Make Foot Health Part of Your New Year’s Resolution!

Text reading "New year's resolutions" on blue background

2022 is almost here! And we’re sure hoping it’ll be a better year than this last one. 

As part of that hope, many people will make New Year’s resolutions, trying to improve themselves as well. “Exercise more” and “lose weight” are among the most common New Year’s resolutions, and while people start out with the best intentions, research shows about 80% will give up after a month or two.

How to keep a New Year’s resolution

The key is setting realistic goals and having a plan. Fitness resolutions often suffer from vagueness and lack of direction. Start off by setting a measurable fitness goal such as:

  • I want to run a marathon by the end of the year
  • Get my blood pressure to a healthy range
  • Go to an exercise class at least once a week

Then, come up with a plan and set milestones, these will give you smaller, manageable goals to celebrate on your fitness journey!

How to start an exercise program

Many people rush into their new, active lifestyle too fast; they hit the treadmill the first week of January after spending the last year sitting at a desk and end up with tendonitis, fasciitis, or stress fractures. Then they have to stop exercising while they recover, never quite go back to it, and their resolutions fail.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend American adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Breaking it down into bite-sized pieces, that’s a brisk 20-minute walk once a day. Or three days of one-hour workout tapes.

Before starting a new activity (like running or lifting weights), consult with your doctor for exercise recommendations that are suitable for your medical history and fitness level. A personal trainer can also be incredibly helpful for people new to working out. 

A personal trainer can teach you suitable exercises for your fitness level, help you with goal setting, and motivate you on your self-improvement journey. 

Exercise program at home

If you aren’t ready to leave the house (or your local gym is still closed), there are plenty of at-home exercise programs and apps you can try! And you don’t even have to invest in expensive exercise equipment.

Body weight exercises can be done right on your living room floor (or a chair or while waiting for the microwave). And even a brisk walk around the block will positively contribute to your wellness and mental health.

Foot and ankle injury prevention

Man stretching leg in living room

Injury prevention is an important part of our practice at University Foot & Ankle Institute. We want people to exercise, participate in sports, and be healthy; but it’s important to take steps to avoid injury. Stretch before, and even more importantly, after you exercise.

Outline your exercise plan thoroughly. In most cases, it’s a good idea to cross-train. Pick a blend of activities and avoid pounding out the same exercise routine on a daily basis. As you mix it up, you will use different muscle groups, minimize the risks of stress fractures and overuse injuries, and increase your chances of continuing to exercise! Mixing up your routine prevents boredom and makes you less likely to quit!

For proper foot health, make sure you have the right footgear, and shoes that are not overly worn. If you don’t have a good, supportive shoe that is fit for your activity, give yourself a present for the holidays – go to a local running store to get fitted appropriately. New shoes will also need a gradual break-in process, so give them a week or two before you take them on a 20-mile run.

Happy New Year!

It’s a wonderful time of year. If you’re fortunate enough to spend time with family and loved ones, enjoy it! Set smart goals and you’ll be reaping the health benefits in no time!

And our team here at University Foot & Ankle Institute welcomes your injury prevention questions, footwear concerns, or for treatment if you have foot or ankle pain.

Why choose University Foot and Ankle Institute for your foot and ankle care?

If you’re experiencing foot pain or other foot problems, we’re here to help. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle doctors offer the most advanced foot care and the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

At University Foot and Ankle Institute, we take our patients’ safety seriously. Our facility’s Covid-19 patient safety procedures exceed all CDC recommendations. Masks are required in our institutes at all times.

For more information or to schedule a consultation in the greater Los Angeles area, please call (877) 736-6001 or make an appointment now.

University Foot and Ankle Institute is conveniently located throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area as our foot doctors are available at locations in or near Santa Monica (on Wilshire Blvd.), Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Northridge, Downtown Los Angeles, Westlake Village, Granada Hills, and Valencia California, to name a few.

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