Come January 1, New Year’s resolutions abound, and getting started on an exercise routine and losing weight are on the top of the list.
Unfortunately, the road of good intentions is booby-trapped, and the lack of preparation for the avoidance of those traps in combination with unrealistic goals often lead to aborted efforts which only re-confirm the belief that ‘it’s all no good’ or ‘cannot be done’ or – worse yet – ‘I always fail’.
Here are my top 4 recommendations for making realistic lifestyle changes and staying the course:
- Set realistic goals
If you have not at all exercised lately, do not plan to ‘exercise an hour each day’. Instead, look at your life and your schedule and allocate 3 times a week for 30 minutes. True, this is not perfect, but if you can stick with this plan for a few weeks, you can always add more time later.
2. Something is better than nothing.
Do you find that the allocated 30-minute time-slot has shrunk to 20 minutes? Then do the 20 minutes and pat yourself on the back that you have still adhered to your plan. Maybe you will have some time later in the day for the extra 10 minutes.
- Do things you love to do
Running may be the best way to burn calories but if you hate it, you are not likely to continue with it. Find an activity you enjoy and start with that. Try to expand your ‘movement horizon’. There are many options: exercise classes, videos, indoors and outdoors, yoga, Pilates, MELT, cardiovascular machines at home or at a gym.
- Listen to your body
If you have not exercised in a while, start carefully and do not push yourself into an injury. If a little is good, then more is not necessarily better. Try to vary what you do.
You can always consult a fitness professional. The IDEA fitnessconnect site gives you a good starting point to look for qualified professionals.
And now: what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving. Happy New Year.