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Tid Bits of Info

  • 50% of all New Year’s resolutions are forgotten within 3 months.
  • Make specific goals that are time oriented.
  • Losing weight and stop smoking are the most common New Year’s resolutions.
  • 6 weeks of consistent exercise will usually develop a “habit” and enable someone to experience positive results.
  • Seek the advice and treatment of a Physical Therapist if you have questions on an exercise routine or get injured.

Believe it or not, the year has come to an end, and we are about to celebrate the beginning of a new year.  As this new year begins, it’s a good time to reassess your fitness goals and dedicate some time and energy to your health. You can do it!  With a good fitness plan and using proper techniques, you’ll see benefits in health, energy, and even productivity in other areas.

Too many people believe that they are too busy to exercise on a regular basis, but taking a few minutes every day to perform some kind of exercise routine can be very invigorating. At this time of year, many people realize their need to “get in shape,” so they make a New Year’s resolution to get fit. Unfortunately, living up to new goals takes a lot of work, and the resolution is forgotten within weeks. This year can be different. Here are a few tips to help you keep your fitness goals for the coming year.

Making plans to completely change who you are will almost always fail, but if you are realistic and patient you can be successful at maintaining your resolution and experience the physical and mental benefits of “getting into shape.”  When deciding what you want to do to improve your health and physical condition, you should be realistic, set specific goals and a schedule, and get proper guidance from a qualified professional.

1. Be realistic. Every day Physical Therapists hear patients say, “I used to …” Patients who were very active at one time believe that they can perform an exercise routine in a similar manner that they did when they young. If they attempt to do this, they will most likely fail or hurt themselves.  You need to perform a program that is correct for you.  Don’t attempt to do a routine that was designed for someone else.  Their goals and needs might be totally different from yours.   Don’t assume that your body and someone else’s that looks similar to you are the same.   Everyone is different and you should ask the advice of a healthcare professional that specializes in exercise prescriptions to design a plan specifically for you.

2. Set goals and a schedule. Everything needs a “measuring stick” to assess progress. An exercise regimen is no different. Start out setting goals that are realistic. If you have not exercised regularly for years, the chances are slim that you are going to be willing to go to the gym every day. Try going to the gym 2-3 times per week and a goal of doing home exercise 1-2 days per week? As you progress and get accustomed to the time commitment required to be successful with your exercise routine, you can adjust the time you spend at the gym.  Set your schedule as if your workout is a business meeting.  You would never miss a business meeting therefore put it officially on your work calendar until it becomes part of your weekly routine.

47304811 - senior couple in the park on an autumns day

3. Get help. If you have not exercised for a long time (several years), chances are that you don’t remember how to do certain exercises and might not have done them correctly in the first place.  There is a good possibility that the gym equipment will also look and work differently. You should seek the advice of a professional that can guide you towards the proper exercise routine for you. Don’t rush into a program and perform the wrong exercises or do them with incorrect technique because you can injure yourself.  Doing an exercise with the incorrect technique can be more harmful than not doing it all!

Physical Therapists are well trained and educated in prescribing exercise plans for their patients.  These professionals can help you with a workout routine that is safe for your body type and structured to meet your workout goals. Some Physical Therapists can train you for a short period of time and teach you proper technique and exercise selection that will help you achieve your goals.   Seeking the help of a Physical Therapist is easy and does not require you to go to your doctor first.

If you have access to a gym or fitness center, there might be well qualified personal trainers that can help you get started with a sound routine.  These professionals can work with you on a weekly basis to help you progress your routine.  They will work with you or a small group of people and guide you through your workouts.   The watchful eyes will correct your technique and help you decide when it is appropriate to go to the “next level” of difficulty.

New Year’s resolutions are often forgotten almost as quickly as they are made.  With proper planning and outlook, you can make next year the most active year that you have lived in the recent past.  Make your plans and get going because no one can do it for you!


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