Exercising if you’re a bit Stiff, Sore, Injured or Unsure: Rule 3

We all know we need to exercise…

Most of us even like how much better we feel after we’ve exercised.

Yet, we are often in a place where we’re struggling with some sort of niggle, maybe even recovering from an injury or illness.

And let’s face it, for most of us that’s all the excuse we need to slack off and opt out!

The past few weeks I’ve been talking about how much better it is for our healing process if we actually do take the time and make the effort to move…

It really helps move us forwards and out of the downhill spiral into further pain, stiffness, debilitation and ill-health that comes when we don’t keep ourselves exercising.

And it doesn’t have to take much time or even be overly intense.

If you’ve been following me for more than a few minutes you’ll know I’m all about keeping it real!

There’s no use overwhelming ourselves and aiming for the skies with exercise and changing habits, only to end up disappointed in ourselves and our efforts, then paralysed and doing nothing.

A little bit, done well and done often is usually your best bet!

So, if you have some doubts about how much exercise you should do, how far to push and how to know when to stop, make sure you read parts 1 and 2 of this series…

Better still, I explain about putting limits around your exercise in Rule 1 video here and knowing the signs to look out for about when to stop in Rule 2’s Video here

And today, in Rule 3 I want to alert you to the next factor you need to consider when you’re starting out, or returning to exercising and are not yet 100%…

It’s taking note of how you feel afterwards!

Hopefully if you’ve taken steps one and two you won’t have pushed yourself too far in the first instance, but sometimes it’s really hard to tell if we’ve overdone it.

It’s even trickier to know if we could have pushed a little harder or gone a little further.

Paying close attention to how you feel after exercising helps you know 3 things

  • If you’ve ‘overdone it’
  • If you did just about the right amount
  • If you can do more next time

And don’t just pay attention to immediately afterwards.

The next few hours are critical, as some signs and symptoms only show up after a wee while.

And even more importantly is how you pull up the next morning

If you feel quite stiff and sore in your troublesome area before your feet even hit the floor, when you first move about, or in the first hour or two after getting out of bed…

Those are signs of irritation and possibly inflammation, and it pays to back off a bit next time.

It’s normal to feel a little tight in your muscles, and know you’ve done a bit more activity than usual, but you don’t want to feel your symptoms (like pain) returning.

You might then want to give yourself a day or so to let your tissues recover and try 10% or so less distance or intensity next time.

If you feel pretty good, you’ve likely done just about the right amount- Yay for You!

I’d recommend you try that similar amount/ intensity of exercise a couple of times in succession so your tissues adapt and strengthen nicely, then increase by about 10%.

If you feel ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and spring out of bed totally energised and feeling so much better for what you’ve done, then try increasing your distance, reps or intensity by about 10%…

But paying close attention to your symptoms all the time so you know if you need to stop sooner.

Then, however you felt afterwards, the next time you exercise, you still need to take note of how you feel afterwards.

Don’t be concerned if it feels a little like two steps forwards and one backwards for a while.

It’s totally normal to need to make adjustments and it’s often a bit of ‘to and fro’ as you start to get your exercise routine established again.

Just don’t give up!

Pick some times that suit you, however short and however silly it might seem to put on your walking shoes for a 10 minute walk or whatever you’re starting at… but it will be worth it!

I’ve explained all these concepts further in my Rule 3 video here.

And if you’ve got more questions I’d love to hash things out for you and your body!

Book an online mini-consult here so we can meet and I can support you.