The beginning of the new year is a great time to make a fresh start, and for many Americans, that means writing a new chapter in the health and wellness department. But a staggering 80% of the resolutions set at midnight on the last day of the year fizzle out by the second week of February. Here are a few ways to make sure that you’ll be committed to your healthy pursuits—and will make them a permanent part of your life.
1. Make a list of what areas need improvement. Simply vowing to be healthier in 2019 probably won’t cut it—it’s best to be specific about the health and wellness goals you’d like to set for yourself. There are many important components of a healthy lifestyle— from adding more vegetables to your plate and exercising frequently to sleeping better and drinking more water—but it can be overwhelming to think about tackling all of them at once. By making a list of your personal health goals, you can get a better sense of your biggest priorities—and focus your attention in a ranking order.
2. You don’t have to go it alone. It’s OK to get some help along the way—from healthcare professionals and loved ones. Nutritionists, physical therapists and other healthcare practitioners have the background and training to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. For example, if you aim to be more physically active, a physical therapist can help you set realistic goals and will prescribe a home exercise program to help you safely build strength and endurance. And your loved ones can pitch in by providing moral support and by helping to create and maintain an environment that helps you achieve your goals. Research shows that you are much more likely to succeed if you have a coach, and a team.
3. Stay engaged and follow through on your goals. No one ever said that change is easy. In fact, even the smallest of adjustments—like, going to bed half an hour earlier every night or walking for 15 minutes every day—take discipline and sometimes sacrifice. By planning in advance and knowing what obstacles you could face, you can make sure that your goals are still met. For example, is there rain in the forecast tomorrow? Plan to walk with a friend at an indoor mall instead of choosing to sit on the couch and wait for better weather.
If you find that you’ve lost your motivation or fallen off track, experts say that you don’t need to wait until next year to resolve to be healthier! A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that Mondays are the best day of the week to celebrate a new beginning—and because they come every week, there are 52 chances a year to press the reset button. So, don’t get discouraged by the inevitable minor setback—instead, dust off and get back at it!
About The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org.
"Last Sunday I played full court basketball for the first time in 15 years. I will qualify the contest by saying it happened on a court just out of the back door of an elder care center. The teams consisted of a 7 year old, an d8 year old, a young woman in flip-flops (I played in sandals), a woman who proudly stated she was 55 years old (I retorted with my age of 65), and a couple of other young guys that really played well. I ran the court, I played defense, blocked shots, made shots (missed a lot), got lots of rebounds, and talked a lot of smack while playing with a group of people a lot younger than me. I even made a behind the back-twisting fall-away shot, then fell and tumbled on the court. I jumped up and continued to play, and we played for about 45 minutes.
I attribute my ability to play this game that I love so much again to the excellent training receive from Kristy who is a trainer at A2 Physical Therapy. I have worked out and trained since I was very young. I played high school basketball, baseball, and I ran track. I spent 20 years in the Army with all the training requirements associated with that occupation. I played on community and city leagues, and I have trained with weights for many years. The training program Kristy has devised for me at A2 is rigorous, thorough, diverse, fun, challenging, and focused. She prepares workout plans that are age and fitness level appropriate. My work out now is so much different then it was when I first started. She both trains me individually and as a couple. I run, jump, stretch, lift, balance, squat, push, pull, and every other movement you can imagine. I look forward to going to my workout every time. Kristy is completely in charge of every workout. I am retired, and my training at A2 allows me to fill the need to accomplish something positive every day I work out. I am doing physical activity with ease that I would not have thought I would be able be able to accomplish at the age of 65 such as hiking on Mt Rainer and running 4 days per week. Kristy and A2 have really changed my life…"
"Before I started coming to A2 I was always tired and could barely pick up or carry my grandchildren a ½ block. After the first 6 weeks of working with Kristi I got a big surprise when I took my grandchildren to a festival and carried the youngest 4 blocks before she woke up enough to walk. I then picked her up and put her on my shoulders so she could see better without effort. I was amazed at how much strength I had gained in a short time. I continue to see improvement in my strength and I’m no longer tired all the time."
"I began treatment with Alika after a back injury at work. I had already been out of work 3 weeks. Alika had an immediate impact on my back health and posture, providing more relief than I had felt with chiropractic/massage. Over the following month Alika used a unique spinal technique alongside other treatments and strengthening methods to improve my condition and get me back to work. I’ve been to several other clinics in my time as a competitive athlete and Alikas therapy coupled with his attentiveness to patients problems and injuries is second to none. Would highly recommend Alika and A2 PT to anyone with back issues or P.T. needs"