New Year's Resolution Prep: A Roadmap to Safely Becoming Physically Active

Posted Tuesday, January 7, 2020 | 12:00 pm

Morgan Auernhammer, B.S., SCCE
Health & Fitness Program Administrator
Covenant HealthCare - PM&R


It is that time of year again already; holiday parties, family gatherings, and New Year’s resolutions.  We all have the best of intentions by choosing to get in shape to start the new year on a good note but starting off the new year could cost us if we are not fully prepared. Here are a few things to consider as you get back to the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day at least 3 days a week. 
  1. Take care of any lingering aches, pains, or injuries BEFORE you hit the treadmills or weights. Whether your pain stems from a previous injury, conditions affecting your physical functioning (such as arthritis), or simply tension from stress you will want to seek out the help of a trained Physical or Occupational Therapist in order to prevent the issues from getting worse. Past injuries/aches or pains will most likely be exacerbated by progressing too quickly at the gym. Consulting your doctor prior to diving into an exercise regimen is the best pathway to jump start your New Year’s resolution of being more active.

  2. Now that we are prepared, let’s get to it. But wait, let’s do it the right way. Did you know that sprains, joint inflammation and other overuse injuries are among the most common maladies doctors see among resolution-makers? This is according to an article written by Kellie B. Grant in CNBC News titled “New Year’s Resolutions Hazardous to Your Health.” Check out the article below to better understand why going from “0 to 60” at the beginning of the year may cause more harm than good. Starting and progressing slowly is essential to ensuring safe and effective exercise habits. Make sure a warm-up and cool-down is included and you vary your workouts to prevent injuries from repetitive movements. These injuries don’t just slow us down, they cost you money due to medical bills and possibly lost fees due to unused gym memberships. When we progress appropriately, it is easier to maintain these habits as a new, healthy lifestyle.

  3. I hear you, I was careful – I thought I started slow enough, but OUCH! Sometimes when we become more active, we may not know right away what our limits are. We thought we started slow enough, but we end up “overdoing it” or doing it without the good form.  So, what do you do now? If the new ailment lasts more than a few days, you should see your doctor. Your doctor can order Physical or Occupational Therapy to help you get back to being pain-free and restore your ability to get to the gym and get as much out of that membership as you can.

Why see a therapist?  Physical and Occupational Therapists are uniquely trained to identify the source(s) of neuromusculoskeletal impairments and to individualize a program just for you. They work with you to quickly and effectively get you back to your daily activities.

Learn more about physical medicine and rehabilitation at Covenant HealthCare.

Posted Date: 1/7/2020


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