With COVID cases in Perth slowly ramping up, in the clinic we have started to see patients make changes to their regular exercise routines – putting that gym membership on pause, and swapping it for an afternoon run or a YouTube workout from home.
One of our patients had fantastic exercise habits and attended body pump 3 x week. She has shied away from the gym in the last 3 weeks and replaced pump with a run. Although the run length is about the same time as the pump class, running is a lot more impact than pump. She came to the Physiotherapy clinic with severe shin pain – the start of “shin splints”, where the load through the shin bones is too much. With hands on treatment, new running shoes and alternating running with walking (which has less impact) she is able to keep her exercise habits and not be in pain.
When you change your exercise, to avoid injury and to keep yourself feeling at your best, there are a few factors to consider.
- How does your new form of exercise compare to your normal? Running is a repetitive and higher impact activity than using the cross-trainer or stationary bike – you’ll need to consider supplementing this with some strength exercises, building up kilometres slowly or alternating running with walking.
- No pain, no gain? Post exercise muscle soreness (or DOMS) is common when doing a new form of exercise – however this shouldn’t last beyond 72 hours, and it should be symmetrical. Localised point tenderness over one site of the body may be indicating an injury.
- Consistency is key: Ideally, a good exercise substitute is going to have you working a similar amount of time and intensity a week. This is where fitness watches can be super handy – check your step trends and your average heart rate from your home workouts, to compare to the previous gym work outs.
Keep your exercise habits going, even if the midweek basketball competition is on hold, you are avoiding the gym or are you building back up after COVID illness. Exercise helps to relieve stress, sleep better, control weight and feel healthier.
If you’re noticing point tenderness or pain lasting beyond a week, book in for a physio appointment here, to get your pain sorted, and get you back on track.