Fitness is one New Year’s resolution that we tend to see year after year. Often times it tends to be so popular because it is one of the hardest to make stick; we’re here to share some unique goals to keep you on track for 2020!

Our team is made up of a wide range of athletes; from yogis to marathoners to crossfitters – we asked some of our experts how the New Year is taking their fitness goals to the next level.

Q: What are your health and fitness goals for 2020?

Dr Adam Altman, DC, Southport Chiropractor: To work out 5-7 days a week consisting not only of resistance training, but yoga, swimming, and biking. I want to incorporate more styles of training and focus on keeping work outs to 30 min-1 hr for short training days and 2-3 hrs on my long training days (long workouts 2-3x per week).

Amanda Gade, Patient Coordinator: Running the Disney Marathon in a few weeks! Running has always been my main thing, so I would also like to get better at other fitness activities. I have been going to cycling and yoga classes every week for the past few months. I am hoping I continue to get better at those two activities because I really enjoy both of them. I am also trying to make a habit of meditating every day!

Dr. Blake Butler, DC, Functional Medicine Provider in Wicker Park and River North: I plan to maintain the “two day rule”. Quite simply, I will not go more than two consecutive days without exercising. This is a non-rigid reminder to keep moving!

JR De Leon, Southport Rehab Specialist: For 2020, I want to gain muscle mass and improved body composition. With this goal, I want to be able to increase strength in my lifts, improve functionality, and improve overall biomechanics.

Dr. Patrick Morris, DC, Vernon Hills Chiropractor: After spending almost a year struggling to recover from an injury (Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome) I’m finally getting my fitness back in line. Last year I had to defer an entry to one of the Midwest’s toughest 100 mile runs, Cry Me A River (hot, humid and about 23,500 feet of elevation gain). With that as the goal race, I designed a plan to ramp up my fitness/mileage to get a finish within the 36 hour time limit including a 10K in January, 50K in May, 8 Hour timed event in April, a 100K in June, culminating with the 100 mile in July.

With the races in place, the work could start. I have allowed my weight to creep way back up from what would be ideal, and where I was when I ran a BQ marathon 6 years ago. I haven’t exercised consistently (running or cross training) in almost a year. To say I have myself behind the eight ball would be an understatement. I decided that in order to get a good start with January resolutions, I would have to start in December 1st and have some momentum at the New Year.


Q: Any goals on nutrition specifically?

Dr. Altman, DC: Eat more plants. Decrease meat consumption to 1-2 times per week while increasing bean/legume/ healthy fats from plants. Be more diligent with my supplement taking as well.

Amanda: I would like to get better at mixing it up more day-to-day with what I’m eating, and I would also like to get better at creating fun smoothie recipes. I have a Nutribullet and I need to use it more!

JR: My goal for “bulking season” is to gain ten pounds. I have been leaning more towards a plant-based diet, but I am not restricted on what I can eat. With this goal, I want to stick to healthier choices of eating – whether it be following a training plate, cutting down processed foods, or counting macros. By the time summer comes, I want to use this energy source and gain muscle and be leaner.

Dr. Morris: Fitness was my first goal starting in December. I began tracking my food with an app, I’ve used this method successfully in the past to drop over 50 pounds (most of which I’ve put back on). The thought was to get an idea of where my nutrition was hurting me. I began to run again, trying to slowly build back my daily/weekly mileage, as well as strength training. Ideally I lift 3X/week (whole body strength training split over 3 days). I also am focusing on improving my climbing fitness (with 23K of climbing in the goal race, pretty important) by using lunges and stair climber when I can’t make it to local trails with hills.

December was successful, dropped about 4 pounds just on increasing exercise and no significant dietary changes. Every 2-3 weeks I run a 5 mile route from home to test my fitness which I’ve never increased my pace at a similar HR effort by over a minute and a half.

Q: What fitness trends do you see taking off in 2020?

Dr Altman, DC: Meditation is the major one that appeals to me, because in a fast paced world of technology chronic stress is a great challenge. Re-centering myself is important mental/neurological health. Also trips focused on exercise: I am completing an ultra marathon in March in the Grand Canyon.

Amanda: I think that treadmill running classes are becoming more popular, and that meditation definitely is too. I have always wanted to try a treadmill running class, like Runner’s High in Chicago! I’ve heard good things about it. I am also currently trying to get better at meditating–I really like the app Calm!

Dr. Butler, DC: “Fitness focused trips” aren’t necessarily new when you consider that people have been traveling to National and State Parks to hike, climb, and kayak for years. However, I believe that more people will continue to get outside and travel with the intent of moving well and stepping away from the digital clutter that takes up so much our our head-space.

JR: I have a few friends that teach in a Vertical Climbing studio, and each week more participants come. It has been noticed in the news and it has been a topic of discussion between my friends and I and others. I would want to try this out a couple more times this year as it is an amazing full body cardio and resistance workout.

Dr. Morris: After consulting with Dr. Samsami, I’ve choose an intermittent fasting plan, starting with 16-8 and going from there. I’m also planning to utilize the tracking app to balance my macros to closer to 40/30/30 (carb/protein/fat). I have not run any labs yet, but may just for fun to see what changes as I lose weight and increase my fitness.


Q: What are your goals for cross training?

Amanda: To push my pace more! I tend to get comfortable in certain running paces and want to get better at pushing myself.

JR: I am not a big runner. I do most of my cardio with HIIT training and incorporating days for full body workouts. My goal is to run a 3 miles a week. Lately, I have been getting on the Curve Trainer and running and sprinting a mile here and there.

Dr. Morris: Other goals I’m going to try to incorporate and stay motivated are get back to swimming 1-2X/ week and trying yoga for the first time. Participating in a January “run every day” running streak (minimum of 2 miles) and I may extend the streak if I’m feeling good at the end of January.


Q: Is there any goal or routine that previously paid off that you would recommend to other athletes approaching goal setting in the New Year?

Dr. Altman, DC: Post work out cool down to help reduce stiffness/soreness, and keep compliance up with your goals, because no one wants to work out stiff and sore. How to: 5-15 minutes of stretching, steam room/sauna, followed by a cold shower to shock the nervous system.

Amanda: I would say putting any workouts you’d like to do in your Google Calendar or planner can help hold you accountable and make you more excited to complete that workout. I’ve also heard good things about keeping a running or fitness journal!

JR: When I was first starting getting into fitness, I dreaded going to the gym because of my lack of experience and looking like a fool. I found a time of the day (6:00 a.m.) where the gym was not as crowded as other times in the day, and focused on getting stronger with proper form. Since then, I made it a goal to go workout at 6 in the morning for five days a week. I managed to get good amount of sleep the night before and checked a lot of things off from my To-Do list before classes started. My advice is to find a time of the day that works for you, dedicate that hour or two to your goals, and make it a part of your routine.

Dr. Morris: My biggest recommendation is to be consistent. It takes a continued effort to make big changes, and the short term improvements are harder to notice. I’ve already noticed my fat pants are no longer tight, and my fitness/paces are improving.



Q: How do you plan on sticking to these resolutions?

Dr. Altman, DC: Tracking my workouts via my fitness apps. I use Whoop, and also have an Apple Watch to get real time results monitoring my heart rate/time in work outs.

Amanda: I have always liked to put any runs or workout classes in my Google Calendar and planner, because then I always stick with them. I also think it’s important to remind yourself why you are doing these things–for me, staying in shape keeps me happy, energetic, and focused in all areas of my life.

JR: In terms of nutrition, if I have one day where I end up eating “bad food,” I will focus the next day to eating the healthier options. In terms of cross training, I have dedicated a workout routine for specific days of the week that I plan to follow that most fits which training season I am in.

Dr. Morris: As far as sticking to the resolutions, making myself accountable is the main motivation. I’ve shared my goals with my friends in the Ultra-running community, my family & my patient’s and they will help hold me accountable. Now that you know, I guess you are part of the team to hold me accountable as well.


If you need help achieving your goals, we’re here for you! We understand that keeping resolutions is always hard to do alone. Connect with our team today to schedule an appointment or a free consultation.



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