Healthy first steps towards a New Year’s resolution

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Health and wellness New Year’s resolutions are as eminent as the sunrise, and — unfortunately — given up on as eminently as the sunset. Dr. James Stirton, the lead chiropractor of Winters Family Chiropractic, sheds some light on how to get an early start on these resolutions and stay dedicated to them day in and day out.

While the pursuit of one’s fitness goals as a New Year’s resolution is admirable, some people have a difficult time sticking to them for countless reasons. They range from some people getting discouraged at not seeing results in a timely manner, not resembling the Instagram fitness models they idolize, self-doubting themselves into the couch, or even going too hard at the gym out the gate and injuring themselves because their bodies aren’t acclimated to the rigors of fitness training.

“We shouldn’t bite off more than we can chew, but we should definitely bite off enough that we can chew regularly because trying to keep this connective tissue healthy is maintained through a regular care process and nutrition. So, before working out and lifting weights takes place, there are a few boxes that need to be checked,” explained Stirton. “Check with your doctor is the number one thing I’d say is missed. Also, my sister just ran a marathon, and people drop out of that kind of training because of how important regular care and nutrition are. It’s the same idea for a sedentary body to go to an active state like working out at a gym or running or whatever the New Year’s resolution is. That’s another folly I see. People don’t prep their tissues enough. Care in the connective tissues of your back and frame is an important thing to prep before you start putting a bunch of stress on it.”

To Stirton, people must realize that their body takes time to change which is why he recommends those set on health and wellness New Year’s resolutions get started on them now to build resilience. While a ‘gung-ho’ attitude is beneficial and bolsters confidence, perhaps a ‘gung-slow’ attitude is better suited for the initial approach to one’s health and wellness. After all, fitness is a lifestyle and not a finish line to be crossed and forgotten about.

“I’d say start with stretching and yoga, and maybe taking a joint supplement to help feed your flexible tissues the right stuff. Then they start stretching and become more flexible before you jump into your gym resolution in January. Start now and earlier because people will go in and wreck themselves in the first week,” said Stirton. “You can really have a better experience you can stick with if you did a little bit of ongoing stretching. I’d say it’s possibly the most important thing to do is to have a good prep and then you won’t get such problems in your tissues and back.”

Stirton analogizes stretching and prepping oneself before indulging in a fitness New Year’s resolution to spring training in baseball. While the average person isn’t putting out professional athletes’ levels of exertion, the idea of body preparation is essentially the same. One can even see the remainder of December as the New Year’s resolution ‘pre-season.’

“Health is the journey,” said Stirton. “You stay healthy while you’re doing the journey. If you stop the journey, you take the first steps towards ending the journey and being no longer able to journey.”

For added assistance and information, there are a number of Express articles in the past featuring Stirton breaking down foam rolling, regular stretching and yoga. For more information in general, call at 530-795-4500 or email Dr. Stirton directly at It’s like the good doctor always says, “If you’re not certain, ask Dr. Stirton.”

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