Tips to help with mental strength during a workout.

In the middle of a high intensity workout, or a heavy lifting session or a bootcamp or circuits class, when your shirt is soaked through with sweat and you’re about to start yet another round of burpees or going for a PB deadlift, it’s not uncommon to think, “I can’t do this. I can’t even do one more rep.”

But what’s sending that message? Is it your body or is it your brain? Are your muscles really getting tired, or is it just your mental strength that’s failing you?

While it’s always important to listen to your body and never push yourself to the point of injury, sometimes your brain can prevent your body from doing all it can.

When it comes to pushing yourself a little harder — whether that’s competing in an IronMan or trying to hold a plank just a few seconds longer — mental toughness plays a massive role in what you can accomplish. Luckily, anyone can develop mental strength. Just like training for a race or learning to do pull-ups, it’s something that takes time to master. The more you practice it, the more benefits you’ll see.

When it comes to fitness, being mentally strong and having grit and determination means you can smash your training and workouts, even when you want to give up.

In order to succeed, you have to become an expert at not only enduring physical nastiness but overcoming it too.

Here are a few ways to improve your mental strength during a hardcore workout!

Talk to yourself!

OK, maybe not aloud or in public, you may get some strange looks!! But thinking to yourself, “I can do this!” or “You’ve got this” can make a workout seem less strenuous.

Line up that playlist!

Losing yourself in your favourite track when you feel like giving up, can give you that extra added boost to get a few more reps in. When I am working out, I need my music loud in my headphones to block everything out and to get in the zone! Yes, I am also known for singing along to my music whilst working out and badly may I add! But for me, it works, I block everything out to stop getting distracted, If I get distracted it’s too easy to give up and walk away!

Be grateful!

During a workout, it’s easy to think about how your muscles are hurting or the amount of sweat dripping off your nose or into your eyes, but instead of thinking of the negatives turn it around and think of how chuffed you will feel when you complete that work out, or that extra rep you just smashed out and think how lucky you are to have to mental strength to have just completed that!! It is an awesome feeling!

Smile!

This might be the easiest tip yet, however, putting on a smile whilst you are grunting or gritting your teeth, rep after rep, is usually the last thing you want to do, but it really does give you a little boost both mentally and physically, even if it’s forced!

Go on try it next time, you will be surprised!

Embrace the pain!

When all else fails, sometimes you simply have to accept that enduring a bit of pain (in the form of deep, muscle-burning agony, not an agonising injury) is part of becoming stronger, faster, and fitter! Embrace it and shout “feel the burn!” (again in your head or you may get some odd looks!!)

Some people need someone to workout with them to ensure they are pushing themselves more than they otherwise would. If this is you, then contact a member of Team SF today and have a chat about our personal training options.

Training for Longevity

We have already covered why strength training is important for all, so with that baseline let us take a dive into training for longevity.

We all age, no stopping that, but why do we except that we will get weaker, slower or that we are doomed? – sounds bleak, good keep that image in your head!

As people age, we start to think about just staying active, limiting our workouts to protect ourselves and even stopping some exercises as they could be counter-productive.

Quick search of the interweb for benefits of resistance training returns:

  1. Improved muscular strength and tone, helping to protect your joints from injury.
  2. Maintaining flexibility and balance.
  3. Can help to reduce or prevent cognitive decline.

All of these are what we are looking for in training, if I am training someone for a particular sport first step is to give them the best base of movement, followed by strength and lastly skill. No point having wicked good skills with a limited base of movement stopping these from being delivered.

This isn’t the point of this topic though……

If we look closely at the benefits, the demographic that benefits most from these are older adults. Sure, in an ideal world everyone starts this early on and builds up, however ideal is not what we have to work with.

This is all easy to say, let’s take a look into each of the points for some specifics and how they feed into daily activities rather than the gym:

Improved muscular strength:

We hinge about 100 times a day, this takes effort. Being able to hinge safely using the proper form will require strength and technique. Bending done for cupboards, getting in and out of the car, bath or even chairs. We can build this strength, making the activity easier and safer.

Maintaining flexibility:

Maintaining (and increasing) flexibility means less chance of pulled muscles, aids in stability and goes hand in hand with increased strength to protect from issues around being in unusual positions and that causing problems.

Cognitive decline:

Natural thoughts here go towards brain decline, and whilst this is correct, we also need to consider our reaction times, ability to focus on tasks and being able to get into the zone. There are many examples of reaction such as driving, playing with children catch, football etc.

Time to roll all of this into an example:

When we are in our younger years, let’s say an active teenager if you trip on a paving slab we react with a quick shuffle of our feet and hope no one noticed!

Fast forward 20 years, we can probably still do the shuffle bit but, things are going to feel a little worse, maybe we don’t fall but our reactions have slowed, and we jar our knee.

20 more years our reactions have further slowed, our body has started to lose muscle, strength and our reactions has also deteriorated, the outcome is much less favourable than before.

This is a cycle that is accepted, with the usual can’t do what I used to attitude.

We shouldn’t accept this, whilst we can’t stop aging, we can use resistance training to keep an active life going well into our ‘golden years’

Instead of looking at resistance training purely for lifting heavy weights, we should be using it to ensure longevity in our chosen daily activities, and if it makes us look good, that’s a bonus!

Key things to consider when looking at resistance training for longevity:

  1. Use movements that assist in daily tasks – Hinge, Press, Pull, Carry
  2. Improve gait strength – Lunging, single leg balance and strength
  3. Challenge the mind – learning new movements that require thought to complete, increasing mind-muscle connection.

Incorporating the above doesn’t need to include heavy weights, ridiculously long sessions or training 6 days a week.

Simple sessions that incorporate a variety of these movements can make a huge difference.

One of my favourite quotes is:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, second best time is today”

It is never too late (or early) to start maintaining our bodies for longevity.

Not sure where to start or want some guidance? Give a Team SF a shout and we can assist.

The benefits of small group exercise classes.

Did you know that small group exercise classes are one of the most effective ways to get fit, lose weight, build a better body and sustain a healthy lifestyle?

There are many benefits of group exercise:

1) You get a qualified fitness expert at your disposal

Possibly the best thing about small group exercise is the very fact it is led by a professional!

2) You can get more bang for your money

What do I mean by this? Well, we think attending a small group exercise class may make you work harder. Studies show that the combination of an instructor shouting (we mean gently encouraging you not screaming in your face) from the front and peoples natural competitiveness, means that small group exercise attendees push harder when working out in a class than if doing so alone. It’s a lot harder to skip those last few reps or go slow when others are there doing the same workout.

3) There is a lower risk of injury

With a trained instructor watching over a small group exercise class, they can correct poor technique – this is especially beneficial in classes where you lift weights or perform very specific postures.

4) It’s super easy

Because someone else is responsible for planning the workout, you don’t have to think about a thing – simply turn up, follow the instructions and leave. Workout done!

5) There’s friendships between participants

Regular attendance at classes allows people to build up friendships with fellow class attendees – they can become like a tribe, and it is great to enjoy the experience with like minded people.

This is not only a nice support network but great for keeping you on the straight and narrow – because just at that time when you’re thinking about cancelling you think A) I don’t want to let them down, and B) I don’t want them to know I’ve cancelled!

6) It adds huge variety to your workout

When left to your own devices in the gym or at home you can find yourself doing the same thing over and over. With classes you can try a variety of different workouts, meaning that one day you could be boxing, attending a kick boxercise class, a bootcamp the next, followed by circuits!

The choice is unlimited and at Spike Fitness, we offer a variety of classes on various days and at various times meaning we have something for everyone!

You can target specific parts of the body or go for full-body workouts and we offer classes for every age, from 0-100 and everyone in between.

There really is a class out there to achieve every possible goal and for everyone!

7) It’s great for everyone – whatever their fitness level

Firstly, small group exercise classes are put on for different levels –

so take indoor cycling as an example, there will be classes on the timetable set for beginners or advance, they will vary in duration and intensity, so that you can pick one to suit – and this is the case with many different types of classes.

Plus, pretty much every class can be adapted for different abilities. Instructors will know who is new in a class or who is more advanced and will demonstrated different moves for everyone, and at the end of the day you are always totally in control of your own workout, so simply stick to what is within your ability, taking the opportunity to challenge yourself and improve class by class.

8) You get a higher endorphin output

The entire experience of a small group exercise class can lead to higher endorphin release than with other exercise. Endorphins are those feel-good hormones and the combined effect of the music, the instructor leading you through a routine, the effort you put in and the fact you are in a group of people doing exercise, helps your body to release more! It’s why you come out of a class really buzzing. Try it if you don’t believe us – it feels great!

9) You don’t have to know what you are doing

Small group exercise classes are design by professionals to get results, so it really doesn’t matter if you don’t know your gluteus maximus from your tricep, or which exercises are best for burning fat or building muscles, simply speak to Team SF, tell us your goals and we can tell you which classes will help you achieve them – then you just rock up and follow the instructor at the front. Easy right?

10) There are hidden incentives to make you go

By booking or paying in advance you have extra reason to attend. Our classes require you to book in advance due to demand – this is a good practice to get in to anyway, as the fact you are booked can help make you go even when you are feeling like quitting. Also paying for a class in advance can also help keep you on the straight and narrow, as not going makes you feel like you are wasting money.

11) It’s fun

This probably should have been number one in the list! Working out alone at home or in the gym can sometimes feel like a drag, but a small group exercise class is always fun and full of laughter, don’t get me wrong there will be a lot of sweat and a lot of hard work but we will make sure we will have a lot of laughs along the way!

How can it not be? You are listening to great music in a group of people while releasing feel good endorphins – I think of it like a little mini party – OK there may not be cake or alcohol, but you will be burning calories almost without realising it while enjoying yourself.

Gaining muscle and losing fat.

Bigger muscles.  Less fat.  Leaner, buffer, bulkier, more toned.  Every body image goal out there comes down to managing levels of muscle mass and body fat.

We often see big differences between training programs based on these goals. We’ll see sprint intervals, low carbs or calories, and minimal rest for fat loss. We’ll see slow sets, high reps, and long rests for muscle gain.  

Pop open the latest ad on Facebook or Instagram and you’d be led to believe that every goal has a highly specific strategy for getting results. In a sense you are not being lied to, but success isn’t all about variation; don’t get me wrong variation keeps it interesting so to not lose interest however it is all about consistency. 

The best fat loss programs and the best muscle-gain programs are 80-90% similar than they are different. When we train, we move well first, then we get stronger. This happens mainly with big, simple movements. Compound exercises use multiple joints and a whole lot of muscle, providing the greatest stimulus for results. 

Selecting exercises or equipment is simple: Use a barbell for squats, bench press, deadlifts, and overhead presses.  Do push-ups, pull-ups, and chin-ups.  Row and press your dumbbells.  Swing, snatch, and clean your kettlebells.  Use a variety of single-leg or single-arm exercises to involve the core. 

The necessity of the human body to push, pull, hinge, squat, carry, and crawl does not change based on our specific goals.  Every program should include variations of these movements.  If it doesn’t include those moves, question it.  What is it missing, and why is it missing these movements? They’re the key for building muscle and burning fat. 

If you’re squatting, benching, rowing, and lunging, you’re slowly adding more weight or reps over time.  You’re smashing it.   

In a calorie deficit, you should be reminding your body to maintain or increase muscle mass while burning fat.  In a calorie surplus, you should be reminding your body to build muscle mass while minimizing fat gain.

“We move well.  We get stronger.  We eat to support our physical activity and our physique goals” 

This is true for all of us, and more often than not, we see results from that very statement!

If you would like more information on resistance training or nutrition advise chat to a member of Team SF, we would be more than happy to help. 

Keeping on track over a weekend

For most people it’s pretty easy to stick with healthy eating and a structured workout routine during the workweek, but for whatever reason the weekends seem to throw people off track.   

If you add up all the weekend days in a month (including a Friday, Saturday & Sunday) it’s about 12 days, which is almost HALF OF THE MONTH!! So, derailing at the weekends means you’re literally taking off 50% of the month, which isn’t ideal if you have a goal set to lose weight or get in shape.  

I’m not saying that there isn’t room for some splurges and treats, but it’s important to keep your health goals in mind when making choices over the weekend.   

Stay focused and keep with your normal routine – One of the big things that throws us off on the weekend is lack of routine that we normally have during the week. If that’s the case, come up with a weekend routine.   

Of course, there will be weekends where you don’t follow the routine exactly, but it can be so helpful to add some structure to your weekends. A few ideas: have a small lie in but still get up near the time you would during the week, sit down to have breakfast as you would normally, go for a walk or do your household chores, make sure you still down for lunch at the time you would during the week, plan your afternoon or meal prep for the week, attend an exercise class or head to the gym for a workout, sit down for your evening meal as you would normally, head to bed at the same as you would during the week.  

Limit your alcohol – A lot of people use alcohol as a way to relax on the weekends. Having a drink here and there is totally fine, but it’s super important to find other ways to relax and destress after a long week. A few ideas: exercise, catch up with an old friend, read a book, take a bath, schedule a nail appointment or a hair appointment. Of course, if you do plan to indulge in a few alcoholic drinks, it’s best to drink water or another calorie-free drink in between drinks.  

Eat a healthy breakfast – A healthy breakfast starts your metabolism and helps to control your appetite all day. You will normally have a little more time at the weekends to prepare a delicious healthy breakfast so take advantage of that! 

Stick with the basics – When planning meals for the weekend, load your plate with protein, healthy fats, whole grains and lots of fruit and veg, so that you feel comfortably full and satisfied. Many people tend to snack throughout the weekend instead of sitting down for full meals.  

Keep a food diary – This is another one of my favourite tips. Writing down what you eat is the most accurate way to hold yourself accountable and ensure you’re not sabotaging your diet over the weekend. All those small bites and sips that you quickly forget about add up! Keeping a food diary can be a real reality check when you look back over the week.  

Move more – Make the most of the extra free time you have on the weekend and try to squeeze in some sort of workout or go for a walk. Getting your friends and family involved in something outdoors can be a fun way to get moving! And remember, exercise doesn’t always have to mean going to the gym — walking, playing sports, gardening, cleaning the house and mowing the grass are all forms of physical activity.  

Use your weekend to plan for the week ahead – The weekends are a great time to plan your healthy meals for the week.  

Moderation is key – Eat and enjoy your favourite foods in moderation. Deprivation tends to backfire so if you really want a treat, eat and enjoy it and then move on.  

Last but not least, don’t let one setback keep you from working toward your health goals. If you slip-up over the weekend, don’t let it get you down or bring on the mindset of saying I’ve already screwed up, might as well throw in the towel for this weekend start again on Monday. Nope! Just make sure your next meal is a healthy one and keep on going.  

Can you measure fitness across the population?

Lots of conversations have been had over the last couple of weeks in regards to general fitness, fitness levels and what can be or could be considered fitness standards.

Now, before we look into some of the nitty gritty, we need to remember (or remind ourselves) that everyone has their own strengths and will naturally be more suited to a certain style of training.

Also, there is a great quote (purportedly) by Einstein which is:

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

The same applies to fitness, we all need to learn, experience and find out what fitness is to us personally and not compare ourselves to what others are doing as they may have been training for years and we are just starting out!

Furthermore, some of the most rewarding fitness goals that I’ve had the pleasure of assisting people with have nothing to do with weight lifted or measurements but more lifestyle fitness goals. For example, being able to skip with the grandchildren.

We can have a look at some examples of fitness standards:

Barbell squat double your body weight

Running 5km in 25 (8 minute mile)

25 full press-ups in a minute (averaged from age brackets)

We could spend a long time debating the best type of training and come to no definitive answer, the reality is that Michael Phelps is unlikely to win worlds strongest man much like Eddie Hall is unlikely to win gold at the 100m freestyle (although he was a national level swimmer!).

Ironically, we typically don’t apply broad fitness standards to elite athletes in our own minds.

So let’s talk about fitness standards, these predominantly come from measurable groups or to set a baseline for entry (military fitness tests, police, fire brigade etc) to show a level of fitness for that specific job. Naturally, people will use these as a personal target to have achieved the baseline for x job.

Over time, these types of benchmarks have widened with other areas or new types of training emerging. Along with this comes new benchmarks based on the originators idea of what is considered a ‘good level’ of fitness for the given training type.

Whilst being able to achieve one of these benchmarks is good, if you are required to for a job, (yeah thanks, that wasn’t obvious), does it:

Increase your fitness?
Does it add longevity to your life?
Does it enhance your quality of life?

Perhaps it does, in which case brilliant, smash that goal!

However, if it doesn’t and we should be honest with ourselves here, then should we really be setting our own fitness standards?

Example:

Client A does 100 pull-ups, following session does 110 – 10% improvement, great job.

Client B does 2 pull-ups, following session does 4 – 100% improvement, awesome job.

If the standard was 20, client B looks to be under the standard yet improved by 100%!

Goals should be specific to yourself and enhance your quality of life, we are not saying set them really low so you can give yourself a nice pat on the back though!

Like running, choose a distance target, reach it then make it faster, based on your level of conditioning.

Like lifting weights, chose a lift and refine your technique rather than chasing the weight, use your improved technique to reach that lift.

When you start setting your own goals and concentrating on improving, based on yourself, you’ll find things happening much faster than following broad fitness targets.

Why progress isn’t (and shouldn’t be) linear

We’ve all been there, great progress for a week, fortnight or even a month then we seem to hit the brick wall.  

This applies to so many things, weight loss, strength gains, speed, flexibility, endurance and many more.  

So why does it happen?  

Well for a start, when we start something new, we have lots to learn, experience and process. We’ll start with a set of assumptions, let’s take weight loss as an example. We start eating healthier and exercising. From this our body is getting a better quality of fuel and is given a new way to expend it in the first few weeks, this equals weight loss.  

Our weight loss begins to slow, or even go back up slightly, this could be for a number of reasons and we tend to think ‘oh I must need to eat less’ when there could be many other reasons, these could range from increased water retention, muscle gain or hormone changes.  

The same can be said about strength, during the first few weeks/months we get stronger, lift more etc. after a while these tail off and we aren’t progressing at the same pace. Again, this could lead to us thinking I need to push harder, do more of a certain movement.  

At this point, what we are really looking at is our body just putting a safety break in, allowing other parts to catch up, think about all of the supporting parts for the movement.  

With the two examples above, both are leading us to change, in the example of weight loss it’s a change in the way we look at the overall picture.  

What if our weight stays the same but we have less body fat and more muscle? – would that make us think about changing our diet or happy at staying the same weight?  

With strength, incorporating additional work to support and maximise the amount we can lift, concentrating on our technique with lighter weight to get every bit of performance we can. The list goes on, however the outcomes are the same, when we reach a stage where progress plateau’s we have a chance to re-evaluate our performance, make changes to continue our progress and gain a greater understanding of our goals and gain insight into what we are trying to achieve.  

So next time we reach a plateau (or think we’ve stalled) rather than be disheartened, perhaps we should ask what can we learn from this, trust the process and accept that progress is never linear. 

Strength Training for all.

Ok so resistance training or strength training brings up a vision of people lifting big heavy weights, usually accompanied by lots of grunting in the ‘weights area’. So is it really for everyone? Lets break down some benefits, and you can judge which may be of use to you….  

Decreased Risk of Injury  

This further breaks down in to a number of categories, firstly strength training decreases the risk of injury in other activities, such as running, cycling and swimming allowing you to perform to a higher level.  

Developing strength (both muscular and skeletal) can help reduce the impact of falls as well as general aches and pains. We start to lose muscle from around 30 years old, strength training can offset this which leads into the next benefit:  

Maintaining Muscle Tissue  

When our hormones begin to decrease our muscle mass also decreases which in turn lowers our metabolism (our metabolism is governed by muscle mass) this decrease can be as much as 8-10% per decade! Strength training can offset this to around 1-2% and it doesn’t mean lifting super heavy weights, wearing a lifting belt and grunting is entirely optional.  

Increased Strength  

This one is fairly obvious, you’ll gain an increase in strength, this will make daily tasks easier whether that’s lifting things in and out of the car, gardening, or other manual day to day tasks.  

Improved Bone Health  

Strength training is directly linked to improving ligament and tendon strength, whilst also helping to develop stronger bones. These together can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, whilst also decreases the risk of fractures.  

Controlled Body Fat  

Muscle burns calories, in fact muscle burns around 3 times as many calories as fat does, so with a nice link back to the first benefit the more muscle we maintain the higher our metabolism will be. Strength training really is for everyone, long gone are days of the heavy weights area, we have developed a much more rounded understanding of how maintaining and building muscle supports an active and healthy lifestyle.  

It doesn’t need to be heavy weights, doesn’t mean you’ll have to start bench pressing or deadlifting (although they are cool!) there are so many options, dumbbells, kettlebells and cable machines to name a few.  

If you want to explore the use of strength/resistance training, give us a shout we can help with technique, program design or 1-2-1 sessions to help you get started and get stronger. 

Restarting exercise after a break away from a gym setting. 

With the gyms starting to reopen in the next week or so, many people are wondering how to get back to their normal exercise habits after months of home workouts, outdoor workouts, or completely taking time off from exercising.  

No matter the reason for getting out of your old routine, here is some friendly advice for ramping things up again safely and effectively so you don’t get injured or totally discouraged. Whether you’re transitioning from no workouts to home workouts, home workouts to gym workouts, or anything in between, here’s how to get back in shape (or just back to your usual workout schedule) — the right way.  

Set realistic expectations.  

Regardless of your previous fitness level or how long you have been away from your normal sweat sessions, be prepared for an adjustment period as you get back up to speed. In fact, the first one or two weeks are all about readjusting your body to exercise (or your previous level of exercise) again. 

Don’t overdo it.  

Taking your time to ease back into exercise by going for lower rep counts, lighter weight, and focusing on form will give your body the movement and surge of energy it’s been missing — without putting you at risk for injury.  

By keeping the demand lighter and steadily increasing difficulty over those first weeks, you’ll get back where you were faster than if you push too hard right out of the starting blocks.  

If you’re looking for specific numbers, start with whatever you’d consider to be your bare minimum routine pre-workout break, and then decrease it by 20 percent. So, if you like to run and a typical easy jog was a relaxed 5K, aim for a maximum of 4K for your first workout back.  

It can be tough to come to terms with feeling like you’ve taken 10 steps back in terms of your fitness level. But being harsh on yourself will make it harder to stay motivated.  

Try to start from a mental baseline of where you are currently and not judge yourself against where your fitness levels may have once been in the past.  

Doing this will allow you to set smaller incremental goals that will push you, but are not so far out of reach to be unrealistic. Focusing on short-term goals that are grounded in actions — for instance, exercising for 15 minutes every other day — can also make it easier to stick with your routine.  

Remember any help you need from setting goals to helping with form and technique, Team SF are on hand to help, just find one of us and we will be happy to help 

How to avoid injury during exercise.

Regular exercise is good for your body and safe for almost everyone. However, with any type of activity or sport, there is always a chance you can get hurt and injured. Exercise injuries can range from strains and sprains to back pain. 

With a little planning, you can prevent injury and stay safe during exercise. 

So, what causes exercise injuries? 

Some of the most common causes of exercise injuries include: 

  • Exercising before your body has warmed up 
  • Repeating the same motion over and over again 
  • Not having proper form for your exercise 
  • Not resting in between workouts 
  • Pushing your body too hard or too quickly 
  • Doing an exercise that is too strenuous for your level of fitness 
  • Not using proper equipment 

Why is it important to Warm up and Cool Down before and after exercise? 

Warming up before exercise gets your blood flowing, warms up your muscles, and helps you avoid injury. The easiest way to warm up is to exercise slowly for the first few minutes, then pick up the pace. For example, before running, walk briskly. 

You should also cool down after exercise to bring your heart rate and body temperature back to normal. Cool down by ending your routine at a slower pace for the last 5 to 10 minutes. 

Why is it important to stretch? 

To stay flexible, you should stretch at least 2 times a week. But it is unclear whether stretching really helps reduce injury. 

You can stretch either after you have warmed up or after you exercise. 

  • Do not stretch cold muscles. 
  • Hold stretches for no longer than 15 to 30 seconds. 
  • Do not bounce unless being supervised by a professional. 

Choose Your Exercise Wisely 

If you have not been active, or have a health condition, talk with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise and ask what types of exercise might be best for you. 

If you are new to exercise, you may want to start with low-intensity options such as: 

  • Walking 
  • Swimming 
  • Riding a stationary bike in a gym or at home 

These types of exercise are less likely to cause injury than higher-impact activities like running or aerobics. Contact sports like football or rugby are also more likely to cause injury. 

Use the Right Equipment 

Using safety equipment can greatly reduce your risk of injury. 

Be sure you use the right type of equipment for your sport. For example, do not play tennis in running shoes. Wear a ski helmet, not a bike helmet, when downhill skiing. 

Make sure your exercise equipment:

  • Fits you properly 
  • Is the right design for your sport or activity 
  • Is in good working condition 
  • Is used correctly and consistently 

Learn Good Form 

If you are new to an exercise or sport, consider taking lessons to learn the basics. Learning the right way to do an exercise or sport can help prevent injury. Look for lessons in your community or through sports or outdoors organizations. You can always contact us here at Spike Fitness and we would be happy to help. 

Mix it up a bit 

To help prevent overuse injuries, vary your workouts. For example, instead of running 3 days a week, cycle 1 day and run 2. You will use a different set of muscles, and still get a good workout. 

Listen to Your Body 

Forget the old saying “no pain, no gain.” Of course, to build strength and stamina, you will need to push your body. The key is to push slowly and gradually. You can expect sore muscles after your workout, but you should never feel pain when exercising. If you feel pain, stop right away. 

Being tired all the time can also be a sign that you may be overdoing it. In general, avoid increasing these 3 things all at the same time: 

  • Number of days you exercise 
  • Length of time you exercise 
  • How hard you work out 

Sometimes, less can be more! 

If you do have an injury, you can try to treat strains and sprains at home before seeking medical advice, however, if you are worried it is always worth getting it checked out, just to be on the safe side