Do you want to be fitter and stronger in 2015?
How many times have you resolved to exercise in the New Year? It is a commonly made resolution, but can be tough to stick to. However, if you have back pain, exercise is crucial to easing your pain and preventing future problems.
We would love to help you make exercise a part of your life in 2015. If you plan now, you will be ready to start your plan on 1st January (well, maybe the 2nd…).
Before going on a long car journey, you would check your tyre pressure and oil, wouldn’t you? So how about treating your body in the same way? If you come and see us before you embark on a new exercise regime we can help you sort out any injuries which are “waiting to happen” before you start and advise you on the best kind of exercise for you and how to build up your fitness.
One of the most difficult things about exercise is getting started. It is all too easy to come up with excuses to put exercise off until another day, but your back will thank you if you just do it. Here are a few tips to get you going:
- Find something you enjoy – if you don’t like getting your hair wet, then don’t go swimming! It sounds obvious, but you are much more likely to stick with it if you find it fun.
- Start slowly. If you are not used to exercise, then build up very gradually. If you overdo it, you may get injured or just find it too hard and give up.
- Make the most of modern technology. There are lots of apps available to coach you through. If you fancy running, then use the NHS Couch to 5K app – lots of our patients have had great success with it. Alternatively, you could use the social media site Strava to race your friends over bike or running routes – even when they are not with you.
Sticking with it
To get the most benefit from all your hard work, you need to exercise regularly – at least 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week.
Find what works for YOU. You will find it much easier to stick to your exercise regime if it fits with your lifestyle. If you need external motivation, work out with a friend or join a class. If you are not a morning person, don’t plan to exercise before work at 6 a.m.
Set yourself goals and write them down. There are no right or wrong exercise goals, but yours might include:
- To lose weight – set a realistic target and aim for it.
- To be able to do activities comfortably that you have given up because of your back pain, such as gardening or playing with your grandchildren.
Enter a fun run or a charity bike ride – knowing you have entered an event and that people have sponsored you can be a really powerful motivator.
Why not put a bit of “tech” on your Christmas list? – A GPS watch to log the miles or a pedometer to count your steps and calories burned. These gizmos can really help you to keep track of your progress.
We will both be enjoying some time off over Christmas. Click here for our Christmas and New Year opening hours. We are back to normal clinic hours from 6th January 2015.
We wish you a very Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year
PS – no product endorsements intended, links are simply for illustrative purposes. Other gadgets, apps and websites are available!