Close up of feet, sportman runner running on treadmill in fitness club. Cardio workout. Healthy lifestyle, guy training in gym. Sport running concept
New York Times – by Erin Kelly – June 1, 2022

Squeezing back into a pair of jeans bought before March 2020 is a challenge for lots of Americans — and a new study found that injury may be to blame. The study of 2,000 adults, by OnePoll in partnership with CURAD, found that seven out of 10 respondents said they stopped working out during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighty-eight percent said they had every intention of getting back to their pre-pandemic bod, but 56 percent have since sustained an injury. Of them, 64 percent of people admitted they jumped back into their normal routine too quickly after sitting on the couch for a year and some change. Others — 56 percent, to be exact — said they got back into their competitive sports too soon, and 45 percent either pulled a muscle or “moved too quickly.”

Where respondents received their injuries:

  • Knees: 37%
  • Hands/feet: 36%
  • Torn muscles: 36%
  • Ankles: 35%

“It’s important to ease back into your old workout routine, especially if you’ve been away for a while,” NCAA Team Physician and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Gloria Beim said. “Jumping back in too quickly can put you at risk of pulling muscles or even more serious injuries.”

Overall, 85 percent of respondents said their injuries have stopped them from getting back into shape, with 90 percent saying they had to switch up their routines because of their ouchie.

Beim suggested easing back into a routine. “Give your body a chance to build up its endurance and muscle memory,” Beim continued. “Using the proper fitness gear, including supports, wraps, kinesiology tape, bandages and cooling sprays can also help you get back into the game.”

Still, 46 percent of respondents fear that their injury will impact their future fitness plans. That would be a great setback to the 83 percent of participants who would love to get back to their “peak performance days.” Those days, by the way, averaged out to be when they were just 28 years old.

Participants also cited having to wear a mask at the gym (60%), catching COVID (58%) and changing up their normal workout routine (57%) as reasons they didn’t stay active during the coronavirus pandemic. The other 41 percent still blame the pandemic itself for the weight gain.

What are Americans using to recover?

  • Therapy oils/lotions: 43%
    Orthopedic braces: 42%
    Massage/Foam roller: 41%
    Stretching/yoga: 40%
    Ice baths or analgesics: 38%
    Hot/Cold pack: 37%
    Tapes/Wraps: 35%
    Kinesiology tape: 34%
    Barre: 31%