Keep up healthy resolutions in 2019
When setting out on a fitness journey, the first step is often the hardest. The idea of changing what, in some cases, could be a lifetime of unhealthy habits may seem daunting, but there are some steps to take that will make it more manageable:
Our culture tells us to seek fast results, but when making long-term changes there are no shortcuts. As cliché as it may seem, we really should treat this as a marathon and not a sprint. There should never be an end date applied to healthy living. With patience, the changes can last a lifetime.
Make a Plan
It can become easy to get sidetracked when we wait until the day comes to decide if it’s the pool, the bike or the treadmill. We can avoid that pitfall by building a detailed plan that provides daily instructions, leaving out the guesswork. It is easier to stick to the plan when we have one that shows us what is on the schedule, especially when the temptation comes to hit the snooze button on a cold January morning. Most gyms have trained staff on hand that can help develop programs and there are excellent guidelines available from reputable organizations like the American Heart Association. Your primary care physician can also offer insight and should be consulted before you begin a new exercise program.
Keep a Journal
Journals serve the dual purpose of keeping us accountable, while also providing an avenue for celebrating each small victory. Write down everything you eat, everything you do to be active. Even use it to keep track of those days you decide to skip. Journals make excellent prompts so always keep it handy. And be honest, both in the days that are triumphant and the ones that are challenging. A fitness diary also serves as a great reminder of how far you have come. You will be amazed to see your progress.
Try it for a Month
We become what we do over and over. The more we do it, the quicker it becomes a habit. Chances are, after 30 days, you will find yourself feeling and looking better and having more confidence. More than that, you will hopefully find that you have adopted a new lifestyle, not just taken on a new activity.
Tifani Kinard is Hospital Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer at Polk Medical Center.