Tips on how to get fit AND stay fit and healthy this summer

With the warmer weather approaching, 2016 new year’s resolutions drawing to a close and 2017 fast approaching many of us see this as opportune time or race to finish line to “GET FIT” and “SUMMER READY.” It is this exact moment our bodies are most vulnerable and susceptible to injury.

You can get fit and summer ready but you can also do it pain free and injury free with sustainable, long lasting results. We are all created to be active, and exercise has amazing benefits for both our physical and mental well-being. However exercise is not the same for everyone – we all have different exercise backgrounds, different starting levels of fitness, different health conditions, different responses to exercise and different hobbies. Exercise is unique to each individual and should been seen as something to be enjoyed not feared.

When starting on your journey to fitness it is important to first consider your starting point.

  • How much exercise have you previously done?
  • What type of exercise have you done/ enjoyed?
  • Are you returning from injury or illness?

All of these factors will help to determine your base level of fitness and help you to find a safe starting point. Always start small and gradually increase over the course and when in doubt seek professional medical advice, maybe from your doctor or physiotherapist. A simple way to increase your exercise over time may be to add 10 minutes each week to your workout, add some more weight, do an extra set or number of reps per body part. Another way is to break up exercise over the course of the day and slowly increase volume. This will also help any exercise to seem less daunting and more achievable. Be sure to continually monitor how you are feeling and listen to your body – you may be a bit sore after new exercise but this should not last for days and should not be injury-type pain. If you are a bit sore following your workout take an extra rest day, hydrate and focus on recovery such as foam rolling, stretching or gentle walk.

  • Set small, achievable and timely goals to help you stay motivated.
  • Break goals down into daily goals; complete 20 minutes exercise each day, weekly goals; add 10 minutes to one workout and longer term goals may focus around achieving certain run time/ distance, lifting certain weight for number reps,sets and so on.

Make your goals based on your own personal desires not the person’s next door.

Achieving a level of fitness should not be a competition against someone, else but a journey to improve yourself and become the strongest, best and comfortable YOU.

It is Important to realise exercise is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix – yes initially results may come fast but you need to progress slowly and steady. Be patient to allow long-term progress and sustainable results.

Below are some tips to help you stay injury free and get fit safely

  • Nourish your body with the right foods
  • Always start your exercise with 5-10 minute warm up – gentle exercise to warm up you should be able to maintain a conversation while doing so. This will help to prime your muscles for movement, improve blood flow to working muscles and elevate your heart rate.
  • End your exercise with a cool down – low level exercise, may be a walk followed by some gentle stretching and foam rolling
  • Have at least 1 rest day per week, listen to your body and pace yourself
  • Incorporate regular stretching and flexibility sessions into your weekly routine – such as a Yoga, Pilates or Stretch class
  • Ensure variety in your training to prevent over training
  • Do whole movements like squats, push ups to name a few. This will give you a full body workout develop strength
  • Ensure you get adequate sleep – this is where your body repairs itself and allows you get stronger
  • Focus on technique – if you are unsure if you are doing something correctly seek advice from exercise professional such as physiotherapist or personal trainer
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Find a Physiotherapist who understands your goals

It is possible to get fit and stay injury free this summer. Value and listen to your body, when in doubt progress slowly and with caution. Understand the best results take time, focus on small goals, don’t race to get to the finish line tomorrow.

Enjoy the process. Get creative and spontaneous and find ways in your day to move more, most importantly do a type of exercise or activity you ENJOY! Find support from your friends, family and utilise physiotherapists, doctors and other health and exercise professionals.

If you need help achieving your goals, want to join our Pilates classes or need treatment for an injury, we’re here to help. Click here to book an appointment online with one of our Physiotherapists.

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