Every year one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is reaching a healthy weight. One of the best ways to reach your goal weight is through exercising. No matter what age you are, you can always improve your health and well-being by becoming more active. Even just incorporating moderate activity into your life on a regular basis can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and improve your mental health, muscle strength and mood.
But let’s be honest. It’s easy to start a fitness routine. The hard part is following through with it long term. Here are some easy ways to make exercise a regular part of your life in 2016:
- Do a variety of activities: By participating in a variety of activities you ensure that you can always be active regardless of the weather or time of day.
- Commit to another person: When you commit to exercising with someone else, you are more likely to stick with your workout. You don’t want to let that person down by canceling a workout, and a friend can help motivate you when you feel like giving up.
- Make exercise a priority: It’s easier to make exercise a part of your regular routine if you make it a priority in your life. Once you make exercise a regular part of your day and start noticing the positive effects you will feel more motivated to make other changes, such as eating healthier food or watching less televion.
- Exercise first thing in the morning: Many people have a busy schedule during the day and in the evening. Sometimes it's easier to get a workout done in the morning when everybody else in the house is asleep.
- Or exercise after work: Skip rush hour traffic and get your workout done instead. If your employer offers fitness facilities, take advantage of them. Or stop at the gym on the way home.
- Exercise even when you're "too tired": It's easier than it sounds and you will feel much more energetic after you’ve finished.
- Log your activity: Tracking your progress will help you see how far you’ve come and motivate you to do even more.
- Be aware of all indicators of progress: Weight loss isn’t the only sign that your health is improving. Regular activity can help you sleep better, think more clearly, and feel more energetic.
- Walk with a pedometer (or a dog): If walking is your exercise of choice, use a pedometer to track your progress. If you don't have a friend to walk with, take your dog for companionship.
- Reward yourself...because you deserve it: Whether you accomplished a goal that you set for yourself or because you stuck it out through a week of workouts, you deserve to be rewarded.
Are you ready to make 2016 your most active year yet? Visit your local fitness center to sign up for group fitness classes or personal training sessions. If being outdoors is more your style, the Marine Corps offers intramural and All-Marine sports opportunities, as well as a variety of outdoor recreation activities.