Every 365 days we celebrate a New Year. For many of us this is a time of reflection. At some point we look at what changes or improvements we can make in the new year. Losing weight or getting into better physical condition are typically at the top of the list, as they should be, but how do you approach a healthier lifestyle!
Here are some insights you should consider.
An exercise programs optimal goal should be to help you attain all your health and fitness goals expediently. You also want to make sure you create an exercise regime you can maintain consistently.
First and foremost, this process cannot just be about weight loss or body image! That is a total set-up for failure. Exercising consistently and eating healthier needs to focus on all the other intrinsic benefits such as reduced stress, increased energy levels, sounder sleep, feeling better about yourself, a more positive outlook on life, greater mental clarity, and a stronger heart muscle. These are just a few of the intrinsic benefits that transform one’s lifestyle.
Exercising daily needs to become as mindless and habitual as brushing your teeth every morning and evening. You don’t think about brushing your teeth, you just do it. Only then does living a healthy lifestyle become a mainstay of your life. Body image should be looked upon as a bi-product of a consistent exercise program. If you exercise consistently and eat healthy you will lose body fat! It is inevitable. You don’t need to focus on it though! It will just happen on its own.
1. Set attainable and realistic goals.
What do you want to accomplish or achieve with your fitness program? Make a list of goals or changes you would like to see in your lifestyle. Some good examples are feeling better in general, body-fat reduction, increased strength, increased energy, reduced stress levels, disease prevention, increased metabolism and a less active mind. Realistic, achievable goals will keep you motivated, focused and interested as you see your goals being realized.
2. Determine the time commitment you can afford to make to training.
How much time can you realistically put towards exercise and fitness daily, monthly and weekly? Try to set regular times for your workouts and develop a consistent routine. Remember each of us has daily choices as to what we schedule into our lives. Exercise needs to be a top priority and a commitment.
3. Evaluate truthfully your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.
Focus your workouts and exercise choices around activities you enjoy, while taking into account previous injuries and family medical history. Make your exercise routines fun and interesting.
4. Incorporate variety and balance into your exercise program.
Your workout program should consist of a combination of strength training, cardiovascular cross-training, flexibility activities and mind centering practices. You should change the flow and organization of exercise in your workout regularly for continued progress and to negate boredom. In this way you will promote symmetrical development through the mind, body, spirit connection.
5. Listen to your body.
Your body will tell you when to push harder and when to back off. Stay connected to how you are feeling. If your body is tired, don’t force yourself to do a challenging workout. Alter your workout to be less intense; by doing more flexibility work, which is meditative, otherwise, you will only succeed in fatiguing your body further. On the flip-side, if you are just mentally tired do activities that will rejuvenate you such as cardio exercise and strength training. In this way you will be working with your body and mind instead of against them. You will feel rejuvenated and energized instead of tired and exhausted.
These are my 5 insights to help you kick start a healthier lifestyle in the New Year!