Getting ready to return to your favourite sport?
Here’s what you need to ask yourself.
Whether you’re a regular competitor returning from injury, or just want to get fit after some time on the side-lines, it’s important to make sure you’re truly ready with a whole health approach.
At Connected Chiropractic, we’re committed to caring for people through every stage of their road to recovery, or back to fitness. That means creating a sustainable plan to prevent relapse and more time off. Being in tune with your body and mind is key – you can’t be too demanding on muscles and structures that haven’t trained in while. As such, it’s good to ask yourself a few questions to ensure you’re fully prepared…
Am I rushing my return?
While it’s important to listen to your body. Every injury’s different, and so is the speed of recovery for each individual and each episode. Returning to your favourite sport can be a great motivator, but you must build up to more demanding exercises and your previous levels. Start small with mobility and stretching, then progress to warm-ups before you start to even entertain the idea of competition. Straining your body too early into your rehabilitation can result in further frustration and longer absence from your favourite sports and hobbies.
Am I in the right headspace?
Your mental preparation for a return to physical activity is just as important as your physical readiness. It’s important to understand what works for your body in order to fully reintegrate yourself into a sporting environment. Mindfulness is integral to getting back to moving effectively. You need to be aware of your limitations and strengths to make sure you respect your body and your own rate of progression. If your sport involves a specific technique, then practicing and visualising being successful at it at home can have some amazing effects when you are back on the course/pitch/track.
Have I physically prepared?
While jumping straight into long-distance runs and gruelling gym sessions after months out of action is not a good idea, there are still things you can do to get yourself back in the game. I work with lots of golfers in the clinic and I always advise they practice their swing at home to train themselves to trust their mechanics before they get to the course. At-home exercises are good practice to keep your body moving, which is massively important to your overall wellbeing.
What do I want to achieve?
Think about what goals you want to achieve and draw up a plan that accounts for a gradual build-up of physical activities into a routine. Be realistic, if you aim to do too much too soon then you may cause yourself a problem. While it’s great to challenge yourself, make sure you’re listening to your body at the same time and are aware of your baseline right now.
I’m proud to work with everyone from people trying a sport for the first time, to professional athletes. Helping people to be in tune with their body and enjoy physical activity is incredibly rewarding. Get in touch so we can work together on creating a plan to help you stay injury-free and reach your goals.