As the new year gets underway, many of us resolve to get more fit. It’s a great goal to have, as exercise has countless health benefits, including improving our mood, preventing disease and helping to lose unwanted weight.
But that big goal can feel overwhelming. How can you ensure that you’ve met your goal at the end of 2018? Here are some tips to help you stick with your fitness resolution.
Set a realistic overarching goal. Getting “more fit” is a vague goal. It is easier to achieve if you narrow your focus. Determine what it is that you want to be able to do at the end of your journey. Some goals include running a race, changing your clothing size, or keeping up with your active kids. Set a specific goal that translates into a healthier life for you.
Determine your incremental goals. Once your overarching goal is defined, lay out the steps necessary to reach it. Benchmarks should be achievable in the short term. For example, if you’re not a runner but set a goal of running a 5k, build up to running one mile without stopping, then two, and so on.
Reward yourself for reaching milestones. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, reward yourself when you lose five pounds. Celebrating small victories can motivate you to reach that larger goal.
Try new activities. If you have never tried water aerobics before, but need a good alternative to exercising outside when it is really cold, go for it! You may surprise yourself and find an activity you love that gets you closer to your fitness goals.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t let a short-term setback derail you from achieving your overarching goal. Understand that whatever changes you make for your life have to be long-term in order to maintain any changes you make. No one is perfect all the time. Learn from your setbacks, adjust your incremental goals, and keep your eye on the ultimate prize: A year that ends with a healthier you.
South Shore Health System offers a variety of programs, both in the pool and on land, that offer fitness training a small group setting. To learn more and to register for a class, call (781) 624-4367 or visit our website.