As the Christmas season draws to a close, there is always a lot of enthusiasm and eagerness to burn off the restlessness and over-indulgence that can happen over the festive season. New Years resolutions are made, goals are set and bets are placed with family and friends.
However, often people can start off a little too enthusiastically and after a few weeks where the may not have too active, this can lead to injury which can often put a stop to those great health and fitness ambitions for the year.
So, to help reduce the chances of this happening, here are 5 tips to keep you motivated and moving well, beyond the month of January.
1 – Hold off on the boot camp
A lot of non contact injuries happen from doing too much too soon and if you haven’t been doing a lot of exercise before the Christmas, then a bootcamp will involve doing a lot of activity, very quickly.
If you are just getting back into exercise a good plan would be to build up your activity over a couple of weeks. Exercise one day and take a day off the next. Your day off can still involve some sort of movement, like stretching or swimming, and it will give your muscles a chance to recover and adapt.
2 – Mix up your Exercise
There are different types of exercise we can do. Cardio, Strength training a and flexibility. You can compliment your running, cycling, or any other cardio based exercise with simple strength based exercise.
And, you don’t need a bunch of equipment. Simple body-weight exercises can be a very effective place to start for a few weeks before you move. on to more challenging movements.
3 – Listen to your body – Allow for recovery
If you haven’t done a lot of exercise over the Christmas break of even the Winter season, then there is a good chance that you will be a little bit sore and stiff after your first few exercise sessions. This is normal but you need to pay attention to it.
Lets say your quad muscles on the front of your legs are very sore after a cycle of an hour in the gym. This is a sign that they are after getting a good workout and need a little bit of time to recover. Take a day off from that exercise to recover or try another form of exercise that won’t those muscles as much.
This will help prevent overload and injury.
4 – Sleep
Sleep is a huge part of recovery and getting back into a normal sleeping pattern after the Christmas break is very important, especially if you are going to be exerting your body more. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep and try to ensure that it is good quality sleep.
Going to be bed before midnight, avoiding looking at a laptop or phone, and avoid eating late at night will all help in ensuring you get good quality sleep.
5 – Pick an exercise you are able for
A lot of injuries can be caused by people doing an exercise that is just a little beyond them in terms of skill level or physical demands. This can happen if you have not played much sport before or are not a very active person and your new years resolution is to take up squash, for example.
Now, if your dream is to play squash then by all means go for it, but ensure that you have built up a certain amount of movement skills, flexibility and co coordination to help reduce the chances of you injuring yourself.
Like all the points above, it really is a little bit of common sense to help keep you safe and active beyond the first month of the year.
To sum up:
A lot of the tips are about getting your body used to the movement and demands in a gradual and graded way to help reduce your chance of injury or pain.
The last point that I will mention is that these tips are a guideline to help and are not foolproof. Some people will have some imbalances, weakness or lack of flexibility that will result in them ending up in pain or getting injured when they start exercising again.
Ideally an assessment by a physio and a prevention program first, would be needed to ensure that they don’t do themselves injury.
If you feel you have an old injury or a lack of movement that is holding you back and would like to be more active in 2020, then now is the time to get it sorted.
You can get in touch to start a conversation and see what we can do to help.
Just click on the link below to get in touch or call 09064 66761Inquire about cost and availability