Congratulations! You’re already two weeks in to making those health and fitness resolutions stick! Keep up the good work and when you get discouraged, remember, in just a few short weeks, those new healthy behaviors will be old habits. Before you know it, getting in those 30 minutes of cardio or downing those extra glasses of water will be as routine as brushing your teeth!
If you’re still looking for a reason to work toward your goal, why not try the “trick” that’s probably worked since you were a kid: set up some rewards. Think about it, if you know you’re going to get a bonus or an extra day off for putting in 150% on a project, you’re bound to put in some extra energy at work. So, why not use the same kind of incentive to break an extra sweat now and then and turn a health and fitness goal into a reality?
Goals can be short term, like saying you’ll make it to that Zumba class every Tuesday until February. You can also set up long term goals, like losing 10 pounds by May 1st or studying to get certified in the fitness industry by summer. Whatever the goal, having a reward attached offers that extra incentive to help pushing toward it.
Now, I’m not necessarily talking about high-calorie rewards. For example, instead of saying “If I stick with this health and fitness routine for the six weeks like Laura said I could, I get to eat cupcakes every day for a whole week,” why not try this: “If I stick with this health and fitness routine for the six weeks like Laura said I could, I’ll book a massage to help my body feel even better!”
For all the fitness chicks, rewards for short-term goals can be anything from new workout wear to a pedicure and for the guys, maybe you snag tickets to that big game. Reaching a long-term goal could reap a bigger reward like a spa getaway or special night out.
When you’re working hard to take care of yourself, knowing a “treat” is waiting for you down the road could be just what you need to stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Happy New Year, everyone! If you’re like a lot of people, you probably just wrapped up a holiday season filled with friends, family and yes, a lot of food. In between the cheer, there’s also a good chance you made up your list of New Year’s resolutions and some kind of health and fitness goals rank in the top spots. So I couldn’t think of a better time for my first post of 2013 to appear in Cyberspace than the first Workout Wednesday of this new year!
While I love seeing so many new enthusiastic faces at the gym in January, I hate the fact that many of those newbies are long gone by March. So, I kick off 2013 with a few tips that I hope will help anyone who has decided THIS is the year they’re finally going to make those fitness resolutions stick long after Old Man Winter has made room for Spring.
- What’s Done is Done. Don’t waste your energy regretting the occasions you overdid it during the holidays. I have my own memories of indulging in a one too many cocktails or homemade cookies. Today is a new day.
- Adjust the Attitude. Think of exercise as a “chore,” and you’ll be done with your new routine in no time. Instead, turn exercise into “Me Time.” No matter what kind of stress I’m dealing with at the office or at home, the time I spend working out is the one time my brain goes into neutral. Whether I can spend a quick 30-40 minutes or a luxurious 90 at the gym, the only “noise” filling my mind during those precious minutes is my favorite music. So, use exercise as a break from the ordinary, and before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to sweating out whatever ails you.
- Step Back for a Reality Check. Saying you’re going to exercise seven days a week is one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for failure – especially if you haven’t worked out one day in the past several months. The first day you miss, you’ll be discouraged. That makes it too easy to say, “Well, I just blew the whole week, so forget it!” A better approach is to aim for a minimum of three days each week for the first month. As you start experiencing the endorphin-rush and other benefits from exercising, you’ll want to spend more than three days working out. Discouragement aside, everyone should take a minimum of one day off each week to let the body rest.
- Find the Right Fitness Fit. Santa left you the latest version of the “Insanity” DVD program under your tree. Meanwhile, all your exercise DVDs still have the plastic wrap on them and they’ve been hanging with the dust bunnies under your bed since last year. Why not return the new program and put the money toward a cool pair of sneakers and some moisture-wicking workout wear? Grab a friend – who you’ve also resolved to spending more time with! -and start those power walks or sign up for exercise classes together at your local gym or community center. Have no idea what to try? Splurge and hire a personal trainer to get you started on the right track.
- Avoid Extreme Food Restrictions. If you deny yourself something you truly enjoy for too long, it’s only a matter of time before you break down and go overboard. So, the chocolate bar you could have had last week turns into five chocolate bars, washed down with a chocolate shake and a side of cupcakes two months later.
I leave you with this reality: there will be “off” days. Even as a lifelong fitness enthusiast, there are times I simply don’t want to workout and all I want to eat is red wine and chocolate. It happens. Just don’t let one bad day throw you off course. Just wipe away the crumbs, prep your gym bag and remember tomorrow is your next chance to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!