4 Ways to Safely Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

In the spirit of optimism and support, we salute your new year’s resolutions, whatever they may be. In our experience, what separates those who achieve their new year’s resolutions and those who don’t is simple: setting and pursuing resolutions in an intelligent, safe way.

Failing to do so can not only derail a person’s gung-ho pursuit of newly minted resolutions, but lead to pain, injury, and unexpected consequences. Here are four ways to safely achieve your new year’s resolutions.

1. Make informed resolutions

One reason resolutions are so appealing is because they show us where we want to be. They do little, however, to remind us of where we are today. Before setting resolutions, take a detailed inventory of your baselines.

This should start with a visit to the doctor for a routine physical. This appointment will give you baseline numbers around your height, weight, heart rate, and other key diagnostics. Blood work and urine samples can help identify any other risk factors you might consider before starting a workout program.

Aside from  physician’s approval to exercise, you can also get a body composition assessment to get numbers around body fat percentage, BMI and other baseline indicators. If your resolutions include running, gait assessment and analysis can prove highly informative. All of this information will help you identify safe goals to set and give you concrete numbers to measure your progress against.

2. Under promise and over deliver (not the other way around)

A surefire way to fall short of fulfilling your new year’s resolutions is to set unrealistic goals. This is also a good way to find yourself out of commission due to injury. Avoid this common pitfall by setting specific goals that are both achievable and sustainable.

Instead of making a resolution to lose fifty pounds, aim for the first ten by the first of March. If your goal is to do the splits, start by touching your toes. Overly ambitious goals can lead you to push yourself unsafely, increase injury risk, and be too hard on yourself should you fail to achieve resolutions that might have been wildly unrealistic in the first place.

3. Remember that sudden change can shock the system

Though a shock to the system can sometimes be a good thing, it can also be dangerous for certain people, body types, and conditions. Rapid weight loss for obese individuals, for instance, or going from a sedentary lifestyle to marathon training can lead to injury, complications, and unforeseen consequences. Consult with a physician first and always remember the age-old adage: baby steps to the bus.

4. Believe in the basics and insist on them

Without adequate rest, a relatively balanced diet, and plenty of water, few resolutions have any chance of flowering. That’s like hopping into a car with no oil, coolant, or fuel, then expecting it to make a trip across the country! Put yourself in a better position to succeed by defining a list of five fundamentals, and then obsess over them.

Examples might be getting eight hours of sleep at least five nights a week, or drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. No food, not even snacks, after 8:00 or 9:00 pm. Always stretching before (warm-up) and after (cool-down) exercise. The more consistently you make good on these fundamentals, the better equipped you’ll be to make good on your greater resolutions. In fact, consistently doing these things on a daily basis could be a resolution in and of itself.

Because Safe Resolutions are Strong Resolutions

The new year is in full swing and we hope your resolutions are, too. We believe in you! We also believe in setting safe, realistic goals and putting yourself in the best position to be successful. You’ve got this! Follow the four fundamental steps above and you’ll be well on your way to always making your new year’s resolutions come true.

Workout Ideas for When Gyms Get Crowded in January

Have you noticed how crowded the gyms are in January? That’s because a curious phenomenon takes place at the beginning of each new year: people flock to make good on their New Year resolutions (and get the most out of their shiny new gym memberships).

Not your scene? No problem. There are plenty of creative ways (and places!) to get a solid workout in far, far away from the loud, crowded, gym scene.  Many of these ideas are quite simple, available in most areas, and—best of all—100% free of charge.

The only price of admission is a willingness to work hard.

Spice up Your Home Workout

Winter workouts at home don’t have to be boring, and they don’t require the purchase of gimmicks or new equipment. With a pair of tennis shoes, a bit of clear space, and an internet connection, the world is yours. Search YouTube for free yoga workouts, or fun, thirty-minute lower body routines. Try something new, find an instructor or series you like, turn up the tunes, and get to work!

Find a Set of Stairs

A set of ten, twenty, or thirty stairs can be a challenging workout in and of itself. Some common places to find stair sets include convention centers, university campuses, or the bleachers next to a high school or university athletic field. Add some body-weight exercises after you reach the top!

Hit the Trails

A change of scenery can turn the normal run into a beautiful experience. Head out to your local hiking trails, nature preserve, or beachfront for your next run. A little fresh air never hurt anyone, and the trails are likely to be far less crowded than the local gym.

Get Rollin’

Did you know that you can burn over 900 calories during an hour of rollerblading? That’s right. So dust off that pair of rollerblades and get rollin’! No rollerblades? That’s okay: roller skates will do just fine, assuming you still have the moves.

Find an AlterG

Did you know you can book individual or bundled sessions on the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™? Using our handy Find an AlterG tool, just plug in your zip code and find facilities nearby that have an Anti-Gravity Treadmill available for booking.

If you’ve never experienced precision unweighting technology, you’ll be amazed. And you might learn a thing or two about your gait and how to improve it.  

Oh, and don’t worry about those crowded gyms: they’ll still be there for you when people inevitably give up on their resolutions come February.

National Running Day 2018 – All You Need To Know

One of our favorite things about running is that anyone can do it. All you need is a little motivation, a pair of shoes (optional!), and some earth beneath your feet. This kind of simplicity is what gives running its global appeal. Moreover, affirming this passion for running is the idea behind National Running Day 2018. Continue reading “National Running Day 2018 – All You Need To Know”

5 Easy Lumbar Core Strengthening Exercises You Should Know

Chronic lower back pain is a common reason for starting a physical therapy program. It has a variety of causes. And we do know that core stability is at the center of spinal health. That’s why we are constantly exploring new ways to strengthen the core. Not only can these stability exercises be used in a preventative manner, but they can also help patients recover from a variety of conditions, from athletic injuries to total hip arthroplasty. Continue reading “5 Easy Lumbar Core Strengthening Exercises You Should Know”

Get Out of Thine Office and Walk! 4 Tips for Incorporating More Walking into Your Daily Schedule

Take a moment and ask yourself a simple question:

How many hours, per day, do I spend sitting?

If you’re like most Americans, the answer to that question might be a sobering one. According to a recent study by National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA), American adults receive a “C” grade for adult walking behavior. Of the adults surveyed, only some 69% reported walking at least once for ten minutes in the week preceding.

Oof.
Continue reading “Get Out of Thine Office and Walk! 4 Tips for Incorporating More Walking into Your Daily Schedule”

Celebrate #OW2017 With a Focus on Diet and Movement

October 29 marks the beginning of Obesity Week—time to celebrate!

Wait, we’re celebrating?

Yes! Because Obesity Week is the annual gathering of scientists, researchers, and medical professionals committed to improving the way we approach, treat, and overcome obesity. Despite the overwhelming statistics surrounding obesity, this condition can be treated, and physical therapists often play a key role in implementing effective programs that deliver life-changing results.
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The Impact of Exercise on Mental Health

Living with mental health issues can be challenging. Anxiety, depression—ADHD, stress, and PTSD—mental health issues touch nearly every aspect of life, from work to relationships to overall wellbeing. And these issues can extend into our physical lives, sometimes diminishing our motivation to exercise. It’s an odd conundrum, considering how central exercise is in helping people manage their mental health issues.
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Benefits of Walking When Living with Atrial Fibrillation

 

September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, the perfect time to explore this serious, sometimes life-threatening heart condition that affects over 200,000 people a year in the United States alone. Atrial Fibrillation (AFib, as it’s sometimes called) is a form of abnormal heart rhythm caused by lack of coordination between the heart’s upper (atrial) and lower (ventricular) chambers. Symptoms may include palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, or even fatigue—“drums pounding, thunder rumbling, or fish flopping” in the chest, as the Heart Rhythm Society so eloquently describes it.
Continue reading “Benefits of Walking When Living with Atrial Fibrillation”

How Your Meals Impact Your Movement

With such a focus on movement in physical therapy, we sometimes forget about one of the keys to proper movement: food. Balance, coordination, strength building, recovery—all of these important elements of PT are impacted by the things we put into our bodies. Have you ever experienced grogginess after a meal? How about muscle soreness that seems to take forever to go away? Both are related—at least in part—to diet. Here are a few important ways nutrition impacts movement.
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Creating a Walking and Running Routine that Works for You

If you’re considering beginning a walk or run routine, we have one piece of advice above all others: go for it! Because committing to walking or running is satisfying, energizing, and can have an enormous impact on your overall health. Stress and anxiety relief, weight loss—you name it. It’s a low-impact, low-cost way to make a truly lasting impact on your quality of life.
Continue reading “Creating a Walking and Running Routine that Works for You”