Make 2016 Your Healthiest Year Yet!
Cornell McClellan, Member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
Now is the perfect time to reflect on your successes and challenges from last year, and set new goals to guide you in 2016! This year, consider setting goals to keep you healthy and fit for years to come. After all, a healthy lifestyle is a goal that we all can strive for and attain, regardless of age or ability level. With the right tools and information, you will be better prepared to increase or maintain your level of fitness and make a commitment to doing it!
I encourage you to explore the resources available from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition to help turn your health and fitness goals into reality. Here are some of my favorite tips to start 2016 off right:
- Make exercise a family affair. Physical activity is more than the gym and classes. Dancing, walking, or ice skating with your family are great opportunities to spend time with your loved ones and be physically active.
- Prevent mental roadblocks from stalling your physical fitness progress. Overcome these barriers by starting small – walking five minutes every day can eventually progress to 50 minutes.
- Have a clear goal in mind – whether it is being active a certain amount of time each week or attending a set number of fitness classes. Committing to a program like PALA+, which focuses on both physical activity and good nutrition, will help you track your goals.
- Relieve stress and tension with physical activity. Being active can boost your endorphins and distract you from daily worries during the long winter months.
- Prioritize your health. It’s important to find time to be physically active and eat healthy. Consider waking up earlier in the morning, fitting in physical activity over a lunch break, and/or scheduling time for your workouts on your daily calendar.
- Know what motivates you. We’re all motivated by something different – by our families, by our jobs, by ourselves. Once you find out what in your life motivates you, relate it to the benefits that will come from physical activity and enhance your life.
- Find creative solutions. Can’t make it to the gym? Fit exercise into your daily routine by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking away from the building to walk more, or playing active video games instead of sitting on the couch and watching TV.
- Keep your healthy eating goals where you can see them. Print out your PALA+ log – there’s even one in Spanish – and hang it on your refrigerator as a reminder of your weekly goal. The PALA+ log also includes eight tips for healthy eating!