TheĀ APX Blog

3 Vital Things To Consider Before Getting Fit

Feb 06, 2024

Have you recently found yourself slipping out of routine and falling in to bad habits? Are you succumbing to ordering a take away more than hitting the gym? If you’re in a position where you want to lose a bit of weight and feel better about yourself, make sure you factor in these 3 things before starting a fitness plan.

 As an Osteopath, it’s common to be visited by people who are in dire need of a quick fix due to a mishap that’s happened when exercising. Usually it’s the first bit of activity they’ve done in a while or they’ve gone too hard too quickly on things they used to do with ease.

 Now hindsight is a wonderful thing, however if I could have just gone back 2-4 weeks and made the patient aware of a couple of key points, it’s possible we could have completely avoided the acute injury altogether. The goal of this article is to not only highlight what to avoid, but also to give practical advice on where to start in your fitness regime.


Point 1: Start small by putting out fires

 Pain is often the by-product of excess inflammation. Inflammation increases through stress, over consumption of alcohol, sugar and gluten and a lack of sleep. If you tick all of these boxes then intense activity is the last thing you need. Your body may well be just one squat or deadlift away from an injury.

 Things don’t have to be all doom and gloom though. You can start small simply by reducing your inflammatory foods intake and drinking more water. You should do this until any puffiness or redness in the face reduces, aches and pains improve and you lose 2-3lbs. It doesn’t have to be any crazy, but adhere to this for 1-2 weeks before beginning exercising. Going for a few long walks is absolutely fine but don’t add fire to fire. Increasing recovery demands in an inflamed state is when you’re most vulnerable to injury.


Point 2: Gravity is stronger than your will power

 “No pain, no gain”

 “Pain is weakness leaving the body”

 “The more we suffer, the greater the result”

 All of these are great as a quick motivational pep talk on YouTube but in reality, it’s not great advice. The number one exercise people take to when looking to get fit is running. Makes sense really. Helps you get a sweat on, feels hard, Rocky did it, all very valid points. 

 The problem lies in a little foe named Gravity. This SOB can give your joints one well of a pounding, almost 10 times your body weight in fact when running at higher speeds. That could be a quite literally a tonne of force going through that dodgy knee of yours. This isn’t ideal.

 Cardio is fantastic for us. Getting your heart rate up and sweating is 100% advisable as part of a fitness routine; but ensure gravity works for you, not against you. Walking, using a CrossTrainer (Elliptical) machine or swimming are much better options than hitting the pavement. If you don’t have access to a gym, walking and stretching is sufficient enough. You can make your hips feel brand new by following this stretching routine here.

 This doesn’t mean you can’t ever run, but lose some weight first, build a good fitness base and give your joints some time to build tolerance before putting them under unaccustomed stress.


Point 3: Start on your back not by doing your back

 Barbell training is an awesome tool for building muscle, however regardless of whatever other advice you’ve been given (you’re reading this for a reason), Squats and Deadlifts really aren’t the place to start. 

 Let me reiterate by saying that I’d want 99% of the people whose visit me to be doing some form of resistance training; but barbell training, especially unsupervised, is not wise when you’re out of practice. I see more discs herniating from deadlifts and squats than any other injury. The reason is poor form, existing muscular tightness (inflammation) and too much weight on the bar.

 Your best bet is to start with supine exercises. These are movements when you’re on your back and rolling from side to side. Now, before you scoff and think it’s not intense enough, give these 3 exercises a go and see how you feel

Diaphragmatic breathing

Midriff rotations

Lying shoulder rolls

 This easy little sequence can become part of your day to day and will have a profound effect on the movement in your spine. It’s kind to your body and will work even better with an improved diet and regular low impact cardio.



Less is more when less can be applied until it becomes compounding interest. Doing the small easy things regularly is better than a burst of ill-fated motivation. Give the suggestions in this article a go for a couple of weeks and see how you fare. If you’re unsure of what to do then, just drop me an email at [email protected] for more suggestions. 

Keep up to date with the latest APX content.

Listen now