New Year, New You?
What if you actually DID change your health and fitness habits this New Year? What if ‘New-Year-New-Me’ wasn’t an empty phrase this time?!
Here’s our MD Jack Chew giving a few tips to the seasonal vulnerable incredibles who he calls “The New-Yearables”.
I don’t much care for folk who sneer at those of us who talk about lifestyle change this time of year. They are often insecure because they don’t feel brave enough to say they’ll try so they’d sooner ridicule those who do. For me, those who dream of a better life in January are always admirable, often lovable and with the right support can be formidable. So to me they’re “The New-Yearables“.
Now New-Yearables mean well but too often fall short of their goals by late-Jan or early Feb at best! But you know this already because smug know-it-all fitness folk and ‘influencers’ have been suggesting that their diet, programme, supplement or coffee-club is going to be the difference this time around. I’m also very aware that you’ll have heard similar messages to this one over the years suggesting that fads aren’t the way forward and sustainable goals will change your life, so let me be straight with you; IT’S NOT EASY.
But fortunately it can be fairly simple, IF you avoid these common mistakes:
1. January feeds the fitness industry, February feeds the injury industry.
It’s a well-kept secret in the Physio game that many New-Yearables over-do it in January then hurt themselves or stir up an old injury. It’s kept a secret because these mistakes feed the injury industry (Physios, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Sports Doctors) after a quiet patch. So, don’t rush it. Build up your training volume, your intensity, your new exercise types and your dietary changes gradually. This allows your tissues and systems to adapt, therefore swinging the odds in favour of an injury free future.
2. ‘This is THE best type of exercise.’
Another embarrassing secret in the health and fitness industry is that there is scientific consensus AGAINST the suggestion that any particular exercise is better than another. The best exercise routine for you is the one that you will stick to! When you’re injured or have a lower exercise tolerance due to an old injury, your options may be reduced a little, but the same rule applies, your recovery depends on your willingness to persist with training. How enjoyable (or at the very least tolerable!) your routine is will depend on how sustainable it will be. New-Yearables are so often sold the idea that [insert trendy exercise type here] is the best type… #FakeNews! Even if said [insert] is pilates, swimming, olympic lifting or crossfit…
3. Shock Tactics
The error that leaves New-Yearables most vulnerable is the toxic combo of over-training AND under-nourishing. The idea that you need to tolerate high training load and a minimised dietary intake to ‘shock’ the body into using fat stores for energy is a popular myth. With our fitness hat on we could write a full ranty blog on this alone but with our Physio hat on, failure to appropriately replenish the body after exercise of a higher intensity than you’re normally used to is likely to lead to severe delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) at best and insufficiency injuries such as stress fractures at worst.
So that’s what not to do. But what should you do? Helping build injured and uninjured New-Yearables is our bread and butter at Chews Health so here’s a couple of late Christmas pressies wrapped up as top-tips:
- Set incremental, realistic goals for each planned area of change. Recognise that step changes in training, diet and sleep might be individually small but large in combination. Get strategic help if needed.
- Find a way to make yourself accountable. Got the will-power and zen-like patience? Good, use your technology to set alarms and calendar entries. If not, get strategic help if needed.
- Remind yourself that you are robust, you are adaptable and you can rise again if you stumble. Every good day is money in the bank, adjust and go again. Make notes and learn. And if it feels daunting? Get strategic help if needed.
If you do in fact feel that strategic help or some additional support is needed then give us a call or book online for a consultation with either our Physiotherapy or Performance Team.