Friday, January 27, 2012
It's a new year, so now is the time to let old habits die and start new ones. And why not start with exercise? We all know the many physical and mental benefits of exercise, but we still fail to get off of the sofa and get moving! So in 2012 make the commitment to get take care of your physical health, and we have a few tips to help you do it.
1. Take advantage of the outdoors. Push dinner back and schedule some exercise. Start just one day a week, with the goal to increase to 3 to 5 days. If this is the only time you get to spend with your kids, include them! Play tennis after work, or just walk the dog together. This has the added benefit of creating good exercise habits for your kids, too.
2. Find a workout buddy. Research shows having someone to workout with increases accountability and makes you more likely to fit fitness into your day. Just make sure your workout buddy has similar fitness goals as you and is reliable. Amp up the accountability factor by putting it in writing and signing a ‘commitment’ to each other. Make sure there is a consequence if one or both of you skips a workout—maybe you need to do an additional one on the weekend, or double the length of one or two workouts. If it works correctly, you may actually find yourself enjoying this ‘punishment!’
3. Get some feedback. Sometimes it’s hard to stay inspired when all you have is the scale talking back to you. Find other ways to measure progress—a pedometer, heart rate monitor, or BodyBugg are all great ways to set and track fitness goals. With a pedometer, aim for 5,000 steps a day. Once you’ve achieved that (it’s not so simple!) increase your daily steps by increments of 1,000. A heart rate monitor can be a great way to ensure you’re exercising in your target heart rate zone—which is key to burning fat and improving fitness levels. Many heart rate monitors will calculate your target heart rate zone for you. All you have to do is wear it!
4. Try something new. Walking is a great activity, but muscles get used to doing the same thing and become very efficient at it. Your body needs a shake-up to its routine if you want to see greater weight loss progress. Sign up for a class you have to pay for ahead of time so you know you’ll go. GMC offers fitness classes including yoga, pilates and cardio dance mix. You can also workout with our certified exercise specialists.
5. Train for something. Sign up for your church’s 5-K run against hunger, or join a Team in Training or Livestrong to train for an event and raise money for a charity you believe in. This approach gives you the best of all worlds—committing to training and finishing, connecting with others like you, and contributing to a worthy cause. Get involved today!