With a global pandemic upon us, 2020 was a year when virtually everyone was focused on their health and fitness. Or were they?
While we were busy social distancing and stockpiling, many people overlooked other health conditions, spaced on their routine workouts, rationalized work-at-home snacking… and saw their stress levels skyrocket.
This year definitely came with plenty of distractions and opportunities for excuses. Maybe you abandoned your gym routine or other healthy habits somewhere along the way. It’s been a strange year, and it’s ok that you don’t feel like your best self right now – in fact, that’s completely normal and expected in stressful circumstances.
Ready to stop feeling stuck and start finding balance? I’m a certified life coach and would love to talk to you!
What a fitness routine can do for you
What better way to combat stress than to work through it physically? If you’ve heard of or experienced a “runner’s high,” you know what I’m talking about. Our bodies release happy hormones called endorphins when we engage in physical activity, and it’s just a good idea for your overall health to be physically active.
Having a routine for moving your body will make it easier for you to commit to taking care of yourself in this way. Without a clear plan or goal, you’re much more likely to skip working out, avoid creating time for it, and continue to feel stuck.
If 2020 was a “fitness fail” for you, it’s time to get back on the horse and find your rhythm again.
How to create your own routine
This may seem obvious, but the first step in creating your fitness routine is to pick an activity you actually like to do.
Working out can and should be enjoyable! It also can and should be challenging, but not in a way that makes you want to avoid it at all cost. Choose to practice activities that are fun, make you feel stronger, or give you that rush of mental clarity. Don’t force yourself into a workout routine that you hate; you likely won’t stick with it long if that’s the case.
Here are some popular activities to consider:
- Weight lifting
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. However you choose to move your body is up to you!
How to commit to your fitness routine
If you’ve had trouble in the past actually showing up to the activities you’d picked out for yourself, this part is for you.
When we’re first beginning to develop new habits, the hardest part is consistency. In order to solidify these good habits and make them more automatic, we have to do the hard work in the beginning of showing up over and over until it sticks. The more consistent you can be right off the bat, the more likely your new habits and routines will stick long term.
Here are some things to try when you’re creating a new routine:
- Write it down. Get a pen and paper and physically write out your fitness goals. Writing down your goals helps your brain retain and subconsciously work toward them.
- Schedule it in. Put your workouts or activities into your calendar. Remove the excuse that there’s not enough time by making time for it. And then actually go when you say you will.
- Pack your gym bag the night before. Put it in your car the night before, too, if you’re worried you’ll forget it. Cut out as many excuses as possible!
- Tell your significant other, your family, or a close friend about your goals. Ask if they’ll help keep you accountable to the plans you’ve set out for yourself. Telling another person about your goals gives you even more reason to follow through.
Here’s to a healthy new year!
Remember: You are more than your routines and your habits. A missed workout does not mean you’ve failed, and it sure isn’t a reason to quit completely!
Move your body in ways that feel good to you and challenge you, and you’ll be on your way to a successful fitness routine and a healthier life.
Every year, National Family Health & Fitness Day is celebrated on the last Saturday in September. This year, it falls on Saturday, Sept. 29. Stay informed regarding best practices for your family’s health and fitness and get moving to celebrate National Family Health & Fitness Day this weekend!
The Purpose of National Family Health & Fitness Day
The Health and Information Resource Center established National Family Health & Fitness Day in 1996 to encourage people of all ages to prioritize physical activity.
About 80.2 million Americans over the 6 of six are physically inactive. Physical inactivity is a leading cause of disease and disability, according to the World Health Organization. Some risks of physical inactivity are high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Today, many children enjoy sedentary activities like playing video games, surfing the web, and using social media. Children learn by example, so it’s very helpful for them to see their parents maintaining healthy lifestyles through exercise. When families participate in enjoyable activities like hiking, biking, tag, or kickball together, children learn that exercise is fun and begin to establish positive habits that can last a lifetime.
How to Celebrate National Family Health & Fitness Day
“When planning family activities around movement, it is important to make fun the overriding factor,” said Gregory Florez, the senior advisor on workplace leadership and vitality for the American Council on Exercise. “In fact, don’t even use the word exercise. Think of using games, competitions, etc.”
Here are some ideas for activities you can do with your family on Saturday to celebrate National Family Health & Fitness Day:
- Take a hike at a local park
- Teach your kids a game you played as a kid like Kick the Can, Capture the Flag, or Spud.
- Take a bike ride to explore a new part of town (make sure it has sidewalks/safe places to bike!)
- Host your own family Olympics. Make up your own competitions, like hopscotch, relay races, and jump rope.
- Have a water gun or nerf gun war.
- Play tag at the park or in the backyard.
- If it’s a rainy day, play laser tag or go roller skating!