Chances are that you created at least one New Year’s resolution. Did you vow to maintain weight management/lose weight, get fit, eat a healthier diet or improve your athletic training? We are a month into the new year. Have you adhered to your resolution(s)? Or, has your promise already slipped to the wayside?
Creating resolutions is the easy part. Sticking to your resolutions is difficult.
Don’t fret. Here are a few suggestions to help you persevere.
- Start making healthier food choices. Consulting a dietitian for nutrition advice may help. Healthy eating is an essential part of a good fitness or bone and joint health program. A person who works out a lot but does not nourish the body properly could be sabotaging or hiding the fruits of his labor. Dee Sandquist, MSRD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, advises having a general plan, and investing some time in advance to make it happen. “Taking five minutes on the weekend to plan your food for the week can pay huge dividends,” she says. “Look at your schedule for the upcoming week, and find out how many meals you’ll be eating in and how many meals you’ll be eating out. Make a list, and then go to the grocery store.” Planning works regardless of your dietary goal. Some people may prefer to work on reducing fat in their diet, adding fruits and vegetables, watching portions, eating at a slower pace, or curbing junk food.
- Exercise in the right way. Unless you are starring in a Gatorade commercial, you don’t need to bench press double your weight nor run a mile in under 6 minutes each morning. For the average person, a good athletic training program consists of exercises that work out the whole body – including your bones and joints. A cardio workout improves the function and health of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Weight-bearing exercises improve your bone and joint health while enhancing the function of your muscles and connective tissues. Because bodies are living, breathing matter, they need to be stimulated in order to become more fit. This means exercise is ideally done just outside your comfort zone in order to improve.
- Exercise does not have to be boring either. Unfortunately, as people grow up, they lose the connection between fun and movement – “playtime.” Think about the kind of person you are and what you like to do. Some people may love going to the gym while others prefer to play club/team sports. Still others like walking the dog around the neighborhood or playing tag with their kids at the playground. Getting your children involved benefits not only you by adding fun to your fitness and athletic training routine, but it also teaches your kids the importance of exercise!
If you’ve totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Getting fit is a marathon, not a sprint. No one expects you to change your habits overnight – and you shouldn’t expect yourself to either.
I wish you a continuous healthy and happy new year!
To learn more about Fitness for Health’s exercise programs or how we can help you – and your whole family – accomplish your fitness goals in 2018, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org.