Getting Fit: Where Do You Start?
At our Ottawa physiotherapy clinics, our sports medicine specialists help all of their clients to stay as active as possible. Our clientele may include many pro athletes, but our medical practitioners understand that for many people, the workday doesn't necessarily include a lot of physical activity.
If you’re not active, it’s easy to slide into a rut of sitting at a desk at work, and then sitting on the couch when you get home. Getting active? Where do you start?
Here are a few ideas on what to start on, and how to begin the road to better fitness.
BEFORE YOU START: The sports medicine specialists in our Ottawa physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics are ready with information to answer your questions about what exercises are most beneficial for your condition, and can even design a personalized exercise plan according to your needs.
The Gym Is Your Friend
The media and Hollywood's version of the gym is a competitive, even predatory place, where, if you aren't already superfit, you'll be laughed at. The reality is, there may be such clubs in Hollywood, but you are much more likely to find a place with a variety of clients, some of whom are just like you.
- You can get specific advice on form and equipment, including classes where you can try out new exercises and styles.
- It's great to work out at home; adding the gym only adds to your options.
Stay Hydrated And Other Advice To Start Out
There are a few things you need to consider before you start.
- Do you have an existing condition that may affect your exercise activities? Our Ottawa physiotherapists and sports medicine specialists can provide a personalized exercise regimen tailored to your needs.
- Invest in good workout shoes—they will protect your legs and feet, and ensure optimal balance.
- Wear comfortable workout gear that fits well (loose clothes can get caught in weights) - and a moisture-wicking fabric will absorb sweat.
- Hydration is important. Plan on drinking about 8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes or so of exercise.
A Starting Exercise Quick Guide
A good fitness regimen includes different types of exercise, each with their own benefits.
- Warm-ups get the blood flowing and muscles loosened.
- Warm-ups should take about 5 to 10 minutes.
- You can begin with a few stretches.
- Include a low key activity to start just as running in place or simple jumping jacks.
- Benefiting the heart and cardiovascular system, aerobic exercise generally involves continuous movement.
- Beginning with a 20 to 30 minute walk, four to five times a week, is a great way to kickstart your regimen.
- Swimming, running, and even dancing are also aerobic activities.
- These exercises work various muscle groups, and can be done with or without weights.
- If you use weights, begin with small dumbbells that you can easily lift and move with.
- Resistance bands are another good option.
- Common exercises such as squats, push-ups, planks, and lunges are also strength training activities.
- Begin with one set of eight to 12 repetitions to work the muscles of each major group, including arms, shoulders, abdominals, and legs.
- Maintaining and improving flexibility can greatly improve quality of life, particularly as we age.
- It can improve balance, and reduce the risk of falls.
- Start with stretches that target the major muscle groups/body parts.
- Hold for 10 seconds to begin with, working your way to 30 seconds for each stretch.
No matter what your activity level, our Ottawa physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists are available for advice and consultation. Contact one of our clinics today.