Safe, Necessary, Effective & Fun

This time of year recruits many new comers to exercise. They may well be coming with very good intentions to improve their general well-being and quality of life most, however, will be driven by the ascending pounds they have been steadily putting on over the last little while. Personally I get a little bored of the new diet regimes that are bantered about and heavily advertised come the New Year. I need no convincing that the majority of the diet industry is wholly flawed and only successful by creating unsuccessful diets.

I thought I would shed a little light on how I recommend people should go about finding the right type of exercise. There are so many people types, body types and types of exercise that to say one exercise suits all is not good enough. There is a good rule of thumb though that will give fine guidance to someone trying to decide what to choose to do and what type of programme to put in place.

If, in your quest for a new physical Well-being, you answer ‘no’ to any of the following then you should really reconsider why you are contemplating doing it.

Firstly – Is it Safe? Some activities have an inherent amount of danger. Thrill seeking, high adrenaline sports are great and highly rewarding, however these individuals are highly trained, use specialist equipment and assess their risk regularly. Horses for courses, is your body shape suitable to be a rugby prop forward for instance? What is perhaps more risky is not understanding what is controversial or even medically proven to be unsafe exercise. Training deconditioned individuals at too high an intensity is unsafe, certain types of stomach exercises are medically proven to be unsafe and put lower backs at risk of injury. Following the same line of movement continually for many years has a high chance of creating tracks of wear in joints. Functional training with constant variety is deemed to be superior to general fixed weight training machines. Staying in touch with what is safe and what is not requires a certain amount of knowledge that is not always found in the health section of Woman’s Own! Using a professional will undoubtedly reduce the risk of injury and they should be able to educate you in safe choices in exercise.

Secondly – Is it Effective? If what you have chosen to do is safe but not effective you will soon loose heart and stray from the good intentions you first started with. Only sprinting 100 meters will not prepare you for that marathon and would be not a very effective way to train. Doing 400 sit ups daily will not reduce a stomach bulge as fat reduction is not site specific and to be effective in weight management requires determination over most other things.

Thirdly – Is it Necessary? What I am trying to get at is to find something that is suitable for you. Carrying out exercises that are necessary for your chosen activity or sport. It would seem sensible to train for 90 minute periods if you are a soccer player – may be not so necessary for an arthritic old lady to spend such a long period exercising. It is necessary for a sprinter to prepare well with meticulous warm up preparation and stretches before competing not so necessary for the ultra distance cyclist about to start a 24-hour time trial (the first hour riding will do that for them.) Not so important for a skier to do loads of upper bodywork, really they should concentrate on leg activities.

Finally – Is it Fun? I am convinced this is the secret to someone who trains well and consistently opposed to the individual who soon becomes bored and lets his or her membership of a gym lapse or stops training. If you find very little enjoyment from the activity you have chosen to do there is generally one person to blame…. yourself. Try new things like train with someone instead of alone. Buy some new equipment that can make a difference, particularly if it is new clothing to keep you warm on those dark cold winter runs. Try a completely new class there are so many to choose from, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to go again. All of the above still has to apply but with out the element of fun you will find it very difficult to maintain an exceptionally high motivation. A good trainer should have enough tricks up their sleeves to make every single session enjoyable and that could be a great to start off for your new campaign – get in touch with Steve Young 07711 246651 for more details of what Personal Training could do for you or look on line at

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