By Dr. Carly Catanese, DPT
Many of you have chosen to get into shape or lose some weight as your New Year’s resolution. How’s it going so far? It’s ok if you’ve gotten off track because it’s never too late to refocus on those goals and resolutions!
I often hear the following from my clients:
- I want to get in shape but don’t know what to do.
- Every time I try to get in shape, I injure myself so I stop working out.
- Fitness classes are great because I don’t have to come up with a routine, but there isn’t enough 1:1 attention.
- I’m going to start running to lose weight.
- I ran before so I am going to start up again, even though I haven’t run in quite a while.
If you’re injury-free and just want to get in shape in support of your resolution, but are unsure of what to do, I recommend you consult with one of our personal trainers. They can do a Functional Movement Screen to see how well you’re moving and where you might be lacking in strength or mobility.
If your trainer sees something that needs further attention from a physical therapist, they’ll refer you to one of us. It’s not uncommon for me to treat a patient for a shoulder issue, while their training focuses on cardio and core strengthening. Being in such close quarters with therapists allows for a team-based approach to overall health! You’ll discuss your goals with your personal trainer and they’ll develop a plan to meet your individual needs.
Resolutions that end in injury
Towards the end of January every year, I start seeing numerous patients with New Year’s resolution injuries. There are a few reasons for that.
For one, fitness classes are extremely popular and class sizes often exceed 20 clients or more. While it’s great to see so many people taking action toward their health, it doesn’t allow for much 1:1 attention. As a result, I’m seeing patients who are compromising their form and therefore their joints, which leads to injury.
If you have an injury before starting a fitness class or as a result of a fitness class, don’t let it go! You want to prevent an acute injury from becoming a chronic issue. Unfortunately, I often see people after their problem has become chronic. Be proactive, and get ahead of the pain! No pain is too little to address with a physical therapist.
Another common injury I see is from running. People often start running because they want to lose weight or because they used to do it and think they can pick up where they left off.
Unfortunately, our bodies don’t work that way! Just because you ran 5 years ago or even 6 months ago, doesn’t mean your body is ready for that kind of load right away. You have to gradually increase your tissue tolerance and perform strengthening exercises in addition to a running program. Running is a whole body workout and our bodies take the path of least resistance. That means if you have a weak low back, instability in your ankle, or stiffness in your mid-back, you may struggle. It’s important you incorporate a well-rounded strength program.
If you’ve been suffering from pain or an injury, whether it’s acute or chronic, you should be proactive and consult with one of our occupational or physical therapists so you can reach your goals safely and more efficiently.
Keep taking care of you!