Are you thinking about signing up for a gym membership in 2017 as part of your New Year’s Resolution? That’s great! But guess what? So are about a hundred million other people. You are going to get there and be so overwhelmed you won’t know which way to turn – except toward the exit. Don’t get me wrong, January 1 is a great time to sign up for a gym – you’ll get the best deal, for sure. But, it’s also the worst time to actually exercise at the gym. You’ll find yourself standing in line for 20 minutes just to get on a treadmill. So take my advice – sign up for the New Year’s Special, but then freeze your gym membership until February.
That’s right – most gyms will allow you to freeze your membership for a designated amount of time. Once January comes to an end, about 50% of the new members will stop going regularly. That means that you will have room to breathe – and, more importantly, room to work out!
“But wait!” you ask. “I’m motivated to start working out now, I want to get started!”
I’m so glad. Because now is the perfect time to get started – even before you touch a machine or weight.
You need to get your body prepared for battle. Most people start working out without preparing first and one of two things tends to happen. They either get so fatigued and sore that they give up, or worse, they get injured.
Don’t let either of these scenarios happen to you. Here’s what you can do instead…
Now that the New Year is upon us, it’s time for the obligatory New Year’s Resolution, right? Time to lose 20 pounds, sign up for a gym membership, take more time to read, take the vacation you’ve been planning, etc.
Before you get too caught up in listing off all the things you wish you could be or do, let me ask you a question:
What was your New Year’s Resolution last year? Do you remember?
If you do, did you accomplish it?
If so, congratulations!
If you’re like the rest of us, ask yourself, “why not?”
You might be under the impression that most people don’t accomplish their New Year’s Resolutions because their goals are too far out of reach. I disagree. I think setting big goals is important – it gives us something to strive for.
In fact, I believe that we typically set the bar too low. When you set a goal that you know you can complete in a month, what happens? You put it off – month after month. Then a year goes by and you forget it altogether.
In addition, should you really be setting only one Resolution for yourself for an entire year?
Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t rob yourself of potential growth in every aspect of your life.
You may be overwhelmed with the thought of setting more than one Resolution, but bear with me, there is hope.
Let’s dig deeper.
Have you ever been in pain? I’m not talking about scraping your knee when you were eight years old, I’m talking about real pain. Lasting pain. Pain that won’t go away or goes away and comes back again a few months later. Maybe you or somebody you know is experiencing this type of chronic pain now. You’ve tried everything and nothing helps. You feel like you’re not in control. You feel like a victim.
Let me clarify. There are diseases and disorders that can cause ongoing chronic pain as a normal course of the disorder. I’m not talking about that kind of pain. The type of pain I am specifically addressing here is the kind that should have gone away but didn’t.
There are 3 phases in the pain timeline:
- Acute (3 weeks)
- Sub-Acute (3 weeks – 3 months)
- Chronic (>3 months)
Chronic pain is long lasting pain that you’ve had for more than 3 months. It’s not fun.
There is good news, however – there is hope.
Have you had low back pain before? The most common source of pain in patients I see each day for Physical Therapy is low back pain. Low back pain, more than any other type of pain spans a large age range, as well. I get teenagers, new moms, middle-aged men and women, and elderly folks all complaining of the same thing. My job as a Physical Therapist is to help people like YOU prevent this pain.
Before a patient comes to see me, they have to go through a referral process from their doctor and schedule an appointment. This process usually takes anywhere from 2-3 weeks. It’s not a perfect system, but it is what it is. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon for someone to show up for their appointment only to tell me that their low back pain is already gone. Oftentimes, low back pain will go away on its own with time. The problem is that it can frequently recur. So the question isn’t how can we make your pain go away, but how can we stop it from coming back?
Regardless of whether a patient has current pain or not, I hardly ever spend the appointment treating the pain itself – this is just a symptom. No, more important is dealing with the cause of the pain.
When people come to see me for low back pain, we don’t work on how to make the pain go away, we work on how to prevent the pain from coming back in the future.
The same is true for you. You can do things today that will help prevent low back pain tomorrow.