By David Cork (Osteopath) & Edwina Or (Chiropractor)

Happy New Year everyone!

Let’s get ready for salad bingeing and obnoxiously crowded gyms as people attempt to introduce health back into their lives.  It’s AMAZING that everyone can experience that motivation, but what’s more important and conveniently what most people struggle with is keeping that momentum going! So here are our tips to help YOU stay on track in 2021.

Start slowly

Going too hard too early can create a burn-out effect and, as a result, our goals don’t last.

If you are new to the exercise world, try aiming for 1 day a week of your favourite workout, followed by 2 days a week and progress at your own speed.

If you are returning to exercise after a break, gradually increase the intensity of your physical activity to allow your body to adapt after the de-training effect of not being able to participate in sport or go to the gym.

For guidance, WHO recommends a minimum of 2.5hrs of exercise per week for adults.

Make it fun

Who says you have to like burpees?! Find which exercises you enjoy more and include them in your routine. Even if it means joining a sports club instead of a gym, or doing a home workout with your pet.

Be Consistent

Consistency is crucial not only for results, but also when trying to build healthy habits. Doing something half-heartedly or on and off will break that cycle which, unfortunately, will make it even harder to commit long-term. It will take time for your body to get used to, but once it gets the hang of it, it becomes routine and easier to commit.

Set Goals
Set SMART goals, that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.  Try setting short term, medium-term and long term goals e.g. short-term may be return to a consistent workout regimen, medium maybe return to your pre-COVID level of fitness and the final goal might be to set a new personal best at the end of 2021.

Plan your activity
It is really important to plan out how you will achieve these goals – how many sessions a week will you start with? What exercises/activities? How will you progress this activity towards your goal?

Practice makes perfect
With time off, your skill in performing many activities may not be as good. The good news is this comes back quickly. If you’re returning to sport or the gym you might want to do a few extra short sessions each week or light workouts, just practicing the skills of the sport or the technique of key exercises.

Keep your mind on the present and focus on your own progress
A lot of people focus on what they used to be able to do or what others can do in terms of their fitness. This isn’t helpful. Your fitness journey will have plenty of ups and downs; the people who succeed are those who learn from their mistakes and continue to grow.

Stay active even on your days off
It’s normal to have some post-workout soreness when returning to physical activity but the key to combatting this is active recovery. Instead of sitting on the couch you might try going for a light swim or walk. Keeping active really helps your recovery. Click here for Daniel’s tips on how to reduce soreness after exercise.

Be adaptive
Sometimes we are injured, we can’t do our regular workout, or we can’t follow our normal training regimen. It really helps if you have a backup plan or you can adapt your activity so you can still remain active.

Be accountable
Record your workouts, meet a friend to do physical activity, join a team or get an exercise physiologist, personal trainer or coach to help you stick to your goals. All of these strategies make you accountable to someone, even if it’s yourself!

Don’t wait, START NOW

Often we wait for a certain date before we start, but most likely it’ll get dragged out to the next day, week, month. Start now, especially while you have the mindset right, and tell yourself BRING IT ON.

Did you know we can create a home exercise program for you?  Speak to your practitioner at your next appointment for further information.