1. There is never a perfect time. Whenever I speak to people about exercise I always like to start with this. The longer you wait the tougher it is to get started. Begin today even if it’s just a little something to build your confidence and generate some momentum moving forward.
2. Pain and soreness are different. Soreness is an expected response after new or intense exercise and will subside usually within 1-3 days. Pain on the other hand is an abnormal response that can debilitate you in the short term and make you worse in the long term if you try to push through it. If you’re in pain visiting someone such as a chiropractor that can correct the problem is a good option.
3. Avoid stopping and starting. I speak to people regularly that get into a groove with exercise and then take weeks off at a time. The more you stop, the harder it is to start again and your progress will also suffer. Some weeks you may be able to do more than others but avoid the temptation to do nothing for extended periods of time.
4. Shake it up. Your body is an efficient machine. If you give it the same stimulus each time it has no reason to get stronger, faster or produce better results. For gym workouts vary your weights, workout order, exercises, rest between sets, etc. For cardiovascular training vary your distances, pace and terrain. Changing things up always produces better results.
5. Don’t get married to 1 type of exercise. Many people fall in love with a certain type of exercise they enjoy and ignore everything else. I know weightlifters that spend hours at the gym but forget that the heart is also a muscle and that cardiovascular exercise is important. Likewise, I know runners and cyclists that don’t understand that weight training would only make them more successful at those activities. Have a variety of exercise for better results.
6. Quality over quantity. There is a misconception that exercise must take hours at a time in order to produce results. This causes many people to avoid it altogether. The reality is that you can achieve excellent results in minimal time if you do it properly. I work out 4 days a week in the gym and my weight workouts usually only take me 20-25 minutes because I rest only minimally between sets (15-30 seconds) and never stop moving.
7. Intensity matters. While there’s no such thing as a bad workout, if you’re showing up to a gym and reading the newspaper for 5 minutes between sets your results aren’t going to amount to much. When you exercise focus on what you’re trying to accomplish and give it all your effort while you’re there.
8. Set a goal. People often set very generic goals such as weight loss or trying to have a better body. In my experience, the more broad the goal the less likely the chances of attaining it. What I encourage people to do is sign up for a race or an event. Doing so gives purpose to your training and motivates you to not show up out of shape. Even better, find an event out of your comfort zone and you’ll train harder and smarter than ever before. I’ve known far more people that have lost weight and built better bodies after signing up for 5Ks or mud runs than I have in making New Year’s resolutions.
9. Make it convenient. The best gym in the world won’t help you if you can’t make it there regularly. Select workout spots, types of exercise, etc that will make it the easiest for you to stay consistent.
10. Find someone that knows what they’re doing. I see people at the gym with great intentions that have no idea what they’re doing and are at risk for injuries as a result. Find a qualified trainer or someone with experience to show you some basics. This will give you confidence and lead to better and faster results.
Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit www.NewBodyChiro.com, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.