Despite good intentions, many new gym-goers can lose sight of their fitness goals without nurturing and guidance. Planet’s Exercise Physiologist, Ben Larner, sheds some light on how to avoid falling off the fitness bandwagon and get the most out of your membership.
Starting a new exercise routine, or trying to follow through on the New Year’s resolutions often see large numbers of people join health clubs with a view to improving their health, fitness and wellbeing. Their goals are often genuine, as is the motivation to get moving and exercising.
But where to from here?
What exercise should I do? How much should I do? Can I go to classes? What are my goals? How often should I train? Can I do weights? How will my injuries affect exercise?
Are just a few of the many questions that will enter a new health club members mind after joining, which is completely understandable. Entering into a new club and trying something that may be new, or a returning member who is slightly out of practice with exercise can be daunting at times.
The current recommendations from The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) which is the industry standard in the USA, and from where Australia also derive our exercise guidelines.
- 150min of walking per week as a minimum. 30min a day/5 days a week
- 60min of vigorous exercise a week over 3 days/20min a day
- 2-3 days per week engage in strength/resistance based exercises that use each of the major muscle groups.
With these guidelines, it helps new and existing exercises set a benchmark for what the minimum recommendations are to compare and discuss current exercise and lifestyle habits.
Where to start?
- Get the support of an Exercise Physiologist or PT when you begin. They will complete a health & fitness assessment, discuss risk factors and any injuries or contra indications to exercise you may have. We need a starting point.
- From there, discuss your goals with your exercise professional. It is important for both parties to know where you are going. This will ensure the best routine for you to get started and achieve your goals.
- Plan your routine with your EP or PT. Life is busy and exercise is often the first thing to get dropped from a busy lifestyle. Discuss the possible barriers for you to exercise and strategies to overcome them when they arise.
- Enjoy the journey. Our body is designed to move and exercise is the best way to improve our health, wellness and quality of life. Find some form of exercise or movement you enjoy and make it part of your lifestyle.
Ben Larner is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) and Exercise Scientist with Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA). Ben has over 15years experience in the provision of Exercise Physiology services covering Sports and Athletic development, Chronic Disease Management CDM, group training and Corporate Health. Ben has clinics located at Planet Fitness Lambton, Charlestown and Belmont. Follow him on Facebook.