We are now well into the New year and loads of you make getting fit and running your New years resolution. You lace up your shoes and go for a run or hit the gym. However after a few weeks you find that you pick up an injury and the training stops, so you lose motivation and are never able to get back into it.
This is because you have gone from no or little exercise at all to exercising a few times a week (usually going all out). The problem with this is that your body is not used to this amount of exercise at this intensity and the stress on your muscles and joints. I will often get people come to my clinic in February having gone back after a long break, they all say they have done too much too soon.
This approach is also a good way to set yourself up to fail as it is an unrealistic fitness plan to maintain when you are starting out. You should start slow and low and build up over the weeks, not only will this keep your injury risk down but you are probably more likely to stick to this plan as it is more realistic and will allow you to slowly change your fitness habits. There is no reason why you can't do something everyday but on some days it can be as simple as a gentle walk with the dog. Don't forget your rest days they are very important - even to regular exercisers, there will be some rest carved out in their program.
The main thing to remember is to keep exercise fun. You shouldn't feel like it is a punishment or chore as it won't be long before you find any excuse to stop. Some example are group classes with friends or hiring a squash court with family and getting competitive (in a friendly way). The gym particularly the weight section can be an intimating environment at first, but go and talk to one of the trainers and ask for some help, you will soon find the weights are not so bad! And don't worry about what people think, you are on your own journey and have very different goals, if that doesn't convince you remember they were a beginner once! If that doesn't help either google some gym fails and i'm sure you were not as bad as some people on there!
Another reason to ask the trainer for help it to make sure you are doing the correct exercise for your goal. People quit exercise because they don't see the changes they want. Some of the time it is due to not committing to it long enough, to see any changes you need longer then a month or two. Another reason is that you are not doing the right exercise or the right amount of reps and sets. I won't get into the different training types in this blog.
Some takeaways... Keep it fun, start realistic and ask for help with your goals.