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With every new year comes new resolutions and promises we hope to keep. Some of them are easily attainable while others are highly unrealistic.

How many people do you know promised themselves they will stop smoking only to find themselves back to their old habit? How much have you spent on an annual gym membership that you never actually used?

The key to a successful resolution is to keep your goals practical and achievable.

Here are four suggestions that could take your fitness goals to the next level.

  • 01

    Start small. Start slow.

    You could still be high from the last two weeks of holidays so don’t commit yourself to running 3 km every day right away. And don’t tell yourself that you’ll start going to the gym every day (remember your last gym membership?).

    Be practical. Start by doing quick 10-minute exercises at home and in between office hours. If you know that the thought of driving to the gym is what makes you not go at all, then do Zumba or aerobics at home, that’s what YouTube is for!

    SEE ALSO: New research shows that exercise increases brain size

  • 02

    Walk more. Walk often.

    This is connected to starting small and being practical. Experts recommend that adults walk 10,000 steps a day which is equivalent to 5 miles, but this could be an intimidating number for some.

    Why not go for a 30-min brisk walk every other day, then do it more frequently? You can also stand and walk while you’re on a phone call (do some stretching while you’re at it). Park far away from your office or from the mall. Make a conscious effort to walk. Get your own groceries rather than calling the store.

    SEE ALSO: 15 practical ways to keep yourself fit

  • 03

    Sleep better. Rest your mind.

    I have a whole article about the benefits of good sleep. The lack of sleep increases your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, it impairs your memory and makes you fat.

    Like all other habits, sleeping better will take some getting used to. Set up an alarm or reminder on your phone 20 minutes before your target sleeping time to give you time to wrap up whatever it is you are doing. Even if your mind’s still racing, go to bed, do your bedtime routine, keep your phone away and close the light. Train yourself to sleep better.

    SEE ALSO: 7 science-backed reasons why you should be sleeping more

  • 04

    Eat better. Prepare your food.

    We all know that fast food isn’t the best option to nourish our bodies. Preparing your own food makes you aware of the contents of your meal and it also gets you moving.

    SEE ALSO: 17 simple ways to lower your calorie intake

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