The new year is a perfect impetus to jump-start fitness and health goals—a fresh start. But how do you keep it simple, so you stick with it and actually reach the goals that you want? Change is challenging, and what’s missing for most of us is specifics: a SMART plan, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Today we have unprecedented instant access to good coaching, in the form of apps and smartphones. As a result of more mobile technologies, we have online communities, like Facebook with more than one billion users, and You Tube, where more than 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute. You can find apps that charge you $5 for skipping going to the gym, like Gym-Pact’s aggressive take on motivation, or entertaining gaming and tracking sites that count calories: such as www.rexbox.co.uk/epicwin and www.myfitnesspal.com. Among the thousands of health and fitness apps, a few stand out that are lifestyle and behavior focused:
Stanford professor B.J. Fogg teaches classes about habits.
“I’m fascinated with how habits form. I believe that to design new habits for ourselves or for others, the best starting point is to do what I call ‘tiny habits.’”
His goal is to help you practice the skill of creating new habits. I believe you can get better at creating new habits. Much like a pianist who practices scales, or a chef who practices knife skills, people can practice the skills of creating habits. I was hooked when B.J. suggested that after brushing your teeth, floss one tooth. For me, flossing is one more thing that keeps me from getting into bed sooner. The criterion are that you choose a behavior that you do at least once a day (brush my teeth), takes less than 30 seconds and requires little effort. The habits don’t have to be earth-shattering, but simple ordinary things that are useful in your life. By anchoring the new tiny habit behavior after an extremely reliable habit, you succeed in creating a small change (teeth flossed—bed sooner).
This goal-setting website began with a group of Yale economists to help users achieve goals and increase productivity with commitment contracts. They point out that for many of us who want to be on time, eat less sugar, lose a few pounds or stop procrastinating on a project, it’s not always that simple. The site is based on two principles of behavior science: 1. People don’t always do what they claim they want to do. 2. Money talks, as you put money on the line.
Healthmonth.com is a game in which you choose your own rules for the month and compete with other players. Choices can be anything from taking a multi-vitamin a day to limiting alcohol. You’re encouraged to experiment with what works best for you and deciding on which challenges are better suited for you. You can post self-created rewards and punishments, such as donating to a charity or eating a head of lettuce if you didn’t do what you said you would. The site challenges you by asking how important or difficult the rule is and whether you think you can pull it off, so you have accountability.
Before committing to a new app or site, make sure it’s a good fit for you, so your time will be well spent. Let them inspire you in the coming new year.
Connie Aronson is an ACSM health and fitness specialist located at the YMCA in Ketchum. Visit her online at www.conniearonson.com.
The best answer to why do yoga is that it feels really good. Simple.Today, or tonight, try this one pose: lie on your back and fully stretch your arms overhead as you simultaneously stretch your legs straight. Relax, as you quietly breathe for 20 seconds.That's yoga!
Ok-just 3 things. Sounds managable, right?
Check out this lifestyle behavior-focused website :http:/tinyhabits.com
So excited! I'm in Product Showcase
" According to the 2011 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trend report, core conditioning ranks among the top 10 programs offered. Take advantage of the trend and inhance your skill sets with the Essential Core chart by IDEA memeber Connie Aronson. The 15' x 25" chart depicts 12 exercises in full color, accompanied by text instruction. For information visit www.conniearonson.com ".
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Harnessing personal strength
Whats strong vs. whats wrong
by CONNIE ARONSON
The positive psychology movement believes that cultivating what is best in ourselves increases our sense of well-being. Our character strengths and their connection with life satisfaction and happiness is an important research field in positive psychology. A new large-scale study conducted by a team of psychologists from the University of Zurich proved that the largest impact was evident in training the strengths: curiosity, gratitude, optimism, humor and enthusiasm. It's no surprise that these participants were more often in a good mood and more cheerful.
Rather than focusing on our quirks, the newer field of psychology focuses on how humans flourish. The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, home to the founder of the movement, Martin Seligman, calls it "the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive." We all have problems and stresses, but manifesting your strengths can help you increase your happiness, improve your relationships and achieve your life goals.
To see the best core exercises chart go to www.conniearonson.com !Essential Core is an educational and motivational poster of the top core exercises. Made for home and gyms, sports medicine clinics, PT clinics, fire stations, sports teams, universities, spas, and anyone interested in a strong flat midsection. No more tearing out magazine ab routines to know what works best for core!