ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute
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by ACE Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Institute


The new year is pressing close and will soon replace the previous year. For many people that mean time to pick up those abandoned New Year’s Resolutions from years past. Sadly, this usually means more disappointment as they tend to drop resolutions in a few weeks.  There is another way! Why not set moderate, achievable goals and work toward larger goals in increments? Just as you invest in work, family, and friends, you also need to invest in yourself.

Here are several common resolutions made every year by millions of people with tips for improved success:

Lose Weight –   Stay focused on moderate lifestyle changes in your eating habits. Avoid fad diets. While these usually produce drastic results in a short period of time, the severe alteration in your diet is very difficult to maintain. Most people end up “falling off the wagon” and gaining more weight than they lost.

Get in Shape – Increasing fitness levels has been linked to many positive health outcomes. Improved fitness has also been associated with reduced stress levels, decreased the onset of some forms of cancer, enhanced mood, helps to maintain the desired body weight and reduce the effects of osteoarthritis. You should incorporate both cardiovascular and strength training exercises into your fitness program.  Seek the advice of a Physical Therapist or personal trainer regarding a proper regimen to accomplish your fitness goals.

Quit Smoking – If you’re still smoking, this is a perfect time to quit. Smoking damages your body on many levels. There are carcinogens in cigarettes and cigar smoke.  The carbon monoxide that is found in the smoke “steals” vital oxygen from the red blood cells, and oxygen is needed for every bodily function.

Reduce Stresses in Your Life – The non-stop pace of our culture is full of stress. Stress can be devastating to your body, causing the body to release the hormone cortisol. While this hormone can save your life in an emergency by stimulating the “fight or flight” reaction of the nervous system, it can be detrimental to all bodily functions when it is too high. Regular exercise can help reduce cortisol levels over time.

Maintaining the changes in your life is difficult.  Here are some overall suggestions that will help you and can help to create the “new you” are the following:

Be Specific:  Don’t generalize what you want the results of your exercise efforts to be and set measurable goals.  Most goals that are set in a fitness setting can be measured quite easily.  Be sure to get your baseline and record your progress as you go.

Achievable Goals:  Goals have to be set and the “bar” should be high enough to make you work for a positive outcome, but not so high that you fail to achieve it. You should work with a personal trainer initially to learn the proper techniques and form needed during the routine that will produce the best results and prevent injuries.

Relevance: Your exercise routine and goals need to be relevant to you.  A personal trainer can help you formulate your plan but you are the ultimate decision maker.  You have to decide the most important aspect of the exercise routine that you are going to begin and then have your trainer develop a program to help you achieve your goals.

There is nothing wrong with setting New Year’s resolutions, but all too often these are forgotten within a few weeks.  Take a new approach and create the “new you” and enjoy the positive changes in the quality of life. 

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