Fitness with Paudie O’Donovan, NeuromuscularPhysical Therapist
STRENGTH training is like a bank account – if you keep depositing, there will be something there when you need it.
Now that the clocks have gone back, exercising indoors is a more attractive option for many.
The gym is the obvious place to do it and strength training is the best way to spend your time here.
Importantly, if you haven’t been near a gym since last winter, ease yourself back into it gently. And if you are new to the gym my advice is to make sure you have a plan to follow. Don’t walk around the gym not knowing how to work a machine or what way to lift weights correctly.
Gym instructors or coaches are there to help as the gym is not as straight forward as it looks.
Correct technique, posture and breathing is essential. If one introduction class doesn’t feel like enough then ask for another. Your programme should involve a warm up period, some cardio/conditioning work (sweating) and more importantly some strength work. If you can have a balance of all three in a single session then it won’t be long until you feel the difference.
Your body adapts to the pressures that you put it under so if you start lifting weights, it will respond by getting stronger. Good muscle strength will help correct your posture.
It will give you better muscle tone. You will move better, your flexibility and agility will improve - it’s a no brainer.
There are free weights which are your dumbbells and barbells and machine weights which control the distribution of the weight. You should try to use both systems every time you workout.
I’m not going to get into what exercises you should be doing. That is up to you and the gym instructor. But don’t be confused with all the different machines and racking systems.
Just remember strength training is a slow progression and will take time. Also be careful not to injure yourself. Take it slow at first and be patient with the progression.
They say you will notice a change in your body after six weeks of training consecutively and people will notice a change in you after 12 weeks. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and get started.
Paudie O’Donovan is a neuromuscular physical therapist specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility.
He is a masseur to the Cork senior football team and runs a sports injury clinic in Skibbereen.
Fully registered with Laya and Aviva
Contact: 086-2339618 or follow him on Facebook