Resolve to get fit in 2020

Dec 30, 2019


It's that time of year again. A time for New Year's resolutions, which for many of us means resolving to exercise more.

It's a great goal. But maybe one that feels daunting. The important thing to remember is that you don't have to go from zero to 60 overnight. Getting back into fitness is going to take a little planning, but armed with the right information, you can do it.

Why bother getting fit at all?

There are a multitude of good reasons to exercise your way back to physical fitness. Regular physical activity can help you:

  • Prevent the three leading health-related causes of death—heart disease, stroke and cancer
  • Control your weight
  • Build overall strength and endurance
  • Improve your sleep
  • Lower your risk for depression
  • Increase your energy and self-esteem
  • Relieve stress

Make a plan

What kind of exercise do you want to begin with? Do you want to join a gym or jog? Either way you'll want to follow these tips to help you stick with your resolve:

  • Schedule your exercise. Set aside a time of day to exercise. Put it on your calendar and make it as much of a priority as a business meeting or any other must-do. If you miss an exercise session, fit activity into your day some other way.
  • Start slowly. For example, start out by walking on flat ground for 15 to 20 minutes most days of the week. Work your way gradually up to 30 minutes at least five days a week. As you get stronger, add hills to your walking path.
  • Plan for bad weather. You don't want rain or cold to keep you from your appointed workout. Have an alternative plan for bad-weather days—like an at-home routine.
  • Invite a friend. You're more likely to stick to your routine if you have an exercise buddy depending on you. Plus, having a friend along will make it more fun.
  • Speaking of fun…. Choose activities you enjoy. If walking isn't your thing, try swimming at your local YMCA. Or maybe you'd prefer riding a bicycle or hiking in a nearby forested park.
  • Keep track of your progress. Note your activities in a journal. Write down the distance or how long you exercised and how you feel after each session.
  • Skip a day? Go easy on yourself. Missing a day doesn't mean your entire exercise plan is in ruins. Vow to get back on the program tomorrow.

Remember: It's always a good idea to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. They may have tips to make the transition easier.

Build a balanced fitness routine

Don't forget—your fitness program should include stretching and other types of exercise. Learn how to build a balanced fitness routine.