Let’s Move Quad Cities: Resolving to get healthier? Think big picture

MOLINE, Illinois — You've decided to get healthier in 2019; Great - you are in good company as it is largely considered the number one most popular resolution Americans make.

"My recommendation is, make lifestyle changes. Make this a change forever," said Dr. Andrew Bries, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at ORA Orthopedics.

Patients ask Dr. Bries all the time about how they can make a new change, whether it be a new year’s resolution or just a change to make themselves healthier.  He says it's important to start slow.

"If you haven't played basketball in 20 years and you decide you're going to play basketball three times a week, probably not a good idea. If you've never lifted weights before, don't go to the gym and start out on the bench press and rep 100 lbs 10 times," said Dr. Bries.

Not only can aggressive changes be harder to maintain, according to Dr. Bries, they can also land patients in the doctors office.

Two Rivers YMCA in Moline expects an influx of people coming to the gym on New Year's Day.

"I just decided, before New Year's Day, I would get a jump on it and jump on this," said Kathleen "Kathy" Sonneville, motioning to her treadmill at Two Rivers YMCA. Sonneville suffered two hairline fractures in the summer, upending her routine. She says now is the time to get her back her "previous life".

"I think it should be a priority at any age, but particularly at my age. After my injury I had to depend on a lot of people and couldn't do for myself and I didn't like that," said Sonneville, a resident of Moline.

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend small changes, consistent exercise and doing something every day.

"Probably one of the best ways is actually just to take a look in the mirror. The number on the scale is just a number. There's a reason for your weight," said Dr. Bries, noting water weight alone can make a person's weight fluctuate a few pounds within one day.

Dr. Bries says overall heath is about the big picture and warns people to stay away from singling out one aspect of their health.

If someone wants to "get buff" don't forget about incorporating cardiovascular workouts into your routine and don't ignore a healthy diet.

"You want to look at how you're feeling. How to you look in the mirror? Do you like what you see? Do you feel better about yourself? That's really the best thing to do," said Dr. Bries.

Dr. Bries also recommends utilizing resources to ensure accountability, by using the internet, contacting a friend or asking a trainer for help achieving resolutions.

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