Most of us make a new resolution, goal, declaration, whatever you want to call it, at this time of the year and often that means we are excited and overzealous to get back into shape.
Our mind convinces us to work harder than our body is ready for and we find ourselves hurt or in pain. Don’t stop working toward your goal because you are feeling pain from it. Here are a few tips to prevent the pain from starting and stop the pain when it comes.
1. Ease into it.
You may feel like you can conquer the world during that first week, but overdoing it can cause pain and harm that may prevent you from continuing with your goal. Whether it’s soreness that makes it difficult to move, an injury that tells you to stop working out, or your mind burned out from too much too soon, prevent it from happening by planning a slow increase in activity.
Plan on 2-3 easy work out’s the first few weeks to get your body moving and use to the increasing activity. Do not overload yourself. Remember, five pounds may be light on set 1 rep 1, but on set three rep 5 it’s going to be very uncomfortable.
2. Stretch and warm-up.
There’s not a lot of scientific research
that shows a true benefit or detriment to stretching before and after a workout.
We stick with a basic warm-up, cool-down routine.
Pre-workout stretching and warming up brings blood to the muscles and gets you mentally and physically ready for the workout. It’s important to get your body into alignment before working it. Imagine tight hip flexors preventing you from standing straight while performing squats.
Light stretching is key here. You don’t want to do a whole yoga session before you hit the weights or the bike. Just light, dynamic stretches will be sufficient. Stretching before exercise is beneficial for increasing blood flow, improving range of motion, and strengthening connective tissue.
Post-workout stretching is deeper and intended to help gain more range of motion. It’s easier to do this when the muscles are warm and pliable. It’s also a great opportunity to reduce your heart rate and get your breathing back to normal.
Daily stretching is so important to maintaining your mobility and flexibility. Stretch your main muscle groups daily and work in a more extensive stretching/ mobility routine into your workout routine. It will help more than you think!
We offer a FREE stretching class 1-2 times a week. Give the office a call to sign up. Our number is 256-325-2070.
3. Fuel your body.
Your body will be needing extra fuel. This fuel comes in many forms, including water, good calories, and additional sleep.
If you’re in tune with your body, you may notice your internal temperature feeling a bit warmer than usual. This will eventually even out, but you can know that your metabolism is working overtime
because of your extra work.
Cleaning up your diet and making an effort to understand what a truly healthy diet is can help you lose the weight you wish to, but also help you feel healthier!
Be sure to pack your day with brightly colored fruits and vegetables that contain the vitamins and minerals you need, including good carbohydrates to fuel those minutes in the gym.
Drinking enough water helps to lubricate your joints, protect tissues in your body, and flush toxins from the body. When you are exercising, your body will produce a waste known as lactic acid.
Lactic acid is what causes the muscle soreness you feel after a hard workout. Drinking adequate water and cooling down can help flush this from your muscles and hopefully prevent you from hobbling around for the next few days.
Have we ever talked about sleep? Oh, the beautiful unconscious state we all enjoy and sometimes chase on the backs of sheep. Sleep is much more important than we realize, and once you hear the pros of getting adequate sleep and the major cons of not getting enough sleep, you’ll make it a point to go to sleep an hour early tonight.
Follow these three steps to help you ease into fit and keep the pain away, but if you find yourself hurting in these coming months, give us a call. Our hands can take away the pain and get you back to the gym!