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Fitness Tips for the New Year

January 27, 2011

Fitness Tips for the New Year

With January in full swing, many of us are focused on getting or staying fit in 2011. Of course, we all know that following through on those resolutions is easier said than done. Our Sheridan experts offer some advice so you aren’t out of commission (and motivation) by the time the Super Bowl comes around. There are three common factors to keep in mind when pursuing a fitness goal, says Trevor Cottrell Coordinator - BAHSc-Exercise Science and Health Promotion program:

  1. Set a reasonable, measurable and specific goal. Your goal should provide a timeline for a specific outcome or it will lack the focus needed to transfer it into action.
  2. Establish short-term strategies to achieve your long-term goal. This could include set workout times, monthly testing days, adding a certain food to your diet and other behavior changes. Small sub-goals are easier to achieve and therefore more motivating than constantly focusing on the big picture. 
  3. Recognize barriers and create strategies to get around them. These barriers include long work weeks, family activities, access to facilities, weather, etc. Negative enablers also discourage the pursuit of fitness goals. Similar to barriers, Negative enablers may have a more subtle influence on our motivation to train. They can include an inactive spouse, a work environment that does not encourage healthy living and self-defeating eating binges.
Fitness Myths 

Some common fitness myths can lead you down the wrong path in your training say both Trevor and Warren Haesler (Sports Injury Management ’03), Exercise Science and Health Promotion Technologist at Sheridan’s Davis Campus fitness facility, so always seek professionals who are able to provide accurate advice, such as graduates from the Sheridan health Sciences programs. Here are a few common myths:
  • Weight training slows you down and makes you inflexible 
  • Squats are bad for the knees 
  • Deadlifts are bad for the back 
  • High reps, low weights develop muscle tone 
  • Women should train differently than men 
  • Exercise on a fitball is better than exercise on stable surfaces 
  • Diet and aerobic exercise is the best way to lose fat
To learn more, contact the clinic: 905-459-7533 ext. 5534.

Avoiding Injury 

Once you’re on your way, regardless of your activity level, the next step in to avoid injury, says Jamie Rempel (Sports Injury Management ’04), Owner of the Langley Sports Medicine Clinic in BC. “Most of us can't afford the time away from work or the financial burden of rehabilitating injuries,” he says, so a “little bit of preparation can prevent months of unnecessary pain, discomfort and inconvenience.”
  1. Be pro-active. Be well educated with your sport, and know how to identify common injuries and how they occur so you can prevent them.
  2. Stretch! Dominant hip flexors in your sport? Stretch them to save your back. Need to quickly stretch the hamstrings? Make sure that they have the strength and flexibility to be able to get there. 
  3. Don’t ignore that “nagging” injury. The most common injuries at my clinic are chronic, overuse conditions - those that started off as something that was “nagging” but now is debilitating.