The Basics of Training

MODERATION, CONSISTENCY and REST are three important rules that will help to guide you through your new fitness program.

Moderation

Start slowly! Avoid going to extremes in any aspect of your training. Even the most experienced runners and walkers need to take care to avoid over stressing themselves. Doing too much too soon may result in injury and possibly hinder you from continuing the program and ultimately achieving your goals.

Although your body can take far more stress than it’s generally subjected to, the stress must be applied gradually. The musculo-skeletal (muscles, bones and joints) system takes longer to adapt to a new activity than does the cardiovascular (heart and lungs) system. This is why your training program may seem “lightweight” at first but, resist the temptation to skip ahead. You won’t get fitter faster, and you will only increase your risk of being sidelined with sore muscles and joints or a significant injury.

Consistency

When you train consistently, your body has more time to adapt to the stress of training, easing its way to higher levels of fitness. If training days are missed, you will gradually lose tone and endurance. A day or two of extra hard or longer training does not make up for that loss. In fact, you are more likely over stress your body, causing an injury or illness. One way to avoid extremes in training is to stick with a consistent approach. This does not mean using the same training every day. Incorporate variety and ensure at least one rest day between training sessions.

A consistent training program provides many rewards. A gradual progression allows you to develop a solid fitness base. The longer you take to develop this base, the less effect an interruption of training will have on your overall fitness.

Rest

Rest gives your body time and energy to adapt to the changes you bring to it by training. Once your body has adapted, you'll be stronger and more efficient. Build enough time for rest and recovery into your training plan. It is important to space your workouts over the entire week.

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