Health and Fitness Goals for the New Year – Take Control in 2020
This article about making and keeping health and fitness goals was written by Stodden Physical Therapy
With the start of each new year, setting health and fitness goals is a common (and fantastic) resolution to make! Surprisingly, it’s not just the general population that makes resolutions like these – even the health and fitness pros have to make changes with the beginning of a new year, too.
Common resolutions for people to make are typically focused on improving their lives in very specific ways. These include:
- Losing or maintaining weight
- Changing your diet
- Establishing healthier routines, like going to sleep earlier or drinking more water
- Making it to the gym more often… or starting to go
- Taking better control of both physical and mental health
What to know about health and fitness goals
Everyone has to start somewhere, so make sure that you choose to begin trying to reach your goals from a place that promotes success.
This means being realistic with your desires, and not simply hoping for results overnight. The aspirations that people want and need for themselves are always going to be different. This means that even if you’ve found a great program outline online or have listened to friends and family members talk about the things that they did to make health improvements, it may not be exactly right for you.
Now that it’s been a few weeks, it’s time to take stock of your situation.
If you’re still on track with your health and fitness resolutions, great job. However, if you’ve found yourself struggling, know you’re not the only one in this situation. Try again tomorrow. Don’t throw in the towel or stop using that fancy new gadget that you bought after the holidays just because of a few bad days. Remind yourself of why you started, and get back into it. Progress takes time – don’t forget it!
Losing weight and getting in shape
For many, starting this health and fitness journey will start with exercise or recovering from an injury.
If you’re getting back into exercising, start slow. Light resistance or bodyweight resistance exercises are a great way to begin. This helps to make sure you’re not too sore, and are able to exercise on consecutive days. If you’re recovering from an injury, take the first step and schedule your first physical therapy appointment. Then, be compliant and go 2-3 times/week! Establishing consistency over the first few weeks is the hardest part. Eventually, it’ll become a part of your routine. You’ll see the results you’re looking for physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Start slow, and set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and with a timeline) goals both for the short term and long term.
For those that don’t know what to expect at a physical therapy appointment, know this: there are different PT specialties. This means no matter what you want to improve, scheduling a PT appointment is the first step toward doing so.
Using the SMART scale to make health and fitness goal progress
It may seem like this SMART scale is only applicable to certain types of goals, but the truth is that it can be helpful for people at all stages of their fitness journey.
When establishing a timeline, you need to think about different goals and what the process will be.
For example, you’ll need to decide how you’d like to change your diet, or how many times a week you want to exercise or attend physical therapy before you actually begin. Take things step by step. But understand that there doing multiple steps or aspects of the routine simultaneously is important.
This is where considering the ‘mini goals’ portion becomes important. Even doing small things like meeting a weekly water intake goal or going to the gym a specific amount of times for a month straight are cause for celebration. This is proof that you’re committed to meeting your goals and using 2020 as a chance to succeed. This is easier with a good physical therapist and a focused mindset.
For many, it’s easy to get discouraged as time passes for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re not seeing the progress you’d like to, or maybe you feel as if you could be doing more. Whatever the case may be, many people don’t always fail in their goals due to lack of motivation. Sometimes, they choose to stop making progress because they’re trying to do too much, too quickly. This either shows results that they aren’t prepared for, or causes injuries and setbacks. It happens – but it shouldn’t happen often, especially if you’re working with a quality physical therapy provider.
When to Seek Out Physical Therapy Services
If you find yourself struggling with pain/soreness, exercise progression, or a nagging injury that is not going away as you’re on your way to making your New Year’s resolution a reality, a physical therapy provider, such as Stodden PT is here to help. Many physical therapy clinics are offering FREE INJURY SCREENINGS through February to keep you on track. October may be National Physical Therapy Month, but many people choose to begin making changes in the new year. Whatever your decision, set yourself up for success.
Sure, it’s possible to make these changes on your own – people do this every day. Even small things can add up over time. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out the help of professionals like those mentioned above. Do this in order to ensure that not only are your chances for success increased but that you’re not doing anything that could potentially harm your body. Athletic or personal trainers, physical therapists, nutritionists… they’re all available to help out when you need them. You just need to look for the right team to meet your needs.
Finding a Physical Therapist Near You
You can find a local physical therapy clinic and book your appointment today by using the BetterPT physical therapy clinic locator, or if you’re on the go, choosing to download the BetterPT app is a great alternative. Another alternative is choosing telehealth services through the BetterTelehealth network. This network connects you with physical therapy providers virtually. This option is perfect for those with busy lifestyles or transportation limitations. Having direct access to physical therapy is a relatively new concept – but it’s one that has helped many people. This means that to schedule an appointment and start sessions, you don’t need to wait for a doctor’s referral. Read this blog to learn more about one patient’s experience with direct access.
Even though January is more than half over, there’s still plenty of time to make changes and get 2020 off to a great start with your fitness goals!
Stodden Physical Therapy is privately owned and operated by Mike Stodden PT, with locations in Elkhorn, Bennington and Gretna, Nebraska. Stodden Physical Therapy’s slogan is “Get Back Into The Game, Get Back Into Life”, and they want to help you return to Your Life whether that includes sports or simply participating in everyday activities.