Each January with New Years resolutions in tow, people flock to the gyms, ice and sport courts in Sherwood Park to start getting into shape or living a more active lifestyle. For many this means a sharp increase in activity level from previous years, months or weeks and something their bodies may not quite be ready for. Following a few simple tips this month can help you get started safely and keep you on the road to fitness success.
1.Track Your Training Load
Before you can plan how much training is a good idea, you need to know how to measure your training load. Training load is the combination of how much work you do and how you feel doing it. A training journal is a good place to record your exercise program and training loads. Begin by recording how many minutes you exercise, multiplied by how tired you feel on a scale of 1-10.
For example, if this week you run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, at a 3/10 intensity level your training load would be 90.
ie: Training load: 30 min x 3/10 = 90
2. Start Slow
Is the best advice you can get when starting a new exercise regime. Your Exercise Baseline is the first level of any new program and the level you should work at for the first 4-6 weeks of any new training.
3. Increase activity by 10-15%/week
For example, you have been walking at a 2/10 on the “tiredness scale” for 60 minutes, 3 times per week your training load is 360/week. When you’re ready to increase your intensity try walking at a 3/10, for 45 minutes. This would be a training load of 405 and an increase of 12.5%.
4. Get Screened By a Professional
If you are thinking of starting to exercise for the first time, it’s best to be cleared by a medical doctor. If you have been active and are looking to increase your activity or try something new or have struggled with injuries, a sports therapist is often a great place to start. Look for a Sports Physiotherapist, Kinesiologist or Athletic Trainer that specializes in analyzing movement patterns and someone that can design a program that helps you build the mobility and strength to handle what you’re going to throw at it in training.
Being active and getting into shape are great goals for 2017. By starting out correctly you can ensure you keep yourself pain and injury free during your transformation to tip-top shape.
Here’s to good health this New Year!