Maybe you're new to exercise and want to join your friends at the gym,
Or are you just coming back to it after taking some time off?
Whatever your situation, exercise is well known to have many health benefits including weight management, improved insulin sensitivity, elevated mood and increased resistance to cardiovascular disease.
It is ESSENTIAL for keeping healthy!
But before you start, here are a few things to consider so that you can get the most out of your training:
Before embarking on a mission to improve your health, you need to set some goals.
Ask yourself: WHY am I doing this?
It's important to have a clear idea and focus on making this goal as specific and personal as possible. Compare the following for example:
Which of these will resonate more with you when you don't feel motivated to go and exercise?
Take some time to really understand the real reason you have decided to start exercising. For some people, starting is the easy part - continuing through with it can prove to be the most difficult challenge...
And that's when you remind yourself what's at stake
Without setting your intentions, how do you know if your exercise program is effective or not?
Great! So you have set your goals. Now how are you going to achieve them?
This is where consulting with a good personal trainer can help you out
If your intention is to lose weight, you are (generally speaking) going to be doing more cardio than someone whose goal is to put on some size
What type of cardio do you like? Do you prefer running outside or on a treadmill? Or do you enjoy spending time on the crosstrainer? Perhaps you enjoy lifting weights, or doing circuit classes as a group?
Whatever it is (and there is no wrong answer) you need to set a plan of action
For most people, your program will look something like this:
Is your technique faultless or do you need some help to improve it?
Do you need help with the machines at the gym, or advice on the best way to train a certain body part?
... Do you know what you're doing?
This really important if you are to exercise for a long time!
There is NO SHAME in asking for help... the alternative is that you end up hurting yourself because of poor technique which can eventually lead to a a visit to your local Physio or Doctor
Save your time and frustration and do something about your technique before starting
A quick movement screen that we use in our clinic are:
If you are struggling with any of these basic movements, can you think of how that will impact your training?
If you're new to lifting weights, we have a few guides for the most popular movements you will do at the gym. Here's one for the deadlift.(http://www.activtherapy.com.au/blog/4-steps-for-a-ground-shaking-deadlift)
Last but not least - be accountable to yourself
This means being consistent with your training routine and not missing sessions for crappy reasons
Some of the most common crappy reasons are:
It's harder than it sounds... that's why Step #1 is so important
One way to help you stay motivated is the Seinfeld Method
The rules are simple:
Hopefully these tips helped you out in making your exercise journey more successful, and a big Congratulations for making the effort to invest in yourself and your health!
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About the Author:
Lawrence Khuu is a qualified Physiotherapist and Movement Specialist. His mission is to help motivated clients perform at their highest level through a combined hands-on treatment and exercise rehabilitation approach. He currently treats clients at Activ Therapy Casula.
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