Been slacking a little with your workout routine during lockdown? You’re definitely not alone. Many of us have been more sedentary than usual in the last few months at home. According to data from Fitbit, American adults were about 12% less active after stay-at-home orders started in March than they were in January. So if you’re ready to start exercising again, what’s the best way to do it without hurting yourself? Starting slowly, according to the experts.
All this inactivity has left many of us less fit than we were before and that means we’re not ready to jump back in to the kind of workouts we were doing before. Dr. Monica Rho, a sports medicine physician, says she’s already started seeing more patients come in injured after overly enthusiastic recent workouts. She explains, “You can’t go from zero to 60 as soon as things open back up.”
So what should we do to get moving without getting hurt? Dr. Rho advises:
- Start at no more than 50% of the exercise you were doing before – If you used to run five miles, start with a slow two and a half and rev back up slowly.
- Do some bodyweight exercises – When you haven’t been working out, you lose muscle mass, but doing squats, lunges, planks, and hip raises can help you build it back up and help prevent injuries.
- Take it easy on the weight training, too – If you’ve been doing almost none during the pandemic, Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, who researches resistance exercise, advises starting at 50% of the volume and intensity of your prior workouts once you hit the gym again.
- Post-workout muscle twinges are to be expected – If you feel these a day or two after your first post-lockdown sweat sessions, don’t worry. But if you feel sudden pain during exercise, the doctors warn that’s when you need to stop.
Source: The New York Times