“New Year, New Me” – Does this sound familiar? The start of a new year is often a time for people to want a fresh start. For some, it may be a fresh start with healthier habits, being more responsible with money, or working to become a better person. Many people welcome the new year as a time to start fresh with a new fitness routine. Whether it be going for a daily walk, trying out a new class at the gym, or starting your marathon training, here are a few tips to help you succeed with your New Year’s fitness resolutions.
- Start slow. If you are trying a new activity, ease into it to avoid excessive soreness or injury.
- Make it a habit. Schedule time in your day for exercise when it is convenient for you and put it on your calendar. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so don’t give up too soon!
- Fuel your body. Adequate sleep, healthy diet, and drinking plenty of water are important for effective workouts.
- Have fun! Choosing an activity you enjoy will help you stick with it. Try a dance class, listening to your favorite music at the gym, or going for a walk/run on a trail with good scenery.
- Rest is just as important as the work. Our bodies need rest days to recover from exercise, especially if you are performing a new activity or exercising for the first time in a while. Don’t feel guilty if your body needs a rest day – or – scale back your program and try going for a light walk or performing a gentle stretching or yoga routine if you feel you need a break.
- Buddy up! Grab a friend to try a new class at the gym, ask your spouse to exercise with you, or take your dog for a walk! The buddy system helps us stay accountable.
- Listen to your body. If you are feeling sore or tired, you may be over doing it and need a little rest or a modification to your program. If you are experiencing any pain – reach out to your Physical Therapist for advice.
Whatever your New Year’s Resolution may be, give yourself some grace and remember to strive for progress not perfection. There is no ‘one size fits all’ program so do what feels best to you and be proud of yourself for taking steps to become a healthier YOU. Now, get up and move your body in a way that feels good!
Sara Sermershein is a Physical Therapist in the Employer Based Setting for Tx:Team. She has worked in outpatient Physical Therapy for the last six (6) years treating patients of all ages and various orthopedic conditions. She holds certifications in dry needling as well as vestibular and concussion rehab.