The New Year is a time of NEW beginnings, NEW opportunities, and a chance to RENEW your focus on things that really matter to you! January brings feelings of guilt and anxiety as we put together a list of resolutions or maybe rolling over last year’s resolutions. For most, working out more rises the top of the list yet the determination quickly fades. Why?
We all know that some form of physical activity is necessary for optimal health and provides more benefits than just looking good. But do you know the specific criteria? You might be surprised.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week (CDC, 2015). Alarmingly, an estimated 300,000 deaths every year in the United States are related to physical inactivity and poor diet. Regular exercise and proper nutrition can help prevent many chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. Exercise also helps prevent osteoporosis and has many mental health benefits including improved self-esteem and stress reduction (CDC, 2015).
Even with the knowledge that exercise is good for us, many fall short of their goal to be more physically active. While we all face the same barriers to getting more exercise why is it that some can overcome their obstacles while others simply let their fitness and health goals fall by the wayside? The answer is certainly different for everyone; however, the difference between those who pursue their fitness goals and those who don’t is a mindset.
With a shift in mindset, THIS year, THIS month, THIS day, THIS very moment can be the start of a healthier and happier life!
Ready to make 2018 the start of healthy and sustainable lifestyle routine? Then, check out my best tips on how to make a regular physical activity work for your lifestyle!
Ask yourself, “why am I doing this?”
- Fitness is not one size fits all- what makes a workout great for one person may not translate into a good workout for you. When deciding on a fitness program keep in mind the reason that lead you to exercise in the first place. Maybe you are using exercise to keep yourself strong and energized so that you chase your kids or grandchildren around, or maybe your workout is the one hour in your day that you set aside just for you. Whatever your motivation, keep reminding yourself that exercise is supposed to enhance your life, not detract from it. Remember: exercise is not a punishment for your body, it is a celebration of your strength and capabilities!
Find your fit
In order to remain consistent fitness must be something you enjoy. Ok so every workout won’t feel great all the time, but if you find a class or type of exercise you prefer more than others it is easier to remain accountable to yourself and your fitness plan. We are only likely to repeat behaviors that we enjoy doing, so make your workout an appointment that you look forward to!
Shake it up!
Working out can, at times, feel monotonous and boring. Mix up your fitness routine with a variety of classes and training methods to keep the workouts fun- this will give you more to look forward to in your training sessions! Most gyms and fitness studios offer free passes to first-time clients, so shop around and try out as many different classes as you can until you find the ones you like!
All or nothing?
- A workout program does not need to be “go hard, or go home!” seven days a week. In fact, too much overly-strenuous exercise can lead to overtraining and exhaustion, which will actually set your fitness progress back. There is a big difference between pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in order to break through to the next level during a hardcore workout session, and demanding more of your body than it is able to give. Rest is part of any well-balanced fitness plan and should be accorded the same level of significance as your workouts. While working out 5-6 days per week is recommended in order to sustain healthy changes over time, that doesn’t mean that all six days should be high-intensity workouts. To achieve optimal results, try a basic formula of 3 days per week of strict cardio (such as spin, running, or swimming for 45 minutes to an hour), 2 days a week of strength training (using weights), and one day of active recovery such as yoga or pilates. Remember: it is better to a little bit of exercise on a regular basis, thank to do a LOT of exercises all at once. Keeping your fitness consistent and enjoyable is the key to making exercise a sustainable lifestyle habit.
Set yourself up for success!
- Be your own best advocate by finding the right form of exercise for you, and loving yourself enough to feed and move your body in ways that foster optimal health. Start from a place of self-love, not punishment, and start to see your mindset shift. Let’s do this, 2018!