Getting into shape and living a healthier lifestyle can prove to be a bit overwhelming at times, but it can also be extremely beneficial, especially when you look at the whole picture. The only problem? Exercising isn’t exactly on the top of our to-do list — even though it should be.
For some, exercise can lead to muscle soreness, shortness of breath, or an overall discomfort. Few people wake up in the morning thinking, “You know what the best part of my day is going to be? My routine, half-hour run!” Even so, if you’re out of shape you own it to yourself to put on those boxing gloves and get back in there.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of tips for getting in shape sans pain.
Create an incentive program.
Incentives, also known as small rewards, are a fantastic way to achieve both short-term and long-term goals. With a little creative thinking, your incentive program could feel like a game, which will only make you more willing to work out, chug down that last kale smoothie, or go jogging. If you don’t have time to create an incentive program, try exercising with a friend. Who knows, your conversation may be powerful enough to distract you from the burn long enough for you to finish your entire workout.
Take baby steps.
If you’re new to working out, you can’t expect yourself to hop on the treadmill and run a nine-minute mile without stopping to take a breather. Don’t be ashamed to give yourself breaks — back-to-back exercise days will leave you feeling weak, sore, and huddled up on a park bench somewhere. Take it in bursts — begin jogging and then power walking. Try to push yourself a little further each time, building the intensity of your workout as you go. This is called interval training, and the experts swear by it.
Don’t forget to rest.
No, really — you’re not a drill sergeant and this isn’t back-in-shape boot camp. Getting in shape doesn’t mean feeling the burn each time you exercise. Your body needs a recovery period to restore energy and repair damaged tissues. If the pain gets a little too overbearing, try a natural pain supplement like Curamed. That way, you won’t get discouraged too quickly.
“Inadequate rest may lead to Overtraining Syndrome, which commonly occurs in fitness enthusiasts that train beyond their body’s ability to recover,” Crystal Reeves, a certified master trainer and a co-owner of MadSweat told The Active Times. “When you perform excessive amounts of exercise without proper rest and recovery you may experience some harmful side effects including decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal states, poor sleeping patterns, reproductive disorders, decreased immunity, loss of appetite, and mood swings.”
Remember, wellness isn’t just about working out.
OK, so you’ve got running down pat, but what about the rest of your wellbeing? Taking care of your health means getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and taking a minute of “me time” when you need it. If you’re not taking care of your body’s needs, exercising will be a miserable experience. It’s important to remember that your body needs energy, and that comes in the form of of rest and a healthy diet.
The bottom line? Getting back in shape is hard work, but it’s worth it. If you’ve been procrastinating from jumping on the elliptical or jogging down the street, now’s the time to really commit. If you focus on perfecting the small details, you’ll have a much easier time getting back in shape, and your future will thank you.