How to regain match fitness after the COVID-19 lockdown

The COVID-19 lockdown had a lot of effects on everyone and sportsmen were not left behind. Most training schedules were affected by the fewer hours available for training and the social distancing measures that had many training facilities closed during this period. Sports that require advanced training facilities, numbers and equipment such as field hockey were adversely affected which in turn affected the player’s fitness levels. With the lockdown easing and things slowly getting back to normal, you will notice your body won’t be able to hit the fitness levels you had before the lockdown. Let us look at some of the most effective ways of restoring your fitness without risks of injury.

Here are six ways of how to regain match fitness after the COVID-19 lockdown:

  1. Don’t resume pre-lockdown levels of activity Immediately
    When you hit the ground running you might be tempted to resume your pre-covid lockdown training routines however this can have an adverse effect on your muscles resulting in muscle injuries. You will need to ease yourself into training by starting with less vigorous activities like walking before you can start running. Change your training schedule to allow your body to climatize then slowly by slowly increase your levels of activity. It’s important to stay away from on-field activity until your muscles climatize.
  2. Refresh your Knowledge on exercises and drills
    This is important to ensure you do the right thing to ensure the exercise is effective and won’t result in injuries. You can watch videos on YouTube of the exercises, read books or hire a trainer to help you revisit the exercises to ensure you are doing the exercise correctly for the desired result.
  3. Check out for signs of body exhaustion
    Ensure you listen to your body to reduce the risk of exhaustion or injuries.  Avoid the urge of overexercising and give your body muscles time to heal. If you feel that muscle cramp, stop and take a rest. You should also hydrate well and ensure you don’t deprive yourself of sleep.
  4. Prepare yourself to be sport ready
    Different sports require you to move differently and adopt different postures. Running can keep you fit; however, your body may not be flexible enough to make abrupt turns and adopt the playing posture. For instance, when it comes to Field Hockey, you may need to practice on a few drills that involve the wrist, ankles, knees, and even your neck. Stepping straight to the pitch without being conscious that your body is not used to the response time, there turning and constant breaking can cause ankle injuries, back injuries, groin injuries, and even your legs. Before you play any intense match ensure you ease yourself slowly to the game by practicing with your sports equipment too.
  5. Normalize Warming up Before Exercises and Warm Down after exercises
    Warming up helps you prepare your body before you engage yourself in a rigorous exercise. It helps you reduce the risk of hurting your muscles.  On the other hand, warming down gives you an opportunity to stretch your muscles, feel your muscles for any injuries and help your body to gradually cool down after vigorous exercise. If you feel pain during the warm-down exercise you may need to see a physio before your next training session.
  6. Take note of your diet and health
    Ensure you keep tabs on your diet, a bad diet can reduce the ability of your body to cope with illness or recovery in case of any injuries during training. Always do exercises that your body can handle, eat healthily and ensure you practice MOH guidelines to ensure you keep safe and healthy.

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