Every new year, thousands of us resolve to focus more on our health. We set ambitious intentions for the upcoming year, hoping to change our lives for the better. As the weeks turn into months, however, these lofty goals become harder to reach. Hit the ground running this year with these tips help you stay focused and achieve your fitness goals.
Starting a new workout routine can be fun, but if you’re not used to the movements or exercises, it can leave you with painful injuries. Airrosti providers can help you understand your injury and give you the tools needed to address pain as it appears to help you stay on track.
Set Achievable Goals
Before jumping headfirst into the nearest gym, make sure the goals you set for yourself are SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. SMART goals can help you track your progress and create a clear roadmap for success. “I will improve my eating habits by adding a serving of vegetables to each meal” is more specific, measurable, and easier to track than “I want to eat healthier.”
Once you’ve set your goal, break it down into bite-sized habits. Think about the habits and daily routines you’ll need to practice to make your goal achievable. For fitness-related goals, consider habits like waking up early, going to the gym every other morning, stretching daily, and even tracking your daily protein intake. Small habits like these are the building blocks to success.
Make Your Routine Fun
Fitness plans can be fun in the short term, but over time our healthy habits may start to feel more like an overwhelming list of chores. Tracking how much weight we gain or lose, what fruits and vegetables to eat for the most benefits, how many multivitamins to take, the list goes on.
Don’t let your fitness plan become too monotonous or difficult for you. Find activities that you love and switch things up occasionally to help keep things interesting and avoid hitting a plateau.
Get a Workout Buddy
Exercising with a friend or family member can be an effective motivator. Not only will a workout buddy add some friendly competition, but they can also provide some 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.
Customize Your Routine
Don’t overthink it! An exercise routine doesn’t have to be complicated in order to be effective. If there are certain exercises you can’t or don’t like to do, modify it or replace it with something more compatible to you. If you’re struggling to find time to work out in the morning, try an evening or midday workout instead. A customized routine that suits your needs, interests, and schedule will be much easier to stick with in the long run.
Find Reasons to Celebrate
Focusing solely on your goals can become discouraging after a while, especially if you’ve hit a plateau or haven’t made as much progress as you expected. One way to avoid ruminating on these challenges is to keep a journal of the progress you’ve made so far. Even small non-scale victories like improved mood or energy levels can help you find the motivation to keep going.
Avoid Sidelining Injuries
When starting a new routine or activity, it’s important to learn proper form and movement while recognizing your limitations. Your body isn’t used to these exercises and will likely try to use stronger muscle groups to overcompensate for weakness in other muscles. This overcompensation can cause a muscular imbalance, often leading to overuse injuries. Here are some steps you can take to help avoid these imbalances and stay safe.
Keep track of your progress in a fitness journal or notebook. Start with a benchmark, recording your base abilities and paying attention to how your body reacts. Once you know your base fitness level, you can work on slowly increasing the intensity.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Don’t jump straight into a workout without first warming up. In most cases, muscles that are warm and loose not only perform better but are also less likely to be injured. Without a proper warm-up, you run the risk developing muscle cramps or a painful strain. A proper cool down is also important because it can help reduce muscle tension and slowly bring your heart rate down to a steady rate.
Use Recovery Tools
The foam roller and lacrosse ball are excellent recovery tools that can help break up fascial adhesions that may be causing muscle stiffness and pain. When used properly, these tools can help increase flexibility, release muscle tension, and reduce your risk of injury.
Stretch Out the Tension
One last important step in your fitness routine is to perform static stretches after exercise to reduce post-workout soreness. Taking a few minutes to stretch out those muscles can help improve your mobility and cut down nagging aches and pains.
Stay Strong and Healthy
If pain or stiffness from an underlying injury is keeping you from the activities you love, reach out to an Airrosti provider today. Our providers help pinpoint the root cause of your pain and get you back on your feet fast. By using targeted manual therapy combined with customized active rehab exercises, we can help minimize your recovery time and keep you active during treatment.
If virtual visits are more your style, we also offer telehealth appointments in addition to in-office visits to best suit your needs.
Have questions? Call us at (800) 404-6050 or click here to learn more.
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