So the clocks are about to change.
And with that change, one or two new fitness habits come with it.
So lets look what you could possibly do with time and light on a night after work.
And specifically, the injury risk they bring, if you haven’t done any of them for a while. See, the real cause of a lot of people’s injuries stems from having used muscles or joints for a long period of time. And in the same way that you would warm up immediately prior to a game or run, you’re supposed to warm into a new season or fitness habit.
So, with that in mind, let me talk you through what might happen if you try any of these:
1.) Golf – one of the major issues with golf is that it can irritated your back and Achilles – often at the same time! The problems come from your back having been used to sitting all day long (in winter) and soaking up lots of pressure, getting weaker and stiffer as you do it, to then having to stand and rotate as you swing a club 50 or so times in one night – at least!. Not good. So, one of the things you should do is some stretch – flexibility style exercises for your back that “mimic” the action you’re about to take.
It’s the same with your Achilles… if you’ve been sat in an office all day long for the last 6 months – your Achilles has shortened and will be a little stiffer than it was the last time you were on the course… so, if you’re planning on a playing a “hilly” surface, or walking up and down some sand bunkers, you need to have the flexibility there to let you. Start today with some dynamic stretches of your Achilles and even a little massage, too. And definitely have the ice bucket ready for after, as it will likely be a little sore.
2.) Cricket – if you’re thinking of having one or two “outdoor nets”, then it’s hard to offer any solid advice on how to stop the next day aches and pains from your first two hours in the nets – except to say pre-pare for it to hurt ALL OVER!… Your groins, shoulders, calf muscles, hands and fingers are all going to be a little sore so the best thing to do is accept it then ice it!
And stretch out all of the muscles you’ve been using before you go to bed! The main area is your shoulders and side muscles – stretch them out before hand and don’t go mad with the first few balls you bowl or balls you hit!
3.) Running – I’ll save the obvious until last… with more time after work, it’s easy to be tempted to go for a “little run”. Things like shins splints, Achilles and calf pain and even lower back stiffness are all prone in the early few weeks of going for a run – not to mention “knee tendonitis”. To stop it, or limit it, ease gently into how long you run for.
Start with a 15-20 minute jog (max!) and then up it from there.
Also, give yourself a day off in between and even change the surface you run on, both while you and where you run. What I mean by that, is this: grass or sand is a lot nicer on your joints – especially if you’ve not ran for a while.
Check your trainers to make sure there’s some cushion there and stretch like crazy before and after your run. Ice is a must for your Achilles and calf, regardless of whether or not it is painful – I see so many people who picked up little injuries down there in the first weeks of summer and spent the rest of the months fighting against it. If only they’d read something like this before. Enjoy.
More tips for recovering from a sports injury, here: www.paulgoughphysio.com/sports-injury-clinic