Maintaining Fitness Resolutions Throughout the Year
Beginning the New Year with goals for preserving and improving health is a tradition for many of us. In addition to making resolutions for eating healthily, drinking less alcohol, getting enough sleep, and managing stress, we’re likely to begin an exercise routine with the best of intentions for maintaining it all year. But busy work schedules, family obligations, colds/flus, and other distractions can undermine exercise goals for even the most devoted.
The only full-proof plan for a successful long-term exercise plan is to keep at it,
whatever the obstacles.
But there are other things you can do to help ensure your exercise routine will survive the test of time. The first most important step is to begin the new year with a visit to your doctor to ensure exercising is safe for you.
Tell your Summit Medical Group doctor if you’re starting a new exercise routine,
especially if you’ve been inactive.
Tell your doctor about your plans for exercise. Include details about the type(s) of exercise you will be doing. Also let him or her know how often, intensely, and how long you will work out. If you have concerns about your health and exercising, share them with your practitioner. He or she will guide you to an exercise plan that’s safe for you.
Partnering with your physician about your exercise goals
can help you avoid unwanted health surprises, including exercise-induced injuries.
Once you get a green light from your doctor, follow these tips to maintain your exercise plan throughout the year:
- Plan each exercise session, including the type of exercise(s), duration and intensity of your workout, and expectations for what you’d like to accomplish; then work to achieve your goals!
- Start slowly and build your fitness gradually to help prevent injuries and ensure you’ll return for your next workout
- Warm up, work out, and cool down at each exercise session
- Eat for energy with a well-balanced diet. For an extra boost of energy and to prevent cramps, eat easily digestible foods such as a banana at least an hour before you work out
- Drink at least 2 liters of water per day to avoid health complications from dehydration
- Get plenty of sleep and lessen the intensity and/or duration of your workout when you haven’t had enough sleep
- Exercise at the same time each day to establish a routine
- Exercise mindfully by being aware of your breathing, posture, energy level, and body
- Dress for your activity, including layering clothes for warmth and comfort, wearing fast-drying fabrics that wick away moisture, and wearing well-fitting shoes
- Vary your exercise type to boost your metabolism, ensure overall strength and fitness, and avoid overuse injuries
- Plan exercise alternatives for bad weather with exercise videos and home equipment for when it’s too icy/snowy to exercise outside or travel to the gym
- Postpone exercise if you have a cold or flu to allow your body to heal
Make physical activity such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator
and walking instead of driving a part of your routine throughout the day.
Exercise and regular physical activity of any kind is one of the most important things you can do for physical and mental health and well-being. Don’t let anything come between you and your fitness routine. Include exercise/physical activity in your daily routine just as you bathe, brush your teeth, eat, and sleep.