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As the New Year is underway, so too are everyone’s resolutions for 2019. I’m sure for many of you that includes aiming to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle. If you’ve made the first step and committed to exercising but don’t know where to start then this blog post is perfect for you. Here’s all you need to know about starting an exercise routine and sticking to it!
When many think of exercise, they think of strenuous activities that make you breathe hard and work up a sweat such as running or biking. While these aerobic forms of exercise are essential for boosting fitness, there are actually three other equally important categories of exercise. All four combined complement each other in order to improve your overall fitness. At the same time helping prevent injury.
Also known as aerobic exercise, these are activities that get your heart rate up and make you breathe harder. They also get your cardiovascular system working. Aerobic exercises can increase overall fitness greatly. While also reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. As mentioned above examples includes running, biking, swimming or playing sports such as tennis.
These are exercises that work your muscles. By using resistance such as weight lifting, resistance bands, or using your body weight for resistance i.e. doing push-ups, crunches, squats. Strength training exercises help to increase lean muscle mass, increase bone density, increase metabolism and decrease the risk of injury.
These exercises aim to improve your range of motion at your joints by stretching your muscles. There are two types of stretching. These are static and dynamic and both are important as they improve flexibility, reduce the risk of injury, and reduce the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles. Lactic acid causes that burning sensation when we exercise.
Your ability to control and stabilise the body’s position can be improved with balance training. Balance exercises not only help prevent falls, but they also help reduce the risk of lower extremity injures. Examples of balance exercises include using balance boards, stability balls, yoga or pilates.
The first step before you begin exercising is to make sure you currently have no injuries or health conditions that will limit your ability to perform. Consulting your doctor if you are not used to strenuous activities and currently very unhealthy is recommended, particularly if you are over 50 or have any heart conditions.
The best way to ensure success is to create a plan that allows you to set realistic and measurable goals. This can be as simple as aiming to do 20 push-ups or signing up to a 5km run. You should start with small goals. Small goals will motivate you and these goals can be adjusted as your fitness level improves.
The best way to stay motivated is to have fun and enjoy your exercise while doing it. Not every exercise will be for you so mix it up at the beginning and find something that you enjoy whether it be boxing or yoga. Joining a class at your local gym, hiring a personal trainer, or doing team sports can also help enjoyment and motivate you to work harder.
Keeping to your routine can be difficult, and so forming the habit is essential for success. Schedule you classes for the same time on the days you plan to exercise to increase your chances of sticking with it. And if you find yourself slacking or feeling unmotivated, don’t worry about taking a day or two off to recharge and develop that hunger again.
Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic we aim to promote exercise for all, including all age groups and physical abilities. Exercise has so many health benefits not only physically but also mentally, and we would like to share this with you. Starting the New Year in one of our exercise classes may be the boost you need to get started on your health and wellbeing journey. We offer a range of Pilates classes ranging from beginners, intermediate and advanced. Healthy Bones is a class we offer to improve bone density for individuals with osteoporosis. We also have our Stronger for Longer class, a strength and conditioning class for all experience levels. If you are interested in any of our Pilates or exercise classes please contact the clinic today.