You better shape up!

As we discussed last week, this is the time of year when the holiday guilt starts to settle in. It’s also a time of the year when a lot of people say, “Right that’s it, I’m going to get fit.”

Whilst in principle that’s a good thing and we certainly want to encourage that, there are a few words of wisdom which might help you to avoid any nasty injuries and pains as you start on your voyage to fitness…

First off, the tissues of our bodies – from bones, muscles, tendons and the like – adapt to the stresses and strains we put them through regularly. So if you run a lot, your body will adapt to cope with the running.

This is one of the things which I find fascinating about the human body – its ability to change to what we ask it to do. However, this clever system is not fail-safe, as it can also cause us problems when we try and ask it to do things we are not used to.

If you suddenly do different or more activity than you normally would do, that January kick to get fit may injure tissue and lead to a lot of pain.

Our bodily tissues take time to adapt when we start something new or increase upon what we have been doing. Therefore, if you have plans to get out there and get fit, take it slowly.

Getting fit can sound like hard work, but there are multiple health benefits of this throughout the body: reducing blood pressure, losing weight, toning muscles, strengthening your bones and invigorating your heart to name a few.

Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, which can make you feel better about yourself and your life. These are the ‘natural highs’ associated with exercise.

So where to begin?

Try signing up for an activity you will enjoy. I’ve found that Pilates is amazing for spinal problems as it focusses on individual spinal movement and works on improving your core strength and posture. If you have a problematic spine or other musculoskeletal issues, have a look around for teachers who are trained to studio level. This means they have a much greater understanding of the body and spinal conditions, and can help you accordingly.

Swimming also works the spine at a segmental level, especially if you try out different strokes. That said, make sure you’ve got a good technique going, otherwise you’ll find yourself exiting the pool in more pain than when you went in.

The Government recommends we exercise for 30 minutes five times per week. It doesn’t have to be going for a run or attending an aerobics class however, if sweeping your drive or a brisk walk to a close friend’s house gets you out of breath, then it’s having a beneficial effect on you!

But above all, remember to keep it fun.

Whatever you decide to do to get yourself fit, it should be a fun and enjoyable experience to keep you motivated and wanting to go back for more. It might be difficult at times, but all that hard work will pay off in the end. There is a form of exercise out there for everyone – you just might not find it on the first attempt, but keep on going until you find the one for you. 

If you are currently having treatment with us, we can work with you to reach those goals and really give you something to be proud of.

Have a chat with one of our osteopaths before embarking on your new fitness regime and we’ll advise you on the best way forwards, so book a

consultation today on 01722 512043 or book online.

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