As we wrap up 2022 and look forward to 2023, most of us can identify some things that we would like to change in the new year. Hopefully, we can also pick out some things that we would like to continue in 2023. One of the most common goals that people set before a new year is to stay active or exercise more. If you are like me and have a hard time sticking to a fitness goal, here are a few tips to help you be successful.
- Set simple goals: It is important to set simple goals first. This helps you not get overwhelmed and track how far you have come. If you have not been active in a while, or if you have not been feeling well, set small goals first. A short-term goal could be to walk to the mailbox two times by the end of the week. Even small or short amounts of activity can have great benefits. As you meet your short-term goals you can begin to set some longer goals. An intermediate goal could be to walk for 10 minutes three times a week or follow along with the COPD Foundation’s chair yoga video once a week. Make sure to check with your health care provider before starting any kind of activity routine so they can also help you set goals.
- Do something every day: Sometimes people think that to be active, they must set aside a big chunk of time, but that is not true. There are many ways that we can add activity throughout the day. You could park a little farther away from the door when picking up your groceries, or take a 5-minute walk during your lunch break – with or without any furry companions! If you have a desk job or find yourself sitting for a lot of the day, take regular breaks to get up and move for a few minutes. No matter what you choose to do, make sure that you are taking some time each day to move your body and stay active.
- Have fun: We are much more likely to stick to something that we find enjoyable. Choose activities that you can have fun with. If you start an activity and find out that you do not like it, try something different.
- Listen to your body: Pay attention to how you are feeling. Make sure that you have rescue medications close by whenever you are active. If you do not feel well, go easy on yourself. It is important that you listen to your body to determine if you need to change your activity for the day or even take a day off. If you have been sick or have just gotten off track, get moving again as soon as you are able. You may have to start again with small goals, but the important thing is that you stay moving.
Activity is often more fun with friends. Invite friends or co-workers to walk with you or take an exercise class together. Working out with someone helps everyone to stay on track and be accountable.
Staying active is an important part of living well. The COPD Foundation has some wonderful exercise videos that will help you reach your health and fitness goals. Remember: set your goals, do something every day, have fun, and listen to your body. Let’s make 2023 our most active year yet!
Let’s chat! Share some tips that help you to stay active and some ways that you plan to keep moving in 2023.