Getting Back In Shape
There is no right time, moment or age to decide to get into shape and improve fitness levels and exercise self-care. Getting back into shape is beneficial at any time in our lives.
Many of us lead busy and complex lives where full-time work, family commitments and day-to-day living can feel like a constant energy-consuming juggle, leaving us feeling tired and without the motivation to exercise. However, the less we do, the more we lose endurance, stamina, and muscle mass, which inevitably leads to even less energy, less activity and movement, and, in many cases, weight gain. Of course, a serious or chronic illness can hinder exercise plans, however in general, improving fitness is always beneficial for both the body and the mind.
What Are The Benefits Of Exercise?
Engaging in a staged fitness routine can help to build up gradual resistance and to establish a routine and positive mindset that brings both physical and psychologically rewarding results, and a great number of benefits to include:
- Improved fitness, flexibility, strength and stamina
- Reduced weight
- Better posture
- Improved blood circulation
- Better mental wellbeing
- Improved sleep
Get Started Getting Back In Shape
Sometimes the prospect of getting fit can be intimidating. To make the task seem less daunting it is a good idea to make a realistic fitness plan and to start small, gradually building up to more exercise.
For those returning to exercise after some time away from it, it may be useful to consider why you stopped exercising in the first place. It may have been due to lack of free time, family commitments, an injury, work or simply feeling demotivated by the workout routine. Whatever the reason was, it can be a useful starting point when putting together a new plan.
Make A Plan
Having a fitness routine with a scheduled timetable may sound somewhat militant, but for many, setting a timetable and goals can make getting back into shape much easier.
A workout buddy is also an excellent idea. Having someone else to work out with is more motivating, fun and enjoyable, whilst also creating a greater sense of accountability. Missing a training session is not as easy if you have committed to going with someone else.
Avoid Too Much Too Soon
When resuming exercise to get back into shape, or even starting from scratch, it will not be possible to pick up where you left off, or to manage an advanced fitness regime.
In order to avoid injuries, the body needs to build up strength gradually, starting off with basic exercises to build strength and muscle tone, whilst avoiding injury. Activities such as weightlifting, require a gradual and slow build up. Similarly, embarking on a 10K run with no prior training is also likely to cause considerable discomfort and possible injury.
Warm Up Properly
A good warm up is very important as it primes and activates the connection between the nerves and muscles, it increases the blood flow to the muscles and raises the body’s core temperature allowing for a more efficient workout with faster muscle contraction and relaxation. This not only feels better when performing the workout but also reduces the risk of injury to the muscles, tendons and joints whilst enhancing performance.
Consider Low Impact Exercise
Some people find it easier to start with low-impact exercise to build strength, or to complement a high-impact regime for strength and stamina building.
Swimming is a healthy low impact activity that provides an all-body work out, helping to build endurance, muscle strength, stamina, and cardiovascular fitness. It can also help with relaxation and relieving mental stress.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates involve sequences of exercise and stretches which are low impact but very good for improving core strength, muscle tone, stamina, balance and coordination, and improving posture whilst promoting mindfulness and relaxation. Both practices are gentle on the joints and can accommodate all ages and fitness levels.
Personal Trainer (PT) Sessions
One of the greatest challenges of getting fit is maintaining a workout routine and sticking to it consistently. This is where PT sessions can be very helpful and motivating, helping to increase accountability and set realistic goals. A personal fitness instructor typically devises an individually tailored exercise program to suit unique requirements and gets quicker results in a safe way, helping you to improve your fitness levels, gain muscle, lose excess fat and push you beyond your comfort zone to break through plateaus.
It is helpful to celebrate progress and to avoid making any unhelpful comparisons with other people, or even to your former fitter self as doing so ultimately lowers self-esteem and hinders progress. It is the current progress that matters, not past progress.
How We Can Help
Exercise and self-care are extremely important to both our physical and mental health. We offer a range of fitness-related services including PT sessions and can help provide invaluable advice on fitness related issues. We can also provide rehabilitation following injury with our highly experienced team of sports physiotherapists. For more information on our services, get in touch today.