Last post, we discussed the early phase of starting a new fitness program – being specific, and building a support network. Now comes the hard work – doing it.
Go Back to Why
Taken directly from Nike, those three little words sum everything up perfectly: Just Do It. Here is where the rubber meets the road and it’s time for you to deliver the goods. But everyone stumbles and falls on the journey. It often helps to go back to the first question and ask “Why?”. What are we doing this for in the first place? Oh, right: (insert your reason here).
A Little Kindness
Everyone has those days: when we didn’t do as much as we said we would, didn’t work as hard as we wanted to, or maybe we just (knowingly) pressed the Snooze button and decided to get an extra bit of sleep. Please – be kind to yourself. It’s a challenge to get outside of our comfort zone. Give yourself a little pep talk, and then get to work.
If you’re starting a new, make sure you listen to your body. If you’ve never done a spin class before, you can expect some quad soreness afterwards – and maybe for a few days. If you’ve never lifted weights before, expect to be sore anywhere and everywhere. Don’t work through pain! Pain is there to tell us that something is wrong. Which begs the question: what is pain? Performance pain is a quick, and maybe mild, pain that happens in the moment, resolves, and is gone. You’ve likely never felt that before, and it doesn’t happen again. Pathological pain is more consistent, persistent, and doesn’t go away. Either way, you should consult your MD, orthopedist or PT if you have any concerns.
Writing a journal on your journey is a valuable tool for both accountability and measuring milestones. That documentation can help us to see where you may progress to another level, or for some, it may show why something has changed (like increased swelling, increased pain). Along with the details of your workout, it’s a good idea to note how you felt during the exercise, immediately after, and the next day. You may want to document other Measurable things, like weight, resistance, inches, clothing sizes, volume. And don’t be afraid to document your feelings and emotions. Finally, taking photos can help remind you were you started from.
Celebrate your success! When you reach a milestone or goal, make sure that you give yourself the recognition you deserve for that accomplishment. Post your wins on Facebook or Instagram, tell your friends, or even throw yourself a Graduation Party when you cross the finish line. There should be some reward for all of your hard work.
Remember: there’s no elevator to the top of Mount Everest. You get there one step at a time. Now get out there and do it!
Mark M Lusk, DPT, OCS, CFMT