Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had an amazing 2017 and now its time to get moving in 2018!

exercisingMany people make fitness resolutions at the beginning of they year, but studies show only about 25% stick to them.  How about incorporating some simple strategies to get yourself moving and exercising more in 2018!  Here are some ideas to add some fun, easy exercise into your everyday life.

  • When you do drive to a destination, park at the back of the lot. You won’t have to wait, you won’t have to wonder if your car is going to be dinged when somebody parks too close to it, and you’ll get some extra steps in. Not having to cruise the lot endlessly looking for the “perfect” spot actually saves time.
  • Find walkable destinations. Do you live near a grocery store? A library? A bank? Is there a newsstand nearby with your favorite free weekly paper in it? Take a good look around your neighborhood and see what’s within, say, a square mile of your house. Could you walk to the coffee shop instead of driving to it? Maybe there’s even a farmer’s market a few blocks away, or a restaurant. Not having to deal with parking often saves a lot of time and hassle.  It’s easier than you think to walk instead of always driving. And you’ll save money on gas, too!
  • When the choice is elevators, escalators, or stairs, choose stairs. This is particularly effective at malls and even on all-you-can-eat cruises. Resolve to never, ever take the elevator, and you will get plenty of exercise to off-set those holiday treats you indulged in! You’ll also never find yourself smashed into an overcrowded elevator. And by keeping up your cardio fitness with your stairs-first motto, when you’re in other countries where stairs are the norm and elevators the rare exception, you won’t break a sweat by just going up a flight or two. You’ll also find hiking or even just walking uphill much easier.
  • Find indoor hobbies you enjoy: go bowling, do yoga, take salsa dance lessons, join an indoor volleyball, soccer, tennis or a pickle ball league, etc.  People who live in single-season, warm places can enjoy outdoor activities all year, but the majority of people live in places that don’t lend themselves to being outside for at least three months of the year (including those of you who are Michiganders like me!). It’s easier to keep doing an activity if you can do it year-round. And you’ll probably be more likely to stick with fun group activities than solo activities—peer support and encouragement is crucial. Activities with set schedules (maybe you dance or play tennis every Wednesday and Sunday, for example) are easier to stick with, too, because you can integrate them into your weekly schedule.
  • Check out your community center. Most cities have centers that offer free or reduced-price classes like yoga or pilates; some also have swimming pools with open hours and/or open courts that groups can regularly schedule to use for pick-up games like tennis and basketball. Sometimes high schools offer public swimming hours, or perhaps there’s a YMCA nearby that offers inexpensive memberships.

Bottom line? You don’t need to have a gym membership to be fit. In fact, you’re more likely to exercise by tweaking your lifestyle to make room for more movement and less sitting. All it takes is some simple steps!

To a Healthy and Fit 2018

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