Taking Care of Your Fitness
When it comes to fitness, many people find themselves stuck in somewhat of a fitness rut. This can be a very frustrating position to be in, as whilst we realise the importance of fitness to our lives, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things and start taking care of our fitness.
This is particularly true if we are recovering from an injury, yet in almost all physiotherapy sessions, physiotherapists emphasis the importance of movement and exercise – giving their clients homework in terms of exercises to implement.
The challenge, is often found in getting out of a fitness rut and starting to take care of your fitness, from a standing start – because once you have momentum, it feels a lot easier and more enjoyable. Here are some tips on how to get out of a fitness rut and back into a place where you are taking care of your fitness, as fitness and getting back in good shape is one of the most sought after areas of self-improvement people crave… particularly as the New Year approaches:
1. START OFF WORKING OUT AT HOME
There are many things you can do at home, if you are feeling a little gym shy, as today there are a plethora of classes on YouTube and other platforms that allow you to undertake anything from yoga and pilates classes to high intensity interval training. The world leader in fitness classes, Les Mills, has now made its leading classes such as Body Pump and Body Combat available online via a Netflix like platform.
The great thing about working out at home, is that it’s massively convenient and can work around your schedule – rather than you having to work around a gym’s timetable.
2. DO SOMETHING FUN
Fitness, at times, can feel arduous so looking for fun activities to get you back in the swing of things is a good idea. For instance, you could look into salsa classes if you have an interest in dancing or boxing classes if you like the idea of something more explosive – the trick is to do something that you find fun and engaging. This way, you’re more likely to stick with it and keep on going back.
3. TAKE IT EASY
If you’ve been out of regular training for a while, it’s really important to start off by taking it easy. There’s nothing more tempting than going back to an exercise class you used to go to and presume your body will perform at the same level it did when you were doing the class a couple of times a week. This can not only be emotionally frustrating – but physically dangerous too… as if you adopt the approach of “go hard or go home” in your first few sessions you’re likely to injure yourself.
Remember the importance of warming up and cooling down, as this is particularly important when getting back into training and it can be useful to at least have a hot bath or a shower after working out so the muscle fibres can relax.
One of the best forms of exercise for someone starting to get back into fitness is swimming, as swimming is a very supportive form of exercise that doesn’t put too much pressure on the joints, such as your knees, unlike the majority of other activities such as running and aerobics. Swimming, and particularly walking through the water, in terms of fast wading, can be incredibly helpful to build back the strength of key supportive muscle groups.
4. LITTLE AND OFTEN
It’s important to exercise little and often, rather than binge exercising, where you do an incredibly intense workout but then spend the next week barely able to move as your body recovers from the strain you have put it through. It’s much better to exercise little and often, particularly when building up your fitness back, as this way, your body is in a constant state of burning calories – and isn’t allowed to get so sore and stiff that it inhibits your movement.
5. GET SUPPORT
Whether it’s the support of a knowledgeable friend or that of a person trainer, reaching out, and getting some support when it comes to exercise can be helpful on two levels. Firstly, exercise is a skill that needs to be learned (i.e. correct technique to ensure your movements are safe) and secondly, it can be really helpful to have the empowering encouragement of a friend or trainer to motivate you to squeeze the most from your workouts.
Deborah Hunter Kells
I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. I enjoy learning and am a “forever student”. I would love to hear about you and what you have experienced – that one or both of us may learn.