For most people, Christmas is a time for enjoying the different foods and drinks on offer, along with celebrating and relaxing with your family. However, many of us also have a tendency to overindulge and neglect our exercise routines for a few days, so it’s no surprise that one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose some weight and stay healthy.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise is good for you and that people who exercise to some extent on a regular basis are likely to be healthier and less prone to suffering from health problems such as heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. Exercise helps us to keep our body weight at a healthy level and the growing obesity numbers in many western countries are due in part to a lack of exercise.
As well as keeping us physically fit, exercise is also very good for our psychological health and people that exercise regularly are more likely to experience better moods. Exercise naturally stimulates the release of endorphins that help to relieve pain and generally make us feel happier.
The benefits of a New Year’s resolution to exercise are undeniable. So why do so many of us neglect our goals?
We get fed up with exercise
One reason that people quickly forget about their pledge to exercise more is that they become disillusioned when they feel that they aren’t achieving their goals. Often the reason for this is that people aren’t sure what sort of exercises they should be doing to accomplish their specific goals, so they don’t see the effects that they’re hoping for.
For people working towards losing weight, cardiovascular exercise is essential, so spending time at the gym lifting weights is unlikely to be very helpful. Taking part in activities that get your heart beating faster helps you to burn fat and help keep your heart healthy. Cardio exercises need not be boring – if the thought of running on a treadmill or swimming length after length don’t appeal, why not try taking part in a sport that involves running, or even take up a pastime such as dancing?
For people looking to build muscle mass, it makes sense that lifting weights is the most effective type of exercise to focus on. When aiming for larger muscles and working on explosive power, lifting heavier weights for a lower number of reps is effective, for example, lifting a weight that you can manage for 8 or 10 reps, before fatiguing. For leaner muscles, it’s more appropriate to focus on slightly lighter weights with more repetitions.
In many cases, people lose interest in sticking to an exercise regime when they don’t see immediate results. However, it usually takes 4 weeks or more to start seeing the benefits of exercise, so it’s important to stick with it. The best way to make sure you stick to your resolution is to exercise by doing something that you enjoy.
We get injured
What a lot of people don’t realise is that it’s important not to train every day so that your body has time to respond to training. It is on rest days when your body is recovering that the real gains happen. By strenuously exercising every day and not taking time to rest, you are more likely to do your body damage than good, causing pain and discomfort.
If pain or injury is keeping you from sticking to your resolutions to exercise more and look after your health, visiting Fiona Passey Osteopaths can be a great help. Our team of professional healthcare practitioners are specialists in pain relief, recovery and injury prevention, using a wide range of treatments including:
- Sports massage
As well as providing manual treatments, we can also give advice on exercise and how nutrition and lifestyle can impact on health. Find out how an osteopath can help you to achieve exercise goals such as running a marathon.
To learn more about how we can help you, visit halesowenosteopathic.co.uk or to make an appointment with one of our skilled team, call our Halesowen practice on 0121 585 8555, or to contact our Wombourne practice, call 01902 894 894.