FIVE FITNESS FOES
- Boredom Any exercise regime, no matter how new and trendy it is, can lose its luster over time. It’s not just the monotony of miles on a treadmill, bike or lap lane. Even instructor –led classes get stale with repetition. The answer is to make a long-range plan which includes diversity of many types. Mixing up group vs. solo, arm/leg vs core, stretching, strengthening, and aerobic will be key. A month plan rotating Pilates, biking, weights, jogging, swimming, and Zumba, for example, would definitely keep the yawns away!
- Motivation We’ve all been there. Out of the gate, we are all in, nothing can stop us. Maybe it was a New Year’s resolution or a milestone birthday, or a new high (low!) on the scale. Whatever the spark, we are committed. Then months (or weeks) pass, and our enthusiasm wanes. (Did you know that National Un-Resolution Day is in late January?!) Eventually, warm-under-the-covers wins-out over shivering-in-the-pool. What happened? It comes down to accountability. If we keep our goals/plans/workouts to ourselves, we only have ourselves to spur us on. Try keeping a log of your past and future work. Seeing yourself go longer, faster or stronger is quite exhilarating! Or schedule some workouts in groups, and let them know to look for you at the next session. Running with a friend spurs both of you on. If you know Sue is going to be meeting you at the corner at 7, you won’t want to leave her stranded. If your friends don’t work out, have them check in with you weekly to see how you’re doing. Possibly the promise of a healthy salad or smoothie after will do the trick. Make a pact with yourself to continue one more week when you feel like quitting. These days when our energy sags are almost always fleeting. Using any, or all of these tips will soar you right through the sluggish times!
- Time At first, our workout is a priority. We work our day around it. But then life and work demands push-in on our exercise habits, and threaten to extinguish them altogether. A couple of ideas. Examine your weekly schedule closely. Is there a better time of day or day of the week that would make more sense? Secondly, streamline you work out sessions as much as possible. Shave some minutes my showering at the gym, or pack your workout bag the night before. Throw some home-based work-outs into the mix. And, honestly, the pros don’t do full hair and makeup before spinning class! A few minutes here and there will make the difference!
- No Support If your network of friends and family consists of couch potatoes, there may be no one in your life cheering you on. There are all sorts of groups at the gym or in your community to connect with. In addition, consider a personal trainer to get started and for periodic check-ins. Their expertise will give you the confidence and guidance you may need to make sure you’re “doing this right!”
- INJURY!!! The number one reason health-minded folks abandon their good intentions is injury. Something minor like on-going muscle soreness to a major strain or sprain will interrupt the wellness process. Then, it can be all too easy to stop altogether. There are many ways to proactively pre-empt this game-ender.
A. Wear appropriate gear. Make sure your gear is sport or activity specific. Running shoes and walking shoes are very different. Wrist or back braces while weight lifting are ideal. Roller blading would be ill-advised without knee/elbow guards. Skimping in these areas is not worth the savings.
B. Start gradually. The easiest way to injure yourself is to do too much, too fast! Then be sure to increase in increments as well. Only change 1 component at a time. So, if you increase distance, don’t change speed or resistance. If you increase reps, don’t increase weight. Stay at the same format for 3 workouts that you tolerate well before increasing again.
C. Warm-up well. Start with some light cardio for about 10-15-minutes. Follow with some slow, long stretching. Be sure to stretch the main muscle groups you will be using in your work-out.
D. Don’t work fatigued. When muscles are fatigued they start to break down, or strain. They also become unable to support the joints they stabilize, leading to sprains and worse.
E. Listen to your body! If a muscle or joint feels tight or weak, or just doesn’t feel right, don’t do another rep! Take a day off and see how you feel. If the issue does not resolve, seek the help of a skilled professional. Catching it early is much easier to deal with than waiting till a problem is full blown.
Massage therapy conquers fitness foes by addressing muscle tension, soreness, injuries, stress, and mobility issues. Incorporating massage into your routine maximizes potential and promotes a holistic approach to fitness. Experience the benefits of massage for yourself by scheduling a session with us today!