The term “sustainable” in the context of an exercise routine refers to the frequency, intensity, volume, and type of variables in your routine.
When it comes to exercise, there are numerous roads you can take that will lead to difficulties such as developing a dislike for exercise and completely avoiding it. We wish to avoid this at all costs, but how is that possible?
You can teach your body to adapt to the demands you set on it with exercise by progressively increasing the intensity of your workout regimen. Your body will tell you if you go all out straight away, guns blazing!
The fundamentals of sustainable exercise will be discussed in this blog, as well as how you can create your own sustainable exercise routine. Continue reading to learn more.
How to Create a Sustainable Exercise Routine
Creating a sustainable exercise routine entails starting with the basics and gradually progressing through the fitness ranks, which is the polar opposite of what we decide when we want to become a fitness fanatic every new year.
By gradually increasing the intensity of your exercise routine, you can train your body to adapt over time to the demands you place on it with your exercise. If you go all out right away, guns blazing, your body will let you know!
Continue reading to learn some basic tips to help you get started on your sustainable exercise routine.
Rest Days From Exercise
Rest days are absolutely necessary! We cannot perform high-intensity exercise every day without rest days; this is a recipe for injury! This is especially true for people who are just starting out with exercise. Rest days become less important after months of training as adaptation occurs, but they are still very important.
Consider the couch to 5K program: running the x3 runs each week on consecutive days will result in joint aches, muscle soreness, and most likely, a dislike for running! To aid sustainability, space your runs out and allow at least one recovery day in between runs.
Warm-ups & Cool-Downs
These are always a hot topic but the principles of them are super simple. The best warm-up and cool-down for the exercise that you complete is actually doing that particular exercise but at a lower intensity. For example, if you’re going for a run, the best warm-up is to first slowly jog and then progressively pick up the pace over around 10 minutes. If you’re playing tennis, start with a gentle rally and slowly pick up the pace to full intensity
However, doing some bodyweight resistance exercises to warm-up is also a good idea, such as squats, lunges, heel raises, and hip hinges for example. In addition, some foam rolling or tennis ball release work to increase blood flow can also help. But sometimes, simplicity is key!
Let Yourself Enjoy Exercise
A part of sustainability that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that it must be enjoyable. Like with most hobbies, we stick to the ones that we find enjoyable. If you’re completely new to exercise and aren’t sure what you’d enjoy, book yourself onto a range of classes and try them out! Once you find a form of exercise that you enjoy, you’re 90% of the way there
Vary the Intensity
As previously discussed, if each exercise session is super intense at 100% of your effort, you’re going to dread every exercise session you need to complete, but also, you’re going to drastically increase your risk of injury.
It takes time to reap the rewards from exercise, doesn’t rush it by exercising every day at 100% intensity as the only injury will await. Instead, vary your intensity so that you completely let’s say x2 highly intense sessions a week.
Take the example of a runner. Instead of running 10 miles 3 times per week, a good split would be
- Run 1 – complete 3 miles
- Run 2 – run for 7 miles
- Run 3 – aim for 10 miles
This allows the body extra recovery time in between runs and also means the body isn’t getting stressed with 10 miles each and every run, thus equals sustainability!
What Makes Exercise Unsustainable?
So, we know a sustainable exercise routine relates to the specific frequency, intensity, volume, and type of exercise that we have within that specific routine. But what would an unsustainable exercise routine look like considering the above principles?
The Frequency Of Exercise
We exercise on most days, if not every day, with little recovery time. This can lead to muscle soreness and, in some cases, a growing reluctance to any form of exercise.
The Intensity of Exercise
Every exercise session, we train at a high level of intensity. Don’t push yourself to the point of failure; instead, keep it real and do what works best for you. Don’t go overboard!
Volume of Exercise
Only long sessions will suffice; we must train ourselves for an hour each workout or there will be no point. A 15-minute workout can be just as effective as an hour-long workout.
The Type Of Exercise
We pick one type of exercise and stick with it; we either run every day or attend HIIT classes every day. It’s a good idea to mix things up and spice up your workout.
The unsustainable routine would cause us to injure ourselves as we strive to become fitness enthusiasts in the new year. This may result in a lack of functionality in our daily lives as a result of constant post-exercise muscle pain, causing us to stop within a few weeks… until the next new year!
Why Is Regular Exercise Important?
If exercise could be sold as a pill, it would be the most expensive pill in the world because of how beneficial it is to our overall health, both physical and mental.
With physical inactivity and general sedentary behavior being two of the leading causes of death, developing a long-term exercise routine has never been more important, especially as we age!
The NHS physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 are available here.
Physiotherapy in Sheffield
Decided that you want to take up a sustainable exercise routine but are not sure where to start? Struggling with an injury that is preventing you from taking up your exercise routine? Physiotherapy would be a great option for you to get you back on track! With a thorough assessment with one of our experts, we can devise an individually tailored treatment plan to get you back on track with your regular exercise!
Or if you need some inspiration or some extra variety in your pre-existing exercise routine, why not follow this link to check out our mixture of online and face-to-face classes to get your joints moving, heart pumping, and forehead sweating!