Staying healthy in the New Year is less about making lofty resolutions and more about focusing on leading a more active lifestyle. On average an adult needs at least 150 minutes of basic aerobic activity each week.
Brisk walking or cycling every day combined with strength exercises at least a couple of days each week can go a long way in helping you stay active throughout the year.
The Benefits Of Staying Active
Of course, we recognize the fact that not every person wants to become a professional athlete. However,even moderate physical activity offers a number of benefits such as:
- Research indicates that exercising with regularity can significantly lower your risk of developing various long-term conditions.
- Exercise helps boost mental wellbeing, energy levels and your quality of sleep.
- We at Advanced Manual Therapy Institute have seen that people who stay active are less likely to experience trips and falls. This is because their muscles and bones are stronger and able to support and balance their bodies better.
It’s very common for people to make New Year resolutions to exercise regularly and stay fit. However, these tend to fizzle out sooner than later. Most simply move back into a routine that leaves little/no room for any exercise or physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle, fast foods, lack of sleep, and excessive stress are just some of the factors that take their toll on your health and cause long-term problems.
Tips To Follow
Here we have outlined some ways in which you can stay active in the New Year:
1. Don’t Just Work Out, Understand Why it’s Important
The reasons for starting on any exercise routine are quite fundamental, regardless of whether we actually follow up on them or not. Society tends to promote fitness and exercise by linking it with short-term motivation, shame, andguilt. Many people head for the gym only to improve their appearance. Very few focus on the fitness or health aspect of exercise.
It’s important to set specific goals rather than vague and intangible ones like- “I want to lose weight and get fit”. You will be more successful in leading an active life if you focus on more immediate goals such as increasing energy and stamina. Only when exercise delivers benefits that are truly compelling and improve your daily life, will you prioritize time for it.
2. Slow And Steady Is The Way To Go
The New Year brings with it a surge of excitement and a boost of enthusiasm when it comes to changing diets, starting exercising or stopping smoking and drinking. However, within a few weeks, most people just tire of it all and lose motivation.
If you are out of shape, you need to be patient and persistent in your efforts as it’s going to take some time. If you trend towards HIIT (high intensity interval training) that might be too challenging to handle at the outset.
It’s a better idea to focus on combining HIIT with walking, jogging or swimmingwhile maintaining a regular sleep routine and diet; it will help increase your stamina and energy levels. If you persist, you will eventually become fitter and healthier.
3. Don’t Think You Have To Love It
It always helps to do things you like, and this holds true with exercise as well. When clients ask our Las Vegas physical therapists which exercises to focus on, they recommend activities such as bike riding or even roller skating, if that’s something you enjoyed as a child. However, it’s important not to feel that you always have to enjoy exercise.
Most people that stick to their exercise routine say that they feel better when they do it. Sometimes, the obvious choices aren’t always the ones you’d enjoy, which makes it important to look outside them. You could consider sharing activities with people you know or involve yourself in different sports.
4. Give Yourself Some Leeway
Motivation is only one piece of the fitness and health puzzle. Career demands, parenting responsibilities etc. can prove to be obstacles to following a regular exercise or fitness routine. It becomes easier to maintain this if you have a significant amount of support around you.
The Las Vegas climate lends itself well to outdoor activities at certain times of the year, while at others it might not. This makes it necessary to be a little flexible with the kinds of physical activities you do at different times of the year. Don’t be rigid about jogging or hitting the gym every day of the week.
It’s important to be realistic about work as well as family commitments when you start out. If you set goals that are largely unachievable, you’re setting yourself up for failure even before you start. Our physical therapists in Las Vegas always ask our clients to reflect on the things that worked and ones that didn’t.
For example,if you find that a brisk walk at lunch works better for you, but that you didn’t have the energy of the end of the day for it, that something you should continue with. You can always make changes along the way in order to become more consistent with exercising. Stressing yourself about following a rigid exercise routine will only set you up for failure and loss of motivation.
5. Don’t Rely Solely On Willpower
It’s true that you need willpower to persist in exercising. However, ironically, it also means you don’t really want to work out. A better approach is to think about fitness and exercise in terms of exactly why you are doing it, how you can benefit from it and what you want to get from the physical activity.
Above all, make an active lifestyle a habit. Take the stairs rather than the elevator, stand and work when you can, walk over to people at work rather than pick up your phone.
In short, see how you can keep your body moving and you will soon find that you are getting fitter and healthier in the New Year. If you need professional guidance with your fitness goals, feel free to contact the experts at Advanced Manual Therapy in Las Vegas.