Unfortunately it is often the case that we overestimate what our bodies can handle and we underestimate how long it takes to ‘get fit.’ More often then not the end result is going too hard, too early, getting injured and then experiencing a period on the sidelines. This is what we would call being in a boom and bust cycle.
This often occurs after a period of being in a good paddock…or just enjoying the winter months! Your brain says ‘You have been lazy and over indulgent, get off your ass and get moving …as fast as you can as much as you can for as many days in a row as you can…..wrong! Its good to feel some soreness after exercising but not so great that you can’t move for days.
Increasing your exercise levels drastically can lead to significant tissue damage. This may occur in your muscles, fascia (connective tissue) and occasionally in your cartilage and or bones. At this time of year we see a lot of our patients getting excited about warm weather, longer days and finally getting outdoors after a long winter. Who wouldn't!! This is a fantastic time of year to increase your activity levels. It is good to do a bit more each week as the only way to get fitter is to increase what you are doing but it is important that this does not eventuate in an injury.
The end result is missing weeks of exercise and more often then not a 'bust' period where your fitness levels drop....quickly! It is often then the case that you then associate that form of exercise with a negative experience and never want to do it again. But lets not get too doom and gloom. The good thing is that you are reading this and hopefully these 10 top tips make a difference and prevent your from entering the boom and bust cycle. The key to getting 'fitter' is being able to exercise regularly, PACING yourself and slowly building up your fitness. Usually this takes more then 6,8 or 10 weeks...so read on and learn how to do this!
Our top 10 tips:
1. Set a SMART goal
- If you don't know where you are going then where do you begin? A SMARTgoal is: Sustainable, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed.. You can use smaller goals to help get to your ultimate long term goal. It is a good idea to make your goal revolve around something that you actually enjoy. If you don't like running don't set a running goal! If you don’t like the gym, don’t set a gym based goal.
2. Start slow and steady
- Your brain maybe telling you to start with a massive challenge to 'shock' your body into action. Unfortunately your muscles and joints will not be conditioned to this and you may begin the process of 'overloading' your body. Garduated loading is something that works very well. What is progressive load? Give us a call 97702343 and we can help explain this training principle.
3. Make sure you enjoy yourself whilst exercising
- Choose a nice location to get moving, head to the beach, use it as time to escape the normal daily issues that you may face at work or with the family. Listen to music, join a group or exercise with a friend.
4. In pain? Ask for help
– See your physio before your niggle turns into an injury. Remember, the ultimate way to reach your goal is to exercise regularly. Avoiding that niggle may = lay off time = not good!
5. Drink plenty of water
- We recommend that you drink an extra 600ml of water for every 30 mins of intense exercise, up this amount if you are a sweater or if the temperature rises. Here is a great link from the Dietitians Association of Australia which will tell you all things H2O and drinking fluids. http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/drinks/
6. Make sure your diet compliment the amount of exercise your are doing- The 'Energy in vrs Energy out' equation doesn't change, so make sure you don't over eat or alternatively that you don't starve yourself. By the way, stay of the protein powder unless you are lifting 100kg and for a number of hours. There are lots of reasons that you don’t need it…but that’s for another day.
There are many great resources to learn about healthy eating . Here is a reliable one if you want to know more https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/active-living
7. Look after your body along the way- See a myotherapists for regular massage, use a foam roller or self massage device, stretch after exercise and cool down.
8. Plan your week
- We plan for everything else in our lives so why not make a weekly exercise schedule.
9. Review your goals
- More often that not our SMART goals can be either too ambitious or too easy to achieve. There is nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board.
10. Follow through- Don't doubt yourself (As long as you have followed the previous 9 points ...You can do it!!
We know that there is a lot to take it, but if you can follow these 10 tips then you are most of the way to achieving your goals.
Want to know more about a particularly point then feel free to talk to one of our phsyiotherapists.
Happy Health and Fitness