Made exercise your New Year’s resolution? You MUST read this!

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Happy New Year! 2018 is now here and many people will have made resolutions for the year ahead.

stop SIGN Don’t hit the gym just yet!

Many resolutions focus around exercise, whether that be to help lose weight, gain muscle, improve fitness, assist with managing health conditions or reduce the risk of developing many lifestyle health conditions…the list goes on! If exercise was your resolution, you really ought to keep on reading.

As physiotherapists, we highly value exercise as a means of staying healthy & reducing the risk of many health conditions. It can also be a great way to stay strong and maintain or improve the normal functioning of your joints and muscles – BASICALLY HELPING TO PREVENT INJURY!

So, if you have made a new year’s resolution to start exercising, exercise more or do a certain type of exercise – congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back! You have made a great decision towards improve your own health.

But before you rush off to the gym, bootcamp, go for a 10km run or whatever it may be – you must ensure that you do not do more than your body can handle! Physio clinics are typically full of people come mid-late January who have done exercise in excess of what their body can handle! This can be in the form of tendon issues, rotator cuff strains, patellofemoral pain, cartilage injuries and many more.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • When did you last exercise?
  • When did you last partake in the type of exercise you are wanting to do?
  • When did you last exercise at the intensity that you intend to?

If it has been a considerable period of time since you last exercised, then you are going to need to gradually resume exercising. This may mean starting out with walking for 30 mins a couple of times a week and increasing things from there. Bootcamp or other high intensity training involving jumping and bursts of activity for those who haven’t exercised in a long time will more than likely result in one of two things – an injury or you will stop doing the activity prior to this point as you realise that you don’t have the physical capability to do it.

If you are starting a new form of exercise, remember that even though you may have exercised previously, the demands of the new exercise may be completely different! Therefore you really need to ease into the activity. Start with the basic exercises, do them with less weight or for a small period of time only. As you become accustomed to the activity, then progress to more difficult exercises, increase weight, speed or time, or whatever the progression may be.

Everyone gets excited about a new years resolution. Many people are tempted to go to the gym or run every day. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – do not be this person!

When exercising, our bodies need time between bouts of exercise to recover and adapt in response to the loading which you subjected it to. In short, without giving your body time between exercise bouts you will place your body at risk of injury! It is only after conditioning your body for a prolonged period in relation to a particular type of exercise, can you get away with training on most days – even then though you do need rest days! So, start out with exercising 2-3 non-consecutive days a week. Only once you have been doing this for a while, without any issue should you progress to exercising more than this. If you are wanting to exercise more than this in the short term – you could consider doing a form of light exercise like walking on the other days.

Everyone gets excited about a new years resolution. Many people are tempted to go to the gym or run every day. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – do not be this person!

When exercising, our bodies need time between bouts of exercise to recover and adapt in response to the loading which you subjected it to. In short, without giving your body time between exercise bouts you will place your body at risk of injury! It is only after conditioning your body for a prolonged period in relation to a particular type of exercise, can you get away with training on most days – even then though you do need rest days! So, start out with exercising 2-3 non-consecutive days a week. Only once you have been doing this for a while, without any issue should you progress to exercising more than this. If you are wanting to exercise more than this in the short term – you could consider doing a form of light exercise like walking on the other days.

Whilst we don’t want to be the one to hold you back from your new years resolution, the above comments are all about ensuring that you can continue to exercise once February or March rolls around – that is you stay injury free, don’t burn out too soon & ultimately stay true to your resolution!

Wishing you all the best with your new year’s exercise resolutions! Congratulations again on making the steps towards a healthier and happier you!

** The above commentary is not specific to the needs of any individual. For specific advice regarding your circumstances, please arrange to see one of our physiotherapists or discuss with your doctor.

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