Happy New Year! We know most people set new year resolutions, and we know for most people ‘Health & Fitness’ is one of the top agendas. But before you start making drastic decisions, it’s important to consider the implications of these kinds of resolutions, particularly for newcomers to the fitness world or to those trying to make a comeback, it can be a fine line between getting the body you’ve dreamed of and incurring injuries you never asked for.
So, whether you are just starting out, or looking to revamping an old exercise routine, this easy 5-Step New Year’s Workout Plan will ensure a seamless start to 2022.
1. Getting Started
Alright, so you’re new to this or it’s been a little while since you’ve tested yourself, and you have no idea how you would feel during or after exercising, or have any knowledge of what your body can actually handle! We would HIGHLY recommend you to seek clearance from your GP and physiotherapist just to clear things such as high blood pressure, joint mobility, or any other underlying health issues that would deter your workout plan. This way, you know exactly what your body can tolerate and know what level you should embark on your fitness plan. Your safety is the first priority!
2. Choose Your Flavour!
Now, you’re ready to choose what exercise entices you! Exercise will never look the same for any two people, so it’s important you find what you are passionate about and what you can commit to long term. The broad variety of exercise options, while it can initially be daunting, means there will be one to suit your goals and interests.
Some great places to think about to get you started are:
- OUR PICK → Clinical Reformer Pilates
- Easy on your joints, easy to get started, and possibly the best way to get your body moving in the safest hands of a physiotherapist
- Exercises are tailored to each individual’s body, desires, and goals
- This combines physio and fitness to create a supportive and challenging environment
- Social sport
- Joining a casual sporting team is a great way to connect with friends and get moving
- Fitness classes
- Take advantage of Brisbane City’s many New Year fitness class deals and try out different exercise styles
- It is great to have an instructor to help structure and direct the exercises if you are just starting out
- Classes are a great beginner workout as they often have ways to make exercises easier or harder depending on your ability
- A gym membership allows some autonomy in your exercise plan, allowing you to workout how you want, when you want
- If this solo fitness journey is not really what you’re looking for, seeing a physiotherapist or personal trainer is a great way to help you get started
- Home exercise
- You don’t necessarily have to leave home to exercise. Searching “home workout” on the internet will direct you to an endless supply of home exercise tutorials to follow along with at home
- Some fun ones to try are:
- Calisthenics (body weight-based exercises) workout
- Minimal equipment home workout
- High-intensity interval training workout
- At-home yoga
3. Set Realistic Goals!
Goal setting is an important element in directing your exercises. It is crucial that you can set a specific and achievable goal to be targeted within a timeframe. The most important question to ask yourself is ‘what do you want your health to look like?’. Some great examples of achievable goals might be to be able to:
- Run 5km in 30 mins by December 2022
- Successfully do a single leg squat by March 2022
- Climb a flight of stairs without feeling breathless by February 2022
These are goals that you can work towards as part of your weekly workout plan. They don’t have to be big goals, but rather, ones that you can see yourself achieving.
4. Injury prevention
Unfortunately, even with the best preparation, it is still quite common to see overuse injuries and burnout when jumping straight into a new fitness regime. This is because our bodies need time to adjust to a new kind of movement and the load that this movement has on joints, ligaments, and muscle groups. There are a few ways that we can reduce this risk, and ease into a new activity:
- The 24-hour rule
- This simply says to try just one new exercise and wait for 24-hours to see how you feel
- You can expect to feel some post-exercise soreness in your muscles during this time, as they may not be used to that kind of movement
- But if you are feeling well after the 24-hours, you are good to do that exercise again
- Remember that recovery is an important part of health and wellbeing
- This is all about ensure that you are getting enough sleep and supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to get through the day
- For an adult, this means sleeping 7-8 hours, as well as eating and drinking the right foods, in the right portions for your age and sex
- Your joint and muscle tissue need all of these things for growth and repair
At the end of the day, it is all about patience. The slow progression of exercise drastically decreases your chance of incurring these overuse and burnout injuries. It is also great for your mental health and well-being, knowing you are setting yourself achievable goals that can be readjusted as you progress.
For a lot of Aussies, New Year’s resolutions will start to drop off by about April. This is largely due to a dip in motivation, and an increase in the stress and time commitment of things like work and family. After all, life happens, but we do have some tips and tricks to help you stay consistent over the course of the year:
- Exercise with a friend – find a friend you can exercise with and use that time to catch up and push each other to work harder
- Fit in small sessions when you can – it can be hard to find time to workout when you are busy, but even 10 minutes of exercise a day can make a world of difference. Short yoga or stretching or workout videos online are a great way to stick to something shorter.
- Change your goals – sometimes your end goal is not always the goal you will hit first, adding smaller, achievable goals can help you stay motivated along the journey
- Try something new – if you are losing motivation because you are not enjoying the exercise anymore, change things up. Finding something different can get you excited to exercise again and boost your motivation up a notch.
Follow these 5-step processes to re-assess your motivation, your goals, and your current fitness level, and go again!
Remember that fitness goals are not as easy to achieve but it is important to never give up, particularly because you sustain a mild setback due to an injury. Come in and see one of our expert sports physiotherapists if you have any niggles or injures that are holding you back. They will be able to take you through the best exercise for you and your fitness level.
You never know, we might see you in our next clinical pilates class at Leaders Sports & Spine Physiotherapy in Brisbane CBD.