The New Year is a perfect opportunity for setting new goals. The most common resolution is to exercise more. Thousands of well-intentioned people hit the gym in January, but often do so with such enthusiasm that they go out too hard, too fast. This often results in injury or burnout, and by February they are right back on the couch.
Here are a few simple tips to achieve your goals and stay out of the doctor’s office:
1. Is your goal realistic? Ask yourself if you have given yourself enough time to achieve it. Does it require seven days a week in the gym? If so, you may be pushing yourself too hard. Dial the enthusiasm back and take it a day at a time. Give yourself recovery days to allow sore muscles some much needed TLC.
2. Have you been to the gym before? Injury rates are highest amongst beginner exercisers. Ask a staff member at the gym to show you how to use the equipment safely. Better yet, book in with a kinesiologist, athletic therapist, or physiotherapist to help build the best exercise program specifically tailored for you.
3. Don’t forget about your warm up. A gentle warm-up helps by gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation. This will help to increase blood flow to your muscles and prepare them for the rest of your exercise session (whether that is an exercise class, cardio, or weight lifting)
If you start to notice pain or discomfort while exercising, get in to see a health care professional sooner rather than later, they can help you avoid injury.
If you want to consult with a professional before starting your new year exercise plan, please find a Lifemark clinic near you at www.lifemark.ca/locations