January 14, 2017
The new year is a common time to work on improving yourself both physically and mentally both of which are extremely important. However, what's more important is developing a program for physical fitness that can be maintained, is realistic, and is also safe and will keep you out of the doctor's office. Below are five simple tips from sports medicine orthopedic surgeon and Chicago Bulls team physician Dr. Adam Yanke to help develop and maintain a program that is appropriate for you, especially if you have started something out of your normal comfort zone.
- Peer Pressure vs Peer Encouraging - Starting a new class or using other metrics to compare yourself against other people doing the same work out can be a great motivator and push you to accomplishments that you may not achieve on your own. However, be aware that other people around you may have more experience or may have been doing that same activity for a longer period of time. While you should use it to motivate yourself, you should not be discouraged if you're not meeting their same level in that activity.
- Listen to your body - "No pain no gain" still has a role in physical fitness, however your brain should almost always overpower your emotions when it comes to listening to joint aches. For instance, if you notice that you're running on a treadmill and you start to develop pain in your knee, work on increasing the incline and lowering the speed. Modify as needed to see if you can work through and around the pain while still continuing your aerobic activity.
- Set realistic goals - A good way to stop working out is to become discouraged because you set goals that were too lofty to begin with. Also, as you work on achieving these goals, you may push yourself further than necessary and develop injuries. Have goals that are realistic and concrete. Set a goal for a certain time for running a mile and have a lofty goal that is more subjective like being able to climb a mountain. This way you can make progress by achieving smaller goals along the way that are based on hard facts (and easy to objectify) while working toward your larger goal.
- Red alert! - Most issues that come up while you are working out and getting in shape are associated with a tendinitis or other forms of inflammation that usually will resolve with rest, ice compression and elevation. However, things to be on the lookout for that would trigger a doctors visit would include, but are not limited to, knee swelling (without a known history of arthritis), sudden weakness in the shoulder (difficulty lifting objects overhead) and of course chest pain that is not resolving with rest.
- Even with all this being said, New Year's resolutions are sometimes developed into long-lasting habits that can change one's lifestyle in a positive manner. Make sure you work diligently on choosing something realistic that you can maintain taking into account the cost of the activity, schedule involved, as well as the intensity that should be expected throughout the workouts.