I would like to wish all the readers of this blog a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012! Having said this, I believe New Year’s Resolutions are a good topic to start off my blog for this year.
As we enter this New Year, we all set goals for ourselves that we hope to achieve this year. A common one, which I come across a lot in the Biokinetic profession, is people wanting to lose weight and get fit. They start off with great, but often unrealistic goals, resulting in them struggling to keep up the momentum to continue exercising regularly throughout the year.
It is important to remember that keeping active needs to form part of your lifestyle. It is no good to simply say at the beginning of each year that you are going to ‘get fit’ and you start going to gym 6 days a week. Within a few months you will more than likely physically burn out because your body is not used to such intense physical stress. The risk of injury is high and you will probably stop exercising altogether as your body cannot cope.
Rather, start by exercising at a low to moderate intensity, for example, a brisk walk, 3 times a week for about 15 minutes. If you feel it is too much, then cut back to 10 minutes. Try to exercise more often and for shorter bouts, rather than one long session once a week.
If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, encourage a friend or your partner to start with you. It is much easier to exercise while being distracted by casual conversion. Otherwise, try to find classes to attend, such a dance classes, pilates, aerobics, or groups such as Run/Walk for Life. Plan to do an activity with your family on the weekends that requires you to be physically active. Take the kids for a ride in the park – ride with them, don’t just watch! Play garden cricket with your children, friends or family.
Set realistic goals for yourself. If you have been moderately active, then aim to stay active despite time constraints. If you have done no exercise for the past 6 months, then aim to get to at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 times per week. Gradually increase your goals, so that they are reasonable and attainable.
Let your New Year’s Resolution be to still be physically active 3-5 days a week by the end of the year.
Remember: pace yourself – everything in moderation!