Dr. Kurt Brooks PT, DScPT, OCS
Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
It’s a new year. So let the resolutions begin! There’s lots of advice out there on beginning and maintaining your New Year’s Resolutions, but nothing about dealing with the fear of injury or of aggravating and old injury that’s keeping you from STARTING your fitness goals.
If fear is holding you back, here are a few tips to help you start.
1. Set several small, measurable goals to reach your desired end-game. The goal of “Setting the World Record for a Marathon” is just a step toward failure (for most of us mere mortals). But setting the goal of “Running for 5-10 minutes, 3x/ week for the next 4 weeks” is specific, measurable and attainable. Progressing that time or distance to “20-30 minutes” for the next month is also specific, measurable, and attainable and shows you are progressing.
2. Don’t fear pain, soreness and stiffness! If mild (or sometimes moderate)… it’s normal! Expect to be sore and to feel some mild pain and discomfort when you start working out. It means you are stressing your body and telling it to get stronger or more flexible. That’s what you are working for! If your pain is more than mild or if you are concerned about which pain is normal and which to avoid, talk to your physical therapist… that’s their specialty!
3. Don’t get down on yourself or the process when set backs occur. Getting in shape, is rarely a linear process… there are always ups and downs. Accidents and injuries occur when you are active. It’s all part of moving. Take the time to recover. See a physical therapist if you have questions about it. Then get back to it!
4. Reward yourself for getting out there, but reward yourself in the right way! If you’re trying to loose weight, rewarding yourself with a tub of Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is counter productive to your goal. Get a massage or watch videos of Golden Retriever puppies (like my wife!).
5. Get others involved with your goal. It’s harder to motivate yourself when you are exercising alone. But if you have date with a friend or family member to run on Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday mornings, you are more likely to show up and get moving.