Return to sport after COVID lockdown

With the easing of restrictions, life is slowly returning to normal for Victorians. However, there are concerns that along with the return to sports and other recreational activities, there will be a corresponding increase in injuries.

 

Under lockdown, life was very different. With no sport, closure of gymnasiums and only being to leave the house for one hour a day to exercise, many people lost cardiorespiratory fitness, endurance and muscular strength. With reduced activity levels, altered routine, and changed eating habits, many also gained weight, adding to their fitness woes.

 

A study out of Germany demonstrated that the injury rate increased threefold after return to soccer in May after the European first wave. The concern is that this may happen here. We are fortunate that this return to sports is occurring in summer, with summer sports generally causing fewer injuries than football, netball, and the like. But I am concerned about a spike in cycling-related injuries, particularly mountain bike injuries, as people enthusiastically throw themselves back into the fray.

 

Remember, don’t start where you left off. Higher injury rates are associated with fatigue and loss of motor skills and coordination.  Whatever your chosen fun sport, ease back into it. This means starting off at a lower intensity than where you left off and reducing the duration of the activity to minimise fatigue. And have an enjoyable, safe and injury-free summer.