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Starting on the right foot

india Updated: Aug 10, 2009 15:10 IST
Heath Matthews
Heath Matthews
Hindustan Times
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Here’s what you need to know before you start a training programme.

First, the basics
The right equipment can make a big difference to your performance. Choose the equipment according to the nature of your workout. For example, the shoes you’ll need if you’re doing endurance running are different from the ones needed for tennis. Take out time to find the equipment you need, but don’t turn into a gadget geek.

Get others involved
Find some form of social support to keep yourself going. Tell your partner your goals, get involved with a fitness group like a running club, or find a training partner who will join you in the gym. Studies have shown that this helps in keeping your motivation levels high by giving a social aspect to your new lifestyle.

List the reasons why you’re starting a training programme and set goals for every 4-6 weeks. Test yourself every six weeks; it’s a great way to stay motivated.

Technically correct
Before you start your programme, consult a personal trainer who can advise you on the right techniques. This way you can avoid injury and enjoy maximum benefits from the exercise. Proper form ensures that you work your muscles through a whole range of motion.

If you opt to play a sport, hire a coach to run you through the basics. This is a good idea even if you used to be a regular player, as many faults slip into your game and can quickly ingrain themselves if you do not correct them. These can lead to poor performance and injury.

Lastly, before starting, figure out how you will track your progress.

Checklist:
Getting started on the right foot is important to maintaining the continuity, so here’s a quick checklist:
* Buy yourself a training diary.
* Buy the basic equipment needed.
* Set goals every 4 to 6 weeks.
* Find a training partner.
* Visit your doctor for a check up and advice on your medical conditions.
* Pick your training venue.
* Take the help of a personal trainer or coach in the initial stages.
* Look for ways to improve your diet.
* Now start.

Matthews is a physiotherapist with the Mittal Champions Trust