For our third installment of The Healthy Resolutions Project, we’re looking at physical fitness. This is something that many people often focus on when creating New Year’s resolutions – to go to the gym more often, to take a fitness class, and to overall become physically healthier.
Physical fitness is not just about losing weight, it’s about living better. However, while these resolutions are created with good intentions, they often lack specific and measurable targets. Also, if we’re only looking at activities that require us to carve out a portion of our time to do something that we haven’t been doing, it becomes more of a challenge and we lose momentum after a while and end up right where we started.
Look at ways you can incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine, into things you’re already doing.
My recommendation is to look at ways you can incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine, into things you’re already doing. For example, many of us need to travel a certain distance to get to work. What if you took transit or biked or walked to work instead of drove to work? Instantly, you would be adding significantly more physical activity to your daily life. Plus, you’d be saving money on gas and parking. Heck, you might even be able to give up one of your vehicles, so you’d save on insurance and maintenance as well! Cha-Ching! Good for bank account and your body!
That’s just one example of how to easily incorporate SMART fitness resolutions into your life (SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-based goals – check out my earlier post on SMART goals for more details). Below are some more examples.
Examples of SMART fitness goals/resolutions:
Goal to incorporate more physical activity into your daily commute to work / school
- For the next month, I will take transit or bike or walk (or a combination of these) to get to work or school.
- For more information on biking to work and how to get your bike onto transit in Metro Vancouver, be sure check out this post on getting bikes on transit.
Goal to be less sedentary at work (prolonged periods of sitting can compromise your metabolic health and lead to increased risk of heart disease)
- For the next month, I will take the stairs instead of using the elevator
- For the next two weeks, I will set a reminder for myself to get up from my desk every 20-30 minutes and move around (e.g. get a glass of water, walk a lap around the office, stretch at your desk, etc.).
- If you have a sit-stand desk or can request one: For the next month, I will switch between sitting and standing at my desk at least once every hour.
- For the next month, I will take a walk at lunch time at least 2 days per week (and then schedule this into your work calendar!).
- For the next month, I will stand up when I am taking phone calls.
- For the next month, when possible, I will walk over to my colleague’s desks when I need to talk to them instead of sending them an email.
- If you have access to a gym or fitness class (e.g. pilates, yoga, Zumba, etc.) at or close to work: For the next month, I will go to the gym/fitness class during my lunch break at least once a week (make sure to include this in your work calendar).
Goal to be more active at home and on days off from work
- For the next month, I will stand when I am folding the laundry and doing other similar chores.
- For the next month, when I am watching TV, I will do a few sets of body weight exercises (e.g. lunges, squats, sit-ups, push-ups, etc.)
- For the next month, I will take transit or walk or bike whenever I go out.
Do you have other ideas for SMART fitness goals? Share them with us!
Check out these other posts from The Healthy Resolutions Project: