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Top Tips From A Physical Therapist To Stay On Your Exercise Program All Year Long

Exercise and fitness-related New Year's resolutions are always popular. Riding the new year momentum makes starting an exercise program in January easy. But, where are you now?

Sticking to it can be hard now that it's well into spring. Life gets busy, motivation drops, and the excitement has worn off. Time magazine has estimated that 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by February. To keep you from being a part of that 80% and going strong all year, we asked Dr. Theresa Marko for her best tips on exercising through the dips and into spring and summer.

Set realistic goals. Start with small, achievable goals and increase them gradually. Make winning easy, which helps you build motivation and an exercise habit. For some people, that might mean starting with a daily 10-minute walk. For others, a tiny goal like putting on their walking shoes or doing one pushup is the right starting point

Do activities you enjoy. Exercise isn't punishment. Choose activities that are fun. These could include running, walking the dog, dancing, swimming, kickboxing, or playing a sport.

Schedule it. Schedule your workouts like you would any other important appointment. When people ask you to do something else during that time, say, "Sorry, I've got an appointment."

Don't go it alone. Having someone waiting for you at the gym really motivates you to get there. Support helps push you to work harder and motivates you when you're feeling down. Your support could be a friend, the other people in a group fitness class, or a trainer.

Mix it up. Try a new class. If you usually run at the same pace, try intervals. Walk a different route. Doing the same thing repeatedly gets boring and leads to burnout. Keep things interesting to stay interested.

Track your progress. Bonus points if you find a way to make it visual. Our brains love to see tasks checked off, a chart or numbers going up, and rings closing. Seeing how far you've come is a great motivator. Keep track of your workouts in a journal, make a spreadsheet, or use an app or fitness tracker.

Bribes work. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Set a goal to work out 3 times this week and treat yourself to your favorite coffee when you do. Buy yourself a new workout outfit, get a massage, or anything else to help you stay motivated when you reach milestones.

Adjust. Don't push yourself too hard, especially when you're starting out. If you're feeling tired and sore, take the intensity down. Plan rest days into your routine. Don't make your goal and plan so rigid that it's impossible to complete in the real world.

Forgive yourself! Everyone has setbacks. You're going to get sick, or you're going to miss a workout. That's okay. Pick yourself up and get back on track. You can reach your fitness goals with the right mindset and a little perseverance.


If you would like help with an exercise program to meet your needs, Marko Physical Therapy can help.

Make an appointment today with a physical therapist. We have in-person and telehealth appointments available.

A physical therapist can help you Restore Your Body!


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