5 healthy New Year Resolution tips from your local Physio
It’s that time of year again ladies and gents. As 2018 bites the dust many people are casting their eyes ahead to what 2019 will bring and dusting off their notebooks to see what their 2018 New Year resolutions were. I know we all have the best intentions when setting ourselves New Year resolutions, but that doesn’t stop between 80-90% of New Year resolutions failing before the end of February. There can be a host of reasons why we fail to reach our goals: we fail to really buy into them, life gets in the way, sickness or injury hits or we fail to keep ourselves on track. Whatever the prior reasons, let’s leave them in the past for 2019 and focus on moving forward and setting goals that are achievable and sticking to them.
Physiotherapists are common tools for people who are undertaking physical based New Year resolutions. We can help offer advice for the creation of your goals, help keep you on track to meet them as well as providing different ways to track and measure your progress. Here are some tips from your local Dee Why physio to help keep your 2019 New Year resolutions on track.
- Make your goals S.M.A.R.T
Making a plan and setting goals is the single most important step to achieving improved physical health. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” isn’t a saying for nothing. To give yourself the best chance of sticking to your goals, they must be S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Once you have your SMART goal in mind, you will be able to create a plan for how you’ll achieve it.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Every January, Northern Beaches physiotherapists’ waiting rooms are visited by those who have had the best intentions to get active but have bitten off more than their body can chew. Occasionally this is more literal than figurative! Cue jaws music…jaws. Get it, jaws? Oh and the puns keep on rolling. Ok back to it. If you aren’t used to regular exercise or it’s been a while since you’ve been in the gym, please don’t get stuck in too early. We know what it’s like, you’ve got new goals and you’re excited and motivated to hit the ground running, but running until you hit the ground on the 2nd of January isn’t going to help you achieve your goals.
- Take care of any niggling injuries
This is one of the biggest factors in ensuring you are able to meet your physical goals. If you’ve had any niggling injuries, especially lower back, neck, hip, knee and ankle pain, make sure you make a visit to your local physio to ensure there are no serious underlying causes or issues that will be exacerbated by particular exercises too soon. Your musculoskeletal physiotherapist will be able to identify specific areas to work on and incorporate rehabilitation or other exercises to help with any ongoing pain issues.
- Sit less
Time to get up and at ‘em! The amount of lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and hip pain that stems from excessive sitting time is enormous. Seriously I’m starting to stiffen up just writing this article… ok time for a walk. And we’re back. Many people could alleviate a portion of their pain simply by spending less time sitting and taking time every hour to stand up and stretch, have a walk around and loosen up a bit. A musculoskeletal physio will be able to observe your posture while sitting or at a simulated desk and be able to identify areas of improvement and give some specific exercises for your pain.
- Move more!
This is really just an extension of the last point but I’m really trying to drive it home. Lack of flexibility and mobility is another major cause of ongoing pain throughout the body. Luckily, there are literally thousands of different stretches for every muscle group and joint you can imagine. If you don’t know where to start with exercise and you are afraid of overdoing it, why don’t you try a pilates class? Pilates focuses on activating the strength of the core muscles that support the spine and balancing the muscles of the body to create increased strength and has been scientifically proven to aid and speed up recovery for a number of different issues. But the kicker is that it’s so low impact that it’s the safest form of exercise, winning!
Ask your local physiotherapist how we can support you in achieving your new year’s resolutions. We are movement and exercise specialists specialising in pain reduction, think of your physio as a pain doctor. If you have had difficulty achieving your physical goals before, speaking to your physio may be the missing piece of the puzzle, we can help with:
- Undertaking a detailed physical assessment prior to starting an exercise program
- Identifying and setting SMART goals
- Creating a bespoke exercise program for you including Pilates, gym and running programs
- Providing injury prevention and recovery support
- Running you through safe and correct form and exercising with good technique
- Recommending appropriate footwear, braces and supports