Exercise is great. Whether it’s hitting new numbers in the gym, setting a PB at the local park run, or just getting outside and feeling the sun on your face (or torrential rain and freezing winds…UK living…), exercise has both physical and mental health benefits.
It’s the reason why many people make exercise a key tenet of their New Years resolutions.
Managing your return back to exercise if you have had a period away from it is incredibly important in building the robustness and behaviour that can keep exercise as a constant in your life, rather than just a January experience.
Being consistent with our behaviours eventually forms habits. Did you know that on average it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic?
How to be consistent really depends on you, your exercise type, and what your daily schedule looks like.
For example, some people prefer to exercise in the morning, some in the evening, some at midday. Exercising at a time of day when you’re at an appropriate state of arousal can improve how you feel when exercising, meaning it’s more fun and you’re more likely to return to it.
Similarly, exercise type dictates the frequency of sessions. If you’re going to the gym to lift weights, you would probably aim for 3 times a week, certainly initially. But as a cyclist like myself, the lack of eccentric damage we’re doing to our muscles means that we could in theory ride our bikes every day!
Daily schedule also plays a part in how you apply consistency to your exercise habit. If your working day is biased towards the morning, try exercising in the evening, and vice versa if you work more in the PM. If you know your Monday is a really long working day, either have the day off work or add some supplemental exercise in, like yoga for example.
Don’t Do Too Much Too Soon
Going from 0-100mph too quick is a recipe for injury. The body likes a steady and progressive overload both physically and hormonally.
If you are going to start running or cycling or any other endurance exercise, start small and build, adding around 10-20% to the session volume per time. If you are lifting in the gym, start light – lighter than you think you should – and steadily get the body used to loading eccentrically over the course of a few weeks.
And don’t forget, if you are concerned whether your body’s biomechanics are ready to go, we can help by checking you out and putting in place a plan to aid that return to exercise. Either drop us an email or book yourself an appointment online!
Maintenance is Your Friend
So you are exercising lots, loving it, but your body is starting to feel tired. Not sore, like injured sore, but sore like something needs to be done but you are not sure what. That’s where we can help!
By exercising we are putting our bodies under stress. This is “overload” and it’s what drives our improvement in strength and fitness. Keeping this overload at just the right level means that you are able to progress without causing injury. However, as training load is an aggregate, if we are not managing the offshoots of overload (fatigue, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), muscular tightness) we can slide towards injury.
Visiting seventy9 Sports Therapy can be an important factor in this management. The more you exercise, the more work you need to do to manage the exercise load, however unless you are a professional athlete chances are you do not have the extra time to set aside for that remedial work. We are not only able to supplement that with massage and manual therapy, but are also able to streamline your recovery programme to make sure you are focussing only on the things you need to do.
Interested? Why not book yourself an appointment?