When the New Year begins, people begin to set goals and make resolutions. Losing weight, getting to the gym more often, or getting into "better shape" are all common. These all require increasing your amount of physical activity. More activity is great for your health, energy levels, sleep, and mood.
 
However, ramping up your activity level too quickly after a holiday season of eating, drinking and being merry can lead to pain, injury and disappointment if your body isn't ready for it. 
 
You can readily find exercise programs online and in magazines that can motivate you to achieve your new fitness goals. If you are not experienced at onboarding and ramping up your fitness levels, you may be placing yourself at risk for injury. Your physical therapist is an expert in human movement, and can help you safely reach your fitness goals. People think of PTs as the person to see after an injury, but a visit before you change your activity level could prevent injury in the first place. An evaluation by your PT will include assessment of your strength, range of motion, and functional movement patterns -- think jumping, running, squatting, carrying. 
 
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Most common injuries from new fitness routines are caused by underlying weakness, range of motion deficits, or compensatory movement patterns. Your PT will find these during your assessment. They can then prescribe exercises or movements to address the issues found and get you safely moving into the New Year!
 
The other common way people get injured while working towards their resolution is with over-training, or doing too much too soon. Physical therapists are also experts in exercise prescription and program design. Your PT can help you create a routine specific to your needs and goals that will progress appropriately and keep you out of trouble, especially if you do not have the experience to determine this yourself.
 
Don’t overdo it!
 
So stop only thinking of your PT after you're injured. In this case, it's true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Seeing your physical therapist before you start on your resolution can keep you on track, injury free, and help you reach your goals for the New Year! 
 
The therapists at Joint Motion Physical Therapy use advanced manual therapeutic techniques, scientific based therapeutic exercise approach and a caring personality to provide treatments to most musculoskeletal and neurological conditions in their outpatient facility located at 373 Park Ave in Scotch Plains, NJ. 
 
This location is conveniently located directly across the street from the Stage House Restaurant and shares an ample, handicap accessible parking lot with the Scotch Plains Library behind the practice. The skilled therapists at Joint Motion Physical Therapy can be reached for an appointment by phone at 908-322-3202, or by email at frontoffice@jointmotionpt.com. For more information, visit www.jointmotionpt.com or Facebook.