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7 tips for staying active

 

I often have discussions with clients and friends about the challenges of staying active.  Injuries, work and family commitments get in the way of establishing a regular exercise regime for most of us.

I rarely feel like exercising when I wake up in the morning, but I generally feel happier and more energised afterwards.  The tips I’m sharing below is how I stay in the habit of exercising, whether I feel motivated or not.

 

 

  1. Have a goal – I joined Darwin Triathlon Club, which runs regular races throughout the year. Staying fit and prepared for the next race provides regular goals to keep me on track with training.  Doing a race when I’m unfit is TOO painful.   To add variety I have used other goals such as; half marathons, Fanny Bay swim and the Great Cycle Challenge.
  2. Make a plan – I like to have a plan to keep a good balance and variety in my exercise.  Knowing in advance what I am doing, means I can prepare better and reduces procrastination.
  3. Be prepared – I am more likely to follow through with my training plan if I am prepared. For example; if I am cycling tomorrow morning, I put out cycling clothes, shoes, helmet and ensure my bike is ready – tyres pumped and chain oiled.  If I am swimming in the afternoon after work, I have swimming costume, towel, goggles, cap and swim toys ready to pick up and walk out the door.  This means I don’t waste time looking for what I need, and reduces the opportunity to make excuses.  Personally, I need to be out and exercising before I’ve stopped to think about whether I want to go.
  4. Train with a friend or join group training – Making a commitment to train with someone else I means I have extra motivation to turn up, as well as company and conversation on long sessions. Training with a group seems to give the energy boost I need to push a little harder and longer.
  5. Mix it up/choose activities you enjoy – For me variety is the key. I like the strength and focus of Pilates and yoga.  I like sweating up a storm and getting my heart pumping on a run.  I like cruising around on bike ride.  I like staying cool while exercising hard on a swim.
  6. When you’re tired – train today. If you’re still tired tomorrow, skip tomorrow’s session – This is one of the best pieces of advice I heard to prevent me breaking my training habit.  I can easily fall into a habit of not exercising when I start making excuses to skip training day after day, then it becomes hard to get back into regular training.   On days I am busy or tired, I choose a shorter or easier program, rather than skipping a session entirely.  I often feel refreshed and ready to train the next day, but if not, I consider taking a break then.
  7. Train in the morning – I am MUCH more likely to exercise if I get up early and train.  Too many things get in the way by the end of the day, so I generally consider evenings as bonus training sessions.  Plus, I seem to be more productive at work for the rest of the day when I exercise in the morning.

These are some of the tips I use to stay active, I encourage you to choose the ones that help you, and create some of your own.  I believe each person needs to find an activity and schedule that suits them, their physical shape, ability and their lifestyle.

Dead Butt Syndrome

Get your butt into gear with Kinesiology!

… over the years I have worked with many people suffering with lower back and hip pain, frequently associated with weak gluteal (“butt”) muscles and tight or over-working hip flexors (the muscles that lift your thigh to move your leg forward).

This syndrome has been dubbed “dead butt syndrome” or gluteal amnesia by mainstream medicine and if these issues aren’t addressed, the chances of long-term relief from pain is unlikely.

Dead butt syndrome commonly occurs in people who sit for extended periods. The glutes aren’t designed to bear weight for long periods of time and blood flow is restricted when tissues are compressed in a seated position. The glute muscles then start to shut down or ‘fall asleep’ and lose the ability to work when needed.

These muscles should be incredibly powerful but when they aren’t working properly other smaller, weaker muscles are called on to do the job. This causes strain on those smaller muscles and associated joints.

The constant flexed position of sitting can also cause the muscles at the front of the hip to become tight. The glute muscles are then unable to move through a full range of motion, causing them to become weaker.

You may be surprised to know ‘dead butt syndrome’ is not exclusive to sedentary people. Read More…