Just do something.

Well, now is the time. The end of the year is approaching and many are asking similar questions.

  • How do I get on track and stay on track, using the New Year as a starting point?
  • What is the best fitness program for me?  
  • Will lifting weights help me tone muscle, without get too big?
  • Are you a runner?
  • How do I get started?

Meanwhile, some people also share common barriers.

  • I have no time.
  • I hate to run.
  • I'll start tomorrow.
  • I have no energy.
  • I'm not athletic.
  • I am too intimidated to "join a gym".
  • I need to get in shape before I go to the gym.

I say to you, "Just get started." I don't consider Lifestyle a gym. We're a place. We're a place where personal victories begin, continue, or are accomplished. Yes, we have competitive athletes who are training for competition and personal bests. But we're also a place for everyday people to build healthy lifestyle habits.

Here are my top 10 tips to consider as the New Year approaches.

  1. Just get started. Take a daily walk or park a little further away each time you visit a store. The added steps each day can add up.
  2. Try something new. Substitute one unhealthy favorite (like chips, candy, or muffins) for a fruit or vegetable. Small switches make changes easier. It has been said, "There is no workout to offset a bad diet." 
  3. Find your style. What works for someone else might not be your style. Explore classes, equipment, and trainers to determine what combination makes you comfortable and keeps you motivated.
  4. Take a friend. Sharing a healthy lifestyle with a friend not only helps your clothes fit better, but also gives your emotional health a boost.
  5. Ignore the number. In fact, I say throw away the scale. Or at least hide it for a while. There are many factors that affect weight, including salt intake, hydration, and time of the day. Make changes to improve your health, not change your number.
  6. Be realistic. Setting attainable goals is important. Slow changes result in long-term improvements, whereas quick fixes tend to provide only temporary solutions.
  7. Ask for help. Personal trainers and certified class instructors offer plans for improving strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance.
  8. Be patient. You may find your expectations will adjust, as you become healthier. It takes time to meet goals and build on momentum.
  9. Forgive yourself. You might have a busy week and can't get your steps in or make it to your fitness class. Perhaps a week of celebration revolves around parties and food. It is OK, just get started again.
  10. Have fun and celebrate. Try walking and talking (not texting) to a long-distant friend. Try a Zumba class. Play frisbee. Hike in Corinth. Just DO something. Anything active is better than sitting.