Time to think about those resolutions
It’s the start to the new year. Which means… it’s that cliché time when you decide to improve your health. Whether it is to lose weight, gain mass or get stronger.
- Simple and free – cycle, walk or run to work.
- Free – start running or cycling for fun
- Commitment – Join a gym
- Social – Join a sports group
The list could go on!
Get the Balance right
But when you start your regime if you rush it or push too hard too soon you are most likely to get a strain or a sprain but don’t despair there are simple ways to get around it.
Warm up properly make sure your heart rate is slightly higher and your breathing a little faster and dynamic stretches to mobilise your joints. Ease yourself into the workout.
If you balance your program properly you can avoid injuries such as tendonitis or the dreaded shin splints.
Keeping up the Motivation
Of course, once an injury sets in, it’s much harder to keep going. So why does this happen so much?
I think one reason is that people tend to overlook the full picture. They evaluate how to achieve certain goals,such as losing weight or gaining muscle, considering how to do it; how much weight they need to press; how many reps and sets they need to do; how far they need to run; and for how long. Short term results can be measured with a quick step onto the bathroom scales.
Nothing wrong with that. But it misses the value of having an all-round program. This means that mistakes are made – and one of the most common is that when time gets pressured, people decide to save time by removing or ignoring adequate stretching. This is most likely because the primary objective is to achieve your set goal – and the exercises will help you achieve your goal, while the stretches won’t, per se.
The Importance of Maintenance
The motto for 2016, then: stretching, stretching and more stretching. Here, in sports terms, we’re talking about ‘maintenance’ rather than ‘conditioning.’ You wouldn’t expect a car to just keep on going if you only put petrol in it. It needs some TLC, some oil, maybe, to stop the engine from ceasing. The body is exactly the same.
So how does maintenance (in this instance stretching) work as far as the body is concerned? Put simply, every time you physically exert yourself, it forces muscles to change and, as they do so, this causes micro tears. When the muscles heal, they heal in a haphazard state that, in turn, forces the muscle to contract resulting in a shorter range of motion that creates pain and restricts movement over a increasing periods of time.
The Benefits of Stretching
Like oil in a car, stretching can help maintain your normal range of motion as well as help you keep smooth fluid movement in the joints and muscles.
This is why professional athletes take their maintenance training very seriously indeed. They are trying to prevent any “scar tissue.” For instance, in any event a contraction through scar tissue can make you that 100th of a second slower and this could mean the difference between first and second.
So if you are doing something new or have a new years resolution to improve yourself allow me to suggest you with one thing. Don’t just think about your goal, consider it a lifestyle change that always makes time for maintenance training. You could even try classes or exercises specifically aimed at stretching, or look for certain types of massage.
Good luck and don’t forget I am so proud of you for improving yourself and your lifestyle and am with you all the way.
Happy new year!!!