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January Fitness Tips

Michelle Walker, base fitness specialist

Michelle Walker, the base fitness specialist with the 169th Force Support Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, August 28, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Caycee Watson)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

1. Be Consistent

Have an idea of what you want to do in the gym or a cycle class commit and don’t look back.  Studies show us that anything you do for 30 days you can make a habit. That’s a win-win if that 30 day habit is a healthy habit! 

2. Follow an Effective Exercise Routine

  • Strength training. Even 20 minutes a day, twice a week will help tone the entire body.
  • Interval training. In its most basic form, interval training might involve walking for two minutes, running for two, and alternating this pattern throughout the duration of a workout. It is an extremely time-efficient and productive way to exercise.
  • Increased cardio/aerobic exercise. Also, accumulating 60 minutes or more a day of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, running, or dancing.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Don't strive for perfection or an improbable goal that can't be met. Focus instead on increasing healthy behaviors.

In other words, don't worry if you can't run a 5K just yet. Make it a habit to walk 15-20 minutes a day, and add time, distance, and intensity from there.

4. Use the Buddy System

Find a friend or relative whom you like and trust who also wants to establish a healthier lifestyle. Encourage one another. Exercise together. Use this as an opportunity to enjoy one another's company and get healthy together. 

5. Make Your Plan Fit Your Life

Too busy to get to the gym?

Make your plan fit your life. You don’t have to find a complicated routine or compete with someone that has been working out steady for years, do what you know YOU will commit too. 

If you've got floor space, try simple floor exercises to target areas such as the hips and buttocks, legs and thighs, and chest and arms (like push-ups, squats, and lunges). Aim for 10-12 repetitions of each exercise, adding more reps and intensity as you build strength.

6. Be Happy

Be sure to pick an activity you actually enjoy doing, lifting, marathons, swimming, cycling or dancing just to name a few. 

And choose something that is convenient. Rock climbing may be a great workout, but if you live in a city, it's not something you'll be doing every day.

7. Watch the Clock

Your body is your clock. Try to work out at the time you have the most energy. If you're a morning person, schedule your fitness activities early in the day; if you perk up as the day goes along, plan your activities in the afternoon or evening.

Working out while you have the most energy will yield the best results.

8. Call in the Pros

Having a professional assessment to determine what types of exercise you need most, might be in order if you haven’t worked out lately and are getting back to it.  

For some people, attention to flexibility or to balance and agility, may be more important than resistance training or aerobics to start back. By getting a professional assessment, you can determine your weakest links and focus on them. This will improve your overall fitness balance.

9. Get Inspired

"Fitness is a state of mind,” and for most of us once you have started back doing something healthy for yourself you not only see the benefits you can feel them in your day to day activities and that is what drives most of us to continue working out.

10. Be Patient

Finally, remember that even if you follow all these tips, there will be ups and downs, setbacks and victories. Just be patient, and don't give up. "Hang in there, and you'll see solid results."

 

Healthy Living Choices for 2020

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.

Simplify - Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious

Start slow - Make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.

Small Changes Matter - Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and just be overall healthier. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.

Drink Water - Consider water as one of the central components to your diet. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.