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6 Tips to Help You Stick With a New Exercise Plan

If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more, good for you! At Clifton Foot & Ankle Center, we believe that regular exercise is one of the keys to living a healthy, happy life. “I will exercise more,” however, is kind of a vague declaration. You’re more likely to stick with a resolution if you lay out some specifics.

Here are six ideas to get you going:

  1. Don’t set your sights too high. If you begin with an “I’m-gonna-crush-every-workout!” attitude, you may be setting yourself up for failure and injury. Start slowly. Build gradually. Board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm is no stranger to patients who come to our Fairfax County podiatry office with heel pain, shin splints, ankle sprains, or stress fractures because they tried to do too much too soon.
  2. Enlist a friend or family member to join you. Peer pressure can work when it comes to exercise. If you know your walking partner is waiting for you outside her front steps at 5:30 a.m., you’re more likely to roll out of bed and get it done.
  3. Get the right gear. The proper clothing can keep your body temperature comfortable. More importantly, get the right athletic shoes for your activity and make sure they fit well.
  4. Add variety. Cross-training not only gives some muscles a break, but it also minimizes your boredom factor.
  5. Enlist a personal trainer. A private trainer or one that comes with your gym membership teaches you how to train safely and effectively. He or she can be very motivating when your resolve slacks off.
  6. Change your mindset. Avoid an all-or-nothing attitude. Set small goals and celebrate each one (e.g. 5 pushups or a 2-mile run). Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t let a bad day keep you from trying again. When you recognize that results don’t come immediately, you’re more likely to stick around to see the actual results over time.

When you resolve to exercise, you’re that much closer to a life free of overweight and the perils of diabetes. Your muscles and bones stay strong and help you prevent falling. Exercise has even been proven to help symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, if exercising causes your feet or ankles any pain, let us check it out before it gets worse. Call us at (703) 996-3000 for an appointment at our office in Centreville, Virginia.

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