So this week for our workout wednesday discussion I thought I would talk a little about what you can do if your just starting out, feeling a little over whelmed thinking that you have a lot of weight to lose, or if your struggling with (or recovering from) an injury.
Generally, exercising three days per week on alternate days is enough to improve fitness and to minimise the risk of bone or joint injury. I would recommend 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity accumulated, daily. So it’s totally ok to make your exercise time a cumulative total, three 10 minute bouts throughout the day being just as effective as 30 minutes straight. This is perfect for those of us who are really just starting out, recovering from an injury or just having little ones running around under our feet.
I highly recommend doing functional exercises. These are basically exercises that replicate your basic and general activities of daily living. Things like, taking a walk, squats, step ups, overhead press or even simple little things like calf raises . .. perfect. Multitask where you can, squat while your bending down to hang out the laundry, do some calf raises while your making lunch, bicep curls with the groceries while your putting them away . . .
Do your exercises to the best of your ability for where you are right now. You want to challenge yourself but know your limits, never push themselves to the point of overexertion, pain, or beyond a level you consider to be safe. You know your body. Listen to it.
Listen . . . Don’t make excuses though . . . Listen.
You want to progress from basic to more advanced exercises. For example start out walking then progress to jogging, then running then finally sprinting.
Now although it may be tough to begin with, resistance training is really beneficial. If your just starting out and feel very, very unfit or if your recovering from an injury you don’t have to lift heavy weights. Although when your fighting fit and feeling strong I totally recommend heavy weights, but for the newbies or those coming back from injury you can just use your own body weight for resistance.
Here are a few more options –
– Body weight
– Dumbbells or barbells
– Resistance bands
– Weighted balls
– Weighted “beanbags”
– Cable systems/machines (at a gym)
Or Aquatic Training –
Aquatic exercise provides us with the opportunity to move freely with less pain (or weight) and with less likelihood of injury than a land based exercise program. I love the idea of aqua aerobics if your feeling up to it. Being in the water not only helps with us feeling lighter than we do on dry land it also adds some sneaky resistance. Love that! Take to the pool baby, walk, jog, run, swim anything you can manage.
Also, you want to include some flexibility exercises to increase the range of motion. I love a good stretch and as someone who has suffered for years with knee pain regular stretching has helped me more than words can say.
The benefits of flexibility training include –
• Improved joint range of motion
• Decreased risk of musculoskeletal injury
• Improved ability with activities of daily living
• A feeling of increased muscle strength
• Improved posture
• Heightened sense of well being (aka makes you feel ah-mazing)
• Reduction in pain
• Ability to maintain aerobic capacity
Flexibility training is something that is over looked by many, but it really is so, so important. So we will talk about it in more detail in coming weeks, deal?