This is an article for every sports and fitness coach who is trying to guide their clients through training within the restrictions that have been put in place during the coronavirus outbreak, so we can keep our clients safe and reduce the strain on our healthcare workers.
So, why are injuries more likely to happen during this time? Here’s 3 reasons…
The first reason is that everybody is under immense amounts of stress right now. If your clients are still working, they could be extremely busy, or they could have lost their jobs, or they’re struggling to train properly. Everything’s frustrating and nobody knows what’s going to happen.
And it’s this uncertainty that’s putting increasing amounts of stress on people everywhere.
These increased stress levels result in increased muscle tightness in the body by perpetually pumping stress hormones, like cortisol, keeping the nervous system in “fight or flight” and keeping the body and brain alert and ready for action.
Sustained stress hormone production is one of the reasons why emotional stress is one of the biggest triggers for injury that there is.
The second reason is that exercise (especially intense exercise) also triggers the production of these stress hormones and if we add this to our increased emotional stress right now, our bodies have much more muscle tightness than usual and that means that we are much less likely to handle the impact and strain of normal training and much MORE likely to suffer an injury.
The third reason is that all these government restrictions are resulting in us having much less movement in our daily lives. We’re not commuting to work anymore – whether that’s just not us getting in the car, or not cycling to work, or not walking for the bus, we’re just not moving as much as we could because we’re having to stay inside more than normal – and that means much more sitting down.
More sitting and less movement means more muscle tightness in your body, especially around the hips and spine. If we combine this with our increased emotional stress and the strain of training, we are creating a perfect storm for more injuries to happen.
The best thing we can do and advise our clients to do during this time, is to reduce the amount of intensity in the workouts that we’re programming or recommending and focus on helping them improve their movement instead.
This is one simple thing that we can all ask our clients to do during these crazy times. Our clients might think that they use exercise as a stress release, but right now, training hard might actually do them more harm than good.
And don’t forget the healthcare systems around the world are at a breaking point already, with things only set to get worse. If our clients do get injured, there’s going to be nobody there to help.
It really is important that we encourage our clients to reduce their training intensity at this time so we can limit the extra pressure on our healthcare systems both now and in the months to come as we focus our attentions on fighting this virus.
If you need ideas, or someone to talk to, we’re all in this together. Head on over to the SMARTT® Folks Facebook group where you can join in the discussion with like-minded sports and fitness coaches, pinch their ideas and share your own! Come on over and join us – we’d love to have you!