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Getting Back in Shape this Spring? Slow & Steady Wins the Race.

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If you’re thinking about dusting off and lacing up your running shoes now that the long winter season is over, you’re not alone. It’s common for many people to forego fitness when cold weather and shorter days make exercise less than appealing. When the days grow longer and the mercury rises, many people start hitting the pavement again, but bouncing back into a fitness routine typically takes time. You likely won’t be able to run a 4-minute mile overnight, so, ease yourself into it and set more realistic goals for yourself and take it slow. Pushing yourself too hard and too fast will only lead to frustration and burnout.

Here are some tips to keep your mind in the game while you get fit this spring:

  • Find a gym buddy: Working out with a friend can give you further accountability and help you find new, fun ways to work out, plus, you’ll feel less intimidated about going to the gym if that’s holding you back.
  • Set goals: Commit to realistic goals when you’re starting your new fitness routine, say, start with working out 2 to 3 times per week at 30 minutes per session. That will make it easy to prioritize and you won’t burn out. You can continue to add time as you go.
  • Choose workouts you like: Pick something that suits your individual goals, abilities, and something you actually enjoy doing. If you want to try a fun, group fitness class, look into Zumba or spinning. If you’d prefer to go solo, look into YouTube videos for yoga or Pilates.

My Progress Isn’t as Fast as I Want it to Be. What Can I Do?

You’ll have to be patient if you want to get fit and avoid injury while doing so. Make sure you warm up for at least 5 minutes by stretching adequately and cool down properly and stretch again. While you may be eager to hit the ground running, your first workout after your running shoes were in hibernation over the winter shouldn’t be 15 miles long. Instead, start with shorter distances. If you’re a fan of resistance training, start with lighter sets. As you get strong, you can increase your intensity and challenge yourself further.

Don’t fret if you find your progress isn’t going at warp speed as you would’ve liked it to – it takes some time to make progress and build yourself back up to your previous fitness level. Resist the urge to push yourself too hard and trust your body’s signals to know when you need rest or when to stop. The old adage “no pain, no gain” just isn’t true if you’re aching and in agony. It could even result in an injury that will force you to take time off from working out even longer than you would have otherwise.

Get Back into Shape with the Help of a Sports Medicine Expert at Fox Valley Orthopedics

At Fox Valley Orthopedics, we are your partners for a healthier tomorrow. To learn more about getting back into shape with the help of a sports medicine specialist, contact our practice today at 630-584-1400 or reach out online for an appointment.