10 Tips For Returning To Sport
Blowing out your 35, 40, 50 candles is often accompanied by a lot of good resolutions, with in mind that of resuming sport. A desire that is only good! Except that after several years of sporting abstinence, a few rules must be respected to transform the test smoothly, and over time.
- Focus on pleasure
The best sport? The one we are (really) going to do! So there’s no need to force yourself to put on a fencer’s outfit or sign up for a frenzied zumba class, if only the great outdoors makes you want. The ideal is to go for the sport that attracts us and which we will not get tired of after two or three weeks. The first questions to ask yourself to optimize your choice: individual or team sport? Outdoors or indoors? What are the possibilities near home or office?
- Go through the “doctor” box
After years without practicing sport, a medical inventory is needed. The goal: to assess any weaknesses in the body, particularly in the heart. After reviewing the cardiovascular risk factors (male sex, physical inactivity, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight, family history), the doctor can give his approval for an immediate recovery or refer to more in-depth examinations. . Depending on the case, it will be an effort test or a performance test. The first is recommended for people with cardiovascular risks. Carried out by a cardiologist, it aims to detect cardiac or vascular suffering during exercise. Depending on the results, the doctor will advise the appropriate exercises and intensities. As for the performance test, carried out in a medical or sports center, it makes it possible to define the patient’s optimal effort zone, translated into the heart rate to be targeted during physical activity.
- start slow
Even if the impetus may be quite different, a progressive return to sport is THE guarantee of success. For example, running can be re-initiated by simple brisk walks and evolve gradually until you can run the course in one go. Note that the release of endorphins floods the body with a feeling of well-being from twenty minutes of physical activity.
A possible weekly plan, over the weeks and listening to its room for improvement: start with twice 15 minutes, then twice 30 minutes, twice 45 minutes and from there, go to three sessions per week to reach the ideal objective five sessions per week of 30 to 45 minutes.
- Eat healthy
An abundant dish of pasta is not necessary before a jog or before pool lengths! Filling up on carbohydrates (or “slow sugars”), the main fuel for our muscles, is advisable, but rather on the eve of an important endurance event or competition. The ideal plate for anyone resuming a moderate sporting activity: eating healthy, balanced, and varied. No more no less.
Note that if a cereal bar is possible before exercise, it is better to plan a sports session at least two hours after a meal. The idea is thus to prevent the energy from being, at the time of the effort, too much mobilized by digestion.
- drink enough
Necessary before, during and after exercise, water will compensate for water losses due to exercise. Adding a few calories to it through a sports drink or fruit juice is possible, if the digestive system tolerates it, provided you do not exceed the proportion “half fruit juice – half water”. The risk of a mixture that is too concentrated is to cause a call for water in the intestines, which is not desired during exercise.
- Stretch, but never before exercise
If the usefulness of stretching is controversial today, one thing is certain: it should be avoided before exercise. Muscle micro-lesions (benign) caused by stretching can worsen during the physical effort that will follow, and be the cause of injury. Joint and muscle warm-ups are highly recommended before setting off.
- Remote scale
No need to rush to your scale after training, at the risk of being disappointed. And for good reason, the resumption of sport does not make you lose weight immediately, or even starts by making you gain it. The explanation: if the fat melts under the influence of repeated physical effort, in other places, heavier muscles will develop. A phenomenon that can result in moderate weight gain, but a prelude to a much more pleasing mechanism… Indeed, the increase in muscle mass increases the basic metabolism. However, the higher it is, the more the body naturally burns calories. In parallel with a reshaping silhouette, aiming for a weight loss of 500 g to 1 kg per month is a realistic objective a few weeks before recovery.
- Take lessons…even running!
Some sports are practiced with a trainer, others, like running, are more instinctive and you get back to it on your own. However, our mistakes are numerous and sometimes painful for the tendons and joints. There is therefore an optimal running technique. Its pillars? The position of the pelvis (not too far back), the attack of the foot during the stride (by the middle of the foot and not the heel) and the relaxation of the shoulders. Simple on paper, this running technique is being taught more and more in sports medicine centers and running clubs.
- Listen to your body
If resuming the sport can be accompanied by aches during the very first sessions, these must quickly disappear. Any pain during exercise or excessive shortness of breath should be understood as a sign of inappropriate or poorly performed effort. It is therefore essential to listen to yourself… and to know how to surround yourself. To adapt the activities to his needs, to dose the effort, to correct the bad investments or to establish a relevant progress plan, the sports coach can appear as a precious ally.
- Goal: 5 times 30 minutes per week
The benefits of physical activity on our organs, our blood pressure, our morale and more broadly on our longevity are no longer to be proven and yet… physical inactivity continues to be dangerously rife. Two thirds of the Swiss would be below the recommendations in force*. Benchmarks in figures of the ideal activity for adults**.
2.5 hours of medium-intensity activities (brisk walking, cycling, gardening, etc.) or 1.25 hours of high-intensity activities (running, cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing, gym ) are recommended for adults.
5 sessions of 30 minutes per week of an activity making you slightly short of breath, represent an optimal rhythm.
2 out of 5 weekly sessions are to be devoted to muscle strengthening, to be supplemented with gymnastics or stretching to improve flexibility
10 minutes of activity can already be counted towards the total for the day. A few keys: opt for the stairs, park at the end of the car park, save your car for trips nearby…