With the New Year in full swing, most people have already set New Year’s Resolutions. Some have stuck to them, and others may have already decided to try again next year. Many peoples New Year’s resolutions have something to do with physical activity, whether that may be to lose weight or simply become more activity.
Increasing the amount of physical activity in your life can benefit you in various different ways, other than just weight management:
- Control weight
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome
- Reduce risk of some cancers
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
- Increase your chances of living longer
Ideas for increasing physical activity:
- Hiking (southern California is lucky enough to have tons of different hiking destinations. This would be a great activity to do with the family on the weekend!)
- Walking (in the neighborhood, at the beach, in a park, etc.)
- Playing at the park with your children
- Weight training
- Gym classes (Zumba, spin, weight lifting, step, yoga, Pilates, etc.)
- Choosing the stairs over the elevator when possible
- Riding bikes (another great activity to do as a family!)
- Stand up paddle board
… the possibilities are endless!
Sometimes increasing the amount of physical activity in our lives can be a drastic change and feel overwhelming. By setting small, realistic goals, we are less likely to feel frustrated and give up. By asking a friend to help keep you accountable for your goals, setting weekly dates with a friend for you to both participate in some sort if physical activity together, and planning fun outings with your family on the weekends, you can increase your likeliness to stick with your goals and make physical activity enjoyable.
Check in with yourself every couple weeks and see how you are doing in achieving your goals. If you feel you have achieved your goals, set new ones. If you are still struggling with your goals, brainstorm ways for you to overcome some of the obstacles you may be facing.