Thursday, December 5, 2013

Resolution 2014 ~ For YOUR Health!

Have you thought about your fitness goals for 2014 yet?  

Here are my top three bits of advice to move forward and really commit to your health in 2014 and beyond....

1.  Set goals now.  I find that when I have a tangible goal it works.  Goals can be as simple as 'I want to be able to hold a perfect plank for 2 mins' or less simple, but more ambitious:  'I want to run a half marathon.'  The second step after defining a goal is to set a timeline for this to happen.  If its an event, its often easier.  Then set-up a training regimen and schedule to follow.  Other goals, like 'I want to lose 10 pounds' become less "empty" if defined; so better to set a realistic date for these as well.   Like 'I will lose this weight before my brother's wedding on July 5th';  then you can effectively work backwards from there and establish a program to meet (or even beat!) your goal.  I recommend setting 3 realistic fitness goals before each new year and writing them down. Mine are:  
-  Complete a 2 day century + bike ride
-  Loose that 10 pounds by July 4th  
-  To do at least 1 unasssisted full pull-up

2. Commit already!  After you write them down, stick them in place you see them every day. I prefer a spot next to my desktop computer above the monitor.  That way when I'm 'jonesing' for another snack I have another obstacle;-)  Another good tactic is to tell your friends and family (if your comfortable).  I find its tougher to get derailed (i.e. be lazy) if others are watching you.  Perhaps by doing this you will inspire them as well! Having a workout buddy works well if you are one of the many folks that are not as self-motivating when it comes to exercise.  I find that the partner/buddy teaming works great for those who are new to having an established regular regimen, or are getting back in shape after a period of less activity (for whatever reason).  Pick a partner that has similar goals and time constraints.  Then set up a schedule and sync your calendars!

3. Don't beat yourself up.  I'm always reminded of my yoga instructor's saying:  'Be gentle with yourself'.  I like that mantra.  In most physical endeavors, if you are too overzealous there is a great risk of either injury or serious stress; which we all know can lead to more serious complications and illnesses.  So please 'listen to your body'.  However, pushing yourself a bit harder each time your workout is necessary.  For example:  I row on the rowing machine 800 meters to warm up before strength training, each time I try to beat my previous time.  It works and keeps me motivated and energized.  This along with having a solid, realistic program aimed at achieving a goal will get you there.  Jumping back into running and opting for an aggressive schedule like 5 runs a week in a month before a marathon will likely not get you there.  
Likewise, being too restrictive is detrimental.  For instance, if you slip on your healthy eating plan (I hate the word diet),  acknowledge it; say you ca do better and move on! You'll do better taking it day by day. I've also learned that if you really, really lust after something; say... chocolate cake; make it a part of your weekly indulgence and eat a healthy portion (i.e.small slice).  

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays!  Celebrate your 2013 accomplishments and remember:  Another day is another chance to be healthy!