COVID-19 has kept many of us indoors for the last few months. And while the warmer weather and sunny skies present the perfect opportunity for outdoor activities, it’s critical to get back in the game safely.
Exercise is both physically and mentally beneficial, especially during a stressful period of time. While it’s tempting to give 110% after a long period of inactivity, this can lead to injury.
Dr. Joshua Siegel, our Director of Sport Medicine, has thoughtful advice for athletes:
“For athletes returning to their activities, it may be that either weeks of inactivity or months of other exercises do not translate to immediate resumptions of pre-coronavirus levels of training. I am certain we will see many overuse injuries which, although mitigated by hydration and stretching, will not be completely prevented. Please ramp up activities intentionally and recognize that form and function are more important than the length and intensity of your normal sports activities!”
6 Tips to Safely Return to Activity
Check Your Gear
If you haven’t replaced your running shoes or checked your bicycle’s tire pressure in a while, make this your first priority before you start moving.
Restart Activities Slowly
It’s important to ease your body back into any activity. If you were running 10 miles a day before the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, your body may need to get used to this intensity again. And that’s OK! Just don’t overexert yourself and be sure to listen to what your body needs.
Our muscles tighten up after inactivity. If you go from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one, you’re more likely to suffer from injury if your muscles aren’t prepared. Stretching improves elasticity and blood flow, and gets the body ready for exercise.
Water helps prevent fatigue and cramping by lubricating your joints and promoting the flow of nutrients through your body. You should hydrate before, during, and after exercising to ensure that your body can perform at its peak level.
Stick to Uncrowded Areas
Practice safe social distancing, even outside. Stay 6 feet apart from others and don’t gather in a group. Solo runs, walks, and bike rides are the safest way to exercise while COVID-19 is still a threat.
Don’t Exercise Outside if You Feel Sick
Even if you are practicing a solo activity, you should stay on the safe side and remain indoors until you are feeling better or your doctor gives you the OK.
See more tips in this video:
Access Sports Medicine is Open
If an injury happens, we’re here for you! Our Portsmouth, Exeter, and Dover locations are accepting same-day appointments. We continue to offer telehealth appointments to qualifying patients. Please contact our office or request an appointment.
Our Exeter walk-in clinic will be open to patients on Memorial Day (May 25, 2020) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.