One of the positive things to come out of extended periods of lockdown over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic is it has given people chance to get in touch with their bodies. With gyms closed at various times, the home workout became the choice for many. Those who previously decided to give exercise a miss because of busy schedules, suddenly had the chance to jump into some form of daily exercise routine, even if it was time-restricted in some way.
Whether you are a long-time fitness fanatic, recent convert, or are only now thinking of getting yourself in shape, we’ve put together some pointers on how to make your home workout an enjoyable, safe and beneficial part of daily life. Follow these tips and you’ll soon be wondering why you haven’t been doing it all your life!
Fitness doesn’t have to cost the earth, but we fully recommend getting some advice from a professional (ahem… like us!) before you get into a full-blown routine, especially if you are new to fitness or working out regularly. The beauty of seeing your osteopath before getting started on this path is we can assess your bodily movements and discuss with you your expectations and aspirations. Some time and money spent with a movement specialist (like us!) before you start can greatly decrease your chances of early injury and a huge setback in your plan to donning the best bod in town! Depending on your past medical history and current health issues, some forms of exercise may not be 100% suited to you, so getting advice on this can also be beneficial to reduce risk of flaring up an old injury or making a current one worse. Consider this option (seriously). It will be money well spent and you won’t regret it.
Go all in
If you want to succeed with exercise, you should go all in from the beginning. What we mean by this is that it needs to become part of your daily life… part of your routine. It’s possible to start seeing and feeling some very positive results quickly if you exercise regularly and make it part of your weekly schedule. If you exercise or workout just once every 10 days (or just very irregularly), you are unlikely to see positive results (including increased strength, decreased pain and physical changes in your body) very quickly, if at all. If you want a benchmark to aim for each week, the World Health Organisation recommends the following for adults:
- At least 150-300 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise; or
- At least 75-150 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, per week
- Moderate or greater intensity muscle strengthening exercises for 2+ days a week
Take home point is… GO ALL IN! It’s time to invest in your health.
Diet is key
If you’ve taken the step to start improving your health by ramping up your exercise regime, it is highly recommended you eat a balanced, clean diet as well. This will help to maximise the effects of exercise, help you maintain a healthy weight / lose weight (if required), and reap the benefits of a healthy body and mind. Make no mistake, working out hard to then go and stuff yourself with processed, fast foods and chocolate is completely counterproductive. When you work out, your body undergoes change at a tissue level. For example, muscle fibres tear and then repair following exercise. For repair to take place, the body needs all the good stuff, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and much more. You can’t get the right stuff from rubbish food. We can help you get on track with your diet if you need some help… it’s all part of the service.
Water, water, water!
When we push our bodies during exercise, we sweat, and place demands on the various tissues that make up the body. Chemical reactions take place left, right and centre. All of which require water to work. We become dehydrated, and unless we replace that water (remember the human body cannot produce water on its own), we stay dehydrated, processes start to break down, you feel sluggish and low on energy, and everything is pretty much rubbish. Then you won’t feel like you want to exercise! So, drink lots of water, especially during and after exercise to replace the stores of water in your body that you inevitably lose. This will keep your body ticking along nicely and keep your mind fresh and alert and ready for the next set of squats and lunges!
Don’t ignore pain
Exercise can be very enjoyable. Sure, when you push yourself hard, it might hurt a little inside. You may wake up the following day a little sore (this is normal) and sorer the day after that (this is also normal), but exercise should never be “ouch” painful. If it is, something is wrong, and you should stop. The chances are you are performing a movement incorrectly, or something in the way your body moves needs to be assessed and corrected to ensure you are able to perform the movement properly without placing undue strain on the joints and muscles. It’s easy to think to yourself ‘no pain no gain’, but this statement causes many people more problems than it’s worth. Ignoring pain can lead to significant injury, setbacks in your exercise journey and a very unhappy you. Not to mention possibly having to take time off work while you recover and not being able to pick your kids up and run around with them. Don’t take a chance on pain. We revert you to tip one on this blog… Get advice from your osteo!
So… are you ready to change your life for the better, forever? If you are and want to get some advice, please call us today on [insert clinic number] and let’s get cracking!