Are Sports Injuries related to the New Year?
Why is it, without fail, that every year I suddenly have an influx of sports injuries towards the end of January?
I have no hard evidence from a journal to corroborate my findings but after 15 years of being in the industry I can confidently say that it is directly related to New Year’s resolutions and other crazy bets taken on the overconfident buzz of entering another year.
I want to lose 5kg by February. I want to run my first 10km race. I want to build bulk in my chest.
All very reasonable challenges but often misdirected by a crazy timeline which gets shorter and shorter as the 2nd of January becomes the 10th and you haven’t been able to get to the gym yet.
When you finally get into exercise mode, you hit it hard, suddenly going from zero to hero in a week. You don’t even consider that your body may have extra weight, so more impact on the joints. The very thought that you may be doing too much too fast is a blip on your timeline. It’s just go, go, go.
2 weeks straight of an intense 90 minutes in the gym or daily running and the cracks start to show. The first signs of repetitive strain appear and now your mind also starts to fade in enthusiasm. Because let’s face it, you’ve probably bitten off way more than you can chew for that post festive season body.
Whether it is pain that stops you or total workout burnout, your resolutions are suddenly at a dead end.
Don’t let the curse of the resolution get you.
Change your focus in 3 easy steps and prevent new year’s resolution sports injuries:
- Use the 10 percent rule and build up to your goal slowly. If the maximum distance you run is 5km three times per week, then your overall distance is 15km for that week. Increasing by 10% means 10% of the 15km. Therefore in week 2 you may run an overall amount of 16.5km. That could be two 6km and one 4.5km run. Or two 5km runs and one 6.5km run. Catch my drift?
- Ask yourself the question: Is my exercise routine sustainable long-term? Hint…a hard 90 minutes every day is not sustainable unless you are a professional athlete and don’t have a full-time job. Start with less time and build it up slowly, if you push too hard in the beginning you will reverse the pyramid and end up doing nothing.
- Find a healthy balance between exercise and rest. Rest is good for your body, it revitalizes you mentally and physically. In a 7 day week, 2 days of rest or very low energy workouts help the body gain strength, not lose it.
All the best for 2017.