3 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Resolution of Getting Physically Active

20150509_144455Happy New Year, UVic!

I don’t know about you guys, but 2015 was full of twists, turns, laughs, a few unforeseen speed bumps and some incredibly enjoyable experiences. All in all I’d say it was a raging success, and I’m excited to jump into 2016.

The thing about jumping into 2016 though, is a little thing called a New Year’s resolution. I’ve always been very fond of making up resolutions for myself, however I am not exactly famous for following up on them.

Last year my resolution was to incorporate more physical activity into my daily life…and to floss every night. Pretty classic resolutions I’d say, but I was very excited about them.

I jumped into my resolutions feeling full of excitement and intention, and stuck to my promises faithfully. For about a week. Then I ran out of floss. Two days later it started raining, classes amped up, and I decided that daily physical activity was pretty much out of the question.

Classic.

I’m guessing you may have experienced similar New Year’s resolution flops, possibly even the same ones that I have. But don’t give up hope just yet; it’s a brand new year, and that means this is a brand new chance for us to stick to them!

I’ve been pondering what to choose for a few days now, and I decided that I should give the daily physical activity goal another go. This year though, I’ve got a plan.

I’ve been doing some unofficial research about this topic, talking to friends, profs and acquaintances who are already successfully active each day, and I’ve come up with 3 tips and tricks to help you and me successfully get moving for every single day of 2016.

1. Start small.

You do NOT have to be a varsity athlete, marathon runner or gym rat to be active each day. If the thought of going for a half hour run makes you feel nauseous, start with a five minute walk. No pressure at all, just get those legs moving for a few minutes.

2. Keep the momentum going.

Life can get kind of crazy here at UVic, and I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that some days I barely feel like I have time to eat, let alone work up a sweat. But skipping one day of movement very quickly turns into nine days, and before you know it you’ve completely forgotten that you ever made a resolution for 2016.

If you don’t have time to go to a yoga class, stretch while you’re in line at Starbucks. No time to go for a run? Get off the bus two stops early and walk home from there. Gym is too far away? Do ten push-ups before bed. EVERYTHING helps. And even ten minutes of movement a day will help you think more clearly, boost your memory and improve your sleep.

3. Make it visual.

I know gold star stickers seem like a distant memory from kindergarten, but they work! Keeping a visual record of your daily successes is a super easy and effective way to keep yourself motivated.

Get a wall calendar, agenda, or an app on your phone and record your daily movement. Seeing seventeen check marks in a row will motivate you to keep that beauty of a calendar going and not miss a day.

So what do you say? Want to give daily physical activity a second chance with me? I’m by no means perfect, but I’m going to try as hard as I can this year. And if you have any other tips and tricks, send them my way!

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1 Response

  1. Jonnoh says:

    Great hints! Here are mine that have really worked over the long haul: 4) set regular times and days and push ALL other events around this … short of family emergencies, this IS a priority if you want it to be. 5) team up with a reliable friend to meet up on the days/times you can both meet – a no show means a fine payable to the one who showed up (unless you’re so sick you can’t work or go to school that day); lastly, my favorite, 6) Ruthlessly enforce the 15 minute rule; even if you’re really tired or feel like a bug might be coming on, show up and do at least 15 minutes of warm up and light exercise. If you still feel rotten after 15 minutes, call it a day without feeling guilty. In my experience, most of the time you will feel much better after the 15 minutes and you can finish your regular routine. Good luck!

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