The year 2017 is coming and for many of us, that cannot happen soon enough. Ever time the calendar flips over to a New Year, many of us take stock of the last year and then make plans for the next year and many times, that involves our fitness level and our health. As I was discussing with my doctor this morning, getting a bit off the middle can do wonders in almost every aspect of your health and can reduce your dependence upon interventions and medicine.
So why, with so many positives, do so few people follow through on their New Year’s Resolution to improve their health! In our opinion, it is because they try to do too much too soon. Give yourself the ability to win! When you are planning your New Year’s fitness routine, start slow, build slowly, and then before you know it, you will be doing things that you might not have thought possible.
The most important thing to remember is to talk with your doctor before you start to make sure your plan isn’t too aggressive for your physical condition but what I recommend is probably not too aggressive for almost anyone. How I start with people is to work out for only 1 minute of more vigorous activity than you are normally used to so if climbing the stairs is vigorous activity for you, a trip up and down the stairs would be my limit for the first week.
A 1 minute walk on a treadmill or a 1 minute workout on an elliptical might be all you need for the first week and then slowly increase your time by 1 minute each week. When you feel that that is easy for you, even when you increase the time, then start to increase the intensity. That is what is great about a treadmill or an elliptical. Not only can you increase the speed but you can also increase the incline or the ramp height or the magnetic resistance to have varying ways to increase intensity.
Once you have built up your time- in a year, you will be doing nearly 1 hour per day- you can start using the programs on the machine to keep the workout from being monotonous. That’s why so many people use machines to work out- the flexibility. Not only can a treadmill or an elliptical be flexible enough to meet the needs of a beginning or a serious athlete, it can also let you do so in the climate controlled environment of your home where you don’t have to worry about the weather, neighborhood dogs, or these days especially- people who want to harm you.
So the key to a New Year New You may be to talk it over with your doctor, start slow, build your time and intensity slowly, and by this time next year, you are going to look back on 2017 and say, this was the year I got serious about my fitness, lost weight, got healthy, improved my appearance, and most importantly, gave myself a new lease on life.