A FITNESS programme does not have to be difficult to understand or to stick to. Along with regular strength-training exercise, walking is one of the easiest and best ways to improve your health, energy levels and mood.
Walking can be done anywhere, provides excellent cardiovascular benefits and costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time.
A good way to stay motivated when beginning a walking programme is to use a pedometer, which will keep track of every step you take.
The current recommended number of steps per day is 10000. If you find you fall short of this amount, see it as a challenge and begin increasing the amount, striving toward your final goal of 10000 or more daily. All steps count, from structured workouts to running errands to housework.
Another idea to keep you moving is to form an exercise club with co-workers, family or friends. This teamwork approach provides camaraderie, accountability, support and encouragement to everyone in the group. Moving your arms as you walk expends five to 10% more calories.
Failing to follow through with resolutions may stem from having unreasonable expectations of yourself.
Being realistic means that your plan should allow room for an occasional setback because you will get side-tracked from time to time. If you are sticking to your fitness plan most days of the week, pat yourself on the back for a job well done instead of dwelling on a missed workout. An example of a typical resolution might be: "I will never eat junk food again." In reality, the likelihood of keeping such a promise is very slim, setting you up for failure. Resolve, instead, to pay attention to your food choices each day and your reasons for making them.
Instead of resolving to lose 10kg in a month, resolve to lose 2kg. This a more realistic and achievable goal. Once this goal has been met, new resolutions can be made to keep you motivated.
Resolutions mean that a new personal challenge lies ahead, created, planned and controlled by you. Keep a journal, where you can write down your resolutions and reasons for change, as this can be an important tool in keeping you clear and focused. If you have a specific task daily or weekly, make a note of each task, time and day, and check them off as you go. By charting your progress you'll gain insight into the thoughts and behaviours that are associated with your habits.
To avoid triggers that you know get you off track, prepare for them ahead of time. If eating habits always seem to be worse at a particular time of day, for instance, create an activity or a new routine for that time. If your downfall is a high-calorie comfort food, find one that is healthier and contains fewer calories.
Plan your workouts at a time that will fit into your current schedule instead of always trying to adjust your schedule to fit your workouts in.
This can be something as simple as shopping for a new outfit, treating yourself to a mini-vacation or a personal day to relax and enjoy yourself. The reward should be as great as the effort put forth.
Lastly, consider making your resolutions known to others. If you let others know about your resolutions, they will almost certainly want to "check in" with you to see how you are doing.