It’s a New Year – even if you “Don’t Do Resolutions” it is a really great time of the year to exercise. But how much exercise should your body do so that you get a training effect but not develop injuries?
My job as a Physiotherapist is inherently physical and ironically during holidays,
I usually have a lot more energy to run. Plus it is hard to sleep past 5.30am between the birds and the light mornings! So I often find myself running more than ever in the Summer holidays. The first few runs always feel fantastic, but then after the first week all the niggles start to show up.
At Active Solutions Physiotherapy, we absolutely encourage regular exercise that you enjoy. Preferably across a week 5 hours of moderate physical activity (lawn mowing, brisk walk, golf or swimming) or 2.5 hours of vigorous activity (running, soccer, netball, aerobics, cycling).
So how far do you decide to run/swim/cycle when suddenly you have extra time on your hands? The trick is to stick within your “Sweet Spot”. This is the level of exercise that is enough to stimulate your tissues to get stronger, but not so much that you push things and cause tissue trauma.
How can you work out what is your “Sweet Spot” of ideal exercise levels?
1. Any pain during the exercise should be at an intensity of less than 3/10
2. There should be no pain or discomfort the following day, particularly a pain you can specifically point your finger to
3. It is acceptable to have widespread and bilateral muscle soreness; in the relevant muscles you actually used for the exercise ie calf soreness after running, arm soreness after tennis
Try and make the most of the motivation of New Year Resolutions, the gorgeous early morning summer weather or your holiday time off and make regular exercise part of your weekly habits. Just don’t under-do or over-do your exercise – find your sweet spot.