As we approach this colder weather (if in Perth we can really call it cold 😉 ), we have a lot less of a tendency to want to get moving. This is when we get a lot of people come to the clinic with neck and back issues. We all have a tendency to get back home, get warm and comfortable with a nice drink and some biscuits and have very little motivation to get moving again. This leads to a drop in our exercise routine.
Often when we miss one exercise session, practice or activity, we usually become less motivated to get back to the next one, and then with each missed session, the hurdle to get back just gets bigger and bigger. So to fill these gaps, challenge yourself to something small, as long as it is something. These sessions can be slower, shorter and easier and will allow you to keep the intensity, frequency and duration of your normal exercise sessions (as inspired by Dr. Peter Janiszewski, Obesity Panacea).
Many of our injuries in the clinic are as a result of those who drop activity and then return to a routine and try to adopt the original intensity of the exercise session. This can put extra load on our tendons which can take some time to heal (over a year in some cases) and can also prone us to injuries in the neck, back and shoulders due to the fact our core muscles may have weakened with inactivity, adding extra stress to these areas.
So next time you plan to go for that run in the morning or perform your usual early morning pilates class and you go to hit that snooze button because you’re just not feeling it, try not to and just go easy if needed. Listen to your body. This will often keep the motivation there and strengthen your next exercise session.
Another handy technique if small sessions don’t work for you is to lay out your exercise clothes in a place where you know you will bump into them or place your gym equipment or mat in the way. I know this works for me!
If you need any advice on “small” exercise sessions, come down and have a chat to one of our physiotherapists. These shorter, slower, easier sessions can often be prescribed as an initial way to begin exercise therapy for the treatment and prevention of injuries.
(Photo courtesy of pocketrangerblog.com “7 tips on how to exercise in cold weather”)