Patient exercising on a treadmill at a physiotherapy clinic

If ‘getting fitter’ is one of your New Year’s resolutions this year, then you’re in good company. However, there’s nothing worse then an injury to derail your best intentions.

Aches, pains and potentially avoidable sports injuries are common reasons for giving up. So to create an exercise habit which lasts and to avoid injuries, my first bit of advice would be to steer clear of online exercise fads or challenges which promise results in six weeks. Aim to be active everyday and instead choose a type of exercise that you enjoy, which can easily fit in around your lifestyle. Even working out just once a week is 100% better than not exercising at all, so make a realistic plan and stick to it. It’s also less tempting to skip a session if you’ve been consistent and you can easily increase your training if you have more time.

A significant number of sports injuries we see here in clinic can be put down to ‘training error’, meaning a rapid increase in training or activity without giving your body enough time to adapt.

Your cardiovascular system (heart and lungs) will respond far more quickly to your new exercise regime than your musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons and bones). So you might feel ‘fitter’ quite quickly and be able to train harder and longer as your cardiovascular system rises quickly to the challenge. Your musculoskeletal system, however, will be much slower to respond and may be overloaded and injured if it is worked too hard or too fast without enough time to adapt.

Developing an injury this way can make you feel mentally deflated and really put a dent in your confidence to exercise. The key is to give your body time to adjust, increase your activity at a steady pace and make sure you are building up appropriate muscle strength and endurance at the same time.

We’re offering a free 7-day trial of our physiotherapist-led online pilates programme which you can access here. This is a great way to build flexibility, strength and control to support any exercise programme. We also offer tailored fitness programmes in our gym if lifting weights or kettle bells is your thing.

Ultimately, we want you to be able to enjoy exercise that enhances your life and helps you feel happier and healthier, without injury.

Please get in touch if you think we can help.

 

The Physiofit Team