Does your 2020 New Year resolution include exercise or being more active? Before you take the leap, check out the article below from our Exercise Physiologist, Sarah. She has some great tips on how to get started with incorporating exercise while keeping your body happy!
When do gyms and personal trainers get busy? January 2nd every year. When do I get busy? February/March of each year. Why? Because many of us embark on a New Year fitness ‘journey’ but do too much too soon or our choices put us at risk of sustaining an injury.
If you are already thinking about making a plan for 2020 and that plan includes increasing your physical activity, that’s great! To ensure this becomes a long term endeavour now is a great time to make sure your body is ready for this transformation. This is especially true for those of you who have already experienced injury or pain. Our bodies are very good at compensating to cope with our physical issues; these compensations, however, are often magnified when we, with the best of intentions, throw ourselves into getting fit and strong without the proper guidance.
Are pain and stiffness normal?
Feeling stiffness in our lower back, pinching in our shoulder or pain in our knees should not be seen as ‘just being a part of a gym workout’ or ‘part of getting old’ it should be seen as our bodies telling us that perhaps our technique or strength needs to improve. Perhaps we need to ask for help. If you are attending a class or a gym, see if an instructor can check your technique, or provide an alternative motion until you build up strength. Seeing an Exercise Physiologist is also highly beneficial can help with strength and making sure your technique is on point, and prevent any further issues.
How can I get ready for my New Years resolution?
If you are new to exercise start by doing a few short walks each week. Change it up by walking on the grass, the beach or up a hill. Walk along low fences or gutters test to your balance, I do! Dust off your old bike and pump up the tires then use it when going to the local shops to pick up a few items. Start small and gradually increase the length and intensity until you are ready for the New Year.
Make a plan now to condition and prepare yourself for the New Year so instead of ramping up the exercise for the first few months only, you will be able to continue and enjoy exercise for the long term!