Jan. 2008 – Get Back on Track for the New Year

Get back on Track for the New Year

OK, so maybe it is cliché to talk about the New Year’s weight loss and exercise resolution…but we all know we are thinking it, right?  So, I decided to compile some facts and motivational tips to get us all started in the right direction for 2008.

From Today in PT December 2007 issue, “two-thirds of the country’s adult population are classified as overweight or obese…A recent study found that obesity can cut life expectancy by as much as 13 years, becoming a greater threat than smoking, which reduces an average life span by 10 years.  Obesity increases the risk for chronic ailments such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, some forms of cancer, and joint disorders such as osteoarthritis and gout….It is also known that lack of exercise is a major contributing factor to obesity rates….According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of overweight and obese children has doubled in the past two decades.”

So what is stopping us!!!???
It is important to identify the barriers in our lives that make it difficult to take good care of ourselves.  Is it lack of time? Childcare and work schedules? Afraid of hurting something or not knowing how to start? It just takes so much energy?  My spouse won’t like the healthy fare I prepare? Drained by everything else in life?  Write a list of the things that make it difficult on the left side of a sheet of paper.  On the right, try to come up with some solutions.  Get your family involved and let them know you need their support with taking care of your health.  This is a great time to write family goals and plans.  Come up with a family schedule that works in exercise for everyone…and put it in your calendar like any other appointment!     

If you are struggling with finding solutions to any exercise barriers, call your trusty Physical Therapist.  We love to help trouble shoot difficult situations….for example:

“I have a baby/child and I can’t find time to myself to exercise.” Try making exercise into a game.  Here’s one song you can use to play with your baby and work out your abs and arms at the same time…of course be sure your baby has the proper head control/support and if you aren’t sure, give us a call. 

There was the Duke of York, He had 10 thousand men(bounce baby on your lap)
He marched them up to the top of the hill (lift baby up in the air while holding your abs in/your back stays still)
And marched them down again (baby back down to your lap)
‘Cause when you’re up, your up (baby up)
And when you’re down you’re down (baby down)
And when you’re only half way up, (baby ½ way up)
You’re neither up (baby up) nor down! (baby down)
Your physical therapist can design exercises that you and your baby will both enjoy and both get exercise from at the same time!  We are trained in exercise prescription for infants through older adults and understand the precautions and developmental stages.  And we have more fun songs and games to teach!  Remember, a little here and there goes a long way!  Try dancing with your toddler for 10 minutes a day!

You don’t have enough time to strengthen, stretch and do cardiovascular exercise – let us show you how to make your exercises into a “circuit training” routine.  You switch from one exercise to the next before your heart rate can slow down which can keep you in a cardiovascular exercise mode.  

Be sure you are keeping your heart rate in your cardiovascular exercise target zone.  A simple calculation for target cardiovascular exercise heart rate zone:
(220 – Your Age) x .5 = low number to count as cardiovascular exercise
(220 – Your Age) x .8 = highest number that counts as cardiovascular exercise

Remember, you CAN exercise too hard which takes you out of your cardiovascular exercise zone.  If you have heart problems or are/or have been extremely athletic, you may need a more specific calculation based on your rate of perceived exertion or based on your resting heart rate.  Give us a call and we can explain the specifics.  Our Physical Therapists are trained to monitor vital signs and modify exercises for people with complicated medical conditions and with high level athletic goals. 

Click here or call to find out if physical therapy is recommended for you and if your health insurance would cover these services.  Please tell us about your medical history, your goals, and your health insurance and we’ll get help you figure out how to get started! 

Other Resources

  1. The Weight Control Information Network:  www.win.niddk.nih.gov
  2. Center for Disease Control Information on Weight loss and obesity: