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A Slow And Safe Return To Exercise This Year

Jay Hutchings, Performance Manager at the NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute in Scarsdale
Jay Hutchings, Performance Manager at the NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute in Scarsdale Photo Credit: NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute

Nick Stodolski, performance specialist at the NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute in Scarsdale, shares winning tips to help you safely return to your peak fitness level or team sport.

As fitness fanatics and athletes look ahead to returning to peak performance when the coronavirus crisis subsides, the advice from sports medicine professionals is “slow and steady wins the race.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak—which has shaped a “new normal”—athletes of all ages and skill levels have been advised to adopt more measured training regimens that build over time as they return to competition, especially if there were disruptions in their training schedules due to public health precautions.

In fact, rushing back into sports after a prolonged layoff without proper training or preparation can lead to more injuries, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute performance specialist Nick Stodolski offers these winning strategies to avoid injuries.

Mindset: I love the proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Have a workout buddy. It helps keep you accountable, which helps you become more consistent, and that leads to a higher probability of reaching your training goals.

Nutrition: Come up with a healthy nutrition plan you can stick to, whether that means weekly, daily or hour-by-hour planning. This helps ensure you eat well no matter your circumstance. Weekly planning means you spend one day a week planning and prepping meals. Daily planning means you prep and plan one day at a time.

Also, we like to recommend “emergency meals,” which basically means having snacks on hand on the off chance you can’t stick to your regular eating schedule on the go. Some ideas are jerky, protein powders and bars, trail mix, or healthy frozen meals. Look for ingredients that list whole foods and not words you can’t pronounce.

Movement: When getting back into a fitness routine, it’s important that your workouts have a structure. Pushing to your max every day is not the best approach. It can leave you sore and or fatigued which could throw you off a regimented schedule. A good way to structure workouts can be:

  • Beginner: 2 medium days, 2 light days, 1 hard day
  • Intermediate and Advanced: 2 medium days, 2 hard days, 1 light day

The NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute in Scarsdale offers advanced sports medicine, performance training, comprehensive orthopedic care, and state-of-the-art equipment. To learn more, visit To make an appointment for a fitness assessment, call 914-750-4690.