If you’re like most ringing in the new year, you realize that the holidays did a number on you and with that, start thinking, “I’m going to do cardio everyday, stop eating all carbs, and take every exercise class I possibly can”. Sound familiar? Well, before you start exercising like a possessed demon, let’s take a step back because nothing derails achieving New Year's health and fitness goals more than nagging pain or injury. Here are my top tips to help you stay injury free in 2019.
IT’S NOT LIKE RIDING A BIKE
Do NOT pick up where you left off before the holidays. Exercise simply doesn’t work this way. Just because you were crushing workouts before Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean you’re ready to pick up where you left off. If you rush back too fast you’ll be sitting on the sidelines with an injury and fall even further behind where you want to be. Start out nice and easy by slowly increasing intensity, duration, and frequency of your workouts. So what does this mean exactly? If you were crushing 60 min high intensity strength workouts 3 to 4 days per week before, start out with 30 min workouts 2 to 3 days per week and slowly build your way back up. Slow and steady wins the race my friends.
As you start to introduce exercise back into your life, it’s crucial to start listening to what your body is telling you. Your body is a brilliant piece of machinery that will always tell you what it needs. It will tell you if you need more rest, if you can train a little harder today, or if you need a good recovery day. You just have to listen to it. If you’re feeling a little banged up, take a restorative yoga class, get a massage, learn a new mobility routine, or simply ride the stationary bike to get a little exercise in.
GET MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Ask any coach or fitness professional and they’ll tell you strength training is king. Cardiovascular training is definitely necessary, but strength training is going to give you the most bang for your buck. Pick a few compound movements like deadlifts, squats, push-ups and rows, and set a timer for 30 minutes to see how many rounds you can get done. Keep it simple and safe. You don’t need complicated exercises to get your workouts in.
Everyone needs to set goals to attain what’s most important to them. However, be reasonable when setting these goals. If you think you’re going to exercise your heart out to lose 30 pounds in a month, you’re sadly mistaken. You’ll end up messing some body part up and have to take time off from training to recover. Set a few miniature goals that you can accomplish the first month as you get back to it. Some examples include:
Get 2-3 strength training workouts in every week for 4 weeks straight
Get 2-3, 45 minute cardio sessions in every week for 4 weeks straight
Prepare 3 healthy home cooked meals a week for 4 weeks straight
These are small attainable goals that will give you the momentum and confidence to tackle larger goals in the coming months.
NO PAIN = MORE GAINS
The good old saying “no pain, no gains” is definitely not true. I guarantee you’ll enjoy a year full of doing all of the active things you love if you remember that no pain = more gains.
If you’re currently dealing with pain or injury that’s keeping you from your favorite sport or activity, I invite you to join me for my FREE online 5 Day Challenge where I’ll help you get to the root of your problem so you can recover and crush your 2019 goals!
HIRE A COACH
This is my biggest tip of all. I would highly recommend finding a qualified coach to consult with. Everyone needs a coach. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish in life, a coach will help you take the guess work out of it and get you where you want to go more efficiently. From business coaches, to sport coaches, or life coaches, a coach will give you the tools to succeed because they’ve been there before and know what it takes.
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ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field. He's coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified