How To Start An Exercise Program In The New Year

How To Start An Exercise Program In The New Year

December 07, 2022

The New Year is often a time when people begin to commit to new habits and behaviors, many of them being financial or health and wellness related. Starting right at the beginning of the year with these New Year’s Resolutions makes a lot of sense for people, as the holiday season itself is usually VERY busy for people, and the turn of the new year can be seen as a “clean slate” of sorts that allows us to fully commit to these new habits and behaviors.

Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions and goals that we see/hear are things such as:
  • Starting a new running program
  • Starting a new lifting program
  • Weight loss
  • Hitting new PRs on lifts or races
And the list goes on and on.

However, there are things that you can do to set yourself up for success when you are ready to commit to a New Year’s Resolution, and we’re going to outline them below so you can start 2023 off on the right foot!

1) Determine Your Overall Goal

This seems pretty self-explanatory, but you would be surprised at how often this step is missed! The key to maintaining exercise-focused New Year’s Resolutions is choosing the right type of exercise for your overall goal.

If you want to improve your heart health or endurance, or eventually start competing in 5k’s, 10k’s, half-marathons, or even marathons, then choosing a running program is your best option!

If your goal is to build muscle, get stronger, improve your physique, improve bone density, or things like that, then choosing a lifting/resistance training program is likely the best option.

And if you’re looking for overall health and wellness improvements, then implementing a program that has BOTH resistance training and cardiovascular training is the best fit for you.

2) Commit To The Process

Starting a new exercise routine can be a challenging task, and you have to be ready for this. In the beginning, everything is going to be new and exciting, and you probably won’t have too much difficulty staying consistent with your workouts.

However, once this initial excitement wears off, or you hit some plateaus in your performance, you might find it harder to continue forward.

Just know that this is a very common situation, and you are definitely not the only person experiencing this. This is why we like to have our clients stick with process-oriented goals/resolutions, which focus on the PROCESS rather than the OUTCOMES.

For somebody who wants to build strength and muscle and determines that they need to start a resistance-training program, a process-oriented goal could look like this:
“I will do 45 minutes of resistance training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings before I go into work.”

By focusing on the process that will get you to the outcomes you’re looking for (more strength, muscle etc), you’re more likely to be consistent with your program, and get the results you’re looking for.

3) Start Slow

Most of the people that we see in the clinic are dealing with pain or injuries because they did too much too soon, after doing too little for too long. Basically what this means is that they DRASTICALLY increased their training or physical activity when they weren’t prepared for it, and got injured.

If you want to start a running program, but haven’t ran consistently in months or years, you probably don’t want to start trying to run 5+ miles right off the bat.

The best bet is to start slow, such as doing an interval-running program where you jog for a quarter mile, walk for a quarter mile, and repeat until you hit one mile total. Then, slowly start to increase how much distance/time you’re running in each bout, and the overall mileage that you’re running from week to week.

If you can keep these three tips in mind, you’re much more likely to determine a health/wellness related New Year’s Resolution that is the right fit for you, AND you’re more likely to stick with it over the long-term, which is the most important thing!

If you’re dealing with an injury or looking for help getting started with an exercise program, click the button below to schedule a free phone consult with one of our expert staff members!

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