How To Start Exercise – Daniel’s Best Tips

Here’s Some Advice I Often Give to My Patients:

Have a Goal in Mind

Do you want to enter a certain event, walking daily, or run around with the kids?

Have a goal that is clear, realistic and concise.

Start Low & Go Slow

If you have not exercised for quite some time, do not expect to complete your goal on your very first go, even if you used to do it in a breeze.

When people commit to starting an exercise program they are often so pumped and excited that they do ‘too much too soon’. 

A family of three generations are walking together on a beach

You should start on a low training load and an effective program should aim to progress gradually by approximately 10% (no more) per training block as this will minimize the risk of injury.

This can be achieved by controlling distance, duration and speed.

Failing to adequately allow for the body to adjust to load is sure to cause tendinopathies and delayed onset muscle soreness.

Rest Days are Good!

To begin with I would recommend having a rest day every 2nd day.

This is particularly so if coming back from injury. Rest days allow your body to recover and repair.

After 2 weeks of exercise you may reduce your rest day to 2 on, 1 off. After a while of exercise you may only need 1 rest day per week.

Alternate Your Training

A woman working in a gym doing a lunge

The most effective training mimics the event for which you’re training. This is the cardinal rule of training for any activity.

However, runners who only run and are prone to injury should mix it up by adding cross training and weight training to improve deficiencies and strengths which can effectively prevent injury and improve performance. 

Alternating your training styles means you are using different muscle groups, different energy systems, different loading patterns.

This greatly reduces your risk of overuse injury, achieves greater results and keeps things interesting!

Footwear

Footwear is very important! What type of exercise are you doing?

A particular shoe may be required for a particular activity. In many instances, footwear can be the cause of an injury, or resolve an injury.

Wearing adequate footwear will greatly reduce your risk of injury, pain and will support your feet during the high impact of running.

See our footwear blog here for more tips on footwear or speak with our podiatrist on footwear options to help make sure shoes are aiding you to improve your performance.

Biomechanical Assessment

Assessment of running gait, muscle strength/weakness and injury prevention is essential for beginners and elite athletes.

Having an adequate understanding of weaknesses and strengths in one’s running style can provide a template to develop a program to improve results and limit risk of injury. 

An iPad showing an analysis of a lady walking, with biometric lines drawn.

Dynamic Podiatry offers a comprehensive gait, biomechanical and strength assessment to give you the best chance to improve performance and prevent injury.

When commencing an exercise program (whether that be following an injury, or starting from scratch for the first time) following these little tips will help achieve your goal.

Any niggles or injuries that occur along the way or want more training advice make an appointment at Dynamic Podiatry.

Whether it’s classes, group training or individual exercise, find something you enjoy and give it a go this year!

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