Getting fit for summer
As the warm weather hits, many of us have the same reaction - panic! The reality of ditching the layers and revealing our bodies can be daunting. There’s still time to get in shape, not just to look good, but to make the most of the warm weather and get active.
Strength training is a crucial factor in losing fat. Not only does it make your body and bones stronger, it also helps to raise your metabolism so you burn more calories all day long. For those wanting to lose weight:
- Target all your muscle groups at least twice a week, with a day or so of rest in between workouts
- Keep the number of repetitions of each exercise to between 10-16 to focus on building muscle and endurance. For strength, keep keep your reps between 4 and 8.
- Lift enough weight so that you last rep is difficult but not impossible.
Strength raining is also important for getting your body ready for summer activities like gardening, swimming, golfing, tennis, hiking riding or any number of things we don’t do in winter. If you haven’t been exercising this winter you set yourself up for injury when you jump into summer sports with little preparation. Even a simple total body work out twice a week can help you to get strong…... even better is if its sports specific program.
Cardio, like strength training is essential to build endurance and making your heart strong for summer activities. Choose activities you enjoy and make sure you get your heart rate up.If you are just getting started make it easier on your self by
- Scheduling your workouts- treat them like an important appointment
- Keeping track of your workouts- Knowing you have to write them down is added motivation
- Finding someone to workout with you'll be more likely to show up
- Start at your level - Don’t start too hard, too early. Ease into exercise and allow your body time to take shape
- Not Giving up. You may fall off the wagon. If it happens, don’t waste energy kicking yourself. Just get back into the routine and know it happens to all of us.
- Doing things you enjoy theres no reason you have to do activities you hate, so find cardio exercises that are enjoyable and accessible to you
Preventing Sports Injuries
Sport is a vital part of the Australian lifestyle – it promotes good health, stress relief and is fun.
Sometimes injuries may occur through sport. Fortunately most injuries can be effectively treated by your physiotherapist. Physiotherapy treatment will enable you to return safely to sporting activity more quickly than just ‘rest and see what happens’. Your physiotherapist also provides advice to prevent sporting injuries.
Most sporting injuries are a result of a direct blow (bruise or contusion) or an indirect force like a twist (sprains, strains, tears). Some injuries are due to over-use stresses (tendinitis, stress fractures).
One of the main things you can do to prevent yourself from getting any injuries is to warm up before you start playing the game. It is not a good idea to start exercising, or playing the game without warming up first. Warming up is very important because it helps get your body ready for activity. Warm ups include doing things such as taking a light jog to get loosened up and perhaps actively stretching important muscle groups. Warming up prepares your muscles for exercise and increases your blood flow and muscle temperature. That way, your body is ready to go; and it is less likely to get hurt.
How to Minimise Injuries
- Correct warm up and warm down procedures
- Protective strapping or bracing
- Correct footwear and sporting equipment
- Specific conditioning for your particular sport
- Good aerobic fitness
- Good muscle control and reactions getting back into action
If you are really into sports, it might be tempting for you to jump right back into activity even after an injury. Playing if you are hurt or before an injury is fully healed is a bad idea. It can lead to an even worse injury, which will keep you from being active for even longer. Before you can safely return to your sport it is essential to regain strength, mobility, balance and co-ordination.Our physiotherapists can assess these areas and show you how to improve them
How a Physio can Help
We can recommend exercises that are designed specifically for you to achieve your desired level of fitness. The more you repeat and become aware of an activity, the easier it becomes. Our practice looks at the types of exercises/activities, specific workloads, durations of activities/sessions and intensity guidelines and can devise a plan to help you achieve your target fitness level, and get your body ready for activity this summer. ( APA Physio4You)Book here if you would like some advice on your summer programme.