The New Year is upon us and it is now time to really get serious about an exercise program. The parties will be over and most of us will be settling back into a more normal schedule and routine. Some of you may be starting an exercise program for the first time while others are getting back into it after a break over the holidays. Here are some ways you can ease into your program and make sure you stick with it.
1.Don’t do too much too soon. One of the quickest ways to sidetrack your workout plan is to do too much too soon. Most people decide they are going to start a workout program and GO FOR IT! They hit the treadmill every day the first week and lift weights 3 of those days as well. Soreness sets in, as well as some fatigue and the next thing you know, you are right back to sleeping in rather than completing your workouts. To stay on track, don’t go for the gold right off the bat.
2.Set reasonable goals for yourself. As mentioned in #1, set goals that are reasonable. Work out 3 days the first week with a day off in between each workout session. This will allow your body time to adjust to the new activity.
3. Avoid injuries. Nothing gets your new workout sidetracked faster than an injury. Doing too much too soon puts you at higher risk for injuries. By taking it slowly at first and gradually adding more activity each week, you will allow your body time to adjust and you will avoid overuse injuries while possibly saving yourself a bad case of shin splints!
4. Create a workout environment you enjoy. No one wants to workout in a dark basement with no music. Or who wants to run on a treadmill facing a wall rather than a television? Make sure that whether you join a gym or are working out at home that you create an environment that you enjoy so that you will look forward to your workouts rather than dread them.
5. Plan short term but think long term. Set weekly and monthly goals so that you are able to experience success often. However, keep the final destination in mind. Chart out your small successes so that you can see how each one rolls up into your final goal.
By easing into your workouts, whether they are brand new to you or you are getting back into your routine, you will keep yourself motivated, injury free and on the road to reaching your long term goals. Remember maintaining our bodies is always priority number one!