New Year Fitness Plans – A guide to keeping to those resolutions
by David Stromsoy , Chartered Physiotherapist at Physiotherapy Matters
Happy New Year to all our patients from Physiotherapy Matters! How many of you have made a health related New Year resolution? I know I certainly have. How can we keep them?
As someone, who like the 43% of the reported individuals in the UK, has previously failed to keep resolutions by the end of January, I’ve been giving this some thought. Here’s my thoughts from a personal and more importantly professional point of view.
Do something you enjoy
We all know that exercise is good for us but we often make excuses not to do it. So firstly it is important to choose something that you will enjoy. If you have joined different gyms numerous times then maybe the gym isn’t for you. Ask yourself what type of exercise do you like to do? Do you like exercising indoors or outdoors, alone or in groups or perhaps even as part of a team? Either way if you enjoy it you are much more likely to do it!
Set yourself goals
Try to set yourself goals that are realistic, achievable and sustainable. If you have a busy job or childcare responsibilities then adjust your goals accordingly. Is your aim to lose weight, increase strength or endurance or simply to help improve your overall wellbeing? By having a set goal this will keep you motivated and focused on sticking to your plan.
Seek professional advice
Take advice if you need it. If you are joining a gym make sure you have an induction. The gym instructor will help you tailor your programme to the goals that you have set. If you are offered free personal training sessions as part of you joining use them. Make sure you can use the equipment correctly and develop safe techniques as this will greatly reduce the risk of injuries to tendons, muscles and bones. If you suffer from muscular or joint pain you may benefit from consulting with one our physiotherapists who can guide you.
If you haven’t been exercising much don’t try to do everything in the 1st week. You will soon burn out both physically and mentally! Training plans are useful as they deliberately start at a reasonably achievable level and slowly and progressively increase in intensity and duration. You should increase the activity by no more than 10% per week which can be applied to time, resistance and intensity. Building up slowly allows your body to adapt to the increase in load, reducing the risk of injury and maximising your chance of success. Be patient and don’t expect overnight results! It will probably take about 6 to 8 weeks for you to start looking and feeling fitter.
But what if it hurts?
Also remember that when you start exercising you can expect a few aches and pains. If you are experiencing anything more than delayed onset muscle soreness make sure that you get this checked out by a physiotherapist. Pushing through the pain will likely only worsen the injury and stop your progress before it’s even started. For more information on sporting injuries see my previous post.
At Physiotherapy Matters we can assess and diagnose your problem and offer advice and treatment to resolve your condition. We can also guide you on exercise and how to avoid future problems. To book an appointment for a massage or physiotherapy assessment please call 0191 2858701 or via our booking form.