Submitted by Wendy Chirieleison, MS Ed
Community Health Educator
Fitness Is A Process
Keep things in perspective! Many of us have goals to get fit, stay fit, or live a healthier lifestyle, and we make plans to reach those goals. Sometimes life gets in the way, making it seem difficult to stick to those plans, and you have a hard time staying on track. If you set goals that are realistic, accept that at times you will have some set-backs but they are not the end of the world, and stay positive by realizing that being healthy is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. Relish in the process instead of anticipating the destination.
Here are some tips that can help you reach your goals to live a healthier, happier life:
Just Do It: You may not want to get out of the house to go for that walk or go to the gym, but you can ‘fake it ‘til you make it,’ and tell yourself that this is one of the best things you will do for yourself today, and soon that is how you will perceive it. Plan your activity ‘appointments’ (like you would schedule a doctor’s appointment) in advance so you are more likely to keep them, especially if you think of them as non-negotiable appointments. Then, work your way up to fitness milestones like 10,000 steps a day. Why not try different classes that suit you like Yoga, Zumba, or water aerobics to keep yourself motivated and inspired.
Think Outside The Gym: There are a lot of ways to sneak exercise into your daily routine. We have all heard about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking farther away from the place you are going. You can also try walking to your neighbor’s house instead of calling them on the phone or walking/riding your bike when you need to pick up a few things in town.
Mix It Up: If you typically engage in only one form of exercise like walking, running, or using an elliptical, you are working on just one set of muscles, leaving others in need of a work-out, according to Todd Schlifstein DO, a sports medicine rehabilitation doctor at New York University Medical Center’s Rusk Institute. He also states that repeatedly working on only one set of muscles can leave you less fit than you think and can also cause injury. The best ways to avoid this is first, to stretch before your work-outs to prime your muscles for the upcoming activity and after each work-out to soothe your muscles. Secondly, Dr. Schlifstein recommends cross-training, or alternating your fitness activities to focus on overall fitness. For example, you might rotate activities such as jogging, Yoga, using weights, biking and other aerobic activities.
Make Good Choices: Being healthy is more than just exercising and eating right, it is also about making healthy choices each and every day. Drink plenty of water to stay properly hydrated. Listen to music, take a stress management class, or participate in other activities to reduce stress, as stress is related to weight gain, migraines, digestive disorders, and diseases. Have a positive attitude – don’t sweat the small stuff and focus on the good. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and soak up the morning sun by drinking your coffee or tea outside, which can give you a boost of Vitamin D and energy.
It is also important to have an attitude of gratitude. Remember to be grateful for all you have and for all you have accomplished to keep things in a perspective. Don’t focus on the destination, but rather enjoy life’s journey because, while you may not always get what you wish for, you can achieve what you work for!
For more information, contact HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, see our website at nlh.org, or visit our wellness center at 213 Harrison Street Ext. in Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.