The spring is nearly here and, for many people, that means ending a winter of relative hibernation and heading back to regular exercise routines. While exercising regularly is certainly good for your health, returning to an exercise routine after being away for a while can come with an increased risk of injury if you’re not careful. The good news is that there are precautions you can take that will help you avoid many injuries.
Don’t try to “make up for lost time” or even go at the same intensity as you did before you took a break. Your body isn’t used to this level of activity and you’re quite likely to injure yourself this way. Instead, start slowly and, over the next few weeks, work your way up to the level that you are accustomed to.
Follow a Plan
You don’t want to jump right back into your old routine, but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to be aimless either. It’s always important to have a plan and to stick with it. This will help you get the most out of your workout and return to the fitness level you’re used to.
Wear the Right Gear
If it’s been quite some time since your last workout, your gear might no longer be up to the job. Take a look at your equipment. Check it carefully for any significant wear or damage. This includes your shoes. Your footwear is very important and wearing shoes that do not provide the right support or grip can lead to injury.
It’s also important to dress for the weather. Spring weather can be unpredictable so, if you’re exercising outdoors, be prepared. Sudden cold snaps, rain and other hazards can lead to injury.
Know When to take a Break
Just like you can’t jump back in at the same intensity, you might not be able to exercise for as long when you’re just starting back up. And you may have to take a few more breaks. While you might want to push yourself as hard as you can, it’s important to understand when you need to stop. Pushing too hard and continuing to exercise even if you’ve sustained an injury can make the injury worse. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and stopping before you hurt yourself. This is much, much better than continuing and doing greater harm.