Sunday, March 4, 2012

Double Down and Renew Those Resolutions

As the New Year began, many of us had renewed energy to make some necessary changes in our lives.  We vowed to achieve a happier, healthier, and more active lifestyle. We hoped that these changes would be accompanied by weight loss. By now we’ve found that changing our behavior in the midst of winter is easier said than done.  After just two months, our promises seem to have fallen by the wayside. Here are some tips to avoid common pitfalls:

Set Realistic Goals: If you haven’t been exercising, build up gradually and avoid injuries or burn-out.  Develop a routine that fits your specific needs and lifestyle.

Manage your expectations:  Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. A goal of losing one to two pounds per week is achieveable. You’ll need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day. You’ll need to lower your caloric intake and exercise regularly.

Write Your Plan: Putting clear, concise goals on paper greatly increases your chances of success. Instead of saying “I’ll work out twice a week.” Write down “I will walk daily for 30 minutes and strength-train twice a week for thirty minutes each session.”

Stay Positive: Each goal should be approached with a “can do” attitude. Negative self-talk is self-defeating.

Forget About Excuses: Plan ahead. Pack a workout bag and set it by the door or leave it in the car.  Head right to the gym after work instead of driving home. Eliminate excuses to miss workouts.

Recruit Others: Exercising with a buddy helps. Join a group fitness class or get the family involved.  Have more fun living actively and stay motivated.

Develop Coping Strategies: The road isn’t always smooth. Setbacks are a given. Injuries, sickness, time constraints and other unforeseen events shouldn’t hold you back. Once issues are resolved, jump right back into a healthy fitness routine.

Build in Rewards: Celebrating successes helps you stay motivated. Enjoy small rewards to boost your happiness and keep you striving for more.

"The only one who can tell you 'you can't' is you. And you don't have to listen."
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