Resolutions are a hot topic at the turn of a new year! Nearly all Americans make New Year's resolutions to better themselves and they are a great way to make a change in your life. And over 45% of them are based around exercise and losing weight. But unfortunately, approximately 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week in February.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make your exercise resolutions stick and to set yourself up for success.
Set realistic, measurable goals for yourself:
A reason that so many resolutions fail is because they are too broad and difficult to measure. Setting goals like "going to the gym more" or "eating better" simply aren't specific enough. When a goal is measurable, it enables you to see your successes more clearly. So when you are setting your resolutions, try to make sure they are something you can track - like going to the gym three days a week, limiting your calorie intake to a healthy number, running or walking a specific distance, or working out for at least 30 minutes a day. Each of these goals can be measured so that you know when you're crushing them and when you're falling short.
Break the resolution up into smaller goals:
Losing 40 pounds or running a marathon can seem like incredibly lofty goals to reach when you're starting from scratch. A good way to make the daunting tasks seem a bit more doable is to break them down into bite size, manageable pieces. Instead of just working towards losing a certain amount of pounds, try losing a pound per week, or focusing on the way your body feels instead of the pounds. You will see the changes in your health more readily and the weightless is just a bonus from maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
Keep your workouts interesting:
Living a healthier life is a daily commitment. And doing the same workouts over and over, week in and week out, can get so boring! It is important to keep things interesting to avoid burnout. Go for a bike ride, change your running route, sign up for a kick boxing class, try out yoga, go for a hike or a swim. Keeping your body active in new and exciting ways means your muscles aren't performing the same task all of the time. Switching up the way you work out not only keeps you interested in your health and fitness, it keeps your body agile and ready for the next activity.
If you're looking to burn fat, workout for more than 20 minutes:
Most people probably wouldn't know that fat isn't burned during the first 20 minutes of a workout. Instead, your body burns glucose. Now, no workout is a bad workout, and if you can only get a 20 minute one in for the day, then do not fear! But if you can push past the 20 minute mark, your body realizes that if it keeps burning glucose, it's going to run out soon, so it switches to burning fat. This is a useful piece of knowledge to have when you're planning your workouts!
Studies show that one of the most important pieces of keeping your New Year's resolutions is to build accountability into them. If your friends expect to see you in the gym, or if your coworkers know to ask how your marathon training is going, you are much more likely to stick to them. It's easy to give up on your goals if no one but you knows about them. Let your friends in on your resolutions. You'll be surprised how helpful and encouraging they can be!
This is important for hitting the marks you set this year. Resolutions aren't set in stone! They can adjust and adapt to your life and what you are experiencing. So set reminders to reevaluate your goals as often as you need. They can shift as you continue to work towards them, making them more manageable, forgiving, motivating, and possible.
This year, make your New Year's exercise goals work for you! You will be surprised by how much these tips enable you to keep your resolutions far beyond February. And remember, the most important thing you can do to reach your goals is to just get started!
Have questions about how to successfully manage your diabetes or set realistic resolutions? Schedule a 15 min call with Kent, our diabetes educator and pharmacist. He can help you learn how to get healthy this year.
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