Many of us make new year resolutions to get fit, to exercise more or to take up a new sport, but by the end of the year enthusiasm has often worn thin. So where do we go wrong, when we start off with such good intentions and resolve?
We've got some top tips to kick start your Autumn:
Don’t launch into a new exercise regime without having prepared yourself physically and mentally. Before your start date gradually ease yourself into a new routine, do a little more exercise than normal, start to make time for your new sport or gym sessions. Start slowly.
Set realistic goals
If your ultimate aim is to run a 5 km race, start with running just 1 km, the following week try 2 km, when that feels comfortable then try 3 km. Build up your distance week after week.
Or aim to go the gym every other day, or three or four times a week. If you resolve to go every day consider if this is realistic and if you really have the time. Start slowly and gradually increase your number of sessions and their intensity.
Make time to exercise
You will need to get into a new routine in order to fit in your gym session, your run or your new sport. First thing in the morning is often the best time for most, while you are feeling fresh.
How to keep motivated?
Vary your exercise session. Swap a run for a swim, or a run for a walk. If you enjoy the treadmill at the gym try a walk outside instead. If you’re a regular runner try a new route.
When will I start to see results?
After around 6-8 weeks. You will also find at this point that getting your exercise becomes addictive. You won’t want to miss a session.
If you’re doing sport professionally ideally you should train four to five times a week. For general fitness three or four sessions a week is enough.
Warming up and cooling down
Warm up with dynamic stretches – this means stretching the muscles while moving. Cool down with static stretches, standing still. Stretch calves, hamstrings, quads and biceps, triceps, deltoids and pectoral muscles if working the upper body.
No pain, no gain?
While some stiffness and a little discomfort is okay and to be expected when embarking on a new exercise regime, pain is telling you that you are stressing your body too much. Pain will also result in a lack of motivation to continue. Pain could also indicate that you have caused damage. You should rest and recover and if the pain continues you should seek professional advice.
Following a sports injury, physiotherapy can help get you back on track. The physiotherapy team at Benenden Hospital are experienced state-registered experts who aim to return patients to their maximum independence in the shortest possible time with care and professionalism.
Our team are highly skilled at assessing the underlying cause of joint, muscle and nerve pain. Get in touch to book your appointment today on 01580 363158.
Published on 30 October 2019