Know Your Limits and Train Smart!

Exercising has never been more fashionable – just make sure you do it properly!

The fitness and health industry is one of the fastest growing commercial sectors in the UK.

Year on year, more companies are investing in the construction of gyms, as a response to the rising demand that us Brits have created. The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, released in May this year, told us that an astounding 1 in 7 people in the UK are currently members of a gym. The number of individuals enrolled at fitness centres now stands at an astonishing 9.7 million people, an all time high for our country and a clear sign that the British public are starting to see exercise as a compulsory activity, rather than a hobby for those who can be bothered.

However, with the increase of more people exercising, there is also a knock on effect of more sports-related injuries occurring. With so many people starting their fitness journeys each year, it’s only expected that a certain number will do themselves a mischief as a result of their inexperience.

If you’ve just joined a gym or are starting a new fitness regime, take a look at these tips so that you can avoid injury and keep training for longer:

Warming Up – Cooling Down

It’s important to ease your way into exercise. As tempting as it might be to dive straight in at the deep end with your exercise plan and see results quicker, if you do this you’ll risk injuring yourself and delaying the progress that you’ll make.

It’s imperative that you take it easy to start with so that your body can grow accustomed to the increased demand on it’s resources and strength. Don’t take shortcuts – start slow and exercise safe.

All the Gear

Investing in the right exercise gear is never a bad idea. Although you can get potentially spend hundreds of pounds on trainers, running shorts and tech to go with it, it’s best to stick to just the basics to start with.

Don’t be afraid of spending up to £100 on your trainers, remember that this is an investment in your fitness – plus the more you spend on them, the longer they will last and the better support they will give you.

Incremental Training

Once you’ve got your gear and started exercising regularly in light doses, you’ll want to get a plan together so that you can ensure that you continue to improve your fitness over time. The easiest way of guaranteeing that you are continually challenging yourself is by making a note of your exercise pattern and increasing your workload by 10% each week.

So, if you’re doing interval training over a 1km distance three times a week, then the following week you should increase the distance to 1.1km and then to 1.21km the week after. Slowly increase your sessions and your fitness will rise to the challenge.

Being Environmentally Savvy

Understand where and when you exercise best. Although there has been research conducted into when the best time to exercise is, it’s important to remember that each person is different and will react to exercise in a different way.

You need to experiment with where and when you exercise, find your most comfortable environment, where you’re feeling motivated and alert, then stick to it. This could be after a long day at work or even early in the morning before you’ve eaten breakfast!

Feed the Machine

Last but not least, you need to make sure that your body is properly fuelled before and after your exercise sessions. A common mistake that people new to exercising will make is to not change their diet when they start exercising.

An increase in energy consumption will mean that your body gets hungrier quicker. In order for your body to properly repair itself after an exercise session you need to eat a good meal to recover. Although it might be tempting for dieters to double down and burn more calories than they consume, this is not a wise option and could potentially damage your body.