Happy New Year! We hope that 2018 brings you much health, happiness, and good fortune! At the beginning of each new year, people are always reassessing their health and looking to make it a priority. Resolutions for improved fitness, health, and general wellness become the things to strive for, as a new year means a new start. However, how many times do we see people fall off the wagon after only a few weeks or a few months into starting their new year resolutions? We came up with 3 simple steps to try and implement when putting your health as a priority in 2018.

1) Be Consistent & Put In The Work

The reality of improving health, fitness, and overall general wellness is that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Lofty goals and expectations you set for the start of 2018 will never be reached if you’re thinking with only the short term in mind.

Being consistent with fitness and health goals are probably the hardest thing to do. Everyone it seems nowadays has a million things going on at one time, which makes it easy to say “I’m too busy.” However, if you start small, understand what your limitations are when first starting out, then you are more likely to stick with your plan than fizzling out. This concept leads us into our second recommendation when starting out on your new health journey.

2) Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

How many times do we see people who haven’t been working out for weeks, months, or even years attempt to go to all out at the gym when first starting out? They’ll workout for 1-2 hours, 3-5 days a week and in addition to that, they completely overhaul their diet in the process. Doing this is a good way to get frustrated in the process, and also increase the likelihood that you get hurt because your body won’t be able to handle to spike in activity in that short amount of time.

If you are new to working out, starting out with 20-30 minute workouts a few times a week is a perfect place to start. Then each week gradually add more time to your workout by 5-10 minutes, or change the frequency to gradually build your body’s ability to handle the stress from exercise. When it comes to nutrition, the all or none approach usually yields poor results. Understand where you need to reign things in and where you can make the most impact to round out your diet.

 

3) Have Someone In Your Corner To Keep You Accountable

Accountability when making lifestyle changes is crucial. Having someone who understands what your goals are, who can manage your expectations, but also challenge you when times get difficult can go a long way in keeping you on the right track. Maybe you need a network of people to keep you accountable, as that works as well! You do not need someone on you 24/7, but having a friend or workout partner who can be realistic and understand the best way to motivate you is a powerful tool.

There are going to be ups and downs, there are going to be struggles, but having someone in your corner to help you through those events can be the difference between giving up on your goals or staying the course. Remember, exercising is supposed to be fun, not something that you dread! Play a sport to exercise, have some friendly competitions, and enjoy the process!

Summary

It still blows my mind how underutilized exercise continues to be when it comes to changing health. Everyone is looking for the quick fix, the next big thing, and the reality is this didn’t happen overnight. Let’s make 2018 a great year when it comes to your fitness and health. That’s 365 days to make small, simple changes for the opportunity to improve your well being long term.

If you look at the picture below, the graph with the nice pretty line is usually not where most people end up. There will be challenges along the way that will try and derail you from achieving the new version of yourself you are trying to create. Stay consistent, seek others for help with your goals, and don’t overthink it! Exercise frequently to your tolerance, hone in on your nutrition, and don’t overlook your sleep and hydration to help round out the new you!

 

Happy Lifting!

Dr. Russ

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