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3 Tips Your Physical Therapist Wants You To Know For Setting Fitness Goals

3 Tips Your Physical Therapist Wants You To Know For Setting Fitness Goals

by Erik Krol, MOT, OTR/LLeave a Comment

As we enter the time of year when we have warmer weather and longer days, it can be an exciting time for many with a new rush of fresh energy to get outdoors or start a new fitness routine. It can be a daunting feeling, as well, with a new blank slate that needs a starting point. Whatever your goals and energies are focused on for this upcoming year, here are some ideas for helping you set goals for your fitness routine.

Avoid Making Wishes

Avoid making wishes rather than goals; it is important to avoid resolutions that are too vague. For example, in the spirit of health and wellness, simply stating, “This year, I will exercise,” is probably something to avoid. Think about how you will measure this goal. What are your timeframe parameters? Your modes of activities? Your schedule? The point is that being too general can harm compliance and progress.

Avoid Being Too Specific

Fitness goals that are also too specific should be avoided because they do not leave room for anything unexpected or unplanned. An extreme example of this would look like, “I will exercise for 62 minutes, four days a week including all weekends, before 6:30 am”. As impressive as this type of goal is, compliance may be a concern. When the recipe of life changes circumstances, is this goal flexible enough to bend and continue forward with action steps towards progress? Or would the goal fade away without a foundation for dynamic action steps?

Take It One Step At A Time

Lastly, fitness goals that are too large and daunting can also be problematic. Goals should have specificity and be easily measurable; however, what short-term goals will be reached prior to hitting the ambitious mark? For any daunting, consuming task, one small accomplishment at a time is the best way to reach an otherwise seemingly impossible mission.

Setting Yourself Up For Success

While I am not a health or life coach, I am an occupational, and hand therapist, and these tips mentioned above play a pivotal role in what I do with patients with orthopedic injuries. We first look at where their baseline is at, measure and compare to that baseline, and create short and long-term goals before re-measuring and comparing to our baseline. The whole time in therapy, I help provide action steps, and we are constantly changing action steps when our bodies and lives change. Our resolutions are specific (yet adjustable), attainable, and not overly complicated.

Now that you know how to set yourself up for success, go out there and accomplish your goals! And remember, if pain or injury is holding you back from living an active life, our team is here to help you feel your best.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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About the Author:
Erik J. Krol is a Hand Therapist/Occupational Therapist, father of two, runner, and former college athlete. Erik uses his background education in kinesiology and professional training in hand therapy to provide recommendations on preventing injuries during daily roles and routines. Follow Erik's work and interests in remaining healthy and, more importantly, functional to achieve family, work, and personal goals while combating the environmental and aging challenges.

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