Ready, Set, Go!

Joined a gym as part of your New Year’s Resolution?

By Tanya Davies

So, you joined a gym for your 2019 New Year’s Resolution, congratulations! You might not want to hear this, but most gyms see their membership double in January. Three months later? Their numbers are back to pre-January levels. But you don’t have to be part of that statistic. We are here to help you, by sharing tips and strategies for sticking to your fitness resolution.

Start with a physical evaluation

The best way to stay injury free when you start your new fitness plan? Get a physical evaluation first. “During an evaluation, an Athletic Therapist will see if you have any biomechanics that are not working efficiently,” explains Fayez Abdulrahman, a Certified Athletic Therapist at Premier Performance in Montreal and with Diving Canada. “We need to deal with any issue first as it could cause injury and slow down your goal achievement, which will reduce your incentive to keep at it.”  

Have a realistic goal

Don’t plan on running a marathon in three months if you haven’t run since Grade 7 cross country. “If your goal is unattainable, you will lose motivation,” says Fayez and there is a good chance you will drop your fitness plan. Instead, choose something more realistic, such as completing a 10 km run in six months. That way, you can start training gradually – which will help you achieve your goal, stay engaged in being active and remain injury free.

Have a specific goal

Similar to the last tip, you are more likely to achieve your fitness goal if it is specific and you have a realistic timeframe in mind. So, instead of saying “I want to start running and getting fit,” give yourself a specific goal. For example, running a charity 5 km race in four months, or completing a try-a-triathlon by the end of August. You are more likely to reach your goal, and you will be so pumped to do it in your timeframe.

Choose something that interests you

Sure, all your friends do spinning classes and rave about it. But if it doesn’t interest you, there is less chance that you will stick with it. Pick an activity that you know you already enjoy or have wanted to try. “You are more likely to continue with an activity if you enjoy it,” says Fayez. “The better you adhere to your goals, the better the result.”

Ask for help

There is nothing quite as intimidating as walking into a gym and seeing everyone working out on the equipment and you don’t even know where to start. Gym staff understand that, and are there to show you how to use the equipment or how to modify exercises in a class. An Athletic Therapist can also help you develop a fitness program. “There are ATs that specialize in strength conditioning and movement,” explains Fayez. “They can provide you with specific details for your fitness to keep you on track and help prevent injuries.”

Don’t be too hard on yourself

So you missed a session at the gym – you either slept through it or just didn’t have the energy to get there. Don’t worry, that happens even to the most dedicated athlete. The key is to go back the next day. “The hardest part about achieving your goal is staying consistent,” says Fayez. “Real lasting results take time to achieve; stay patient and continue the step-by-step process. Each time it will get easier.” And before you know it, you aren’t part of the statistic that drops out of their fitness resolution in three months – congratulations!

Contributing Athletic Therapist
Fayez Abdulrahman

B. Sc. CAT (C)

Fayez a obtenu son diplôme en Sciences de l’exercice/Thérapie du sport de l'Université Concordia en 2006 et est spécialiste agréé de la force et du conditionnement physique de la National Strength and Conditioning Association depuis 2007. Il travaille activement dans le domaine du conditionnement physique à titre d'entraîneur personnel (depuis 2003) et de thérapeute du sport (depuis 2004), aidant les gens à atteindre leurs buts et à rester motivés.