We’re well into the new year now and you’d definitely be forgiven if some of your resolutions have faded away and been forgotten.
It’s understandable that this latest lockdown might have left you feeling a tad lacklustre, but those all important endorphins you get from exercise will help you feel more positive.
Don’t just take it from us – we spoke to the top sporting minds from Wiggle, a multi-sports retailer, to share their tips on how to get back into the swing of things.
If you’re a cyclist, runner, Pilates enthusiast or just need that lift from the lockdown slump, we’ve got the tips so you can achieve your 2021 fitness goals.
Biomechanics Expert & Running Specialist, Richard Felton-Thomas’s Top Tips For Runners:
Always Do A Gentle Warm Up
Imagine your muscles are like Blu Tac – when it’s cold and you pull it, it breaks. Warm it up in your hands and it stretches for miles! Either start your run really gently or before you leave the house do a light dynamic warm up such as leg swings or skipping.
Hydration Is King!
Overall your body is about 60% water but you heart, lungs and muscles are between 70 and 85% water. Treat these with respect and they will respect your running goals. We are looking to achieve approximately 8 cups or about 2.5L per day. Add an extra cup of water for every 1 hour of exercise you do.
Cross Training Will Increase Your Running Longevity
Yoga is great if you tend to suffer from tight muscles but, if you’re flexible already, then strength should be your go-to. You can get yourself running strong without any equipment; lunges, squats, press-ups, calf raises, glute bridges, planks and leg raises are all excellent exercises. In general terms we need our hips, quads and ankles flexible and we need our bum, lower back and hamstrings strong.
Find A Running Partner
Being accountable for someone else is a very powerful motivator!
Long-Distance Rider & Wiggle Bike Mechanic & Content Creator, Sam Gupta’s Top Tips For Cyclists:
Don’t Expect Too Much From Yourself
After a difficult Christmas and maybe being indoors more than you’d like, you may not be in the shape you would like to be in so take it easy and ease yourself back into it. Don’t expect to be hitting the numbers you may have been a few months previously. The key to riding in January is to be consistent and enjoy it!
Don’t Starve Yourself
You may be keen to drop some of the Christmas timber but do be careful with how you go about it. The most effective and safest way to lose it is by incorporating consistent, sustainable exercise.
Keep Yourself Warm
We are a few months deep into winter but if this is the first time you’re going to venture out, make sure you’re keeping all your extremities wrapped up. This means a good set of gloves, some overshoes, a neck buff and a headband or skullcap and sits underneath your helmet to keep your ears warm. All these will make for a much more enjoyable ride, numb fingers and toes are never fun! An appropriate base layer will also regulate your body temperature while also keeping sweat off of the skin. Base layers are rated to different temperatures so check which one works best for your climate.
Ultra-Athlete & Fundraiser, Andrea Mason’s Top Fitness Tips:
Set Realistic Goals
Make sure you set yourself realistic goals and have a plan to achieve them. In the new year it’s easy to feel like you need to set big fitness goals, but you will have more success by setting yourself manageable targets that you are more likely to stick to.
Be prepared to change your plan if required. Your goal should always remain the same, but the way to achieving it may have to be adjusted due to unexpected circumstances. Don’t beat yourself up – unexpected things happen, it’s how we deal with them that matters. Remember your goals are unique to you, don’t compare yourself or your goals to others. Comparison can often be the thief of joy.
Don’t Obsess With Scales
It’s about how you feel, not what you weigh!
Pilates Instructor & Road And Mountain Bike Coach And Guide, Hannah Attenburrow’s Top Fitness Tips:
Find A Class
Whilst we live in these difficult COVID-19 times, no ‘hands on’ teaching is happening. My suggestion would be to jump online on a zoom class either as a one to one or in a group setting.
A Move For The Cyclists
My favourite exercise for cyclists is Shoulder Bridge. It is a really nice spinal mobility exercise as well as good for building strength in the hamstrings and glutes. It stretches out the quads and can help with IT band syndrome.
A Move For The Runners
My favourite exercise for runners is the Roll Up, it can be made progressively harder and is good for core strength, IT band syndrome, piriformis pain and helping with hamstring strain and shin splints.