5 easy fitness resolutions
These five simple and attainable resolutions will help you fit exercise into your life, make healthier nutrition choices and enjoy healthy living in the new year
Don’t set your sights too high
Everyone knows exercise and good nutrition are important for health and well-being. No surprises there. However, executing a fitness and healthy-eating plan can prove challenging for many of us. The trouble is that at the beginning of every new year, many of us make unrealistic resolutions to work out more and eat better. But let’s get real-most of us can’t achieve Halle Berry’s body in two months. Instead of making pie-in-the-sky plans, set your sights on these five achievable fitness resolutions.
1. Move more in your daily life
Instead of fixating on getting to the gym every day, try to incorporate movement into your daily life. An easy way to do this is by walking. Invest in a pedometer to monitor how many steps you take on an average day. Then challenge yourself to increase your number of steps each day. Eventually you want to aim for 10,000 steps a day. Don’t panic – it sounds harder then it actually is.
2. Make exercise more fun
Many people go to the gym day after day to do the same old boring routine. That makes exercise a chore you don’t like to do, which can hinder your results-it’s no surprise that you might get discouraged and stop working out altogether. The solution is to turn exercise into something you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick to it. Here are some ideas:
1. Join a local sports team
2. Download an audio book or podcast and listen to something engaging as you work out.
3. Use exercise to challenge yourself-learn to surf, enroll in a hip hop class or take fencing lessons.
4. Make an exercise date with your significant other. Do a partner yoga class, go for a bike ride or go for a hike in the ravine.
3. Keep a food and exercise journal for two weeks
Logging what you eat and how much you exercise will help you become more aware of your decisions-you’ll be forced you to think twice about snacking on a doughnut or skipping your workout.
To start, write down your exercise and nutrition goals and log your progress over a period of two weeks. At the end of this time, compare your targets to your actions-this will help you see whether or not your goals were realistic.
4. Do three high-intensity cardio workouts every week
The purpose of these workouts is to get your heart rate up, strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve your stamina and burn more calories. To start, try interval training. This involves working hard for two minutes (example: power walking or running) and then recovering for three minutes by doing the same activity at an easier pace. Repeat this cycle for twenty or thirty minutes. Another option: Jump rope for 10 minutes every morning and evening. Skipping gives you a great cardio workout with a lot of benefit in a short amount of time.
5. Strength train two times every week
Strength training is extremely important as it helps build bone density, improves posture, strengthens core muscles to prevent back pain and allows you to stay fit as you age. Aim to do a minimum of 30 minutes of strength training, twice a week. Don’t worry if you are crunched for time-you don’t need to go to the gym to reap the rewards of strength training. Purchase an exercise ball and use soup cans to do a free weight routine at home. You can also find ways to incorporate strength moves into your daily life. For example, standing on one leg while brushing your teeth or doing the dishes will challenge your balance and core muscles. You can also do push-ups, planks, bridges and dips in your living room while you are watching TV.