every night. You can then begin the journey feeling refreshed and energised.
It can indeed be challenging to return to sports after a significant amount of time. However, the rewards are well worth the effort. If you have additional questions or you would like to learn more about how our team can help, please contact us at your convenience.