As January comes to a close most of us are back into work and with the first school term approaching our kids will soon be back into their routines.  Hopefully there is still some time  left for being fit and active and many of you will have made promises, New Year resolutions and goals around getting fit.  Here are our top 5 tips for helping you re-start a fitness routine that you may have lost over the Christmas holiday period.

  1. Don’t over-commit

This is the most common mistake made when re-starting a fitness program.  Telling yourself that you are going to get up at 6am every morning to walk or go to the gym is unrealistic for all but the aspiring professional athlete.  Reduce the chances of failure and aim for something that is both possible and probable.  Set out a reasonable number of sessions for a week then aim to review it on the 1st day of next month – this gives you something to strive for without over-committing.

  1. Embrace variety AND routine

Consistency is the biggest determinant of success for getting fit – more important than the type, intensity or time of your exercise sessions for getting results.  The problem with consistency is potential boredom and staleness that comes with doing the same thing.  Embrace variety within consistency – decide to walk 5 days a week but choose different routes; commit to the gym 3 days a week but complete different workouts.

  1. Monitor your mobility

There’s no denying that our bodies change after our 40th birthday, and to stay fit and injury free  you need to start doing some maintenance.   Regular stretches, yoga or pilates is a great way to keep things in check – our video this month on calf stretching will get you started.  If you notice a significant problem , loss of movement or flexibility this is your cue to book in with your physiotherapist and have a professional check it out.

      4.  Avoid double-ups

Once you pass your 40th birthday your joints, tendons and muscles may not like running 2 days in a row butgiven a rest day will cope just fine.  Likewise doubling up 2 “hard”” sessions at the gym may leave you feeling sore.  Alternating hard and easy sessions and allowing 48-72 hours between harder workouts or high impact activities is a good strategy for most of us.

      5.  Find a Friend

When you’re not playing a team sport and trying to keep fit, finding a fitness partner is one of the best ways to increase the chances of success.  Ask a work colleague, ring up a friend who you used to do active things with or check out TeamUp for people doing active things in your area.