5 New Year’s resolution fitness mistakes!
New Year’s fitness resolutions are a standard thing in January and many of us opt to dust the cobwebs off our gym trainers, get our gym gear from the back of the wardrobe and find the local fitness centre to pump some iron or hit the treadmill.
In fact, in the UK, on Google, the search term “gyms near me” drastically increases in the first week of January in comparison to the rest of the year. Take a look at the spike in the picture below.
Regardless of trends or what anyone else is doing, there’s no better way to kick start your year than with a healthy lifestyle push. Start the year as you mean to go on and avoid these 5 New Year’s resolution fitness mistakes!
- Hitting the gym too hard! Yes, I get it, you’ve overindulged over the festive period and it’s time to burn off the extra pounds you’ve gained due to the few too many mince pies you’ve scoffed. However, overdoing it can be one of the main reasons people fail and quit at the first hurdle. Hitting the gym or training 4/5 days a week after a period of inactivity can really shock the body. This puts a lot of pressure on your muscles, joints and body in general. This means you’re more susceptible to injury, muscle ache and pain. So build into it slowly, let your body get used to exercise again before you step up the gas.
- Not setting fitness goals – training is great and it’s amazing you’ve decided to get back into it. However, if you haven’t set any fitness goals, what exactly are you training for? Goals help you train with purpose and focus. Knowing that you’re training for a specific achievement helps keep you motivated and on track. When goal setting, it’s good to use the SMART method. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and within a set amount of Time.) For example, you may decide you want to run a 5km race, within 30minutes by the end of March. Whatever your goals, make sure you set them using the SMART method.
- Lack of rest – when we exercise, we’re essentially tearing our muscle fibres. Particularly with resistance training, our muscle fibres are going through what’s known as micro tears. In order for them to get stronger or bigger our muscle fibres tear and recover stronger. If we don’t allow ourselves enough rest, our muscle fibres may not heal properly, leaving us more susceptible to injury. Our rest time can be just as important as working out so be sure to allow adequate rest days.
- Training with pain – you’ve started exercising but you’ve injured yourself. You’re starting to notice pain when doing certain exercises or movements. One word, STOP. Of course, when you exercise you get the natural ache known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) 24 – 72 hours after exercise, but if you’re injured, continuing to train is a bad idea. If you’re unsure, it’s best to visit a professional such as a sports therapist or physiotherapist. Training with pain or an injury is only likely to make it worse. This will then eventually force you to take a long break from training which can completely scupper your fitness goals.
- Thinking you can start from where you left off- you’ve had a few months off, surely you can kick on from where you left off right? Wrong! After about two weeks of little exercise our bodies begin to lose aerobic fitness. The good news is, you’ll be able to get back to where you were quicker than before. The body knows it can reach certain fitness levels and due to muscle memory our bodies are aware of the heights we’ve reached before.
In summary, start getting back into fitness gradually, set smart fitness goals, ensure you’re getting enough rest, don’t train with pain, and start with an easier workout than where you left off!
Good luck, and keep those fitness goals coming. Remember, health is wealth!