The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they’re not always specific enough. This year, as is often the case, two of the top five resolutions relate to fitness and health: #1 is to lose weight and #5 is to “stay fit and healthy.”
When it comes to personal health and well-being, year-long goals are fueled by phrases such as “I will be healthier” and “I will lose weight.” While these statements may be backed by real desire, try accomplishing them by setting targeted healthy living goals, such as those that aim to improve your joint and bone health.
These resolutions may not be the trendiest, but they are a smart investments in your health that will benefit you well beyond a single calendar year.
Many of us have experienced the regret of over doing it, followed by a couple of days of difficulty sitting and standing or even raising our arms above our head. It’s no wonder people fall off the workout wagon after that kind of recovery! Don’t let this happen to you. Follow these three tips to keep your resolution and your momentum in tact:
1. START SLOW: Begin with moderate weight and reasonable reps. It may feel easy, but you will feel the impact the next day if the program is new to you. It’s just like the uncomfortable feeling from eating too much or too fast. Pace yourself. You can always add more [weight, intensity, or reps], but you can’t undo them once they are done.
2. TAKE TURNS: Rotate your emphasis. If you run one day, try biking or swimming the next. When strength training, pair complementary muscle groups and establish a rotation that gives each muscle group an off day in between workouts. For example, train chest and shoulders one day, core and back anther day, and legs and glutes the next day.
3. FEED YOUR SUCCESS: For many people, a new fitness routine is a means to a very important end: weight loss. And exercise goals are often paired with new diets and calorie restrictions. Healthy eating and calorie moderation is always a good idea, but remember a new workout routine means new energy demands on your body. Be sure to hydrate before, during and after you exercise, and plan for a healthy post-workout snack within 30 minutes of completing your routine. Don’t be tempted to skip the snack or a meal. Depriving your body after a workout will only slow your recovery and lead to less healthy eating choices later in the day.
Realistic goals and reasonable plans give you a real chance of success! Happy 2017!