Spring Forth! But beware...
The days are finally warming up, the nights and mornings are getting brighter and there are more of you out there on the streets getting back into your fitness.
Good for you!
There’s nothing better than emerging from your wintery cave with a skin-full of motivation to get fit. But beware! Going too hard too soon and with the wrong tools at hand will swiftly put a stop to your activity and frustrate the heck out of you. Here are a couple of tips to get you out the door and keep you out there.
Check your footwear
As we have said – and will keep on saying for the rest of time – your footwear is the most important aspect of your day-to-day activities. Whether you are running a marathon, doing a couch to 5km challenge or just wanting to walk for part of your daily commute, your shoes will either help or hinder you. The choice is yours.
So before you start out on your quest, take a look at your shoes and make sure they tick the following boxes
Are they designed for the activity you want to do? Heels, slip-on ballet flats and narrow fashion business shoes with thin leather soles will, if worn for part of your commute, not only wear out incredibly quickly but may also lead to tendonopathies as well as muscle soreness and fatigue.
Are they worn? Look at the sole – is the outsole worn more than half the thickness in any spot? Look at the midsole – is it compressed with visible wrinkles particularly around the heel? Look at the upper – does the upper lean to one side indicating rolling in or rolling out? When viewed from the back is the heel vertical? A worn pair of sneakers doesn’t mean waiting till they have holes in the soles. Often the inner and midsole are compressed and worn and the sole looks OK.
At the end of the day, your feet will tell you if you have the right shoes on or not.
Take it easy tiger!
We’ve all done it – charged out on a sunny afternoon to walk an hour or more only to be stuck on the couch for the next week, groaning at the tiniest of muscle movements.
It’s really hard when your motivation and energy returns with the warmer weather to remember to take it easy when getting back into activity, but you need to remind yourself: it’s not a race. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete in a week, just getting outdoors for an enjoyable 20-minute walk is good enough for your body and soul.
Always give yourself a rest day between exercise days to recover and check in with your body – are you sore anywhere? If so, stretch and if you’re still sore the next day, try a different activity so you’re not tiring out the same areas.
Increase your frequency and intensity slowly adding time and difficulty week-by-week rather than day-by-day.