Medical Musings, Health Hypotheses & Therapeutic Thoughts
Here are a few pointers for getting back into your stride:
A good rule of thumb is not to increase your training load by more than ten percent in one increment. It is also a good idea, in the case of strength training, resist the urge to ‘push it’. Keep a few reps in reserve, at least, at the beginning (I actually do this habitually to reduce my chance of injury, even though it impacts Da Gainz slightly). It will reduce your post-workout soreness (the Dreaded DOMS), risk of injuring weakened muscles, and also help to maintain consistency.
Specific: Don’t use vague targets like “get fit” as they are essentially impossible to ‘complete’. This can lead to easier discouragement.
Measurable: if you set a specific target like “lose 5kg” or “run a half-marathon”, you can actually measure your progress towards that goal. “Look, I can get 5cm closer to touching my toes”. “I have lost 1.2kg over six weeks”. “I can run 5km in 21 minutes”. Being able to measure our progress like this encourages us to continue with our regimen.
Attainable: Of course, if we aim too high, we are also likely to get discouraged, and possibly give up. Make sure your goals are realistic, and achievable. If you feel less than 90% confident (say) that you can meet your goal, consider breaking it down into more manageable chunks. Instead of aiming to lose 15kgs overall, aim for 2 in a month, for example. Always consider your circumstances and level of fitness when deciding on appropriate and attainable goals. Try to stretch yourself a little, but not too much. (The “Goldilocks Principle” – those who know me will recognise this phrase, it is applicable in many areas of body work).
Relevant: Related to this, try and formulate goals that are consistent with your abilities/fitness, and also with your interests and needs. If you find running a bit like a hamster pounding away pointlessly at a wheel, I would suggest you don’t decide on training for a marathon as your goal. If you hate the water, don’t choose swimming. Etc.
Time-Bound: This is tied-in with point one, Specificity. Vague goals like “lose weight” or “get fit” don’t have an end date (and are difficult to measure, and therefore hard to ‘attain’). By choosing a timeline to meet your goal, you can come up with concrete milestones, which aid in measurement and in attainability.
Some other points for Springing Into Spring ™ :
Doing some gentle mobilisation or stretching, or just going for a walk (dog optional), will help speed up your recovery time and also help maintain the habit of moving, which will help greatly with the consistency of your routine.
<insert relevant motivational quote here!>