5 Things to Try During Your Off-Season

As the weather turns colder (sometimes suddenly), we’re often forced indoors – and it may be the perfect time to switch up our fitness routines. Not only can the winter “off season” be the best time to change your regular routine, it can also be a great time to allow your body to recover and to work on getting stronger for your next active season. Whether you regularly hike, bike, run, or play sports, the repetitive nature can wear you down and make you prone to injury. Here are a few ways to use the “indoor” season to your advantage:

  1. Cross Train: If you’re a regular in any sport, or an endurance fanatic, it’s hard to give up doing what you love to do something you might not like as much. Think of it this way: spending some time activating those less-active muscles will pay off and can help guard against injury. Runners, try weight lifting. Bikers, try swimming. Ball players, try a yoga class. You get the idea. Do something that’s different -and uses different muscles and movements – than your usual activity.
  1. Get flexible: If you’re stiff and inflexible, you could be at a higher risk for injury. Spend the winter working on your flexibility. You can take a yoga class, practice Pilates at home to incorporate your core, or work on gentle stretches until you start to notice improvement. If you feel like you have a hard time with movement, visit a physical therapist to help get you going.
  1. Get strong: Your whole body can benefit from strength-training, and it can carry over to your usual sports/activities. Building muscle is important, especially since muscle naturally declines with age. Join a gym, or buy some hand-held weights for home. Don’t have time/space for that? Even using your own body weight can help – look for some videos to get started.
  1. Relax: If you spent the warmer months busy outside putting in miles, or logging laps in the pool, etc you might be risking over-training and injury. The colder months give you some time to take a little time off, adjust your schedule, and reduce your training days to give your body a break. Enjoy some days with nothing to do, take some walks, do some stretching, and you’ll be feeling great by spring!
  1. Take care of business: If you made it through the summer/fall without injury, congrats! If you barely got there, and limped to the end of the warm season, now is the time to take care of any lingering issues. The colder months are the ideal time to get a “tune-up” and make sure you’re doing well in time for your next busy season. For nagging pain, possible injury, chronic problems, and other issues, make an appointment with a physical therapist. S/he will evaluate you, and make a recommendation for your treatment. Your PT will develop a custom treatment plan; typically, you’ll have both at-home exercises and manual (hands-on) therapy in-office. By using your down time to handle any concerns, you’ll be in better shape heading into your next active season.

Could you use a tune-up or help with your next busy season? Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a passionate gardener, Body One Physical Therapy is ready to help get you to your goals. We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of caring, expert PTs works with clients of all ages and activity levels and we’d love to get you back to feeling great. Don’t wait, call Body One today.