Body & Mind
Ten tips for new year workout resolution
'There are far, far better things ahead, than any we leave behind.'
The first day of the year symbolizes a new start for many people - a time to clean out the failed resolutions from the previous year and a chance to go at it again. If a healthier 2019 is what you want, keep that desire strong throughout the year. New habits are not born overnight; you have to keep working at them.
These are my top 10 tips for a healthy new year. Implementing some of these ideas may help you toward your 2019 goals:
Start slowly: The key to sustaining regular exercise is to not be too ambitious at the start of your program, maybe 15 to 20 minutes a day for the first couple of months - so that you're able to comfortably build the new routine into your schedule without it overcoming you.
Share your goals with the people in your life: Share what you are doing with the people around you. Having the support of others can both inspire you and hold you accountable. You may even inspire others to join you on your journey. The more social contact you have during exercise, the more likely you'll stick with it.
Keep it simple: Don't make exercising harder than it has to be. Keep the exercise program simple enough to make sure that preparing for your workout routine doesn't require loads of time. The less convenient and portable the exercise routine is, the more likely you're going to quit before the next month begins.
Find your favourite way: There is a principle in exercise science called FITTE. It is an acronym for Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type, and Enjoyment. Do whatever will make you move. Just because you know things like running and jumping are great cardio does not mean they have to be your thing.If you are not sure what you would enjoy, try a variety of activities until you find one that sticks.
No excuses: There are days when you're going to wake up and feel like the world is upside-down. This sounds like a good reason for skipping the exercise routine, but is precisely the reason you should exercise that day. Stress, depression, and fatigue can all be improved upon with a few minutes of exercise. It will change your brain chemistry and make you feel better.
Something is always better than nothing: I hear the question all the time, "if I can only get to the gym for half an hour, is it worth it?" My answer is always a resounding, "Yes! It is worth it!" You can get a lot done in half an hour and it keeps you in the habit of exercising.
Exercise at the same time of the day: Researchers have noted that people who have a regular time of the day that they workout have a higher rate of sticking with their program. Find the time of day that works for you. For individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, later in the day might work better since there is usually more stiffness in the morning.
Mix It up: If you like variety, mix up your exercise routine every other day of the week. Hit the gym on weekends when you are not frantically trying to get ready for work or get the family out the door. During the week, wake up an extra half-hour early and do some stretching and strengthening exercises, or do 15 minutes before and after work to get in your 30 minutes of regular physical activity.
Formulate achievable goals and milestones: Instead of formulating your ultimate goal as what you are working toward, break your goal down into achievable milestones. If you want to lose 30 pounds, think of it as a goal of losing five pounds a month for six months. If you want to add muscle mass, you can aim for putting on a pound of muscle a month.
Use a calendar to keep track of your progress: Place a calendar on your refrigerator door and mark an 'X' in the box or record the number of steps that you take each day. Don't worry about missing a few days here and there, we all do. Set a monthly goal that you'll exercise 20 out of 30 days a month, and if you go higher, that's great, but at least you won't set yourself up for failure by claiming that you are going to exercise every day.
Stick with your resolutions, great things can happen!