What It Takes to Keep a New Year’s Resolution
It’s the season for New Year's Resolutions! Are you, or someone you know, considering taking up running in the New Year? Running is such a simple, effective, and economical form of exercise that it’s a top choice for many but will you succeed in becoming a regular runner?
Did you know that half of all new exercisers drop out within the first three months? Why do some exercisers succeed while others do not? Well, apparently success is up to YOU because the experts tell us that success depends primarily upon the level of readiness on the part of the participant. So, if success depends upon your "readiness" level, then the next question is, can you improve your "readiness" level? The answer is Yes! Absolutely!
And, here's how to stack the odds in your favor.... according to a recent study on exercise adherence, the two biggest factors identified as helpful to success were group support and appropriate gear. Now, seriously, that really should come as no surprise. Think about it, would you send your child off to soccer practice without the right gear or without signing them up with a team and a coach? Of course not! So, apply that same level of care to yourself.
A third element that sidelines many new runners is injury. Our partners at AdventHealth have identified the most common injury and how to reduce your chance of sitting out when you are just getting started. Set yourself up for the best of success by joining one of our training programs, getting the right gear before you start and warming up your body to avoid injuries.
Below are our recommendations! Happy Running!
1. BE IN A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT
Track Shack Training Programs offer expert advice to youth and adults along the journey to attaining better health and fitness. There are different levels available for all fitness levels.
- Zero to Fit: Beginner Walkers and Runners
- Five & Dime: Speed Training
- MarathonFest: Half and Full Marathon Training
- Cheetahs Running Club: Youth Running Program
Group training programs for youth and adults start in January and are offered year-round.
2. GET THE RIGHT GEAR
Shoes - Yes, having the right shoes is a non-negotiable item and worth every penny. Get a proper shoe fit by an expert at Track Shack and make sure you are in the perfect shoe for you. The right shoe provides comfort but even more importantly, they also make you a more efficient runner which reduces your risk of injury.
Click on the top left logo to find out more about Track Shack.
One common injury that sidelines new runners is shin splints. Often caused by shoes that don’t provide good support or fit well. Increased intensity and longer workouts can also be a cause of shin splints.
3. STRETCHING IS KEY
Even with the perfect shoe, pounding the pavement mile after mile can take a toll on your body. Fortunately, AdventHealth Doctor of Physical Therapy Sam Singleton is here to help, as his team helps heal a lot of wear and tear injuries.
Most runners of all skill levels experience shin splints, a common injury, at some point. “Shin splints are another over-use, wear-and-tear injury where the muscles along the front of the lower leg can tear or become inflamed,” explains Singleton.
Singleton says many of the symptoms of these common injuries can be alleviated or avoided altogether with proper warm-ups and stretching.
“A lot of times, our patients just get into the workout too fast. Generally, you would like to do a five-minute brisk walk to get the muscles flowing. Then, get into dynamic flexibility or dynamic stretching. Anything from lunges to pulling your knee up to your chest.”
He also warns against the dangers of static stretching before a workout. Singleton says it is much more effective as a cool-down technique after exercise while the body is still warm. “It can help get some of that lactic acid out of the body and relieve those overworked muscles.”
“Once we instruct people about the importance of getting muscles loose and limber, exercising and running are smoother for them,” Singleton explains. Read more on AdventHealth.com
If you’ve experienced a runner’s injury, you don’t have to wait to take care of it. AdventHealth Sports Med & Rehab locations are open and taking extra measures to keep you safe right now – OR, if you prefer, stay safe at home, and have a virtual visit with a physical therapist over your computer, smart phone or tablet. Experts are just a click away, and they’re helping athletes like you through virtual house calls every day. Talk with a physical therapist at VideoVisitCare.com.
PUT A RACE ON THE CALENDAR
The last tip to help you stick with your running goals is to register for a race! There is nothing more motivating than the anticipation of race day. Your race day is a constant reminder to wake up early for those training runs. For many, setting a goal of finishing is enough and for others their hopes are of a specific finish time. The personal record or PR is the reason to push a little harder. If you are ready to commit, click on the link to choose from the list of events that are offered through Track Shack.
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Whatever goals you have, we are here to help you achieve them!