Trying to lose weight or get in shape for the New Year? Don’t fail like the rest and make it really happen this time around

With the New Year comes a new batch of resolutions, and 2014 will start off just like every other year before it: masses of people with ambitious goals and aggressive attitudes jumping out of the starting blocks, firmly committed to keeping up the pace for the remainder of the year.  Whether or not this approach continues on for the next 12 months, however, is not so easy, and for about 90% of Americans, it’s the latter.

Yes, sadly, only about 8-12% of people in the U.S. actually stay true to their New Year’s resolutions for the entire year, with most failing due to lofty goals, excuses, lack of motivation or some other combination of factors.

Unsurprisingly, about one-third of all people make weight loss the primary goal of their resolution, with another 15% aiming to start a new exercise program in the New Year.  Seeing as so many of us commit to losing weight and even more of us don’t succeed at doing so, we at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy would like to tell you that keeping on top of your resolutions is absolutely feasible, and encourage you to follow the seven tips below if you’re truly interested in bucking the trend:

—  1) Carefully select realistic and specific goals before setting out on your quest; it also helps to write them down and chart your progress

—  2) For any new training program, start slowly and gradually ease your way into it rather than going full speed ahead from the start

—  3) Having a few moderate- to high-intensity workouts every week is one key ingredient to losing weight and should not be overlooked

—  4) A good fitness program should consist of exercises that work out the whole body: cardio exercises are great for the heart and lungs, while weight-bearing exercises enhance the health of bones, muscles and joints

—  5) Pick exercise(s) you find to be most enjoyable that increase the demand for oxygen for a true cardiovascular workout

—  6) No fitness program is complete without a proper diet, so be sure to eat healthy and make adjustments when needed; educate yourself with books/magazines or see a trainer/nutritionist for more information

—  7) Injury prevention: in the midst of your new workout regimen, be sure to take precautions to prevent injuries such as warming up and stretching before working out, staying hydrated, eating two hours before exercising, wearing proper gear and getting sufficient rest afterwards and at night

If you do happen to injure yourself while working out, don’t push through the pain, which can be dangerous, but don’t abandon your fitness plan either.  Instead, adjust it accordingly to accommodate your injury and stay active.

For persistent pain, assistance with a fitness program or any other musculoskeletal concerns, visit us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, and we can help tend to your questions, whatever they may be.