Preventing New Year resolution exercise disasters
The new year often brings with it resolutions to improve fitness, increase exercise, loose weight or become more active. Often however, a new exercise regime can lead to injury disasters. Steven Berkman, Director of BOOST PHYSIO, gives top tips on how to prevent injury while seeing through your new year resolutions.
- Slow and steadily does it! Do not become overzealous and try to do too much at once. Your body needs time to adapt and adjust to new stresses and strains you put it through. Whether you are new to exercise or a regular runner planning to run a first marathon, the principle is the same.
- Frequency of exercise: give your body time to recover following exercise sessions, particularly after more strenuous sessions.
- Vary the intensity of your exercise. UsainBolt cannot run a world record 100m every single time he runs. So too, whatever exercise you are performing, you must not expect your body to perform at maximum intensity each workout. A more challenging workout should be followed by an easier workout. 1-2 intense workouts per-week is realistic, with the other workouts being moderate to light intesity.
- The 4 week rule! Intitially you might be very motivated, but as you work through the first 3-4 weeks of a new exercise regime the going can get tough and results may seem far away and you may become despondent. The hardest part is now done and from week 4 onwards you should really begin to see changes and things will start getting easier. The body is now changing with the physiological process of “overload adaptation”.
- Listen to your body. If you find muscles legs are very achy following exercise, this can be a very normal response called “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness”. Do not ignore these aches and pains and soldier on despite how achy your body feels. Rather make your next workout a bit lighter and easier and only push yourself to the next level once your muscles are feeling better. This prevents muscle and tendon damage from occurring.
- Brisk walking is a fantastic way to start. If you are uncertain how to begin the easiest exercise of all is brisk walking and research shows that 30mins five times a week for adults will help reduce mild blood pressure and help control diabetes and make significant improvements to health.
Keep at it and enjoy the benefits that the new exercise will bring.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013- from the BOOST PHYSIO team.