Updated: Feb 7, 2019
“Exercise is medicine” How much will you do today? I love the quote but I can’t claim it, I’ve heard it from Mick Hughes (a Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist from Melbourne) has been doing a great job spreading the word about daily movement. I’m unsure who originally coined the phrase – but I love it. I love physiology, I love performance coaching, but most of all I love seeing people improve themselves.
For a long time, I’ve been drumming on about intelligent training, and this ring’s true for both competitive athletes and people who may train for health and lifestyle. Below I have outlined 5 tips for starting to exercise and never ever stopping.
1. Beginners start slow - Whether exercise is something totally foreign to you or was part of your life decades ago, be smart when commencing. Depending on your level some walking will usually suffice but some may be able to get on a bike, cross trainer, rower or even some light jogging for 30-60 seconds at time. Be smart and increase both volume and intensity slowly, allow everything to adapt in its own time- tendons will adapt slower then aerobic fitness for example. So, don’t be in a hurry this is a lifelong journey you are embarking on.
2. Take emotion out of it - The first 4 months will be a dream you will be filled with neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins will be making you feel like the king of the world….. there will be slumps – and this is where we need exercise to be a hardwired part of our day – we wake up, brush our teeth, we go to training or if you’re a PM trainer take your gear with you in the car and just know you WILL train after work. Motivation is a brilliant thing but do not rely on it because it can be fleeting.
3. Know your why – A bit of a follow up from number 2 – but we need some intrinsic motivation as well – a performance goal is great but that may not work for some 12 months of year, so we all need a reason to move, for example, mental health, physical health, to be able to run around with grandkids in 10 years’ time, or to save yourself from medical bills later (remember the old saying ‘if you’re not willing to invest in your physical health now you better be ready to fork out for doctors’ bills later). It doesn’t matter what your why is just as long as gets you moving daily.
4. Map out your week - Constructing the training week ahead can help, especially for very busy people. Your quality sessions will take precedence for example 2 -3 running sessions, 2 strength sessions and a long walk the other days may be as simple as planning to walk to the train station instead of driving.
5. Enjoy the process - Don’t make exercise another stressor, enjoy every minute of it even if you’re having an easy walk day or don’t perform as you would like – always remember how bloody lucky we are to be taking part in this game called life- let’s get out and live it!