New year, new you; right?

In 2016, and probably every year, the top New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and get healthier.  Sound familiar? Well, if this is you, I don’t want your resolution to fade by February or March. I want you to achieve your goals and be successful on your fitness and wellness journey throughout 2017. As you read this blog, I want you to reflect on your current fitness level and habits.  Which one sounds like you?

Fitness level 1: “I hardly worked out at all in 2016. The thought of going to the gym is intimidating.”

Don’t be ashamed if this is you. It is never too late to develop an exercise routine. I have a feeling you are going to not only look your best in 2017, but also feel your best. This year simply work towards increasing activities of daily living. How many steps do you get in a day? Do you have a pedometer?  If you like technology, the FitBit is my favorite. It syncs with your phone and tracks important statistics, such as steps, weight, sleep, etc. If you don’t want all the bells and whistles, try the 3D TriSport Walking pedometer.  Start by getting at least 6,000 steps per day; gradually increase until you reach 8,000-10,000 steps per day. You can work towards this by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking far away, going to the furthest bathroom on your breaks, or going for a walk during lunch. Once you have mastered this, it is time to add in some strength training.  You do not need a gym or heavy weights to accomplish this; the only thing you need is your body. Start small with squats, lunges, push-ups and sit-ups.

Fitness level 2: “I workout regularly, but I have a tendency to do the same thing every workout.” 

In order to transform your body, it is crucial to switch up your workouts. Some believe the only way to change your body composition is through “muscle confusion”, while others believe that is a huge myth. One thing experts do agree on is in order to transform your body you must practice the rule of progressive overload. What this means is that periodically you have to increase the weight you are lifting or the number of repetitions. If you keep the same exact workout routine, over time you will no longer challenge your body. Therefore, if you enjoy going to the gym and lifting weight, make sure to remember the rule of progressive overload. If you are someone that enjoys group fitness classes, I recommend trying ClassPass for a couple of months to try different style classes such as cycling, interval training, power yoga, pilates, TRX, or barre class. Can’t spend the money on ClassPass? No problem. Try the Nike Training App to help add variety to your workouts.

 Fitness level 3: “I am an avid workout goer. I do it all from cycling to boot camps to strength training. I always love a challenge.”

Well my friend, I applaud your hard work and dedication. You do not need me to give you fitness advice. However, chances are you may need some more restorative exercise. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling yoga is hard for you to enjoy, unless it is a power yoga class. Am I wrong? Well, one of the things we understand in integrative medicine is hormones can become imbalanced with too much high intensity exercise and not enough low impact/restorative exercise. I challenge you this year to take 1 or 2 days off per week from your usual intense workout to try a restorative yoga class. Stretching, balance, and deep breathing will help with hormone balance, prevent injury, neuromuscular communication and improve the mind-body connection.

Tried it all and still not where you want to be?

If you are working out hard and still not achieving your goals, you may need to first look at your diet. Remember, you cannot out run the diet. If you feel like you have tried everything from fitness to nutrition and still can’t get to your optimal weight or body composition, please come in and see us at CentreSpring MD. While diet and exercise are crucial to your fitness and wellness goals, you may have nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, or gut dysfunction that is hindering you from achieving your goals.

Let’s partner together to make 2017 the best year yet!

In good health,

Kristin Oja, DNP, FNP-C, PT-C

Kristin Corbin Oja, recently having completed her doctorate of nursing practice, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, registered nurse, personal trainer, and group fitness instructor.

Email to schedule a visit with Kristin Corbin Oja.

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Categories: Health Tips