What Should I do Before Embarking on a New Exercise Programme?

Vowing to get fit and embarking on a new exercise programme for the New Year is commendable and, of course, as Osteopaths we would highly recommend it.  However, there are some important bits of advice which you should consider before launching yourself onto the treadmill or committing to that cross Channel swim.


Before you Start Exercising:

  • Seek professional advice if you have any medical concerns, for example, if you have a serious medical condition or if you have never done any form of exercise, etc.
  • Sort out any aches and pains (that niggle in your back, the recurring heel pain, the dodgy knee … ) before you start or at least ensure that your new exercise regime will not aggravate it.
  • Ensure that you have the appropriate clothing/footwear.  There is no need to spend a fortune on designer gear but make sure that you are comfortable, that your clothing is ‘breathable’ and that your footwear gives you adequate support.  If you are doing high impact exercise, a support bra for the ladies is also a must.
  • Be realistic.  Do not set yourself unattainable goals as you are more likely to give up.  Start slowly; build up intensity and duration gradually.

Once you Start Exercising:

  • Get into the habit of warming up adequately before you exercise and take time to stretch afterwards.
  • Don’t forget to incorporate some weight-bearing exercise as this strengthens the bones.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Listen to your body.  Stop and seek advice if you are in pain or suspect something is not quite right.
  • Try to stay positive, it may be hard at first but with a bit of commitment and determination you will soon start to feel the benefits.

Stuart Walker, Osteopath. Our team of Osteopaths, Sports Massage Therapists and Podiatrists are available to offer further relevant advice.  Good luck!