As the year begins, we make promises to ourselves that we are going to get into better “shape” by going on a diet and exercising more. We enter into the New Year with motivation and hopefulness. I have seen this trend in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for the past 20 years. My goal as a fitness professional is to help clients create fitness resolutions that are long term and sustainable.
This year, try setting realistic goals with your health, goals that will last beyond the first few months of the year and are attainable. Set wellness goals for you and your family that is realistic. Being healthy is more than eating well and exercising regularly, it is participating in a lifestyle that is balanced, clean, and moderate in nature.
Here are some examples of ways you can help yourself into healthier sustainable exercise habits. First, do not look for “quick fixes.” For example if an exercise or diet program promises extreme quick weight loss, BEWARE! This sounds like a program that uses unsafe measures and gimmicks and the results are most likely short term. What kind of gimmicks does this this program use that are really short term. If weight comes off fast, most likely it’s not true body fat but rather water weight and it will be temporary. A good fitness program offers several things including variety, convenience, fun and support. Look for a program that does not offer “quick” fixes but helps you achieve success for long-term results. Second, baby step into the fitness program. You do not have to have an “all or nothing mentality”. If you have not worked out for a long time or you have just had a baby, maybe make some simple goals, like attempting a workout 2-3 times a week to start. If this is no problem, then add days as you feel like you can handle it. Third, incorporate healthy eating practices at the same time as you start your fitness program to get the most out of the workouts! Clean eating means, consuming whole foods, not processed, drinking at least 64 ounces of water/ day and eating small portions that do not include processed foods every 3 hours. This is very general on getting your eating under control. Basically meal planning and preparation ahead of time are a recipe for long term success!
There are also ways to set attainable goals in regards to your family’s exercise. Discuss with your family physical activities they enjoy and try doing them together (riding bikes at the beach, etc). Choose times that are realistic and get into a habit of making that time specifically for exercise. Again, if your children observe you taking care of your health and fitness, they are more likely to follow suit. One of the best gifts we as parents can give our families is a healthy outlook on life and their bodies, and the tools they need to stay healthy and strong for the rest of their lives. Teaching them longevity over short term health and guiding them into a healthy lifestyle free of over-processed foods, providing more fresh foods closer to natures source, and training them that exercise should be a part of their daily regime, will help them not only be healthier this year but for the coming years.