Nine months or so ago, I committed myself to get in shape for the coming year. Finally, at the end of summer, I decided to act on that commitment and joined a kettle bell class. I was going to cram three seasons of fitness into one six-week session and come out a dress size slimmer and feeling much stronger. Sounds logical, right? My body, however, had other plans. I tore a pec muscle during the warm-up (going to the ground to do a push up) and am currently in the final stages of physical therapy.
When I suggest to start out slow, I know what I’m talking about. A fitness related injury is completely avoidable if you follow a few steps (like I didn’t). Assess your fitness level before starting a new program. You will be more likely to continue a program if you choose one that is challenging yet within your range of ability. Here are more tips to consider when choosing what you will do to keep your body moving:
1. Be realistic about your goals. Don’t try to run a marathon after one week on the treadmill. If you can’t do more than 10 push ups, don’t attempt to bench press your own body weight. If you come out of the gates guns blazing you’ll be more prone to injury since your body isn’t used to such physical demands. You’ll also be prone to stop workouts prematurely due to nausea or fatigue caused by low endurance. Start off slow. Once the numbers start going down on the scale and the weight you lift goes up, you will be more in tune with the natural progression of your exercise routines. You may even enjoy exercising!
2. Create specific workout routines. If you want to jump higher, then focus on your quadriceps and glutes. If you want to lose weight, make sure you know your BMR (basal metabolic rate), and tailor an efficient meal plan for yourself. Your time, money, and energy are valuable. Use every second you have in the gym as efficiently as possible.
3. Be consistent. Stay focused on your realistic goals. Exercise using proper form, and continue to steadily progress.
Once I’m cleared as one with a healthy body, I will be doing all three of these suggestions plus more HERE. This year, the New Year’s Resolution WILL happen, and it will become a way of life. I promise to practice what I preach this time. Really! Happy health!