Did you make a New Year Resolution to get fitter, lose weight or start exercising? January is the peak time for joining a gym or signing up to a weight-loss programme. However many of us find ourselves flagging by the end of the month (if not before!) and our resolutions start to look decidedly rocky.
One of the reasons people give up on exercise can be pains or strains. According to the British Chiropractic Association, exercise is the trigger for 30% of those experiencing back or neck pain. It’s vital to be well-prepared before starting an regime, especially if you are new to physical activity, and to be appropriately taught or supervised whilst doing it. If you stay pain-free, you are far more likely to enjoy exercising and stick to your new regime.
Here are some top tips to get the most from exercise and minimise the risk of injury:
• Speak to your GP first, to check that there are no medical reasons why you should not exercise or increase your activity.
• Remember to warm up and warm down before and after any physical activity, to minimise the risk of strain or injury. Start with something less strenuous like walking or jogging and finish with some light stretches.
• Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercise – this will help your muscles work more efficiently and will reduce aches and pains after exercise.
• Make sure you wear comfortable clothing. Tight clothing could restrict your movement and lead to injury.
• Wear appropriate footwear for the type of exercise you are doing, to look after your feet and ankles. Most specialist sportswear retailers will be able to advise you on this.
• If you are enrolling at a gym, make sure you receive training on any equipment you will use, as well as ongoing advice and supervision.
• If you are joining a class, check that the instructor is properly qualified to teach the type of exercise you will be undertaking.
The Iveson Clinic can help too!
The Physiotherapists and Chiropractor at the Iveson Clinic can offer advice on the best type of exercise for you, as well as providing treatment if you do develop any injuries. So get in touch and look forward to a fitter, stronger, healthier you!