New Year’s Resolution

It’s almost the end of 2018 and time when many people create a New Year’s resolution. According to Wikipedia, a New Year’s resolution is when “a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.” For many people in the U.S., their New Year’s resolution will include getting fit or losing weight to improve their health.

Succeeding in your fitness goals can be improved if you find an activity that you enjoy. In my family, we have a tennis player, a power lifter, pickleball player, tai chi participant, and cyclist. Although we all have our different activities, we have friends that we’ve met through our activities that help motivate us to continue to stay involved. Scheduling activities with friends and family creates additional motivation to show up. Participating in a tennis league, meeting friends at the gym, or planning a group ride also adds a level of competition that can help improve your skills and fitness.

Fitness can also be gained with other activities like walking or dancing. This video of Toni Basil dancing at age 74 is just incredible.

 Toni Basil Dancing at 74 years old.

According to the Washington Post, 58% of U.S. adults never do any muscle strengthening exercises. As a result, taking baby steps are important to making progress towards a healthier you. This article 22 New Year’s Resolution Ideas That Will Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet suggests breaking down your resolution into smaller goals such as focusing on your core.

You can do exercises such as:

  • Plank on Elbows – Lie on your stomach with your forearms resting on the ground by your side. Tighten your quads to keep your legs straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your body by pushing up on the floor so that only your forearms and toes are touching the ground. Keeping your body straight, hold your position. Lower yourself back to the floor. Relax and then repeat. Don’t forget to breathe while holding your position.
  • Side Plank with Knees Flexed – Lie on your side with your lower forearm supporting your upper body. Your knees should together and bent at 45 degrees. Place your upper arm along the side of your body. Tighten your quads and abdominal muscles, raise your hips off the floor. Hold. Lower your hips back to the floor, relax and then repeat. Don’t forget to breathe while holding your raised position.
  • Bridge – Lie on your back with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms at your side. Engage your abdominal muscle then raise your hips up trying to make a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold then lower down slowly keeping abdominals tight.
  • Hand and Knee Balance (Bird Dog) – Position yourself on your hands and knees, with arms shoulder width apart and knees slightly apart. Tighten your abdominals, raise one arm and opposite leg slowly until they are horizontal. Keep hips even and back flat. Hold. Return to starting position and relax. Repeat with opposite arm and leg.
  • Dead Bug – Lie on your back with your arms extended in front of you as if you are reaching for the ceiling. Bend your hips to 90 degrees then bend your knees to 90 degrees. Flatten your back onto the floor, rotating your pelvis up. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Extend one leg, straightening the knee and hip to drop the leg just above the ground. Simultaneously drop the opposite arm above your head just above the ground. Make sure to keep your back flat on the floor. Return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite side.

You can find these exercises in the Fitness – Core category in the PT-Helper mobile app to add to your Favorites which allows you to customize each exercise’s repetitions, sets, and hold time. You can also set up 3 daily reminders to notify you when to do your exercises.

Reminder: Please consult your physician or physical therapist before engaging in any physical activity and stop if you experience pain or discomfort.

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Download the PT-Helper mobile app for patients and exercise enthusiasts to create your exercise program.

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