I have numerous routes for my runs and bike rides that I use all year long no matter what the weather. While on these routes, there are a consistent yet small number of people that I have come to recognize. However, with the recent break in the weather, these routes are now packed with people on intense missions to get fit. I would go as far to say that the majority of these “new people” have not been consistently active all winter long and are headed for more inconsistency and eventual injury than they are results.
The main cause for this is the age old mistake of trying to do too much too soon! Folks, bless your hearts for your enthusiasm and efforts to get out and get active but if you want to establish a consistent routine of activity and to do so without nagging injuries due to starting out by doing too much too soon, please start out slow! Start by doing shorter, less intense bouts of activity so that your body can slowly acclimate to your newfound zest for activity!
It only takes 4-6 weeks to get your body safely acclimated to activity and ready to pursue longer, more intense forms of activity. If your goal is to enjoy the weather all summer long without shinsplints, pulled hamstrings, pulled groins, sore low back muscles and aching feet….start out slow and/or consult a professional to help you get started on a safe and effective program of exercise!
Do this and who knows, on one of my next runs or rides on a rainy day when most people decide to stay inside and do nothing…you and I will cross paths on a bike trail and quickly nod to each other as we bask in our respective “Exercise Zones!” Sound good?…. well it won’t happen if you are on the couch sore from starting out with activity you aren’t prepared for. Start slow, stay consistent!