Top tips on how to workout safely and effectively at home, as digital fitness continues to boom
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has launched new research for Chiropractic Awareness Week 2021 revealing that over half (52%) of Brits are planning to use digital fitness solutions, such as virtual personal trainers and home workout videos, to stay fit and healthy as lockdown restrictions lift, with 44% seeking to improve their overall energy levels.
As more people turn to digital fitness solutions to improve their physical health and wellbeing, we’re sharing our top tips on how to prevent back-related exercise injuries from getting between you and your post-lockdown goals, without supervision or proper equipment.
Top tips to avoid home ‘gymjuries’
1. My top tip is to start small, with manageable intentions to help positive habits stick. Your goal could be as simple as taking a 15-20 minute guided run each day, or following a quick yoga session each morning. Over time, this will become almost an automatic habit and you can build it up from there – it’s all about manageable bitesize chunks, which will help you take one step at a time coming out of lockdown.
2. It’s essential that you warm up before you work out. If the exercise programme you’re following doesn’t begin with a guided work out, I recommend doing some dynamic stretches, or stretching whilst moving. Take your body through the movements such as squats, lunges and creating circles with your arms.
3. It’s always good to get a mix of strengthening, cardiovascular, balance and stretching exercises into your week. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day and/or at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity every other day. Remember to be mindful of how much you’re pushing your body, however – we all have different strengths and limits, so bring in exercises that work best for you. Without a fitness expert there to guide you, it can be easy to push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and give it time to rest and recover between sessions.
4. Research your class to make sure you’re doing one appropriate for your level. If you’re pushing your body to do more than it’s ready for, you’re more likely to get injured. In a world of the internet and social media, there’s a wealth of free online resources to provide inspiration for home workouts. The NHS website has a great bank of 10-minute home exercises that will easily fit into your day whilst helping to improve your general health and strengthen and tone different muscle groups. You can also do a quick search for at home workouts or yoga routines on YouTube for some inspiration. The BCA has also created a programme of quick and simple exercises under our programme Straighten Up UK, to promote balance, strength and flexibility in the spine and help you avoid injury both whilst working out and in everyday life. The programme is divided into three simple segments – warm up, posture care and core balance – so it’s really easy to fit into your daily routine – just like brushing your teeth!
5. Set yourself up for success by investing in supportive shoes and athletic wear. Pricey kit might be a great incentive for your next home work out, and you can find great quality products at a competitive price. It’s important to try a variety of products to see which one suits you.
6. It’s not uncommon to get aches and pains when you start something new. This normally passes in a few days, but if you’re experiencing a persistent ache or niggle in the same place, it’s best to get it treated. Knowing when to seek treatment takes body awareness; listen to your body and if something doesn’t feel right, contact a healthcare professional for advice.
The BCA’s survey was conducted with OnePoll, surveying 5,000 UK adults (general population).