New Year resolutions to improve your health and fitness are always great to consider, even if sometimes it peters out by the spring. At least you are motivated enough to even consider making a change in your lifestyle. Perhaps, however, the resolutions were too drastic or too complicated to maintain? After all, we are creatures of habit.
Here are Point Performance, we like hearing about New Year resolutions and helping make them stick. Want to build flexibility? We can help design a program for that. Deciding to tackle a marathon? We can also guide you through your training and prevent injury. Finally going to do something about that knee issue besides ignore it? Let us diagnose it and help you towards recovery.
In the meantime, if developing an entire fitness or wellness program right now is too daunting, we suggest these two resolutions as starting points for kicking off your new year the healthy way: by reducing stress and exercising more.
Stress is one of the biggest causes of pain among our patients, resulting in TMD, headaches, migraines, lack of sleep, weight gain, back and shoulder pain, and more.
Breathe. Sit with your eyes closed and take ten deep breaths. Pay attention to the breaths and notice how they move in and out of your body, where the breath goes. This is the beginning of meditation. In this video, one of our therapists demonstrates a breathing technique.
Meditate. Try one of many, many apps that exist that can guide you through a meditation. They can vary from three minutes to longer. Set a time, preferably first thing in the morning, in which you turn on the app and meditate calmly.
Listen to relaxing music. Turn on some calm tunes during your work day, or while you’re out for a walk, or driving, which can help soothe your nerves.
Reach out. Meet up with friends or acquaintances to build a supportive network. Talk face-to-face over coffee or even on the phone. Studies show that building connections and spending time with loved ones around can significantly reduce stress.
Move your body. Yoga, t’ai chi, or even going for a walk can help boost endorphins and make your feel calmer, present, and aware of your body.
You don’t need to go for a triathlon, but studies show that moving your body is critical to stave off diseases and aging. Think you’re too busy? Here’s how to work in some exercise without thinking too hard.
Walk. Take a walk around the block, or if you’re headed out for errands, think about ditching the car and walking or biking there instead. One of our patients discovered that it took just as long to wait for a bus and ride it through traffic to work as it did just walking there, plus she saved bus fare. Have a dog? Your pup likes walks, too. Go explore the neighborhood together.
Lunge or squat If you’re standing around brushing your teeth, or on the phone, use the time to also do some lunges or squats in place.
Take the stairs. Trade in the elevator wait and awkward ride with acquaintances for the stairs. You’ll find yourself stronger within a few weeks.
Bike to work. It’s scenic, free, and more reliable than Metro!
Exercise during commercials. Get up at every TV commercial break and do some jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, sit-ups, to get your heart rate going. Feeling too much of a couch potato to be that active? Try marching in place during the entire commercial break.