Have too many leftovers during the Christmas festivities left you feeling a few kilos heavier?
Or is work finally manageable so you have a few extra hours up your sleeve?
The new year is a popular time to start exercising or to make a come back from an exercise hiatus.
Before you sign up to your local boot camp or start running laps of your neighbourhood, here are a few things to consider so that your exercise journey will be injury free and hopefully long lasting!
Know why you want to exercise: Weight loss? Getting fit for a holiday? This will help you pick the right kind of exercise as well as keep you motivated to hang in there when training gets tough. Write it down and keep it somewhere visible so your goal will always be front of mind!
Choose something you enjoy: For most people, exercising is a chore. Keeping this in mind, it is important to choose an activity that you actually want to do. This will significantly increase your chances of sticking with it for the long term. If you are unsure of what you want to do- trial a few different types or exercise before commiting to something long term.
Plan ahead: The most common injuries seen by us physios are often caused by a sudden increase in activity/exercise. To avoid the onset of aches and niggles from overdoing it make sure you plan your exercise sessions with adequate rest periods in between. For example, you may want to start with alternating exercise days and rest days. Aim to steadily increase your exercise time/ intensity/ reps by 10% each week to avoid injurying muscles and tendons.
Make sure you recover well: Apart from rest days, getting the right amount of sleep is also important. Sleep allows the body to repair itself after training, assists with weight management, improve focus and concentration and much more. 7-9 hours per night is recommended.
Get social: Linking up with a group or getting a friend to join you will stop you from skipping sessions, make you work harder and make exercising more enjoyable.
Add variety: Variety is always the spice of life. So mix up your exercise to keep it interesting and motivated. If you’re a gym goer try outdoor sessions.
January is a great time to try something new and set your sights on improving yourself and your fitness.
When planning the what, how and where of your exercise debut or comeback, keep these points in mind to help make it as safe and enjoyable as possible.
We are looking forward to hearing about the new year and the new you!