Progress. It is a word that we all want to be associated with. We want to be progressive. It means that we are improving upon our old selves and looking to be a better version of ourselves as time passes by.
The same goes for fitness. We want to get better too, be able to do more and actually realize what our bodies are capable of doing. But at the same time, doing too much too soon can even be more harmful than doing less.
How do we progress in fitness?
Follow the 10 percent rule
Increase physical activity by no more than 10 percent per week. That includes distance, intensity, weight lifted and the length of your exercise session. For example if you are running 10km per week and want to increase, do so by adding no more than 1km the following week.
Progress activities gradually
We see it all the time; couch potatoes who want to be heroes overnight. The body is just not ready to perform strenuous tasks, especially if you’re coming from months or years of having a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re starting from a sedentary lifestyle, start walking or stretching. If you’re walking now, maybe progress to strength training and some jogging. If you’re already doing some strength training and jogging, try to do a little bit more as the months progress.
Keep things interesting by switching up your activities
Have you ever felt like you’re in a rut by doing the same things over and over? Yeah we’ve all felt that. Try switching up your activities. People who are in love with strength training could go outside and do some sprints. Some activities like rock climbing, swimming and other tasks could help boost morale and keep us on track for the long haul.
The fitness community tends to think that more is always better. The truth is that doing the right activities at the appropriate amounts is better for you than being gung-ho and all of a sudden, being injured and hurt because of too much exercise. While physical inactivity can be a risk factor for Covid-19, there is also a growing number of literature citing the adverse effects of overtraining and its impact on Covid-19.
Chief among this is myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. This leads to an abnormal function of the heart and can even lead to sudden death. Myocarditis has been found in extreme athletes and in some of those who have had Covid. The bottom line is that while we chase for progress in fitness, we always have to do it in a prudent and safe manner.
If you’ve had Covid-19 or are struggling with a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to exercise, consult your doctor and ask for a recommendation on the type and intensity of physical activity suitable for you.