Saying goodbye to 2020 was not a hard one. I think we can all agree that it was not the best year for most of us, but it sure taught us more than a thing or two. In this article, let’s not look back to what might have been, instead let’s all look forward to a better year ahead, it’s time to let go of all the negative energy that hinders us from growing.
As there are many things in life we can’t undo, there are also things we can do better and what a better way to start a new decade than to build new fitness habits that can help us become a better version of ourselves and bring us closer to our goals this 2021.
1. Move More
Moving more has been quite a challenge since the quarantine has started and until now, going outside even to carry out physical activities still poses some risks for many people. In addition, working from home has blurred the line that separates work and home. It’s totally understandable if getting in more physical activities is a struggle. I’m sure a lot of people feel frustrated about this, but we have to keep in mind that it’s also our responsibility to keep the endorphins flowing to maintain a healthy mind and keep those muscles moving for a healthy body.
Moving more does not need to be complicated, you can keep yourself moving at home by doing home workouts, jump rope, or do some dancing. Keep the motivation going or get out of your comfort zone by joining online workouts. If you wanna keep it simple, try doing more chores or playing with your pets if you have any. Besides keeping yourself healthy, I’m sure you’ll make your mama proud and your dog happy. As for those who can or have space to move outdoors, try to hit that daily 10k step count or if for a more challenging cardio, do some running while making sure you practice safety protocols. There are loads of virtual challenges like the ones on the Pinoy Fitness Atleta app that will surely keep you going.
There could be several reasons why you find it hard to move more lately, but keeping ourselves healthy overall is important especially now. Don’t leave any room for excuses this year because your health is also your wealth. Clear that blurred line and maintain balance with life and work for a healthier you.
2. Keep Track, Log Daily
How do you measure progress? As we welcome another year of personal growth in the fitness and health aspect of our lives, we should ask ourselves this question to make sure we’re moving forward and towards the best version of ourselves. One of the best ways I have discovered in order to do so is to keep a training log or use tracking apps.
Whether you want to lose weight, run faster, or just improve your overall health, keeping a log has many benefits. Training logs and trackers can provide a better view at your training goals and help you develop a training plan around using your past and present data. Trackers and logs make use of quantitative or qualitative data can give you an accurate view if you’re making progress or not. If you’re a runner, believe it or not, even great athletes like Kipchoge keep a training log and take note of what they felt during their runs. This helps them look ahead of their overall wellness or prevent injuries and burnouts.
Take your fitness to a different level by putting it in writing and mapping out your journey on a journal, planner, or by using fitness trackers or apps that you can download for FREE.
Related Article: 8 Running Apps You Can Download for FREE
3. Treasure Your Mental Health
“Your Mental Health is just as important as your Physical Health”
Mental Health is often under-looked and rarely talked about; but now more than ever, keeping one’s mental health is important. Being mentally healthy helps us appreciate life and the people around us more, but a decline in mental health could result in serious problems like depression, anxiety, aggression, some physical illnesses, and many more.
Build the habit of taking care of your mental state, meditation, yoga or running are a few known practices that are proven to ease stress, anxiety and improve overall mental health. Personally, I like taking my dogs for long walks every morning after I run. Some people also relax by tending to their plants, others by cooking, and there are those who just simply take a seat and read a book. Bottom line, always check your mental health and make sure to take time time-outs to relax when necessary.
Related Article: Depression is Real and Here’s How Running Can Help
4. Eat More, Eat Better
For years, I have been in a love and hate relationship with food. It was a struggle to find the diet that suits me and I was always scared to eat more because I thought it always meant that I’d be gaining more weight. I see this problem with a lot of people as well and it’s the perfect time to break away from this mindset.
In the words of a nutrition Coach Dr. John Berardi, Nutrition isn’t “one size fits all” and there is no direct manual that could tell one individual what he/she should eat or not. Instead of trying to base your diet on other people’s, learn how to build yours around your life. After all, food has more purpose than just nourishment like culture, enjoyment, and even economy. It’s time we have a better understanding of how we can enjoy food without having to be so restrictive and that is to eat more of what we need, eat better most days, and by welcoming these mindsets:
● Not labelling foods as “good” and “bad”;
● You can have what you want, but in moderation;
● Eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full;
● Appreciating the color and taste veggies and fruits can bring to meals;
● Not trying to fit yourself in other people’s diets; and
● Practicing mindful eating.
5. Set deadlines
Have you ever wondered why your dreams just stay as dreams? It’s probably because you never set deadlines for each of them. I realized this last year when I worked on one of my dreams, I gave myself a 1 year deadline and made sure I would only move on to my next dream once until I achieved it. Saying you want to run a marathon seems impossible until you say you want to run a marathon by the end of the year. With that deadline in mind, your dreams will be time bounded and you will be pushed to work on them each day. Let’s make this year a time to make our dreams come true.
It has been said, but I will say it again. There is no shortcut to success. Becoming fit and healthy (and being able to stay that way) is not easy and does not happen overnight; but the secret of successful people are habits they worked on everyday and carried them to their daily lives. Focus on making progress each day rather than reaching perfection because there will always be room for improvement when it comes to health and fitness. For 2021, promise yourself to do better and create a better version of yourself by building habits that would help you grow and stay healthy.