How to make your fitness resolutions come true this 2019, while avoiding injury!

It’s that time of year again, the gyms are packed, busier then they have been all year. You’ve got your fresh new shoes that you got for Christmas, a new FitBit that you got for a steal on Boxing Day, and you have signed up for Treadmill Cardio HITT classes 4 -5x/week. What could go wrong?

You might be prepared to take on this new fitness regimen, but is your body?

When starting a new exercise it is important to consider the changes of load and stress that you are putting your body through. One of the most common causes of injury is simply “too much, too soon”.

Here are 3 easy steps to achieve your fitness goals for 2019, while avoiding injury:

Step 1.  Warm up AND cool down

  • Make time in your routine to stretch the muscles that you are going to be working before beginning your workout
  • If you are planning to do a dynamic activity (eg. basketball) , the best way to warm up is with a dynamic stretch and warm up routines such as high knees, butt kicks, or light jogging. Incorporate movements that are involved in the activity you are about to do!

Ensure time for cooling down after a workout, this may include stretching, light cardio, and foam rolling

Step 2.  Plan Ahead

  • Avoid working the same muscle group for two consecutive days. For example, working your arms at the gym and then taking a boxing class the next day may not be the best decision for your body.
  • With strength training, there is a normal amount of muscle damage that occurs, and the muscles need time to recover or they will fatigue faster. There is greater benefit in dividing your routine to ensure you don’t work the same muscles and to avoid injury!

Step 3. Progressive Increase (FIT)

  • Gradually increase the FIT of your activity = Frequency, Intensity, Time
  • For example, if you are not an avid runner, but decide that you will start doing Treadmill Cardio HITT classes this year, think about the FIT:
    Frequency: start with 1 class a week, rather than 4-5
    Intensity: if in the class you have the option to choose your treadmill speed, start at the lower options and work your way up with each week
    Time: Start with a class that incorporates running 25-50% of the class rather than 50% and up

Cheers to a Healthy 2019 Everybody!

Amanda Benaim MScPT and RockTape Ambassador