Getting Fit & Healthy For The New Year
‘Losing Weight’ and ‘Exercising More’ are the most common New Year’s Resolutions. However, exercising can be a hazardous activity, especially if you are new to working out and don’t know how to train in a safe way. At this time of year patients often come to see me having injured themselves after taking up running or to discuss how to achieve their fitness goals injury-free. Each patient’s situation is unique, so it is important to seek advice, but there are some general rules to follow when exercising or increasing your activity levels.
It is very important to warm up before exercise to both enhance performance and prevent injury. 10-12 minutes of warm up can greatly increase blood flow, oxygen release and efficiency of muscle use. Furthermore, a good warm up can prevent muscle tearing, improve heart rhythm and enhance joint/ligament efficiency to avoid injury.
Make Sure You Eat Well
When training it is important to make sure you eat a healthy balanced meal, as well as leave a good amount of time between eating and your workout. Food that is rich in Carbohydrates and Protein will provide enough ‘fuel’ to get through your training sessions and is linked to muscle growth. While this is a good rule of thumb for short of high-intensity workouts, the energy from fatty foods can be more beneficial for endurance activities, such as distance running.
Drink Water While Exercising
Keeping hydrated is important to maintain your body’s physical function. If you become dehydrated this can impact your cardiovascular system and muscle function. It is very easy to become dehydrated when exercising, especially as we tend to only feel thirsty once we have become dehydrated, but by this point it will already have affected our performance. Water is a sufficient way of staying hydrated for short low intensity activities, but for longer higher intensity sports, such as long distance running, a drink containing carbohydrates and electrolytes is advisable. There are many sports drinks that are useful in this way.
Exercising To Lose Weight
People often think that exercise by itself will lead to weight loss, and take a little exercise to justify eating far worse than usual. However, diet and exercise are intrinsically linked, meaning that you should consider exercising along with other factors, such as adjusting to a more healthy dietary regime. If your goal is to achieve a healthier weight, then the best advice is to pick an exercise you enjoy doing (people often drop their new regime due to boredom) in conjunction with improving what you eat and how often.
Listen To Your Body
One of the biggest causes of injury when people increase their exercise is that they do not listen to their bodies. Quite often people who have not been active for a while make the mistake of thinking their bodies are just as capable as when they were younger. This leads them to push themselves too soon, run through pain or ignore aches that they shouldn’t. It is important to be sensible; if your body is in pain then take a break and work up to each level, if you have an ache after an intensive workout then take a hot bath and relax. Paying close attention can help prevent serious long term injury.
Seek Specialist Advice
If you find that your workout is causing pain or injury, or even that you are unsure how to exercise or increase your activities, then it is worth seeking advice on how best to reach your goals.
At my practice I offer a range of services to improve your physical efficiencies, as well as diagnose and treat physical issues, including:
- Life Coaching - I can speak to you about your goals and develop effective strategies for how to achieve them.
- Dietary Analysis - We can review your dietary habits, conduct blood tests to identify deficiencies and work out how to adapt your diet to your goals.
- Physical Screening - I conduct comprehensive reviews of your physical condition including any injuries or inefficiencies, which may involve a physical examination, medical imaging and blood tests. From these we can arrive at a full understanding of your physical state and how we can treat or improve this.
- Integrated Health - I work closely with an expert team of medical and complementary healthcare practitioners, who I trust to care and make a difference for my patients, including
- Gait Specialists
In my experience these kinds of steps can help give my patients an edge and determination to achieve their goals.
If you have any further questions or would like to book in, please do get in touch:
Tel. 07540 123 227
Address. 27 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QP