| Mar 14, 2016
By Greg Chertok, M.Ed., CC-AASP
The beginning of the new year is a popular time to start an exercise program, after
months of holiday indulgences. Are you ready to start a healthier lifestyle? Here’s 10 recommendations to help you stick to your resolution this year:
1. Get to Know Your Body Every exerciser must have a basic understanding of the human body. This includes:
• proper identification of the major muscle groups
• knowledge about the effects of activity vs. inactivity
• distinction between stretching and strengthening a muscle
• distinction between “good pain” (muscle burn and fatigue) and “bad pain” (joint pain, lower back pain/impingement).
If you know nothing about the workings of the body, you may be putting yourself in a dangerous position. I once worked with an older man who, in response to experiencing soreness from exercise the day prior, decided to address the issue by doing more of what got him sore in the first place. Rather than stretching or resting the muscle, he assumed that working more would do the trick. He was forced to take even more time off to relieve the resulting soreness. This man, a senior vice president for a successful financial firm, was not uneducated. He was simply uninformed.
2. Understand Why You Are Exercising Pose questions to yourself such as, “Why did I decide to start exercising?” It is suggested that exercisers who are intrinsically motivated experience more positive effects and better adherence than those who are extrinsically motivated. Intrinsically motivated exercisers do so for the satisfaction gained from engaging in the activity itself; in other words, they exercise for the challenge, to gain or learn skills, or to have fun. Extrinsically motivated exercisers do so as a means to an end; they exercise simply to improve their fitness or appearance. The proper reason behind exercising can act as powerful and long-lasting fuel.
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