It’s the time of year when people start making resolutions to get fit and to get healthy. I’m not sure why it takes a new year for people to make these decisions, but if that’s what it takes, then who am I to judge?
When starting a new exercise program, there are several key things to consider. Firstly, it is important that you realize that just because you were once fit, doesn’t mean that you can do everything you once did. You should set manageable goals, and gradually build your exercise program to minimize the risk of injury or serious event. Start with lighter weights and higher repetitions to be safe, and when performing cardio exercises both a lower intensity and duration is advised.
Many people are using Apps and websites to start their programs and though there are lots of useful tools on the internet, I would say to use these with caution. If you have the resources to do so, consulting a reputable personal trainer or kinesiologist (such as those at Thrive) is your best bet. A properly trained individual will tell you if your form and training habits are appropriate. This may be money well spent if it prevents an injury from happening in the first place. They will help you set the aforementioned goals and set you up with an appropriate program.
It is also important to recognize the signs of injury when they occur. It can be normal to have some aches and pains when working out, but these pains should resolve in about 48-72 hrs after workout. If your pain lasts longer than that, starts to limit your ability to function, or awakens you at night, you should consider contacting a trained professional such as a doctor or registered physiotherapist to have yourself assessed. Your physiotherapist should not only assess your injury, but also investigate your exercise program and look at other areas of the body that may be contributing to your injury. If your physiotherapist barely assesses you, or just hooks you up to a machine, you might be in the wrong place!
Here’s to a happy new year, and to all of us reaching our goals. If your new year requires our rehabilitation services, rest assured that our therapists remain current on knowledge and techniques, provide patients with evidence based treatments, and always assess you thoroughly to ensure our treatment is appropriate.