Schedule Appointment

How to Make Smart Fitness Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

By: Danielle Hoguet, DPT

Can you believe that in just a few weeks, 2016 will be in the past? It’s almost that time when gyms are packed, Facebook feeds are flooded with New Year’s Resolutions and goals, and the organic foods section is probably a little more picked over than normal. It’s almost 2017!

Along with celebrations to ring in the new year come resolutions and the chance to work towards a new and improved YOU. The challenge is making resolutions you can actually keep. For those of you who want to start exercising and improving your overall fitness level, you might not be sure where to even start. Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

  1. Set realistic goals. People often make the mistake of trying too much too soon, which is the easiest way to sustain an injury. If you’ve never run more than a couple miles, now is not the time to sign up for a marathon. Start with a few daily changes. Try going on an after-dinner walk or taking the stairs at work. The key to success is gradually increasing your actively levels. You don’t need to join in on the latest extreme fitness craze to become an exerciser.
  2. Find a workout partner. Accountability is important. Ask a friend or a coworker to join in on your new exercise routine. That way, you can both hold each other accountable for sticking to the plan. Think about it. You are less likely to cancel on your workout if you know you’ll also be canceling on a friend. Exercising with someone else is also be a great way to learn new exercises and share tips with each other.
  3. Give group fitness a try. Ever tried zumba or body pump classes? Group fitness classes are great for people who don’t know what kinds of exercises to do or how to do them and want a qualified instructor to guide them through a routine. Fitness instructors can also provide you with modifications to certain moves to take into account an injury or any condition that prevents you from fully participating.
  4. Try before you buy. Do you want to join a gym or fitness class, but aren’t sure if it will be a good fit? Check Groupon and Living Social for deals that allow you to give classes and gyms a trial run before deciding to pay for a membership. Local gyms and studios will often run special deals for 3-6 classes at a time on discount websites, and some even offer a free class to interested patrons. These free trial deals are very popular this time of year when gym owners know folks will be making fitness a priority.
  5. Plan ahead and prioritize. We all have the best intentions to hit the gym after work but sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Too often we get home exhausted from the workday and before we know it, we are lounging on the couch, binge watching Netflix and never make it to the gym. Plan ahead instead. Pack your gym clothes and an extra snack and go to the gym before you go home. If your office building has a gym, make use of it during your lunch or even before the workday starts. All it takes is a little planning!
  6. Find an awesome playlist. Music makes even the most grueling workouts more fun. For those of you that want to start jogging, try alternating between walking and jogging each song. A little variation makes it easier to keep going instead of continually looking at the timer on your treadmill. You can also find playlists specifically designed for running, with a rhythm to match your pace.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s fun! New Year’s Resolutions should aim to better your lifestyle and well-being. If you have any questions about fitness tips or if you need help figuring out where to start with your exercise plan, call Loudoun Sports Therapy Center at 703-450-4300. You can speak with one of our expert clinicians and start your journey to a healthier you!