Written by: Sherry Stephenson, PTA
Welcome to 2022! With the new year upon us, it can bring about motivation and ideas for change. Many of us use the new year as a time to make resolutions for self improvement and are excited to start the year off right. The goals we set can include various aspects of life such as finances, relationships, or adventure, but the most common resolutions tend to include changes in health and fitness. Resolutions can be a great avenue to bring about positive change, but can also sometimes lead to frustration, burnout or injury. Here are some tips that can help with success.
Tip 1: Find ways to be active that you enjoy
There is no lack of evidence that exercise is good for us. It can positively affect both our physical and mental health, but only if you stick with it! However, there are so many different ways to be active. Often, people tend to choose an activity that they think will be the most beneficial or the quickest way to get fit or lose weight, when the important thing is to find something you enjoy doing. There’s no reason to decide to participate in an activity that you hate and then expect to continue it for long. Yoga is my favorite way to stay active, but I also love to weight train, spin, row, hike, and play disc golf. Try different things out! Find something that you think is fun, and you will be much more likely to continue it for the long haul.
Tip 2: Make sure resolutions are realistic and sustainable
Many people jump into the new year with high aspirations and super lofty goals. This isn’t bad in and of itself, but goals need to be realistic and sustainable to avoid injury, frustration, and burnout. For example, setting a goal of losing 20 lbs in 3 weeks is not achievable for most people. If you did the things required to make that happen, it would be unsafe and likely not something you could keep up for long. Also, injury rates tend to increase when people do too much, too fast, too soon. So ease into exercise if you have been sedentary and progress slowly as tolerated. Your body needs time to adjust and adapt to new or increased demands.
Tip 3: Make goals measurable
Making goals that are specific and measurable will make it much more likely that you will succeed. Aiming for 3 workouts a week is more helpful than deciding to “work out more”. “Eating better” is harder to quantify and achieve than setting the goal of eating 5 servings of vegetables a day. You can start with small, measurable changes and begin to develop healthier habits over time. I personally set a goal a few years ago to be active 30 minutes a day and it has been pretty effective in keeping me on track. Some days it may simply be a walk or gentle stretching, but I aim for 30 minutes of something active every single day.
Good luck with those resolutions if you choose to make them! Just remember to make them enjoyable, realistic, and measurable to move steadily toward reaching those goals. And if you find yourself with recurring pain or an injury, come see us at NesinFIT and we can get you back on track!