“Take care of your body it’s the only place you have to live” Jim Rohn
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer it is natural to start thinking about transitioning more active elements into your lifestyle.
It is important to consider your starting point.
- What is the activity you wish to start?
- Have you performed or participated in this activity before? If so, how long ago?
- If you haven’t, what are the requirements needed to perform or participate in the activity or task?
With this question, we encourage you to think not just about the physical requirements but the mental and emotional aspects as well.
Physical – basis of strength, flexibility, mobility – current conditioning level.
Mental – resilience, dedication, application.
Emotional – thoughts and feelings around starting something new or trying something again.
- Is there an end goal attached to this task? For example, a fun run or hike or a challenge like Tough Mudder.
- Or is this the start of a productive change to an area of your life?
Once these questions have been answered, you have your foundation and starting point towards a goal to improve your health and wellbeing.
At OsteoStrong we want everyone to move forward and continue to build a strong lifestyle of health and wellbeing safely! Even the most deconditioned participants can safely engage in our program and recondition themselves again, with the right approach.
Pacing is a tool that allows you to change the way you perform or complete an exercise or activity – so that you can successfully increase strength, tolerance, and function over time.
The aim of successfully pacing is to ensure the body adapts daily in a positive way to the challenges you are placing on it. If the brain and nervous system perceives a threat to the systems of the body, it will create adverse symptoms to ensure you are consciously aware that there is some danger. Depending on the situation, this results in you either changing something or stopping the activity all together. This however, doesn’t have to occur and with the right pacing strategy can be avoided all together.
Some people with persistent pain markedly reduce their physical activity because it hurts. Others push too far into pain and overdo the activity.
There are many ways that pacing can be utilised as a skill in conjunction with the activity, ascertaining your baseline first is important.
What can you realistically do before you fatigue (physically and mentally), get sore or lose form or technique, then minus 20% to give yourself a buffer. In other words – start by working at 80% of your capacity.
- Ensure adequate rest periods
- Perform the activity over a realistic timeframe
- Keep to a time limit – eg perform a 30 minute strength session and stick to that time frame.
- Gradually make the activity harder e.g. walk uphill
- After some time, you might consider walking on less stable surfaces e.g. beach, grassy verge
- Vary the activity by changing the environment or position e.g. water walking or wall slide exercises against a tree
- Pace the activities, even on days you may not be feeling your best
This is paced across a week, a month and even a year based on the goals and timeframe you have to complete the activity.
If you wanted to run a marathon for example it would be ill advised to go out and run a marathon without building up to the distance. Marathon runners, typically have a schedule of training they complete each week. This is a form of pacing, to minimise injury, build technique and strength and allow the different systems of the body to adjust and be resourced appropriately.
Another tool which could be used to support the introduction or return to an activity or event in conjunction with pacing is the FITT concept and is a great way of monitoring your exercise program. The acronym FITT outlines the key components, or training guidelines, for an effective exercise program.
F, I, T, T, stand for: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.
Frequency: refers to how often you exercise / perform the activity (times per day / week)
Intensity: refers to the magnitude of exercise undertaken or how hard you exercise.
Time: refers to the duration you spend exercising or how long you exercise for.
Type: refers to the type of exercise undertaken or what kind of exercise you do.
The F.I.T.T. Principle is important because it outlines how to manipulate your program to get in shape and get better results. It also helps you figure out how to change your workouts to avoid boredom, overuse injuries and weight loss plateaus.
Through the preparation and combination of the pacing tool and the FITT tool, for most people, goals can be achieved in a way that allows the body and the Central Nervous System to adapt positively with strength, tolerance and functionality accelerating health and wellbeing for the better!
If you wish for any further information about any of the content in this article, please let us know.