The beginning of the year is a time for goal-setting, and for many people, getting fit is at the top of their list. If you’re still struggling to come up with a solid plan, consider the following ideas. Some of them, such as sneaking in exercise and exchanging your daily soda for a glass of water, should be quite easy to follow through.
Walking is what we, as humans, were built to do on two legs for long distances. So express your natural need and walk more — perhaps get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way to work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to the grocery store, and walk back carrying weights (read: groceries) instead of taking the car. Walking is modest exercise, but it’s still exercise!
Sneak in exercise
Just because you want to do 30 minutes of exercise a day, doesn’t mean you need to do it all at once. Breaking up 30 minutes of exercise into three 10-minute increments may be more doable and a lot less intimidating. Exercising can be done during commercial breaks on TV, while you’re waiting for the pasta to boil, or even at work if you need a little afternoon pick-me-up.
Get your health questions answered
This is an easy one. If you’ve been procrastinating going to the doctor, visit the doc today! Those minor aches and pains could be something that warrants professional attention. Conversely, those minor aches and pains may be nothing at all, and you can stress less and rest assured after being awarded a clean bill of health.
If you do get diagnosed with a medical condition, the earlier you treat it, the better. If you’ve been prescribed medication and are stressed about affording it, you can buy cheaper, more affordable prescription drugs online from international and Canadian pharmacies. A Canadian pharmacy referral service like Rx Connected is a good place to start.
Sugary drinks are by far some of the worst things we have in our diets. Think about it: a can of soda has about 150 calories, and most of that is sugar. By cutting out one or two sodas a day, you’re cutting out 150-300 useless calories.
Avoid sugary drinks outside of special occasions. Drink water instead. It’s 0 calories, good for you, and quenches your thirst.
Try other forms of exercise
If you’ve been jogging exclusively, try lifting. If you’ve been lifting exclusively, try jogging. Having a variety of workouts available not only fights boredom, but it also ensures that all your muscle groups get enough attention.
Make it a goal in 2019 to try a sport you’ve never tried before. You might just fall in love with a new activity that gets your heart pumping and muscles working hard. Possible sports include windsurfing, rock climbing, sailing, and skiing if you enjoy the outdoors. Within the city, you can try a martial arts class, go for a swim, or join a local Ultimate league.
Cook your own food
Food made at home is healthier than food at a restaurant. With home-cooked food, you can control your portions and how much oil, sugar, and salt goes into your meal. If you’re not used to cooking your lunches, try just one lunch a week that is home-made, and slowly increase your number of home-made lunches when you learn a few reliable recipes.
Yes, cooking takes time, but much of that time can be unattended. Invest in a slow cooker, or cook a big batch of tomato sauce Sunday night so that you’ll only need to boil pasta the rest of the week.
Avoid or limit alcohol and drugs
Everyone wants to let loose once in a while, but you should do so with caution. Research on what constitutes a safe amount of alcohol may be heading towards “none,” and experts agree that smokers should quit tobacco, period. As for other drugs, you may want to re-evaluate whether they’re worth it in terms of legal and health consequences. This may mean cutting back or cutting out drugs altogether.
If you struggle with an addiction, don’t be afraid to seek help. Seeking help is a show of strength, not weakness.
Finally, take care of your mental health
Why is mental health a part of your fitness? Well, if you don’t have good mental health, you may not have the will to get off the couch. If you start working towards an ambitious goal with bad mental health, you may quickly fall off the wagon or not start at all.
What does prioritizing mental health look like? It may mean saying “no” sometimes if you’re used to saying “yes” to everything. It may mean foregoing a night out for a night in. It may also mean giving yourself permission to do the things you enjoy instead of overworking yourself.
If you’ve been dealing with difficult issues lately, try to find someone to talk to. This can be a mental health professional, a trusted friend, or family member. Think of your brain as a muscle. Just like a bicep or tricep, it needs recovery time.
Lastly, don’t be too ambitious
It’s worth saying that you shouldn’t be too ambitious. Instead, try to set smaller, easier goals that are reasonable and attainable. For example, you don’t have to give up drinking; you can participate in #drynuary instead. You don’t have to give up soft drinks either; just add an extra glass of water to your day or substitute one meal’s sugary drink for a non-sugary drink. x