One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is getting healthy and exercising regularly. Following a fitness routine can be beneficial to your overall well-being because physical activity can help prevent disease, build self-esteem and serves as a great method for stress management.
Setting a goal is a great way to push yourself to get results, but it’s important to consider a few tips before you decide:
- Make it realistic - Don’t set your goals so high that you talk yourself out of them right from the start. If you haven’t exercised in the past, then set a goal to begin with 15 minutes 3 days a week verses 60 minutes 5 days a week.
- Avoid all or none thinking - Busy schedules and unexpected events throughout the day can interfere with your normal exercise routine, which is why it is important to be flexible. Maintain a “something-is-better-than-nothing” focus.
- Group your goals – If you can work towards two goals at once, it can save you time and stress in busy seasons. If you want to exercise more and spend more time reading, then maybe you can read while riding a stationary exercise bike.
- Be patient - Most goals in life are the process of a lot of hard work, focus and determination over a long period of time. Focus on changing one small thing at a time which will lead to big results in the long run.
- Reward yourself - It’s important to reward yourself for staying motivated. When you hit a milestone, for example, you hit your goal of walking 10,000 steps 3 days out of the week, reward yourself with a new shirt to exercise in, or maybe a manicure.
When it comes to exercise, every little bit counts. Because schedules can get hectic, it is often helpful to break up your workouts into increments throughout the day. For instance, you can plan to walk briskly for ten minutes after each meal. Find physical activities that you enjoy will help you stay motivated and committed. Just because someone else likes to run, doesn’t mean that’s the exercise you should choose.
Before beginning any exercise routine, it is always important to consult with a healthcare professional to approach fitness in the safest, most beneficial way. Cone Health Network has an exceptional team of healthcare professionals dedicated to educating the community about fitness and how to safely incorporate it into their lifestyles.
Jamie Athas is the wellness director at Cone Health. Jamie received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona. She is an AFAA certified group exercise instructor, an AFAA practical Pilates instructor, certified health education specialist, and completed a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania.