With the current social distancing and lockdown status amid the Covid-19 pandemic, exercise and fitness is key to maintaining both physical and mental wellbeing. However, with more free time on our hands it’s difficult not to turn to exercise to steer ourselves away from boredom. If you’re used to exercising regularly then this shouldn’t be a shock to the system, but for those who don’t exercise regularly a sudden increase in physical exercise could lead to an injury.
For years, research has been completed for athletes and professional sportspeople into the affect of training loads and the rate of injuries occurring when there is a sudden increase in levels of exercise. Whilst their exercise loads may be higher than your average person, the same principal can be used in our day to day life.
Tim Gabbett is known for his research in this area. His findings show that it is not the amount of exercise that someone completes, but it is the short-term load in comparison to their long-term load or ‘chronic’ load . For example, if you are used to going to the gym for 45 minutes, 5 times a week. You’d have a weekly training load of 235 minutes. If this is maintained over the course of six weeks as shown in graph 1, then your average training load for that period is approximately 235 minutes / week.
Graph 1: Regularly High levels of Exercise – Maintained Chronic Load<