Updated: Aug 29
Exercise is a rising priority for people passed the age of 40. The key drivers of health and fitness can range from weight loss, maintaining fitness levels, and being able to live an active lifestyle with a more enjoyable and thriving quality of life. '
With this rise of online searches for advice on health, fitness, and exercise, the sheer amount of information available on Google, YouTube, and Social Media can be overwhelming and lead to dismay and inaction rather than progress in your health.
On Google and Youtube, you can expect to come across a huge library of resources, exercise ideas and fitness tips. You simply cannot scroll through any social media without seeing at least one fitness-related post. With over 180 million users using #fitness on Instagram and Facebook, you can always find information to answer a fitness and exercise questions.
While these may all be valid tips (I'm being generous here), it is essential to have an appropriate filter to determine which ones are relevant to YOU.
Today we'll go through several questions you can ask yourself when you see exercise, strength and fitness tips online.
Do I have full range of motion?
Before attempting a new exercise suggestion, do a thorough check of the concerned muscles and joints to see whether you can execute the full motion without limitations. Pay careful attention to technique and form while you're evaluating your range of motion. If you identify any stiffness or find yourself unable to perform the full range of motion with a joint, muscle, or movement, then you must consider that before adding the exercise to your routine. Let us know if you are interested in a FREE 2-minute range of motion assessment guide.
Do I have any limitations?
During your ROM check, see if you can spot any limitations from the movement or from the concentric, eccentric or isometric position. If you're returning to exercising after a break or injuries, you may want to be more mindful of the limitations placed on your body as a result of the break. With some exercises simply getting into the right position can be a limitation. Some exercises can lead you to identify ranges or positions that you find uncomfortable. It is best to exercise within the bounds of your limitations
Can I do this correctly without added resistance?
Try doing the exercise without any additional weights or load. Better yet, dissect the exercise into different phases and assess how you're able to perform them. Then add resistance and run through the movement and exercise with caution. It is important to pay full attention to how your muscles feel when you're going through each phase of the exercise.
Is it causing me unnecessary pain or discomfort?
Make sure you quickly acknowledge if any part of the exercise or movement leads to pain or stiffness. A common misconception when trying a new exercise is to ignore any pain because it "must be part of the workout" or "is targeting a muscle in a new way." While your muscles should get stimulated and feel resistance, any kind of unwelcome pain should be an immediate sign to stop and seek help or more information.
Is there a different way to do this?
If you're finding that the exercise or movement is harder to do due to stiffness, pain, or injury, seek out variations to the exercise or movement that accomplish the muscle activation that you're aiming for.
Ask the big question: Is this helping me accomplish my goals?
Finally, the big question you should always ask yourself with exercise recommendations is: Will this help me accomplish my larger goals? you may have started exercising and strength training to serve a bigger purpose and live a more thriving and pain-free life. However, each exercise you add to your program must be strategically added to measurably inform you whether you're on the right track. Measuring your progress quantitatively and qualitatively is essential to maintain your exercise program and your motivation.
Exercise is not just a series of movements put together. It is a strategy toward a healthy, pain-free, active lifestyle. Make sure your exercise program is the right strategy for you and your goals. The best way to remove the guesswork when considering exercises and exercise programs is to speak to an exercise professional about how new tips and suggestions fit well for you.