Many view a new year with the hope and optimism to make positive lifestyle changes. The most popular resolutions involve health and fitness. However, after a year of delayed plans or inconsistent routines regarding physical activity, it may be a challenge, to set realistic health and fitness resolutions. These tips might ease you into a more active lifestyle to help get the year off on the right foot.
Motivation and planning
Finding true motivation is key to making a lasting change. Take time to consider your goals and consult your physician to develop a reasonable plan to achieve them. A physician can provide measurable health milestones to incorporate into your plan and provide expertise regarding how far to safely push your body along the way.
Set small goals
Try the S.M.A.R.T. method that suggests setting small goals throughout the year. These goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Setting small, achievable goals relevant to the overall resolution may help track success as the year progresses. As these goals are met, the frequency and intensity of your activities can be adjusted to grow your commitment, moving you through milestones at a pace that is right for you.
Be mindful of your body
When introducing more physically demanding activities into your routine, don’t forget to incorporate pre- and post-stretching to keep muscles flexible and strong. Flexibility is important for two reasons: It promotes healthy joints with good range of motion and helps keep muscles limber and ready for action. Lack of stretching may cause muscles to become shortened, stiff, and prone to preventable injuries.
Acknowledge your wins, however big or small
Most importantly, remember to reward your accomplishments by doing something enjoyable while continuing to move forward. Acknowledging small wins can boost confidence and create motivation to continue to stick to your plan.