The new year is now well underway, and before you know it, warmer weather will be just around the corner. If your fitness goals drifted away over the holidays, now is the perfect time to make your spring fitness resolutions!
Focus on Fun & Fulfillment First
“Most people start a fitness goal with an extrinsic motivation, like losing belly fat, or deadlifting 300 pounds,” Markham said. “These goals can be good at getting us started with increasing physical activity, but those changes don’t always lead to an exercise habit. By focusing on physical activities that are fun and fulfilling, you will be more likely to maintain your physical activity for a longer period of time, and you’ll make more progress toward your health and fitness goals.”
Markham suggests physical activities like group exercise classes, hiking, dance workouts – any physical activity that keeps you motivated to exercise regularly.
Keep it Simple, Seriously
“Too often, people will change their routine before gaining all the benefits,” Markham explained. “If you are new to exercise, focus on multi-joint, multi-muscle exercise. That will be an efficient use of your time and will translate better into your daily activities.
Markham suggests exercises like the chest press, squat, lunge and row. Add extra reps, sets or more weight as you’re able. A personal trainer can help you develop a plan that’s right for you.
Rest Like the Best
“We often assume that the more we hurt in and outside the gym, the more progress we are making toward our fitness goals,” Markham said. “However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can expect some soreness when first starting a new exercise program, but that soreness should shorten in duration and intensity as fitness increases. To really get the benefits of increasing physical activity, you have to pair that adaptive stress, with rest and low intensity activity.”
Overloading yourself every day leads to chronic stress, which is bad to our physical and mental health. Markham stressed it’s important to keep strength training sessions on non-consecutive days, and avoid hitting the gym again until soreness has started to subside.
After a day of a long duration cardiovascular exercise, consider gentle yoga, meditation, or even a hot Epson salt bath.
“No pain, no gain? Not true,” Markham said. “Instead we need to think in terms of stress, plus rest, leads to adaptation.”
Learn about fitness apps in our upcoming virtual seminar, Exercise With a Side of Technology, Tuesday, February 23.
See the SamFit and Samaritan Athletic Center’s YouTube Channels for more exercise ideas. Try a daily stretching routine and exercises you can do during TV commercial breaks, or The Sam’s: Quarantine Fitness playlist.