Staying Fit:
How To Keep That New Year's Resolution

by guest writer Sheila Olson

January 3, 2018

Photo via Pixabay by StockSnap
Many of us make a resolution to get fit in the new year, but it can be hard to keep that promise. Life can get in the way, at times, and even those of us with the best intentions can fall off when things get stressful. If you have kids, a busy schedule, a hectic job, or all three, it can be difficult to find ways to stick to a routine.

Think about the best ways to turn your exercise routine into something you enjoy, such as getting outdoors or partnering up with your friends or family members. Set a specific goal, which will help you stay on track and commit to carving time from your schedule for yourself so that you can exercise even when life gets busy.

Tie your exercise to stress-relief

Everyone feels stress at some point in their lives, but it's how you cope with it that separates you from others. Learning different methods, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can ease or reduce stress and anxiety. For many people, this means tying stress-relief to exercise by going for a hike or bike ride, taking a boxing class, or going for a swim. Often, just getting outside when the weather is nice is a huge mood-booster and can help clear your mind when things feel overwhelming. While on a bike ride, you can take a trip to a nearby farmer's market for access to healthy, in-season produce.

Manage your expectations

It's important to manage your expectations when it comes to your fitness goals. For instance, it's a wonderful thought to want to lose 50 pounds or be diabetes-free by mid-year, but setting your goals so high can also set you up for defeat before you've even begun. It's always better to start slow, making sure to take care of your body by not pushing it too hard, and talk to your doctor about your plans. Be specific with your goals and write them down, which can help you stay motivated.

Take care of yourself

No matter what your workout goals are, you should make sure you don't neglect other aspects of your life, such as getting enough rest and eating well balanced meals. Depending on what your health is like, it's a good idea to do some research on what the best diet is for you. Some people prefer to go protein-heavy, while others, such as diabetics, have to be careful about eating carbs and refined sugars.

More importantly, talk to your doctor about the best foods for your goals and communicate with your family so that everyone is on the same page. After all, it's hard to stick to a specific diet when your spouse is bringing home cookies and other tempting snacks from the store.

Garner support

It's incredibly important to garner support from your friends and family when it comes to your fitness goals. Having someone who can help hold you accountable and keep you motivated is a huge bonus, so you might consider asking someone close to you if they'd like to be your workout buddy. Take a class together, join a gym, or simply go for walks or a run together.

Sticking to a New Year's resolution can be hard when you're tired at the end of a long day, so think about working in exercise time during the morning or afternoon. It doesn't have to be a full workout. Consider 15-minute increments of physical fitness to get boost your heart rate and burn extra calories.

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