Now that it's just about the end of January, some people may think that just because they didn’t start off on their healthy lifestyle changes on January 1st that its already too late to commit to becoming more active. But when you get right down to it, January, and for that matter, the first part of the New Year is a perfect time to begin a healthy alternative lifestyle.
For some people, the cold weather that makes up January, February and March quashes their ambitions to get out and get active, or even go to the gym, because they must go outside just to get there. Sure, we are way more active in the warmer months. But January really is a perfect time to start building the foundation for the healthy body and lifestyle you want for 2019.
Let January be your small step month, a month to get into a regular routine with realistic goals so you will have a better chance of sticking to it. Every small step you make to keep moving is going to help you reach your goal. Small steps add up to big results if you just give them enough time and you don’t give up. It’s not all or nothing. It’s more like every little bit counts!
A good reason to do so in January is that exercise can boost your immune system. With all the flu and colds going around, we certainly need that added benefit this time of year. And doctors agree that getting out in the colder weather can actually help strengthen your immune system, but of course, you need to dress for it, and also eat nutritious meals so that you can get all the benefits necessary to allow your body to work naturally the way it was meant to.
So, what will it take for you to get moving this January? Don’t be afraid to exercise outside, even though you may really want to just sit by the fire. I really despise cold weather but have learned that cold is only miserable if you are not properly dressed.
The bonus is that walking, hiking or running outside in this weather can be very invigorating — and it will also boost your mood, which is important in the sometimes-gloomy wintertime. Staying warm while exercising can require a lot more energy in the colder months, therefore leading to more calories burned.
Invest in the correct cold-weather workout gear, including lightweight gloves and something to cover your ears. Dress in layers and be smart about it. Make sure your head, mouth, hands, and feet are properly covered. Use your common sense about how cold is too cold. Make use of advances in sports fabrics that are available today, ones that wick moisture away from your skin so that when you do work up a sweat while exercising out in the cold, you're not going to feel chilled because the fabric keeps the material close to your body dry.
When I lose my motivation because of the cold weather, I always remember the feeling I get when I accomplish a goal. That feeling drives me to get outside and go. It’s what will keep you motivated no matter what time of year it is.
Making yourself move when you feel like sitting is like putting money in your health bank. By spring, that deposit in your health bank will be paying off in dividends of pounds off, more energy, better frame of mind and a stronger you. And you may discover that your clothes have become a little less constricting, which for a lot of us is one of the biggest reasons we strive to live up to our new healthier lifestyle way of life.
The routine of it all is extremely important as well. When we get out of our routines, like we often do over the holiday season, and it can play with our psyche. The sooner we get back to a regular exercise program the better.
Make a January goal. Nothing too outrageous. Then amp up that goal for February. You may want to try to walk 10,000 steps a day for January. Once you breeze past that goal, make it 12,000 steps plus working in some strength training at least two days a week, three would be better and you don’t need the latest and greatest in weight training to pull this off. This time of year, you would be surprised just how many people are getting rid of old sports equipment, especially home gyms. Those, unlike you, who have given up already on their New Year’s resolutions and are looking to make some money on equipment that is only taking up space in their homes.
The key to staying with any kind of exercise program is to take it in increments and make sure your goals are always evolving so your body gets the max benefit.
You should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. Since there are 168 hours in one week, that means we have 10,800 minutes in one week. When you look at it that way, it seems reasonable. We can squeeze in 150 minutes out of 10,800 minutes.
Remember that foundation you've started building in January, will be the entire key to your whole year as you progress and pay into your health bank. Keep building until your exercise, and new healthy outlook on how to live and active life comes naturally to you. That is when it becomes a habit that you cannot live without. And you’re going to be surprised at just how much better you feel, this year and for years to come.
From your active friends here at PedometersUSA.com