New Year, New Fitness Regime, Same Old Niggles / Injuries.
The New Year kicks off with all those positive aspirations; spend more time with friends, less extra time
in the office, and the age-old ‘get fitter’ Physiotherapist Stuart Butler shares his top tips on getting fitter
in the 2018.
Fitness should be progressive and should always have some variety. There’s no point in going out and
running 5k every other day. Your body needs multiple stimuli and so try and use lots of different
muscle groups. A good example would be to do some running, and then do some bodyweight circuits
(for example Press Ups, Sit Ups, Bridges, Squats, etc). Even the running can include some ‘tempo’
sections where you run faster, and then slower. Circuits could start at 5 sets of 10 reps and then every
week you could add a couple of extra reps. General recommendations are to increase the volume by
10% a week or take an average weekly mileage over a month and make sure week 5 is no more than
20% than the average.
An injured athlete isn’t participating. The ability to do enough, and not too much is a difficult balance
but I’d rather someone did 6 weeks continuous exercise, than one week’s high intensity and then not be
able to do anything for 5 weeks! Especially if you’re starting out as a new exerciser, it’s more effective to
run for a minute, walk for a minute for a total of 20 minutes than it is to run continuously for 20 minutes
– you’ll burn 3rd more calories doing the run-walk method.
Listen to your body:
Your bodies pretty good at telling you what’s going on. I normally recommend that you start by
exercising every other day. Expect some DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness), a perfectly normal
experience of soreness and stiffness that should only last 24-48 hours after you’ve done something new
Take into account other stressors:
A lack of sleep or increased stress at work/home can heighten your bodies response to pain and
discomfort, this is perfectly normal and please don’t panic, just take a deep breath, and try and give it
Exercise should be fun, and will be unique to you. It could be swimming, cycling, running, or group based
circuits/boot camps. You might want to try Yoga or Pilates and there are loads of great experts out there that are just waiting to help you!