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Finding Fitness in 2021: New Year’s Resolution Tips for Success
With 2020 thankfully in the rearview mirror, it’s time to turn our thoughts to a new year full of opportunities.
While many people are choosing non-traditional resolutions for 2021 – such as better planning for the future and learning a new skill – getting more exercise and losing weight remain consistent goals come January each year. Exercise is one of the easiest activities we can do to better our chances at a long, healthy life. The detrimental effects of most diseases can be lessened – and some can even be prevented – by fitting even a small amount of exercise into your daily routine.
Adam Thompson, D.O., a sports medicine physician with Premier Orthopaedics in Havertown, says the first step to success is identifying a precise goal. “One of the reasons why some people struggle in achieving their resolutions is because they’re ambiguous,” he says. “The more specific the goal, the more likely you’ll succeed.” Suggestions include going for a 30-minute walk three days a week, or eating one portion of vegetables with dinner every night.
If going to the gym is motivating, COVID-19 is likely impacting your newfound resolve to get fit in 2021. With gyms still not operating at full capacity, and people legitimately concerned about exercising in close proximity to others outside their family unit, it can be hard to come up with an alternative.
“The pandemic has had a great effect on our mental health, which plays a huge role in our physical health,” Dr. Thompson says. “Dealing with issues such as anxiety and depression can make it harder to get motivated to be physically active.”
Dr. Thompson offers the following suggestions to get moving and eat healthier:
- Go for walks, bike rides or runs outside when the weather cooperates (Bonus: You’ll burn more calories in colder temps!)
- Use an app, such as the New York Times’ “Seven Minute Workout” which requires no special equipment – just a chair and a wall
- Check out YouTube for yoga, aerobics and resistance-training workouts
Got a VR headset? That can be a great (and fun) source of exercise too! Dr. Thompson cautions, however, that accidents can happen, and spending too much time playing can lead to overuse injuries. “Accidents typically result from falling, tripping, or hitting your hand or arm on something while playing,” he says. “Overuse injuries come from playing too long and in a certain position, or from wearing a heavy headset too long.”
At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that any movement, no matter how small, is better than nothing. Dr. Thompson maintains that those specific, attainable goals are stepping stones toward bigger milestones. “Allow yourself to make mistakes and have slip-ups,” he says, “and then get back to that goal! Especially in the current environment, we have to be forgiving of ourselves and do what’s best for our physical and mental health.
With over 35 locations in the Greater Philadelphia region, Premier Orthopaedics provides the full spectrum of orthopaedic services – including bone, muscle and joint care; physical therapy, MRI and urgent care. Patients trust our specialists for their experience, expertise and commitment to exceptional care.