Let me start off this month’s newsletter by saying you are not alone! If there is one thing that has helped people this year, it is the unity and knowing that we are all going through this together!
The same goes for physical health, fitness and injuries. These days, in practice, I am seeing more and more patients injuring themselves because they are returning to activity too quickly.
We have all been cooped up physically and psychologically and now we want to break free. We miss our physical outlets and we have more stress than usual that we need to release somehow…
So, what do we do?
We try and hit our PB and beyond when our bodies are still on Day One! No one wants to rest and recover. Everyone wants to get back out on the trail.
I have also noticed that people who were not active before, have been encouraged by their communities, social media and perhaps just boredom to get moving and get outdoors. This is fantastic and should regarded as a huge positive, well done! Being physically and psychologically fit is a major immune booster and I believe it is one of your best defenses against any dis-ease.
However, this trend in people doing more than they are used to can often lead to strain and if one does not rest and progress properly- injury will ultimately result.
If you aren’t a basketball player, or you havn’t played in months, and you decide to jump up and down 200 times a day, every day, for a week. You WILL hurt your knees.
So how do we prevent this?
Repetitive strain injuries occur over time. You may not be feeling that achilles or ITB on Day One, but after a week of high impact/ high load activity without rest, you are bound to develop an overuse strain.
The trick is small, incremental, progressive loading.
Next time you decide that you are ready to increase the challenge of your workout, instead of increasing everything at once, try increasing one aspect of your training in a session and see how you respond.
For example, run the same distance that you have now become comfortable running, but run incrementally faster or increase the distance, but keep the same pace. Don’t try and increase distance, speed and elevation in one cycle.
The same goes for strength training- intensity, resistance, reps and sets. Progressively increase one aspect per training session and you will be far less likely to hurt yourself, you will recover faster and overall, you will see better results in the long run.
Don’t forget that other physical and mental stressors can lead to injury and play a role in your overall performance too.
If you decide to rent a Harley for the day and spend hours in the sun, sitting in an unusual position with your wrist extensor muscles pulling back on the throttle, you might want to think twice before playing competitive tennis the next day because you are far more likely to put your back out and flare up that tennis elbow again!
Of course, it is possible to strengthen these muscles and become more resilient to the unplanned weekend warrior activities and the competitive tennis matches but this requires patience, consistency and quality exercise protocols that focus on stability, mobility and strength through progressive loading.
Remember, sometimes you will reach an unexpected obstacle, setback or fork in the road. Don’t panic, simply take a moment to regroup (and possibly reroute) and keep going!
Once again, you are not the first one to experience this challenge, don’t be too shy to seek advice. If you are a part of the Zlaant community feel free to post a question. To sign up, visit the Zlaant Community page and enter you Zlaant Code found on your Zlaant Product.
The 3 Pillars of Zlaant
- Patience, Consistency, Quality of Movement
PATIENCE- We can’t say this enough, if you are recovering from an injury, it’s important to remain patient with yourself and the recovery process. You’re working towards improving your strength and function gradually as you increase your sets and repetitions each week.
It’s normal to experience some discomfort during recovery, however, if you’re in pain while exercising or the following day, you might be pushing yourself too hard. Listen to your body and decrease your intensity to a comfortable level.
Remember, every condition heals differently. Be patient and track your progress and you will see results.
CONSISTENCY- The key to achieving any goal is to show up consistently and do the work every day. Your recovery process or exercise regimen is no exception. Consistent, controlled, eccentric exercises that target both your injury and train your movement patterns are your best defense.
A great way to maintain consistency is to incorporate the circuit into your daily routine. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or part of your warm up before a run, consistency will help you get back out there!
QUALITY OF MOVEMENT- The focus of any movement or exercise should be on quality and form. Slow, controlled and mindful movements that activate your intrinsic muscle stabilizers result in optimal movement patterns and decrease strain.
When starting new exercises/movements or progressing in your protocol, your focus should be on the quality of movement. You may only manage a few quality reps with proper form but with patience and consistency, you will build your strength and gradually be able to increase your reps.
TODAY'S ZLAANT TIP
Pay attention to the cumulative stressors throughout your week and adjust your training intensity accordingly.