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Physical Fitness Tips

Kristin Wise, PTTaking Steps to Improve Your Health

by Kristin Wise, PT

It is that time of year again, when New Year's Resolutions make their way to our "To Do" list.  Many of these resolutions involve starting an exercise program or losing weight. Unfortunately, some of us never make it beyond Valentine's Day in keeping our resolutions. This year, vow to change & be successful!

Hippocrates said "walking is man's best medicine." It is never too late to begin a healthy life-style and the beneficial effects can be almost immediate. Be realistic in setting goals and success will follow.

Here are a few good ideas for making & keeping your resolutions all year long:

  • Break the year into quarters. Re-evaluate & up-date goals every three months.

If your resolution is to lose weight, your first goal is to not gain anymore.

Start watching portions & realize that not gaining weight is the first step to reaching the ultimate goal of noticeable weight loss.

Utilize a Smart Phone application to help log your meals & exercise on a daily basis. A good application is Lose It! Easy to use & even better, it's free.

You are more accountable to staying on target for weight loss when you write down your meals & exercises on a daily basis.

  • Invite a friend to help make you accountable in keeping your goals realistic.

Exercise is easier & more fun with a partner. Commit to meet a friend for a walk at lunch. Make the new "Happy Hour" a date after work at the gym. Keeping that promise to exercise together not only strengthens your friendship, it keeps your health & goals on track.

Key goal is accountability.

  • Start with small goals and progress to larger goals but keep moving.

If your resolution is to start exercising, your goal should be making it to the gym 1 day per week. The hardest part about exercising is actually walking into the gym. Once there, working out is easy. When the habit of getting to the gym is established, you can add a second and third day to your goal.

Mix your routine up by exploring different exercises. Consider Zumba or dance class as a form of exercise. Or dust off the ping-pong table and challenge the kids to a ping-pong tournament.

Netflix has an extensive exercise section just waiting to be discovered. Consider sampling a new yoga or Pilates class without ever leaving home.

Save money while staying fit by using Groupon on-line. Good deals at local exercise studios/gyms are readily available through Groupon.

Key goal is keep moving.

  • Consistency plus time equals results

Walking 5 minutes a day is better than no exercise at all. In no time, 5 minutes becomes 10 minutes & you are well on your way to being successful.

A realistic amount of cardio exercise to aim for is 150 minutes per week. This can be broken up to fit your life style. Simply take the number of days allotted to exercise and divide by 150.

Consider a long-term goal of joining a local fundraising walk later in the year. You'll have plenty of time to train & feel good raising awareness for local charities at the same time.

Key goal is consistency.

Keep in mind that exercise is medicine.

If your doctor could write you a prescription that would lower your blood pressure, lower your blood sugar levels, improve your sleep, or help you lose weight, would you fill that prescription?  Of course you would! You're in luck; all you need to do is get moving.

So grab the kids & spouse, put a leash on the dog, call a friend and head outside to play.  What are you waiting for? You owe it to yourself & your family to stay fit and succeed.

Cheers to your good health!

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