Spring Back Into Motion

By Cristina Pellegrino from Back In Motion Physiotherapy, 626 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.


With spring in the air, motivation to exercise is on the rise. During the colder months, most of us spend our time sitting on the couch watching TV or scrolling through social media, and motivation to move the body wanes. Here are some tips on how to safely increase your exercise levels as the weather warms up and we leave our winter hibernation habits behind.


Cristina and friend at Back In Motion

Where to start?

Establish a measurable objective - running distance, running time, amount of weight in kilograms, or heart rate is recommended. This measuring objective allows you to track your exercise and is paramount to preventing overload and potential injuries. A good starting place is 50% of what you think is your maximum capacity of the exercise you would like to get back into.


The 10% rule

It is important to increase and progress your exercise levels to prevent plateau. There is often ambiguity on how to do this safely. Increasing your intensity by 10% of your measuring tool every week is a safe way to progress your exercise. If, after your first week, you have bitten off more than you can chew, decrease by 10% and get more comfortable with exercising before increasing again.


What if something hurts?

Progression is never linear, and exercise has an inherent risk or causes some discomfort throughout the body. If you begin to experience pain when exercising, it is recommend you reduce your intensity or duration of exercise by 50% for two weeks. If your pain subsides, you can return to progressing at 10% per week.


Don’t stop! Continue past GO and collect your $200!

Exercise increases your ability to tolerate load. Stopping all exercise completely, even just for a few weeks when you feel a slight niggle or discomfort, can reduce your ability to tolerate loads. Therefore, please continue to exercise in some capacity when you experience these aches and pains.


What if it does not improve?

Definitely seek the help of a health professional. Physiotherapist’s are experts in managing injuries obtained through exercise. If you are still experiencing niggling pain after two weeks of reducing your load, a physiotherapist can assess and create an individualised management plan to address your injury.


Cristina completed her Master of Physiotherapy at Swinburne University of Technology in July 2021 and since then she has been working at Back In Motion, Hawthorn Physiotherapy, which was established in 2012. Cristina believes that, when given the right support, everyone can reach their full potential. She loves working with her clients to help achieve their goals and live happier, healthier lives. Cristina’s areas of interest include neck and back pain, Clinical Pilates and strength training. Outside of work, Cristina enjoys dancing and catching the latest musical in town.