With the many sporting events taking place this summer, it’s important to properly prepare and rehabilitate yourself following injury to help you go the distance. PT, Toby Garbett, sports psychologist, Dr Victor Thompson and physiotherapist, Sammy Margo share their tips to get you prepared, physically and mentally, for any event this summer.
- Warm-ups work – Cold muscles lead to more chance of injury so it’s crucial to take time to do a proper warm up. Focus on muscles you will be using doing a range of dynamic, stretches including; leg swings, deep lunges and knee lifts, and don’t forget about your arms. Toby Garbett, PT.
- Carbs and fluids – You need carbohydrates for exercise. I have porridge with milk and carb-rich snacks like bananas. It’s also crucial to stay hydrated so sip little and often. Try a sweet squash and add a pinch of salt to make your own electrolyte drink on a hot day. Toby Garbett, PT.
- Work out why you’re training – Is it to beat a goal time, to raise money for a deserving cause, to prove something to yourself or something else? When you work out your mantra, make a note of it and remind yourself of this in order to stay focused. Dr Victor Thompson, Sports psychologist.
- Extract the evidence that you are ready – Perfect preparation doesn’t happen. Instead of picking holes in your prep, write down the reasons you are ready – the training you have completed, the distances, the speed or pace. Having this bank will allow you to turn any negative thoughts into positives when you may need a pick me up. Dr Victor Thompson, Sports psychologist.
- Slow it down – It’s important to slow down gradually when exercising to allow your heart rate to drop at a good pace. Follow this with static stretches, focusing on trouble spots like calves, quads and hamstrings to flush out the lactic acid in your muscles. Sammy Margo, physiotherapist.
- Injuries can happen – If you experience an injury, follow the P.R.I.C.E. (protect, rest, ice, compress and elevate) method. Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, makes blood vessels contract, which suppresses inflammation and tissue breakdown so use a cooling product regularly in the first 72 hours. Once the inflammation has subdued, continue the healing process by applying heat to help realign muscle fibres. Sammy Margo, physiotherapist.
- Stay warm – Approximately 72 hours after an injury, it’s important to rehab soft tissue fully, helping you go the distance. Try a heat product which combines massage with heat therapy to help realign muscle fibres and break down adhesions and scar tissue. Sammy Margo, physiotherapist.
- Don’t get down – If the event you have trained for is over, it’s common to feel post-event blues. Don’t make it worse by getting down on yourself, for being down. After a week or so of rest, get into training again but mix it up to keep it fresh. Do hill reps, speed work, sports with friends or whatever it might be to keep it interesting and novel. Dr Victor Thompson, sports psychologist.
As timing can be tight when working out, and warm ups and cool downs can get neglected, help yourself go the distance this summer by supplementing your dynamic warm up with a product like Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll-on Lotion. This combines massage with heat therapy and can be used pre-exercise to help loosen and soften muscles so they move more easily and post-exercise to help realign muscle fibres and break down adhesions and scar tissue.