It’s a time of year when we see a lot of people increase their activity levels in response to a New Years resolution to “get into shape” or to “lose weight”.
It is also a time of year that the Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists at our Oakville clinic starts seeing people who have aches and pains and perhaps injuries, from doing too much too soon.
Our Oakville Physio’s have some suggestions to help you increase your success in this resolution to exercises.
Go Deeper with the Goal of Exercise
Dig deeper for the purpose of including exercise in your daily habits. Certainly exercise can help support weight maintenance and weight loss, but all the health benefits of exercise are far more important. Focussing on the deeper benefits of exercise may also help maintain motivation for the habit.
We will have more focussed posts to come outlining some of these benefits!
It’s a Marathon not a Sprint.
Many people start exercising at full force. They may begin lifting weights or have expectations for the performance of their body of what they were able to do 2 months ago or years ago.
Some DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness can be expected after beginning a new program. That being said, it should not make your daily activities difficult or painful. Many people start too hard at the gym and the soreness felt after dissuades them from continuing on.
Beginning exercise at a high intensity and frequency can also predispose us to injury as we don’t allow our bodies to catch up. Our bodies are resilient and can adapt to added workout intensity, but too much too soon can overload or over stress our tissues. Aim to add load, distance, intensity over time.
Consult with an Expert
Consulting with a coach to help you reach your goals may help with the above point. Going into exercise or training with a plan will be helpful. Checking in with someone can also help keep you accountable. Once comfortable with machines, weights and body movements, you don’t necessarily need someone to follow you around a gym. There are many people who can create a training plan / program, but if you prefer the accountability of one on one appointments that is possible too.
If you have experienced injury or health issues in the past that has made you nervous to exercise, a professional like a Physiotherapist can help get your started as well. For example, in our Oakville Physiotherapy clinic we have small group sessions with a Physiotherapist and adults 65 and older. In these exercise classes the Physiotherapist is able to adjust and modify based n the needs of the individual.
Exercise with Purpose and Intention
Many people feel that they are “busy” in their homes with cleaning tasks, food preparation, laundry and yard work. While these are all great certainly can tire us out, it is not necessarily enough purposeful movement in the week.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization exercise guidelines) recommends an accumulation of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. To be considered under this umbrella the activity must be in at the very least, 10 minute increments. This is at the least.
These guidelines include both cardiovascular activity such as walking, biking, and swimming, in addition to muscle strengthening exercises at least 2 days per week.
Variety is the Spice of Life
We can be creatures of habit. We do the same routine, in the same way.
Increase your body’s resilience by adding variety to your routine. Choose a variety of ways to move. Use different forms or resistance from body weight, to barbells, to dumbbells, to kettlebells, to elastics. If you are unsure of how to use these tools properly consult with a Physio or a coach. Again, start slow with a new exercise.
This is valid for everyone whether you focus on a single activity like running, cycling or weight lifting. Move in different ways a supplement your training to help increase your resilience. Add different activity in your offseason to help your performance indoor “on season”.
Find Exercise that you Enjoy.
Find things that you enjoy doing. If it feels like a chore you are less likely to participate. Sometimes it is simply that we will enjoy an activity more when we feel more accomplished in it…so tough it out at the beginning! You can do it!
Find a group to train with or join a new activity with a friend. Take your kids for a hike or play in the park. The social aspect of exercise shouldn’t be discounted.