Returning to activity, don't jump the gun!

Returning to activity, don't jump the gun!

As the lock-down restrictions have eased from level 5 to 4 and now down to 3, we are slowly seeing people start to move their bodies again after a long sedentary period (occasionally broken up by a 30 minute high intensity online class and then back to sedentary mode).

On a positive note, my patients seem to be overcoming their lock-down-related stiff and achey pains as they are becoming more active. However, my practice has also seen a spike in acute injuries as patients seem to be returning to play too quickly.

If you have read our 'Get Back Out There Guide' (available when signing up to this newsletter), you will recall the emphasis placed on progressing safely and finding your tissue tolerance. This is especially important if you are returning from an injury. In a nutshell, if it feels wrong, it probably is...

Don't push through pain. Discomfort is normal and sometimes necissary, but as a general rule of thumb, if the discomfort gets more intense after the exercise or lingers the next day, then you have probably progressed too quickly.

Find your tissue tolerance and work from there...


The goal is to start with a low intensity and progress slowly.

  • If that concerning, deep pain starts creeping in after 15 minutes, then dial it back to 10 minutes.
  • If your hip starts tweaking under a 10kg weighted squat, then take off some weight!
  • If you ankle feels wobbly after a 2 hour hike, perhaps you arnt ready to hike for 2 hours.

Once you find your base level, and you are noticing that your strength is improving or an exercise is becoming to easy, you are ready to progress by incrementally increasing the duration, frequency or load of your workouts.

If there is still no worrying pain, progress further until you reach a new baseline and point of tissue tolerance. Once again, work at this level until you are confident and ready to progress.

Get Back Out There, but listen to your body!

Always remember the 3 Pillars of Zlaant:

1. Patience

2. Consistency

3. Quality of movement