New Year… new you!
Each year we get bombarded with much hype around the new year, what our resolutions are going to be and what challenges we should take on.
This year hasn’t been entirely different, apart from the one glaringly obvious fact – we find ourselves in a national lockdown. As a result people are being very creative in the way in which to take on or advertise new challenges, whether physical or other.
There are numerous online challenges, challenges run by sports clubs, influencers, personal trainers and the like available to entice us and it is very easy to get caught up in the hype of them, especially when entering them as part of a (remote) team. And for lots of people who suddenly have more time on their hands, or who are using exercise as a way to cope, these may just be more attractive now.
I thought I’d take to opportunity to provide you with some pointers should you have signed yourself up to one.
1. Start at the level suitable to you
If you are new to exercise or have been away from it for a while (whether from injury or for other reasons) please be sensible and choose the easier option while you develop your fitness base. Although you may feel that you are able to keep up initially, you could find yourself injuring yourself due to poor form as you fatigue. This can result in you having to stop again. Remember, the bigger the base, the higher the triangle. The more controlled and sensible you are with developing your base fitness, the longer you should be able to enjoy this journey and the more you should be able to do.
2. Choose a type of activity that feels right for you
Choose a type of activity that feels right for you, not what others tell you to do. Everyone is unique and so has their own fitness journey. While having an accountability or work out partner can really help with motivation, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep up with, or do exactly what they do. If you prefer gentle exercise to smashing exercises out in a short amount of time, why not try yoga as a posed to high intensity workouts (as an example).
3. Don’t allow yourself to be pressurised
Similarly, while there is a lot to be said for joining a group challenge, don’t allow yourself to be pressurised in to something or take on something bigger than you are physically ready for. For example RED (Run Every Day) January. For seasoned runners, this may be a relatively easy challenge, but for those of you who are new to running or exercise, this will be too much too soon. Its really not worth putting too much pressure on your body at the beginning of the year. This year especially, we need to be as fit and healthy as possible, and too big a challenge can compromise your immune system, not to mention result in an injury. If you do begin to feel niggles while exercising, this is a warning signal. Please listen to your body. All too often I treat people who have ignored niggles (sometimes for years) and this can lead to more serious injuries. This also leads to frustration for some people and often they end up giving up. An all or nothing approach.
Although a challenge can be a great way to get you back on track or started on a healthier journey, by doing so sensibly, you are sure to find that you enjoy it more, are able to commit better and importantly reduce the possibility of injuring yourself.
Whether you need guidance with a safe exercise routine or have a niggle or more serious injury that needs sorting out, please get in touch if I can help you in any way.