Have you ever taken on a new diet and exercise programme and gone at it full of positivity and energy but then dropped it when you had an injury? Too many of us are overworking to get fitter and trimmer and this results in tweaks, pains and strains that knock us out of the game altogether.
Taking on a new exercise regime is to be commended. We get our head in the right mental space to provide motivation and enthusiasm. We wholeheartedly believe this time we are going to do it and beat the flab once and for all. It’s possible you are taking on a new healthy eating diet at the same time which makes it twice as hard to succeed, but you are sticking with it and persevering.
This is all great. You have produced a little spreadsheet detailing all the exercises you will do, and it’s even synched up with your calendar. The trouble is, if you overdo it, you may experience pain. It is nearly impossible to carry on a strict exercise programme when you are in pain, and it may even be dangerous to do so.
Of course, once we have fallen out of our planned schedule, we are no longer on track for the programme. We have lost that oomph that kept our heads in the right place mentally, and, most importantly, the habit of doing certain things at certain times has been broken. If you have fallen foul to an injury, you probably have lost the benefit of the programme because you had to take a time out. So are there ways to get back in?
The best way to stop an injury forcing you away from your exercise plan is to avoid it happening in the first place. If you are doing your exercises for lower abs, you need to start gently after a good warmup. The warm up should take at least as long as the exercises themselves. Practises like Yoga teach us that the warm up takes most of our exercise time, benefitting us with increased suppleness and flexibility. Abdominal exercises can affect your digestive system and posture, so you definitely want to take care. You are working your lower abs, you need to remember these support the hips and pelvis. Any aching here may cause you to quit all your other exercises.
When you are warming up your lower body, it is essential to keep things moving and stretched. Don’t force extensions with jolty actions but instead allow your muscles to gently ease into stretches. Pick up your heart rate gradually rather than rushing into cardiac work. Spend time assessing how your body feels and work on areas that aren’t responding in the ways you are expecting them to.
If you take the time to warm up thoroughly, you should also take the time to stretch out after all exercises. If your body is stretched out you are less likely to feel any unpleasant effects of the exercising. You may want to stretch everything another two or three times in the day after exercise.