It’s Time to Re-set Your Fitness Goals – For Real!

 

 

Since the holidays often provide the perfect cover for overdoing it with food, drink and friends – the average weight gain by adults during the end of the year holidays is 2 to 5 pounds — then the start of the New Year is the perfect time to commit ourselves to restoring physical order. Forget about all the resolutions we’ve made – and broken – with the turn of the calendar to make our bodies leaner and our lives healthier. With the right goals and priorities, we can finally make our fitness plan stick, and enjoy the rewards that come from knowing we did something positive for ourselves.

10 Fitness Tips to Put You on Track for a Healthy 2013, and
Well Beyond:
 
  1. Find an activity that you like, and just do it! Walking is one of the best physical activities of all, but there are plenty of others, including jogging, bike riding, dancing, swimming, gardening, even vacuuming, walking up and down the stairs at home or sitting up and down in a chair 20 times. Anything that increases the demand for oxygen is considered aerobic exercise.
  2. Set realistic goals to avoid overpowering or yourself. Once you’ve achieved those   realistic physical (and nutritional) goals, move on to additional ones.
  3. Get an early start each day. Exercise early in the morning – First Lady Michelle Obama works out at 5:30 every morning – and you don’t have to worry about it later in the day. Plus, it will give your metabolism a jump start for the day ahead.
  4. Find a buddy, or partner, (or two or three) to walk or work-out with. These work-out buddies or partners can supply the daily motivation you need.
  5. Use a pedometer to measure your walking (or jogging) progress.
  6. Exercise at least five days a week for 30 minutes a day. This is the minimum requirement for getting and staying in shape. If you don’t have that much time, break it into smaller segments during the course of the day, like two 15-minute intervals, or three 10-minute intervals.
  7. Warm up before exercising. Remember, cold muscles and joints are easier to injure, so it’s important that you spend at least five minutes before you start gently stretching, bending and reaching to awaken the muscles and increase your breathing and heart rate.
  8. Don’t stay glued to the computer or TV screen, days, evenings, or nights. Get up every so often and walk around or do something else active to get your blood flowing and muscles working.
  9. When you’re out shopping, park further away than you normally would, forcing you to walk the extra distance to your destination. The same principle holds if you take the bus or subway: get off a few blocks before your stop and walk the rest of the way.
  10.  Celebrate and reward your successes! With each major fitness goal, or milestone, you reach, give yourself a well-deserved reward. It could be a new outfit, a short trip, an evening out with the family or a friend, or something else that would be special for you.
Above all, get used to the idea that exercise doesn’t have to be work. It can be fun,  especially when (a) you share it with others and (b) you’re working toward a goal. Taking the time to get and stay fit doesn’t require a big chunk of your day. Indeed, staying fit should be a routine part of your day. At the same time, it can help prevent the “holiday blues” if you’re likely to get depressed this time of year. Also, The Health Power Tip Sheet on “Fighting the Holiday Blues” can help.
 
Health Power again wishes all of you and your loved ones a very joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with good health.
 
Following are other Health Power Fitness Tip Sheets from our Food and Fitness Channel:
 

Starting an Exercise Routine or Sport
Walking for Health & Fitness

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