Posted on Leave a comment

How to get back in shape?

How to get back in shape

Start Slow

After a period of time without working out, perhaps years, you purchased those new running shoes, the trendy dry fit t-shirt or maybe a pair of stylish workout leggings.  You’re now ready to get back to it and get in shape.  I know you’re highly motivated but a word of caution.  Take things slow and be safe about it.  The vast majority of exercise related injuries are caused when people try to do too much too fast – trying to pick up where they left off.  Don’t derail your fitness plans just as they are getting started.  Remember slow and steady wins the race!

Stay Motivated

There are a couple of ways to prevent this jack rabbit start and to help you stay motivated.  Probably the best way to help you to regulate your workouts and to help you prevent injuries is by setting goals and flexible schedules.  The primary way to keep you on your workout regimen is to set goals for yourself.  Take time to develop achievable goals.  These goals can be certain fitness levels or weight loss.  Make them realistic.  Have short term goals and long term goals.  As an example, if you are trying to lose weight – set a goal of losing 1 pound a week for a short term goal and a larger amount for the long term goal – 15 pounds in 5 months. 

Another example might be a fitness goal.  For a short term goal you might set a goal of walk/running for 15 minutes 3 times a week.  The long term goal might be to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  An even more advanced goal might even have a distance and pace goal.  Make these goals achievable and incremental.  This will help prevent injuries by going slow while at the same time it will help you stay motivated as you achieve the short term goals and later the long term goals. 

Form Healthier Eating Habits

If you are haven’t exercised in a while or you have never tried lose weight or change your eating habits consider consulting General Practitioner, especially if you have any known health problems.  This will make sure you are staying safe and not doing something that can cause you greater health issues down the road.  The second way to regulate your workout is to develop a schedule.  This can help you visualize your overall fitness plan over time.  Following it can also aid you in doing too much or too little.

Partner Up & Keep Logs

Additional ways to stay motivated is by having a workout partner or coach.  This can be someone that works out with you or just encourages you to stick to your goals and schedule.  If you are a music or gadget person you can listen to music through your iPhone or even a smart watch.  A smart watch is also a great way to track your weight, your heart rate and your work outs.  This will allow you to see improvements over time or areas where you can focus additional training.

Stick To What Works For You

Find what works best for you.  If buying the best workout clothes or a new pair of running shoes or the latest smart watch help you to stay motivated and on goal, and if you can afford it – then go for it!  If working out with another person or having a fitness coach keeps you on track then do that.  The workouts do not need to be something rigid or strenuous either.  Do something that you really enjoy and you are more apt to stick with it.  Get out there – Get moving – Stick to it! 

Posted on Leave a comment

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now

athletic shoes

You may consider it savvy saving a buck on workout clothes, but I would not advise this when purchasing Athletic shoes.  Fail to keep your feet healthy and you can encounter countless problems which will negatively affect your fitness goals, maybe even derail them altogether.  Some of these problems specific to your feet can be blisters, bunions, corns, heel spurs, and ingrown nails.  More serious conditions that can develop include Metatarsalgia, Plantar Fasciitis, sprains and fractures.  Any of these can set your workout regimen back by days, weeks or even months.  Compensating for bad shoes can not only lead to the aforementioned problems but can contribute to ankle, knee, hip and back injuries.  

Do your homework

Take time to figure out the best type of athletic shoe to use for the activity you are performing.  Don’t just use a pair of running shoes to go play basketball or to golf or to play football.  The shoe industry didn’t just make different types of shoes for the sole purpose of increasing their bottom line and screwing you out of your hard earned dollars.  This thought did cross my mind as I tend to be cynical myself but in the case of athletic shoes there are good reasons to develop a variety of shoes.  If you’re running pick a running shoe, if you’re playing basketball get a good pair of court shoes.  There are athletic shoes for many types of workouts.  These shoes provide different support depending on the stressors placed on the foot and body by the activity you are doing. 

Once you have the right type of shoe, don’t blow it by grabbing a cheap discount pair.  Buy the shoes from a reputable company.  They tend to design their shoes with higher quality material with the support your foot needs.  Brands such as Nike, Brooks, New Balance, Adidas, Asics, and Reeboks have been around, and all provide quality shoes.  Always try on your new pair of shoes before you buy. They should feel wearable right away with no break in period needed.  They should also have no seems or edges on the inside of the upper that will rub against your foot. 

The Wear Out Factor

Sadly, even a high quality footwear will wear out with use.  This is not the time to get nostalgic or to pinch pennies.  It is important to replace them when there are signs of wear, unevenness or noticeable creasing.  As an example, researchers suggest replacing running/walking shoes at about 300-500 miles of use, and basketball, crossfit, aerobic dance or tennis shoes at about 45-60 hours of use.  Other activities such as weight lifting can cause wear to the sole and cushioning with little visible outer damage.  These should be replaced annually.   Replacing athletic shoes this often may seem wasteful and expensive but taking care of your feet can save you a lot of heart ache and pain in the long run. 

My Advice

Outfitting your feet with the correct high quality shoes for the workout you are doing will go a long way in ensuring you have a safe and effective exercise regimen.  Take the time to find the best shoes for you so that you don’t ruin your training plan with an easily avoidable injury.