With the warmer weather and sunshine it’s time to get active again! Spring is one of the busiest times of the year at physiotherapy clinics. Why is this? Too often the cold winter weather keeps people indoors and then in the warm spring/summer weather people rush outdoors. If you aren’t as strong as you used to be but then in the excitement of the fresh warm weather go out and do the same amount of activity that you could do last summer injuries happen! It’s a great time to get active again but it should be done safely and gradually. Whether you didn’t like the gym scene or couldn’t motivate yourself to get outside with the sub zero temperatures, face it you are not as strong or don’t have the endurance that you used to have. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long for muscles to atrophy, for your cardiovascular endurance to diminish, or for your joints to lose their ability to withstand load. If you want to get back into it safely, or want to start getting active for the first time here are some things to consider and tips for starting fresh.
Tips for Getting Active Safely
- Start with small amounts most days a week. Don’t wait for Sunny Sunday to be active. Aim for smaller lengths of exercise but more days per week. It’s easier on your body and less daunting on your psyche.
- Take breaks. Nobody is watching you or cares if you stop to catch your breath or get a drink of water. It is important to rest and take it gradually.
- Seasonal Runners: Start with walk/jogs. Don’t just head out running for 30 minutes straight after not running for a couple of months. Get a solid warm up in then walk 1 minute, jog one minute and repeat. Even if your lungs feel good, your joints will thank you if you build up over time.
- Start with the core: Do some Pilates or yoga to get the core warmed up, loosen up the body and get used to moving again. We need a stable base from which to move.
- Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously. It is early in the season, its okay that you aren’t where you used to be last year. You’ll get there, enjoy the process!
Need Some Motivation to get active?
- Find A Buddy: Having someone to keep you company while you are exercising can make it more fun and make you more accountable. It’s hard to change your mind about going out for a walk when you are cancelling on a friend.
- Try something new. Sign up for tennis lessons or rent a paddleboard. Getting physically active in a new way is fun.
- Sign up for a Walk or Race. Having a race scheduled gives you a goal to work towards. It’s a great motivator and can be very rewarding!
Don’t let fear stop you. If you want to try something new but you are scared you don’t know what you are doing or fearful of getting hurt, GET HELP. Find a coach, see a professional, get some guidance and enjoy getting active this summer.