Millions of individuals compete in competitive sports and events each year in the United States. 480,000+ are NCAA players. 500,000 run marathons each year. Millions more play school sports, start weight loss programs or are trying to learn a new fitness skill. However, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to start a training routine to get healthier and stronger. Use these tips to get started!
Start out by setting your fitness goals. What do you want to accomplish? For example, do you want to lose weight, kick a chronic condition, improve your energy, sleep better, or fit into your high school jeans? Set a goal and make it SMART (see link) so that you can reach your goal. Always have your goals written down where you can see them and make a set time to do your exercising.
Second, decide where you are going to start training. Many gyms will have personal trainers to help you get into shape for something specific. We do the same with customized stretches, exercises and injury prevention. However, you get the added bonus that we help you work around your limitations, injuries and ailments. Decide whether you will work at a center, gym, at home, with a friend, or outside and dress accordingly.
Pick the right exercise helps. If you want to start biking more, consider joining a spinning class to tone the right muscles. Join online communities for like-minded people that want to reach the same goals. A training routine done with another is one more likely to succeed.
With any training routine, you must focus on diet and exercise. Exercise is key to building muscle and endurance. Exercise will increase your circulation, sending more nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to all your tissues, organs and bones. It can help you avoid inflammation (as long as you don’t overdo it), joint pain, back pain, chronic conditions and muscle atrophy.
If you are starting a training routine after doing nothing, start with doing a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. That could be brisk walking or some running. 150 minutes is about 30 minutes, 5 days a week, which is the recommended amount for non-athletes by the American Heart Association. For those wanting to train for a sport or weight loss, try doubling that amount of time the second or third week. When reps with lifting become easier, move up to the next weight size while doing the same reps. With running, you must slowly increase your mileage each week by a mile or 2 to avoid injuries in your muscles.
The hardest part for most people is going too fast with training. Take it slow and follow training routines specific to your end goal or sport.
It’s always smart to know how to operate any type of machine in a gym and at home if you are using it for exercise. USA Today reported statistics from 2012 that recorded 460,000 people sent to the hospital in the U.S. from exercise equipment injuries. Treadmills bring the highest number of training injuries like broken bones from falls, abrasions, chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Some say to stretch before you work out. However, science shows that you may be better off stretching after you have warmed up. That means you work out for 5-10 minutes and then do some light stretching. Finish your workout and follow it up with more stretching to reduce lactic acid in your muscles that causes soreness. Cold stretching when your muscles haven’t been warmed up can lead to injuries. Running or exercising in the elements can lead to slips and falls, which have sent many to the hospital with broken bones, back, neck, shoulder, hip, wrist and elbow injuries.
To avoid injury, you have to know the exercises you are doing and research proper training technique. Failure to lift, sit, stand and perform exercises correctly can result in injuries that lead to months of healing and a longer period to reaching your goal.
There are many factors that are involved in a great training routine. One method for a running athlete may not be the best method for another type of athlete. Your training routine may differ based on your age, the climate, elevation and if you have physical limitations or chronic conditions. No matter your condition, you can always have your muscles stay active through physical therapy and vibration therapy. Physical therapy is always tailored to the patient and will accommodate injuries, chronic conditions and physical limitations.
This deals primarily with impairments to the musculature of the body, which can happen with new training routines and especially vigorous exercise. As you train, your body can naturally come out of normal alignment from motion and exercise. This can cause trigger points, uneven joint pressure, back pain, neuropathy symptoms and more. Physical therapy helps you overcome those issues as you train and involves customized therapies and exercises for you.
Vibration therapy is one that athletes love, especially in the cold winter months when it can be harder to train for many people. This therapy has patients stand on a vibrating platform machine. This machine will send countless vibrations through the body, which will cause the muscles of the body to contract and relax dozens of times per second. In just a few minutes each session, you can keep your muscles toned and reduce your risk for training injuries.
Don’t start a training routine on your own! We often see patients with injuries from sports or exercise due to improper technique or overexertion. The best way to start a training routine is to know your goals and to work with a professional to get there. Working with someone can help you reach your goals quicker than you otherwise could. To get started with a health evaluation and counseling for your fitness goals, call Back2Health today at (843) 405-0025!