Photo courtesy of Pixabay by Skeeze
Would you like a year with less doctors visits? With fewer asthma attacks? With the ability to keep up with your children (or grandchildren)? If these are goals for your life, consider making health and wellness a priority this year. If you’re concerned about falling off the bandwagon, here is how to keep a health and fitness resolution for the next twelve months – and beyond!
Start by getting into the right mindset. Remember, each day you have a choice. You can choose positive thoughts or negative ones. Positive thoughts have been proven to release “feel good” hormones like serotonin and dopamine in our brains. Meanwhile, negative thoughts release adrenaline and increase the stress hormone cortisol. This increases the cycle of stress, depression and anxiety, makes you hold onto belly fat, and sets you up for various poor health conditions. Know each day that you have a choice. This gives a whole new perspective to the old saying: “pick your poison.”
Pick a type of health or wellness activity that you are interested in, curious about, or excited to do. Start implementing it slowly. This could be a dietary change, a strength-building exercise, a daily self-care routine, or a weekly fitness class that you take with friends. Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Want to de-stress but think yoga isn’t right for you? Try Yoga Nidra – the yoga of sleep. Want to get your heart rate up but hate the idea of running? Try a kickboxing class. The possibilities are endless. Be willing to see what is out there. If you don’t find something locally, chances are you can find online videos (free or paid) that will allow you to workout from the comfort of your own home!
Once you pick something, be sure to take a “before” photo. Keep it as a reminder of what you want to accomplish. Take another photo in one week. Take yet another photo in one month. Compare and take notes. When you begin to measure your progress, you’ll notice changes that you might not have noticed before. Slowly but surely, you’ll see your body (and your life) evolving in the direction of your goals right before your eyes.
A tip for those who are short on time (or those who are short on time and are trying to get quicker results) is to focus on strengthening your legs. The legs contain several large muscle groups – some of the largest in the body. For this reason, working these muscles can jumpstart your metabolism and help you burn more calories. Having said this, be sure not to just work one area of the body. It is important to get a total body workout, so don’t make your workout just about your legs. Instead, try to focus on movements that work multiple parts of the body at the same time.
It is possible to stay committed to healing your body, mind and soul by bringing more health and wellness into your everyday activities. Remember, your success is always your choice. Even if you fall off the bandwagon today, tomorrow is a new day. You’ll wake up with the ability to make a new choice. What will you choose?
Paige Johnson is a contributing writer for LearnFit.org. A self-described fitness “nerd,” she possesses a love for strength training, weight-lifting, yoga and cycling.