Sports Pitch

New Year's Resolutions - Willpower & Keeping Active

Last updated: 5.49am, Friday 23rd December 2022 by

So how many resolutions have you left unbroken? Have you had that first cigarette? Has the new healthier eating programme been replaced by the same old unhealthy foods? Hopefully for those of you who were keen to get a bit fitter the appeal has not worn off yet. Last week we looked at the why and the how. This week we are going to try and overcome the barriers we all put up to make old habits seem ok after all, look at some simple tips to help you chose (and stick to) the best type of activity and help you to minimise any risks that being more active may bring.

"But I don’t have time to exercise"….not surprisingly this is the biggest single excuse that we use for not succeeding in keeping to an activity programme. In some ways it is true as modern day life can be hectic and finding time for something else in life can be difficult. But most of us can find a few hours in each week to watch a film or go to a concert. The problem with exercise is that it’s not considered fun. 30 minutes of activity five times a week takes little more than 1% of the total time each week. It doesn’t sound too much does it?

Sports Nutrition Post Lockdown, Sports Nutrition, Health & Fitness, Hampden Sports Clinic, Glasgow Sports, Clinic for sport, Physiotherapy, Glasgow Physio, Hydro Pool, Hydrotherapy Pool, Post Surgical Rehab, Glasgow Physiotherapy, Sports Massage Glasgow, Glasgow Sports Massage, Podiatry, Glasgow Podiatry

So what useful tips are there for finding time for your exercise programme?

Chose a type of exercise that you enjoy – like all of the things we do in life it’s much easier to stick to something we like. If you like music exercise to your favourite CD. Try to set a regular time to be active – such as swimming after work on set days, but be flexible as life’s demands dictate.

Use your time efficiently – cycle or walk to work or get off the bus a stop earlier, go for a walk during your lunchtime or workout on your exercise bike when watching TV.

Persuade your boss to promote the excellent Health at Work schemes. Showers, cycle racks and a small gym at work will encourage colleagues to join you and benefit your company with a happier, healthier workforce.

Exercise with a friend or in a group. Jog Scotland has an excellent network of jogging groups of all abilities as do most councils including Glasgow who have excellent women-only groups.

Try to incorporate exercise into your normal daily activity. Living an active life burns calories so walk when you can, take the stairs rather than using the lift and don’t forget that housework, walking to the shops and gardening count towards our daily activity routine.

Don’t let cost be an issue. Many exercises such as walking and jogging are free. Many others such as cycling, swimming and dance are relatively inexpensive.

hampden sports clinic, cold symptoms, winter virus, winter exercise, nutrition, physio glasgow, glasgow physiotherapy, post Christmas, festive hangover, winter tips, christmas party tips

What preparations should I make as part of my exercise regime?

Being active needs little equipment. It is important to wear clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good and should not require a second mortgage to pay for them. Fashionable clothing wont get you any fitter! One good investment however is a good pair of trainers. Ensure that your footwear fits properly, is comfortable and supports the arch of your foot. Many leg injuries in “new” exercisers can be traced to repetitive activity in poorly fitting shoes.

It is essential to warm-up for around 10 minutes before you start your activity. Neglect this at your own risk. A good warm-up followed by a simple stretching regime will maximise flexibility and mobility and lessen the chance of sprains and strains. Similarly a cool down after activity will limit the post-exercise aches and pains. These are good habits to adopt and regard as routine. Building up the speed, duration and intensity of your exercise will also help to prevent injury. By all means plan to run a 5 or 10k this year but follow a slow, gradual programme of increasing activity.

What risks are there in becoming more active?

People often ask me if it is important to see your doctor before beginning exercise. If you are healthy and follow the above advice then exercise is relatively safe. Speak to your doctor if you have a pre-existing medical condition or there is a particular question or concern that you wish to discuss – most GPs are happy to see those who are trying to get a bit healthier. However remember that if you feel unwell or something is hurting when you exercise that this is a signal to stop or modify your programme.

hampden sports clinic, cold symptoms, winter virus, winter exercise, nutrition, physio glasgow, glasgow physiotherapy, post Christmas, festive hangover, winter tips, christmas party tips

So you’ve made your resolution and chosen your activity to get a bit fitter. Don’t be too greedy – make your resolutions achievable, don’t try them all at once and take it a day at a time. Get friends to be active with you and don’t give up. The rewards are well worth it. But most of all remember it has to be fun.

If you're unsure how fit and healthy you are or if you want to see if you're able to train and look after yourself this winter, at Hampden Sports Clinic we offer a complete range of Health and Fitness tests which are individualised to match your needs. For more info please visit the Health & Fitness pages on our website...