As we move into nicer weather, lots of us begin to think about be active outdoors and or getting that beach body back. As you start to increase activity here are a few things to keep in mind….
- REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: When getting back to movement, it’s important to consider how long you’ve been out of an exercise program. If you have been a couch potato for 3 months or more consider yourself starting from scratch! That’s right! Don’t just jump back into the workout routine that you were doing last time you were motivated. Begin with about 1/3 effort for the first week and then 2/3 effort the second and third week and at around the 4th week you can be back to where you left off. This scale gives your body time to adapt and that very important to prevent injury.
- APPROPRIATE STRETCHING: When you are back in your workout routine, make sure you warm up your entire body with some cardio vascular exercise for about 5 minutes first and then spend another 5 minutes with dynamic stretching. This means moving your body through full ranges of motion to begin to loosen-up your joints and activate large muscle systems. Arm swings, squats, lunges and torso twists are some good ones to start with. After you have done your workout you should do some static stretching (holding stretches for specific muscle groups for a period of about 30-45 seconds). Static stretching after your workout helps to get rid of lactic acid that has built up during your workout. However doing static stretches on cold muscles can lead to injury… don’t do it!
- STAY HYDRATED: We can’t stress this enough! Most Americans are chronically dehydrated, and if you’re getting out and being more active your body needs more water, and no; coffee, soda, energy drinks, and sugary “recovery” drinks like Gatorade DO NOT COUNT! Among many other benefits water will help your body recover faster from activity and keep your energy levels more steady during that activity.
- Remember like our Grandma says… If you don’t MOVE you RUST !