The holiday season allows people to take a break from their normal routines. During this time, it is also common for athletes to take a break with their training for a week or two.
When you return to practice after the holidays (approximately January 1-2) after a rest of 10 to 12 days, you will transition to more specific training as you begin to implement more technical work to better learn and smooth out your skills.
As with any transition period, athletes want to be ready, refreshed, rested, and excited to go. These factors are crucial for growth during this transition time -- and most importantly -- for avoiding the potential risk of injuries that go hand-in-hand with any transition. If you've ever learned to drive a stick-shift automobile, you know that the learning curves were rough. Remember early on the difficult transition from first gear to second gear as you engaged the clutch? The same goes for athletics transitions.
I’ve used the word “trust” in previous articles I have written. The same trust is necessary here at holiday break time. All of the fitness you accomplished since early November doesn’t go anywhere with a short rest time now. I always gave my athletes three to four medium-level training ideas to do during the holiday break, but only if they felt like doing something. If they decided to rest the entire time, that was OK, too.
If you plan on taking a one- or two-week break from training or practicing during this holiday season, the following tips will help you get back into your routine while minimizing the risk of injury.
When you take a break from practicing or training, your body will decondition. This means that you cannot practice or workout at the intensity of your last workout before the break. You must take it easy upon your return to training and work back up to the intensity you left off to avoid injuries. Implement your workout routine slowly and do not go too hard or you are likely to hurt yourself. As you get back into the swing of your practice or training routine, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to reach your previous level.
It is difficult to stick to your diet especially through holiday dinners, even if you maintained a healthy diet before the holiday season. When you return to your training, you need to make sure you also get back to a healthy diet to give your body the nutrients it needs to get back to your normal workout routine. Make sure you get good carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into your diet while staying hydrated. You should also refuel by eating or drinking something within 15 minutes of your workout.
The most effective way to work back up to your normal routine is to set realistic goals for yourself. Make sure these goals are attainable so you can slowly work back up to your normal intensity without overexerting yourself. Doing this will help you maintain your momentum and keep you on track while reducing the risk of injuries.
Stretching before your workouts, especially after a hiatus of a week or two, is important for preventing injuries. Your muscles will tighten up during periods of inactivity and stretching will help loosen your muscles for a better performance. Make sure you stretch for 10 to 15 minutes before your workout to get loose.
You must pay attention to the signals your body is giving you to ensure that you do not go beyond your physical limits. When getting back into your routine, focus on how your body responds to your training and avoid overexerting yourself. Your physical limitations will decrease as you ease back into your routine. If you experience any type of injury, including a strain, sprain, or stress fracture, stop your workouts and see a doctor immediately. Mismanaging your injuries will make them worse, increasing your recovery time and even leading to further issues in the future.
When you return to your workout routine, it is not only important to follow the above-mentioned tips to avoid injury, but also to use equipment manufactured with athlete safety in mind. At MONDO, we offer a range of flooring types for weightlifting and cross training that can withstand the weight of the equipment and provide stability for athletes to help avoid injury.
Our strength and conditioning rubber flooring options are manufactured using vulcanized rubber and advanced underlayer technology that provide comfort and stability for athletes. Our resilient flooring absorbs the impact of barbells and free weights and gives support and traction that allow athletes to increase the intensity of their workouts.
The strength and conditioning flooring products we offer include the following: