With the festive season well and truly over, many of us will turn to the age-old tradition of taking stock of our physical condition or assessing the damage our festive over indulgence has wreaked on our bodies and compiling our New Year resolutions, determined to achieve our goals of self improvement. Unfortunately, for most of us, sticking to our resolutions appears to be an impossible mission. A comprehensive study conducted at Bristol University in 2007 discovered that 88% of people who make New Year resolutions never see them through, with 52% of people giving up before January is even over. Fitness related resolutions have statistically the highest chance of failure. The Bristol University study observed that success with fitness related resolutions were not only the hardest to achieve but also that most failures were due to the same few pressure points.
Specifics hold the key
Consistently, the study found that many fitness resolutions were doomed to failure before they had even begun through a combination of a lack of specific, achievable and trackable goals and misjudging current physical capabilities. A resolution as broad as to ‘get fit’ is very difficult to quantify and almost impossible to monitor in any meaningful way. Bristol University discovered that those who approached their resolutions with a measured approach and a clear, staggered plan were over three times more likely to succeed compared to those with a more gung-ho approach. What’s more they were also statistically less likely to succumb to the most cited reason for ending resolutions early – injury. Those participants in the study who had devised a clear plan for their fitness programme were less likely to overestimate their current level of fitness and to take a more gradual approach to training, massively reducing recovery time and avoiding many of the most common injuries.
Get back on the horse!
Even if you have stumbled with your New Year’s resolutions, there is no reason to consign your goals to the scrap heap for another year. Firstly, if you are carrying any injuries, no matter how small – get them seen to by a physio; those small injuries will not disappear and any increase in strain on your body will quickly aggravate them – it’s better to start off with a clean bill of health. Secondly, take the time to properly devise a set of goals and to evaluate exactly where you are with fitness levels and what is a realistic training programme for your current levels. For many, Pilates classes offer the perfect solution to meet those New Year’s resolutions. Suitable for all levels of fitness, Pilates strengthens the body in a controlled and even manner, focusing on core strength all under the watchful eye of a teacher. Class based activities provide a social aspect that Bristol University found to be of tremendous motivational benefit as those who engaged in group based fitness activities stuck with them almost five times longer than those who trained on their own.
Whatever your long term goals are, it’s essential that you map out for yourself a plan that you can stick to and that is physically achievable for you.
At Wolli Creek Physiotherapy & Pilates, you’ll be looked after by highly experienced and passionate young physiotherapists with a range of specialist skills and qualifications. We treat and heal all injuries and pain problems, for all kinds of people.