Every new year, thousands of Americans resolve to lose weight and focus on their health. For many, however, the enthusiasm of this goal wears off quickly. We’re a week into the new year, and we’ve got a few tips to help you stick with your resolution and achieve your health and fitness goals for 2015!

  • Set a goal.

    The more specific the goal, the better. By having a concrete goal you’re working towards, it’s easier to measure progress.

    • Pick a precise number. Make sure this number is realistic and set a timeline. This way you can focus on combining diet and exercise to reach your goal instead of simply calculating calories.
    • Set a performance goal. For some, a performance goal may keep them more motivated than a weight loss goal. For example, you can resolve to do a set number of pushups or resolve to be able touch your toes.
    • Make your goal SMART. This means make sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
  • Have fun.

    Workouts don’t have to be monotonous. Try new things to keep it interesting and to prevent the dreaded plateau.

    • Get a workout buddy. This adds some friendly competition and increases accountability since you’ll both be pushing yourselves. It’s also more fun, and less intimidating, to walk into the gym with a friendly face by your side.
    • Keep it fun. Focusing solely on weight loss can get boring or discouraging after a while. Instead, focus on the joy of exercise and live in the moment. Take pride in your body getting stronger! You can also mix it up by signing up for a fun race or new exercise class. Do whatever you consider fun!
  • Stay pain free.

    When starting a new exercise routine, it’s important to take the proper precautions to avoid injury and pain.

    • Start slow. If you’re new to exercise, don’t jump right into a high intensity advanced workout. Start with beginner exercises and pay attention to how your body reacts. Once you have an understanding of your base fitness level, you can start to increase your intensity.
    • Warm up and cool down. Getting muscles warm and loose by performing dynamic stretches prior to your workout lessens your chances of injury. Without a proper warmup you run the risk of your muscles cramping up or straining themselves. A proper cool down is also important to prevent injury. Once your muscles have been exerted, it’s important to do some static stretches to increase flexibility and reduce soreness.
    • Utilize recovery tools. Tools like the foam roller and lacrosse ball are excellent for breaking up adhesions on the fascia that may be causing you to feel stiffness or pain in your muscles and joints. When the body is introduced to new activities, it can sometimes over compensate with the stronger muscles, causing further weakness and tightness in the other muscles. When used properly, these tools can greatly increase flexibility, reduce soreness, and release trigger points.

If nagging pain or stiffness has been keeping you from the achieving your fitness goals, contact Airrosti. Our providers will pinpoint the cause of your pain and treat it at the source, and we’ll educate educate you on how to speed recovery at home and prevent future injuries.