Marsh column: It is good to set goals, just don't try to do too much too soon

  • Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012 12:04 a.m.
    UPDATED: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 1:01 a.m.

I guess this turns into part three from my previous columns. “Have a Heart,” first; “Setting New Years Resolutions” second; and today's “Don't go too hard too soon.”

Many people get so excited about starting an exercise program that they think “the more and harder I go, the faster I will get in the shape I desire. However, so many times they get injured because they work out too hard, too many times, too soon.

I wish more people would realize that you are better off working out three times a week for the rest of your life, versus five to seven days a week for three to six months. And when you go crazy working out, like run too long and too fast, or lift too heavy and do not rest enough, you are setting your body up for injuries like shin splints, tendonitis, rips and tears. Understand this — your body does not get into shape any faster. Remember how long it took you to get out of shape? Consistency, dedication and perseverance will get you in shape.

New Year's resolution is part of our culture. Restaurants sell more salads, weight loss clinics are packed and health clubs and YMCAs have their biggest rush of people. Now, the key is, to be able to continue after the first month injury free.

Some helpful tools are: • Add workouts into your daily life that will work into your schedule. Too many, too hard and too quick is a recipe for an injury.

• Start slow. You will be more willing to go back the next day. When you can't brush your teeth, because your arm will not go up, you have worked out too hard.

• With a weightlifting program, start with one set of ten repetitions (reps) for the first couple of weeks, then increase to two sets for a couple of weeks. After that, you can increase weight and reps. This will get your joints, tendons and ligaments used to a workout (again for many).

• When you start a running or swimming program, start with shorter mileage/meters. Again, too hard, too fast and too long is a recipe for injury

• Warm up and stretch- cool down and stretch. It will prevent a lot of soreness and possible injury. More and more studies come out how imperative stretching is to any sport/activity and how yoga can be so beneficial, since you are almost taking an hour do stretch and strengthen exercises.

• Stay positive. Set a goal and understand that it will take time to reach it. Listening to goals for next year, I have heard people wanting to do the Buck Hurley Triathlon, which is on May 5. The Mud Run at our South Branch April 27 or a half or full marathon and even training for an half or full Iron Man. So exciting! Just remember, take your time to get ready for these races/ goals. We are starting a Triathlon Club to get novice tri-athletes ready for the Buck Hurley Triathlon on Feb. 4. David Freeze is starting a Beginners Running Class at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis on Tuesdays Jan. 8 through Feb. 26 5:30-6:45 p.m. or Thursday, Jan. 10 through Feb. 28 10-11:15 a.m. You can contact David at or 704-310-6741 for more information.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Ester Marsh ACSM Cpt Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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