Spring is here and the weather has shown glimpses of the sunny days to come. If you’ve fallen out of the exercise routine this winter, then this is the perfect time to get up and moving again! There are many different ways to train your body and get in shape for the approaching summer. One of the most effective ways to do this is running. But before you go out and pound the pavement, it is a good idea to plan your training, so you don’t end up with a lot of muscle soreness and/or injury. Here are a few tips to help guide you back into exercise:
1. Have a training plan: Set achievable goals and work towards improving them each week. Set days and times each week in your diary that you plan to train. This will help you commit to the program, even when your motivation is low.
2. Start small, think big: Build up your distance and speed at your own discretion. Don’t go too hard too early, instead think about increasing your output every 2-3 weeks. In the long run, you will be better and fitter for it.
3. Hydrate: Make sure you increase your fluid intake with exercise. Pre and post fluid replacement is the most important times to hydrate your body. Remember, water is your best friend when training hard.
4. Eat well: It would be a shame to work so hard with exercise all to have it go to waste with a bad diet. Eat plenty of wholesome foods including a lot of fruit, veg and lean protein. Leafy greens and fish are great for muscle repair and function.
5. Manage your muscles: It’s essential to look after your body when exercising, especially running, as it places a lot of demand on the muscles. Take some time out to get your muscles released and cleared of any build up of waste products. Seeing your Myotherapist can help you do this, and is an important step to staying on top of sore, fatigued muscles.
6. Stretch it out: Set aside 10 minutes after running for a good stretching session to help return your muscles back to their normal resting state. The kneeling hip flexor stretch outlined below is a must!
7. Have fun: Enjoy the feeling only exercise can offer and breathe in the fresh air. No one has ever said that they regretted exercising!