As we continue to go through this all together, our leaders are beginning to tell us that there is a plan to get out of quarantine. Mind you, there are stages and there are regions and places that will open first compared to others but it looks like it is in the near future. Based on recent reports over the past couple of days, New York appears to be starting phase 1 of our "new normal" around June 1st. Now since we have an idea of when this is happening, will you be ready?
Mentally I am sure all of us are ready to be done with this already. See family members, meet with friends, get back to work, support our families for some, and get back to our routines (if possible)....But will you be physically ready???
I know a good amount of us as active adults and endurance athletes has been doing what they can to stay active but I know there are a good amount of people out who have not been keeping up with their training or have let physical activity go to the way side. Whether it is due to a lack of races, motivation in general, or you have been dealing with extra aches and pains from sitting at home, being able to get back to our new normal should not include THIS.
I hope this blog post finds you all doing well and on to new goals that you set after the onset of Covid-19 but if not I hope this inspires you to make some level of change. Now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, we can start making new goals. We have no idea yet of what the return will look like or how long it will take but it will allow us to at least have hope and a little more motivation.
The one thing I worry about not only as a health care professional but also a concerned person is that what people tend to do is that they just start going back to their normal without a gradual return to intensity and duration. If you are one of those who has not been keeping up with some level of activity and/or has not adapted your home to the lack of a gym or going outside as often....then I hope you continue reading.
If gyms were to open back up tomorrow and we were able to go outside without any threat of getting the virus....how many of you would just go back to your normal routine without even thinking about it? For those of you who have been maintain a similar or more level of activity than before lockdown then I think you will be just fine. For those of you who have been doing less activity overall and have not been exercising at home, then I would caution you highly. This includes those who have been doing something with body weight activities but are used to lifting weights (heavy weights)
Our tendons, bones, and joints respond to stress. If we continue to apply that stress or a higher stress then in essence they get better to respond to that stress and become stronger. If, however, you do not apply that same level of stress we begin to get weaker in our bones and tendons and of course muscles (just like an astronaut in no gravity but to a lesser extent). If gyms opened tomorrow and we went back to what we were doing before the shutdown, some of us would still be able to do the same resistance but the tissues themselves would not be as tolerable. This unfortunately can set you up for injury and pain whether it is an "overuse"/tendinitis condition or an actual injury where there is failure of the tissue like a muscle strain or joint sprain.
Mindfulness is going to be key when we get to our new normal. Mindful of not only what you are doing but how you do it and how much. There will need to be some plan that you create or something you create with a qualified professional such as myself to get back on track to your goals or to different ones. If you are not feeling well that day, don't go all out. If you are feeling great, again unless you have been staying as active and working with similar weights or machines in your home, don't go all out like you usually would.
I may be in the business of helping people get better but the ultimate goal is to prevent people from getting hurt in the first place. Pain and suffering is not what I like to see people dealing with. Compensations and mechanical faults come second to that as they set you up for pain and injury during activity. If you are reading this and have been dealing with pain, it is not too late to recover and be ready for when we are out of this. Also, if you have not been as active and have no idea what to do but want to reach some goal, we still have time for that as well.
Summer and warmer weather is on the way and I hope each of you will be able to enjoy it pain/injury free and able to enjoy your freedom from the pandemic. If you do need some level of assistance I still have some space in the schedule to help you get to where you want to be virtually. All you need is a cell phone and yourself to get started. From there we can create a new you. Otherwise, I hope this post finds you and your family happy and healthy.