Do You Have Any New Year’s Resolutions ?
Start your year off SMART
Wow, 2019! We have all made it through the first week. The first week back to reality can be a tough one. After all the overindulging of chocolate, gravy and wine, our bodies become less than impressed with us. You may feel a bit tired from all the holiday plans and the self-induced sleep deprivation from New Years Eve. And I’m sure worth it for the loads of family time you may have had! But well done, week one complete. Now comes the tricky part, all of the new year’s resolutions that we have all come up with, whether that being you want to lose weight, be more consistent going to the gym, drink less coffee or smile more, it is important that with any goals, you make them S.M.A.R.T! Elaboration on the acronym to come.
We all have the best intentions when we choose New Years Resolutions, but it can be challenging to put them into action. This blog will help you to make realistic goals that will hopefully support you in success.
The first thing you will want to do is decide what your goal will be. It is important to be SPECIFIC. For example, losing weight is not very specific. Be more specific to say that you would like to lose x-number of inches from your waist. Having a more specific goal gives you something more direct to work towards.
Once you have decided on a specific goal, you will need a way to MEASURE your success. Say your New Years resolution was to complete a more well-balanced diet. One way that you could measure whether you are following the right path to reach your goal would be to download a food diary App on your phone. You will be able to input the food you consume. Many of the Apps will inform you on the amount of macro and micronutrients you ingest each day. Or if you are trying to improve your physical fitness, choosing a specific activity to complete a certain number of times per week is a great way to measure success. For example, jogging and this can be measured in distance or time. You could even measure cardiovascular health in the number of burpees you are able to complete. Get creative with it.
It is also important that your goals be ATTAINABLE and REALISTIC. It would be realistic to work towards saving $7,000.00 for a down deposit for your first home or beginning a health regime that will help you move down a couple dress sizes. An unrealistic goal may be to meet the man of your dreams and be married in 6 months or triple your working wage with the same company. If you are making unrealistic and unattainable goals, it is easy to become discouraged and quit. So try to be conscious of this.
The last thing to decide is a TIMELINE. This is an important one! Without deciding on a timeline, you give yourself the opportunity to procrastinate and push the limits. And be realistic with these timelines as well. If your goal is to lose 40 lbs, realistically we shouldn’t lose more than 1-2 lbs per week. With that said, putting a 2-month timeline on losing 40lbs is not going to be attainable. Be sure to do your research and give your resolutions some serious thought!
So in review, make goals that are SMART:
S – choose a SPECIFIC action that you plan to change or adjust
M – decide how you will MEASURE this activity
A – choose something that is ATTAINABLE
R – be sure that it is REALISTIC
T – decide on a TIMELINE
Once you have decided on a SMART goal, you will want to decide what your baseline is. For example, if you are trying to walk more each day, decide where you are starting. Do you currently only walk when relocating from room to room throughout the day or are you already somewhat mindful and skip the morning drive to walk to work? Whatever your baseline is, it is important to know what it is so that at the end of your timeline, you can classify how far you have come. The small successes make a huge difference!
Something to keep in mind.
Every year, come January, gyms swell full of New Year’s Resolution-ers who pledge to live a healthier life. Unfortunately, sources report that up to 80% of these individuals don’t continue past the second week of February. Among those who quit due to loss of ambition and unrealistic goals, there are numerous amounts of people who find themselves injured as they return to activity. Even with the best intentions, it is a very real reality to face injuries when returning after a long period of inactivity.
Some of the most common injuries noted are tendonitis, muscle strains and back aches. Although all of these injuries are very different in nature, they are all caused by some of the same faults.
- lack of warm-up
- poor technique
- overloading weights/overtraining
Though even when in optimal physical condition, every person is at risk for injury. However, those who live a sedentary life, elderly and obese individuals pose a higher risk for injury. The message here is that you can have the best intensions, SMART goals and can sometimes fail. With that in mind, when it comes to fitness goals, keep these things in mind:
- Always start your workouts off with a quick cardio warm-up. That could be jogging, biking, burpees, stairs or even skipping. By warming up our muscles prior to physical exertion, we reduce the risk of muscle strains.
- Make sure you complete all exercises with good form. Even if this means completing the exercises much slower, do not sacrifice form for speed! If you are unsure if you are completing exercises properly or you are getting discomfort in areas that you are not concentrating on, it would be best to speak to a qualified trainer.
- Be sure when strength training, you are choosing a safe weight. Although it is important that we challenge our muscles physically (that’s how we gain muscle), overloading muscles is a common fault that leads to many strained muscles, dislocations and back problems.
If you are needing some help planning and attaining your fitness goals, our Kinesiologist is available for private or group exercise therapy sessions. Together you can work through any barriers, whether that being a pesky knee injury from years ago or osteoarthritis in your hip. For more information on Private Exercise Therapy you can visit Leduc Physio online at www.leducphysio.ca or call the clinic at (780) 980 -5443.