By: Chrisy Myhand, RN, BSN, Director of Fitness Center
The most common New Year's resolutions are exercise more and lose weight.
The most commonly broken New Year's resolutions are the same exercising
more and losing weight.
How do you keep those resolutions past January 31, 2023? One way is to
not make resolutions. Try self-motivating affirmations instead—I
am strong. I am confident. I am the best I can be today.
However, if making a list of resolutions on January 1, keep it short, simple
and authentic. According to the American Psychological Association, the
more realistic the goal, the better your chance of keeping it throughout
the year until it becomes a healthy behavior.
Here are some tips for success with resolutions beyond January.
Set specific goals. Get fit is a lofty goal; it can also be overwhelming. Go to the gym three
times a week is specific and manageable. Start new exercise routines by
taking small steps and being consistent. Block time on your calendar for
exercise. Set an alarm on your phone or watch.
Change one behavior at a time. A list of a dozen resolutions may set you up for failure. Keep the list
short to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Unhealthy behaviors develop over
time. Replacing those with healthy alternatives also requires time. If
you tend to binge watch Netflix or Hulu on the weekends, resolve to have
television-free Saturday afternoons. Instead, go outside and garden or
do yard work. Gardening incorporates all four types of excercise—endurance,
strength, balance and flexibility. Along with physical benefits, it can
also improve mental health.
Recruit exercise buddies. Most of your inner circle probably set the same resolution to exercise
more. Rather than going solo, share your goals with friends, family or
coworkers. Invite them to join you for a yoga class, weekend hike or nightly
walks around the neighborhood. Set group goals and celebrate successes together.
Avoid the guilt trip. Don't beat yourself up if you skipped your exercise routine for a couple
of days or even the entire two weeks leading into Fat Tuesday. Exercise
is not about perfection; it's about practice. Get back on track and
Do what you enjoy. Forcing yourself into a physical activity that you don't enjoy can
be counterproductive to keeping the resolution. If just putting on running
shoes is stressful, then don't run. Ride a bike. Go dancing. Swim.
Play soccer or jump rope with your kids. Take an exercise class. The Fitness
Center, located in the Thibodaux Regional Wellness Center, offers hundreds
of classes a month. From yoga, water dance, cycling and Zumba to PiYo,
Body Pump, P90X and many others. Try different classes to see which ones
you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you are more likely to participate regularly.
Create a playlist. Stay motivated to keep exercising by making it fun. One way is by listening
to music while you move. A playlist of high-energy music helps increase
endurance, improve your mood and even help prevent age-related cognitive
loss. Research also shows that when listening to high-tempo music while
exercising, people tend to think they're putting in less effort during
Take a walk. Daily walking increases metabolism to help maintain healthy weight and
prevent muscle loss. According to the American Heart Association, it can
also lower risks of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease
and certain types of cancer, as well as improve your mental health. Start
by setting a goal to walk for 30 minutes a day and see where it leads.
Make anti-resolutions. Instead of setting a resolution to start something new, think about something
you want to stop doing in 2023. If you regularly set an alarm for 5 a.m.
to start checking emails, get up and work out rather than starting your
workday. Or set the clock for an hour later and get more sleep, the ultimate
self-care goal. Your body, mind and overall well-being will thank you.
For more information on how we can help you set and realize your exercise
resolutions go to ThibodauxRegionalFitnessCenter.com or call 985.493.4950.