Making resolutions is easy, each person is their own judge and jury. Like most things in life, consistent follow through is what creates results and sustains positive change. People of all ages and abilities benefit from being more active.
Here are some strategies to help you stick with your physical activity goals after New Year’s resolutions begin to fade and old habits resume. (Usually around valentine’s day)
The benefits of regular physical activity are a great place to start. Regular activity may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. It’s a great way to deal with stress. And staying active can boost energy, mood, and overall wellbeing. Make a list of the benefits that matter most to you and keep it where you can review it often.
Keep it real by taking small, sustainable steps. An example plan is to achieve the goal of being active on most days of the week by starting with walking 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week and gradually build up to 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Track your progress with a journal, website or mobile app.
Sharing is Caring
Letting friends and family members know about your goals can give you a social support system and keep you on track when you feel tempted to quit. And you may find a workout buddy with similar goals.
Be ready to go to “Plan B” when life happens! If you prefer to exercise outdoors, find an indoor location like a mall or gym as an alternative in bad weather. Fit in some extra steps when work gets in the way of your workout. Or create an at-home workout for when you just can’t make it to the gym. Be careful not to turn plan B, into plan A.
The key is to not get discouraged. Just jump back in and try to learn from whatever got off you track. Real change takes time. Your efforts will pay off with patience and persistence.