• Dr Jessica Sammut

Top Tips to Get Motivated

If you are desperate to get fitter this year, especially now that we're coming into shorts weather! You may find the huge array of articles and training routines available overwhelming.


Over the years Whole Health Osteopathy has seen the impacts of some of these training routines, which have led to injury or even illness. Whatever your goal, we have devised a few simple tips that you should take on board.  


Listen to your body Although a cliché, it is essential you do not overdo it by ignoring any pains or aches. The clinic has treated a large number of clients who have incurred injuries due to over training, which in some cases have taken months to repair.


Time of day Exercise when the time is right for you. If you are not a morning person then do not push yourself to do exercise first thing. Everyone is different, so the evenings may be more suitable for you. Something small is better than nothing at all!


Chose the right exercise Running is not for everyone, so if you are just starting out then pick an exercise that you can enjoy. Motivation will be extremely difficult if you resent the exercise you are doing. Try some taster classes to see how you feel. Check out my Exercise Alphabet for some suggestions!


Need motivation? Remaining motivated during exercise can be difficult for even elite athletes so do not let this deter you. Your own motivation could take a number of different forms and needs to be personal and achievable for you. Here are my Top 10 benefits of exercise.


Can’t afford the gym? The gym is not for everyone regardless of the cost. With the huge array of exercise classes that are available outside of the gym, there is definitely something for everyone these days. 


Snacking before exercise Avoid exercising two to three hours after a heavy meal, as this can lead to stomach cramps and discomfort. A small snack before your workout may help you especially if it is something such as a banana, nuts or crackers. Do not be fooled into thinking a sugary snack will provide constant energy, as some may have a negative impact on your levels soon after. 


Warm up and down Whatever the weather, always warm up before exercise to help prevent injury. Warming up can involve gentle movements including walking or a light jog. The same applies post exercise as it gradually lowers your heart rate and may help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness. Here is my 3-Step Warm up for Runners.


Style v’s comfort We all want to look good when we exercise but it is essential to wear clothing that is supportive and comfortable for your body shape. 


Music Depending on your exercise choice, try listening to music. I have only recently started listening to music on my runs and I find it helps to take my mind off anything else, so that I can completely submerge myself in my run. It also helps make the time go quickly! Just remember that if it's dark or you're in an isolated area, listen with one ear so you can listen out for traffic or people!


Frequency? With moderate intensity exercise it should be safe to do a little every day. However once you start doing vigorous to high intensity exercise then it is important to rest and allow your body to repair and recover.  Whole Health Osteopathy has treated a large number of clients who have over trained which has led to muscle and joint damage. 


Drinking Water I cannot say this often enough, but keeping hydrated is essential. Before, during and after exercise, regardless of intensity! You'll sweat either way, so make sure you're replenishing your fluids and electrolytes. Read my tips for exercising in the heat here.

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