We all have been through challenging and unprecedented times these last few months. Changes in work routines, family routines, social activities and the like have made it inconvenient at the least for all of us. However, now that restrictions are beginning to ease, and rules are slowly changing, many of us are anxious to return to the physical pursuits of our choosing. As we return to our favorite activity let us keep some sound principals in mind. ADJUSTMENT: Regardless of the chosen activity one should not expect to be able to pick up exactly where they left off. The longer one has been off, potentially the more critical. This may include such ideas of decreasing the resistance if weight training, shortening the distance of your run or simply the time of your workout period. Keeping some type of record as you return can serve to make this adjustment easier. This record can serve as a starting point from which one can adjust. PREPARATION: Given the fact that your activity level has diminished, preparation is crucial. As one returns to any activity from which they have been away, keep in mind a few prudent ideas. Warm up should be a vital part of any activity. Take that few minutes to perform adequate stretching of the muscle groups of involved. Full preparation should include attention to dietary concerns. These would include proper nutrition and most importantly making sure you are fully hydrated long before you start the activity. As summer blooms and the heat index rises this is of critical concern. EQUIPMENT: If appropriate, one should make sure that any equipment to be used should be checked to ensure that all is in proper order. This may be considering your footwear, life vest if water skiing or rafting and perhaps making sure your bike is in proper working order as you return to the road or trail. One should make sure you are wearing the best clothing appropriate for the activity and climate. CONCLUSION: We all should remember as we return to our respective activity that we should be aware of safety measures already established. Although inconvenient and a deviation from the norm, we all must adapt. One should consider still wearing mask where and when appropriate. These may include gyms or weight rooms. Consider the size of the facility and proximity of the group in that given workout area. Social distancing should still apply. Hand washing as well as washing of equipment when warranted. These rules will be in effect for the foreseeable future until medical authorities deem otherwise. Keeping these ideas in mind will help ensure a safer return to activity for all.
Mark S. Taylor, PT
Mark Taylor is a native of Huntington and a 1977 graduate of Marshall University. He received his Physical Therapy degree from West Virginia University in 1982. In 2013, Mark will celebrate 30 years of service at HPT and in the Huntington community. Mark’s scope of practice includes orthopedic outpatients of all types and ages. He specializes in lower extremity rehabilitation of the knee including ACL reconstruction, Total Knee Replacement as well as other surgical and non-surgical knee injuries. Mark has vast experience in knee brace measurement and custom fitting for a variety of conditions. His area of practice also includes over 30 years of experience in treating a variety of sports related injuries and their subsequent rehabilitation and return to play criteria. His experience has allowed him to provide sports outreach services to area middle, and high schools, as well as Marshall University and area professional teams including the Huntington Blizzard and Locomotives to name a few. Mark currently continues to provide treatment and consulting services to Marshall University. In 2006 Mark was elected to the Marshall University Sports Medicine Hall of Fame. Mark takes great pleasure in seeing his patients return to full activities of work and leisure following rehabilitation. Mark’s areas of interest include his family (wife and two daughters) and a variety sports. He is involved in thoroughbred breeding and racing as a hobby.