One: Warm up. Ellie Searle, founder of Stretch Physio, is keen to stress the importance of warming up muscles adequately before commencing training. “Preparing your muscles for intense activity means you’ll be much less likely to suffer a muscular strain,” she explains. “You need to make sure your muscles are prepared for more strenuous exercise.”
Two: It’s vital that sports men and women cool down thoroughly after periods of intense activity. Carrying out some light exercise at the end of the session will ensure the body is restored to its natural, pre-exercise state.
Three: Stretching improves your flexibility helping to restore muscles to their natural length and ensuring balance between the different muscle groups, helping to prevent strain and injury. Runners, for example, should stretch the muscles in their legs, such as their hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles.
Four: Focusing on technique and quality of movement will ensure injury downtime is kept to a minimum. Poor technique accounts for a large number of sports related injuries, especially for those who are new to a sport. To avoid falling into bad habits, we recommend arranging a consultation with a professional sports coach or personal trainer before starting a new exercise routine.
Five: Progressively increase the intensity and duration of your training and avoid overexertion. The body needs time to adapt to new demands, so trying to achieve too much too soon will place strain on muscles and joints, making you more susceptible to injury. “Allowing your body enough rest between sessions is crucial, as is gradually increasing your activities, as this way your musculoskeletal system has time to adapt to the increased demands of your training regime,” Ellie adds.
If an individual experiences pain or discomfort whilst exercising, Stretch Physio recommends they stop training immediately to avoid worsening the problem. Those with concerns or sports injuries should seek the help of a trained musculoskeletal physiotherapist, who will assess their condition and will put together a rehabilitative treatment programme for them, ensuring a safe and swift return to sport.
Stretch Physio & Pilates is based in Chelmsford, boasting a wide range of musculoskeletal physiotherapy expertise in their well equipped private clinic. In addition, to offering one-to-one specialist physiotherapy, the team also offer sports massage treatments, acupuncture and one-to-one Pilates sessions. More information can be found at http://www.stretchphysio.co.uk.