By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Ruben Diaz MD

Exercise, health, wellness. 

It is very common to set up New Year’s resolutions which usually includes starting to do more exercise, lose weight, and be more active in order to take better care of ourselves. 

Usually by March a significant percentage of those New Year’s resolutions have failed for one reason or another.  Lack of time, the weather, injuries, family situations etc. etc. The way our society functions sometimes leaves little time for us to take care of ourselves.

In many cases it is not easy to keep these resolutions, since it requires a modification of our lifestyles. 

Every time I hear a person say that they can sacrifice themselves to do exercise and diet for a few weeks and lose 15-20 pounds, at that point you know (even if they lose those 15-20 pounds) they will eventually gain the weight back and in the process fail in their long term goal.

The changes necessary to achieve your goals should not have to be a sacrifice, those you can only do for certain amount of time, the changes need to be integrated in your activities of daily living. I know easier said than done.

Statistics show:

•Losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution for 2015
•Only 8% of Americans will be successful in achieving their resolution.
•After only one month up to 36% will have failed in their resolutions.

Some Recommendations to be successful:  Set up a program that works for you, if needed, consult your doctor to determine if you are healthy enough to do certain exercises.  There are many variables that can affect the exercises you can do, including among others: Age, Level of fitness, underlying medical conditions, Medications you are using.

If you have heart problems- you need to make sure with your Doctor what are the goals in training, either Subjectively (using for example a Borg Scale) or Objectively (knowing how to measure your maximum heart rate).

If you have multi joint pain like arthritis especially in the hips, knees and back, then learn which exercises will allow you to help without putting too much pressure on the affected joints, and therefore avoid pain that will limit your activities. (For example Stationary bicycles, elliptical, pool programs etc.)

- Don’t over do it.  Start your program initially 2-3 days a week, and slowly progress. 

- Don’t go to extremes. (For example: “I will never eat a donut again” or “I am going to run 5 miles my first day”). 

- Find a buddy with similar goals (help each other stay on track)

- Don’t try to change your whole life overnight. Make one change at a time. 

- Expect initially some muscle soreness.    

There is something called DOMS, Delayed muscle onset soreness which can happen after you start exercising. It may not happen right away, but a few days after you start exercising. 

Learn a proper warm up program and warm down program to avoid injuries.

Stay healthy. If you don’t take care of yourself nobody else will. 

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