As one year comes to a close and another begins, people begin to set goals and make resolutions. Losing weight, getting to the gym more often or getting into “better shape” are all common goals. These all require increasing your amount of physical activity. More activity is great for your health, energy levels, sleep, and mood. However, ramping up your activity level too quickly after a holiday season of eating, drinking, and being merry can lead to pain, injury and disappointment if your body isn’t ready for it.
To make a long-lasting change in your life, you will need to prepare yourself for the challenges. Think about why you want to make the change. Is it important to you, or is it mostly influenced by others—like your doctor, your spouse, or a friend? Research suggests that if it’s something you really want for yourself and if it’s meaningful to you, you’re more likely to stick to it. NIH – Making Your Resolutions Stick. Even small improvements in your physical activity, weight, or nutrition may help reduce your risk for disease and lengthen your life. Keeping facts like this in mind can help you maintain focus over the long haul.
Our staff of Physical Therapists are experts in human movement and can help you safely reach your fitness goals. People often think of Physical Therapists as the person to see after an injury, but a visit before you change your activity level could prevent injury in the first place. An evaluation with one of our Physical Therapists will include a thorough assessment of your strength, range of motion, and functional movement patterns – think jumping, running, squatting, carrying.
The most common injuries from new fitness routines are caused by underlying weakness, range of motion deficits, or compensatory movement patterns. Our therapist will identify these areas during your assessment. We can then prescribe exercises or movements to address the issues found and get you safely moving into the new year!
The other common way people get injured working towards their resolution is with overtraining or doing too much too soon. Physical Therapists are also experts in exercise prescription and program design. Our therapists can help you create a routine specific to your needs and goals that will progress appropriately and keep you out of injury trouble.
Make Your Resolutions Stick!
So stop only thinking of your physical therapist after you’re injured. In this case, it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Getting screened before you start on your resolution can keep you on track, injury-free, and help you reach your goals for the new year!