New Year resolutions
We’ve started a new year, and some of you might have made some New Year’s resolutions. This is a popular time to create a “new and better me”. Some people have success doing that. Others go back to their old habits long before February. Some end up injuring themselves, and are forced to stop before they get the results they want.
When making New Year’s resolutions (which is just in fact making new and better habits), you need to be aware not to create unsustainable and potentially harmful habits. A lot of people have ambitions that in worst case can cause overload injuries. This article is to help you avoid exactly that. We want to help you make resolutions that create a healthier, stronger and happier you.
Harmful New Year’s resolutions
We often set ambitions and expectations very high for ourselves. As a result, we often end up doing do “too much too fast”, and that’s how many overload injuries occur. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years since you last got some exercise. Your body needs time to get back in the game. The body is very adaptable and can adjust to a lot of load and exercise. It just needs time to do so gradually. In todays society, we’re not the biggest fans of things taking time. We want quick fixes and fast results. We expect the back pain that has been building up for years to be resolved within 1 or 2 treatment sessions; or that the 5 extra kilos we’ve taken months to gain should practically melt off the body after a few workouts and some salads for dinner.
Unfortunately, we have to learn to be more patient. If you haven’t been working out for some weeks, you shouldn’t jump on the horse and immediately do 4-6 sessions of high intensity training a week. Building up to that is ok, targets are good, but remember to build up to them gradually. Thinking that you’ll “exercise every day and become the best you in no time”, that’s a recipe for injuries, which will set you back and lose momentum.
New Year’s resolutions that keep you pain free
Activity, movement and exercise that is built up gradually can help prevent pain and injuries. Staying active has been shown to help keep us healthy and happy.
If you have New Year’s resolution to start to exercise, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:
- Start carefully, either by doing few sessions every week (2-3) or by keeping the intensity and difficulty low in the beginning. Since walking for 30 minutes each day for 5 days isn’t that challenging for most people, that’s often a safe and low-intensity activity that can be done often.
- Get some variation in your exercise. The body loves variation, and if you do the same thing every time you work out you increase the risk of an overload injury (especially if the work out is done frequently and is very challenging). If you start running, maybe one of your sessions can be intervals and another one can be a long and slow run? That’s a good way to switch up the stimuli the body gets.
- Increase gradually. When doing endurance sports like running or cycling, follow the 10%-rule, where you increase distance or load by 10% each week. As an example let’s say you run 30 minutes 3 times a week, a total of 90 minutes. Then you can run a total of 99 minutes the next week.
The best thing about starting carefully and progressing slowly is the effect that has on motivation! Starting out too hard can be very discouraging before you get a good routine going. That’s why many drop out on their New Year’s resolutions by February. If you keep your workouts short and light in the beginning and build from there, you can give yourself a feeling of achievement. That feeling is a huge motivation booster! So if you mentally prepare to be patient and allow yourself some time to ease into the new habits and routines, you might actually build long lasting habits this time!
Trigo supports you!
Have you seen our Trigo app? You’ll find a lot of different routines and programmes that you can try! Each one adjusted to different conditions and goals. Read more about the app here. We want to motivate and support you in making good choices every week, all year around. Not just in January. Download the app from Google Play or Appstore, and get started on a healthier, happier you today! You can download the app in Appstore here, and in Google Play here.
Good luck on your New Year’s resolutions, we hope they keep you healthy and happy in all of 2023!