The new year is here and one of your big resolutions is to get in (or back to) the gym and get in shape. For starters, kudos to setting this well-worthy goal. However, before you set foot into a fitness facility you should take a more important step first – see a physiotherapist. Here’s why.
3 Big Reasons to Consult With a Physiotherapist Before Embarking On Your New Year Goal to Hit the Gym and Get in Shape
1. Ensures You Don’t Aggravate an Existing Injury
Tens of thousands of Canadians have an underlying injury right now and don’t even know it. Sure, some may experience intermittent pain, but they chalk it up as inconsequential and blame it on the weather or an “off day”. By entering the gym environment with a preexisting injury they are all but guaranteed to cause further damage to impacted muscles, tissues, and tendons. At that point the road to recovery will be much longer and harder than if the injury is addressed today.
By seeing a physiotherapist beforehand, hidden injuries will be identified during the assessment and rehabilitative action can be taken. Your recovery can even be completed outside of the clinic environment, allowing you to take advantage of that new gym membership by applying physio-prescribed movements and exercises at your local facility.
2. Ensures Proper Form for Preventing Injury
A physiotherapist will ensure that you don’t embark on your new fitness regime with bad form – the leading cause of injury in a gym environment.
During your assessment your physiotherapist will analyze your posture, flexibility, balance, gait, and all around core fitness. This process is extremely important. For example, poor posture leads to poor shoulder biomechanics, which increases the likelihood of injury when doing common gym exercises such as overhead presses and raises. Alternatively, an improper gait (manner of walking) can easily lead to a misstep (and subsequent injury) while on a treadmill or stairclimber.
A physiotherapist has far greater and more qualified insight into these concerns when compared to any gym-provided fitness trainer, so please do not assume that the latter will suffice. See a physiotherapist for an assessment which will help you prevent injury in the gym.
3. A Physiotherapist Will Vet Your Fitness Trainer Provided Program
Carrying over from the last point above, a licensed physiotherapist has much deeper insight into biomechanics – the science of movement. A fitness trainer (unless also a licensed physiotherapist) however, does not have this same expert level knowledge of how muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to produce movement. For this reason it will be important for you to take the advice and program they have provided you in your first consultation (with a fitness trainer) and bring it to a physiotherapist who has a far better understanding of your medical history, current limitations, and the biomechanics unique to YOU. Your therapist may make adjustments and/or add stretches and other movements to mitigate injury-risk.
By having a physiotherapist vet and approve fitness trainer provided programs you will gain peace of mind that you are truly on the right path towards improved physical health and wellness.
Set the table for success for your new year goal to get in shape by beginning with a physiotherapist consultation. Schedule an appointment at our Burnaby area clinic today.