Seize your 2016 resolutions

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Despite our new year intentions to become healthier, start exercising or losing weight, it is common within the first few months of the year to let our gym memberships lapse, and start replacing our healthy foods such as carrots and celery sticks with chocolate chip cookies, salty snack foods and sugary drinks that put us back into the position where we started, or even worse.  Although our intentions are good, they are usually short lived, and we end up going back to our old habits because they are easier and we enjoy them more than the effort it takes to stay on track with healthy diet and exercise.

So, what is the key to having a plan that you can stick with and feel more confident that you will be able to keep what will eventually become part of your normal routine instead of the failed resolutions we have tried in the past? Here are some painless steps to get started.

First, check with your doctor if you have any concerns about increasing your activity or health conditions that may affect the type of exercise you plan to do.

Second, get some gear. There is no need to spend money on high-priced equipment or apparel. It is worth investing in a good pair of sneakers though to protect your feet and joints from harsh impact. Wear comfortable clothes that won’t restrict your movement.

Third, start slow and set goals that are realistic.  Pushing yourself too hard at the start will end up in failure. Gradually increase activity so your mind and body can adjust. As you reach small goals, set new ones such as walking a longer distance each day or increasing weights. Try a charity walk/run event and team up with a partner to help with accountability and to make it fun.

Fourth, make a fitness schedule and stick to it. Schedule yourself appointments on your calendar and don’t skip them. Treat it like a doctor appointment to help keep you honest about how you spend time without making excuses for missing. If you get bored, mix up your routine and try something new like a new workout DVD, change locations you walk in or join a amateur sports league. Invite friends and family to join you.

Fifth, reward yourself when you meet a goal even if just a small one, but make it a healthy reward, like new earphones, heart rate monitor or fitness watch.

Your body has the potential to be fit. When tuned up, it gives you optimal performance. Keeping yourself fit helps you look better and can make you feel good about yourself. Don’t dwell on breaking a resolution to stay fit. Focus how you feel about yourself when you can achieve small goals at a time. Keep your hands and feet moving, and you will be able to keep your wellness commitment one step at a time. Cheers to a healthy 2016!

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