Don’t overindulge in exercise!
I’m guessing like me you’ll be starting to feel the January Blues and to try and stop these you begin focussing on your New Years Resolution which 9 times out of 10 is usually, to get fit!
You’ll probably all be sitting here just like me thinking ‘I’ve over eaten, drank too much and you’re now sick of chocolates and the sight of your couch and TV’ and you’ll be wanting to lose some weight and get out there and exercise.
This is brilliant and something I’ll definitely be doing myself but there are a number of things you need to consider……… What, where, when and how much?
What sort of exercise do I like to and where do I do it…..this is essential to get right as after 2-3 weeks of doing something you don’t really like is only going to result in one thing…..you’ll be back on the couch! If your a regular exerciser then it’ll be a simple case of starting back at a slightly lower intensity than where you were at before Christmas.
To anyone whose starting after a period of inactivity my advise is to do something you’ve done and enjoyed before. That way you know you’ll enjoy it and your body will remember what it feels like so it won’t put too much of a strain on your body. If you’ve never exercised before then think about if your an outdoor or indoor person…..there’s no sense in going to a gym or classes full of people when you like getting outside and into the country! You’ll be sick of the people before you know it. Likewise if your not a fan of the cold then the gym may be the perfect place for to start?
You could (and this is a bigger risk) take the ‘new year, new exercise’ attitude to it…..this is brilliant and makes you feel good about yourself as we all know how good something new can make you feel. Also speaking from experience something different will push you harder and when you succeed you’ll feel great about it. This choice comes down to personality…..risk taker or a creature of habit?
Whatever your choices are, vary it! Too much of the same can quickly become very boring and then the couch is calling your name all too quickly. In order to get all round fitter you’ll need to do exercises that stress the muscles and heart.
Think about what you want to achieve from exercise…do you want to just lose a few pounds? Get a bikini body? Enter a competitive or intense event? These all influence what you want to do and how much you’ll need to do. The exercise and the amount need to be relevant to the goal. Lifting weights isn’t going to lose you those few pounds as effectively as cardiovascular (CV) activities will. The norm now in gym classes are to combine CV activities with whole body movements. For the average exercise enthusiast or new starter these are brilliant but speak to the staff to make sure your doing the right one.
When is best for you is an essential thing to consider! Plan your exercise around your life. If your happy calling in the gym after work then do it or if you prefer to go when it’s quiet you’ll have to go later as the peak times in gyms are 5-7 Monday to Friday. If you’re a runner or outdoor exerciser then it’s entirely up to you. The second biggest mistake people make is choosing a time that doesn’t suit their lifestyle or nature…this results in an easy excuse to not go once you get to weeks 2-3 and the novelty has worn off.
I myself am I morning person so I get up have a coffee and do my client notes from the previous day then go for a run, have breakfast, shower and go to work. This makes it part of my daily routine and keeps me out of gyms, which I personally don’t like.
The biggest mistake people make when starting or coming back to exercise is “too much, too soon.” It’s our culture to overindulge and go from one extreme to the other but this doesn’t give you the best chance of staying with it and exercise becoming a lifestyle not a chore.
The first thing ‘too much’ does it create unnecessary pain….yes your going to ache after exercise in those first few weeks but it doesn’t have to be agony. Ease yourself in 2-3 times a week to start off with and increase this as your body gets used to it. Putting too much strain on the body is increasing the risk of injury unnecessarily. Your body needs rest and should be given the time to do so between sessions.
Next it creates boredom and causes a massive change to your life….your going from coming in from work and relaxing to going to the gym, showering, making dinner then having maybe 30 mins to relax and then it’s sleep and your day starts all over again. This quickly becomes tedious unless you have a goal or date set for a competition or event to make.
Give yourself the time to enjoy your life by building enjoyable exercise around it and that way it won’t just be for January it will be for life.
And to read some more of my blogs have a look here http://www.paulgoughphysio.com/blog/sportsexercise-injuries-tendonitis-resting-will-make-worse/