It’s cold. I hope everyone has taken advantage of the extra weeks of warmth to squeeze in extra hours of your favorite outdoor activities. This is a great point in the year to make a shift in your physical training.
Take some personal inventory of what you are presently doing. Be honest with yourself and look at some ways to improve over the next 6 months. Assess how you did physically over the last year: Did you stay healthy and injury free? Did you meet the goals you had set for yourself? Were you able to add any constructive pieces to your training regimen?
It is important to keep exercising even when there are unexpected glitches. Every active person puts themselves at some risk for injury — back and knee pain, or shoulder bursitis or tennis elbow. Nobody’s perfect! But it’s important to have a good plan in place to keep yourself in action whether you are fighting something chronic or something new. First, deal with the acute pain. Don’t ignore your immediate symptoms, or your small problems could become large ones. See your doctor, go to physical therapy, talk to your chiropractor. Second, you must make sure you integrate your body’s movement patterns. If you are getting treatment for your elbow, for example, make sure the shoulder and thoracic spine have mobility as well. If your knee is bothering you, make sure the hip and ankle mechanics are loading properly in all three planes of motion.
However you did in 2011, you can use the approaching new year as a marker to move ahead. If you didn’t set goals last year, set some this year. Try setting 3 or 6 month goals. Think about how many times per week you exercise. Can you get a few more 20 or 30 minute sessions in over the course of your week? Try to make another healthy diet change. Drink more water or don’t skip your afternoon snack. Set some goals for your golf or tennis game. Be creative! Make your goals personal and hold yourself accountable.
Continue to expand your knowledge base about your personal health and wellness. Get a few new books or find some websites that you like. Find a trainer, nutritionist, or massage therapist that can become part of your wellness team. Keep moving in the right direction.
Having professionals or like-minded friends to discuss healthy topics is a great way to keep yourself engaged. I have been in this industry for 10 years and learned more this year than I ever have. There is so much information out there on how the body moves, the right ways to exercise, and the right foods to eat. Challenge yourself to be in tune with your body.
Hopefully you can look back at the end of the spring and feel you have had a great 6 months. Winter is a great time for reflection and planning. Take advantage! If you ever have any questions please feel free to reach out and ask. Good luck!
Sean Fitzpatrick is owner of One2One Bodyscapes in Mamaroneck