January 1 brings about New Year’s resolutions. Typically, these involve goals to live a more active and healthier lifestyle, lose weight, or be more mindful, etc. More often than not, these resolutions last for a month or two and then are forgotten. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Most resolutions are not sustainable. As a physical therapist, I love hearing people want to be more active. But I also get a little nervous about people starting too quickly out of the gate, possibly leading to injury and the end of a resolution. It is important to be honest with ourselves about where we are and what we are capable of. If we don’t know, we start slow.
What to remember when making a beginner exercise plan
When it comes to making your beginner exercise plan, start slowly and build accordingly. We often hear, “I used to be able to run 6 miles, but my Achilles tendon started hurting at mile 1.5.” If you haven’t exercised in a while, don’t assume you can pick up where you left off. Start off with a half-mile run or maybe try a walk with intermittent short bouts of running. Assess how you feel during and after the activity and adjust accordingly. This holds true for other activities such as rowing, biking or lifting weights. If you begin to feel pain, don’t try to push through it hoping it will go away on its own; chances are, it won’t.
Pain is your body signaling to you that something is not right and you may be at risk for causing damage. If you begin to feel pain, come see us! Our mission is to make sure your resolution is a success. We have immediate openings for a complimentary consultation or evaluation with our skilled team of physical therapists. Don’t wait until you can’t move — get “Back in Motion” today!
Ryan Weeks, Physical Therapist, South Portland Clinic Director