July Newsletter

Are you overtraining?

Article by Graceville Physio Joni Levine

Overtraining is a term used to describe when someone is exercising too much. This can lead to an increased injury risk, especially muscular and tendon injuries. Here are some tips to avoid overtraining:

If you are progressing your exercises, use the “10%” rule every week as a maximum amount to progress. For example:

    1. Progress a 50kg bench press to 55kg
    2. Progress a 2km walk to 2.2km
    3. Make sure you are incorporating rest days into your routine. If you are starting a new exercise or returning to exercise after a period off, only exercise every second day. You can do low intensity exercise on your day off (e.g. stretching, light walk).
    4. Listen to your body. If you feel any little aches or pains starting to come on, this is a warning sign that you need to change what you are doing. It may be as simple as a quick rest period or slightly reducing your exercise load. If you are unsure about any aches or pains, it is always best to see a physiotherapist for expert injury and exercise advice and treatment.


Sometimes an activity can provoke pain and one of the potential reasons behind pain complaints is an injury with actual tissue damage. When pain has developed slowly, without any specific traumatic injury, it is often called an overuse injury. That means that there has been excessive strain placed on the tissue in relation to its capacity to tolerate load.

In these situations, load management is essential. Absolute rest is not recommended, but load can be managed in many different ways, for example:

  1. decrease the load
  2. decrease the duration of the load
  3. decrease the frequency of the load
  4. modify the load

An example could be running. If one gets pain during or after a run, instead of stopping running altogether, the load management option could be any of the following:

  1. decrease the duration of the run
  2. decrease the running times per week
  3. decrease the speed – decrease the duration and increase frequency
  4. change running turf
  5. change running cadence etc

Ouch! My favourite hobby is hurting my neck and back.

If you love sewing or crafting, painting or doing puzzles, but fine after a session your hands, back or neck aches … we have some helpful tips for you. 

Optimise your workspace

Having an appropriate setup can help to place the body in optimal position to withstand the sustained postures required for hobbies that require sitting for periods of time.

  • Ensure you have a chair that is supportive, and places you at a work height that reduces slumping.
  • Check your lighting … poor lighting will strain your eyes.
  • Check the temperature, whether that’s too hot or too cold. This can increase your likelihood of stress and physical aches and pains.
knitting - July Newsletter

Avoid …

A general guide is …. 

  • Slumping
  • Sitting/standing unevenly for long periods
  • Leaning forward
  • Hunching your shoulders

    Take Regular breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to reduce the likelihood of pain that is often associated with sustained posture. Go for a walk and do some stretches.  

    Strength training can help … Strength training is beneficial for all walks of life and can help to prepare our muscles to withstand load. Strength training is safe for all ages and is encouraged within the Australian guidelines for physical activity, which recommend strengthening exercises at least twice per week.

    Take a look at our video below for some more tips to help keep you pain free whilst crafting!

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