Blowing out your 35, 40, 50 candles is often accompanied by a lot of good resolutions, with the idea of getting back to workout in mind. An only good desire! Except that after several years of abstinence from sports, a few rules must be observed to transform the test without a hitch, and over time.
Focus on pleasure
The best sport? The one we’re going to do! If only the great outdoors makes us want. The ideal is to go to the sport that attracts us and which we will never tire of after two or three weeks. The first questions to ask yourself to optimize your choice: individual or team sport? Outside or inside? What possibilities are there near home or office?
Even if the momentum can be quite different, a gradual return to sport is THE guarantee of success. For example, running can be re-initiated by simple outings for a brisk walk and progressively evolve until you can complete the course running in one go. Note that the release of endorphins floods the body with a feeling of well-being after twenty minutes of physical activity.
A possible weekly schedule, over the weeks and while listening to its room for improvement: start with twice 15 minutes, then twice 30 minutes, twice 45 minutes and from there, go to three sessions per week to reach the ideal goal of five sessions per week of 30 to 45 minutes (see box).
A dish of pasta is not necessary before a jog or before swimming laps! Refueling carbohydrates (or “slow sugars”), the main fuel for our muscles, is recommended, but rather on the eve of a major endurance test or competition. The ideal plate for anyone returning to moderate sporting activity: eat healthy, balanced, and varied. No more no less.
Note that if a cereal bar is possible before exercise, it is better to plan a workout at least two hours after a meal. The idea is to prevent energy from being too mobilized by digestion during exertion.
Necessary before, during, and after exercise, water will compensate for the water losses due to exertion. Adding a few calories through a sports drink or fruit juice is possible, if the digestive system tolerates it, as long as you do not exceed the “half fruit juice – half water” ratio. The risk with too concentrated a mixture is to cause a call for water in the intestines, which is not desired during exercise.
Stretch, but never before the effort
While the usefulness of stretching is controversial today, one thing is certain: it should be avoided before exercise. Micro-muscle injuries (benign) caused by stretching can worsen during the physical exertion that follows and be the cause of injury. Warming up the joints and muscles is highly recommended before setting off.
Some sports are practiced with a trainer, others, like running, are more instinctive and you can do it yourself. However, our mistakes are numerous and sometimes painful for the tendons and joints. There is therefore an optimal running technique. Its pillars? The position of the pelvis (not too far back), the attack of the foot during the stride (by the middle of the foot and not the heel), and the relaxation of the shoulders. Simple on paper, this running technique is being taught more and more, in sports medicine centers and running clubs.
Listen to your body
While resuming exercise can be accompanied by aches in the very first sessions, they should quickly disappear. Pain during exercise or excessive shortness of breath should be understood as a sign of inadequate or poorly performed exertion. It is therefore essential to listen to yourself… and to know how to surround yourself. To adapt activities to their needs, measure the effort, correct bad placements, or establish a relevant progression plan, the sports coach can appear to be a valuable ally.