It’s Not too Late to Stick to Your Resolutions–Here’s How!
We are quickly approaching the end of January. Does that mean that your resolutions have already taken a nose-dive? Statistics say something like 80 percent of people who make resolutions have already dropped them by the end of January. But those same odds makers tell us that if you consistently do something for just 21 days it becomes habit.
I was recently given an opportunity to ask a few questions of LiveWell Colorado’s Rally Man, Jamie Atlas who knows a thing (or ten) about tips to help you keep those resolutions alive. The questions I asked him were real mom issues.
Me: I made this resolution but I don’t know what to do to get started.
Rally Man(Jamie): Think about three small changes you can make in order to create momentum that will eventually turn your resolution into a reality. For example, do you want to exercise two days per week? To get on the right path have your gym bag ready and by the door in the morning. Try going to bed earlier to work out before you head to the office or your kids wake up. Call a friend to go for a power walk instead of dinner or drinks. All of these are great first steps. Bottom line: Focus on those few first steps.
Me: I have worked out a couple times in the past few weeks but I’m not LOSING any weight.
Rally Man(Jamie): Working out is critical, but it isn’t the only factor that contributes to weight loss. Are you exercising well, eating right and sleeping through the night? An absence of any one of those three can wreak havoc on weight-loss attempts. Don’t get stressed, though. Even if you aren’t losing weight yet you’re getting all sorts of other heart healthy and stress-reducing benefits while you’re waiting for the scale to move. Keep at it!
Me: I’m having a hard time fitting workouts into my schedule…can you give me suggestions?
Rally Man(Jamie) This afternoon, I ran on a treadmill for five minutes. That was all. I also had a walking meeting that took about 20 minutes at lunch, and this morning I did about five minutes of lifting dumbbells into the back of my car after the outdoor boot camp class I was teaching. That’s 30 minutes of activity in total. You might be surprised how fast activity adds up when you break your day down into five or 10-minute increments of activity. When is your next five-minute window to take a break and what can you do with that time? Maybe you have stairs in your building or a hill nearby you could walk up briskly. Staying active doesn’t have to require two hours at the gym or in front of a workout DVD to make an impact.
Me: Is there anything I can do WITH my kids? My kids are little…
Rally Man(Jamie): I have a 10-month-old and a 4-year-old who love to do different things. My 10-month-old loves being lifted up to the sky and then playfully squatted down low, or worn in a carrier while I do walking lunges. He becomes a great, natural version of a weighted vest. My 4-year-old daughter loves playing chase and mirroring games. All it takes is a little creativity and an intent to surprise your kids with fun movement for a set period of time (Note: Aim for an interval of four minutes of constant activity with one minute of rest for four – five sets. This will give you a great workout that will get you and your kids in shape).
Me: I don’t have money to buy a gym membership or hire a trainer. What do I do?
Rally Man (Jamie): The Internet is an amazing resource. Go online and begin your learning process. Watch workouts, observe your form in the mirror and don’t be afraid to send some of the fitness experts a question or email from time to time. Make a space at home that is your “gym space” and do your best to defend that space from other household items like stray furniture or baskets of laundry. Or if you have fitness equipment, don’t let that treadmill become the world’s most expensive dresser.
Me: Yeah, I love some of the FREE fitness apps like Nike Training Club, Sworkit and MapMyFitness.
Me: I have a habit of making my kids a dinner that THEY will eat – and have little will power to eat or make something else.
Rally Man (Jamie): Think through your schedule and when you have the time (and willpower) to make something else. Sometimes that’s Sunday night, other times it might be Wednesday evening when the kids are in bed. Either way, during that window, do your best to prepare healthy meals and sides in advance. If you need to, make something for your kids as well if you have time, but focus on eating healthy at dinnertime. Your children will eventually grow curious and want to try some of what’s on your plate.
Me: I’ve read, “set a realistic goal” but I have no idea what that is/should be.
Rally Man (Jamie): What’s a goal that would be impossible to achieve in your mind (i.e. getting to the gym seven days a week)? What is something that is so easy it doesn’t seem worthwhile (i.e. switching to nonfat milk in your morning coffee)? What’s a change that would mean something to you if you could bring it about through your own actions? Finally, what’s the time frame needed to commit to that goal? Are you being realistic? For goal setting, “realistic” is a goal that is both achievable but just enough out of reach that it requires some change or personal growth to achieve it in a reasonable time frame.
Me: I worked out and my muscles ached for days…now I don’t want to cause I know it will hurt. Can you give me tips to get past that?
Rally Man (Jamie): Start slow, start smart. Here is why your muscles hurt: When your muscles work out, they create byproducts (just like the exhaust from a car). If you haven’t been working out, your body doesn’t know how to remove the byproducts which irritates the muscles and creates soreness. Over time, the more you work out, the better your body becomes at processing and removing those waste products from the muscles. More workout time may mean more waste products are created within the muscle.
But if you keep at, your body becomes better at not only removing the pain-causing by-products, but also improves at the healing of worked muscles. In turn, your body gets more efficient at preventing injury and muscle soreness. If you are just getting started with a fitness routine, keep your workouts reasonable and make changes small and incremental but constant. You will look – and feel – better as your body adapts to all the activity you are throwing at it each week.
You can learn more and receive once-weekly emails with tips and inspiration from Jamie by signing up on the LiveWell site.
Email me if you have other questions for Rally Man. I will do my best to facilitate getting them answered for you!
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