We all get excited by the new year. Plans to achieve goals, set new weekly regimes and targets with sometimes unrealistic expectations and dangerous consequences. Motivation is at a high and we are re- charged with new found vigour after a few days off and a bit of time spent away from the workplace. The summer weather is pulsing down and you just want to get out there and be a part of that sunshine.
However, there is a very real threat of throwing yourself into the fray with just a little bit too much 'exercise' abandon. Its great to harness the excitement of 'going for it' and utilising all that freshly cultivated motivation, throwing on the running shoes that you got from Aunty Beryl for Christmas and setting out your weekly timetable of 6am spin classes with an added lunchtime run around the Botanical Gardens and yoga at 8:30pm. But the danger is that you got 'too hard', 'too quickly'.
Graduated return is a phrase oft used in recovering from injury, however it is very appropriate in this instance as often we are so excited by our 'new start' that we are beginning fresh activities that we have not endured before and we need to 'ease our bodies' into the new regime.
If you have never been a runner, it is important that you allow your body the chance to experience the impact that running may have upon you. If you are going to run a marathon, you just can't expect to run 42km straight off the bat. It is the same with any new activity and you need to ensure that you have a scheduled. sensible program that incrementally increases your capacity to perform and work towards that goal of 42km.
It's the same with activities such as gardening or yard work. Getting stuck into that veggie patch is hard work if you have not been doing any exercise or activity during the December period. Shovelling, lifting, pushing, sowing all involve bodily actions that are strenuous and need a good level of 'base' fitness so that you don't over-reach and cause your body to work beyond what it is capable of.
Being mindful of your past activity at this time is important. Getting the right instruction in technique and the types of actions you should be doing to achieve your goals is primary.
§ Make sure your goals for the new year include a scheduled plan to safely assist you to reach the lofty heights you may be setting yourself.
§ Making sure your body remains lengthened and joints are not adversely impacted by new actions is important.
§ Identifying where your posture may be weak and ensuring you get the right exercises to stabilise and be safe in your actions is primary to prevent you ending up 'on your back' before February.
§ seeking advice on how to achieve goals with smaller goals along the way
The old adage of crawl before you walk and walk before you run is most important here. As Super Human as we like to think ourselves, every athlete or performer knows that the return to full activity needs to be GRADUATED so that you don't injure yourself. Yes you will be in pain from exercise, yes you are going to feel sore, but listening to your body is important. If you are getting more than aching muscle soreness, look at your regime. Get an opinion on your movement and postural mechanics.
Our therapists are experts at identifying body patterns and movement patterns that may be adversely impacting your return to activity. Scheduling appointments at this early stage of your quest for elite athlete status can save you a lot of impact later on... as in February.
So don't be over excited, put the brakes on a little and know when to seek advice. Clock those 'remedial' exercises and therapies that you know will help you and make 2013 your year. Just remember, you have a whole year to enjoy the goals!