Are you still tracking your new fitness goals for the new year? Here is the deal -- most people quit this week, because statistically they did too much, too soon, too fast and hurt themselves. Whether it is an actual injury or they are just sore from overdoing it, the word resolution is no longer used after this week.
So, here is a suggestion to avoid the third-week pain of frustration of adding a training plan to your life out of nowhere. Take it easy this week. Do things that do not hurt and work on your flexibility and mobility with some light cardio (non-impact). Even if you are not hurting, it is never bad to add in an easier week, but it should be complemented by plenty of moving and stretching.
Get on the bike, elliptical, or rower -- or walk if you have no equipment -- for 10 minutes to warm up. Add a few flights of steps to warm up the legs even more for 2-3 minutes.
Dynamic stretching exercises: butt kickers, leg swings, high kicks, side steps, jumping jacks, more ideas in this link. Do this for 10-15 minutes.
If you wish to stay with your regular program after a good, long warmup, it is fine to do so, but reduce your intensity this week just a notch and focus on full range-of-motion movements, whether it is calisthenics or weight training. Go slow on your repetitions and breathe deeply, exhaling on exertion. This is the week that you want to get the "new training guy" pain out of your body. You know what is too much for your body, so back off this week.
Non-impact cardio options are great this week. If there is something you want to push yourself on, do it in the pool or on the rower, bike or elliptical.
After you have done your routine with slow, deliberate movements and a good pace of non-impact cardio, stretch your full body well. Give yourself a good 15 minutes to stretch sometime today.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to email@example.com.
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