New Year’s resolutions are a common tradition for many people. The start of a new year is often seen as an opportunity to set new goals and make positive changes in one’s life. One area in which many people strive to make improvements is their physical health and fitness. Physiotherapy, can be a valuable tool in achieving these goals, as it can help to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and increase strength and flexibility.
Note: Are you an athlete or a weekend warrior living in Oakville or Burlington and you know you do not perform at your peak? Check with our physiotherapists from the Oakville and Burlington physio clinics.
How Can Physiotherapy Help you Achieve your Goals?
Common Goal # 1: Start a new Fitness Routine
Many people make New Year’s resolutions to become more physically active, whether that means joining a gym, going for a daily walk, or taking up a sport.
How can Physiotherapy help?
- For some people, starting a new exercise program can be difficult due to pain or limited mobility. Physiotherapy can help to identify and address the underlying causes of these issues, such as muscle imbalances, joint restrictions, or postural problems. A physiotherapist can work with you to create an individualized exercise program that is tailored to your specific needs and abilities, and can help you to safely and effectively increase your physical activity level.
- When setting your new fitness goals it is also important to be mindful of the potential for injuries. For example, starting a new exercise routine, or significantly increasing the intensity of your workout, can lead to overuse injuries, such as strains and sprains. Remember, a gradual increase in intensity and duration of physical activity can help your body adjust to the new demands being placed on it, and in turn, decrease the chance of injury.
Common Goal #2: Weight Loss
Another common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
Losing weight normally involves a combination of proper nutrition and exercise. Oftentimes, people gain weight or struggle to lose weight because of underlying physical limitations that may prevent them from being active (i.e., knee pain or lower back pain). A physiotherapist can help to correct these problems and improve your overall mechanics, which can make it easier to exercise and in turn lose weight.
If you have a current musculoskeletal condition or injury, physiotherapy can be a great way to manage and recover from it. Physiotherapy can help to alleviate pain, improve range of motion and strength, and prevent re-injury. Athletes should also consider incorporating a comprehensive training and injury prevention program into their New Year’s resolutions. This includes proper warm-up and cool-down routines, stretching, strength training, and conditioning.
You’ve Set Some Goals. Now What?
Remember, setting New Year’s resolutions can be a tricky business, as many well-intended goals are abandoned before they can be accomplished. Here are some simple strategies for achieving your goals.
Make a Plan
Once you have set your goal, the next step is to create a plan of action. Break your goal down into smaller, manageable tasks and set a schedule for achieving them. For example, your specific, measurable goal, could be:
“I want to be able to run 5 km by April”
Next, create a plan of action by identifying the specific steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
Step 1: Begin by walking and gradually increasing the distance and duration of your walks.
Step 2: During your walks start to add short intervals of jogging, such as 3 minutes of walking and 1 minute of jogging.
Step 3: Gradually increase the jogging intervals and decrease the walking intervals.
Don’t forget, it’s important to track your progress and make adjustments as needed.
Accountability and Support
Another important aspect of setting and achieving New Year’s resolutions is accountability and support. Find someone who will hold you accountable for your progress, such as a friend, family member, or coach. Furthermore, you can find support groups or join a gym, running club or a fitness class, where you can share your progress and gain motivation from others who are working towards similar goals.
Reflect and Review
It is also important to reflect and review your progress regularly. Take the time to evaluate whether you are meeting your goals and make adjustments as necessary. If you find that you are falling short, consider why, and make changes to your plan in order to get back on track.
In summary, physiotherapy can be a valuable tool for achieving a variety of New Year’s resolutions related to physical health and fitness. Whether you’re looking to become more active, lose weight, or recover from an injury, a physiotherapist can help improve your overall physical function, and live a healthier, more active life.