The New Year is a great time to focus on improving health and fitness for people of all ages. Whether you are trying to lose a few inches off your waistline, increase your cardiovascular endurance, or add a few pounds of muscle, here are a few guidelines to help you set goals to exercise in the New Year.
- Set realistic goals. Achieving hard-to-reach goals can be disheartening. Use your current level of fitness as a guide. If you haven’t been active for a while, 15-20 minutes of brisk walking every day may be an achievable goal. Once this becomes easy, perhaps you to can increase the duration of your walk to 30-45 minutes or try jogging to increase the intensity of your workouts.
- Goals should be time bound. Breakup your long-term goal for the year into 12 short term monthly goals. If you are 50 to 60 pounds overweight, giving yourself a target of reducing 4-5 pounds every month will help you achieve your goal to lose the excess weight safely.
- Choose physical activities you enjoy. You are more likely to stick with an exercise activity if you’re having fun while doing it. If you like the great outdoors, try hiking, biking, or skiing. If you like group activities try basketball, soccer, or dancing. If lifting weights is enjoyable for you, then enrolling at your local gym at the beginning of the New Year is what you should do.
- Get accountability. Get a friend or family member to join you on your fitness journey. A training partner can be a source of encouragement to help you get through your exercise routine on days when you are tempted to skip your workouts out of boredom or lack of motivation.
- Get your exercise program cleared by your doctor. If you have a joint problem, participation in sports or lifting heavy weights in the gym can cause serious injury that will derail your fitness plans. Be on the safe side, and consult your doctor or an orthopedic physician before starting a new exercise program.
Dr. Ronak Patel is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon offering a full range of care for all problems of the knee and shoulder with a special interest in complex knee disorders. Book your appointment with Dr. Patel today: (630) 929-2249.