It’s That Time of Year Again…How to Stick with Getting in Shape this New Year

It’s that time of year again: the time when holiday indulgences give way to post-holiday regret and the inevitable making of New Year’s resolutions. Year after year, “losing weight,” “getting more exercise,” “eating better,” and “getting in shape” tend to make some of the top resolutions on American surveys. Yet, despite all the plans and the hopeful nature of resolutions, many Americans find themselves resolving the same thing the very next New Year’s eve. So what is it about “getting in shape” that makes success so elusive? We offer some simple advice for sticking with a real resolution this year…

It’s Not Just You

In fact, if everyone actually kept up those brand new gym memberships and used them, you’d end up waiting in line for the treadmill like you were waiting at an amusement park. A piece on NPR online several years ago cited interesting information about how gyms create business models based on people actually not using their memberships. Gyms know that most people will get motivated, sign up, get busy, and stay home – the people who usually go will continue to go while new attendance will decline steadily after the January 1 rush.

Small Changes Add Up

When you think of all the big, even huge changes it takes to make a “lifestyle change” you can become overwhelmed pretty quickly. Yet the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” can apply to your health choices, too. Every day, make small changes toward improving your health and after a week, a month, and a year of healthy choices adding up you’ll be surprised how far you might come! Start by making healthier food choices – if you hit the drive-through on the way home from work, try some meal planning instead. Park farther away from the door. Start taking a walk after dinner. Carry a refillable water bottle with you and avoid drinking empty calories throughout the day. Small steps add up!

Make Health a Habit

All the unhealthy habits we pick up were once something we tried and got hooked on – so why can’t a healthy habit be the same? Well, it can. Imagine being stressed out because you missed your daily run or your afternoon bike ride. If you get in the habit of regular exercise, you’ll find that you actually feel out of sorts when you miss a day or time you would have normally exercised. Just like any other habit, you have to make your chosen form of exercise regular enough that your body becomes used to it. You’ll find that the positive changes such as relaxation, elevated mood, etc that come from the exercise are often motivating enough, and you’ll notice becoming even restless or irritable when you miss a scheduled day.

Get Rid of Excuses

Everyone has them and they are just barriers we put in the way of our own success: excuses. Whether you tell yourself you’re “too old” or “too heavy” to get in shape, there really aren’t many limits on getting healthier except those we set for ourselves. Even if you have genuine physical limitations, you can address those with the help of a physical therapist and learn how to modify exercise to fit your abilities. A physical therapist will work with you to address any movement or mobility problems and develop a treatment and home exercise plan to strengthen and improve your musculoskeletal system.

Stop waiting for the first of the year to decide to get healthier or lose weight and take action today: Body One Physical Therapy is here to help! Our team of caring, highly-trained physical therapists works with clients of all ages and activity levels and can help get you moving in the right direction for the new year and beyond. We’re locally-owned and operated with four locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t wait another year to feel great, call Body One today!