What Now? Beyond Level 40
You’re a rock star. You stuck with your Hinge Health program (through ups and downs, setbacks and breakthroughs) all the way to Level 40. That’s an accomplishment deserving serious celebration. But, what now? How do you keep that momentum going? Consider tips from our Hinge Health coaches and physical therapists.
Note: Many of the tips below involve selecting an exercise session from levels you already completed. To do this, start your daily playlist and click ‘Change’ at the top of the screen to select your desired level.
1. Amp It Up
Start over at Level 1 and increase the challenge of your exercises by:
Adding two to five repetitions before you start the next exercise in your playlist
Adding resistance with a resistance band or weights (small dumbbells, water bottles, or cans of soup)
Sure, no one likes a “do over.” But restarting your program while increasing the challenge can lead to greater gains than the first time through. Your coach and physical therapist are great resources to help you decide how many repetitions to add or how to add resistance with bands or weights. You can also talk to your coach about changing “streams,” which could increase the challenge of your exercise playlists.
2. Add It Up
You’ve heard us say that movement is medicine. The latest research confirms that the best dosage for movement is to spread it throughout your day. Multiple, short bouts of exercise (even five minutes at a time) throughout the day are actually better for your health. Studies also show that exercise benefits are cumulative. You don’t have to commit to a long daily workout because it all adds up.
When a single playlist isn’t challenging enough, increase the intensity by doing more than one playlist a day. You might commit to one playlist in the morning, another as a midday brain boost, and a wind-down playlist before bedtime.
3. Randomize It
Your body craves variety. Changing up your exercises helps improve your overall fitness and resilience to aches and pains. It can also help you prevent injuries, falls, and loss of bone and muscle mass. To ensure variety in your activity, randomly choose playlists across all 40 levels. Make a pull jar with scraps of paper numbered from one to 40. Or use a random number generator on your smartphone to select a workout level.
4. Switch It Up
Maybe you started Hinge Health with the shoulder program and now your shoulder is fine. (Yay, you!) But now your knee is giving you trouble. Talk to your coach about switching to another pathway to address pain in another area. If you don’t have pain elsewhere, you could switch to an adjacent body part to build strength and support for your original area of concern (e.g. low back to hip).
5. Make it Your Warm-Up or Cool-Down
Your dedication to Hinge Health exercise therapy helped you reduce pain and build strength. Now you might be ready to return to a much-loved exercise routine or hobby (or start a new one).
Your playlist exercises make a great low-intensity warm-up to prepare your body for more strenuous activity. Making time for a warm-up enhances your performance, reduces soreness, and improves joint health.
A post-workout cool-down can help your heart and lungs recover faster after exercise. Your Hinge Health exercises can help you relax and allow your heart to return to a resting rate after an intense workout.
6. Make It Your Recovery Playlist
Your exercise playlists have a mix of stretching and strengthening exercises that are perfect for low-intensity recovery on rest days. Recovery is crucial for health and fitness. Your body needs rest between workouts to recover and grow stronger. In fact, athletic coaches often stress that gains in muscle mass or strength happen after a workout — not during.
It can be tempting to push yourself too hard, especially when starting or restarting an exercise routine you’ve had to put off because of pain. But if you never take a break, you could see a pain uptick. You might also undermine your hard work by overtraining, which can lead to poorer performance and burnout.
You can take complete rest days to give your muscles time to repair. But active recovery using low-intensity exercise (like your Hinge Health playlists) can reduce your recovery time and improve your exercise performance better than total rest. Using your playlists for active recovery lets you gauge your body’s tolerance to higher-intensity activity with familiar movements.
Celebrate — and Keep At It
Reaching Level 40 is a big accomplishment and it’s exciting to re-engage in activities you’ve had to pause because of pain. Take time to celebrate and brainstorm your next goals with your coach. They can help take you beyond Level 40 with new challenges, achievements, and habits. Remember: Continuing to include Hinge Health exercise therapy in your routine is a smart move that can keep you strong, healthy, and better prepared for your next workout — or whatever challenges life brings.
Making it to Level 40 is an accomplishment that deserves celebration. There are great ways to continue to include Hinge Health exercise therapy in your routine.
Increase the challenge by adding repetitions or resistance to exercises in your playlist. Ensure variety by randomizing your workouts. You can also ask your coach to switch to a pathway for a different body area.
Using your playlists as a warm-up, cool-down, or recovery workout on rest days can help you enhance your performance, avoid injury, build strength, and improve your joint health.
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